Here's The Real Difference Between A Sociopath And A Psychopath, From A Psych Major
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Here's The Real Difference Between A Sociopath And A Psychopath, From A Psych Major

Not all sociopaths are psychopaths.


The true crime community, once a small niche group on Reddit and Tumblr, has grown over the years with the Investigation Discovery channel churning out content and Netflix jumping on the bandwagon. You've probably heard of the Manson family tapes on Hulu, the Ted Bundy tapes on Netflix, or even more likely, the Ted Bundy movie starring Zac Efron and Lily Collins.

It doesn't stop at just television, however. Even YouTubers have grown keen on the trend, the most notable being Shane Dawson's docu-series revolving around Jake Paul, which dissected claims of him being a sociopath. Needless to say, the true crime craze has blossomed into something much bigger than anyone had ever dreamed of.

The only issue with this is that given the wide-spread popularity of true crime seeping into our lives, more and more people are using the term "sociopath" and other psychopathy-related terms to describe someone they just have an off-feeling about.

According to the DSM-5, the official diagnostic tool of therapists and psychiatrists alike, both sociopathy and psychopathy are clumped together under an Antisocial Personality Disorder. The two labels do share a few traits in common, such as a disregard for laws and the rights of others, a tendency for violence, and failure to feel remorse. However, one thing must be made clear.

Sociopaths are not psychopaths.

Go ahead, read that again.

The big defining feature of a sociopath is their lack of empathy and failure to feel remorse. It is difficult for sociopaths to form attachments with others and they tend to be nervous or easily agitated. Psychopaths, on the other hand, are those with disarmingly charming personalities that learn to mimic emotions they themselves cannot feel (due to their lack of empathy). Psychopaths are extremely manipulative and are usually cool, calm, and meticulous.

Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Dennis Rader were all psychopaths.

Stop adding even more stigma to the sociopathic label. The life of a sociopath is uneasy enough without popular media continuously and confusingly casting more dirt on them.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

illustration of the fibonacci sequence

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments