Sociopathy and Psychopathy

Sociopathy and psychopathy are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably to describe individuals who exhibit antisocial or violent behaviour. However, there are differences between the two terms.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterised by a persistent pattern of manipulation, deceit, and impulsiveness, with a complete disregard for the rights of others. People with psychopathy often lack empathy and guilt, and may be impulsive and engaging in dangerous or criminal behaviour.

Sociopathy, on the other hand, is a term used to describe individuals who exhibit similar characteristics but without the same level of emotional and behavioural instability seen in psychopathy. Some experts argue that sociopathy is a less severe form of psychopathy or a separate but related condition.

It is important to note that these terms are not officially recognized or defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals. The DSM-5 recognizes Antisocial Personality Disorder as a formal diagnosis for individuals with patterns of antisocial behaviour.


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