What exactly is a psychopath? Is a psychopath the same as a sociopath or persons with an antisocial personality disorder? Are psychopaths crazy? Are psychopaths born the way they are? Are psychopaths more common than we once thought? And how do you know if someone is a psychopath? Hopefully, this article will help answer these common questions.
Cleckley coined the term psychopathy in his landmark 1941 book, The Mask of Sanity. And because some of their most unique and troubling attributes: unnecessary, pathological lying, superficial charm, and a chilling capacity for heartlessly victimizing others, etc. seemed so irrational to him and his colleagues, it was natural for them to think of psychopathy as a form of mental derangement or insanity. But psychopaths typically don’t suffer from genuine delusions or abnormalities of normal thought process like persons in the throes of “psychosis” do. As different as they are from most normal folks, they’re definitely not crazy (although many folks confuse the terms “psychotic” and “psychopath”).