Disorders and diseases that affect a person’s personality and mind are always complex problems that, due to lack of knowledge and information, are often underestimated or not treated with the importance they deserve. When a specialist doctor diagnoses a mental illness, it is important to treat it and consider it as relevant as any other that may only affect the physical sphere.

Of all the mental illnesses and disorders that exist, many of them are confused with each other , either because the symptoms they present are shared with each other or because someone unfamiliar with the subject includes them within the same category. It is necessary, for the good of the patient and their environment, to know how to distinguish the characteristics of a certain disorder to avoid social rejection and also to achieve empathy with the patient and their treatment. Two of the currently most confused personality disorders are sociopathy and psychopathy. To learn to know each of them, what are the characteristics that differentiate them and also other information of interest, then Bekia explains all the necessary information that you should know about both.

Sociopathy, what is it?

According to many experts, sociopathy is a personality disorder acquired as a result of a certain education that the individual would have had at their developmental age and also from the environment in which they grew up. In general, a sociopathic person is one who does not possess all the necessary attributes or qualities to establish a social relationship , considered normal, with other people. On the other hand, suffering from this personality disorder does not justify how violent or not the person in question can become, since said disorder does not influence their temperament at all.

As indicated above, a sociopathic person, at first glance, does not show any signs of having a personality disorder . However, it does present characteristics, antecedents and behaviors that end up making it possible to establish a profile. Sociopathy normally affects young men who during their childhood and / or adolescence failed to achieve the usual moral and affective development . Sociopathic people tend to commit small legal infractions, do not feel much empathy towards others, tend to lie and compulsively cheat and also have no feeling of guilt or remorse of conscience.

This personality disorder, explained by many experts, is something that is not born innate with the individual , but can end up developing it due to having an incorrect or undisciplined education . The father figure is also very important in the correct mental growth and in the development of good mental health.

Psychopathy, what does it consist of?

Unlike sociopathy, psychopathy is a personality disorder whose origin is innate or genetic . This means that psychopathy is not the result of any combination of external factors. Taking this into consideration, many experts have attributed the development of this personality disorder as the result of the lack of activity of some brain areas responsible for emotions and self-control.

A psychopathic person, sharing somewhat the characteristics with another who is a sociopath , has serious problems when it comes to socializing and when it comes to having conscience and respect for others and for the laws and moral norms that govern society. Their inability to establish social relationships is high and, unless they fake it, their attitude towards others is totally antisocial. People who suffer from psychopathy do not seek to benefit from love or friendship ties because they simply do not see it.

Through the experience that a person acquires throughout his personal development, together with the emotions and feelings that shape him, he is creating a moral and value system that, once adulthood, makes it a individual perfectly prepared to assume his responsibilities with himself and with others. In the profile of a psychopath, this is not the case because the lack of social relationships and personal ties is precisely what prevents this morality from being formed.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that makes the individual who suffers from it much more manipulative , scrupulous with his own actions and also very selfish . They see other people as simple pawns to use in order to achieve their purposes and for this they are capable of pretending, deceiving and manipulating anyone without showing even a hint of empathy or remorse.

What are the most notable differences?

Taking into account each of the descriptions of both disorders, one can realize that psychopathy and sociopathy share very similar characteristics to each other. The two profiles are typical of people with a high inability to establish emotional ties with other people, but both do not have the same ability to hide it or use it for their own benefit , as is the case of the psychopath.

Sociopathy does not tend to be viewed or treated as a dangerous personality disorder, whereas psychopathy does. Even if two individuals with both disorders performed the same act, the psychopath would show less empathy and remorse , while being much more scrupulous and intelligent in hiding their wrongdoing than the sociopath. The latter has a greater emotional involvement if it inflicts harm on others, while for the former it does not.

Also, and despite the fact that psychopaths and sociopaths lie conscientiously, the profile of psychopathy is manipulative in the elderly. So far from giving the impression of withdrawn or introverted, they can pretend to be sociable and charming . This self-control over themselves creates another great difference between the two disorders, and that is that the more manipulative one is with others, the greater degree of intelligence and scrupulousness it will have. Being a disorder with such marked individual characteristics, psychopathy also has different levels depending on the degree of interaction that the person has with their environment. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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