The term psychopathy is currently in disuse in the psychiatric clinic for generating great confusion and controversy in the international systems of classification of mental illness. In general we speak of psychopaths when it appears a marked antisocial and irresponsible behavior, a reduced empathy and remorse, and an uninhibited character.
There are several etiological theories (biochemical, familial, biographical, neurophysiological ...) and there are several approaches that are used to define psychopathy. Some approach it as a personality disorder with its own traits and others as antisocial behavior, although most define it With characteristics of both.
Symptoms of a psychopathic personality
It appears as part of the Antisocial Personality Disorder, defined by the combination of a series of affective, interpersonal and behavioral components that we try to summarize below:
- Early behavioral problems from childhood, egocentrism and exaggerated self-esteem, victimization with malice and manipulation, irresponsibility, low tolerance for frustration, impulsivity, lack of empathy and insensitivity, absence of guilt and remorse.
- Has inability to plan the future with no realistic goals, are prone to repeated lies and violate legal and social norms.
In spite of the behavioral alterations and the described personality traits this does not imply loss of contact or alteration, nor distortion of the reality judgment. They do not present psychotic symptoms.
Causes of Psychopathic Disorder
Most of their problems come from the emotional inability to develop feelings necessary for an adequate social and interpersonal coexistence, which prevents them from generating positive experiences for their affective and behavioral experiences. These emotional deficiencies are not present in all patients with the same intensity, but there is a wide range of variability between them.
Also, unlike other mental disorders, there is no single behavior defined in a person from which a psychopath can be clearly distinguished from a normal person. For example, most have a propensity for violence but many have no history of violence in their past.
Treatment of the patient with psychopathic features
The treatment of the person with psychopathic features is complicated and ineffective both from a pharmacological and a psychotherapeutic point of view, almost always because he lacks the necessary motivation with no implication or negative to him. It is very difficult to get their collaboration despite the voluntariness and awareness of their behavior. The results therefore are not very encouraging although it seems to be more successful if it starts at an early age.
Hugo Marietán (expert psychotherapist in these pathologies) points out that a psychopath should not be considered a patient, but an abnormal being with a mental structure different from the norm of the rest of society, and unable to adapt his behavior.