By Karan Pratap

A Psychopath. One word that describes a generational fear of the unknown. One group of
people constantly shunned by society, demonized by popular culture and misconstrued in
every sense.

Who is a Psychopath?

I think it’s safe to say that no one truly understands who is a psychopath. The first image
that comes to anybody’s mind is that of a deranged man, scheming and truly heartless who
murders for no reason but to satiate his appetite for it. However, this is a complete
misunderstanding of the whole concept of somebody being a psychopath.

Furthermore, the entire idea that only a handful of those murderous killers roam the planet searching for their next victim is also highly untrue; according to a recent study,

approximately 1 in 100 people is a psychopath- that makes about 70 million worldwide.

That makes it a rather large pot of these “killers”.

Hence I believe this discussion is very relevant.

To begin with, we need to first understand the difference between a psychopath, a
sociopath and psychosis.

Psychosis is an umbrella term for somebody who is losing their grip on reality, a delirium of sorts.

A psychopath, on the other hand, is a person who suffers from an issue of moral derangement, a mental disorder where they lack empathy and an ability to relate to other humans as sentient beings. A psychopath is completely in tune with reality and is usually a very charming and normal person to meet.

A sociopath’s condition of moral derangement is in essence derived from nurture not nature; that would be, the presence of an abusive parent or a torn family.

Thus psychopathy is a medical issue due to the abnormality of the brain.

Why are Psychopaths Misconstrued?

So, coming back to the meat of the matter, why are psychopaths antagonized as they are?

Well, I believe that this is primarily due to two reasons, the general characteristics associated with a psychopath and their poor portrayal by the media.

Tackling the issue of characteristics first, psychopaths are known to be manipulative,
charming, lacking remorse and people who consider everybody around them as a means to
their ends.

These are characteristics if utilized together paint a picture that our society’s
moral code does not look favourably at. Yet if you do examine these traits, you realize that
almost all the CEO’s of top companies, hedge fund managers, and great leaders possess
these qualities.

This helps us realize the idea that there are fundamentally two types of psychopaths; the first are the high functioning ones as shown above, and the second are the ones with lesser control who end up becoming those serial killer truck drivers.

Thus the presence of psychopaths has been predominant yet understated in our society. This community is at a strange threshold, a point where their individual traits are undesirable, yet the individual who is able to utilize it well is idolized at times and reaches great pinnacles of success.

Psychopaths and Popular Culture

The second reason for the demonization of the psychopathic community is the media and
popular culture. No talk of popular culture and psychopaths can be started without
mentioning the greatest manipulative murderer of them all- Hannibal Lecter. For all those
who don’t know who I’m talking about, I’d advise you to change your tabs and immediately
watch “Silence of the Lambs”, one of the greatest portrayals to antagonize the psychopathic community.

The film industry has conveniently decided to make almost all its serial killers
psychopaths, thus showcasing their lethargic attitude wherein they refuse to give their
murderer a proper motive and hide behind the fact that he has a mental issue. This
according to me has been the root cause behind the popular fear and dislike of the
psychopathic community- misportrayal.

To sum up my thoughts, I believe that the world will look back in shame at the negative
reaction we as a society had towards this community about 50 years down the lane. This is
fundamentally due to the fact that this is a mental disability that the other person can’t
help, they don’t do it out of choice.

This is like the time when our society treated autistic children as if they were morons and didn’t understand that it was a mental issue.

Thus I believe that this a major issue that requires introspection by today’s society so that we do not mistakenly without knowing the full facts hurt or damage a community that operates within ours.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Global Citizen, Wikipedia

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