Not only are all the various forms of "mind-scientists" confused about how to accurately diagnose a psychopath a psychopath, but they are also conflicted on the cause and if it is even treatable. This stems from the conflict embedded within the very categorizing charts and methods popularly used today.
According to the standard practice, anyone with A nti- S ocial P ersonality D isorder (ASPD), B orderline P ersonality D isorder (BPD), or a Sociopath will qualify as also being a "psychopath." Where does one end and the other begin? Instead of focusing on the unique individual motives for each category they would rather stick with "signs and symptoms."
What Makes a Psychopath a Psychopath?
The surrounding environment does not create a psychopath (entirely) like a Sociopath; they are pretty much born that way. Which is the exact opposite of a sociopath. I strongly agree with the theory that it is inherited by a parent (if psychopathy is present). But this only provides the Base Level of psychopathy.
It is here that the latent passages of the signature traits of psychology are present. However they are only expressed superficially. The more dangerous and life altering behaviors are still dormant. They can be triggered or awakened with the stimuli of the people around them and their environment. This is where their surrounding environment comes heavily into play.
If the child is provided with a nurturing and affectionate family who practices a responsible and reasonable reflective system of discipline, they will turn out just fine. And be able to function normally within their society. However, they will still possess Bipolar-like outbursts that are more about venting and not so much about violence.
Now if they grow up in a home where toughness is pressed or being the best is pashed constantly and overbearingly, this can enhance their hits. Or if the psychotic parent is constantly feeding their ego (using everyone else in the family to do so) it too can contribute to enhanced qualities. It is here that we see those psychopaths who use people and use deceit to obtain what they desire.
However, if their discipline is rather erratic or possesses more aggression than the situation calls for it can produce the more violent hits. Especially if the child is abused; physically, emotionally, mentally, sexually or all the above. Having the child participate in any martial sport has its risks of "encouraging" the child to be violent as well. This of course can be nullified if a casual conversation about time and place is taken into account (if at Base Level).
And then we have the factors that the parents can not control, like how their experiences will be involving other people. If they regularly see people lying casually (white lies), being privileged in expression and politely incorporating each other, this too can influence the child to invoke their deceptive and manipulative skills. As they begin to see them as survival traits that are necessary. Much like that of a sociopath, a psychopath is indeed a perfect reflection of how our society relates to one another and what is culturally accepted.
What about other people (kids mostly) who forcibly press roughhousing on others. Most likely because they are stressed dominance, toughness and strength in their home. Which can mistakenly be translated to most people as competitiveness, perseverance, and confidence. When the words and their meaning of respectable virtues are contorted, it can screw up a person's entire perception of the world. And this is a "sane" person we are talking about here. With these commonly accepted and practiced behaviors a "normal" person can be raised to be a Benign or Physical Sociopath.
Such realities have a tremendous effect on a psychopath's development. They quickly begin to see aggression and violence as a means to an end. So that is what they reflect back. Only they take it to an additional degree (at the very least). An act of insurance if you will.
Even merely being an innocent spectator to such accidents can aid the progress of the psychopath's psychosis level. One of the most popular and fastest ways to get a psychopath to skip the less dangerous levels and go right into the most dangerous one is bullyism. It matters not if they are the victim themselves or a witness to such acts. Either way, it triggers their survival gauge to peak just a bit higher. And this lowers their threshold for empathy and begin to erase their learned teachings of right and wrong.
When it gets to this point, there is no method to influence regression. This is a permanent transition and our society is partly to blame for it. If it were a sociopath, a person with antisocial personality disorder or even borderline personality disorder they do not have this excuse. However, a psychopath does for one reason … they are perfectly engineered biological "robots."
Inner Aspects of a Psychopath
As a small child, the psychopath begins to process information in a strictly logical manner. They first see logic and then only partially bother with rationalization. The reason being that if something does not logically make sense, they will not waste any energy trying to rationalize it. And these experiences are filtered through their "hearts" (emotional center) which is why they have such a tremendous impact on them.
How they are raised, treated and personally process the information around them determines exactly how psychopaths program themselves. You read that correctly, they program themselves. Such programming is deemed necessary to their own personal survival, which is used to feed their one true need-following with their set and preset programming.
This preset programming is nothing more than the established realities that they experienced while growing up. Which also includes how to respond emotionally and what is deemed right and what is deemed wrong. Of course these go against what is broadly accepted as psychopathy which is defined by experts who study such things from a distance and claim to know the inner workings of such natures.
More than anything else, a psychopath needs stability in structure. Without structure a psychopath may begin to feel overwhelmed with chaos. Which will then violently spin their emotional matrix for a loop and will more than likely respond with violence. It is in fact, this over-stimulation of the emotional matrix that draws a psychopath to become extremely violent and to kill.
The Emotional Matrix of a Psychopath
When speaking of the e motional q uotient (EQ) of a psychopath it is always said they lack emotion to begin with. Even though this has been the subject of heated debate among the experts, it has not really been proved either way. This is because they are still human. Therefore, there will be a great difference from one psychopathic individual to another.
Psychopath (in general) can experience and connect with their emotions … just not in the same exact way a "normal" person does. However, their capacity to understand those emotions is what gives rise to the widely believed factor that is attached to psychiatry. This is why some experts agree that they can experience emotion but they possess a low threshold in EQ. Here is the root problem as to why they seem to have difficulty with expressing the way they feel.
Another misunderstood issue lies with the way they experience emotion. Unlike what is widely believed to be the reality, psychopaths in fact experience emotion with a much higher intensity than the average person. Which means that anything that triggers their emotional matrix like a first kiss, experiencing a dramatic situation or abuse will register with much more harsh intensity than what might just be initial shock to their sociopath counterpart.
In order to maintain "sanity" a psychopath will resort to using external sources as the way to deal with or express something-to avoid having to do so on their own (without structure). Which is why they are stimulated emotionally in a purely external manner. They begin to mimic how to better respond to emotional stimulation rather than just simply learning how to better manipulate their ability to not feel at all.
And because of this, any romantic relationship will be challenging, not impossible. The biggest problem is falling into the pattern and habit of certain negatives. Meaning, they can easily become self-gratifying even at the cost of their loved one (s). Another issue that may come up is a slow peel from affection (verbal and physical). Even the act and expression of detaching from the emotional connection they do have. This one must be worked on constantly.
Such intense emotional experiences (ie, feeling uncomfortable or uncertain) give rise to the core reasons for psychopathic serial killers to seek a specific type of victim. They are "killing" that emotional experience over and over in hopes that it will go away (which includes individuals who have resembled the person responsible for such an experience). Remember that psychopaths only see in terms of a mean to an end so to them this logically makes sense. And such emotional stains can be covered for a duration of time but ultimately resurface and will need another "cleansing" session.
Levels of Psychopathy
1) Base Level- This is clearly the level one is born with upon birth. Many of the exercises listed above will be present. Only most of them will not become evident until they are a bit older. It is my personal understanding that this condition is inherited genetically and acts more like a recessive gene. Meaning that either parent does not need to possess the condition in order to pass it along to their child.
2) Evolved Level- When a psychopath is evolved, what is mean is that they progressed to not only manipulation tactics and deceit, but also some aggression. They have upgraded their response strategies. Usually upgrading is a good thing, but not when we are talking about the levels of psychopathy. This is the level where most psychopaths begin their troubles and run-ins with the law and authority. Also free-spirited enough to violate the rights of others without batting an eyelash (while using a bat).
3) Non-Human Level- This is the humanoid robot I mentioned before. Cool, calm, and calculated. Expressed in such a methodical way that would make most sniper missions in the military seem like child's play. This is because they only see things in logic, but know how to translate them into rationality for the interaction of others.
All they know is what their desires and needs are and how to fulfill them (for the moment). And how to refer to others in order to either get closer to their goals or achieve them. You see, they logically rationalize the killing of someone for the simple reason that they can provide them with that need. So they take full advantage of it, as soon as they can. Unlike the Predator Sociopath, most Non-Human Psychopaths can not wait so long to feed this particular need. It is more like feigning for drugs when addicted to them.
For them it is not so much personal, as it is business (ie, feeding their needs). The only personal pleasure they get from it is the moment they take that need from the person. This is their "rush" or "quickening." Sometimes it is the relief from the haunting of an intensified past emotional experience. And just imagine, if they approach killing another in such a way, imagine how they will be with anything considered below it. They literally and quite frankly, do not care. Anything other than what they need simply does not exist.
So what have we learned? That psychopaths are not all humanoid killing machines as commonly thought. That psychopaths can feel emotion and that they experience them in a much more intense form than the average person. And that psychopaths can live out normal lives if they can maintain balance with their preset programming. We also found out why psychopaths seem to avoid or be void of emotional connection to things … they are simply protecting themselves from the major stab in the heart. This is one trait that can easily give them away as a psychopath (if tactically pressed or tested). It is also hinted at that psychopathy is treatable (if done at certain levels). The secret lies with their inability to cope with their emotional experiences, especially those with the extremely intense nature.