Mental Health

He's Lying Next To You...The Difference Between Psychopaths, Sociopaths, and Narcissists

Scientists believe that psychopaths are born the way they are

When it comes to the nature vs. nurture debate, scientists believe psychopaths are born that way. A psychopath is born with an innate inability to feel empathy or remorse. However, not all psychopaths grow up to be violent, deranged killers, as movies tend to lead on. That often comes down to nurture. A psychopath who grows up in a relatively stable, loving home is more likely to become a functioning, well-adjusted member of society. However, a psychopath who has a traumatic childhood is more likely to exhibit abnormal, destructive, or violent behaviors.

A psychopath’s brain has distinct differences from that of a normal brain. The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain that allows us to feel empathy and remorse. It regulates decision making, social behavior, and planning. The amygdala is the brain region that regulates anxiety and fear. Psychopaths possess abnormalities in both the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. When a normal person is exposed to violent, frightening images, their heart races, their palms sweat, and they feel anxious and severely uncomfortable. However, when a psychopath views these images, they make him feel calmer and more relaxed. A specific gene, the MAO-A gene, is linked to a predisposition for aggressive behavior.