Dec 15

Schizophrenia and Psychopathy

The Psychopath TestI’ve heard a lot of loose talk about schizophrenia and (much more) psychopathy. They are not the same thing. They aren’t even all that similar except that they are both pathologies and people suffering from both can be dangerous but in completely different ways. Schizophrenia is a broad term, but in general it causes people to experience things that others don’t. Or perhaps more bluntly: schizophrenics often hear and see and believe things that are simply not real. It is a heartbreaking disease. Schizophrenics tend to live in an uncertain world that is often malevolent.

This is all very different from psychopathy. Psychopaths see the world the way the rest of us do. They just don’t respond to it the way the rest of us do. We’ve all known people with more and less empathy. Psychopaths are people with very little or no empathy. That doesn’t mean they are violent or antisocial. In fact, being a psychopath is very good in certain professions. Globally, about 1% of people are psychopaths, but 4% of corporate CEOs are. And you can well imagine that rescue workers might be better off not having emotional reactions to other people’s suffering.

The Psychopath-Schizophrenic Connection

Psychopaths often are violent, of course. In general, our society is based upon us all not being psychopaths. So much of our social order just comes down to us all caring about each other. And whether they are violent or not, psychopaths can use all of our empathy against us. But outside of that, I have very mixed feelings about them. On the one hand, I could sure use some of their low-anxiety confidence. On the other hand, I think they’re almost non-human—what is it that makes us human but our empathy?

I tend to think these shooters are schizophrenics, rather than psychopaths, simply because they reliably kill themselves. Just the same, the whole murder process in these mass shootings is so systematic they seem psychopathic. And who knows: maybe it is both. Or neither. But I know that we need to try to help the schizophrenics, regardless of their effect on us. I’m not sure there is much we can do about the psychopaths.


I’ve known quite a number of women who have self-mutilated themselves. It is a small example of people behaving in extreme ways that don’t make sense and don’t (in any direct way) lead to the resolutions of their problems. In saying this, I am not justifying killing or self-mutilating. I am only saying that it would be useful to help people before they get to that point. Or at least to try.


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  1. Robin

    School shooters and self mutilators… Sounds bi-polar/borderlineish too me.
    Theese are both emotional actions. Wommen cut themselves to take focus of emotional pain. Pain is soothing to them… And to others aswell.

    My qualified quess is psychopats dont do theese kind of crimes…. Id say sqizzo’s and psycho’s dont fit the profile here ;) but hey, its not your fault your a fucking retard.

    1. your ass mf

      are you skitzzo? how would you know if there the same a a psycho??? who are you to say that skitzzos are like that!!!! dont be stupid.

  2. admin

    @Robin – Thanks for adding such thought and insight to the discussion. The site does get the occasional loon here who simply has unstated ideological axes to grind. Their comments are filled with typos and grammar errors and offensive put-downs. But you are a ray of sunshine here. Thank you so much for your comment!

  3. Lexus

    We’re considered human because of our physiology, not because of our empathy or lack of empathy.

    1. Frank Moraes

      Overstatement for effect. Rats show empathy.

  4. Susan Pinkus

    My sister lacks empathy,manipulates, lies without flinching, rejoices/takes delight at the suffering even death of people she envies, cannot understand the physicall needs of her pets..by not feeding, grooming or cleaNing their cages (so they must live in their refuse indefinitely), told me she hates ALL WOMEN because she hates me, mom -(who she starved to death after lieing to get control over her person) & hates my grandmother who was the ONLY person ever to say no to her. She laughed at all parents funerals. Cannot control sudden impulses to attack & attempt murder when angry even, solely due to lack of complete control of person attacked. Does NOT get the least bit upset in any situation. Is sexually promiscuous since 12 years old. Could talk only about how she finds her 2 sons sexually alluring, at my mother’s funeral. Controls family by raging temper tantrums (while growing up & after marriage). How can I possibly deal with her? I need to ask her if she has any copies of my old income tax forms (14 years of which Soc.Sec. is missing & I can’t get my medicare-they have the 9 yrs. Prior to her husband personal friend take over my accounting I do not have any copies as she used perjury to have me & mom evicted from Mom’s house-(then starved my mother to death after falsely accusing me of letting my 200. lbs moms weight to reduce to 95 lbs). I was set up with a lawyer who refused to help, as they were Mafia lawyers, who wanted my commercial property & fraudulently stole it in the wrong county, out of its jurisduction). Sister did this to prevent mom from changing her Will..by using mom’s deafness as Alzheimers, which was as untrue as the fact that my 200 lb Mom did NOT weight 95 lbs. I was unable to get proper legal representation due to 2 back surgery leaving me with full bodied RSD. I have PTSD from having been forced to lived homeless for 4 years since the Mafia took control of my property. I have not been able to get my share of the estate, as was unable to get a proper lawyer due to my physical & emotional state. I am afraid I could NEVER get justice. I desperately need copy of even one year of my missing tax report to get full medicare coverage. How can I ask my psychopathic sister, or ever go near her again without protection. I baby sat her kids for 12 years before she tried to murder me, by strangling & beating me, while she visited Mom & I-( which is why Mom tried to change her Will, having witnessed sisters unprovoked attack). I did Nothing but wait on her all my life, but she became infuriated that I had stopped due to my back injuries). She has been bulimic since she was 17, which she blaimed on me, as I weighed less. Think she stopped as she was normal weight at Mom’s funeral. She was so proud of harming me financially that she asked if I had to sell my body to make ends meet, while she chuckled on the phone. Had I realized she was a psychopath, I would have hopefully not allow her to Control & Manipulate me, using both quilt & temper tantrums. I do have part of the money stolen from me back now, but all I can think of is trying to get the RSD widespread Chronic Pain to stop. I am afraid she will kill me to get remaining money I have now (unless write a Will first & do not see her in person without bodyguard, as not only is she much more powerfully physically than me, but her husband & 2 sons are 6’4″ Giants, obedient to her, at 5’4″ & I have shrunk to 4’11” after botched back surgery caused scoliosis. Should I phone her & ask her to mail copy of any of my tax returns if she has them? Meantime just try to pay Medicare to cover my hospitilization. Have NOT been able to purchase insurance due to my age of 66. I have no other family, nothing but regrets. What can I do?

  5. Susan Pinkus

    Please just send or keep whatever part of my writing you want. Could shorten to question :
    How can I communicate with my sister, who has shown ALL the characteristics of a Dangerous psychopath. Having attacked me physically(tried to crush my windpipe in unprovoked attack…destroyed me financially when physically killing me did not work). But expects everyone to forget ALL her miss deeds. As she does NOT see anything wrong with completely controlling everyone in her life. I am physical afraid of her, but was hoping to try to get her to give me a copy of my past 1099 copies, so I could straighten out my Medicare, as Soc. Sec. lost my records, of all the years her husband’s best friend did accounting over. Leaving me 1 year short of 10 years needed. I am direct I’ll & need full coverage, can’t even buy Health Insurance coverage without the one year out of the 14 sisters accountant somehow made vanish. Can I try to explain how it would benifit her ?

    1. Frank Moraes

      I wish I could help. My experiences have been with schizophrenics, who I think I at least understand to some extent. You might start with a Google search for “dealing with psychopathy.” There are also some interesting books on Amazon. I hope that helps, but it’s a really difficult situation as you know more than I do. I wish you the best. Good luck!

    2. Unkwon User

      You should get the police and or hospital involved, call PETA or any animal protection society to help her pets, and get the government to take her kids to a foster home unless they are older than eight teen.

    3. Unkwon User

      You should get professional help

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