Why Mass Killers Aren’t Necessarily Psychopaths
2012-08-27 0:00

By Linda Thrasybule | MyHealthNewsDaily

The term "psychopath" is often a misunderstood one; although people frequently refer to alleged mass killers like Colorado shooter James Holmes or the Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared Loughner as psychopaths, that doesn’t mean these men fit the description of this mental health disorder.

In the last week, a psychiatric evaluation report was released stating that after months of receiving treatment for schizophrenia, 23-year-old Loughner seemed to understand that he was agreeing to a guilty plea for the 2011 shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Meanwhile, lawyers for Holmes announced they believe the 24-year-old suffers from mental illness, though they haven’t yet determined the exact nature of his illness. Weeks before the shooting, Holmes’ psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, University of Colorado professor who specializes in schizophrenia, had alerted university police about Holmes’ behavior.

But such evidence does not suggest that these men are psychopaths. Psychopaths are people who generally lack empathy, don’t feel remorse or guilt for their actions and may use violence or intimidation to get what they want. They can be irresponsible, egocentric, charming and manipulative.

In contrast, a person who suffers from the mental illness of schizophrenia usually lives in their own reality, often experiencing hallucinations and delusions.

"People who commit mass murders are obviously not doing well," said Louis Schlesinger, a forensic psychologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "Just looking at Holmes’ demeanor or behavior clearly suggests that, but that doesn’t make him a psychopath."

And although psychopaths can be violent, that doesn’t mean they commonly kill.

"Most psychopaths don’t kill anybody," Schlesinger said, "and not everybody that kills is a psychopath."

According to Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist at the NYU School of Medicine, while psychopaths do commit homicides, their motives tend to be specific – they are usually driven by money, sex or a desire to escape from the scene of another crime.

But for mass killers, a motive can be that they see themselves as failures, Welner said.

Mass killers can be men who "are painfully aware of themselves as social and sexual rejects in a society that values social desirability," Welner said. "And in a society that values achievement, they are aware of how they have fallen short, and in ways that will not reverse."

What drives someone to commit mass murder

There are different types of mass killings, all driven by a different motivation, said Dr. Douglas Mossman, a forensic psychiatrist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Killers might be motivated by grief, anger, resentment, or feeling used or mistreated, he said.

"There have been school massacres, hate crimes, workplace killings, even entire family killings," Mossman said. "In most cases, these followed fairly recent events that happened to individuals who responded in ways that led them to do what they did."

Mossman pointed to the case of Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, who had a history of anxiety and depressive disorders. Cho was involuntarily hospitalized due to his disturbing behavior about 16 months before the 2007 shooting, in which he killed 32 people and then himself.

But that doesn’t mean that all mass killers suffer from mental illness, and "mass killers who do have serious mental illnesses only represent a small fraction of people with mental illnesses," Mossman said.

That small fraction generally includes people who suffer from severe mood disorders such as depression, psychoses like a particular type of schizophrenia, or some form of delusional disorder.

[...]


Read the full article at: myhealthnewsdaily.com






Anders Breivik verdict: Norway mass killer declared sane and convicted of terrorism

James Holmes was among elite in neuroscience before Aurora massacre

Can (Should) Social Media Be Used to Identify Psychopaths?






Tune into Red Ice Radio:

Thomas Sheridan - The Labyrinth of the Psychopath & The Intraspecies Predators

Mike Cross - Hour 1 - Philosophy of a Psychopathic Society

Mike Cross - Hour 2 - Template of Conformity & The Psychopath’s Utopia





Related Articles
Anders Behring Breivik: Lone Nut Or Sane And Connected Militant?
’Gun of Choice’ for massacres connects Wade, Holmes, Loughner
James Holmes Family Tied To DARPA And Mind Manipulation Work
Body Parts Arriving In The Mail At Canadian Schools, Possibly Linked To Alleged "Canadian Psycho" Killer Luka Magnotta
Can a Kid Be a Psychopath?
Psychopaths and The Multicultural Myth
Psychopaths Run The World


Latest News from our Front Page

Netanyahu ‘spat in our face,’ White House officials said to say
2015-01-23 22:28
The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face. “We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior ...
The Return of the Protected Jewish Minority in Europe
2015-01-23 2:53
Contrary to the standard narratives of Jewish ‘history,’ a prominent feature of the historical presence of Jews in Europe has been their protected status. The common context for this status was a symbiotic relationship between the Jewish minority and exploitative or tyrannical elites. As agents of the feared elite, as foreigners, as exploiters in their own right, and with interests ...
Truth Revealed: McCain’s ‘Moderate Rebels’ in Syria ARE ISIS
2015-01-23 1:50
Poor John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Washington’s real first couple. They only want to arm the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria. Three years on, how come their master plan isn’t working, while ISIS has grown so strong? Despite what media lauded as, “the largest demonstration in France’s history – bigger than liberation at the end of WWII!” (can you rightly compare the ...
European 'No-Go' Zones: Fact or Fiction?
2015-01-22 0:37
Comment: This is an interesting article about Muslim no-go Zones in Europe. However, keep in mind that the focus in this piece is not addressing the root of the problem, but a symptom of the problem. Yes, there is an issue with large Islamic colonies in Europe today, but the article mentions nothing about who has changed the immigration laws ...
A Radical Traditionalist Critique of the Anti-Islam Movement
2015-01-22 0:20
The terrorist attack against the staff at the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris shook an entire continent. In a European climate in which protests against the perceived Islamization of our civilizational sphere becomes ever more widespread, showing in increased electoral success for moderate nationalist parties, as well as in expressions of mass public dissent, the recent resurgence of violent Islamic ...
More News »