Why Mass Killers Aren’t Necessarily Psychopaths
2012 08 27

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

Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
STAGED INFECTION: Has The Ebola ‘Outbreak’ Narrative Fallen Apart?
2014 10 22
Over the past month, the ‘pandemic’ propaganda surrounding the deadly Ebola virus seemed to reach vitriolic levels – raising serious questions about the validity of this current viral outbreak… On Monday of this week, it was reported that 48 people were released and cleared after a 21-day quarantine due to their contact with the now deceased Ebola-stricken patient Thomas Eric ...
6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine. Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.” Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
More News »