Harvard clinical psychologist Martha Stout wrote in her book, The Sociopath Next Door, that “a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people – one in twenty-five – has an often undetected mental disorder… one in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath” (12). Stout, along with other psychologists, argues that the development of sociopathy is due half to genetics and half to non-genetic influences. We blame serial killers and murderers for being abused, incorrectly raised, depressive fiends, but we refuse to blame ourselves for allowing them to manifest their addictions and issues and grow into killers. The negligence of murderous tendencies and origins in children threatens society today by not being aware of sociopathic/psychopathic signs and approach such situations appropriately. Ultimately, what is at stake here is the safety of our communities and families.
Many people assume that serial killers and murderers cannot be helped. Popular myths created by the media claiming serial killers and murderers are “dysfunctional loners” that cannot stop killing have been branded into the public’s minds. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), however, found that a majority of serial killers and murderers often appear to be normal members of the community and could cease killing in many circumstances. One of the many similarities we share with these “dysfunctional loners” is the mechanism of addiction. It is not an isolated physical or social illness and is accepted as a combined bio-psycho-social illness. Addiction begins long before it starts, affecting attitude and promoting unorthodox routine. Addictions like exercise, gambling, work, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, etc. are psychotropic and involve mental state, genetics, and upbringing. Typically, individuals reinforce themselves through aggression, imagination, and fantasy. This is due to endorphins that reduce perceived pain when stimulated. Serial... [continues]
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