Have you heard about the term ‘psychopath’ used around before? If you did, perhaps you don’t know much about it either. People who are diagnosed to have this type of personality disorder have no regard for those in and out of their circle. When behaviors of these individuals are specifically harsh and dangerous, they are typically called psychopaths.
How would you know a psychopath, mainly if it were someone in the family who manifests with these behaviors? Below are some signs that you have to watch out for if you suspect that a family member is a psychopath and how you can manage it.
- He often breaks the law.
Although not all psychopaths are indeed destructive, you’d still want to suspect a family member who often commits crimes or does not abide by the general laws of the city or community. Research suggests that most criminals are found to have an antisocial personality disorder. It’s not really because they cannot distinguish right from wrong. It’s because they just do not care.
- He has extraordinary manipulation skills.
Several studies have revealed that psychopaths are great manipulators and schemers. They are known to easily change a certain situation just to make them look good. If you want to suggest family therapy, your psychopath’s family member will try his best to look normal and stable. Yes, they can do that – and very well.
- He’s very good at lying.
Your loved one might not constantly be lying, but when he does, he can be very good at stretching the truth. According to Biomed Central, individuals with psychopathic characteristics are capable of learning how to become master liars over time through constant practice. When you make up something, your brain tries so hard to cover the truth and reverse it to produce a false story. With psychopaths, their brains don’t exert much effort to do this, specifically if they frequently do it.
- He thinks he’s high and mighty.
There’s probably a member of your family who thinks he’s above everyone. But a psychopath loved one is much more than. His sense of self is exaggerated, and his ego shows even without him speaking. His narcissism is quite visible, and he frequently talks and acts as if he has a more important purpose for living compared to others. He thinks he’s more deserving of success and power than the rest of the family and the rest of the world even. Don’t try to reprimand him for it, because he won’t budge.
- He doesn’t respond to punishment.
Is there someone in your family who is famous for being shrewd, cruel, and out-of-control? You probably don’t want this person to be present in your family dinners or special occasions. Unfortunately, doing this will not affect at all for your psychopathic family member, as psychopaths are not very responsive to reward and punishment systems and the like. This behavior is what makes it challenging for them to shift their behavior to something more acceptable to society.
- They Suck At Maintaining Relationships.
Your psychopath loved one may be charming and may look sensible and all-knowing, but the truth is that they have no concrete and credible goals in life. Psychopaths are inclined to having exaggerated ideas about what they are and what their life should be, so they typically are not capable of performing very basic tasks. It’d be more devastating if you grew up with this family member too.
It can be stressful to deal with a psychopath, particularly if it’s a family member that you care for. Realistically, there is no cure for a psychopath, but certainly, it does not mean that there is no help for him. Further, you must also find ways to safeguard yourself from the mental and emotional damage that your loved one can cost you.
Psychiatrists agree that setting boundaries is a smart way to protect yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. You must learn to draw a line implying that there are things that you are not willing to do for the psychopath. Creating limitations and standing by them will help your family member realize that you want to be respected.
The Sooner, The Better
A lot of mental illnesses begin to manifest in the first years of adulthood, but some reports erratic and insensitive personalities in kids a few years old. Studies show that children who are psychopathic are more problematic to treat as the years pass because their brains are less vulnerable to changes. This is exactly why it is prudent to seek help sooner rather than later. Cases may become harder and eventually impossible to treat when they go into adulthood.
Encourage Counseling Despite Resistance
There is a continuing argument about whether or not a psychopath’s behavior can ever be altered or modified. Still, a lot of mental health professionals agree that specific strategies can help. One of the techniques considered is the ‘decompression model,’ which combines positive support and feedback. This is especially beneficial for those who are willing to be treated and to change their behaviors. Sadly, not many psychopaths acknowledge that they do need help. If, however, you have persuaded your family member to go with you to a counselor or therapist, then he’s headed to the right path.