Difference Between Psychopath and Psychotic

Difference Between Psychopath and Psychotic

The terms “psychopath” and “psychotic” are often confused due to the similarity between the two words. It seems that they have a certain relationship, however, they are totally opposite things. When we talk about psychopathy, we mean a personality disorder. On the other hand, psychosis is a syndrome that can occur in different diseases such as schizophrenia, manic phases, paranoia, and poisoning from consuming some type of drug, among others. Therefore, anyone who presents any of those diseases in which contact with reality is lost, delusional ideas, and hallucinations can be considered psychotic. This does not happen with people with psychopathy, since they are highly aware of reality.

In this Psychologyorg article, we are going to explain in detail what is the difference between psychopath and psychotic and we will provide you with information about each of these pathologies.

Psychopathy: definition

We can find different types of psychopaths, from criminals or so-called serial killers to those who apparently lead normal life. They are people who tend to move solely for their own interests and do not mind breaking the law and/or harming other people in order to achieve their goals. They tend to be quite controlling and manipulative to the point of being charming to many people. For example, many politicians exhibit traits of psychopathy.

Psychopathy is a mental condition that is classified within the DSM-V (psychiatric diagnostic manual) as a personality disorder and is considered an antisocial personality disorder. People who suffer from this type of condition are characterized by suffering from an ” emotional anesthesia ” that does not allow them to feel empathy, so they cannot connect with other people or truly understand them when they experience some type of emotion or feeling such as pain or sadness, for example. This is why when they hurt someone in one way or another they do not feel guilt or remorse.

symptoms of a psychopath

Among the main symptoms that this type of personality disorder shows, are the following:

  • They lack empathy.
  • It is impossible for them to connect with another person on an emotional level and establish deeper relationships.
  • They are extremely manipulative
  • They cannot come to experience any kind of guilt or remorse.
  • They are cold and calculating.
  • They are shown to have a superficial charm.
  • They tend to be very smart.
  • They always plan a strategy before acting, especially when it comes to meeting their personal goals.
Difference Between Psychopath and Psychotic

Definition and symptoms of psychotic

A person with a psychotic disorder is considered psychotic. Some of the conditions that produce psychosis are schizophrenia, paranoia, manic phases, and the consumption of some drugs, sometimes some people with bipolar disorder can also experience it. The main symptoms produced by psychosis are hallucinations, delusions, and irrational ideas. For example, hearing voices, seeing people, objects, and/or animals that do not exist, etc.

That is to say, the person who experiences psychosis is completely removed from reality and seems to be in “another dimension” hearing voices, and seeing people, animals, or objects that do not exist in our reality. Some of the main symptoms of psychosis are as follows:

  • confused thoughts. The thoughts that the psychotic has become quite confusing. When they want to communicate something, it is quite complicated for them and they easily lose the thread of the conversation. They also have a hard time paying attention as they have a lot of trouble concentrating.
  • Delusions. The psychotic person manifests having a kind of false beliefs that are considered delusions since they have no foundation. They may think, for example, that they are being watched all the time, that the police are looking for them, that they are famous people and everyone is looking at them, among others.
  • Sudden changes in mood. The person can change their perception and their mood from one moment to another without any apparent cause. She may be fine and suddenly feel as if she is cut off from the world or depressed.
  • Hallucinations. The psychotic experiences hallucinations, coming to hear voices or perceive objects, people, and/or animals that do not exist in this reality.
  • Attitude changes. They present sudden changes in their attitude, which is why at times they can be calm and even laughing and seem to be amused and from one moment to the next feel extremely stressed and overwhelmed. This is due to the same hallucinations and delusions that they present, which makes them react in a certain way at the moment when they least expect it.
Difference Between Psychopath and Psychotic

The difference between a psychopath and a psychotic?

After having analyzed what psychopathy and psychotic disorders consist of, we are finally going to answer your question and briefly summarize the difference between psychopath and psychotic:

  • The physical aspect. Psychotics, due to the level of mental imbalance they have, the deep sadness they feel, and the consequences of their symptoms, tend to be people who neglect their physical appearance and don’t care about grooming or grooming. The opposite occurs with psychopaths since in general, they tend to be quite vain, neat, and concerned about their physical appearance.
  • The awareness of reality. Psychotics present a loss of the integration of their psychic functions, which is why their mind is outside of reality and therefore they cannot act accordingly to it. The opposite of psychopaths who are fully aware of reality and live according to it.
  • The relationship with society. Psychotics have many difficulties adapting to society and, for example, getting a job, carrying out studies, etc. Psychopaths, despite lacking empathy, can find it quite easy to obtain a stable job, study and interact with people even superficially, among other things.
  • Strategy. Psychotics do not act based on a plan or strategy that they must follow, they simply do so according to their impulses and needs that arise, which is why it is difficult for them to obtain and, above all, to establish their vital objectives. The opposite of psychopaths who seem to have everything coldly calculated and who love to establish strategies to achieve their personal goals.

Read Also: Multiple Personality Disorder Symptoms (Dissociative Identity Disorder) Psychologyorg


Q: What is the difference between a psychopath and a psychotic individual?
Difference Between Psychopath and Psychotic

A psychopath refers to a person with a specific personality disorder characterized by traits such as a lack of empathy, superficial charm, manipulative tendencies, and a disregard for social norms and moral values. Psychopaths are often skilled at mimicking normal emotions but lack genuine empathy and remorse for their actions. They typically maintain a firm grasp of reality and are aware of their behaviors.

On the other hand, a psychotic individual experiences a mental state known as psychosis, which involves a loss of touch with reality. Psychosis can manifest as hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there), delusions (having false beliefs), disorganized thinking, and impaired social functioning. Psychotic individuals may display erratic or bizarre behavior due to their distorted perception of reality.

Q: What does it mean to be a psychopath?
Psychopath and Psychotic 2

A: Being a psychopath refers to a personality disorder characterized by traits such as a lack of empathy, superficial charm, manipulative tendencies, and a disregard for social norms and moral values.

Q: What does it mean to be psychotic?
Psychopath and Psychotic 1

A: Psychosis is a condition in which an individual experiences a loss of touch with reality. It typically involves symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and impaired social functioning.

Q: How do psychopaths and psychotic individuals differ in terms of behavior?

A: Psychopaths are often characterized by their ability to mimic normal emotions and charm others while harboring a lack of empathy and remorse. Psychotic individuals, on the other hand, may exhibit erratic or bizarre behavior due to their disconnection from reality.

Q: Are psychopaths always psychotic?

A: No, psychopathy and psychosis are separate concepts. Psychopaths typically maintain a firm grasp on reality and are aware of their actions, while psychotic individuals experience a distorted perception of reality.

Q: Can psychopathy and psychosis coexist in one person?

A: While it is possible for an individual to exhibit traits of both psychopathy and psychosis, it is relatively rare. The two conditions involve distinct underlying factors and are often considered separate diagnoses.

Q: Are psychopaths inherently violent or dangerous?

A: While psychopathic individuals can display aggressive or manipulative tendencies, not all psychopaths are inherently violent or dangerous. However, some psychopaths may engage in criminal behavior due to their disregard for social norms and lack of empathy.

Q: Do psychotic individuals pose a threat to others?

A: Psychotic individuals can sometimes exhibit unpredictable behavior, including potential harm to themselves or others. However, not all psychotic individuals are violent, and the severity of their symptoms can vary greatly.

Q: Can psychopathy or psychosis be cured?

A: Psychopathy is generally considered difficult to treat, as it involves deep-seated personality traits. Psychosis, however, can often be managed and treated effectively, allowing individuals to lead functional lives with the help of medication, therapy, and support systems.

If you want to read more articles similar to the Difference between psychopath and psychotic, we recommend that you enter our Mental Disorders category.

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