What does it mean to be a psychopath? Magazine editorials and academic journals have studied this topic for longer than you can imagine, attempting to dissect the evident characteristics that provokeĀ  Our minds are trailed with the resonance of films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and the characters that evoked a numbness to the cruelty they brought on the world. Other film genres, such as the infamous “Friday the 13th” slasher-type of renegade, doesn’t do enough justice to the truth behind psychopathic characteristics. While the lawyers at Handy Lawyer are in no means psychoanalysts, they have worked with many psychologists and psychiatrists on cases that required arguing against the proof of motive being nullified as psychopaths are known to be void of emotion, losing any hope of empathy.

You see, the offenders that we see in slasher motives do not accurately fit the characteristics of the psychopath. The Freddy Krueger’s of this world are shown using foresight as to what their victims’ train of thought for escape would be, ensuring to prevent them from following through with an escape. They also plan out their attack mechanisms, sometimes hiding traps where their victims would get caught in so that they can then trudge them towards their secluded place of hibernation. While these murderers have severe mental illnesses as can be seen through their acts of sadism, these deployed elements demonstrate a hint of intelligence on their part. One thing is for certain, these characters don’t demonstrate empathy if they are capable of imposing such cruelty and pain on others, therefore what defines psychopathy?

The defining point that we Handy lawyers have determined is that empathy is in fact a choice for psychopaths. It’s not natural as someone who gets struck by a bus on the side of the road and needs saving. Sane people who have all their chromosomes in place and are watching from the sidelines would feel a severe, heart-wrenching pain associated with the victims of this road rage tragedy. It’s an instinctive reaction, not a choice as to whether or not they can empathize with the pain. While psychopaths have a switch that can completely turn off their empathy, it is important to also declare that everyone has different levels of empathy depending on the situation. When a close friend or family member is undergoing a painful trauma or treatment, we are more likely to feel the pain of that situation. Some people will feel less empathy for a domain that is not their charity of choice, such as the survivors of Cystic Fibrosis or animal hunger versus some other area that peaks a signal in their hearts, such as world hunger or homelessness.

So how exactly should a therapist help cure those who lack reactive measures to pain in others? Start with the children by teaching kids to always demonstrate empathy, no matter the circumstance. It is possible for psychopaths to empathize, they are simply masters of shutting it off. It’s an argument that lawyers, even at the Handy firm, are known to use when in the face of a court hearing that is meant to protect the criminal from being wrongly imprisoned. Oftentimes, Handy can even reduce the amount of sentencing if they can rightfully prove that the defendant was not in sound mind when going through with the offence.

 

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