Reflecting On The Statement: The Psychopath Is Not Mentally Ill, He Is Evil

2393 words - 10 pages

Within this essay I will reflect upon the statement “The psychopath is not mentally ill; he is evil.
“by corresponding this with my understanding of mental illnesses and its repercussions. Secondly I will reflect upon understanding of Evil by applying the Christian values I witness when I was little , and secondly the philosophical thought of Thomas Hobbes in comparison to psychopaths
The first half of statement “The psychopath is not mentally ill” made me realize that I didn’t truly understand what it meant to be mentally ill, however I thought that a good starting place would be to firstly understand what it meant to be “healthy”. To be mentally ‘healthy’ is described to be a “state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully”(World Health Organization. Office of the Spokesperson., 2001) producing an interesting idea that being ‘healthy’ implies deep correspondence with being social. Mental illness on the other hand was as expected, the complete opposite to being ‘healthy’. It is described to be health conditions that are characterized by “alterations in thinking, mood, or behaviour (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning” (World Health Organization. Office of the Spokesperson., 2001) inferring that to be mentally unwell is to gain an issue with you mind that causes changes to you personality; relative to how you were perceived while ‘healthy’.
With this information considered, I could clearly define that psychopaths were not mentally ill, for the simple reason that psychopathy, unlike the sociopath is not a socially developing factor; such as depression. To be considered Psychopathic is actually an evolutionary disposition, or maybe attribute depending on which angle you look at it. Apparently the “dysfunction” comes from the amygdala, an area of the brain with is most associated with recognizing sad or fearful expressions of others, which therefore explains why psychopath have been described as un-empathic or tough minded(Blair, 2003). An interesting way I like to think of this, is in terms of people with Down syndrome, because throughout my own life, due to my mother work people with Down syndrome have a dominant factor in how I perceive the world. Down syndrome is caused when Chromosome twenty one replicates and extra time in human cells and causes physical issues, such as low muscle tone or small stature, but also cognitive issues in the brain, resulting in a general lowered IQ and other impairment that make early development and later social interaction relatively complicated. However there disposition is purely genetic, and not of the mind (Hernandez & Fisher, 1996). In relative terms psychopathy has been described as a dysfunction in the amygdala inferring similar cause to Down syndrome.
However, this made me think, people with Down syndrome are considered more likely to develop...

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