A sadist is not someone who is sad but enjoys seeing others sad. A sadist derives pleasure from causing pain to others. At the same time, a psychopath exhibits a range of personality traits associated with a mental disorder called antisocial personality disorder, such as a lack of empathy and impulsive behaviour. Both may engage in harmful behaviour towards others, but the underlying causes and implications differ.
Who is a Sadist?
A sadist is a person who derives pleasure or gratification from causing physical or emotional pain to others. This may manifest in various ways, such as through the infliction of harm, humiliation, or degradation on their victims. Sadistic tendencies can be found in individuals with multiple personality disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder. Still, not all individuals with these disorders are sadistic.
The term “sadism” is derived from the name of the Marquis de Sade, an 18th-century French writer who was known for his erotic literature that featured acts of cruelty and violence. It is important to note that sadistic behaviour is often considered a pathological or abnormal trait and is not considered socially acceptable or lawful in most societies. However, not all sadistic behaviour is sexual, and sadism can manifest in many interpersonal interactions.
Who is a Psychopath?
A psychopath is a person who exhibits a cluster of personality traits and behaviours that are commonly associated with a chronic mental disorder called antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Psychopathy is characterised by a lack of empathy or remorse, a tendency to engage in impulsive and often criminal behaviour, and a shallow emotional affect.
Psychopaths may be charming, manipulative, and able to mimic social norms and expectations, making them difficult to identify. They may also lack a sense of responsibility or accountability for their actions and may engage in risky or dangerous behaviour without considering the consequences.
It is important to note that not all individuals with ASPD are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths exhibit violent or criminal behaviour. Additionally, while psychopathy is considered a mental disorder, it is not considered a mental illness, disease, or defence for criminal behaviour.
Difference Between Sadist and Psychopath
The main difference between a sadist and a psychopath is their underlying personality and behaviour patterns. A sadist derives pleasure or gratification from causing physical or emotional pain to others. In contrast, a psychopath exhibits a range of personality traits and behaviours associated with a chronic mental disorder called antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), such as a lack of empathy or remorse, a tendency to engage in impulsive and often criminal behaviour, and a shallow emotional affect.
While sadism is not necessarily a diagnostic criterion for ASPD, it is often considered a related trait or behaviour, as many individuals with ASPD may engage in sadistic behaviour. However, not all sadistic individuals have ASPD or psychopathy, and not all individuals with ASPD or psychopathy are sadistic.
While sadism and psychopathy may involve harmful or manipulative behaviour towards others, they have different underlying causes and implications. Sadism is often considered a pathological or abnormal trait, whereas psychopathy is a chronic mental disorder that affects many areas of an individual’s life.