Recently I have been watching the show Narcos on Netflix. The show tells the story of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and his rise to power in the 1970’s-80’s. Pablo was a ruthless villain. He was responsible for thousands of deaths throughout his life ranging from police officers to rival gang members. Pablo eventually rose to become the seventh richest man in the world, simply by ruthlessly controlling the drug trade. I always knew who Pablo Escobar was, but I was extremely shocked by his lack of empathy. Throughout the shows he murders, steals and blackmails his way to power without ever showing signs of remorse. His behavior reminded me of other violent men such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. These men all slaughtered people beneath them with no regret, these men were all psychopaths. There are a lot of notable people who are considered psychotic in our history. This made me curious about what actually classifies someone as a psychopath, and what exactly about them is different.
A psychopath is defined as a person who is mentally ill, lacks empathy, and is usually dangerous or violent. Science of People claims that psychopaths all share similar traits such as having shallow emotions, suspicious charm, a failure to control their actions and an inflated sense of their own self worth. They have high emotions and act on impulse, this makes them more susceptible to addiction and risky behavior. Early on in life psychopaths usually do not show any signs of fear towards situations that would normally cause children to tremor. Another trait of a young psychopath is an inclination to harm animals for the sole purpose of pleasure.
The brain of a psychopath is also very different than that of a normal person. Scientists believe that they have less activity in the region of their brain that generates fear. Also, their prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for rational thought, is usually underdeveloped or damaged (Edwards).
The CIA has a team of researchers who evaluate the mental health of historical figures. They classify Adolf Hitler, Sadam Hussein, Joseph Stalin and Pablo Escobar as having similar type of psychopathic tendencies. Although there is no cure for this mental condition, some people have actually found relief through therapy. Experts have discovered that the earlier that the disease is caught, the better chance they have to nurse the person back to health. Obviously this disease is extremely dangerous to the general public. There have been a lot of terrible things that have come from the minds of psychopaths. Many of which have changed the course of history forever. Although the mental disease provides an explanation for their actions, it certainly does not justify many of the atrocities committed by the hand of psychopaths.