Psychological Disorders Associated with Serial Killers

Psychological Disorders are illnesses that affect millions of people worldwide. They can range from Clinical Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, to Schizophrenia and Tourettes's Disorder. The American Psychiatric Association has published five editions of what is called the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual. This specific manual defines all recognized disorders; and their symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and associated demographic information.


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder- The essential feature of this disorder is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at the same level of development. This is seen in academic, occupational, and social situations. In the case of serial killers, the most prominent type is of an attention deficit, therefore we will focus on this type. There is a significant amount of evidence correlating behavioral and cognitive disfunction in young adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). These individuals are commonly referred to psychiatrists for treatment of psychopathy and rage.

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Attention Deficit Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder (also called psychopath or sociopath)- There are two underlying characteristics of people with this disorder: general disregard for others and repeated violation of the rights of others. Two central features that interplay with these characteristics are deceit and manipulation. These patterns usually begin in childhood or early adolescence and continue into adulthood. Antisocial personality disorder is also referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dyssocial personality disorder. **NOTE: There is a general misconception that antisocial means someone who is withdrawn and doesn't want to socialize, however this is not the correct meaning.

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder

Conduct Disorder- This is a child or adolescent problem consisting of a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior that involves violation of the basic rights of others and of the major age-appropriate social norms.

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Conduct Disorder

Intermittent Explosive Disorder- A person with this disorder experiences strong aggressive impulses that they can not resist, and therefore act upon. These aggressive episodes result in serious assaults or destruction of property. It is a rare disorder that appears in late adolescence or the 20's.

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