“Sociopath.” It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot. “Psychopath,” or the abbreviated version, “psycho” are used even more. People usually use these words to describe someone who they maybe don’t like, someone who has behaved in a rude or cruel way, someone who has harmed someone else, or sometimes simply someone who is exhibiting signs of an active psychotic disorder.
Most people don’t realize that psychopathy is an actual personality disorder, and not generally one characterized by psychotic symptoms. An actual “psycho” is not someone who is in psychosis-they don’t talk to themselves or fight with hallucinations. The term really refers to someone with antisocial personality disorder, which is marked by an inability to feel empathy for others.
Of course, no mental health professional is going to go around calling people with this disorder a “psycho,” or even a “psychopath” or “sociopath.” Those terms are considered colloquial, but they do in fact describe a real personality disorder that some people have. My ex boyfriend was one of those people.