Female psychopaths are often misunderstood. They are often mistaken for female sociopaths. This is because there is a lot of overlap in the symptoms and behaviors of these two disorders. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at female psychopaths and provide tips and strategies for dealing with them.
Understanding Female Psychopaths
When we think of psychopaths, we typically picture men like Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy. But women can be psychopaths too – and they’re often even more dangerous than their male counterparts.
Female psychopaths make up about 15% of all psychopaths, and they tend to be more manipulative and deceptive than male psychopaths. They’re also more likely to use indirect aggression, such as spreading gossip or rumors, to harm their victims.
What’s more, female psychopaths are often very good at hiding their true nature. They can be charming and charismatic, and they often use these traits to gain power and control over others.
Types of Female Psychopaths
There are two main types of female psychopaths: primary and secondary.
- Primary psychopaths are born with a lack of empathy and a propensity for violence.
- Secondary psychopaths, on the other hand, develop these traits as a result of trauma or abuse.
Causes of Female Psychopaths
The exact cause of female psychopathy is unknown. However, several theories attempt to explain this disorder.
- One theory suggests that psychopathy is the result of a dysfunctional amygdala – the part of the brain responsible for fear and emotions. According to this theory, people with psychopathy have difficulty processing emotions, which leads to a lack of empathy and impulsive behavior.
- Another theory suggests that psychopathy is a result of genetic factors. This theory is supported by the fact that psychopathy runs in families.
Several factors may increase a person’s risk of developing psychopathy. These include:
- A history of abuse or trauma
- A lack of parental bonding
- Exposure to violence
- Mental illness
- Drug abuse
Female Psychopath Vs. Male Psychopath
There is a lot of debate surrounding the differences between male and female psychopaths. Some experts believe that there are significant differences between the two, while others believe that they are very similar.
One of the primary differences between male and female psychopaths is that male psychopaths are more likely to be violent. They are more likely to use manipulation and coercion as a means of achieving their goals.
Female Psychopath Vs. Female Sociopath
While there are some similarities between female psychopaths and sociopaths, there are also some significant differences. One of the primary differences is that sociopaths tend to be more emotionally unstable than psychopaths. They are also more likely to have a history of criminal behavior.
Encountering Female Psychopaths
It can be one of the most harrowing experiences in a person’s life – and sadly, they’re often found in positions of power. Here’s everything you need to know about female psychopaths, from the signs to look out for to the strategies for dealing with them.
So how can you tell if someone you know is a female psychopath? Psychopaths are experts at hiding their true nature, so it can be very difficult to spot them. However, here are some signs to look out for:
- often charming and charismatic.
- maybe prone to lying and deception.
- often highly intelligent and have a high IQ.
- have a history of criminal activity or violence.
- extremely manipulative and can be very deceptive.
- maybe impulsive and have a history of risky behavior.
- may have a history of manipulating or exploiting others.
- might be egocentric and have a strong sense of self-entitlement.
- may lack empathy and have a callous disregard for the feelings of others.
If you think you’re in an abusive relationship with a female psychopath, it’s important to get help. These types of relationships can be incredibly dangerous, and you may be at risk of physical or emotional harm. Female psychopaths can be very manipulative and may try to control their partners. They may also be physically abusive and may resort to violence if they feel threatened or powerless.
If you’re concerned that someone you know is a psychopath, talking to a mental health professional can help you get clarity on the situation. Until then, it is important to set boundaries with a female psychopath and to make sure you are at a safe and healthy distance. If you are reasonably feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, it is important to reach out and seek legal help.
DSM And Its Criterion
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the primary guide used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders. It includes a section on personality disorders, which outlines the diagnostic criteria for each disorder.
To be diagnosed with a personality disorder, an individual must exhibit certain patterns of behavior or thoughts that are different from what is considered normal for their culture. These patterns must cause significant distress or impairment in social, work, or other areas of functioning.
The DSM lists the following criterion for antisocial personality disorder:
- Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
- Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others
- Repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
- Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
- A pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, starting in childhood or adolescence and continuing into adulthood
- Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
- Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations
- Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
If an individual meets at least three of these criteria, they may be diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder. It is important to note that this diagnosis is not given to individuals who are under the age of eighteen.
Female Psychopaths And ASPD
Female psychopaths often meet the criteria for antisocial personality disorder. In addition, they may also suffer from a borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. These disorders are characterized by a lack of empathy, impulsivity, and a need for admiration. Thus, female psychopaths are often very manipulative and can be extremely charming. As they may use their charm to exploit others and get what they want.
While the DSM is a useful tool, it is important to remember that not all psychopaths will meet the criteria for a personality disorder. Since many psychopaths can function relatively well in society and may not cause any harm to others. It is also important to remember that psychopaths are not always violent. Because many psychopaths can control their impulses and may only resort to violence when it is necessary.
Dealing With Female Psychopaths
If you are dealing with a female psychopath, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Moreover, there are several power phrases, weapons of choice, self-help tips; that can be useful in dealing with female psychopaths. These include:
“I’m not going to:
- let you hurt me.”
- tolerate this behavior.”
- allow you to manipulate or control me.”
- “I’m going to get help from a professional if this continues.”
Weapons of Choice
When dealing with a female psychopath, it is important to have a few “weapons of choice” that you can use. These weapons can help deal with the psychopath. Also, you can protect yourself from their manipulation and coercion.
For instance, some useful weapons of choice include:
- Professional help
- Document everything.
- Establish boundaries and stick to them.
- Keep communication clear and concise.
- Be assertive and direct in your dealings with the psychopath.
- Seek professional help if you are feeling overwhelmed or unsafe.
NOTE: The Psychopath Free website has a wealth of information on psychopaths and how to deal with them. And the book “The Psychopath Test” by Jon Ronson is a great resource for understanding these types of personality disorders. However, get professional help if you are feeling overwhelmed or unsafe.
Talking To a Professional
If you’re concerned about someone’s behavior, it’s also important to talk to a professional about your concerns. Since it can be difficult to assess whether someone is a psychopath. So talking to an expert can help you get a better sense of whether there may be cause for concern.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals can administer tests to determine if someone has psychopathy. However, the most widely used measure is the Psychopathy Checklist. It includes 20 items that assess symptoms like callousness, lack of empathy, and impulsive behavior.
Mary is a 34-year-old woman who has been married for six years. She has two young children. Mary has a history of abuse and neglect. She was exposed to violence as a child. Mary has a history of criminal behavior. She has been diagnosed with psychopathy.
Mary is manipulative and callous. She is also impulsive and violent. Also, Mary has inflicted physical, emotional, and mental harm on her victims. Generally, she uses manipulation and coercion to get what she wants. In this way, Mary is a danger to herself and others.
Mary is currently in treatment with a qualified professional. She is working on dealing with her anger issues. As well as learning how to control her impulses. Furtermore, Mary is also working on developing empathy for her victims.
Hearing From Experts
When it comes to female psychopaths, it’s important to hear from the experts.
“Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by:
- manipulative behavior,
- self-centered impulsivity,
- grandiose sense of self-worth,
- shallow emotions (including a lack of guilt or empathy), and
- a persistent disregard for the law and the rights of others,”
Dr. Liane Leedom, author of The Sociopath Next Door and Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend, told POPSUGAR.
“Psychopathy is ‘successful’ because the psychopathic personality is very charming and glib and can easily fake normal emotions. For example empathy, guilt, and remorse —; emotions that the psychopath does not feel,” she continued. “So victims are drawn in by the psychopath’s superficial charm and then manipulated or controlled with cold-hearted ruthlessness.”
While most people think of men when they think of psychopaths, women can be psychopaths, too. Dr. Leedom believes that about one in every 100 women is a psychopath —; which is more than the number of men who are psychopaths (it’s estimated that about one in every 200 men is a psychopath).
“Most people think of male serial killers when they think of psychopaths. But not all psychopaths are violent,” Dr. Leedom said. “The majority of psychopaths are not in prison but instead walk among us, undetected.”
How To Spot Them
So, how can you tell if a woman you know is a psychopath? Well, here are some signs to look out for; according to Dr. Leedom.
- Manipulative behavior
- A grandiose sense of self-worth
- Lack of empathy, guilt, or remorse
- Superficial charm and the ability to fake normal emotions
- A persistent disregard for the law and the rights of others
How To Deal With Them
If you think you might be dealing with a female psychopath, Dr. Leedom has some advice. “The best strategy is to get away and stay away,” she said. “Psychopaths are master manipulators and if you try to reason with them, confront them, or pity them, they will use your own emotions against you.”
If you’re in a relationship with a female psychopath, Dr. Leedom said it’s important to get out — and to get out now. “Psychopaths are notoriously difficult to treat. So the best strategy is prevention,” she said. “If you are in a relationship with a woman whom you suspect is a psychopath, get out — before she gets tired of you.”
And if you have a female psychopath in your life, Dr. Leedom said it’s important to be on your guard. “Be very careful what you say around her because she will use anything you say against you,” she warned. “And never, ever, ever turn your back on her.”
If you are dealing with a female psychopath, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Moreover, several resources can be useful in dealing with female psychopaths. For instance:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: This hotline provides crisis counseling and 24/hour support for victims of domestic violence.
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline: This hotline provides crisis counseling and 24/hour support for victims of sexual assault.
- The National Center for Victims of Crime: This organization provides resources and support for victims of crime.
- Safe Horizon: This organization provides support and resources for victims of crime, including domestic violence and sexual assault.
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): This organization provides 24/hour support for victims of sexual assault through their National Sexual Assault Hotline.
NOTE: If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Female psychopaths are a very real and dangerous phenomenon. However, it is important to note that DSM does not recognize female psychopathy as an elaborate mental condition, unlike ASPD. So, if you think you may be dealing with a female psychopath, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Moreover, there are several self-help tips and resources that can be useful in dealing with female psychopaths.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.