What Is The Difference Between Psychosis And Psychopathy?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

mental health counseling

Psychosis and psychopathy, or being psychotic, often get confused. Mostly, this is because of a harmful image portrayed by the media regarding psychosis and psychopathy. Psychosis is a set of symptoms which can spread across various mental health disorders, which are labeled as psychotic disorders. Antipsychotic medications, for example, are often prescribed to people who have such conditions. Psychopathy is another distinct mental illness in which one is completely detached from moral reality. The two are different and understanding the difference is critical to ending misconception, advocating against false presentations in the media, and helping a loved one who might be struggling with a severe mental illness


Psychosis can happen as the result of drugs and alcohol. Hallucinations, delusions, and a detachment from reality define what most people understand psychosis to be. Psychosis doesn’t apply to just one disorder, it can include and be attached to various disorders including substance use disorder, schizophrenia, and others. Once someone enters a stage of psychosis they have lost touch with reality, hearing and seeing things which aren’t real, believing in things that aren’t true (psychosis differs from paranoia because of hallucinations) and having delusional thoughts.

Medical Daily explains,“…the major differentiating point between psychosis and psychopathy,” is that, “Psychotic individuals suffer from serious mental disorders that require proper care and treatment, and antipsychotic medications as well as cognitive behavioral therapy can help mitigate these effects.” Psychosis, the article elaborates, “is a mental illness that shouldn’t be stigmatized, just like any other form of physical or mental illness.”


Psychopathy falls into a generalized diagnosis called Antisocial Personality Disorder, along with sociopathy. Someone who has psychopathy is believed to have something that might be called a genetic glitch- it is the nature of their being which causes them to be incapable of feeling empathy, learning from punishment, and differentiating right or wrong. Sociopathy, on the other hand, is considered to be a more nurtured condition, stemming from one’s environment. Psychopaths are not dim-witted because of their impossibility to tell real from not real. On the contrary, psychopaths are typically very intelligent, contributing to their keen methods of manipulation, charisma, and deceit. Signs of psychopathy are demonstrated early on through destructive behaviors and never learning a lesson.

Psychosis is a treatable condition. The constitutional inability to learn from mistakes because of a missing moral gauge makes psychopathy more difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Early intervention with children who display destructive and manipulative behaviors might be helpful in creating a different relationship with life.

Psychosis as the result of drugs and alcohol can be stopped early on with intervention and treatment. Avalon Malibu offers premiere treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders of mental health and substance use disorders. Our estate houses two primary care facilities, one for primary mental health and the other for primary addiction. For mind, body, and spiritual healing, we provided trusted programs with results you can count on. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.

We will work with most out of network PPO and POS policies

Call to verify your insurance benefits today!