Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Kind of Crazy Kills?

I've often wondered what makes a person a murderer. In today's blog, I will discuss a couple of psychological types I've encountered, and I will explore whether these folks could be killer material. As far as I know, I've yet to meet an actual murderer; other types of criminals are a dime a dozen.

Borderline Personality Disorder Sufferer

Over the past decade, I've become increasingly aware that some of the folks who've crossed my path are just plain sick. This does not mean that they are hopeless cases, but they generally are resistant to treatment, because they think it's everyone else who has a problem. The first category of individual I'd like to discuss is the person who suffers from borderline personality disorder. To quote a local psychiatrist, these people are "angry, needy, and narcissistic."

With this type of individual, you will never win an argument: this person is always right. The world has wronged him or her (i.e., the individual has a "victim" mentality), and the sufferer may have become quite bitter. Such people often self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, because they are so miserable that they will go for anything, if it can can relieve their pain. Whether that means they isolate themselves, drink, take drugs, or lash out, there likely will be something or some activity they use to feel better. These folks are often lonely, because they tend to alienate people. I mean, really: don't you have better things to do than allow someone to rake you over the coals when you don't even deserve it? And there is the needy aspect: this type of person needs a lot of stroking, and if she doesn't get it, she will make your life a living hell (think Fatal Attraction). There is one is every family, every church, every business place, and in every institution of higher learning. After many painful experiences with such folks, I've learned that the best way for me to take care of myself is to get the hell out of their way!


The only schizophrenics I can talk about are those I've actually met. These folks really do hear voices and see things—and to them, these things are as real as the 100-plus-degree weather in the summer where I live. (That's real!) They may be rude and abusive and say things to complete strangers that have nothing to do with reality. They may be so paranoid that they must move every couple of months to be comfortable. They cannot process information rationally, because there is so much going on in their heads, they don't know what's real and what isn't. They will use you, lean on you, and be your best friend, until you piss them off (like the BPD individual above). Then, nothing you can do will change their minds. I have seen the aftermath of a suicide attempt by a schizophrenic. Thus, I know they can be suicidal.

While I couldn't say that it is typical for a schizophrenic to self-medicate, the individual I am acquainted with has had addiction issues. Unfortunately, the medicines this person should be taking to help her condition are generally the ones she doesn't take, and if you suggest that she is getting a little wierd and has she taken her meds today, she just gets resistant.


The sociopath may be charismatic, a veritable silver-tongued devil. However, he lies with every breath he takes. He has absolutely no conscience: he does not feel regret for anything he does that may hurt or inconvenience another, nor does this individual learn from having to pay the consequences of his actions. Life is all about him. He is convinced that he is a superior being and, therefore, deserves special treatment. These folks usually blame others for their problems. They are manipulative and have poor impulse control. My understanding is that these folks are somewhat different from psychopaths. I've looked into this some, because it interests me. These two antisocial personality disorders have many similar characteristics, but psychopaths are more violent and more erratic.

The individual I know best that I would term a sociopath does have addictive behaviors, as do several of his family members. Whether they are self-medicating is questionable: perhaps they just have to have something extra in their lives to keep things exciting (or in turmoil, which feels normal to such folks).

Potential Murderers, All

My personal belief is that, given the right circumstances, all of us are capable of taking a life. Thus, that would have to be true for all the crazy people I have mentioned above. I can easily see someone with borderline personality disorder getting so angry that she whacks someone over the head with a hammer.  The schizophrenic could always claim that it was the voices in her head who told her to snuff someone. The sociopath would blame someone else; the psychopath is probably the only one who would take credit for the kill.

I am not a psychologist, so I have much to learn about who kills. What do you think? I'd like to hear your ideas.

© Beth Morgan