These Examples Of A Lack Of Empathy Could Indicate Some Form Of Mental Disorder

Empathy is something that people possess in varying degrees. Ideally, those around you will have a high degree of empathy, which can make them trusted friends, beloved family members, or even effective employers or co-workers. However, someone who lacks empathy may actually be struggling with a mental disorder. While a deep lack of empathy is perhaps most often associated with sociopathy, the reality is that those who have bipolar disorder or even depression may show signs of a lack of empathy. If you notice these examples in someone you care about, you might wish to suggest a visit to a mental health hospital.

Abuse Of Animals

The abuse of animals is something that many people with a lack of empathy have in common. People who eventually commit crimes against people will often begin by abusing animals, and while someone who hurts an animal isn't automatically a threat to the people around him or her, it could be a disturbing sign of a mental health problem. Overt abuse of an animal is easy to spot when it occurs, but you should look for abuse that might not be as easy to catch. For example, someone may leave his or her dog outside with no shelter when it's extremely cold, and be indifferent about doing so.

Amusement Over Unfortunate Situations

Those who lack empathy may also show amusement when bad things happen to others. For example, someone in this situation may laugh upon seeing clips of a natural disaster, war, or other catastrophic event on the news. Perhaps the person may even seek out video clips online that show people getting hurt or killed, as such clips are easy enough to track down. While some teens, for example, may watch this type of footage just out of curiosity, it's a concern if the behavior is constant, as it may indicate a lack of empathy that could result from a mental issue.

Harm Of Those Around Them

People who lack empathy may willfully harm those around them and think that doing so is funny. This could manifest in an older sibling who abuses his or her younger sibling well past the point of normal sibling fighting, severe physical or mental abuse of someone at school, or even harm of strangers. In the latter scenario, someone may spit on a homeless person while walking past him or her, for example. Each of these examples of lack of empathy can be a serious concern, but the right mental health professional can be an asset.