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Animal Abuse - More Violent Behavior To Come

What makes a person torture or even kill a small, defenceless animal like a kitten? Stories about animal abuse surface regularly, like a case where by a person who strangled a kitten and caused it to bleed from its nose and mouth. Sometimes, the culprit is a young person whose display of violence could be a prelude to a more serious problem of becoming psychopathic in adulthood.

The profile of a psychopath is usually a male from the late teens to the 40s. Psychiatrists say psychopaths display traits like poor anger control, lack of regard for other living things and failure to conform to social norms. The condition is believed to be linked to genetics, although environmental factors such as stress can also trigger such behavior.

To psychopaths, cruelty is tolerated and they feel little remorse for the offences done to others. Due to their personalities, psychopaths tend to be socially disadvantaged and are typically ostracised by others. As they have difficulty controlling their anger, little irritations in life can spark off acts of violence.

Some start off by inflicting cruel acts on vulnerable animals, like cats found in residential areas. Psychology believed that certain gene-environment interactions can lead to some people with extreme personalities to hurt others. Such people have a lack of remorse, no empathy, sadistic feelings and are unable to inhibit impulsive emotions.

There have been studies done which revealed that most people who carried out crimes on people have also abused animals before. As psychopaths think that hurting animals and people are justifiable acts, many do not see what they are doing as something wrong and hence do not necessarily seek treatment.

What is worrying, however, is when psychopaths develop a tolerance for violence. They start with animals which are tame and unable to retaliate. Then, their threshold for violence starts to rise and they may turn to bigger animals or even children. However, experts say that psychopaths do not definitely become more violent, and those who are violent towards animals may not go on to do the same to fellow human beings.

The possibility of getting the condition declines from middle age onwards, as people mellow and their personalities become less extreme. Experts say there is no known medical treatment for a psychopath to be completely cured of violence and aggression. Although drugs can be prescribed to curb their violent tendencies, it is a temporary solution.

Instead, rehabilitation - including going through drills to learning how to take orders and religious counselling can help psychopathic patients. Early detection and treatment will help the condition. They recommend counselling, which can help patients manage and communicate anger without showing aggression. Family members have to recognise that the person needs help and that it is an issue which needs to be addressed.

Experts say avoid being judgmental. Otherwise it will prevent them from going for treatment. Instead of criticising their actions, help them see the social complications and consequences of their behavior on the people around them.


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