Jeffrey Dahmer: psychopath or borderline disorder?


  • Jeffrey Dahmer lived from 1960 to 1994.
  • Between 1978 and 1991, he confessed to murdering seventeen young gay men.

With the seriesMonster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story“and the documentary”Jeffrey Dahmer: Self-Portrait of a Killer”, both released this year, the world discovered – or rediscovered – the personality of this American serial killer.

The serial killer was not a psychopath

Jeffrey Dahmer was not a psychopathbelieves Dr. James Fallon, an American neuroscientist specializing in the study of the brain imagery of psychopaths, in the DailyMail. Her features all show borderline personality disorder. He was never confirmed to be a psychopath, but everyone assumed, for the sake of simplicity, that a bad person was a psychopath.”

According The Laroussea psychopath is a “subject with psychopathy”. This is defined as a “state of psychological imbalance characterized by asocial tendencies without intellectual deficit or psychotic impairment”. People with psychopathy typically lack empathy, are manipulative, and feel no regret or remorse for the consequences of their actions.

The website of National Health Service (NHS), the public health system in the United Kingdom, define borderline personality disorder as being that of a person having “tendency to have disturbed thought patterns, impulsive behavior and problems controlling their emotions. (These persons) may have strong but unstable relationships and fear people will abandon them”.

Jeffrey Dahmer suffered from borderline disorder

And these are precisely the characteristics that Dr. James Fallon observed in Jeffrey Dahmer: the fear of abandonment which would have motivated his crimes, the links he had with people but also empathy.

He showed emotional empathy with people, and a lot of psychopaths don’t have that.explains Dr. James Fallon. The common point of people with borderline disorders is the fear of abandonment. Jeffrey Dahmer seemed to fear this all the time, when the men he met tried to leave him he killed them so they couldn’t“.

The serial killer was also nicknamed the “Cannibal of Milwaukee” because he ate his victims. Again, for Dr. James Fallon, this has to do with borderline personality disorder and feelings of abandonment. “He needed that feeling that the person was always with him and that he would never be abandoned.“, he continues.

Other personality traits that tilt the analysis towards borderline disorder: self-destructive behavior, the inability to control his anger and the drug addiction suffered by Jeffrey Dahmer.

Psychopath or borderline disorder: the answer will remain uncertain

So many arguments to support the theory that the serial killer was not a psychopath but a person with borderline disorder… In 1992, before his trial, Jeffrey Dahmer had also been diagnosed with borderline disorder .

It’s never been fully confirmed that Dahmer was a psychopath, but it keeps coming upconcludes Dr. James Fallon. But his characteristics don’t match and I don’t believe he was. We’ll never know for sure because we can’t see his genetics or his brain pictures, but I think he looked more like someone with borderline personality disorder.“.

Jeffrey Dahmer: psychopath or borderline disorder?