Jeffrey Dahmer not a psychopath: neuroscientist claims subject of hit Netflix series has been wrongly labelled

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Habitually referred to as a psychopath, one US professor believes that Jeffrey Dahmer’s condition could be a misdiagnosis.

A neuroscientist from the University of California strongly believes that the diagnosis of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, the subject of a recent Netflix series, is incorrect. James Fallon, professor of psychiatry and human behaviour and emeritus professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the Irvine School of Medicine, instead has offered an alternative diagnosis.

“Jeffrey Dahmer was not a psychopath. His characteristics all point to BPD. It was never confirmed he was a psychopath but everyone assumed for simplicity’s sake that a bad person is a psychopath” he discussed. "He showed emotional empathy with people and many psychopaths don’t have that.”

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Fallon’s alternative diagnosis of Dahmer suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder follows the NHS guidelines that reveal the difference between psychopathy and BPD. The NHS defines psychopathy as being someone who lacks empathy, is manipulative and often has a total disregard for the consequences of their actions.

The NHS definition of BPD is characterised by extreme emotional instability, impulsive behaviour, intense and unstable relationships and disturbing patterns of thinking, which Fallon demonstrates Dahmer had due to the killer’s abandonment issues.

"A common thing with people with BPD is that they have these crazy fears of being abandoned. Jeffrey Dahmer seemed to fear this all the time - when the men he met tried to leave him, he would kill them so they couldn’t." He also added that the cannibalism Dahmer indulged in could have stemmed from a “desire to make someone be a part of you forever - so they can’t leave you.”

Fallon summed up his alternative diagnosis by saying "it’s never been fully confirmed Dahmer was a psychopath but it does keep coming up. But his characteristics don’t agree and I don’t believe he was. We’ll never know for sure because we can’t see his genetics or brain images, but I feel he was more like someone with BPD."

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Where can I watch Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story?

Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer story, co-created by Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, is streaming now through Netflix. The show features Ryan Murphy regular Evan Peters portraying the serial killer, alongside Richard Jenkins, Penelope Anne Miller and Molly Ringwald.

How do I sign up to Netflix?

Netflix can be subscribed to on three different tiers:

  • Basic - £6.99
  • Standard - £10.99
  • Premium - £15.99

Netflix is advert free and can be cancelled at any time. For more information or to sign up, visit the Netflix sign-up page.

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