James Holmes during his first court appearance on July 23. Was he 'greenbaumed'?
Ever since suspected gunman James Holmes' seemingly dazed televised court appearance Monday, speculation has run rampant on whether or not the man accused in the Aurora, Colo., massacre may have deeper psychological problems.
Chicago clinical psychologist Daniela Schreier told CNN
that it was possible that Holmes was a longtime psychopath with a violent streak who snapped. Meanwhile, Marissa Randazzo, former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service and an expert in mass shootings, told Good Morning America
that Holmes' previous behavior didn't suggest he was a psychopath or a sociopath.
The court of public opinion following the tragedy also included many voices judging Holmes to be a psychopath. These people may be right - but probably not for the reasons that they think. The psychopath label has been used so much, it has become a broad term that's real meaning has been lost among everyday citizens.
"It's like a 'nervous breakdown,'" Dr. Michael First, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, told CBSNews.com. "It's all these words that people use with no precise meaning."
"The word has been borrowed from a technical term," First added. "If a psychologist or a psychiatrist says it, it probably has a specific meaning. If a member of the public says it, it normally means a very bad person."