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Antisocial Personality Disorder

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder, also known as sociopathy, tend to show no regard for right and wrong and often ignore the feelings and rights of others. It is a mental illness that is considered a type of personality disorder. When individuals do something, even if they know it’s wrong, they do not show any signs of shame or guilt in response to their behavior. They have no sympathy to what their behaviors can bring to others. Additionally, individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate, and tend to treat others harshly with indifference.  Such individuals also tend to violate the law, which then results in them becoming criminals. Also, as a result, individuals tend to lack responsibility even when it comes to their family, work, or school.

Such disorder can lead to spouse abuse, child abuse, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, incarceration, suicidal or homicidal behaviors, it may develop other mental health disorders, homelessness, social and economic states, gang participation, and premature death.

It is important to note that such disorder is more prevalent in men than it is among women. In fact, research shows that as many as 47% of male inmates and 21% of female inmates have shown to suffer from such disorder.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Such disorder is not diagnosed until age 18 and not sooner. If diagnosed sooner, it is because the individual was diagnosed with Conduct Disorder as a child.

What are the symptoms?

  • Disregard right and wrong
  • Persistent lying
  • Act callous, cynical, and disrespectful towards other individuals
  • Make use of their wit or charm to manipulate others and get things their way and/or what they desire
  • Extremely opinionated and are arrogant, expressing a sense of superiority
  • Have constant problems with the law
  • Through intimidation and dishonesty, they tend to violate the rights of others
  • Lack of empathy and remorse towards others
  • Unnecessary risk-taking behavior and engage in irresponsible activities
  • Involved in poor and abusive relationships
  • Do not learn from troubling consequences
  • Being consistently irresponsible (i.e. do not fulfill job expectations or responsibilities, financially irresponsible)
  • Instability in job and home life
  • As a child, the individual was diagnosed with Conduct Disorder

What causes Antisocial Personality Disorder?

The exact cause is not yet known however, it is believed that genetic predisposition may play a role as well as changes in the way the brain functions. Also, individuals who have a parent with Antisocial Personality Disorder or are alcoholic, are believed to be at an increased risk.

What may trigger the risk of increasing the likelihood of developing Antisocial Personality Disorder?

  • History of Conduct Disorder in childhood
  • Family history of Antisocial Disorder, other personality disorders as well as any other mental illness
  • History of abuse or neglect in childhood
  • There was an unstable, violent or chaotic family during the individuals’ childhood

How is Antisocial Personality Disorder treated?

In Antisocial Personality Disorder, individuals don’t tend to seek therapy and often, when they do, is because they have been forced to. However, when therapy is sought, individuals may engage in individual or group behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. Also, medications can be used to treat such disorder.

What can I do if I do have Antisocial Personality Disorder?

  • Educate yourself on the subject
  • Seek professional help, talk to your healthcare provider