Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by chronic behavior that manipulates, exploits, or violates the rights of others. Behaviors associated with antisocial personality disorder are often criminal.

People with antisocial personality disorder often have extensive substance abuse and legal problems.

Antisocial personality disorder is also called:Psychopathic personality; sociopathic personality; and personality disorder – antisocial.

What is a personality disorder?

A personality disorder is a prolonged pattern of personal experiences and behaviors that deviates noticeably from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible. It typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and is stable over time. Personality disorders often leads to personal distress or impairment.

Causes

The exact cause of antisocial personality disorder is unknown. However, researchers believe that genetic factors and child abuse contribute to the development of this condition. People with an antisocial or alcoholic parent have a greater risk of developing antisocial personality disorder.

Signs and symptoms 

Individuals with antisocial personality disorder can be charming on the surface, but they are very manipulative, irritable,  aggressive, and irresponsible. Because of their manipulative actions, it can be difficult to tell whether they are lying or telling the truth.

A person who has antisocial personality disorder may:

  • break the law repeatedly
  • lie, steal, and fight often
  • disregard the safety of self and others
  • be unable to sustain long-term relationships
  • display reckless behavior
  • exhibit aggressive behavior
  • abuse alcohol and drugs
  • be unable to fulfill employment or financial obligations
  • demonstrate a lack of guilt
  • had a childhood diagnosis of conduct disorder
  • have a disregard for other’s feelings and needs

Treatments

Antisocial personality disorder is very difficult to treat. Group counseling may help but individuals usually don’t seek treatment on their own. Treatment of other conditions, such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse, is needed to help improve the symptoms.