Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), also referred to as sociopathy or psychopathy, is a Cluster B personality disorder characterized by a pervasive and persistent disregard for morality, social and cultural norms, and the violation of the human rights and feelings of others.

Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder:

People with ASPD:

  • Are often impulsive and reckless and frequently fail to consider the consequences of their actions
  • Typically have no regret in taking advantage of and exploiting other people (often in harmful and cruel ways) for their own gain, satisfaction, and/or pleasure
  • May use manipulation, deceit, intimidation, and violence to achieve their goals
  • Can also be arrogant, callous, and hostile; have explosive tempers; and have no empathy whatsoever toward their victims

Risk factors for Antisocial Personality Disorder:

  • Irresponsibility is a core characteristic of ASPD and, consequently, people with this condition are often unable to maintain stable employment as well as fulfil their familial, social, and financial duties. While people with ASPD generally don’t have any problems in establishing relationships, due, in part, to their superficial yet seductive charm and wit, they may have difficulties in sustaining and maintaining them because of weak emotional bonds and attachments as well as their own selfishness, greed, and self-absorbed tendencies.
  • People with ASPD are obstinate, rebellious, unruly, and defiant. They often flout rules, regulations, and laws, and they can have frequent and extensive involvement with the criminal justice system from an early age. Indeed, at least 50% of people in prison populations in the UK have a diagnosis of ASPD.
  • People with ASPD can compromise their own safety and that of others, which can result in serious harm or fatality either deliberately or through misadventure.
  • ASPD often coexists with addiction problems such as alcohol and opioid dependence syndromes.
  • ASPD is also associated with increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Diagnosing Antisocial Personality Disorder:

People with antisocial personality disorder are unlikely to believe they need help. However, they may seek help from their health care provider because of other symptoms such as depression, anxiety or angry outbursts or for treatment of substance abuse.

For a diagnosis of ASPD to be made, the person must display the following criteria:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • A history of conduct disorder before the age of 15
  • Disregard for and violation of the rights of others since the age 15 as indicated by one of the seven subfeatures:

    • Failure to abide by laws and norms by engaging in behaviors which result in, or would warrant, criminal arrest
    • Lying, deception, and manipulation for profit or self-amusement
    • Impulsivity
    • Irritability and aggression – frequently assaulting others
    • A complete lack of consideration for the safety of self and others
    • A consistent pattern of irresponsibility
    • Lack of remorse for actions

Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder:

The exact cause of ASPD is unknown; however, genetic history and environmental factors like poverty have been implicated. The male to female ratio of ASPD is 3:1.

Treatment of Antisocial Personality Disorder:

ASPD is considered to be one of the most difficult personality disorders to treat, and people with this condition usually receive treatment in the criminal justice system as part of their imprisonment and rehabilitation.

  • Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is found to be helpful for people with ASPD. Therapy may include anger and violence management, treatment for substance abuse, and treatment for other mental health conditions.
  • There are no medications specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat ASPD.

Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder:

People with ASPD:

  • Are often impulsive and reckless and frequently fail to consider the consequences of their actions
  • Typically have no regret in taking advantage of and exploiting other people (often in harmful and cruel ways) for their own gain, satisfaction, and/or pleasure
  • May use manipulation, deceit, intimidation, and violence to achieve their goals
  • Can also be arrogant, callous, and hostile; have explosive tempers; and have no empathy whatsoever toward their victims

Risk factors for Antisocial Personality Disorder:

  • Irresponsibility is a core characteristic of ASPD and, consequently, people with this condition are often unable to maintain stable employment as well as fulfil their familial, social, and financial duties. While people with ASPD generally don’t have any problems in establishing relationships, due, in part, to their superficial yet seductive charm and wit, they may have difficulties in sustaining and maintaining them because of weak emotional bonds and attachments as well as their own selfishness, greed, and self-absorbed tendencies.
  • People with ASPD are obstinate, rebellious, unruly, and defiant. They often flout rules, regulations, and laws, and they can have frequent and extensive involvement with the criminal justice system from an early age. Indeed, at least 50% of people in prison populations in the UK have a diagnosis of ASPD.
  • People with ASPD can compromise their own safety and that of others, which can result in serious harm or fatality either deliberately or through misadventure.
  • ASPD often coexists with addiction problems such as alcohol and opioid dependence syndromes.
  • ASPD is also associated with increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Diagnosing Antisocial Personality Disorder:

People with antisocial personality disorder are unlikely to believe they need help. However, they may seek help from their health care provider because of other symptoms such as depression, anxiety or angry outbursts or for treatment of substance abuse.

For a diagnosis of ASPD to be made, the person must display the following criteria:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • A history of conduct disorder before the age of 15
  • Disregard for and violation of the rights of others since the age 15 as indicated by one of the seven subfeatures:

    • Failure to abide by laws and norms by engaging in behaviors which result in, or would warrant, criminal arrest
    • Lying, deception, and manipulation for profit or self-amusement
    • Impulsivity
    • Irritability and aggression – frequently assaulting others
    • A complete lack of consideration for the safety of self and others
    • A consistent pattern of irresponsibility
    • Lack of remorse for actions

Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder:

The exact cause of ASPD is unknown; however, genetic history and environmental factors like poverty have been implicated. The male to female ratio of ASPD is 3:1.

Treatment of Antisocial Personality Disorder:

ASPD is considered to be one of the most difficult personality disorders to treat, and people with this condition usually receive treatment in the criminal justice system as part of their imprisonment and rehabilitation.

  • Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is found to be helpful for people with ASPD. Therapy may include anger and violence management, treatment for substance abuse, and treatment for other mental health conditions.
  • There are no medications specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat ASPD.
Source MAYO CLINIC | WIKIPEDIA – Social Norm