Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder or ASPD is a mental condition in which a person has a long term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others without any remorse.
People with antisocial personality disorder may act rashly, destructively and unsafely without feeling guilty when their actions hurt other people. This behavior may cause problems in relationships or at work and is often criminal.
Like other types of personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder is on spectrum, which means it can range in severity from occasional bad behavior to repeatedly breaking the law and committing serious crimes.
What causes Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)?
It is not known why some people develop antisocial personality disorder, but both genetics and traumatic childhood experiences, such as child abuse or neglect, are thought to play a role. A person with ASPD will have often grown up in difficult family circumstances such as inconsistent parenting, parental conflict or misuse of alcohol or drugs by one or both parents.
What are the symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder ASPD?
Repeatedly performing unlawful acts such as destroying property, harassing others, stealing or pursuing illegal occupations that are grounds for arrest (whether they are arrested or not).
Persistent lying or conning others for their own profit or pleasure such as to obtain money, sex or power. They may use an alias.
Acting impulsively, not planning ahead and not considering the consequences for the safety of self or others. This may lead to sudden changes of jobs, residences or relationships.
Repeatedly engaging into physical fights or committing acts of physical assault such as spouse beating or child beating.
Disregarding the safety of themselves and others as evidenced in their irresponsive driving behavior like driving recklessly, over speeding, driving while intoxicated, which sometimes may lead to crashes, etc.
Consuming excessive amount of alcohol or taking illegal drugs that may have harmful effects.
Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfil work or financial obligations such as abandonment of several jobs without a realistic plan for getting another job, absences from work without a valid reason, failing to provide child support or failing to support other dependants, defaulting on debts, etc.
Lack remorse and empathy when mistreating others and rationalize their actions by blaming those they hurt (e.g., they blame victims to be foolish or helpless) or the way life is (e.g., unfair).
Failure to consider the negative consequences of their behavior or learn from them. They generally fail to compensate or make amends for their behavior.
Being arrogant, self-assured and very opinionated (e.g., they have a high opinion of themselves). They may be charming, voluble and verbally facile in their efforts to get what they want.
How common is Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)?
ASPD affects 2% to 4% of the population and is more common in men. The highest prevalence of antisocial personality disorder (greater than 70%) is among most severe samples of males with alcohol use disorder and from substance abuse clinics, prisons, or other forensic settings. Prevalence is higher in samples affected by adverse socioeconomic (i.e., poverty) or sociocultural (i.e., migration) factors.
Myths v/s Facts about Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder is untreatable.
Treatment for Antisocial personality disorder is difficult, but can be effective. Personality disorders like ASPD, cannot be cured but treatment can improve symptoms.
Antisocial personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder are the same.
Antisocial personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder are two different personality disorders. A person with ASPD has trouble with relationships because they act without considering the feeling with others. By contrast, a person with avoidant personality disorder avoids intimacy and relationships out of fear that they will be judged or rejected.
Antisocial personality disorder is an excuse for poor behavior.
Individuals with antisocial personality disorder know the difference between right and wrong. People with ASPD have a working conscience but may choose to ignore it. Thus, ASPD is not an excuse for bad behavior.
Antisocial personality disorder cannot be prevented.
Early identification of antisocial behaviors can lead to intervention and possible prevention of ASPD in some individuals.
- American Psychiatric Association. Paranoid personality disorder. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed.
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