Symptoms And Causes Of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Published on June 6th, 2018

Updated on January 4th, 2024

Symptoms And Causes Of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is often mistaken for someone who does not like people. We may hear someone refer to another person as ‘antisocial’, and their meaning is that person does not enjoy engaging in social activities. It is important to know that being considered ‘antisocial’ is not the same as a clinical diagnosis of ASPD.

ASPD is a disorder in which a person does not show concern for rules or the rights and safety of others. It is a disorder that is often seen in criminals and is not the same as not being interested in socializing.

A person with ASPD is likely to engage in reckless behaviors like breaking the law. They will have issues with authority and will lack remorse for their poor behavior. They can be deceitful and manipulative and lack concern for how their behavior affects the people around them. Their friends, families, romantic partners and children are all impacted by an affected person’s ASPD behavior.

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Antisocial Personality Disorder Symptoms

The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder often reflect criminal behavior. Those with ASPD do not show concern about breaking rules or laws. They engage in dangerous behavior without consideration of themselves or others. They are cunning and may be referred to as a psychopath or sociopath.

A person with ASPD will show signs of the condition during childhood or early adolescence. They will be diagnosed if they meet the criteria at the age of 18. The following are typical symptoms of ASPD:

A person with ASPD will also not be concerned with responsibilities. Work, school, or legal obligations will not seem urgent. The affected person may not care to keep up with them.

Those with ASPD may present as charming and self-assured. They may also be opinionated, conceited, and overly confident. People with ASPD can be irresponsible with sexual partners and be neglectful parents.

Causes Of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Typically, a person begins to show behavioral signs during childhood and adolescence. A child or teen showing behavioral issues like fighting or not listening to rules could be showing the beginning signs of ASPD.

A person with ASPD will have had signs of conduct disorder during childhood. Conduct disorder is a condition in which a child or adolescent disregards societal rules and the rights of others. They will engage in behaviors that indicate a lack of remorse or concern for others. They may also be aggressive or act violently. These behaviors can be seen in bullies. It can also be seen in children with patterns of rule-breaking and destroying other people’s property. Conduct disorder can develop into ASPD if it is not treated early.

There are risk factors that increase the risk of a person developing ASPD. Such risk factors include:

Is Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatable?

It is not easy to treat ASPD. There must be a high motivation to be better from the affected person. If there is not, they will not likely improve.

With the right motivation, treatment of antisocial personality disorder can be effective. Treatment success depends on the affected person’s willingness to accept responsibility for how their behavior affects themselves and others. The following therapies can help reduce behavioral issues associated with the condition:

Many people with ASPD will end up doing prison time at some point. Prison programs have helped reduce symptoms in some cases.

Time in prison can help the affected person reflect on their life decisions and how their actions have contributed to current issues. This has the potential to increase motivation to get treatment. With treatment, the affected person can learn thinking and behavioral skills to reduce symptoms.

Time away could also lead to the worsening of symptoms in reaction to the environment. There tends to be hostility, crime, and destructive atmospheres that could impact symptoms.

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