An antisocial personality disorder sometimes called sociopathy, is a person’s mental condition that consistently shows no right to be wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to be hostile, manipulate or treat others violently or with heartless ignorance. They do not show guilt or regret for their behavior, as reported by the Mayo Clinic.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) can be smart, interesting, and fun to be around, but they also lie and exploit others. ASPD makes people not care. Someone with the disorder can act rashly, destructively, and insecure without feeling guilty when their actions hurt others.
Modern diagnostic systems incorporate ASPD into two conditions that are related but not identical: “psychopath” is someone who performs painful actions against others by tending to do calculations, manipulations and cunning; they also tend not to feel emotions and imitate (not experience) the empathy of others. They can be charismatic and charming. In contrast, “sociopaths” are somewhat more able to shape others but still ignore social rules; they tend to be more impulsive, haphazard, and easily agitated than people with psychopaths. ASPD is rare, affecting only 0.6 percent of the population.
Personality is a combination of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that make each individual has its own uniqueness. How people see, understand and relate to the outside world, and how they see themselves. Personality forms during childhood are formed through the interaction between inherited tendencies and environmental factors.
The exact cause of antisocial personality disorder is unknown, however:
- Genes can make you vulnerable to developing antisocial personality disorders, and life situations can trigger their development
- Changes in the way the brain functions may be produced during brain development.
An ASPD sufferer might often do the following:
- Lying and exploiting others
- Act rashly
- Grumpy and aggressive
- Fighting or attacking other people
- Breaking the law
- Don’t care about the safety of others or themselves
- Show no signs of remorse after hurting others
- Fail to find money, work, or social work
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Arrogance, a sense of superiority and very stubborn
Adults with ASPD usually show symptoms of behavioral disorders before the age of 15 years. Signs and symptoms of behavioral disorders include serious and persistent behavioral problems:
- Attacking humans and animals
- Destruction of property
- Serious breach of rules
Antisocial personality disorder affects more men than women. Experts do not know exactly what causes it, but genetic and biological factors can play a role, especially a psychopath, such as growing up in a traumatic or abusive environment, especially a sociopath). Research shows that brain defects and injuries during the developmental years can also be associated with ASPD.
Perhaps because people with ASPD often break the law, many prisoners have ASPD. Research shows 47 percent of male prisoners and 21 percent of female prisoners have ASPD abnormalities.
Complications, consequences and problems of antisocial personality disorders include:
- Child abuse or abuse or neglect
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- In prison
- Suicidal or suicidal behavior
- Have other mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety
- Low social and economic status and homelessness
- Join the gang
- Premature death, usually as a result of violence
To diagnose ASPD, a person must show symptoms before the age of 15 years. However, a diagnosis of personality disorder cannot be made until the age of 18 years. Symptoms are usually the worst during a person’s late teens and 20s, but can improve on their own over time. This disorder is difficult to treat. People with ASPD rarely seek help from doctors or psychologists, because they often think they don’t need it.
When treatment is needed, behavioral therapy or psychotherapy in individual or group settings can help. Doctors sometimes use certain psychiatric drugs such as mood stabilizers or atypical anti-psychotics to treat symptoms such as impulsive aggression. The US Food and Drug Administration or FDA has not approved any specific treatment for antisocial personality disorder.
There is no drug specifically designed for antisocial personality disorder. However, additional symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, can be reduced with medication and make psychotherapy more effective.
If someone near you has ASPD, consider seeking help from a psychiatrist, social worker, or psychologist. You won’t be able to change someone’s behavior, but you can learn to overcome to help you set boundaries and protect yourself from danger.