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What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Lack of remorse for others is a symptom of ASPD

Personality disorders, including antisocial personality disorder, are a group of mental health disorders characterized by a long-lasting pattern of inflexible and maladaptive behaviors, thoughts and emotions. Louisville residents may find it difficult to recognize when someone has this disorder or is simply acting out.

Causes and Risk Factors

Many people are quick to judge those with personality disorders as being poorly raised. They may assume that those with personality disorders were not disciplined enough or were spoiled. Though family upbringing can certainly factor into the development of an antisocial personality, there is much more to it. Disorders like this have actually been known to be moderately heritable, meaning that, in many cases, it is linked to genetics. However, just because it has genetic influences does not mean that someone with a family history of antisocial personality disorder will get it. In the same way, someone with no family history of the disorder may still develop it. This is because social and psychological factors play a key role.

Early social relationships largely influence the development of this disorder. Those with antisocial personality disorder may have been neglected or abused by family and friends, leading them to develop inappropriate coping skills. Similarly, a person’s temperament can place them at risk for developing antisocial personality disorder. Temperament is the combination of a person’s mental, physical, and emotional traits that may be noted early in childhood. Those with difficult temperaments as infants may be naturally predisposed to this personality disorder.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

It can be difficult to distinguish whether behaviors and personal characteristics are normal or disordered. However, if the noted symptoms are distressing to the individual involved or to others, a personality disorder may be present. The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder are often very distressing, and often begin as early as childhood. These symptoms typically increase until they are fully apparent in early adulthood. Common symptoms of antisocial personality disorder that Louisville residents can look out for include the following:

  • Frequent involvement in illegal behaviors
  • Lying to or manipulating others for personal benefit
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Aggressiveness
  • Disregard for the safety of others
  • Poor school or work performance
  • Lack of remorse for others
  • Animal cruelty in childhood

To diagnose antisocial personality disorder, a thorough examination of the individual’s history will be taken. The healthcare provider will evaluate the presence and severity of these symptoms, noting the age at which they began. In addition, it may be necessary for the healthcare provider to perform lab tests and a physical exam to rule out other possible causes of these symptoms. For example, a drug and alcohol screening may be performed, as substance abuse is frequently linked to the same behavioral symptoms.

Treatment of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Treating antisocial personality disorder is often difficult, as those with the disorder may not understand that their behaviors are wrong. For this reason, those with this disorder may only agree to treatment when it is court-ordered after an incident. To treat antisocial personality disorder, behavioral and talk therapies are often used. In addition, these therapies may also work to treat any co-existing disorders, including substance abuse and addiction. Fortunately, Louisville has many programs and services available to work with those individuals suffering from antisocial personality disorder.

Get Help for Anti-Social Personality Disorder

If you or a loved one suffers from anti-social personality disorder, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for anti-social personality disorder.

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