Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder? (ASPD)

Antisocial personality disorder is best understood within the context of the broader category of personality disorders.

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of personal experience and behavior that deviates noticeably from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to personal distress or impairment.

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others. The diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder is not given to individuals under the age of 18 but is given only if there is a history of some symptoms of conduct disorder before age 15.

Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder can vary in severity. The more egregious, harmful, or dangerous behavior patterns are referred to as sociopathic or psychopathic. There has been much debate as to the distinction between these descriptions. Sociopathy is chiefly characterized as something severely wrong with one’s conscience; psychopathy is characterized as a complete lack of conscience regarding others. Some professionals describe people with this constellation of symptoms as “stone cold” to the rights of others.

DSM-V criteria for the diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder includes

A. A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, occurring since
age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, as indicated by
repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest.
2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for
personal profit or pleasure.
3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.
4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.
5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.
6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent
work behavior or honor financial obligations.
7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt,
mistreated, or stolen from another.
B. The individual is at least age 18 years.
C. There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
D. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia
or bipolar disorder.

Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder

While the exact causes of this disorder are unknown, environmental, neurological and genetic factors have been implicated. Genetic factors are suspected since the incidence of antisocial behavior is higher in people with an antisocial biological parent. Environmental factors may also be blamed, however, as a person whose role model had antisocial tendencies is more likely to develop them.

Major damage to gray and white matter in the prefrontal cortex and autonomic deficits have been found to result in pseudopsychopathic personality in patients with neurological disorders, but it is not known whether people with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) in the community who do not have discernible brain trauma also have subtle prefrontal deficits.

Complications with ASPD

  • Disturbed family life
  • Criminal Activity and Prison
  • Delinquency
  • Acquired Sociopathy
  • Psychopathy
  • Joining Gangs
  • Murdering someone or being murdered
  • May become menace to the society

If you or your loved ones know anyone suffering from ASPD then earliest consult with an expert psychiatrist should be done.



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