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Antisocial Personality Disorder

Visit the BPhoenix Antisocial Personality Disorder Support Group.

Antisocial personality is a psychiatric disorder characterized by chronic behavior that manipulates, exploits, or violates the rights of others. These behavioral symptoms have been present since age 15, and evidence of a conduct disorder must have been present before that age. Individuals must be at least 18 years old to receive this diagnosis. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder are commonly referred to as a Sociopaths or Psychopaths.

The main characteristics of antisocial personality disorder are an ongoing disregard for the rights and safety of others, failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, deceitfulness for personal profit or pleasure, and lack of remorse for harm caused to others. Antisocial individuals often appear charming and are great at manipulating the emotions of others. They easily form and end relationships, but these relationships are without any depth, meaning, or true attachment.

Individuals with this disorder often behave impulsively and seek immediate reward and gratification. This results in an inability to maintain employment, drug and alcohol use, and frequent conflict with the police. A large percentage of the prison population have this diagnosis.

The cause of antisocial personality disorder is not currently understood, but a combination of factors, including genetics and child abuse, appear to be involved. Individuals with an antisocial or alcoholic parent are at increased risk of developing the disorder, and men are affected much more often than women.

Diagnostic Criteria for Antisocial Personality:

A. There is a pervasive pattern of disregarding and violating the rights of others, occurring since the age of 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 of age.

C. There is evidence of Conduct Disorder with onset before the age of 15 years.

D. The occurrence of antisocial behavior does not occur exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia or a Manic Episode.

Treatment of Antisocial Personality:

Antisocial personality disorder is thought to be one of the most difficult of all personality disorders to treat. Individuals with this disorder very rarely seek treatment on their own as they do not believe there is anything wrong. Many initiate therapy only when forced by the court as a part of sentencing for a crime of which they have been convicted. Even then, little progress is normally made because of a lack of true participation on the part of the antisocial individual.

Intervention early in life might be the key to preventing and treating this disorder.

Personal Stories of Antisocial Personality:

"In the past six months, my husband has lied, cheated, manipulated, or outright stolen money from at least ten people that I know of. He stole my computer and pawned it, supposedly to pay back some woman he duped into believing we were separated and he was just living with me to be near his kids, yet instead he gambled and drugged it away and, knowing I would be livid, he went to stay with friends of ours. Later, he stole the wife's ATM card to get high, then returned home and overdosed himself on meds because he figured I would forgive him if he did. When I threw him out he moved in with the stupid woman who now believes he loves her, yet he has been leaving messages telling me he loves me and wants me back incessantly all day long every day for two months. I refused to answer his calls and I was forced to move and get a different phone number to keep my kids safe from him. He continues to believe hat he'll get to come home soon."
- Robin Joy Wirth

If you would like to share your story of living with this disorder, or if you are a loved one of antisocial individual and would like to tell your tale, please email me and I will include it on this page.

 

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This Site Updated 04/09/11