Antisocial Personality Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

The disorder of the antisocial personality is a mental disorder, also called psychopathy, which is characterized by a behavior pattern of disregard and violation of the rights of other people. Usually, these people are aggressive, callous, and have a great difficulty adapting to the rules of society, disrespecting them and violating them.

The causes that are at its origin may be inherited, be related to deficiencies in the structure of the brain of the person, or even to be influenced by the environment.

What are the signs and symptoms

The antisocial or psychopath is a person with lack of empathy and callous with the feelings of others, violating their rights and being unable to be subject to the rules imposed by society, because it does not have the capacity to perceive the suffering of others, and may also have criminal behaviour, as these people have no remorse for violent acts committed, which makes this mental disorder so dangerous. See how to identify a psychopath.

These people seem to not understand or not care about what the society considers right or wrong, behaving in an inappropriate manner, without showing any kind of repentance for their acts. Have difficulties in following a plan of life, constantly changing jobs and not knowing how to manage their expenses.


The first signs of antisocial personality disorder appear in childhood or in early adolescence, children begin to show inappropriate behavior, violating the basic rights of others and social rules relevant and appropriate to the age. If this disorder remain in adult life, it is very likely that the individual to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

Are still common acts such as theft, burglary, destruction of property, disrespect for the people, lies, addiction, impulsivity, aggression and manipulation, being that these people are able to do anything to get what they want.

The disorder of the antisocial personality is a chronic disorder, however it is possible to observe an improvement in the behavior of some people as they age, however it is common to be arrested before that, even at a young age because of the crimes committed.

How is the diagnosis made

The antisocial personality disorder is difficult to diagnose, since there is a great difficulty to distinguish it from other mental disorders with some similar symptoms, such as schizophrenia, temporal lobe epilepsy, the presence of lesions and tumors in the brain, or even the use of psychoactive substances, and therefore, all these factors must be excluded before confirming the diagnosis.

Usually done in an interview, also taking into account the whole history of the person, that can be done with the help of reports from the patient and close family members, as well as the collection of information about the history of the family due to hereditary factors.

How to know if a person is antisocial?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists the following criteria for the diagnosis of the disorder:

  1. Contempt and violation of the rights of others, occurring since the age of 15, indicated by 3 or more of the following:
  • The difficulty of obeying the social norms, having behaviors that are grounds for arrest;
  • The tendency to falsehood, using lies repeated, fake names or having fraudulent behaviour for personal pleasure;
  • Impulsivity or failure to plan for the future;
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, resulting in fights and physical attacks;
  • Disregard for own safety or that of others;
  • Irresponsibility in maintaining consistent work or honor financial obligations;
  • Lack of remorse for having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from other people.
  1. The individual has at least 18 years of age;
  2. Evidence of disorder of the behavior that arose before the age of 15 years;
  3. Antisocial behavior that is not exclusively during course of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

How is it treated

Unravel the origins of the problem is the first step to prevent it. Another factor which contributes to the improvement of the behavior of the person with the disorder, is linked to the formation of affective bonds, such as marriage, for example.

The treatment for this disorder is difficult to do and depends on the severity of the symptoms, of the will of the person to be treated, and their collaboration in the treatment and can be done with psychotherapy and medications.

Still there are no drugs specific to antisocial personality disorder but the doctor may prescribe medicines that are usually used to treat anxiety and depression, or to control the aggressive behaviors, however, one must be very careful because some people may make an abusive use of these drugs.

Possible causes

The causes of this disorder are not yet fully known, but it is thought that the disorder antisocial can be hereditary, being that the children of people with disorder and antisocial have a higher risk of developing it also. In addition, there may be impairments in the brain structures of these people, being that the environment also plays an important role for the manifestation of this behavior.

The disorder can also be the result of factors during gestation, which may alter the brain development of the baby, such as the use of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages or illegal substances on the part of a pregnant woman, that have a negative impact on the fetus, as well as insufficient intake of nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, omega-3. Learn how to have a healthy pregnancy.

During the development of the child, the family environment in which it is inserted, also contributes to their emotional development, being that it is very important that early on if you establish a good relationship between the mother and the son, since separations, abuse and neglect in the time of the child’s life, you can reflect later on in adulthood, and can make them aggressive and increase the chances of developing the disorder and the antisocial personality.

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