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Antisocial Personality Disorder 

What is Antisocial Personality?
 

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a mental health condition characterized by a pervasive disregard for the rights of others, a lack of empathy, and a pattern of violating social norms and laws. People with ASPD may engage in impulsive and irresponsible behavior, lie and manipulate others for personal gain, and show little remorse for their actions.

ASPD is diagnosed when an individual is over 18 years of age and has a history of conduct disorder before the age of 15. The exact causes of ASPD are not fully understood, but both genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role. ASPD is more common in men than women.

People with ASPD may have difficulty maintaining relationships, holding down jobs, and staying out of legal trouble. Treatment for ASPD typically involves therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy, and may also include medication to address co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. However, treatment for ASPD can be challenging, as individuals with this disorder may not see a need for treatment and may have difficulty building trust with therapists.

Goals

  • Accept responsibility for own behavior and keep behavior within the acceptable limits of the rules of society.

  • Develop and demonstrate a healthy sense of respect for social norms, the rights of others, and the need for honesty.

  • Improve method of relating to the world, especially authority figures; be more realistic, less defiant, and more socially sensitive.

  • Come to an understanding and acceptance of the need for conforming to prevailing social limits and boundaries on behavior.

  • Maintain consistent employment and demonstrate financial and emotional responsibility for children.

Behavioral Definitions

  • An adolescent history of consistent rule-breaking, lying, stealing, physical aggression, disrespect for others and their property, and/or substance abuse resulting in frequent confrontation with authority.

  • Failure to conform with social norms with respect to the law, as shown by repeatedly performed antisocial acts (e.g., destroying property, stealing, pursuing an illegal job) for which he/she may or may not have been arrested.

  • Pattern of interacting in a confrontational, aggressive, and/or argumentative way with authority figures.

  • Little or no remorse for causing pain to others.

  • Consistent pattern of blaming others for what happens to him/her.

  • Little regard for truth, as reflected in a pattern of consistently lying to and/or conning others.

  • Frequent initiation of verbal or physical fighting.

  • History of reckless behaviors that reflect a lack of regard for self or others and show a high need for excitement, fun, and living on the edge.

  • Pattern of sexual promiscuity; has never been totally monogamous in any relationship for a year and does not take responsibility for children resulting from relationships.

  • Pattern of impulsive behaviors, such as moving often, traveling with no goal, or quitting a job without having secured another one.

  • Inability to sustain behavior that would maintain consistent employment.

  • Failure to function as a consistently concerned and responsible parent.

Antisocial Personality Disorder 
Treatment

Treating antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) as a therapist can be challenging, as individuals with this disorder may not see a need for treatment and may have difficulty building trust with therapists. However, some therapeutic techniques have been found to be effective in treating ASPD. Here are some examples:

1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT can help individuals with ASPD learn to recognize and change negative patterns of thinking and behavior. With CBT, therapists help clients identify their thoughts and beliefs that lead to negative behaviors, and then work with them to develop new, more adaptive ways of thinking.

2. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of therapy that helps individuals develop skills to manage their emotions and improve their relationships. DBT can be especially helpful for individuals with ASPD who struggle with impulsivity and emotional regulation.

3. Group therapy: Group therapy can provide individuals with ASPD with a supportive environment in which to learn new skills and practice social interactions. Group therapy can also help individuals with ASPD develop a sense of community and connection with others.

4. Medication: While there is no medication specifically approved for the treatment of ASPD, medication can be helpful in managing co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, that may be exacerbating ASPD symptoms.

It's important to note that treatment for ASPD can be a long and difficult process, and success may vary from person to person. Additionally, individuals with ASPD may be resistant to treatment and may require a high level of motivation and commitment to make progress.

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