Although “antisocial” has come to mean someone who avoids social situations, adding the term “personality disorder” changes the meaning completely. Mental health professionals should be aware of the seriousness of antisocial personality disorder, which is recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD): What is it?
Those who suffer from antisocial personality disorder are more likely to engage in manipulative, exploitative, or abusive behavior toward others. Approximately 3% of men and 1% of women are affected by this type of behavior. In public, those who suffer from this mental illness may appear charming, but their inner selves are likely irritable, aggressive, and careless. Because of their tendency to manipulate, people with antisocial personality disorder can be difficult to determine if they are telling the truth or lying.
Antisocial Personality Disorder’s symptoms
Age 15 is when symptoms and signs are most common. They may include but are not limited to
- Abandonment of morality
- a pattern of deceitful behavior intended to take advantage of another person.
- Being cold, calculating, and uncaring toward others
- Influencing others for personal gain or personal pleasure by using charm or wit.
- Believing oneself to be superior, arrogant, and overly opinionated.
- Problems with the law, including criminal activity, that recur repeatedly
- Threatening and dishonestly violating the rights of others on a regular basis
- Impatience or a lack of foresight
- Violent expressions of aggression or hostility toward others.
- a lack of empathy for others and a lack of remorse for causing harm to them
This disorder is part of the Cluster B group of disorders, which are known for their unusual emotional behavior and difficulty relating to others. Antisocial personality disorder is one of these. Cluster B disorders include narcissistic and borderline personality disorders, as well as histrionic and borderline personality disorders.
A look at the causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Antisocial personality is a mystery because of the many factors that contribute to the formation of a person’s personality. In general, men are more vulnerable than women. Males who abuse alcohol or drugs or are in prison or other forensic settings have the highest rate of antisocial personality disorder.
Antisocial personality disorder can be caused by a number of factors, but there are some that increase the risk. It has been linked to a childhood conduct disorder or a family history of personality and mental health disorders. Childhood abuse or neglect, and violent or unstable family life, are both factors.
Some of these risk factors may be mitigated by early intervention, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. A total of 900 six-year-olds were enrolled in the Fast Track Prevention Program in the United States after teachers and parents became concerned about their disruption or violent behavior. A 10-year treatment program focused on helping the other half develop their social, educational, and decision-making skills while also teaching the children how to better communicate with their parents.
Until they were 25, they kept tabs on the children’s progress. Adult psychiatric disorders developed in 69% of children in the control group, while this number dropped to 59% in children who received treatment. Members of the intervention group were one-third less likely to be convicted of a violent or drug-related crime than those in the control group. They were also more content and less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.
In what ways is antisocial personality disorder different from other disorders?
People with antisocial personality disorder, though they make up a small minority of the population, often become well-known due to their criminal past.
Hervey Cleckley interviewed Ted Bundy during his trial more than 30 years ago.
Cleckley dubbed the “Father of Psychopathy,” classified Bundy as an antisocial personality disorder (APSD) psychopath.
“Psychopaths have long piqued the public’s interest. Psychology expert Thomas Widiger says that “many of the more popular fictional characters exemplify psychopathy. It’s as if you’re drawn to a traffic accident or a violent or scary movie because these people often exemplify true evil.
In the United Kingdom, Andy Brill is one of those who suffer quietly. He was adopted at the age of two from an unstable family and was sexually abused by a friend’s older brother from the ages of 7 to 10.
The sexual abuse made me more abrasive and violent. ‘” According to his story for a UK-based mental health awareness organization, as a child, “anger seemed to be my only way to express how I felt, even though looking back, I have no memory of any feelings.”
At the age of 17, even after seeing several clinical psychologists in hopes of getting an accurate diagnosis, the young man continued his criminal career while also working in the corporate world. While facing possible prison time, he sought help and was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. Throughout his life, Brill has relied on the support of his psychiatrist and family, and he insists that he is not violent and that there are many others like him who are.
Alternatives to Drug Therapy
It’s difficult to treat any mental illness, but antisocial personality disorder is particularly difficult.
Without a court order, those who have been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder rarely seek help.
Cognitive or behavioral therapy, which aims to alter a person’s way of thinking, is frequently the most effective form of psychotherapy.
Group and family therapy may also be beneficial because antisocial personality disorder has a direct impact on interpersonal relationships.
Antisocial personality disorder can’t be treated with medication, but it can be alleviated by medication for specific symptoms, such as mood swings, impulsivity, and aggression. In the end, the best treatment begins as early as possible, before misaligned thinking and behavior patterns are set in place..
This rare mental illness can be better understood and treated by rethinking the way we talk about “antisocial” in our daily lives, as well as conducting more research.
One of the best ways to find out whether or not more help is needed is by speaking with a licensed mental health professional. To get started, you might want to look into online therapy options.