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Antisocial Personality Disorder - Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Complications, Diagnosis and Treatment

Published on May 03, 2022   -  5 min read


People who tend to have a dangerous criminal mindset are likely to be diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder. Read this article to know more.

What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

An antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which the person behaves like a sociopath. The person does not show any concern or regard for the law. They always try to ignore the feelings of others. Patients who are affected by antisocial personality disorder try to treat people in a harsh manner, and they do not exhibit any degree of remorse for their bad manners. Most people with antisocial personality disorder end up as criminals or terrorists. These people are most widely engaged in alcohol and drug abuse. Due to the lack of care, they fail to fulfill the responsibilities of their personal and professional life.

What Are the Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder?

A personality disorder might usually involve several causes. Problems in the formation of a good personality arise during childhood. Poor behavioral shaping of the child by the parents is the main cause of antisocial personality disorder. Sometimes, environmental factors and genetic factors can also be the cause of antisocial personality disorder. Genes play a vital role in triggering the poor characteristic mechanism of antisocial personality disorder. Many alterations in the functioning of the brain might also result in this disorder.

What Are the Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder?

People with antisocial personality disorder might sound charming and fun to be around. But they might be really harmful, and they might express the following symptoms.

  • They use their charming personality to make people fall under their manipulation.

  • They do not differentiate between right and wrong.

  • Consistent lying in order to cheat others.

  • Disrespectful behavior towards others.

  • Expression of superiority complexes that might result in arrogant behaviors.

  • Recurrent legal issues.

  • Improper planning due to their impulsive behavior.

  • Lack of sympathy and empathy.

  • A higher degree of violence and agitation.

  • An extreme level of risk-taking behavior that will have no concern for the safety of others or self.

  • Abusive relationships.

  • Disability in maintaining a long-term personal relationship.

  • Consistent irresponsibility at the workplace or in personal life.

  • Disability to identify the negative outcomes of a particular situation or behavior.

People who are affected by antisocial personality disorder express the symptoms of problems in conduct just before the age of 15. The parents should clearly note the signs and symptoms expressed by them. Early indicating signs of antisocial personality disorder at a young age are:

  • Stealing.

  • Violation of goals.

  • Causing destruction to the properties.

  • Extreme aggressive behavior towards animals and other individuals.

Some medical reports suggest that antisocial personality disorder can be a lifelong problem, and there are no successful treatment options that can cause a drastic change in an individual. But it is possible to reduce the intensity of their severe nature. The degree of severity is known to decrease with age. They have no specific reasons for the decrease in the symptoms.

What Are the Risk Factors for an Antisocial Personality Disorder?

People who are affected by antisocial personality disorder cause irreparable damage to society. Certain factors serve as a risk for this condition.

  • Having a history of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

  • Traumatic family background.

  • An individual who is subjected to neglect, physical and sexual abuse during childhood.

  • Diagnosis of the kid with conduct disorder.

  • Positive family history with an antisocial personality disorder.

What Are the Complications of Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Complications faced by people with antisocial personality disorder are:

  • Problems with substance or alcohol use.

  • Child abuse or spouse abuse or neglect.

  • Premature death as a result of the violation.

  • Suicidal or homicidal behaviors.

  • Being in jail.

  • Low social and economic status and homelessness.

  • Have other mental health disorders like anxiety or depression.

How Is an Antisocial Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

Patients affected by antisocial personality disorder do not believe that they have issues with themself. They might seek help from a healthcare provider to treat their other symptoms like anxiety and depression. During this period, an antisocial personality disorder can be identified. A proper medical evaluation should be carried out to confirm the status of antisocial personality disorder. The diagnosis of an antisocial personality disorder requires:

  • Complete medical history and personal history of the patient.

  • Psychological evaluation and estimation of the behavior with others.

  • A psychologist and psychiatrist use a set of regulations mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

What Are the Treatment Options for an Antisocial Personality Disorder?

It would be difficult to diagnose and treat the condition of patients who are suffering from an antisocial personality disorder. A proper treatment plan should involve consistent follow-up by the doctor. A long-term therapy might have possibilities of positive outcomes.

The patients require help from both mental health professionals and medical doctors. It is an added advantage if the doctor has experience treating patients with antisocial personality disorder. You can visit iCliniq.com. The treatment should depend on the complete willingness of the patient to engage in therapeutic procedures.

Several treatment options are available for an antisocial personality disorder. They are:

  • Medications: There are no specific medications that are approved by the Department of Food and Drug Administration. The doctors currently prescribe the medications for treating other symptoms that are associated with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The most commonly prescribed medications are:

    • Mood stabilizers.

    • Antidepressants.

    • Antipsychotic medications.

    • Anti-anxiety medications.

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy treatment involves a professional taking session between the patient and the doctor. The therapy is known to be beneficial for making the patient overcome alcohol and substance abuse. If the patient is suffering from a severe range of antisocial personality disorder, then it is not possible to cure the patient completely. For inpatients with mild symptoms, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is known to be helpful. This therapy provides a way for the patient to express their negative feelings, and it also helps to identify the reasons for their arrogant behavior.


Patients with antisocial personality disorder require help from their family and friends. There should always be a trustworthy person to restrict the patient from destructive behaviors. However, it is also not good to force the patient to receive the treatment. If the guide or counselor suspects any suicidal behavior, then it is necessary to rush for emergency services.

For more help, contact iCliniq.com.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Many Types of Personality Disorders Are There?

Personality disorder disrupts a person’s thinking, mood, and way of behavior with others. The following are the types (10) of personality disorders:
- Avoidant personality disorder.
- Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
- Paranoid personality disorder.
- Schizoid personality disorder.
- Schizotypal personality disorder.
- Histrionic personality disorder.
- Obsessive personality disorder.
- Narcissistic personality disorder.
- Dependent personality disorder.
- Borderline personality disorder


Who Is at Risk of Developing Antisocial Personality Disorder?

The following factors increase the risk of developing antisocial personality disorder (ASPD):
- Family history of personality or mental health disorder.
- Subjected to psychological or physical abuse in childhood.
- Children with conduct disorder may develop ASPD at a later age.
- Traumatic family life.


Which Personality Disorder Is Difficult to Treat?

The personality disorders that are most difficult to treat are listed below:
Borderline personality disorder - The person may feel low about themselves, have intense emotions, and have mood swings.
Antisocial personality disorder - The person does not obey social rules and repeatedly hurts others’ feelings.
Narcissistic personality disorder -The person always prefers to be admired and appreciated.
Histrionic personality disorder - The person may use their physical appearance to grasp others’ attention.


Does ASPD Worsen With Age?

A person with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) does not obey social norms or rules, may cause physical or mental harm to others, and does not feel guilty. Children with conduct personality (emotional and behavioral problems) disorder are more likely to develop ASPD. It may develop early at eight years of age, and if it persists still 18 years of age, it may convert to ASPD. Several studies show that ASPD may stay lifelong in a few individuals, worsening overage.


Can Trauma Cause ASPD?

An antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a mental disorder that may develop early. Various factors may cause it; among them, the trauma or physical abuse during early childhood may result in ASPD. Therefore, the parents need to look after a child's behavior changes. Some crucial signs include stealing, physical abuse, and aggressiveness that may lead to ASPD in a later stage of life. It is also vital to safeguard your child from physical or mental trauma during their developmental stage.


How Do I Know About Antisocial Personality Disorder?

The individual with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) possesses the following characteristics:
- Aggressive.
- Repeatedly lying.
- Disrespectful.
- Abusive relationship.
- Using their charm to impress others.
- Lack of empathy.
- Irresponsible.


What Are the Characteristics of Antisocial Personality Disorder in Children?

The children may show certain signs that indicate an antisocial personality disorder. It includes:
- Stealing.
- Destroying things.
- Disobedient.
- Verbally or physically abusive.
- Aggressive behavior.


How Does Antisocial Personality Disorder Differ from Psychopathy?

Psychopathy is a mental illness, and the affected person is more aggressive; they do not feel guilty, have poor behavioral control, remain calculative, and do things in a more complex way to find out. At the same time, people with antisocial personality disorder may have a sort of guilt for the wrong things that they do. They also hurt others physically and mentally but may feel sorry if asked later. On the contrary, psychopathy disorder may result in criminal behavior in individuals.


How Do I Manage Antisocial Behavior?

One of the personality disorders that is difficult to manage is ASPD. However, the following may aid in testing specific symptoms.
- Medications - The doctor may advise antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers to control anxiety, depression, and aggressive behavior.
- Psychotherapy - The psychologist may ask the patient to have multiple sessions to manage the anger, substance abuse (alcohol and drugs), and other mental conditions.


Which Drugs Treat Personality Disorders?

Medications do not entirely treat personality disorders but may reduce the symptoms, and they are:
Mood stabilizers - Drugs like Lithium, Carbamazepine may reduce mood swings and aggressiveness.
Antidepressants - Drugs like Fluoxetine may help overcome depressed mood.
Antipsychotics - Neuroleptic drugs aid in managing anger and other symptoms.
Anti-anxiety drugs - These drugs may reduce anxiety levels and help manage insomnia.


How Is a Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

The following criteria may be used to diagnose the personality disorder:
- The person’s behavior towards work, relationships, emotions, etc.
- Inconsistent behavior.
- Parenting styles may look different (over-attached or may be irresponsible).
- Unaware of their behavior.
- The psychologist may enquire about the feelings, thoughts, and past family history to assess the personality disorder.


Can I Love Someone if I Have ASPD?

People with antisocial personality disorder may feel difficulty in maintaining relationships. However, they may bond with or love close relatives (partners, children, or parents). They may choose a person who is less socially active. Not all people with antisocial personality disorder are violent and aggressive. It is essential to manage their mood swings, anxiety, and depression by having sessions with their psychologist.

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Last reviewed at:
03 May 2022  -  5 min read




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