Section 1: List of the symptoms for this disorder:
Note: many of these symptoms can occur as the result of a schizophrenic or manic episode. If this is the case, they should not be taken as signs of antisocial personality disorder.
A disregard for the rights and interests of others.
Repeated criminal activity.
Lack of guilt, never learning from mistakes.
Making rash decisions and showing consistently irresponsible behaviour.
No desire to follow norms of society, and will act in ways that make others uncomfortable.
Short-tempered with an inability to control their anger.
Blaming others when things go wrong in one’s life.
Lack of empathy and show no remorse about the distress of others.
Problems maintaining healthy relationships or any relationships at all.
Behavioural problems in adolescence (may persist into adulthood)
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Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a cluster B personality disorder, meaning one struggles to sustain normal social functioning, and may lack empathy towards others. ASPD is particularly concerned with an inability to empathise, although like many disorders, ASPD is on a spectrum, with psychopathy considered to be an extreme form of the disorder. Typically ASPD sufferers have grown up in dysfunctional families or difficult circumstances, with inconsistent or harsh parenting, and often with at least one parent being a substance abuser. ASPD sufferers are also likely to develop a substance addiction themselves, and the likelihood of attempting suicide is also increased due to their reckless nature. ASPD is strongly correlated with crime, however it is important to note that not every sufferer will exhibit this behaviour. ASPD can result in damage to one’s relationships, physical wellbeing, and psychological wellbeing, which can all be extremely debilitating for the sufferer and often for those close to them.
Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy and mentalisation-based therapy work on developing a self-awareness of harmful thoughts and how they lead to harmful behaviour. While someone with ASPD may lack empathy and often emotions, they are still able to make rational decisions if pointed in the right direction. Therapy also helps the sufferer to see the ways in which they are making their own problems, such as by engaging in criminal activity and finding themselves in trouble. While ordinarily the sufferer would likely blame others, the therapist can help them to see that doing so is irrational, and in pointing this out makes the criminal activity less likely to repeat itself. In active listening, the disorder is not seen as a problem or a character flaw but simply as a different way of viewing the world. In everyday life and education, people are taught how to make decisions on the basis of how it will make others feel and this takes for granted that we will empathise with others. Counselling enables someone with ASPD to make decisions using what they do not lack: reason. This results in less disruptive behaviour, thus less harmful consequences and a more fulfilling life.