Antisocial Personality Disorder

Category: Psychology


Antisocial Personality Disorder is psychological disorder that determines for other people’s rights, which begins in the early childhood or adolescence and continues to the adulthood. Deceit and various kinds of manipulations are the most vivid features of this disorder, and they can help to determine the problem. However, it can be identified only when the abovementioned features become regular and lead to distress. Among all kinds of personality disorders antisocial personality disorder can easily be identified. On the other hand, this disorder is not easy to deal with and requires good knowledge in behavior psychology because it often implies violent or criminal actions.


The American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Record Manual acknowledged Antisocial Personality Disorder as an actual mental health disorder. This kind of disease implies a long-term condition and affects mostly male gender. In the United States, about 6 percent of males were diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. On the other hand, very insignificant percentage of females had this diagnosis set (Alexander, 2011). A person can claim to have this kind of disorder only if he or she is at least 18 years old. However, the first cases of antisocial or criminal behavior may happen by the age of 15. One of the most outstanding features of people with Antisocial Personality Disorder is the evident demonstration of disrespect towards the law and rights of other people. Also, such people have an inclination to larceny, telling lies, neglecting labor duties, etc. In fact, common terms ‘psychopath’ and ‘sociopath’ can also describe Antisocial Personality Disorder (Olsen, 1984).

Antisocial Personality Disorder was determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version Four (DSM-IV) (2000) and have the following characteristics:

  • Failure to obey and follow social norms in terms of the law and recurrent performing of violent or criminal actions;
  • Fraudulent propensity that is evident in constant lying, which implies using pseudonyms, or cheating others for personal pleasure or profit;
  • Impulsiveness or inability to plan for future;
  • High level of aggressive behavior and constant irritation that causes frays or assaults;
  • Thoughtless actions that may cause harm to the person himself/herself or other people;
  • Persistent irresponsibility that can be seen in failure to cooperate with colleagues or meet financial obligations;
  • Inability to feel remorse that results in the indifference towards mistreatment, physical or emotional pain caused to other people (American Psychiatric Association APA, 2000).

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In fact, Antisocial Personality Disorder can mostly be observed when a person is at the age of 20. When the affected person reaches his or her ‘forties’, this disease is very likely to reduce (Black, 2000). Such people may seem captivating or charming as well as socially active (for example, make associations). However, “for them, they are associations in title only. They end whenever necessary or if it does not suit them any longer, and also the associations are without depth or meaning, including partnerships” (Alexander, 2011). One more outstanding feature of people with the abovementioned disorder is their natural ability to identify weak points of other people. Then they turn it into their personal goal and focus on these weak points. Moreover, they usually use this talent as an advantage in the personal goal achieving. On the other hand, they can hardly be stressed and have very reduced level of tension. Also, due to their own world view, people with this disorder do not stay employed in one organization for a long time because they tend to lose interest to their direct obligations or start to question methods of the company in achieving goals. The common absence of long-term plans often leads to financial debts among individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder (Alexander, 2011).

Since the abovementioned disorder cannot be cured with any remedies, the vast majority of affected people do not apply for help by themselves because they consider the adaptation to social rules pointless. On the other hand, such people can be forced to take treatment by their family members, or by the court decision. The vast majority of treatment strategies have no basis in medical or biological findings, and they continue to be behavioral. Among different kinds of treatment is psychiatric therapy that is aimed at making an individual understand the essence and effects of his or her disorder in order to control this mental health issue, and thus, social behavior (Black, 2000). Another kind of therapy comprises the person’s active participation alongside with the help of professional therapist. The primary goal of cognitive therapy is to make the patients understand how they create problems for themselves, and how their acceptance and awareness can help them in the normal life and communication with others (Black, 2000).

In fact, psychological therapies are provided for making such people live in peace with the outside world. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individuals with this disease consider themselves completely normal people and believe that they do not need therapy. On the other hand, individuals who do not reject the necessity of therapy show progress in their mental health condition. Some drugs can remove certain symptoms and signs, but there is no drug existing that can treat Antisocial Personality Disorder. Due to the complexity of the whole treatment, all therapy programs are rather long-termed and expensive; however, they achieve significant results.


In fact, many affected by this disorder try to lead a normal life and behave the same way as normal people do, but they also can experience shifts in mood and sometimes being around them for some period of time is not a good choice. Criminologists should be fully aware of this kind of disorder for being comfortable in identifying and solving the problem or criminal action that involves individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Taking into account that they are consummate liars and con artists, and can easily manipulate other people, it can be rather easy for them to seem innocent in the eyes of the court system for not to be imprisoned. Moreover, such people do not show any kinds of emotions that are close to remorse or sympathy for their violent actions towards other people, and it means that they are able to take violent and criminal actions repeatedly. In order to keep people with Antisocial Personality Disorders from committing any crimes, this disorder should be researched and examined from all perspectives, as well as all abilities of people with Antisocial Personality Disorders (Olsen, 1984).