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Anti-Social Personality Disorder


Anti-Social Personality Disorder Definition

Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), also referred to as ‘sociopathy’, is a mental condition that causes the patient to consistently disregard social rules and to antagonize others bordering towards criminal behavior.

Patients with antisocial personality disorder are often impulsive, haphazard and manipulative. They feel no guilt for their behavior and may end up being criminals violating laws. People with ASPD also fail in fulfilling their responsibilities at work, school or home.While ASPD is an uncommon condition, men are more likely than women to be affected by antisocial personality disorder.

What causes antisocial personality disorder?

The causes for antisocial personality disorder are unknown. However, it can be triggered by the given factors:

  • Changes in the functioning of the brain which may hamper the brain development process
  • An individual’s genes which can make him vulnerable, further leading to an antisocial personality disorder

Other factors that may be linked to the risk of antisocial personality disorder are:

  • Mental illness, family background of ASPD or other personality disorders
  • Childhood conduct disorder
  • Unstable and violent family condition during childhood
  • Abuse and neglect during childhood

What are the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder?

The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include:

  • Disregard for social rules
  • Failing to meet responsibility at work, school or home
  • Being disrespectful and arrogant
  • Lying & exploiting others
  • A careless attitude towards safety of others as well as themselves
  • Showing no signs of guilt or remorse
  • Violating laws
  • Abusive, impulsive, and irritable behavior

How to diagnose antisocial personality disorder?

Patients with antisocial personality do not realize that they need medical help. In many cases, due to symptoms such as anxiety, depression and arrogance, their family and friends may encourage them to seek medical help. Mostly, patients with an antisocial personality may not provide accurate details of symptoms to the doctor. However, these details can be procured after interacting with family and friends.

Diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder is based on the following factors:

  • Psychological evaluation of family background, thoughts, feelings, relationships and behavior
  • Personal and medical history

Antisocial personality disorder cannot be diagnosed before 18 years of age. The signs and symptoms may be observed in childhood or early teenage that may increase with age.

What is the treatment for antisocial personality disorder?

It is difficult to treat individuals with an antisocial personality disorder. However, they can seek medical and psychological help to treat personality disorders including medications and psychotherapy.


Psychotherapy, often referred to as ‘talk therapy’ is used for the treatment of antisocial personality disorder. It includes treatment of substance abuse, violence, anger and so on.


There are no specific medications for the treatment of antisocial personality disorder. However, doctors may prescribe medications for symptoms such as anxiety, depression and aggression.

UPDATED ON 14/05/2024

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