What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

People suffering from antisocial personality disorder can live a much more meaningful life by learning which medications and therapies to use and where to find them.

Personality disorders are disorders that are deep-seated and intractable. They cause problems with work and relationships. Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a condition where an individual shows no respect for the rights of others, and violate them frequently. Individuals with APD tend to antagonize, manipulate, or harm others. They are often described as being 'without a conscience.' They often lose jobs, do poorly in school, abuse substances, and get arrested. Adults with antisocial personality disorder typically show signs from an early age; one of the diagnostic criteria is they've shown symptoms since fifteen years old. It's not called APD that young, because it is possible a behaviorally challenged child or adolescent will learn and change; kids showing this disregard for the rights of others are usually diagnosed with conduct disorder. But by the time they're in their later teens (the minimum age for an individual to be officially diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder is eighteen), the pattern is set; personality disorders are extremely difficult to change. Reveal the warning signs and dive into precisely what antisocial personality disorder is now.

Deceitful And Frequently Lies

A person with antisocial personality disorder is often untruthful. Being deceitful and telling lies are early hallmarks of APD. These individuals want what they want, and will say whatever is needed to get that. They will use lying, aliases, and other forms of deceit for pleasure or personal profit. They'll lie to get jobs, sex, money, or possessions. They typically have no problem with stealing or committing fraud if they want something. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder have difficulty reasoning cause and effect when it comes to others, and will often not see why being deceitful makes others mistrust them, or be unwilling to do what they want. If someone gets upset at being deceived, they'll lie about what happened, or just blame it all on their victim, often saying they shouldn't have fallen for it.

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Disrespectful Towards Others

A person with antisocial personality disorder doesn't believe other individuals have value besides what they can use to get pleasure, so they are often disrespectful towards others. Individuals with APD don't care about the safety and well being of others and will take advantage however they feel an impulse to do so. Profanity, aggression, stealing, conning, violence, and intimidation are all fair game. It's not always loud and negative; a person with antisocial personality disorder can be quite charming, glib, or ingratiating if that's what they think will get what they want. In this case, it's not real kindness; it's a con. The person with APD will show and feel no remorse; as long as they got what they wanted, who cares about others? And if what they wanted didn't work out how they wanted, they'll blame others and get angry and aggressive.

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Arrogant And Impulsive

This demanding, disrespectful, me-first attitude shows itself in arrogant and impulsive actions. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder tend not to do much long-term planning; they act on impulse, and this failure to plan means they often end up tangled with the law. Again, the difficulty with cause and effect in relation to acting on impulses often makes it hard for them not to act on those feelings most people ignore because it's wrong. Get mad at your boss? Instead of taking a breath and walking away, they're likely to yell, or even deck him. Want the car you just walked past? A person with APD is much more likely to just take it. They won't reason about what the long-term effects will be, or what effect it will have on others, just act on feelings and impulses.

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Aggressive And Violent

A person with antisocial personality disorder is prone to being aggressive and violent. They are irritable and frequently use aggression when crossed. They'll also use it as one of the tools to get their way - charm didn't work? Let's try scaring or hurting and see what that gets. Individuals with APD will get into arguments and fights, and will often have arrest records including assault. They are often manipulative or abusive in their relationships; the other person (significant other, child, or family member) is only there to sate their needs, wants, and impulses and is a convenient target when something elsewhere goes wrong.

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Don't Know Right From Wrong

A person with antisocial personality disorder honestly doesn't understand why these behaviors are negative. They don't know right from wrong. They can understand others don't like it when they lie, steal, or are violent, but they don't care. They don't have an internalized conscience and show no empathy for others. Their understanding of others tends to be cynical, negative and is often limited to figuring out how to make that person do what they want.

Individuals with APD are extremely unlikely to seek help. After all, the only problem is others keep getting in their way; it's not them, it's everybody else. They usually only receive treatment when forced to, whether by family or by the court system. Some will improve their behaviors over time. There is debate over whether this is due to personal growth and learning right from wrong, or whether they are finally relating more cause and effect and wanting to avoid consequences.