Antisocial Personality Disorder Antisocial Personality Disorder About 3% of men and 1% of women in the population have an antisocial personality disorder. There are estimates as high as 70 – 80% of the prison population has antisocial personality disorder. In later adulthood, symptoms diminish and the person may not be involved in criminal activity, though some of the basic personality characteristics may remain. Antisocial Personality Disorder is the most validated personality disorder. It has received more attention and has been studied more than any other personality disorder.This disorder is characterized by a pattern of disregarding and violating others’ rights and safety Common symptoms of antisocial personality disorder are: Defiant: People with antisocial personality disorder do not feel it necessary to live by the norms and laws for behavior dictated by society. They regularly perform illegal acts that are grounds for arrest.
Lack of remorse and empathy: Individuals with this disorder have no feelings of remorse for those whom they hurt. In fact, they may blame the victim for making them act in the harmful manner. They may rationalize why they have hurt people. Pg.2 Self-absorbed: People with antisocial personality disorder are only concerned with their own needs and wants and do not care who they must hurt to achieving their goals. Because people with this disorder are so egocentric and lack empathy, they typically have few friends.
Irresponsible: They have difficulty in fulfilling responsibilities and commitments such as jobs or financial obligations. Deceitful: People with this disorder display a pattern of constant lying, use of aliases, and conning people for personal profit or pleasure. Irritable and aggressive: Individuals with antisocial personality disorder are frequently involved in physical fights or assaults.
They have little concern for the safety of themselves or others.Mental health professionals claim these people have an emptiness and sadness at the heart of their personality. They often begin experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sex at a very early age. People with this disorder are at risk for substance abuse, alcoholism, suicide, criminal activity, and dying a violent death.
As spouses, they tend to be abusive, unfaithful, dishonest, and manipulative. Antisocial personality disorder symptoms tend to decrease as the person enters their thirties. Treatment: This is very difficult disorder to treat, especially if the person is forced into therapy by family members or the law. Medications are rarely used. However, in some cases, medications have been prescribed to reduce episodes of rage.Some half-way houses for ex-prisoners offer group therapy but the drop out rate is extremely high.
There are some programs for adolescent repeat offenders that include a wilderness setting and a rigorous curriculum. Their effectiveness is still being debated. Bibliography Resource (1) American Psychiatric Association,(1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV. (2) M.D.
Hallowell, Edward M. and M.D.
Ratey, John J.(1994), Driven to Distraction. Random House, Inc. (3) Kahn, Ada P. and M.D. Fawcett, Jan,(1993) Encyclopedia of Mental Health.