Anti-social personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a pattern of disregard for other people’s rights or feelings. People with anti-social personality disorder often violate the rights of others for their own personal gain.
The symptoms of the disorder usually begin during childhood and can continue into adulthood. One of the key characteristics of anti-social personality disorder is the lack of empathy for the feelings of others. Other characteristics include an inflated self-image and sense of self-importance. This is accompanied by a superficial charm that easily dupes others into thinking the individual is charismatic and likeable. People with the disorder can also be cynical and show outright contempt for the feelings and suffering of those around them.
Symptoms of Anti-social Personality Disorder
When a person’s pattern of anti-social behavior has been evident since the age of 15 and he or she has many of the following symptoms, as listed on PsychCentral, an anti-social personality disorder is present:
- Failure to conform to social norms especially in the areas of respect to lawful behaviors indicated by repeatedly engaging in behaviors that are grounds for arrest.
- Deceitfulness characterized by repeated lying, use of an alias or conning others for profit or pleasure.
- Impulsive behaviors and the failure to plan ahead.
- Aggressiveness characterized by repeated physical fights or assaults on others.
- Reckless disregard to the safety of self or others.
- Consistent irresponsibility by repeated failures to sustain work or to honor financial obligations.
- Lack of remorse or feelings of indifference to having hurt, mistreated or stolen from another.
- Evidence of a conduct disorder as a child, whether or not it was ever formerly diagnosed by a professional.
Anti-social personality disorder is often accompanied by drug abuse or addiction. It is difficult to pinpoint whether the addiction is caused by the disorder or vise versa. In any case, people with undiagnosed and untreated anti-social personality disorder will often turn to drugs to deal with some of the troubling and often debilitating symptoms.
Treatment for the disorder involves long-term psychotherapy as well as medications to control certain symptoms. When a person has a mental illness and an addiction, finding a Dual Diagnosis treatment center is the best way to deal with both issues. Dual Diagnosis treatment centers offer specific treatment programs to help those struggling with anti-social personality disorder and addiction.