Antisocial Personality Disorder (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) facts
- What are antisocial personality disorder symptoms and signs?
- What is the difference between antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy?
- What are causes and risk factors of antisocial personality disorder?
- How is antisocial personality disorder diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for antisocial personality disorder?
- What happens if antisocial personality disorder is not treated? What is the prognosis of antisocial personality disorder?
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What are antisocial personality disorder symptoms and signs?
To understand antisocial personality disorder (ASPD or APD), it is necessary to learn what having any personality disorder involves. As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, 2000), a personality disorder (PD) is a persistent pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that is significantly different from what is considered normal within the person's own culture.
Professionals group personality disorders based on a commonality of symptoms.
Cluster A personality disorders are those that include symptoms of social isolation, and/or odd, eccentric behavior. These disorders include
- paranoid personality disorder,
- schizotypal personality disorder,
- schizoid personality disorder.
Cluster B personality disorders are those that include symptoms of dramatic or erratic behaviors (counter-social behaviors). These personality disorders include
- antisocial personality disorder,
- borderline personality disorder,
- histrionic personality disorder,
- narcissistic personality disorder.
Cluster C personality disorders are dominated by difficulties with anxiety and inhibited behavior. These disorders are referred to as and include
- avoidant personality disorder,
- dependent personality disorder,
- obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCD).
Antisocial personality disorder is specifically a pervasive pattern of disregarding and violating the rights of others. Diagnostic criteria for this disorder state that this pattern must include at least three of the following specific signs and symptoms:
- Lack of conforming to laws, as evidenced by repeatedly committing crimes
- Repeated deceitfulness in relationships with others, such as telling lies, using false names, or conning others for profit or pleasure
- Failure to think or plan ahead (impulsivity)
- Tendency to irritability, anger, and aggressiveness, as shown by repeatedly assaulting others or getting into frequent physical fights
- Disregard for personal safety or the safety of others
- Persistent lack of taking responsibility, such as failing to establish a pattern of good work habits or keeping financial obligations
- A lack of feeling guilty about wrong-doing
Other important characteristics of this disorder include that it is not diagnosed in children (individuals younger than 18 years of age), but the affected person must have shown symptoms of this diagnosis at least since 15 years of age. Additionally, it cannot be diagnosed if the person only shows symptoms of antisocial personality disorder at the same time they are suffering from schizophrenia or when having a manic episode. This disorder tends to occur in about 1% of women and 3% of men in the United States. Antisocial personality symptoms in women tend to include self-harm and more of the other symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) than in men.
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