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Antisocial Personality

 

Explanations > Personality > Personality Disorders > Antisocial Personality

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The antisocial personality has a pattern of manipulating and harming others, often in a criminal way.

Noticeable symptoms may include:

  • Charming or otherwise persuading others.
  • Arrogant and high apparent regard for self.
  • Limited ability to sustain relationships.
  • Little guilt or response to reason or punishment.
  • Irritability, anger, abusive, aggression, fighting.
  • Lying, stealing, blaming, deceptive.
  • Lack of empathy or remorse.
  • Irresponsible. Disregard for safety (others and self).
  • Impulsive. Low boredom threshold. Low self-control.
  • History of poor conduct during childhood.

Causes are both genetic and social. Antisocial people may well have antisocial, abusive or alcoholic parents.

Discussion

Antisocial disorder is not the same as 'normal' teenage strops and other common behavior associated with the difficulties of growing up (to be diagnosed with this disorder you have to be at least 18). It is, however, more common in young adults and for an official diagnosis of the disorder they must have also had a 'conduct disorder' diagnosis in childhood. Older people who were diagnosed with the disorder may learn how ineffective it is and so find more successful ways of living.

People with this condition may well have beliefs which support a selfish, aggressive approach to life, such as 'It's a jungle out there -- only the strong survive' and 'The weak are unworthy and deserve to be taken advantage of'. With such beliefs, they may also assume that others believe the same thing, and so are constantly on their guard against deception and attack. This may be one reason whey they 'get in first'.

The lack of concern, including for themselves, may make people careless and not think about consequences of their actions, which can lead them to such as promiscuity and drug abuse. The criminality of their acts may also land them in prison.

There is a noticeable overlap with psychopathy in the lack of empathy or care for others, although psychopaths tend to be colder and more scheming, rather than hot and reckless.

Antisocial Personality Disorder is one of the ten personality disorders described by DSM-IV.

See also

Empathy, Psychopaths, Authority principle

 

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