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Symptoms and Signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Most people believe that, together with a disdain for other people's rights, the defining feature of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is the lack of empathy.
However, it is controversial as to whether these and other antisocial personality disorder characteristics are inherited or if a person develops them as a result of their upbringing when they are young. The most likely explanation is that a combination of these elements is responsible for the majority of events.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain reveal differences between the brains of persons with antisocial personality disorder and those without personality problems.
For instance, the areas of the brain linked to attention, self-regulation, self-control, and conflict resolution have shown changes in the quantities of grey and white matter. People with antisocial personality disorder exhibit aberrant network architecture and impaired connection between several brain areas, according to brain scans. But as of yet, it is unknown what causes these variations.
Many Psychiatric Association does not use the term "sociopath" to characterize people with antisocial personality disorder, despite the fact that this term is frequently used to refer to them in popular culture.
Antisocial Personality Disorder Characteristics of Sufferers
Patients with antisocial personality disorder are expert manipulators who frequently succeed in fooling others. They are also kind, funny, smart, and skilled at complementing others. With this flattery, they may attempt to manipulate other people's emotions.
Arrogance and an overinflated feeling of self-confidence can also be present in people with an antisocial personality disorder. They disregard everyone else's safety and possibly even their own. A person with this antisocial personality disorder may regularly steal and initiate fights in addition to lying. They could even find enjoyment in seeing other people suffer hurt or misery. They might also struggle with substance abuse.
There is currently no recognized explanation for why men are far more frequently diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder than women. According to two studies, 0.8% of women are thought to have an antisocial personality disorder, compared to approx. 5.2 or 7% of men.
Antisocial personality disorder symptoms may lessen with age, especially around the forties. However, this decline does not imply that the ailment will necessarily disappear. Older persons may exhibit it differently, or those with it may develop better social concealment skills as they age. A decline in their mental, emotional, or physical health could also result from the lifetime of effort they spent challenging societal norms and possibly participating in harmful behavior.
Antisocial Personality Disorder Risk Factors
Even though the cause of the condition is unknown, researchers have identified traits that raise a person's chance of developing it. The following risk factors may put someone at a higher risk −
Abuse of children in the past
A parent who uses drugs or drinks excessively
Antisocial personality disorder in a parent
Extended amounts of time spent as a youngster institutionalized or in orphanages
Antisocial Personality Disorder's Early Symptoms
Conduct disorder is often diagnosed when antisocial personality disorder signs develop before the age of 18. Even if a person is not diagnosed with conduct disorder, several behaviors from childhood or adolescence are connected to a later diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder.
A person with an antisocial personality disorder may exhibit any of the following behaviors before reaching 18 −
Intentionally starting fires
Abuse or dependency on drugs or alcohol
Frequently breaching the law or school regulations without a good cause
Harsh or cruel conduct toward others
Harassing others or fighting
Requiring people to perform sexual acts
Early school abandonment
Lying to benefit oneself
Escaping from home
Vandalism and damage to property
Being victimized by bullying
Not being able to make friends or keep intimate connections
Poor academic performance
Are the symptoms of ASPD and antisocial behavior different?
The term "antisocial" may be used in everyday speech to describe someone who dislikes socializing, but in psychiatric terminology, it has a different meaning.
These people are better categorized as asocial, which means that they avoid social interactions and may even isolate themselves due to their fear and lack of confidence in themselves.
Typical Actions of People with Antisocial Personality Disorder
If a mental health expert has not diagnosed someone with ASPD, it should not be presumed that they have it. However, if a person repeatedly harms people without expressing any regret or sorrow for their actions, it is possible to determine whether they are more likely to have the illness.
An antisocial personality disorder is characterized by the following typical or potential behaviors, but exhibiting one or more of these characteristics does not always suggest that a person has the disorder −
Frequently lying, deceiving, or misleading others.
Acting in a dangerous manner that could endanger themselves or other people, such as driving carelessly and speeding a lot
Using flattery to gain an advantage
Intentionally causing another person's physical or mental hurt
Regularly starting or participating in fights
Refusing to fulfill obligations related to money, family, or work
Violating social norms or rules in places of business that are public or private
Breaking the law, perhaps to get what they desire or just for fun
Deciding something without thinking about whether it would hurt other people
Assaulting someone physically or sexually
Trying to manipulate, gaslight, or otherwise control others.
Regularly inflating stories, especially to enhance one's own appearance
Whether the insult is genuine or imagined, seeking retaliation for perceived wrongs committed against them
Excessive consumption of alcohol, illicit drugs, or other drugs
Taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune
Refusing to acknowledge sensible personal restrictions
What are the Clinical Tests and Recommended Treatments?
ASPD cannot be diagnosed by a blood test or imaging examination. A medical professional will review your medical history, do a physical examination, and evaluate your symptoms.
You might visit a medical professional with expertise in mental health issues. Your behavior is evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist. They search for trends in −
Disregard for other people's rights.
Rash decisions are made without consideration for the repercussions.
Hazardous or careless behavior
Treatment for ASPD takes many different forms. But with the use of treatments like medicine or psychotherapy, such habits could be under check. Studies show that symptoms of ASPD tend to worsen between the ages of 24 and 44 before improving beyond that.
Medication typically only benefits ASPD sufferers who also exhibit violence, sadness, or unstable moods. Your doctor might advise you to −
Antidepressants control the amounts of serotonin in your brain. Sertraline and fluoxetine are two examples.
Antipsychotics, can restrain aggressive or violent behavior. Examples include quetiapine and risperidone.
Mood stabilizers, which aid in controlling abrupt changes in behavior or mood. Examples include carbamazepine and lithium.
People with ASPD act without considering how their actions would affect others. A person with ASPD might disobey the law. They frequently don't apologize or accept blame. Persons with ASPD may benefit from psychotherapy and specific drugs. They might be able to manage their thoughts and actions with treatment. To diagnose ASPD, medical professionals, including psychiatrists and psychologists, conduct in-depth evaluations. They are able to suggest the best course of action.
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