Antisocial personality disorder

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Overview
Antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy, is a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior.
Individuals with antisocial personality disorder often violate the law, becoming criminals. They may lie, behave violently or impulsively, and have problems with drug and alcohol use. Because of these characteristics, people with this disorder typically can’t fulfill responsibilities related to family, work or school.

Symptoms
Antisocial personality disorder signs and symptoms may include:
• Disregard for right and wrong
• Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others
• Being callous, cynical and disrespectful of others
• Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure
• Arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated
• Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior
• Repeatedly violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty
• Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead
• Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence
• Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
• Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others
• Poor or abusive relationships
• Failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them
• Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations
Adults with antisocial personality disorder typically show symptoms of conduct disorder before the age of 15. Signs and symptoms of conduct disorder include serious, persistent behavior problems, such as:
• Aggression toward people and animals
• Destruction of property
• Deceitfulness
• Theft
• Serious violation of rules
Although antisocial personality disorder is considered lifelong, in some people, certain symptoms — particularly destructive and criminal behavior — may decrease over time. But it’s not clear whether this decrease is a result of aging or an increased awareness of the consequences of antisocial behavior.

Complications
Complications, consequences and problems of antisocial personality disorder may include, for example:
• Spouse abuse or child abuse or neglect
• Alcohol or substance abuse
• Being in jail or prison
• Homicidal or suicidal behaviors
• Having other mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety
• Low social and economic status, and homelessness
• Gang participation
• Premature death, usually as a result of violence

 

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