Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)
Overview of ASPD Whereby an individual shows patterns of violating the rights of others, lacking respect and exhibiting hostility towards them. Persistent lying and deceiving other people to exploit them is commonly observed. Individuals may behave dangerously and/or impulsively, act aggressively, lack any sense of remorse or empathy and do whatever they deem necessary to achieve or ‘get’ what they want. Individuals may not consider negative consequences of an action and may fail to learn from them.
Causes While we are uncertain on the exact cause of antisocial personality disorder, research has shown that our genes may make us vulnerable to develop it, and difficult life events may then trigger the onset of this disorder. Examples of difficult life events may be exposure to chaotic households during childhood, where things were unstable or violent, or abuse or significant neglect during childhood.
Treatment Although individuals with antisocial personality disorder are reluctant to receive treatment, research has shown that therapy can improve behaviours, however core characteristics my remain. Cognitive behavioural therapy may be a useful treatment, helping to modify the way the individual thinks and behaves. There is a small evidence base suggesting that some anti-psychotic medications may help reduce aggression and impulsivity, and SSRI’s may help with anger problems, as well as other symptoms.