Antisocial Personality Disorder Defined

Some people find it very difficult to socialize in public places. They can become very agitated and disruptive in social gatherings. Although it is not a common sight for many to see a person like this, this is a chronic mental condition. This condition is known as antisocial personality disorder. This is a disorder that alters the way a person thinks about his or her surroundings, and often, can lead to very destructive behavior. People with this psychological problem have no regard and perception of right and wrong and do not consider nor pay attention to other’s feelings. Yes, it is a psychological disorder that requires treatment.

According to sources, 7.6 million Americans suffer with antisocial personality disorder. The callous indifference this illness causes people to show to others is astounding. For example, people with this illness have been known to display behaviors, such as, fire-setting, unable to handle authority and show cruelty to animals. This illness causes its victims to be extremely manipulative and treat others very harshly. For all this, they show absolutely no guilt or remorse. Impulsivity, violent behavior and trouble with drugs and alcohol are common problems for people who suffer with this illness. Because of these factors, people with antisocial personality disorder have trouble with their families, work and school lives.

There are many symptoms that can pinpoint this disorder. For example, in early childhood, it is extreme cruelty to animals that stand out in this disorder. Children with antisocial personality disorder may begin by kicking a puppy or kitten and go onto more destructive methods from there. In early adolescence, these children may lie, exploit others and be extremely deceitful. They can use charm to manipulate others, and will do so very effectively. These people are exhibitionists with huge egos. Trouble with the law is very common during teenage years. They will repeatedly violate laws and rights, show extreme lack of empathy for others’ problems and be extremely irresponsible.

Two factors are responsible for antisocial personality disorder. This is genetics and environment. These two factors shape how a person perceives life. Genetics play a role as various parts of a person’s personality are passed on from both parents. For example, a person who has parents who have a happy outlook on life will naturally be so. The same is applicable for children with antisocial personality disorder. Environment refers to the surroundings that make a significant impact on the child’s growth. For example, various occurrences, relationships, family members all contribute to a child’s growth. Certain life situations, such as, abuse or rape, can cause perfectly normal children to grow up with antisocial personality disorder or some other disorder.

Unfortunately, this disorder is very difficult to treat. This is because many people with this disorder don’t consider themselves mentally ill or do not wish to obtain treatment. Even family members do not consider treatment until some problem has occurred with the law. The two types of treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy where insight into their problem is provided and they are assisted in changing their ways. This is a long and drawn out process and very few actually go through the treatment. However, long-term treatment is the only answer to this mental disorder.

Life can be very difficult for those with the disorder. However, it can be more so for those living with the person with the disorder. Treatment is the only solution and this is a must. As people with the disorder is unable to identify their problem, it is up to family to identify the symptoms and get the person the treatment he or she deserves.

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