Antisocial Personality Disorder – What Should You Know?

Antisocial Personality Disorder – What Should You Know?


By Dr. Nisha Khanna,Psychology

A person suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder does not have any regard for right or wrong. He is in the habit of ignoring the rights as well as feelings of other people. People suffering from this disorder often treat others harshly or have a callous indifference to others’ plight, feelings etc.

They tend to manipulate, violate laws and engage in criminal activities, but show no remorse or guilt for such activities or behavior. They lie whenever it suits them and often become violent or impulsive when the situation calls out them to do so. They may also suffer from drug or alcohol abuse. Owing to such characteristics, such people are usually not able to fulfil responsibilities towards their workplace or families.

Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Symptoms of people suffering from such disorder may include:

  • Complete disregard for what is right and what is wrong.
  • Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others.
  • Being callous to and cynical or disrespectful of others.
  • Using charm or wit to manipulate situations or people for personal pleasure or gain.
  • Exhibiting a sense of superiority and arrogance.
  • Being involved in criminal activities.
  • Violating law and disregarding rights of others by way of dishonest actions and intimidation.
  • Being impulsive as well as failing to plan.
  • Being hostile, irritable, agitated, aggressive or violent.
  • Lacking empathy or remorse about harming others.
  • Having an affinity to risk-taking without any regard for safety.
  • Being engaged in abusive relationship.
  • Failure to consider the negative consequences of his or her own bad behavior and also failure to learn from them.
  • Consistently and repeatedly acting irresponsibly and failing to fulfil obligations.

It Is Innate to Some People

This unique personality trait is innate to some. For such people the symptoms typically manifest before 15 years of age. Signs of manifestation of this disorder typically include persistent and serious behavioral patterns, like:

  • Being aggressive towards animals as well as people.
  • Being violent and destructive towards property
  • Being deceitful
  • Being engaged in theft
  • Being engaged in serious violations

It Barely Dies Down

Traits of antisocial personality disorder are known to be persistent. However, certain symptoms like criminal or destructive behaviour in some people may come down over time.

Risk Factors

These are the factors which may increase the risk of developing such personality disorders.

  • History of mental illness or some kind of personality disorder in family
  • History of neglect or abuse in childhood
  • Having a violent, unstable or chaotic childhood

Antisocial personality disorder is considered to be too deeply rooted to be able to prevent manifesting. However, teachers, parents and paediatric doctors may spot warning signs early in the development of these traits. Picking up signs early and imparting appropriate discipline, behaviour training, parental training, psychotherapy and family therapy can bring down the risk.