Antisocial Personality Disorder

(Psychopathy; Sociopathy)

Definition

Antisocial personality disorder is a psychiatric condition that causes an ongoing pattern of manipulating others and violating their rights. People with this disorder do not follow society’s norms and often break the law. It is characteristic for people with this diagnosis to be entirely careless about other people's feelings and pain. They also show a pervasive pattern of no regret, together with irresponsible decisions.Seeking treatment is important not only to help the person with the disorder, but also to protect other people who may be affected by the person’s behavior.

Causes

This disorder is caused by a combination of genetic factors and the person’s environment, especially the family environment. Researchers believe that biological factors may contribute, such as abnormal chemistry in the nervous system and impairment in the parts of the brain that affect judgment, decision-making, planning, and impulsive and aggressive behavior.
Prefrontal Cortex
Prefrontal cortex brain
This area of the brain is thought to be responsible for behavior including appropriate social behavior, judgement, and impulse control. Antisocial personality disorder is thought to develop from chemical imbalances in specific areas of the brain.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Symptoms

Antisocial personality disorder may cause:
  • Repeated law breaking
  • Deceitfulness, repeated lying
  • Impulsiveness
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Disregard for safety of oneself or others
  • Irresponsibility regarding work, family, or finances
  • Lack of guilt over hurting others
  • Inability to feel sympathy or empathy for others
  • Lack of concern for consequences of actions/behavior
  • Inability to learn from experience or change behavior based on past outcomes or predicted future outcomes
  • Bullying or cruelty to animals and/or other humans
  • Destruction of property
  • Theft

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