Antisocial Personality Disorder Symptoms
With many of the recent school violence incidents and numerous reports of kids referred for help within the public school systems, more attention has been given to specific disorders, especially personality disorders. Personality disorders are often studies regarding such disturbing statistics because, despite all the factors influencing the mind, personality is still considered the primary basis for human behavior.
About The APA
The American Psychological Association, the authority for mental illness, which deemed the DSM as the ruler for determining and diagnosing mental disorders, divides mental illnesses into certain key categories for convenience sake and to avoid people with different category types being grouped incorrectly. Below, we discuss the differences between psychoses and neuroses among the psychological disorders and how the personality disorders differ from these.
The Neuroses And Psychoses Distinction
Some disorders have a biochemical basis, including psychoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and other illnesses involving the thinking processes, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorders. In addition, the APA used to have divisions between diseases that were thought of as the Neuroses and those which dealt with more severe mental disorders, called the Psychoses. Neuroses were those disorders that caused individuals discomfort but did not interfere with their sense of reality.
They involved all of the anxiety disorders and those areas which sometimes got in the way of one’s normal routine but which they could cope with (even though Who might do the coping badly).
The psychoses involved problems in which people lost their connection with reality and often had strong delusions or hallucinations that threatened their reality, causing them to do things based on thoughts based on these delusions. These people can be more dangerous to themselves and others since they often do not know where reality ends and fantasy begins.
How Personality Disorders Differ
The personality disorders are different from either of these major categories. Still, they can also be considered a psychosis if they create scenarios in which patients cross lines that take them out of reality and society’s standards, which demands adherence to basic social mores. Personality disorders are also considered among the most severe mental or psychological disorders because they cut to the heart of why and how people do what they do and how their thinking processes differ from others without such disorders.
Alleviating problems within a person’s personality is more difficult than in cases dealing with biochemical problems, which Who can treat simply with medications or therapy. Also, the treatment of personality disorders is more challenging because personality is inherent within a person’s motivations and desires, without them even being aware that they exist.
What Is A Personality Disorder?
Before we can define what a personality disorder means, we must first understand what is meant by “personality.” Many believe the personality is shaped from an early age, due primarily to parental influences. However, this idea is predominantly Freudian in origin (based on the theories of Sigmund Freud) and is not adhered to in all circles. Regardless of people’s views about the personality and how it is formed, it begins being shaped early in life.
There are many other examples of personality being the basis for behavior. We can see children playing with things that they later grow up to work with professionally. We see kids experiencing certain frustration tolerances in learning situations that do not seem to change over time.
Therefore, a disturbance in the normal growth and development of the personality (known as a personality disorder) can certainly influence this process and cause problems for the individual throughout their life.
There are various types of personality disorders, but today we are looking at antisocial personality disorder and the treatment, symptoms, and effects of this problem.
What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?
The antisocial personality disorder is rooted in the conscience. In most children, there is a need to do what is right. Even in the face of aberrant tendencies, most children know that what they are doing is right or wrong.
The child with antisocial personality disorder (otherwise known as a ‘sociopath’) has no conscience, no guilt, nor a sense of responsibility to do what society expects of them. Instead, they set out to take on risks that other children might not take or imagine taking because of their sense of responsibility toward moral decision-making.
In essence, you could say the conscience, which guides most of us from our youth, is absent in such personalities and leaves a void. And, without this navigational guide to morality, with no moral compass, the antisocial personality feels that they can do whatever they want, with no thought of the consequences or the results of their actions.
Some see the sociopath as a potential killer, as there have been several serial killers or others who engaged in atrocious behavior and were later determined to suffer from an antisocial personality disorder.
However, it is important to note that many others have this disorder that works in various aspects of the workforce and may never hurt or kill anyone physically. However, they may suffer from a wide range of other problems related to their work or careers, relationship problems, or other issues that directly correlate to their problem.
Many people with this disorder may go unidentified. Since the disorder is not considered a psychosis, they may be able to walk the line of normalcy enough to convince others that they are at least “close to the edge of normal.” This creates a lot of confusion in the psychological and legal worlds when dealing with offenders in the court systems, which people cannot seem to determine if they are “sane” or “insane.”
Sociopathic personalities are generally considered “sane,” that is, they know the difference between right and wrong and choose to do what they want, as opposed to someone who is psychopathic and does not understand such boundaries or have a feeling of moral responsibility because they are lost in their delusions.
Psychopaths are in their reality, not based on any reality in the real world. Sociopaths know they are not following the norms of society, but they do not seem to care that they are breaking the rules. Therefore, they take no responsibility for their actions and seem to feel that society owes them something and that they should be able to define their reality.
It is important to make the distinction between the world of a sociopath as opposed to that of a psychopath because the media and even some in reputable psychological circles seem compelled to use them interchangeably.
This creates a lot of confusion regarding the personality disorders, sanity, and insanity and the factors which determine them. Research reveals that personality disorders start early in life, and Who can often trace the factors contributing to them back to the child’s early beginnings. However, this does not mean that they are helpless to behave in the way they have learned from these early days, nor that they cannot be helped by an intensive plan of therapy and intervention.
The outlook for the person with such disorders often depends mostly on the person’s willingness to change their thinking and behaviors and less on their genetics. However, genetics can play a role in the person’s development of the disorder.
The personality of a sociopath focuses on self-centered choices (deine) (German for “oneself”) and takes no thought of the effect his actions has on others.
The Dsm’s View Of The Disorder
The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) views antisocial personality disorder as one of the more dangerous personality types since the person with this problem does not seem to care about the results of his actions toward others. So long as he is gratified and finds pleasure in his actions, he feels he has the right to do what he wants.
Some theorists speculate that this type of personality also may be tied into other personality types, such as the narcissist personality type, who believes the world should center around him, or the passive-aggressive personality, who fluctuates between extremes in mood and behavior. However, no such link has been proven as of yet.
Symptoms Of Sociopathic Personality Disorder
Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include the following:
Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder can be diagnosed when an individual’s antisocial behavior pattern has been present since age 15. However, only adults over 18 years old can be diagnosed with this disorder. It consists of most of these symptoms:
- Tendency to not conform to known social norms.
- Deceitful acts
- Disregard for others’ rights and boundaries
- Lack of remorse
Treatment For Antisocial Personality Disorder
Some believe that the antisocial personality patient is hopeless. That is not our view on Nobullying.com, and we believe that anyone who seeks help and wants their life to improve can do so. There is help for a wide variety of mental and psychological problems. And that should not preclude antisocial personality issues.
Treatment would vary depending upon the degree of problems the person has experienced due to their disorder, whether or not they have been arrested for behaviors stemming from the disorder, and how it has affected their life in other ways.
Treatment may include:
- Counseling and psychotherapy to get to the root of the behaviors
- Reprogramming of behaviors and redirecting unacceptable behaviors to replace them with other means of dealing with anger and aggression
- Medications that address the possible physiological and genetic factors present in the disorder
- Self-help measures such as self-monitoring of negative thinking patterns and behaviors which lead to problems associated with aggression and non-conformity
- Group therapy may help some people with this disorder share their experiences with others who are like them and get to the heart of thinking and behavior processes in a safe environment.
There may be other ways help can be found for people who have an antisocial personality disorder. The main factor influencing treatment will be the degree to which the person wants to be helped and how open they are to following the treatment regimens.
Group therapy has also proven effective with some people since this environment allows them to share with others and gets into the thinking that drives the antisocial personality problem among many patients.