Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is usually a lifelong condition that develops in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. Children and young adults are not typically diagnosed with ASPD until they are 18 years old because clinicians reason that even though they are exhibiting symptoms of the disorder, their minds are still developing.
Once someone is diagnosed with ASPD, it can be treated so that over time the symptoms associated with the disorder diminish. Someone with ASPD is usually reluctant to seek treatment or doesn’t believe they need it because they don’t view their behavior as a problem. A court can order treatment for ASPD.
Treatment for ASPD typically involves cognitive behavioral therapy. The goal with this type of therapy is to help someone living with ASPD understand how they are the ones who create problems through their distorted sense of self-perception. Therapy must remain consistent to be effective and may be a lifelong process.
There are currently no specific medications for ASPD, although treatment providers may prescribe medications to reduce aggression and psychotic symptoms in people with ASPD.
Some medications prescribed for symptoms of ASPD like aggression include phenytoin (Dilantin) and lithium carbonate. Antipsychotic medications may be prescribed to reduce psychotic symptoms experienced by someone with ASPD.
Treatment providers may also use group therapy and family therapy. Someone living with ASPD may also have co-occurring mental health disorders like depression or anxiety and will typically have to be treated for those conditions as well. Additionally, people with ASPD may develop a drug addiction if they try to self-medicate or manage their symptoms with drugs. It’s important that someone with ASPD gets treatment so they can avoid addiction and learn healthy coping mechanisms for managing their symptoms.
If you or someone you know struggles with substance use and a co-occurring disorder, like ASPD, help is available. At The Recovery Village, a team of professionals can design an individualized treatment plan that suits your specific needs. Call and speak with a representative to learn more about which treatment program could work for you.