Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is often misunderstood by the general population as well as some medical professionals. People may confuse a shy or reclusive person with someone who has ASPD, but people living with ASPD also exhibit manipulative, aggressive and impulsive behaviors.
It can be challenging to have to engage with someone living with ASPD and other psychiatric disorders because of their volatile and impulsive behaviors but if their symptoms are recognized, they can be managed by both the person with ASPD and the people around them.
How to Recognize Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder
It can sometimes be difficult to recognize symptoms attributed to ASPD because several of the signs of ASPD can be confused with personality quirks or traits. Some symptoms of ASPD include:
- Lack of remorse
- Reckless disregard
- Constant irresponsibility
Be Supportive of Someone Living With ASPD
Offering support for someone with ASPD is helpful for them and the family member or loved one who regularly interacts with them. Research suggests that ASPD is genetic so while the disorder can be managed, it likely won’t be cured so it’s important that the loved one of someone with ASPD realizes that they need to establish boundaries.
Support is often one of the best coping mechanisms for someone living with ASPD. Their antisocial personality disorder may cause other co-occurring mental health disorders like depression and having support from their loved ones can help them cope and manage their symptoms.
Encourage Someone With ASPD to Seek Treatment
It’s not a surprise that most people living with ASPD don’t often seek treatment on their own. It’s usually up to the people with ASPD to get themselves help or encourage them to seek treatment to learn how to manage their symptoms better. Some clinicians suggest holding an intervention similar to one that may be held for drug addiction. People with ASPD may also be ordered by the court system to enter treatment for their disorder.
The symptoms of ASPD present challenges for treatment of the disorder, so people with ASPD are often mistreated and misdiagnosed. The best type of treatment for someone with ASPD is psychotherapy but there has been no research that supports the use of medications for antisocial personality disorder.
In addition to developing co-occurring mental health conditions, someone with ASPD may develop an addiction while trying to manage or deal with their symptoms. If you or someone you know struggles with a substance use and co-occurring disorder like antisocial personality disorder, help is available. At The Recovery Village, a team of professionals can design a treatment plan for substance use and co-occurring disorders. Call and speak with a representative to learn more about which program could work for you.
Tuvblad, Catherine and Beaver, Kevin. “Genetic and environmental influences on antisocial behavior.” Journal of Criminal Justice, October 2013. Accessed on February 20, 2019.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.