The hallmark of antisocial personality disorder is disregard for other people’s feelings. People with ASPD consistently treat others harshly. They manipulate people for their own benefit and act indifferently toward others. They lack a moral compass. Their mental disorder prevents them from feeling guilt or remorse for their actions.

It can be heartbreaking for families trying to cope with a loved one with this condition. Research shows that young males diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder often grow into adults with the disorder. It only gets more serious over time if not treated. Residential treatment center for antisocial personality disorder may be necessary. Promises Treatment Centers can help. Call us at 1.713.528.3709

What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

antisocial boy who needs antisocial personality disorder treatment at promisesIn the past, it was known as sociopathic personality disorder or sociopathy. Antisocial personality disorder is in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders. It’s described as “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.” It is a serious personality disorder and psychopathy that requires psychological interventions. Pharmacological interventions may be needed for treating antisocial personality disorder.

Antisocial personality disorder is diagnosed when a person’s pattern of antisocial behavior has continued since age 15.

How Is Antisocial Personality Disorder Treated?

People with antisocial personality disorder are not likely to seek treatment on their own. They do not believe they need help or that they have a problem. Residential mental health treatment is often the result of an intervention on the part of the family or the criminal justice system. They need psychological treatments with qualified mental health professionals.

Antisocial personality disorder treatment usually involves intense psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapies have proven to help. Clients must learn to establish and maintain relationships and make important life decisions.

At Promises, our dedicated professionals help clients by reinforcing appropriate behaviors. We guide them in making connections between their actions and feelings. Each client receives treatment tailored to their needs. Diagnosis and treatment of all mental health disorders is a part of the process. We also assess drug misuse and identify alcohol misusers. Treatment for antisocial personality disorder may include:

Warning Signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder

There are many symptoms of antisocial personality disorder. These are the most common:

  • Breaking the law – committing acts that are against the law or are grounds for arrest
  • Child abuse or neglect – having no regard for the welfare of children
  • Irresponsibility – repeated failure to maintain consistent behavior at work or honor financial obligations
  • Deceitfulness – a pattern of repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for pleasure or personal gain
  • Failure to learn from consequences – inability to learn lessons despite mounting negative consequences
  • Impulsivity – acting on impulse, or failure to plan ahead
  • Aggression – getting into physical fights or committing assault
  • Lack of remorse, empathy or guilt – indifferent to or rationalizes hurting, mistreating or stealing from others
  • Manipulation – using wit or charm to manipulate others
  • Disregard of safety – reckless disregard for safety of self and others
  • Substance abuse – may develop problems with drugs or alcohol in an attempt to relieve tension, irritability or boredom
  • Aggression toward people and/or animals – perhaps harming them for no reason but sport
  • Destruction of property – ruining other people’s belongings without remorse
  • Chronic deceitfulness – rarely tells the truth
  • Stealing – from small inconsequential items to money to grand theft

Symptoms tend to peak during the late teenage years and early 20s. Symptoms sometimes improve on their own by the time a person is in their 40s.

Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder

The exact causes of antisocial personality disorder are not known. These are some of these theories of origin:

An abnormality in the development of the nervous system. Signs that may suggest abnormal nervous system development include learning difficulties, hyperactivity or persistent bedwetting.

Smoking during pregnancy. One study showed that if mothers smoked during pregnancy, their offspring were at risk of developing the disorder. Lowered oxygen levels from smoking could result in subtle brain injury to the fetus.

Abnormal brain function. Brain imaging studies have looked at abnormal brain function. Impulsive or poorly controlled behavior may stem from an abnormality in serotonin levels. Or it can be in the temporal lobes and prefrontal cortex regions of the brain.

Greater sensory input required. People with antisocial personality disorder require more sensory output to achieve normal brain function. Chronic low arousal in a person may lead them to seek out potentially risky or dangerous situations. They do this to raise their arousal level or meet a craving for excitement.

Environmental causes of antisocial personality disorder are also possible, including:

Poor social and home environment. Parents of troubled children show a high level of antisocial behavior.

Erratic or inappropriate discipline. Antisocial parents often lack the motivation to watch over their children. They may be uninvolved. Or they might be unavailable to appropriately discipline their children.

Adopted children. If an adopted or foster child is deprived of significant emotional bond, they could have difficulty forming trusting relationships. Researchers say this may make them prone to developing antisocial personality disorder.

Growing up in a disturbed home. With lack of consistent discipline, a child may have little regard for rules. They may lack good role models. The child may use aggression to solve disputes. They also may fail to develop empathy and wind up emotionally injured.

Antisocial children choose similar children as playmates. Aggressive children are often rejected by their peers. This leads them to choose to be with other children who also behave aggressively. Such relationships reward aggression and other antisocial behavior.

Child abuse. Studies have shown that abused children are more likely to display antisocial behavior. One theory is that abuse becomes a learned behavior that parents pass on to their children.

Traumatic early events. Traumatic events at an early age can disrupt normal development of the central nervous system. This process continues through adolescence.

Are People With ASPD Violent?

Research on serious criminals often points to early trauma. This leads them to live outside the norms of society. They are among those in the criminal justice system diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. But not every person with this disorder is destined for a life of crime or violence. In fact, research shows that people with mental illness are more likely to hurt themselves than others.

Get Help Today

Interventions for antisocial personality disorder can help you heal. The compassionate clinicians at Promises can help. We can assist you or your loved one in addressing mental health issues that are hijacking your life. Call today to find the residential treatment program that is right for you: To learn more about Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatment, call 1.713.528.3709