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Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatment

Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatment at Promises

Antisocial personality disorder treatment usually involves intense psychotherapy. Behavior and cognitive therapies help clients learn to establish and maintain relationships and make important life decisions. At Promises, our dedicated professionals help clients by reinforcing appropriate behaviors and helping them make connections between their actions and feelings. Each client receives a treatment plan tailored specifically to their needs that includes individual and group therapy as well as a selection of traditional and alternative approaches. Co-occurring substance abuse and other behavioral health issues are addressed.

What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Also referred to as sociopathic personality disorder, or sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder is defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders 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.”

Antisocial personality disorder is diagnosed when a person’s pattern of antisocial behavior has continued since age 15, although only adults 18 years or older can be diagnosed with this disorder.

Among the many symptoms of antisocial personality disorder, these are the most common:

  • Breaking the law – repeatedly 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 either pleasure or personal gain
  • Failure to learn from consequences – despite mounting negative consequences, no lessons are learned
  • Impulsivity – acting on impulse, or failure to plan ahead
  • Irritability and aggressiveness – repeatedly getting into physical fights or assaults
  • Lack of empathy, guilt or remorse – shows no guilt or remorse, or is 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 and/or alcohol in an attempt to relieve tension, irritability and boredom

Symptoms tend to peak during the late teenage years and early 20s. There is evidence that symptoms sometimes improve on their own by the time a person is in his or her 40s.

Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Although the exact causes of antisocial personality disorder are unknown, there are a number of theories as to its origin:

Abnormalities in the development of the nervous system – One theory is that abnormalities in the development of the nervous system may be responsible for antisocial personality disorder. 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 antisocial personality disorder. It is thought that 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 as one of the causes of antisocial personality disorder. Impulsive or poorly controlled behavior may stem from an abnormality in serotonin levels or in the temporal lobes and prefrontal cortex regions of the brain.

Greater sensory input required – Another theory is that people with antisocial personality disorder require more sensory output for normal brain function. Chronic low arousal in a person may lead them to seek out potentially risky or dangerous situations to raise their arousal level or satisfy craving for excitement.

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

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

Erratic or inappropriate discipline – Antisocial parents often lack the motivation to properly watch over their children, or are uninvolved or unavailable to monitor and discipline their children appropriately.

Adopted children – If an adopted or foster child is deprived of significant emotional bond, the child could have an impaired ability to form trusting and close relationships. Researchers say this may be why some adopted children are prone to developing antisocial personality disorder.

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

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

Child abuse – Studies have shown that children who were abused are more likely than others 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.

Looking for Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatment?

The compassionate, specially trained clinicians at Promises can help you or a loved one address the mental health issues that are hijacking your life. Call us today to learn which of our treatment programs are best for you: 844-876-5568

To learn more about Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatment, call 844-876-5568

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