Causes and Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

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Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is one of the ten personality disorders mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Personality disorders are long-lasting patterns of maladaptive behavior that deviate from cultural norms. These maladaptive behaviors have an impact on a person’s cognition, affect, interpersonal functioning and impulse control. In the DSM personality disorders are divided into three clusters A, B and C and ASPD belongs to cluster B. People with this disorder are among the most dramatic of the individuals and are characterized by a long-standing pattern of a disregard for other people’s rights, often crossing the line and violating those rights (Firestone et al., 2010).It is important to note that Antisocial Personality Disorder is often referred to as psychopathy or sociopathy in popular culture. However, neither psychopathy nor sociopathy are recognized professional labels used for diagnosis and ASPD and psychopathy are considered two are distinct disorders(Gurley, 2009). Since people diagnosed with ASPD can cause a great deal of harm to society there is a tremendous amount of interest in studying this group and because of this interest and many years of research we know a great deal more about ASPD than about any other personality disorder (Durand et al., 2008).

Researchers today still don’t know what really causes Antisocial Personality Disorder. Although there are many theories about the possible causes and most professionals use a biopsychosocial model of causation. According to this model the causes of ASPD are likely a combination of biological genetic factors, social factors and psychological factors. Examples of social factors include how a person interacts in their early develo...

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... disorder (Duggan, 2009).

Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder frequently lack empathy and tend to be callous, cynical, and disrespectful of the feelings, rights, and sufferings of others. They may have an inflated and arrogant self-evaluation feeling that ordinary work is beneath them and they may be excessively opinionated, self-assured, or cocky. They may display a glib, superficial charm and can be verbally charismatic using technical terms that might impress someone who is unfamiliar with the topic. Their behavior is not readily modifiable by adverse experience, including punishment and there is a low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence. They also have a tendency to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations for their behavior bringing them into conflict with society.

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