Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay

About 3% of men and 1% of women in the population have

an antisocial personality disorder. There are estimates

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as high as 70 – 80% of the prison population has

antisocial personality disorder. In later adulthood,

symptoms diminish and the person may not be involved

in criminal activity, though some of the basic

personality characteristics may remain.

Antisocial Personality Disorder is the most validated

personality disorder. It has received more attention

and has been studied more than any other personality

disorder. This disorder is characterized by a pattern

of disregarding and violating others’ rights and safety

Common symptoms of antisocial personality disorder are:

People with antisocial personality disorder do

not feel it necessary to live by the norms and

laws for behavior dictated by society. They

regularly perform illegal acts that are grounds

Individuals with this disorder have no feelings

of remorse for those whom they hurt. In fact,

they may blame the victim for making them act

in the harmful manner. They may rationalize why

People with antisocial personality disorder are

only concerned with their own needs and wants

and do not care who they must hurt to achieving

their goals. Because people with this disorder

are so egocentric and lack empathy, they

typically have few friends.

They have difficulty in fulfilling

responsibilities and commitments such as jobs

People with this disorder display a pattern of

constant lying, use of aliases, and conning

people for personal profit or pleasure.

Individuals with antisocial personality

disorder are frequently involved in physical

fights or assaults. They have little concern

for the safety of themselves or others.

Mental health professionals claim these people have an

emptiness and sadness at the heart of their personality.

They often begin experimenting with drugs, alcohol

and sex at a very early age. People with this disorder

are at risk for substance abuse, alcoholism, suicide,

criminal activity, and dying a violent death.

As spouses, they tend to be abusive, unfaithful,

dishonest, and manipulative. Antisocial personality

disorder symptoms tend to decrease as the person

This is very difficult disorder to treat,

especially if the person is forced into therapy by

family members or the law. Medications are rarely

used. However, in some cases, medications have been

prescribed to reduce episodes of rage. Some half-way

houses for ex-prisoners offer group therapy but the

drop out rate is extremely high. There are some

programs for adolescent repeat offenders that include

a wilderness setting and a rigorous curriculum. Their

effectiveness is still being debated.

(1) American Psychiatric Association,(1994) Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV.

(2) M.D. Hallowell, Edward M. and M.D. Ratey, John J.(1994), Driven to Distraction. Random House, Inc.

(3) Kahn, Ada P. and M.D. Fawcett, Jan,(1993) Encyclopedia of Mental Health.

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