Antisocial Personality Disorder Essay
About 3% of men and 1% of women in the population have
an antisocial personality disorder. There are estimates
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.