ASPD is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of regard for what’s right or wrong and the feelings and thoughts of others. It’s categorized as a Group B personality disorder, along with borderline personality disorder, and is marked by being manipulative, treating others harshly or indifferently and lacking remorse.
Personality forms during childhood and is shaped by inherited genes and life experiences. Although ASPD’s exact cause is unknown, it’s believed to result from a combination of genes, brain function changes that occurred during development and traumatic childhood experiences, including abuse or neglect. It usually starts at a young age, with those growing up with an antisocial or alcoholic parent at an increased risk of developing it. Research shows ASPD affects up to 3.6% of adults and is three times more common in men than women.
ASPD affects the way people think and interact with others. There are numerous signs and symptoms that may indicate someone has it.
People diagnosed with ASPD commonly show a lack of respect toward others and use manipulative or deceptive behavior for their own personal gain. They may engage in criminal behavior, such as theft, arson or cruelty to animals, and struggle with drug or alcohol abuse. Other common signs of ASPD include:
Common symptoms of ASPD include:
Those with ASPD may also show behavioral symptoms of conduct disorder before the age of 15. These symptoms may include theft, dishonesty, destruction of property, aggression toward people and animals and rule violations.
ASPD can be difficult to treat because most people don’t realize their thoughts and behaviors are harmful. However, those who do seek treatment typically consult a health care provider, such as a licensed therapist or clinical social worker. These mental health professionals may recommend medication, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics or antidepressants, to help with symptoms like aggression and mood swings or talk therapy to alter negative or harmful thinking and behavior.
Some individuals may require a combination of medications and therapy. Additionally, they may consult a group or family therapist to connect with others or repair relationships with loved ones.
Montare Outpatient offers numerous evidence-based options for treating personality disorders like ASPD. You’ll receive a personalized treatment plan addressing distinct symptoms and outlining the appropriate course of treatment, which may include medication, especially if you’re struggling with additional mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or substance abuse.
Psychotherapy is generally a primary form of ASPD treatment. How often you attend therapy depends on the severity of your symptoms and personal struggles. Types of therapy offered at Montare Outpatient include:
Without treatment, ASPD can cause physical and mental health complications. For example, untreated ASPD can increase the risk of other mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
People with ASPD are more likely to smoke, use illicit drugs and drink alcohol, which may lead to substance use disorders and long-term brain and body changes. They’re also more likely to experience injuries, hospitalizations or premature death due to risky or impulsive behavior, including self-harm.
Supporting someone with ASPD can be challenging, but it can make a difference in your loved one’s recovery. Effective communication and patience are essential because many people with ASPD don’t seek treatment or learn how to manage symptoms properly. Ways to support your loved one include:
Keep in mind that ASPD is treatable but not curable, making it crucial to recognize symptoms and set appropriate boundaries for your own well-being.
At Montare Outpatient in Los Angeles, California, we understand ASPD affects everyone differently. This is why we offer personalized treatment and a range of mental health services to help people and their families get needed help. Contact Montare Outpatient today through our secure form to explore our tailored treatment options and take the first step toward a healthier, more fulfilling life.