While the exact cause of antisocial personality disorder is unknown, genetic, environmental, and cultural factors may all play a role in its development.
People who are exposed to childhood trauma, whose parents have a personality disorder, or whose parents had an alcohol addiction appear to be more vulnerable to developing antisocial personality disorder. It also affects more men than women.
To diagnose a person with antisocial personality disorder, the individual must show the following symptoms:
- making decisions based on one’s own needs and desires, without considering the needs of others
- lacking concern for the needs, feelings, or pain of others, and lacking remorse after hurting others
- exploiting others in relationships, making it difficult to have relationships
- using lies, domination, or intimidation to control others
- exhibiting manipulative behavior, including using charm or ingratiation for one’s own benefit
- exhibiting dishonest or fraudulent behavior
- not being concerned about how others feel; some people with antisocial personality disorder enjoy sadistic behavior, such as hurting others
- feeling hostility, anger, or aggression, particularly in response to relatively small problems
- lacking inhibitions, which may cause a person to disobey rules, abandon their commitments, or take unnecessary risks