Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a deeply ingrained and rigid dysfunctional thought process that focuses on social irresponsibility with exploitive, delinquent, and criminal behavior with no remorse. Disregard for and the violation of others’ rights are common manifestations of this personality disorder, which displays symptoms that include failure to conform to the law, inability to sustain consistent employment, deception, manipulation for personal gain, and incapacity to form stable relationships.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) classifies all ten personality disorders into three clusters (A, B, and C). Antisocial personality disorder falls into 1 of 4 cluster-B disorders, which also includes borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic. All of these disorders characteristically present with dramatic, emotional, and unpredictable interactions with others. Antisocial personality disorder is the only personality disorder that is not diagnosable in childhood. Before the age of 18, the patient must have been previously diagnosed with conduct disorder (CD) by the age of 15 years old to justify diagnostic criteria for ASPD.
Many researchers and clinicians argue this diagnosis, with concerns of significant overlap with other disorders, including psychopathy. However, others counter that psychopathy is simply a subtype of antisocial personality disorder, with a more severe presentation. Recent literature states that although a heterogeneous construct that can subdivide into multiple subtypes that share many similarities and are often comorbid but not synonymous, individuals with ASPD must be characterized biologically and cognitively to ensure more accurate categorization and appropriate treatment.