To be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, a person will usually have a history of conduct disorder before the age of 15.
Antisocial personality disorder is diagnosed after rigorous psychological assessment.
A diagnosis can only be made if the person is aged 18 years or older and at least 3 of the following criteria apply:
- repeatedly breaking the law
- repeatedly being deceitful
- being impulsive or incapable of planning ahead
- being irritable and aggressive
- having a reckless disregard for their safety or the safety of others
- being consistently irresponsible
- lack of remorse
These signs must not be part of a schizophrenic or manic episode – they must be part of the person’s everyday personality.
This behaviour usually becomes most extreme and challenging during the late teens and early 20s. It may improve by the time the person reaches their 40s.