Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for consequences and for the rights of others.
- People with antisocial personality disorder go after what they want without considering the consequences for themselves or others and without feeling any remorse or guilt.
- Doctors diagnose antisocial personality disorder based on symptoms, including disregard for consequences and for the rights of others and use of deceit and/or manipulation to get what they want.
- Antisocial personality disorder is difficult to treat, but cognitive-behavioral therapy, mentalization-based therapy, and certain drugs may help lessen aggression and impulsive behavior.
Personality disorders are long-lasting, pervasive patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating that cause the person significant distress and/or impair the person’s ability to function.
People with antisocial personality disorder may commit unlawful, deceitful, exploitative, and reckless acts for personal profit or pleasure and without remorse. They may
- Justify or rationalize their behavior (for example, they may think that “losers deserved to lose”)
- Blame the victim for being foolish or helpless
- Be indifferent to the exploitative and harmful effects of their actions on others
- Callously disregard the rights and feelings of others and the law
Estimates of how common antisocial personality disorder is vary between 0.2% (1 in 500) to a little over 3% of the general population in the United States. It is 6 times more common among men. The disorder is less common in older age groups, suggesting that people can learn over time to change their behavior.
Other disorders are also often present. These disorders include
- A substance use disorder
- An impulse-control disorder
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
Most people with antisocial personality disorder also have a substance use disorder.