Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Parental Alienation PA

Symptoms and Signs for ASPD

Patients with antisocial personality disorder may express their disregard for others and for the law by destroying property, harassing others, or stealing. They may deceive, exploit, con, or manipulate people to get what they want (eg, money, power, sex). They may use an alias.

These patients are impulsive, not planning ahead and not considering the consequences for or the safety of self or others. As a result, they may suddenly change jobs, homes, or relationships.They may speed when driving and drive while intoxicated, sometimes leading to accidents.They may consume excessive amounts of alcohol or take illegal drugs that may have harmful effects.


Patients with antisocial personality disorder are socially and financially irresponsible. They may change jobs with no plan for getting another. They may not seek employment when opportunities are available. They may not pay their bills, default on loans, or not pay child support.


These patients are often easily provoked and physically aggressive; they may start fights or abuse their spouse or partner. In sexual relationships, they may be irresponsible and exploit their partner and be unable to remain monogamous.


Remorse for actions is lacking. Patients with antisocial personality disorder may rationalize their actions by blaming those they hurt (eg, they deserved it) or the way life is (eg, unfair). They are determined not to be pushed around and to do what they think is best for themselves at any cost.


These patients lack empathy for others and may be contemptuous of or indifferent to the feelings, rights, and suffering of others.


Patients with antisocial personality disorder tend to have a high opinion of themselves and may be very opinionated, self-assured, or arrogant. They may be charming, voluble, and verbally facile in their efforts to get what they want.

Continue reading “Symptoms and Signs for ASPD”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Parental Alienation PA

Diagnosis for APSD

  • Clinical criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersFifth Edition [DSM-5])

For a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, patients must have

  • A persistent disregard for the rights of others

This disregard is shown by the presence of ≥ 3 of the following:

  • Disregarding the law, indicated by repeatedly committing acts that are grounds for arrest

  • Being deceitful, indicated by lying repeatedly, using aliases, or conning others for personal gain or pleasure

  • Acting impulsively or not planning ahead

  • Being easily provoked or aggressive, indicated by constantly getting into physical fights or assaulting others

  • Recklessly disregarding their safety or the safety of others

  • Consistently acting irresponsibly, indicated by quitting a job with no plans for another one or not paying bills

  • Not feeling remorse, indicated by indifference to or rationalization of hurting or mistreating others

Also, patients must have evidence that a conduct disorder has been present before age 15 years. Antisocial personality disorder is diagnosed only in people ≥ 18 years.

Differential diagnosis

Antisocial personality disorder should be distinguished from the following:

  • Substance use disorder: Determining whether impulsivity and irresponsibility result from substance use disorder or from antisocial personality disorder can be difficult but is possible based on a review of the patient’s history, including early history, to check for periods of sobriety. Sometimes antisocial personality disorder can be diagnosed more easily after a coexisting substance use disorder is treated, but antisocial personality disorders can be diagnosed even when substance use disorder is present.

  • Conduct disorder: Conduct disorder has a similar pervasive pattern of violating social norms and laws, but conduct disorder must be present before age 15.

  • Narcissistic personality disorder: Patients are similarly exploitative and lacking in empathy, but they tend not to be aggressive and deceitful as occurs in antisocial personality disorder.

  • Borderline personality disorder: Patients are similarly manipulative but do so to be nurtured rather than to get what they want (eg, money, power) as occurs in antisocial personality disorder.

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Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Parental Alienation PA

Antisocial personality disorder

Both genetic and environmental factors (eg, abuse during childhood) contribute to the development of antisocial personality disorder. A possible mechanism is impulsive aggression, related to abnormal serotonin transporter functioning. Disregard for the pain of others during early childhood has been linked to antisocial behavior during late adolescence.


Antisocial personality disorder is more common among 1st-degree relatives of patients with the disorder than among the general population. Risk of developing this disorder is increased in both adopted and biologic children of parents with the disorder.

If conduct disorder accompanied by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder develops before age 10 years, risk of developing antisocial personality disorder during adulthood is increased. Risk of conduct disorder evolving into antisocial personality disorder may be increased when parents abuse or neglect the child or are inconsistent in discipline or in parenting style (eg, switching from warm and supportive to cold and critical).

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Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Parental Alienation PA


People with antisocial personality disorder commit unlawful, deceitful, exploitative, reckless acts for personal profit or pleasure and without remorse; they may do the following:

  • Justify or rationalize their behavior (eg, thinking losers deserve to lose, looking out for number one)

  • Blame the victim for being foolish or helpless

  • Be indifferent to the exploitative and harmful effects of their actions on others

For antisocial personality disorder, estimated 12-month prevalence rates in the US (based on older Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM] criteria) range from about 0.2 to 3.3%. Antisocial personality disorder is more common among men than among women (6:1), and there is a strong heritable component. Prevalence decreases with age, suggesting that patients can learn over time to change their maladaptive behavior and try to build a life.

Comorbidities are common. Most patients also have a substance use disorder (and about half of those with a substance use disorder meet criteria for antisocial personality disorder). Patients with antisocial personality disorder often also have an impulse control disorderattention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or borderline personality disorder.


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Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Anger, Feelings of Revenge, and Hate

What anger, feelings of revenge, and hate have in common is that they typically involve negative situations and lead to behaviors that can be disadvantageous to others. The review by Fischer, Halperin, Canetti, and Jasini (2018) takes a functional perspective on hate, in which this and other important similarities and differences between hate and closely related emotions are discussed. However, although their review compares anger with hate, and recently anger has been compared to feelings of revenge (Elshout, Nelissen, & van Beest, 2015), a comparison of hate and feelings of revenge has not yet received much attention in empirical and literature studies. In this comment, I would therefore like to extend Fischer et al.’s discussion by more specifically reflecting on differences concerning anger and feelings of revenge in relation to hate.

In what follows, I suggest that anger, feelings of revenge, and hate are characterized by a different focus. For example, the goal of anger is to restore or change the (unjust) situation. This can be achieved through coercion aimed at the anger-eliciting perpetrator, though not necessarily. Experiencing anger in third-party situations, where there is both a perpetrator and a victim, also motivates more prosocial behaviors focused on the victim (for a review, see van Doorn, Zeelenberg, & Breugelmans, 2014). The review of available studies on hate, as described in Fischer et al. (2018), clearly demonstrates that hate goes beyond this restoration goal. Instead, the goal of hate is to hurt and eliminate the hated target. Compared to anger, feelings of hate often involve deep and repeated violations of one’s (sense of) justice, which might explain a shift in focus: instead of observing an unjust situation caused by the other (anger), one observes an example of the other’s unjust nature (hate; Ortony, Clore, & Collins, 1988).

Although research on revenge is even scarcer than research on hate, the few studies that do exist seem to indicate that the experience of feelings of revenge (Elshout et al., 2015) is closely related to the experience of hate. Both hate and feelings of revenge are elicited by humiliation, seem to last longer than other emotions, and have the goal to apply suffering (Elshout et al., 2015Fischer et al., 2018). One might question whether “feelings of revenge” should be regarded as a separate emotion or whether this is actually an experience one would call hate. After all, it has been argued that revenge is an act of hate (Bar-Elli & Heyd, 1986). Unfortunately, recent studies measuring feelings of revenge did not include a measure of hate or compare characteristics of feelings of revenge and hatred (Elshout et al., 2015). Furthermore, studies measuring hate did not measure potential feelings of revenge.

Nonetheless, there are some indications that hate and feelings of revenge are not one and the same emotion. Elshout et al. (2015) suggest that feelings of revenge induce a focus on the self. That is, vengeful responses often result from offences that induce a self-threat, eliciting negative self-conscious emotions, such as shame and humiliation (Elison & Harter, 2007). Experiences of humiliation or ridicule can be regarded as an appraisal shared both by hate and feelings of revenge. However, it seems that hate is less likely to induce such a self-focus as compared to feelings of revenge. As mentioned previously, hate is an emotion with a focus on the innate nature of the other. It could therefore be argued that feelings of revenge involve an intrapersonal focus (Frijda, 1994), whereas hate involves an interpersonal focus. This might explain why revenge is typically an act that is performed by the person him/herself: in order to restore the self, one cannot let someone else do “the dirty work” (Bar-Elli & Heyd, 1986). When it comes to hate, it seems that others can perform “on behalf of” the person him/herself. For example, in cases of intergroup hatred directed at a particular outgroup, one member of the ingroup can perform a negative act towards the outgroup on behalf of the whole ingroup. In that sense, one could argue that feelings of revenge contain a more explicit personal aspect than hate (Bar-Elli & Heyd, 1986).

The self-focus that characterizes feelings of revenge is also important in explaining the enduring nature of both hate and feelings of revenge. On the one hand, hate generally lasts longer than other emotions because it is not so much a reaction to a specific event, but one that is based on the appraisals of the fundamental nature of the hated person (Fischer et al., 2018). On the other hand, feelings of revenge are generally a reaction to a specific event and last longer because they may involve more planning and there is not always an opportunity to act upon them. Research indeed seems to indicate that the opportunity for revenge is a key variable in differentiating whether feelings of revenge turn into behavior (Elshout, Nelissen, van Beest, Elshout, & van Dijk, 2017).

A synthesis of the literature described here makes clear why anger, feelings of revenge, and hate are judged as being closely related, but also suggests that what makes hate, anger, and feelings of revenge different is their focus. Anger focuses on changing/restoring the unjust situation caused by another person (e.g., van Doorn et al., 2014), feelings of revenge focus on restoring the self (e.g., Frijda, 1994), and hatred focuses on eliminating the hated person/group (e.g., Fischer et al., 2018). Though grounded in existing literature, future research is needed to empirically confirm the unique characteristics of these three emotions. Continue reading “Anger, Feelings of Revenge, and Hate”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS

What leads certain people to seek vengeance? Sadism

People who enjoy hurting others and seeing them in pain are more likely to seek revenge against those who have wronged them, according to a new study led by a Virginia Commonwealth University psychology professor.

The study, “Personality Correlates of Revenge-Seeking: Multidimensional Links to Physical Aggression, Impulsivity, and Aggressive Pleasure,” found that sadism is the dominant personality trait that explains why certain people are more likely than others to seek vengeance.

“We wanted to paint a picture of the personality of the type of person who seeks revenge. We’re all slighted in our daily lives, but some of us seek revenge and some of us do not. So what kind of person is the person who seeks vengeance?” said David Chester, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU. “The core of what we found is that the person who seeks revenge is a person who tends to enjoy it.”

The study, which will appear in a forthcoming edition of the journal Aggressive Behavior, was conducted by Chester and C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.

The researchers conducted three studies involving 673 students at the University of Kentucky in which participants filled out questionnaires that have been validated to predict a person’s real-life behavior. They were asked to say whether they agree or disagree to a variety of statements, such as “Anyone who provokes me deserves the punishment that I give” and “If I’m wronged, I can’t live with myself until I revenge.”

“A lot of people don’t want to admit to having certain traits or tendencies that aren’t really savory or socially acceptable, so you have to ask questions in a very specific way,” Chester said. “You’re not asking outright, ‘Are you a vengeful person?’ No one would say that they are. But instead you can use a little bit of subterfuge and get some insight.”

By gaining a deeper understanding of what drives certain people to seek revenge, researchers will be able to create profiles that could be used to identify those who are most likely to commit violence in the future and intervene.

“Not everyone when they’re wronged goes out and shoots up a school. Not everyone when they’re wronged starts a bar fight. But some people do. So identifying who is most at risk for seeking revenge is really important to do in order to intervene before they engage in harmful acts and start to hurt other people in retaliation,” Chester said.

“This type of information [revealed in the study] can be used to build a profile of the type of person to look out for,” he said. “If you know which individuals are most at risk of seeking vengeance against others, maybe you could intervene beforehand and prevent the acts of violence from ever happening in the first place.”

Chester, a leading scholar in the field of aggression research, runs the Social Psychology and Neuroscience Lab in VCU’s Department of Psychology, which aims to further our understanding of violent behavior, exploring the role of the brain and human psychology behind topics such as revenge, domestic abuse, psychopaths and related topics.

“Our real world goal is to reduce violence and to reduce aggressive behavior. The most common form of that is revenge,” Chester said. “When you ask murderers and terrorists and others who commit violence why they did what they did, the answer is frequently that they were seeking retribution for something that someone had done to them.”

“So if we’re trying to reduce aggression, we should start by trying to reduce revenge,” he said. “And one of the best ways to reduce revenge is to figure out who is most likely to do it.”

Continue reading “What leads certain people to seek vengeance? Sadism”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection

What Is Reverse Projection?

Reverse projection means even if you’re no longer in relationship with your abuser, you may still thing well of her rather than face the truth- she abused you.  Being realistic will help you to accept that yes, you were abused, yes, things were bad & yes, you have been adversely affected by it all.  Once you admit these things, & only then, can you begin to heal.


And if reverse projection helped you to accept responsibility for being abused, that will create plenty of problems in itself.  It’s unhealthy to accept responsibility for being abused because you did nothing wrong!  Doing so creates a root of toxic shame inside, & toxic shame creates so many problems.  It destroys your self esteem, it sets you up to be abused by others, it makes you unable to accept help when you need it & more.  You also are carrying the abuser’s shame when it’s not yours to carry.  That shame needs to be laid square on the abuser, never on the victim.  Whether or not the abuser carries her own shame is up to her, but it is never your responsibility to carry it! Continue reading “What Is Reverse Projection?”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Pseudologia Fantastica: A Fascinating Case Report

Using structural magnetic resonance imaging, Yang et al6 found a widespread increase in white matter (23%-36%) in orbitofrontal, middle, and inferior prefrontal subregions, and a 36% to 42% reduction in prefrontal grey/white ratios in liars.
This white matter increase may predispose some individuals to pathological lying.

Lack of attention, negligence,and abuse can contribute to individuals developing a
need to lie.
Narcissistic personality disorder is very similar to pseudologia fantastica in that the former often tells exaggerated stories about the self to obtain constant attention and approval from others and overcome the underlying inadequate sense of self. In pseudologia fantastica, the stories are even more extreme and often not even possible, whereas the narcissist tells stories that are within the bounds of reality.
Borderline personality disorder and pseudologia fantastica can both cause patients to lie and not be able to acknowledge the truth from falsehood. However, in pseudologia fantastica, the other prominent features of borderline personality disorder (eg, impulsivity, self destructive behaviors) are absent.
Histrionic personality disorder shows similar dramatization and the extreme need for attention found in pseudologia fantastica. However, the former also manifests other histrionic features such as inappropriate sexuality, seductiveness, selfdramatization, and suggestibility.
Pervasive developmental disorder, which can be a co-occurring disorder, can be differentiated from pseudologia fantastica in that the former, although it can involve the telling of stories, the stories have a more preservative quality than those stories of
a person with pseudologia fantastica.

Continue reading “Pseudologia Fantastica: A Fascinating Case Report”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Understanding Histrionic Personality Disorder

HPD is one of 10 personality disorders recognized in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). HPD is one of the Cluster B disorders, which are characterized as dramatic, overly emotional, and/or erratic.

The DSM-5 defines histrionic personality disorder as a pattern of extreme emotionality and attention-seeking behavior that begins by early adulthood and is obvious in different situations. In addition, you must have five or more of the following signs or symptoms to be diagnosed with HPD:2

  • Discomfort in situations in which you’re not the center of attention
  • Interaction with others that’s often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
  • Rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotion
  • Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
  • Style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
  • Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
  • Is easily influenced by others or by circumstances
  • Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are

People with HPD might be described as being overly dramatic, emotional, or attention-seeking. This pattern of behavior rises to the level of a clinical disorder when it significantly interferes with relationships, work, or other important domains in life. Continue reading “Understanding Histrionic Personality Disorder”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)

Patients with histrionic personality disorder continually demand to be the center of attention and often become depressed when they are not. They are often lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious and sometimes charm new acquaintances.

These patients often dress and act in inappropriately seductive and provocative ways, not just with potential romantic interests, but in many contexts (eg, work, school). They want to impress others with their appearance and so are often preoccupied with how they look.

Expression of emotion may be shallow (turned off and on too quickly) and exaggerated. They speak dramatically, expressing strong opinions, but with few facts or details to support their opinions.

Patients with histrionic personality disorder are easily influenced by others and by current trends. They tend to be too trusting, especially of authority figures who, they think, may be able to solve all their problems. They often think relationships are closer than they are. They crave novelty and tend to bore easily. Thus, they may change jobs and friends frequently. Delayed gratification is very frustrating to them, so their actions are often motivated by obtaining immediate satisfaction

Achieving emotional or sexual intimacy may be difficult. Patients may, often without being aware of it, play a role (eg, victim). They may try to control their partner using seductiveness or emotional manipulations while becoming very dependent on the partner.

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