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Signs and Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Signs and Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Personality Disorders significantly influence your thought patterns and behaviors. People who live with a Personality Disorder often struggle to relate to others, empathize in certain situations, and regulate their own emotions in a healthy and productive manner. As a result, Personality Disorders create challenges in your personal, professional, and social life.

Antisocial Personality Disorder affects relationships, responsibilities, and more. Identifying the signs and symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder is the key to better understanding this disorder and seeking the professional help you need. With this overview, learn more about how Antisocial Personality Disorder affects your life and why a Licensed Clinical Psychologist is a key to getting help.

What Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Many of the symptoms and challenges of Antisocial Personality Disorder revolve around impulsive, irresponsible, and aggressive behaviors. People with Antisocial Personality Disorder often partake in manipulative, deceitful, or reckless actions. As a result, this disorder can lead to relationship problems, criminal behaviors, and other adverse consequences.

Antisocial Personality Disorder often develops in childhood as a result of insecure attachment with primary caregivers and other traumas sustained in early life. It worsens as the individual grows older. That’s why it’s important to correctly identify the signs and symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder early, so patients can receive the compassionate care and evidence-based treatment they need.

Lack of Empathy

A lack of empathy is at the core of many of the thoughts and behaviors psychologists associate with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Empathy refers to our ability to understand and connect with other people’s feelings. Individuals who lack empathy don’t experience that understanding, bond, and connection, which means it’s easier for them to disregard other people’s emotions. The consequences of this can range from mild—such as not caring when you frustrate other people—to severe—such as a lack of remorse when you physically harm, exploit, or hurt others.

Disregarding Right and Wrong

Many people are not in the habit of doing the right thing all the time, but most people strive to make morally correct choices throughout their lives. However, individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder don’t feel the need to follow society’s ideas of right and wrong. This disregard for rules and responsibility leads to uncaring, reckless behaviors that often put the individual and those around them in danger.

Ignoring right and wrong also leads to a disregard for normal social behaviors. While this may not be dangerous, it can lead to ostracization and isolation. These, in turn, worsen mental health and can exacerbate symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder or other comorbid Mental Health Disorders.

Not Caring About Mistakes

People make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are how we grow and mature as human beings. However, this is only true if you can admit wrongdoings and learn from the past. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder struggle with or completely disregard the idea of reflecting on and learning from their mistakes or the desire to take corrective actions.

This inability to care about past wrongdoings prevents people with Antisocial Personality Disorder from learning, emotionally maturing, and growing. Moreover, Antisocial Personality Disorder often involves a dangerous lack of guilt or remorse, even if the mistakes put others’ feelings or safety at risk.

Sense of Arrogance and Entitlement

Arrogance and entitlement are other pronounced symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Individuals with this disorder are overly confident and extremely opinionated to compensate for their shortcomings and fragile ego. They might also harbor feelings of superiority and entitlement, which leads them to consistently value their own thoughts and opinions over everyone else’s.

These traits strain relationships and make it hard to interact with colleagues, friends, and family members. Feelings of arrogance, entitlement, and superiority also cause people with Antisocial Personality Disorder to blame others for their problems rather than evaluating their own actions and looking for ways to improve.

Habitual Lying, Deceit, or Manipulation

People with Antisocial Personality Disorder often use manipulation, charm, charisma, humor, and wit to get what they want. While this may not be intentional—a lack of empathy and disregard for society’s rules and norms can blur healthy boundaries and make it difficult to notice when they’ve treated others poorly.

This manipulation is not always aggressive, even though aggression is a common symptom of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Sometimes, the manipulation uses charm or wit to gain influence, leverage, or avoid responsibility and accountability. Understanding the different forms of manipulation and deceit is key to identifying the root cause behind these symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Difficulty Sustaining Relationships

Antisocial Personality Disorder also makes it difficult to sustain relationships—especially long-term, serious relationships. Arrogance, recklessness, impulsivity, inability to make meaningful bonds with other people, and a lack of empathy hinder the ability to connect with others and have equal, healthy relationships with coworkers, friends, family members, and significant others. This often stems from the ruptures in childhood attachment with parents and leads to the impairment in forming meaningful connections and relationships in adulthood. 

Disregarding Responsibilities

From meeting deadlines at work to taking care of a share of household chores, everyone faces different responsibilities during their day-to-day lives. However, various symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder impact the ability, initiative, and motivation necessary to take care of these responsibilities and stay accountable.

Disregarding professional, financial, and personal responsibilities stem from other symptoms like feelings of arrogance, entitlement, lack of initiative, comorbid mood disorders, or addiction issues, disregard for right and wrong, refusal to acknowledge past mistakes, and lack of empathy. As a result, individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder often come across as lazy, careless, or unreliable.

Poor Anger Management and Lack of Emotional Regulation

Antisocial Personality Disorder is associated with impulsivity, passive-aggressive anger, lack of emotional regulation, vindictiveness, or increased aggression, all of which result in poor anger management skills. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder often experience high levels of irritation, aggravation, and hostility. Furthermore, the inability to control anger often turns these feelings into outbursts of violence. This leads to many other signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder, including assault, intimidation, manipulation, deceit, or violent behaviors.

Trouble With the Law

Without professional help from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, the thought patterns and behaviors associated with Antisocial Personality Disorder can lead to criminal activities such as theft, assault, substance abuse, or domestic violence.

Because Antisocial Personality Disorder often develops at a young age, trouble with the law often begins as minor offenses like skipping school, bullying other kids, or being bullied by others, sexual abuse, committing small acts of vandalism, or animal abuse. However, these transgressions can grow as time goes on, leading to more serious crimes such as assault and other violent behavior.

Finding Help for Your Antisocial Personality Disorder

The symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder can make it difficult to seek treatment. However, undergoing treatment with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist is the only way to overcome these challenges and regain control over your life.

Dr. Blair is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Irvine who helps clients with evidence-based therapies and tailored treatment plans. Learn more about Antisocial Personality Disorder and how therapy can help when you contact Blair Wellness Group today.

Signs and Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

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