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Antisocial Personality Disorder

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Medically Reviewed Sep 2022
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Your personality is your unique way of thinking, understanding, reacting, and relating to people.

What is antisocial personality disorder?

Antisocial personality disorder is:

  • A pattern of not caring about how your words and actions affect other people

It's much more common in men than women. People seem to get better as they get older.

People with this disorder may:

  • Harass others, destroy property, or break the law

  • Lie and take advantage of other people to get what they want

  • Lack empathy (not care about other people)

  • Ignore the rights and feelings of others

  • Make excuses for their bad behavior or blame it on others

  • Act aggressively or irresponsibly (for example, by suddenly quitting a job or not paying bills)

  • Not feel sorry for what they've done

  • Abuse drugs or alcohol

They may seem charming and convincing when trying to get what they want.

What causes antisocial personality disorder?

Antisocial personality disorder is probably caused by both:

  • Your genes (the genetic information passed to you from your parents)

  • Your experiences and upbringing, such as the way your parents treated you

Children with a conduct disorder Conduct Disorder Conduct disorder is: A behavior problem in which a child repeatedly breaks many laws and rules Misbehavior that's bad enough or frequent enough to cause significant problems for the child or... read more are more likely than other children to get antisocial personality disorder when they grow up. Abuse and neglect can increase the chance of the child having antisocial personality disorder as an adult.

How do doctors treat antisocial personality disorder?

Doctors use:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

  • Medicine

Children with conduct disorder should be treated so they don't grow up to have antisocial personality disorder.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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