Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)
Antisocial Personality disorder is a rare, but an extremely severe mental illness. It is a long-term chronic mental condition where a person’s ways of thinking, and observing situations/relating to others are dysfunctional and destructive. People with this illness do not know right from wrong and have no sense of remorse or any sign of guilt.
The first version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders otherwise known as DSM in 1952 listed sociopathic personality disturbance. Individuals to be placed in this category were said to be “…ill primarily in terms of society and conformity with the prevailing social environment, and not only in terms of personal discomfort and relations with other individuals”.
In 1968 Antisocial Personality was listed as one of ten personality disorders and in 1980 the DSM included the full term antisocial personality disorder and, as with other disorders, there was now a full checklist of symptoms focused on observable behaviors to enhance consistency in diagnosis between different psychiatrists. A chaotic family life contributes to the development to this personality disorder. When there is lack of supervision from parents or adult role models it increases the chances of having antisocial personality disorder. People with ASPD have a comparatively flat response to stress, they get less anxious than the average person, they have a harder time maintaining daytime arousal, and they also have a weak “startle reflex.” This relative insensitivity may affect their ability to distinguish reward from punishment. Some symptoms of ASPD are deception; such as lying or conning others for personal profit or pleasure, self-mutilation, irritability or aggressiveness, poor or abusive relationships, failure to learn from the negative consequences of behavior and/or consistent irresponsibility or failure to sustain consistent work behavior.
There are no medications specifically for ASPD. Although some doctors prescribe psychiatric medications such as antipsychotic, antidepressants, or mood stabilizing medications.
Psychotherapy also known as talk therapy is sometimes used for ASPD. Psychotherapy isn’t always effective especially if symptoms are severe and if the person can’t admit that he or she contributes to problems. Parole is rarely given to severe cases of ASPD, they believe that with the use of medication or the attendance to the psychotherapy classes can make the diagnoses worse and misuse of medications. Common sociopaths make up the majority of sociopathic personality disorders. The rarely use their conscious when making decisions that can affect other people. Many are prideful about their anti-authoritative nature. Generally, these people are satisfied with their lives and shirking any responsibility for their actions.
About 3-5 percent of men and about 1 percent of women have antisocial personality disorder, with much higher percentages among the prison population. Some examples of people with ASPD are Jeffrey Dahmer (The Milwaukee cannibal), Ted Bundy (The Lady killer), John Wayne Gacy (The killer clown), and Harold Shipman (Dr Death).