Everyone feels antisocial sometimes, but people with Antisocial Personality Disorder have an almost impossible time respecting or connecting with other people. Antisocial personality disorder is a psychiatric condition in which a person manipulates, exploits, or violates the rights of others. Antisocial Personality Disorder is a mental illness affecting up to one-percent of women and three to five-percent of men, in the United States, according to Mayo Clinic data. This behavior is often criminal. One of the biggest signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a persuasive disregard for right and wrong, and for society's norms. As such, people with this disorder often engage in criminal activity, resulting in frequent run-ins with the law. A person with antisocial personality disorder often lies, steals and causes fights with others. Another facet of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a blatant disregard for the rights and feelings of other people, which often manifests not only as lies, but also as deceit, often coupled with intimidation of others. Violent and aggressive behavior is typical. Often, a person with this disorder does not show any guilt for their actions. It's not surprising that it's almost impossible for someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder to engage in real intimacy with another person. Despite this, people with Antisocial Personality Disorder ARE very good at displaying superficial charm, and at flattering and manipulating others. Symptoms tend to peak during the late teenage years and early 20's. They may improve on their own by a person's 40's. Complications can include imprisonment and drug abuse, and Antisocial Personality Disorder can also often come hand-in-hand with other impulse control problems, like chronic gambling. Additionally, people with this illness often have additional mood disorders related to depression and anxiety. Antisocial personality disorder is one of the most difficult personality disorders to treat. People with this condition rarely seek treatment on their own. They may only start therapy when required to by a court. The effectiveness of treatment for antisocial personality disorder is not known. And in order to make accurate diagnoses, psychiatrists use a set of specific identifying guidelines laid out by the American Psychiatric Association. Aside from possessing a blatant disregard for the rights and feelings of others, a person cannot be diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder unless he or she is at least 18 years of age and has demonstrated symptoms of Conduct Disorder, like stealing or violence, before age 15. Even once diagnosed, it can be difficult to treat Antisocial Personality Disorder. This is largely because, by definition, people with the illness DO NOT CARE that they are causing pain and problems. If a person IS willing to receive treatment, it usually comes in the form of psychotherapy, or talk therapy. Occasionally, medications may be prescribed to treat certain SYMPTOMS of the condition, such as depression or mood instability.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012