In a class of 20 students, there was something different about one of the students. She was always by herself and uttered no words to her classmates. She gets upset so easily and has no friends.
This student often isolates herself, breaks rules, and heeds no advice. “She was lost mentally,” her peers criticized! In the global world, there are millions of children, adolescents, teenagers, and adults who behave similarly to the aforementioned students. This behavior is a disorder known as antisocial personality disorder.
If there’s anyone displaying this behavior around you, such a person needs help. Irrespective of their barbaric way of life, since they are humans, they can be tamed. It is crucial to get acquainted with the early-stage symptoms in order to prevent them before they escalate.
Understanding Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by a pattern of disregard for the rights of others, impulsivity, and a lack of empathy. Personality disorder affects the way a person behaves or thinks. All the research conducted to ascertain the cause of this disorder proved abortive.
Symptoms Of ASPD
The following are behaviors exhibited by a person with ASPD:
- Being physically aggressive
- Behaving recklessly.
- Blaming others for their problems
- Breaking of laws.
- Breaking properties.
- Being manipulative and deceiving others.
- Displaying no remorse for hurtful actions.
What Leads To ASPD?
Since there is no specific cause of antisocial personality disorder, there are various factors that help determine what contributes to this disorder.
Early Life Factors
- Genetics: studies have shown that genetics plays a role in the development of ASPD. Someone with a family history of this disorder is more likely to develop it. Genetic susceptibility might influence aspects of temperament and personality that contribute to antisocial behaviors.
- Childhood environment: a violent upbringing can contribute to the development of ASPD. When a child is exposed to childhood abuse, neglect, and inconsistent parenting, it can foster antisocial tendencies. It is vital for parents to know that early exposure of a child to violence and a lack of positive vibes can shape a child’s behavior and create room for this personality disorder.
- Irascible traits: some children exhibit temperamental traits that may predispose them to ASPD. These traits include impulsivity, irritability, and a lack of fear or anxiety in response to punishment or consequences.
- Conduct disorder: many individuals diagnosed with ASPD in adulthood had a history of conduct disorder in childhood. These behaviors include persistent patterns of aggressive or antisocial behavior in children and adolescents.
- Personality traits: certain personality traits such as lack of empathy, manipulativeness, and deceit are common in individuals with ASPD. These traits can make it difficult for them to form healthy relationships.
- Peer group influence: “Bad association can spoil useful habits,” the Bible advises. Associating with delinquent peers can reinforce antisocial behavior and contribute to a deviant lifestyle, leading to the development of ASPD.
- Substance abuse: people who engage in substance abuse may exhibit impulsive and reckless behaviors, which can further worsen their antisocial lives, resulting in ASPD.
- Brain structure and development: Research reveals that abnormalities in the brain and functions may be associated with ASPD. Areas of the brain responsible for impulse control, emotional processing, and moral decision-making may be compromised in individuals with this disorder.
- Neurotransmitters: imbalances in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine have been linked to impulsivity and aggression, which are common traits in ASPD.
Management And Treatment
There is no specific treatment for ASPD. Therapies like medication and psychotherapy can help alleviate and manage some behaviors. Studies show that symptoms of ASPD worsen around the ages of 24 to 44 years and are then likely to improve at 45 years.
Medications For ASPD
Medication helps people with aggression, depression, or erratic moods alongside ASPD. Below are medications healthcare providers can recommend:
- Antidepressants regulate serotonin levels in the brain; examples include sertraline and fluoxetine.
- Antipsychotics can control violent behaviors. Examples include risperidone and quetiapine.
- Mood stabilizers help manage mood swings. Examples include lithium and carbamazepine.
The exact cause of ASDP is a subject of ongoing research. Anyone with this disorder should not be neglected; rather, the person should be supported at an early stage with medication and therapy to help in managing and mitigating the impacts.