When people hear the word ‘antisocial’, the initial image that pops into their head is that of a shy person who is afraid of initiating social interaction. However, that is not what antisocial means in the context of a commonly seen disorder, called antisocial personality disorder. The media regularly talks about a slew of mental disorders, most common ones being anxiety and depression. However, many other problematic disorders are often ignored. ASPD, or Antisocial Personality Disorder is one of them.
ASPD affects approximately 3.6% adults in the United States, making it quite common in the general population. Despite its high prevalence, people have no idea what the disorder is actually about. It is a disorder that involves a pattern of socially irresponsible, exploitative, and guiltless behaviour. As a matter of fact, those with this ASPD initially seem like any other person, but gradually move to lying, acting impulsively, breaking laws, and disregarding others and their safety. They tend to lack empathy and usually show no remorse for their actions, which makes it difficult to show sympathy for them.
A person with antisocial personality disorder starts showing symptoms during childhood - they tend to be rule breakers, who may have no problems lying to their friends and parents for stealing. The exact condition, however, can't be diagnosed until early adulthood.
Some common symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder are:
- Repeated lying
- Conning others for personal benefit
- Lack of empathy and remorse
- No regard for the safety of oneself and others
- Irresponsibility at work and home
While there are no such preventive methods to stop ASPD from developing, catching the disorder early in childhood and providing timely therapy can help in further worsening of the situation. ASPD continues to cause problems in terms of its adverse consequences for the people around the person suffering from the disorder, and law enforcement and criminal justice. Now more than ever, there is a need for generating awareness around the disorder and studying it in more depth to identify how it can be stopped from developing.