6 Facts You Should Know About Antisocial Personality Disorders

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19 Jan 6 Facts You Should Know About Antisocial Personality Disorders

Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), often referred to as psychopathy or sociopathy in popular culture, is a personality disordered characterized by a long-standing pattern of a total disregard and violation of other people’s rights. Individuals with APD frequently lack empathy and tend to be callous and cynical of the feelings and sufferings of others. Furthermore, individuals with APD are usually cocky, self-assured and excessively opinionated. Keep reading to learn the facts that you should know about APD.


By Julie Klukas

  • It's Caused by Many Factors

    By Julie Klukas

    Researchers today [are unsure](http://psychcentral.com/disorders/antisocial-personality-disorder-symptoms/) about what exactly causes APD, but they do believe it's a combination of biological, environmental, social and genetic factors. This suggests that no single factor is responsible, but that a wide variety of factors play into one’s odds of developing APD. However, researchers [have found](http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antisocial-personality-disorder/basics/risk-factors/con-20027920) that men are far more likely to develop APD than women and that a traumatic childhood involving divorce, abuse or other forms of chaos increase one’s chances of developing APD.

  • It Has Many Different Symptoms

    By Julie Klukas

    APD is a very complex personality disorder made up of a large number of different symptoms and characteristics, [such as](http://psychcentral.com/disorders/antisocial-personality-disorder-symptoms/) a failure to conform to social norms, deceitfulness, aggressiveness, reckless disregard for safety for one’s self or others, a lack of remorse for hurting or mistreating another and a failure to learn the negative consequences of one’s own behavior.

  • APD is Not the Same as Other Personality Disorders

    By Julie Klukas

    Although APD falls under the personality disorders umbrella, it's important to note that all personality disorders are unique. For example, people who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder lack a sense of self, while people with avoidant personality disorder believe themselves to be inadequate and unworthy of social relationships.

  • APD Must be Diagnosed by a Doctor

    By Julie Klukas

    Because APD is a mental disorder, it cannot be self-diagnosed. Furthermore, APD cannot be diagnosed in anyone who is [under the age of 18](http://psychcentral.com/disorders/antisocial-personality-disorder-symptoms/) because teenagers often display behaviors that might be interpreted as APD. If you suspect you or a loved one may have APD, make an appointment with your family doctor

  • It Can be Prevented

    By Julie Klukas

    Doctors [have found](http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/04/06/surprising-myths-facts-about-antisocial-personality-disorder/) that 40% of boys and 25% of girls with conduct disorder — the childhood precursor to APD — have a high risk of developing APD as adults. However, research [has shown](http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/04/06/surprising-myths-facts-about-antisocial-personality-disorder/) that if these kids receive treatment and work with their families to help them recognize and prevent misbehavior, it’s possible that they will never develop APD.

  • APD Can be Difficult to Treat

    By Julie Klukas

    Those with APD can be resistant to treatment due to the nature of the personality disorder, but there is still hope for those struggling with this disorder. Long-term psychotherapy with an experienced therapist has [been found](http://psychcentral.com/disorders/antisocial-personality-disorder-symptoms/) to be effective in treating those with APD and some doctors find that medication can help with certain symptoms as well.  

Feature Image: Mikkel Schmidt

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