Antisocial personality disorder
Antisocial personality disorder can cause a host of potential problems for both patients and their family members. As with many personality disorders, an antisocial personality disorder can impact everyday functioning as well as relationships with others. Seeking treatment for those symptoms can help many patients manage the condition more effectively.
Characteristics of ASPD
People with an antisocial personality disorder may engage in a number of potentially damaging or reckless behaviors. They may show a general disregard for others’ rights and struggle with impulsivity.
1. Breaking the Law
Patients with antisocial personality disorder often break the law frequently because they do not care about social norms and pressures. They may also engage regularly in a number of behaviors that put them on the opposite side of the law, increasing the risk of incarceration.
2. Violent or Reckless Behavior
The violent or reckless behaviors associated with antisocial personality disorder can create a distinct danger to others around the patient. These patients may engage in reckless driving behaviors, ignore the safety of themselves and others around them, or deliberately attack others. Those damaging behaviors can emerge as a distinct pattern for many patients and may serve as one of the most obvious signs of a serious personality disorder.
Patients with an antisocial personality disorder often show clear signs of irresponsible behavior. They may fail to follow through on obligations, including obligations at work or school, or fail to think through the potential consequences of their actions ahead of time.
It may seem as though it takes relatively little to irritate patients with ASPD. These patients often have a hard time interacting with others, and may fly off the handle or show signs of anger at relatively minor stimuli.
Patients with ASPD often lie and manipulate in the effort to get what they want. It may prove very difficult to tell whether they have told the truth or created a web of lies, particularly due to their desire to escape consequences.
6. Lack of Remorse
One of the defining characteristics of antisocial personality disorder is the lack of remorse shown by those patients when they engage in damaging or reckless behaviors. They may see nothing wrong with those behaviors and decisions, which means that they may continue to act in the same inappropriate or dangerous ways even when presented with the harm they may have caused others.
Understanding an Antisocial Person
Dealing with an antisocial person can prove very difficult for family members and loved ones. First, it’s important to remember that ASPD is a mental health condition. While that does not necessarily mean that patients with ASPD are not responsible for their behavior, family members and loved ones should remember that those patients do not see anything wrong with their behaviors and may struggle to determine appropriate actions or interactions with loved ones.
Friends and family members of patients with antisocial personality disorder should try to show compassion in their interactions with that loved one. Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder can feel unsettling to friends and loved ones. However, by showing compassion, friends and family members can often create a deeper sense of connection with the antisocial loved one.
Set Clear Boundaries
Dealing with friends and loved ones with any type of personality disorder can prove very difficult to manage. Friends and family members may need to draw clear boundaries that will allow them to establish what they are comfortable with. For example, they may want to draw boundaries around what types of behavior you will permit or what types of activities you will do together. You may also need to specifically determine when you are willing to associate with those friends and family members.
Develop a clear understanding of what might trigger risky, dangerous, or explosive behavior in a loved one with antisocial personality disorder, and try to avoid those triggers when possible. By carefully avoiding those triggers, you can often decrease those risky behaviors in your presence.
Seeking treatment for antisocial personality disorder can help patients learn how to cope with the impact of those symptoms.
Talk therapy is a vital tool in the management of antisocial personality disorder. Patients with this disorder may benefit from help managing anger or violence as well as treatment that can help with any other underlying mental health conditions. Patients with an antisocial personality disorder often have traumatic experiences in childhood, including absent or abusive parents. Talk therapy can help patients process those past events and move forward more effectively.
In some cases, patients with antisocial personality disorder can benefit from group therapy sessions. During group therapy, many patients learn how to more effectively address the challenges they are facing and work through some of those issues with others who have faced similar circumstances.
Sometimes, a medication-based approach can help with the treatment of antisocial personality disorder. Medications can help ease some of the symptoms and allow patients to cope more effectively with their symptoms. Mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics can help with mental health treatment.
Personality Disorders Among Veterans
Personality disorders are fairly common among combat veterans. And many veterans diagnosed with PTSD suffer co-occurring symptoms of other mental health conditions, including personality disorders such as HPT.
Solara Mental Health in San Diego, California, has a contract with VA insurance which allows them to provide affordable mental health services to veterans. Solara offers treatment for personality disorders—including histrionic personality disorder—to veterans in need. With authorization, Solara can also provide transportation, housing, and other accommodations for veterans.
At Solara Mental Health, veterans can receive treatment for a variety of conditions and disorders, including antisocial personality disorder. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options, including what mental health services may be covered by the VA.