The 10 Personality Disorders: Antisocial Personality Disorder

This post is intended to list characteristics of personality disorders, causes & treatments.

*These are characteristics often observed in a personality disorder though every feature may not apply to each specific personality disorder. Appreciate what is of value to you in this post and leave the rest.

Individuals with a personality disorder often experience chronic, pervasive difficulty with relationships, impulse control, & emotions. The features may be present in childhood, often become prominent in teen years, but often a diagnosis is withheld until adulthood.  Typically, a personality disorder is in sync with one’s ego. Due to this the person may lack self-awareness and externalize the problems associated with their personality disorder. Personality disorders can co-occur.

In order for a diagnosis a person must exhibit difficulty in at least one of the four, (among other criteria specific to the personality disorder);

  • Distorted thinking
  • Problematic emotional responses
  • Over or under regulated impulse control
  • Interpersonal difficulties

Data supports that any person with a personality disorder is more likely to have a substance use disorder. Though, sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate which is causing the other. Personality disorders should be diagnosed with caution.

Personality disorders are grouped into clusters based on common similarities;

Cluster A: Social withdrawal or awkwardness driven by distorted thinking

Cluster B: Dramatic, impulsive and emotional thinking/behavior

Cluster C: Driven by fear

Antisocial Personality Disorder

[Cluster B]


Synonyms for Antisocial Personality Disorder are sometimes terms like ‘sociopath’ and ‘psychopath’, though those are both unofficial terms & they do not necessarily equate to this personality disorder.

“what is antisocial personality disorder?”

  • Common among personality disorders
  • More common in those born male
  • Symptoms typically peak in the person’s 20s , tend to improve after age 45
  • Ignores rights of others
  • May be prone to suicidal and/or homicidal ideations
  • May treat others harshly or manipulate
  • Perceived as not having guilt or remorse
  • Ability to be charming
  • Tendency for impulsivity, violence, lying
  • Poor relationships
  • Inability to tolerate discomfort
  • May be viewed as a bully
  • Fail to fulfill obligations
  • Common co-occurring disorders include
    • Conduct disorder
    • ADHD
    • Substance use disorder
    • Gambling addiction
  • Reckless
  • Callous, harsh, Cynical
  • Uses intimidation


Genetics and chemicals in the brain can be attributed to the causes of antisocial personality disorder. Often there are environmental factors; poor role models, lack of discipline, trauma and abuse can contribute. Not uncommon to have caregiver(s) with alcoholism.


Therapy & Medication

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy DBT

Support groups | Help to understand how to relate to others, skill building for social and emotional responses

Group therapy | May find solace in others with environmental factors that contributed

Family therapy | Can support family members, help them become more supportive and more constructive

Medications | Most common are antidepressants & low doses of anti-psychotics for the treatment of antisocial personality disorder

Antipsychotics | Specifically Seroquel & Risperdal can be particularly helpful. Antipsychotics can help control symptoms like aggression and violence.

Mood Stabilizers | Lithium and Tegretol for example can help control the severe mood shifts.

Jeffrey Dahmer or the Milwaukee Cannibal is an infamous criminal known for killing and raping (and occasionally eating) at least 15 boys and was thought to have Antisocial Personality Disorder


“It is now over. This has never been a case of trying to get free. I didn’t ever want freedom. Frankly, I wanted death for myself. This was a case to tell the world that I did what I did, but not for reasons of hate. I hated no one. I knew I was sick or evil or both. Now I believe I was sick. The doctors have told me about my sickness, and now I have some peace. I know how much harm I have caused… Thank God there will be no more harm that I can do. I believe that only the Lord Jesus Christ can save me from my sins… I ask for no consideration.” Jeffrey Dahmer

More on Jeffrey Dahmer

“Antisocial personality disorder does not equate to psychopathy. Although most individuals with psychopathy would qualify for an antisocial personality disorder diagnosis, the converse is not true. Many more individuals qualify for an antisocial personality disorder diagnosis than have psychopathy.” Essi Viding

Those with personality disorders are not inherently bad.

More on Antisocial Personality Disorder

For the other 9 personality Disorders or other mental health topics visit