Antisocial personality disorder isn’t the same as psychopathy or sociopathy (in spite being commonly referred to as such). APD is defined by an often long-term pattern of ignoring the privileges of other people, which often times lead to crossing lines and disrespecting said rights. It is usually something that begins in childhood or as a teenager, but continues into a person’s adult life (at which point treatment can prove to be incredibly difficult). The result of this is typically impairment in their social and working lifestyles.
Studies show that individuals suffering from APD tend to lack a sense of empathy (the capacity to recognize emotions of another), which leads them to be callous, skeptical, and derisive of other peoples’ feelings, rights, and suffering. This has led to a common misconception that those with APD try to seclude themselves from the world, which isn’t the case. The majority of the symptoms of APD are as follows:
Studies also show that APD is 70% more prevalent in males than females. Still, whether they are male or female, the effects this disorder can have on one’s life is large and long-reaching. Unfortunately, there aren’t many treatments for this disorder outside of the basics.
The most common form of treatment for APD, along with other mental disorders, is years of extensive psychotherapy with a professional therapist that specializes in these types of disorders. In some cases, medication can be prescribed in order to help lessen the intensity of some of the symptoms the individual is experiencing.
The important thing to remember is that there is usually no one cause of a personality disorder, but rather, a cumulative stack. Also, keep in mind this is not a decision. It’s who they are; there is no “off button.”
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