Understanding Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder

Treatment for antisocial personality disorder can be challenging, but there are ways to manage the condition and its associated symptoms. Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) can affect the way a person thinks, behaves, and how they relate to others.

People with ASPD often have trouble following social norms and laws, leading to challenges that may affect their day-to-day lives. Sometimes, it can result in job difficulties, financial problems, and even trouble with the law.

Treatment for Antisocial personality disorder can be a difficult task because most people with the condition don’t tend to seek treatment on their own, believing their behaviors aren’t objectively wrong. Some may seek treatment after their behaviors and actions begin to affect them or someone else negatively. For example, if they’re facing incarceration.

Others with ASPD seek treatment for a co-occurring condition, such as depression or substance use disorder.

ASPD is complex to control but treatable. Therapy and other therapies help people understand and control their illness. ASPD sufferers can have satisfying lives and lower their risk of harming themselves and others with support.

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is a mental health condition characterized by a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others. People with ASPD often have a persistent disregard for the law and the rights of others, leading to behaviors that can be harmful or dangerous.

Key Characteristics of ASPD

Key Characteristics of ASPD

People with antisocial personality disorder may be much slower to catch on to the feelings and emotions of others or may just feel no remorse for their own actions and behavior.


Often, those who have ASPD experience a lack of control over themselves and act impulsively without consequences. In sum, we all have our own experiences and stories that shape our lives.


People with ASPD in this case could use deceit, manipulation, or lies to serve their interests.


Aggression, as well as propensities for committing violent acts, are things that are frequently seen in people who have ASPD.

ASPD can make it hard to sustain relationships and work, causing financial instability and social isolation. Due to their lawlessness, they may also face legal issues. ASPD affects families, communities, and society. Understanding ASPD prevalence and impact is essential for creating appropriate interventions and support for sufferers.
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How Common is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is estimated to affect approximately 1% to 4% of adults in the United States. This prevalence rate suggests that ASPD is relatively uncommon compared to other mental health disorders. However, the impact of ASPD can be significant, both for individuals living with the disorder and for society as a whole.

Diagnosis and Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

ASPD sufferers may not seek help, making diagnosis difficult. Mental health specialists usually only notice them when their behavior causes legal or social problems. Mental health professionals may do a full assessment to diagnose ASPD, including:

Psychological Evaluation: Clinicians ask about symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and actions. They may also ask about family and personal medical history.

Diagnostic Criteria: The clinician will use the DSM-5 to determine if the patient has ASPD. A pervasive pattern of contempt for and violation of others’ rights is evidenced by at least three of the following:

  1. Multiple arrestable acts show failure to follow social norms.
  2. Repeated lying, use of aliases, or deception for personal gain or enjoyment.
  3. Impulsivity or bad planning.
  4. Repeated physical battles or assaults indicate irritability and aggression.
  5. Inconsiderate of others’ safety.
  6. Failure to maintain job conduct or pay bills shows chronic irresponsibility.
  7. Unremorse, as in not caring or rationalizing hurting, mistreating, or stealing.

Common Symptoms and Behaviors Associated with ASPD

  • Continued dislike for others’ rights.
  • Ignoring others’ feelings, needs, and safety.
  • Habit of deception or manipulation.
  • Impulsiveness and uncontrollability.
  • Violence or aggression.
  • Disregard for self or others’ safety.
  • Unreasonable behavior, like missing a job or financial obligations.
  • Disregard for unpleasant effects.

Antisocial Personality Disorder: What Causes It?

Healthcare providers don’t know the cause of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Research reveals genetic, biochemical, and environmental variables may influence it.

ASPD can be caused by brain biology. ASPD may cause aberrant serotonin levels, which regulate mood and emotions. Changes in serotonin levels may cause ASPD.

Genetics can potentially cause ASPD. While the disorder’s genes have not been found, research shows that people with a family history of ASPD are more likely to develop it. Studies are investigating how genetic genes and environmental and upbringing variables interact to cause ASPD.

Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder

Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder

There is a therapy treatment for antisocial personality disorder that can assist and manage symptoms of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Here are several therapies to try:

Parent Management Training (PMT)

This therapy teaches antisocial and violent kids new skills. Parents study socialization and behavior tactics and principles. PMT uses role-play, practice, and other ways to improve behavior in various settings.

Contingency Management (CM)

CM works well for ASPD patients with substance use issues. CM clients may get money or privileges for abstinence, encouraging medication and treatment compliance.

Schema Therapy

This therapy addresses harmful thought patterns and improves relationships using CBT, attachment object relations therapy, and other methods.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps ASPD patients discover and improve negative patterns like black-and-white thinking and catastrophizing. It teaches how to regulate these habits and improve daily functioning.

Attachment Object Relations Therapy 

Addresses attachment styles and promotes healthier relationship dynamics.


DBT helps ASPD people manage powerful emotions and reduce self-harm. It improves awareness, emotional management, interpersonal skills, and discomfort tolerance.

Talk Therapy

Psychotherapy can help ASPD-related anxiety and despair. The area is safe for discussing addiction, relationships, and interpersonal skills.

Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder

There is no well-established treatment for antisocial personality disorder, but some of the major symptoms, including impulsive behavior, violence, and emotional inconstancy, may be considered possible for therapy. 

There can be a wide range of these, which can be divided into antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics. ASPD is treated first through psychotherapy and then the medication is decided upon depending on the effectiveness of psychotherapy in treatment.

What Kinds of Drugs Are Used To Help With The Treatment of Antisocial Personality Disorder?

There is no FDA-approved antisocial personality disorder medicine. However, some drugs can treat disorder symptoms like aggression, sadness, and mood swings. Common ASPD drugs include:

Antidepressants regulate brain serotonin levels to improve mood and lessen aggressive or impulsive behavior. For ASPD, sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine may be recommended.

Antipsychotics can reduce ASPD-related violence. Risperdal and quetiapine are antipsychotics.

Mood stabilizers control severe mood or behavior changes. They calm the mood and minimize impulsivity. Lithium and carbamazepine are ASPD mood stabilizers.

Final Verdict

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a complex mental health problem that involves disregarding and violating others’ rights. It can affect relationships, work, and law, influencing society. Treatment for Antisocial personality disorder may not be the easiest task, but doing it by a team of specialists collaboratively can be effective for symptom management. A collaborative team might include:
  • A psychological specialist.
  • a nursing staff or a healthcare staff with a counselor-type of training for mental health issues or problems.
  • Perhaps as a member of the clinic or as a family doctor.
  • Family support.
  • A pharmacist.

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