Antisocial Personality Disorder Therapy & Counselling
Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is a mental health disorder (often called a personality disorder) characterised by a pattern of disregard for the rights of other people as well as difficulties maintaining or sustaining long-term relationships.
Along with a history of rule-breaking which may involve frequently breaking the law, a lack of empathy for other people’s feelings is also common which can often be seen in impulsive or aggressive behaviours.
It has been suggested that antisocial personality disorder often appear before the age of 8 and 80% of those diagnosed will have shown the symptoms of ASPD by the time they reach 11 years of age.
Antisocial personality disorder remains a controversial diagnosis because much of what are classified as symptoms appear to be based on social norms and opinions of what acceptable social behaviour ought to look like.
For example, both Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King would have been diagnosed as mentally ill during the 1960’s (they both behaved in ways that those policing social behaviours would have deemed antisocial) which many people today might find a rather odd idea.
Antisocial Personality Disorder Symptoms
In order to meet the diagnostic criteria set out in the DSM manual, those with antisocial personality disorder must demonstrate at least three of the following behaviours:
- Failure to conform to social norms or laws.
- Deceitfulness and lying.
- Using aliases.
- Conning people for personal gain and pleasure.
- Impulsive behaviours.
- Irritability and aggressiveness.
- Reckless behaviors that disregard the safety of others.
- A Lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating somebody.
As with all mental health disorders, many of the symptoms associated with antisocial personality disorders can be seen across the entire population and do not indicate mental illness.
It is the frequency and severity of these symptoms that defines the difference between normality and pathology.
A certain degree of social conformance is, of course, necessary in order to maintain a social structure in which people can live their lives without fear but what is and what is not socially acceptable can be highly subjective.
Diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Technically, only a psychiatrist can diagnose an Antisocial Personality Disorder, but in the UK general practitioners have tended to diagnose mental health problems by using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
The DSM lists specific symptoms against a range of disorders and whenever a person meets this criteria, they are aid to be suffering from that disorder.
Diagnostic procedures do NOT make use of medical testing (for example blood tests) in order to produce a diagnosis, but rather is an opinion based on the observation of certain behaviours in the person who is suffering.
Because of this lack of verifiable medical testing, diagnosis remains a controversial subject, particularly within the psychological community.
However, in the UK access to support services is often contingent on receiving a diagnosis, so in this sense, a formal diagnosis may be useful.
Getting a Mental Health Diagnosis
Please be aware that Lee Psychology do not diagnose mental health disorders.
Our psychological counselling services do not require you to have been formally diagnosed but should you wish to obtain a formal mental health diagnosis, then please contact your GP who can arrange it for you.
FREE initial consultations
If you’d like to find out more about overcoming or recovering from Antisocial personality Disorder using a psychosocial approach, then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular problem, what it means to you and the potential solutions that are available.
We provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment without any obligation for you to commit to any psychotherapy programmes or sessions going forward.