In the world of psychology there are many psychological disorders that people suffer from. Antisocial personality disorder is one of many illnesses that a person can have. This disorder is also known as psychopathy or sociopathy. This illness is a mental health condition where a person has an extended pattern of manipulation, exploitation and violation of others rights. This behavior is considered to be criminal. According to PSYCH Central staff, ‘Antisocial personality disorder begins in childhood or as a teen and continues into their adult lives.’ (PSYCH Central, 2014). In this paper I will focus on explaining the symptoms, causes and treatment for antisocial personality disorder. It is very important that people know how to recognize this disorder to be able to treat it early and prevent any further problems.
There are different symptoms in a person with antisocial personality disorder. People with this disorder have the ability to act cheerful and charming. They are considered to be like a time bomb because of the fact that they can have an unexpected episode. A common symptom among the people who suffer this disorder is that they constantly break the law and do not show signs of remorse or culpability. Also, they are impulsive, compulsive liars, they get easily irritated and they constantly neglect their own and others safety. Another important symptom is that they are very good when it comes to manipulating others feelings. Those with this disorder may also present problems such as chronic boredom, compulsive need to gamble, and drug and alcohol abuse. Since they present many sudden changes in the behavior and a lack of many senses, they are more likely to commit suicide.
The specific origin that can cause this disorder is unclear because each person can present a combination of different characteristics and can only be discovered after rigorous sessions and intensive studies about the patient’s history. According to PSYCH Central Staff, ‘There are many theories, however, about the possible causes of are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors and psychological factors.’ (PSYCH Central, 2014). To understand this, we can divide it in two parts, genetics and external causes. When we talk about external causes, we can refer to the environment that the people with this disorder had in the past like parents or relatives with alcohol or drug problems, grown in specific urban environment where both violence and child abuse dominates. Another cause could be children who had a very permissive familiar environment without clear rules of education or children who have been educated too freely without any supervision of the parents. According to a publication from Harvard health ‘Genetic (inherited) or biological factors. Researches have found certain physiological responses that may occur more frequently in people with antisocial personality disorder. For example, they have a comparatively flat response to stress. They seem to get less anxious than the average person.’ (Harvard Health Publications). Another important aspect that the publication of Harvard health highlight is that ‘Antisocial personality disorder is probably caused by a combination of factors. Having any of theses characteristic does not necessarily mean that a person has antisocial personality disorder.'(Harvard Health Publications).
The disorder of antisocial personality is one of the most difficult disorders to treat because people with this condition rarely seek treatment on their own. Indeed, some people with this condition sometimes just get better by their own as they approach their 40’s. However, many psychotherapy techniques have been proposed to treat this disorder. In younger people, the intervention of the family or group of psychotherapy may help to change the destructive behavior. By doing this it also helps them to regain a professional life and to improve the ability to be related with others. Another technique to treat this disorder is the ‘cognitive therapy’. Kendra Cherry is a psychology expert who states, ‘Cognitive behavior therapy is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behavior.’ (Cherry, 2005, BABCP). In some cases where the patient presents depression, aggressiveness, irritability and anxiety it can be treated with medication, but there are many question about how effective these techniques can be with this type of disorder because many of the affected do not recognize that they have a problem. It is more likely that the treatment will be successful if it’s started as soon as possible, but the way they think and their behavior are difficult to change.
It is very important that people know how to recognize this disorder to be able to treat it early and prevent future problems. However, there are so many people with this disorder who do not recognize it and does not try to find a treatment or psychological help by their own that make it more difficult, but what really matters is that relatives, friends, co-workers and each of us must be educated about this disorder to help and find them a solution because many of the cases with this disorder that people overlock or they simply do not pay attention end which makes them at the end have violent and depressing endings. Antisocial personality disorder is a mental illness that have symptoms, causes and most important a variety of treatments that can be effective in helping those people who suffer from it.
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