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What is Antisocial Personality Disorder? ASPD Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is characterized by a pattern of disregard for the rights of others that leads to deceitfulness, impulsivity, and remorselessness. Individuals with ASPD are also likely to commit unlawful and potentially violent acts.ASPD affects about 1% to 4% of the population, and it is one of four Cluster B personality disorders, which include borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder1.ASPD may be diagnosed only after age 18, but the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) stipulates that symptoms must have occurred since age 15, with evidence of conduct disorder (CD) with onset before age 15.

At least three of the following symptoms must be apparent to merit an ASPD diagnosis:Though the DSM-5 symptoms above are used to diagnose ASPD, the following associated features may help clinicians support a diagnosis. These can include3:[Self-Test: Antisocial Personality Disorder]ASPD has been correlated with certain childhood disorders, most notably conduct disorder, which features in the DSM-5 criteria6.

However, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (CD) (ADHD) has also been correlated with ASPD, especially when impulsive symptoms dominate or in conjunction with conduct disorder7.Though ASPD is often conflated with sociopathy and psychopathy, they are distinct terms with different definitions. Sociopathy is a term formerly used to describe ASPD, but is no longer used by clinicians or the American Psychological Association, though it is sometimes used by researchers and the general public when referring to a pattern of antisocial behavior including lack of empathy and deceit.

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