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asocial or antisocial person

An asocial or antisocial personality is a personality disorder. Its symptoms can be more or less severe. It is difficult for someone close to the person to do anything about it because the antisocial person is not aware that he or she has a problem and manipulates others.

What is an asocial or antisocial person?

The asocial or antisocial personality (also known as dyssocial personality or sociopath) is a personality disorder characterised by an indifference to or rejection of social norms and cultural codes and a chronic transgression of the rights and personhood of others.

There is an older term still in common use for the sociopath with a serious pathology or thought disorder: psychopathic personality.

The main criterion for an antisocial personality is the person's limited ability to feel human emotions, whether it is their own emotions or those of others. Researcher Hare explains that what they lack "are all the qualities in a human being to live in social harmony".

The main characteristics of the asocial or antisocial personality are the following

the person is unable to experience emotions and to guess those of others:

  • rejects social norms
  • has a tendency to cheat and lie
  • acts impulsively and is unable to plan her actions
  • is irritable and aggressive
  • unable to maintain a stable job and a stable relationship
  • is not remorseful for the abuse of another person
  • disregard for their own safety and the safety of others

The main psychiatric complications of this disorder are drug abuse.

The causes of antisocial personality are unknown but genetic, biological and environmental factors are suspected. Childhood abuse is thought to be involved.

It is interesting to know that antisocial manifestations are present from childhood. They are manifested by severe anger, aggression towards other children and animals, and early opposition to parents.

This personality disorder is relatively common in men it affects 3% of men compared to 1% of women.

Asocial: how to get out of it?

An asocial or antisocial personality requires a long therapy combining psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapies, antidepressants and psychotropic drugs.

It is a difficult disorder to treat and treatments are aimed at reducing aggression and impulsiveness, mainly to prevent legal problems.

How to help an antisocial relative?

People who are antisocial rarely seek help on their own because they think they are fine. It is often the justice system that forces them to see a therapist.

Asocial personality is diagnosed like other personality disorders using the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

It is difficult to help an antisocial loved one because antisocial personalities are manipulative and unaware that they have a personality disorder.

R.I. Simon describes sociopaths or antisocials as "predators". Other researchers explain that psychopaths "use charm, manipulation, intimidation and violence" to control others and get what they want. Hare explains that with the lack of conscience and empathy, they will go after what they want, breaking social norms without guilt or remorse.

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