There is no cure for antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Doctors typically recommend a combination of medicines and psychotherapy to help manage harmful thoughts and behaviors.

ASPD is a mental health condition that causes people to display dangerous behaviors without signs of remorse. A person with this condition may be reckless, manipulative, irrespective, or aggressive toward other people.

Doctors do not know the exact cause of ASPD, so there is no specific cure for this condition.

Specialists often recommend that people with ASPD undergo psychotherapy and take medications to reduce the risk of having aggressive or impulsive behaviors and help manage unhealthy thoughts.

This article will explain antisocial personality disorder, how doctors treat it, its symptoms, and its causes.

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Currently, there is no cure for ASPD. However, treatment options for helping people manage this condition are available. Specialists typically recommend a combination of psychotherapy and medical treatment.

Doctors usually prescribe medications to help manage symptoms of ASPD such as mood changes, impulsivity, and aggression. The medications for ASPD may include:

  • antidepressants to help regulate serotonin levels in the brain, including fluoxetine and sertraline
  • mood stabilizers, such as lithium and carbamazepine, to manage severe changes in behavior and mood
  • antipsychotics, including quetiapine and risperidone, to handle aggression and violent behavior

Psychotherapy may help people with ASPD manage certain aspects of their condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and skills training can help individuals improve their behavior and help them notice how their actions can affect other people.

Psychotherapy can also help people with ASPD improve how they process their thoughts and treat other existing co-occurring mental health conditions that can emerge in people with this personality disorder — such as conduct disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What is ASPD?

ASPD is a challenging chronic and long-life mental health condition. A person may display behavior that appears manipulative, irresponsible, reckless, and impulsive, though it is important to remember that this is a personality disorder.

It can distort a person’s thought process, causing a sense of social irresponsibility which can result in harmful behaviors without feeling remorse.

People with ASPD do not typically display any regard for other people’s feelings or the violation of their rights. ASPD may result in delinquent conduct and criminal behavior without showing any signs of guilt.

Learn more about ASPD.

ASPD can manifest in several ways. People with ASPD may repeat certain actions or display symptoms of their mental health condition. This may include:

  • the failure to abide by the law
  • the inability to consistently maintain a job or remain employed
  • manipulating other people to have personal gains
  • an inability to create or maintain stable relationships
  • repeatedly having arrogant or angry behavior with other people
  • having substance misuse disorders
  • disregarding own and other people’s safety
  • frequently lying
  • being involved in fights
  • regularly stealing or being involved in criminal activities

Learn more about personality disorders.

People with ASPD do not typically seek any help as they may not think there is anything wrong with the way they behave and may not understand the effect that their actions have on other people.

If an individual notices a loved one shows any symptoms or signs of ASPD, they should contact a healthcare professional.

Doctors can help people with ASPD treat their symptoms and manage their impulsivity and aggression, reducing their risk of putting themselves or other people in danger.

Specialists can also teach coping strategies to the family and friends of a person with ASPD to help them protect themselves when their loved one displays aggression or other symptoms of their mental health condition.

Doctors do not know the exact cause of ASPD. Specialists think it may develop due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

People who have a guardian or a parent with alcohol use disorder (AUD) or ASPD have a higher risk of developing this condition. Having experienced a difficult childhood, including neglect and child sexual or physical abuse, can also increase the risk of developing ASPD.

However, genetics plays an important role in the onset of APD. Between 38–69% of cases of ASPD stem from genetics. Researchers have found a link between having ADHD or conduct disorder during childhood and having an increase in the risk of developing ASPD in adulthood.

Doctors have noticed that ASPD can also co-occur alongside other mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, substance use disorder, and bipolar disorder, suggesting genetics is an important factor in the development of ASPD.

It is also three times more prevalent in people assigned male at birth. It is estimated that APD affects between 0.6 and 3.6% of adults worldwide.

Family and friends of a person with ASPD can find help from mental health specialists and ASPD support groups, such as through Mental Health America.

Specialists can teach people how to protect themselves and establish boundaries that can help deal with people with this condition. Doctors can also make a referral to a specialist in ASPD management or recommend a support group that helps people who have a loved one with ASPD.

ASPD is a lifelong mental health condition that causes people to act with impulsive and aggressive behavior. People with ASPD may exhibit manipulative and reckless behavior without showing any remorse.

There is no cure for ASPD, but treatment options for managing symptoms are available. The treatment for ASPD typically includes a combination of psychotherapy and medical treatment to reduce aggressive and impulsive behavior.

Doctors do not currently know the causes of ASPD. However, it is thought this may occur due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as neglect and child abuse.