Developing and Overcoming Antisocial Personality Disorder

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Biology 202
2002 Third Paper
On Serendip

Developing and Overcoming Antisocial Personality Disorder

Shannon Lee

Personality disorders are among the most difficult disorders to be diagnosed and treated in psychology. The highly ingrained behaviors of the disorders, the difficulty in differentiating between normalcy and illness, and the patients lack of understanding and excepting their symptoms as abnormal, are all contributing obstacles of the disorder.

Personality is shaped by experiences during childhood and adolescence as well as genetics. Therefore, children that develop mental disorders are more likely to develop personality disorders as adults. Conduct disorder in children has been highly linked to the development of antisocial personality disorder in adults. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) suggests, but does not require, a history of conduct disorder when making an antisocial personality diagnosis (1). Not only is there a high correlation between people having the disorders, but conduct disorder seems to be a preliminary childhood manifestation of the same underlying malfunctions that are characteristic of the adult disorder, antisocial personality disorder. When looking at the development and causes of antisocial personality disorder it is important to note the symptoms, characteristics, and circumstance of conduct disorder as well.

Conduct disorder, a childhood behavior disorder described by the DSM, is characterized by chronic misbehavior. The children and adolescence often participate in serious physical fighting, alcohol and drug abuse, violation of parental and school rules, vandalizing and setting fires, and many other antisocial behaviors. These children, unless adequately treated, have a 50% rate of becoming involved with drugs and criminal behavior during adolescence. They also have a 75%-85% rate of being chronically unemployed as adults. Many of these children, about 40%, grow up to have antisocial personality disorder (2).

Antisocial personality disorder is a Axis II DSM recognized disorder under the personality disorder category that has earned separation from the acute psychological disorders of Axis I. This is the most common disorder among the personality disorders: between 2.3%-3.3% of the population is diagnosed some time in their lives, it crosses all ethnicity's, and is five times more commonly diagnosed in males than in females. The main symptoms of this disorder are, a tendency to develop maladaptive behaviors that diverge or violate from societal norms, and they have a severe difficulty developing and keeping positive relationships. The characterization of antisocial personality disorder is very similar to that of conduct disorder, but the symptoms are manifested in different ways. These people tend to be cold, uncaring, and can be maliciously cruel at times. They feel very little guilt for their actions, believing they are always faultless. They will often pretend to care and be pleasant until they succeed in getting what they want. They often have extreme personality traits of arrogance, impatient, low tolerance of frustration, and poor impulse control. These characteristics are transient and chronic, often effecting the individual, their family, and the community negatively (3).

The poor impulse control, lack of patience, and uncaring attitude, cause the people with the disorder to have trouble staying in relationships such as marriage. They have difficulty staying employed and doing anything that requires a routine. This extreme personality characteristics is related to criminal activity, violent death due to extreme daring behavior, and suicide attempts (3).

When analyzing this disorder one is likely to wonder, what causes the symptoms of the disorder to develop and how, if at all, the disorder can be overcome? What factors are responsible for 2.3%-3.3% of the population developing these abnormal characteristics and personality extremities to the point of being "disordered?" After much thought and consideration of argumentative suggestions for different causes of the disorder, I have come to the conclusion that it is due to a variation of three main influential factors.

The first influential factor to be discussed that is important in the development of personality disorders, such as conduct disorder and antisocial disorder, is genetic and biological contributions and characteristics that make certain people more likely to develop this disorder than others. There have been many studies done that show ample support for genetic influence in the development of antipersonality disorder. These studies show that criminals with antisocial personality have criminal records more like their biological fathers than their adopted fathers, which supports that the disorder runs in families. Also twins that are identical have a 50% concordance rate of the development of the disorder, as opposed to only a 20% concordance with twins that are not identical (4).

Hormones and neurotransmitters also play a vital role in supporting the biological connection with the disorder. The disordered displaying symptoms of impulsivity and aggression have naturally lower levels of adrenaline in their blood when calm and excited. Adrenaline is a hormone released in higher amounts when the sympathetic system responds to excitable stimuli, such as anxiety, pressure, danger, and joy. Possibly, the variance of this hormone attributes to some symptoms showed by the disordered. The lack of adrenaline, stimulation, might cause the disordered to becomes easily bored and attempt to seek thrills by more dangerous and extreme measures in order to obtain arousal and excitement. This lower hormone concentration also supports reasoning for antisocial and dangerous behavior, because one who is not as stimulated in dangerous situations with fear and anxiety, would feel less aversion to initiating and participating in these situations (5).

Neurotransmitters such as serotonin have been targeted in connection with the disorder. Higher levels of serotonin in the blood have been found in correlation with antisocial personality types. Newborns with a family history of antisocial personality disorder have lower levels of serotonin in the brain at birth than normal infants (AJP CSF). Other findings have also shown that there is decreased serotonin functioning in those with antisocial disorder and those who have high susceptibility to the disorder, but further studies are being done to try and understand the dysfunction (6).

About 60% of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) also develop conduct disorder, and then many of these people go on to develop antisocial personality disorder (1). There are neurological differences in the brains of those with ADHD, deficits in executive functioning. The high comorbidity suggests that there are also differences in the brains of those who develop the personality disorders. Both those diagnosed with ADHD and the personality disorders have a primary deficit in the ability to control impulsiveness and behaviors, which also suggests that the neurological problem may be the same for all of the disorders.

Although, personality disorders are the most difficult of the psychological disorders to treat, there are certain methods used and others in progress by the scientific world today. To treat the biological symptoms, such as low levels of serotonin and the high comorbidity found with ADHD, medications are often prescribed. The most effective drug so far for the disorder is lithium, which decreases the impulsively and hyperactivity of the disordered. Stimulants such as Adderall can be given to treat similar symptoms, and they also increase concentration levels. These drugs have only been approved for treating those with ADHD diagnosis. Antidepressive drugs, such as MAOIs and SSRIs that influence serotonin levels, are starting to be used in the treatment of the disorder. Their efficacy has not been proven to be sufficiently so far by scientific studies (3).

A second influential factor in the development of conduct disorder and antisocial disorder is environmental factors. Psychosocial contributions to the development of these disorders have been supported in numerous studies. Children are heavily influenced from birth and are products of their environment. They learn social skills and coping mechanisms from parental example. Children who have uninvolved parents and that already have genetic predisposition's for the disorders, are more likely to develop antisocial characteristics. Children who have parents that are alcoholic or drug abusers are more likely to be substance abusers themselves. The families with substance abuse have also been found to have poor functioning compared to normal families, and therefore, more children who become disordered. The highest rate of disordered children comes from families that have an antisocial parent that is also a substance abuser (7).

Other environmental contributors to the development of the disorders are teacher and peer groups of the child (3). ADHD is also a good example of supporting environmental influence as well as biological influence. Children with ADHD often have trouble in school because of lack of impulse control and attention span. They are loud and get into trouble, which leads to punishment by the teachers and unpopularity among the other students. This environmental factor furthers the development of even more extreme antisocial behavior, fighting and skipping school, and eventually many of these children are diagnosed with conduct disorder.

Treatment of environmental factors involves attempting to reverse maladaptive cognitive thought developed due to experience. These maladaptive thought processes are very hard to tackle for the antisocial disorder, because a common symptom is the inability of those with the disorder to see their behavior as abnormal. Regardless, it has been found more helpful than not in improving some people with antisocial personality disorder. Treating children through these processes has been proven essential to overcoming the disorder and decreasing the prevalence of antisocial disorder developing later in life. Family counseling and intervention is very helpful as well for children. The maladaptive psychosocial environment can be changed so that the child experiences and learns positive social skills (8).

The third and final contributing factor to whether or not a person develops conduct and antisocial personality disorder, and whether they are able to overcome the disorders, is best described as the unique "I-function" of each individual (9). My comprehension of the I-function is fairly new and incomplete. I can best describe it as the manifestation of consciousness in each individual that is continuously and uniquely effected by the unconscious and unique connectivity's in the brain. The I-function is how one consciously makes decisions and solves problems, but it also is an outlet for all the unconscious products of the brain. I learned in, Dr. Grobstein's, neurobiology class at Bryn Mawr College about the existence of the I-function and about the uniqueness of every individual brain. If the differences in our brains allow for unique ideas and outlooks that make our experiences and ways of thinking unique as well, then I believe some brains can and do develop determination and a will to overcome the antisocial personality disorder, consciously implementing the decisions through the I-function.

Now one may ask how I plan to support the integrity of this rather alternative influential factor for these disorders. Although, I found many theories and studies supporting the importance of psychosocial and biological contributing factors in the development of conduct and antisocial disorder, I found little that answered my initial questions that made me take interest in researching this topic in the first place. These questions included, who overcomes these disorders when the odds are against them, and how do they overcome these other predisposition to antisocial disorders. The foundations of the disorders create a dim outlook because a primary characteristic of the disorder is the person's inability to realize or admit the abnormality of their behaviors. Therefore, it is often difficult to give the person adequate treatment, drugs or psychotherapy, for their symptoms.

I have decided to primarily support the third factor with the very case that struck my interest in the topic. There is a person that I have known all my life who developed conduct disorder by the age eight, worsening in severity of the disorder as he grew into adolescence. He was constantly in trouble and demonstrated nearly every characteristic of conduct disorder including, severe physical fighting, theft and vandalizing property, skipping school, lying, and violation of rules and law for thrills. He eventually did some drugs and became an alcoholic in his adolescence. He was nearly killed several times due to lack of fear and extreme thrill seeking. For instance, he sped at the highest possible speed down a road in the rain at night on a motorcycle. Losing control he hit a telephone pole, which caused him to break many bones in his body, almost killing himself. After several less severe offenses, he was playing with a gun and shot a girl in the head accidentally. The girl lived, stated it was an accident, so he went to jail for a minimal period still believing he just had "bad luck" as opposed to a disorder.

This person has a environmental history of being diagnosed with ADHD, and later antisocial disorder. He was also assumed to have had conduct disorder, although he was not diagnosed during childhood. He comes from a divorced family, with a paternal alcoholic and ADHD history, and had extremely low parental supervision. He was never physically abused in any way. His brain has not been tested for specific abnormalities, but he has many similarities to those that have abnormalities. He refused medication for ADHD, because he did not want to take it. He had severe inability to control impulse and hyperactivity, could not hold a job, and showed extreme low arousal during very disturbing situations.

During the time spent in jail, he somehow made a conscious decision to except the dysfunction of his actions. He then began taking a medication known as Effexor that decreases the re-uptake of serotonin, and is usually prescribed to depressed patients. Even though he was not diagnosed with depression, he claims the medication has been an incredible help to over coming certain symptoms of the disorder. It has decreased his impulsivity, severe temper, and aggression incredibly. He has reformed his way of thinking, treating others, and living life. He is now socially normal can hold a job, and has productive relationships.
From the understanding of antisocial personality disorder so far it seems to be primarily influenced by genetic and environmental causes. The various extremities of the influences highly determine if the third influence, which we will call the I-function, can save the person from the disorder. The genetic, is the most influential and permanent factor, while environment factors run a close second in importance during the development of the disorders. Finally, the I-function demonstrating every human's innate differences is influential if the other two factors are not extreme beyond repair.

If the person is so genetically prone to developing the disorders, with no biological capacity to understand or feel guilt, anxiety, or compassion, then there is little hope that drugs, or any amount of therapy will make the person normal or even safe to live among society. There is also little hope of the brain willing itself to heal if it cannot understand the problem. If there is genetic hope, but the person has consistent negative psychosocial experience due to extremely antisocial environments, then the person will probably not have much hope of overcoming the disorder, but probably more than the former example. I believe the unique I-function, and other differences in the brain that make one different, can possibly bring about determination, a conscious effort to overcome the disorder and predisposition's of genetics and environment influence. However, in cases such as conduct and antisocial personality disorder, the extremities of the other two contributing factors are key to the influence of the I-function.

In order to decrease the chance of a child with conduct disorder or a predisposition for personality disorders from developing antisocial disorder later in life, it is imperative that interventions be made to improve the quality of family functioning and reduce dysfunctional behavior. In order for the child to overcome genetic predisposition's and to learn to behave socially and successfully, the child must be set in a nurturing psychosocial environment and be given any medications that increase that child's ability to develop and function normally. Humans do have a degree of free choice because we are all genetically unique, but chances of escaping the disorders will increase with increased psychosocial and medical help.

The person I referred to earlier had neither early diagnosis of conduct disorder and refused medication for the treatment ADHD. He grew up in a environment that increased the chances of developing antisocial disorder and then did develop the disorder. He showed many symptoms of biological abnormalities. However, somehow he willed himself to change his outlook and began taking the initiative to heal himself. Through these attempts he has been successful at obtaining normalcy. I have learned that some brains have the capacity to heal themselves, but I still do not know what determines which brains make a conscious and unconscious effort to help themselves. This suggests that personal choice has a significant influence on one's ability to correct personality disorders. Along with psychosocial and medical help, these chances can only increase.

The further implications of the brain's ability to overcome genetic and environmental predispositions to disorders are much more important than the scope of this paper. This ability reinforces the idea that even though brain is behavior, brain is also uniquely powerful and creative. The man with antisocial personality disorder had a brain with the ability to overcome all it was accustomed to, in order to help itself adapt and survive.



1) "ADHD" , ADHD comorbidity with conduct and antisocial personality disorder
2) "Antecedents of Personality Disorders in Young Adults.", symptoms of personality disorders
3) "Treatment.", Different treatments for personality disorders
4) " Reworking Antisocial Personality Disorder.", biological characteristics of antisocial personality disorder
5) "The Neurobiology of Stress and Emotions.", hormone contributors to antisocial personality
6) "CSF 5-HIAA and Family History of Antisocial Personality Disorder in Newborns", article concerning the connection between serotonin and antisocial disorders
7) "Family Functioning and Peer Affiliation in Children of Fathers With Antisocial Personality Disorder and Substance Dependence: Associations With Problem Behaviors.", environmental factors related to the development of antipersonality disorders
8) " Aggression and Transference in Severe Personality Disorders.", characteristics of antisocial personality disorder
9) Serendip Website, I-function



Comments made prior to 2007

I liked reading about the thought that people with antisocail disorder can be helped in some way. My child has this problem and I was told that it was lost cause in someways to help him at all to be able to funtion in the world as he grew older. Thanks for the reading ... Jenny, 8 April 2006



I found your form to be very helpful. I see many of the symptoms in myself and have been diagnosed with APD in the past. I have not been on medication, but I am very withdrawn, I cant understand other peoples viewpoints, its hard for me to express how I feel, I dont care what other people think about me, and I'm so tired of being scared all the time. I do so many things so I wont have to be scared, I lift weights, I box, I dont even talk to anybody. I'm tired of this, and I want to be better. Can somebody please help me? ... Kevin Wright, 12 May 2006



I agree with genetic predisposition. I also believe that serotonin and thyroid, study in Sweden, play a role in antisocial. I have loved-ones, family, who suffer with this. I am about to research more indepth. Thyroid precipitates metabolism. The norepinephrine (adrenaline) is low, and the serotonin is low as well? That sounds very feasible, although adrenaline and serotonin could be imbalanced without the adrenaline being too high. There are so many ways to go with this. Please study study study. This is pervasive in society. Needs to be eradicated or at least some of symptoms allevaited to end suffering of those who cannot help the way their hormones/nerrotransmission goes. sry so sloppy ... Reader on the web, 17 February 2007


Serendip Visitor's picture

My 11 year old son.

My 11 year old son Chris was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5. A few years ago he was also diagnosed with a Severe behavioral problem. He is on 2 medications 3 times a day. He has some good days but a lot of bad ones. I also have a 14 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. He has been violent to both. Hitting,kicking and even body slamming and punching. He waits til I walk out of the room and then hits them. When I confront him about it he tells me that they are lying and always getting their way(which they are not). A few years ago my house caught on fire and we found out it was because he set it on fire in his room. He constantly lies and is unable to tell the truth( Literally about anything or anyone) He has taken a box cutter and slashed up my furniture and has scraped - I will kill your family on the side of our car. He has put holes in our walls and ceilings and destroys other peoples property. He has a hard time keeping friends and only wants to hang out with the"bad kids" (the thief's/liars ect) Then tonight during dinner I was talking to him and asked him why he was so mean and disrespectful and he told me flat out that he doesn't like any of us..... Do not know if there is anything I can do but I needed to vent.... Any ideas? Thank you in advance!

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18 yr old Child with ASPD

I have read your comments and I am still so confused as to how to handle my child. He started acting out at 15 and of course I just thought it was the normal teenager stage. It continued and his symptoms got worse. Took him to a therapy where he was diagnosed with aspd. He has made our lives a living hell but I still love my son. I have cried many rivers but still dont know if I should just give up or keep trying. I try to rationalize now that he is 18 and grown but he still needs our help. He cant keep a job, goes from house to house, and ends up burning all his bridges due to his attitude. I feel bad that he is in this situation but has refused to let him come home due the major disruption he causes to my house hold. Sometimes I feel like I have failed as a mother and I keep trying to help him but I get disrespected and blamed for all his wrong doings. I just dont know what to do as a mother and even though he is out of my house now I still feel the burden of the road he is going down.

Can some of the mothers tell me how they have delt with these situations and what they suggest I do. I love my child and dont want to give up on him but I feel like his issues are causing me to have mini break downs sometimes and I just dont know if I can continue to go through...

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Hi I know how you feel my son acts out just he same as your child now 19 he gets no help from mental health services no one wants to deal with this diorder we are left to cry hurt pick up the prices when he as children I dread this because he will wreck there life's too chat any time if it helps

Serendip Visitor's picture

Attempting to end a relationship with adp husband

Hello, I happened upon this site and found myself consumed with reading all of the comments. Comforting to know that I'm not alone in dealing with this issue. Unfortunately I found out that my husband suffers from Adp after having 2 sons with him. They are 2 yrs and 8 months. My husband has not been formally diagnosed, but has all of the symptoms I have been able to find online. He currently is in rehab for drug addiction. (crack) The only reason being that I moved out of the house and shut off the utilities. I'm currently living with my parents who are very supportive. What is difficult, is that I have a very strong bond with his sister. This is making it difficult to ctut him off entirely which is what I long to do. He and I have been a couple for just 4 years this november. He is very manipulative and so I have limited my contact with him so far. He is a compulsive liar, and the final straw was "loaning" our families only vehicle to a drug dealer for $100 in dope. The dealer in turn sold the van for junk and it was crushed. This was the first time he had lended the vehicle out. He has always blamed his actions on the drug. However this is only a ploy of his to pacify me. He is a narcissist as well and does not geniunely believe that he is at fault and always blames others including myself. He has stolen from me. I literally have nothing remaining of value except for my children. But I almost lost them to the state due to his drug use, etc. I don't know what to do. He keeps asking me to write him which I do not want to do and he is still trying to reach me by phone. His sister has been taking the boys to visit him at the rehab every Sunday but I'm not even sure that this is the right thing to do. I really wish that he would dissappear so that I could reclaim my life 100%. But I know that this will nor happen because he going to try and use them to try to keep tabs on me. I have told him that it is over between us be he doesn't believe me since I have reconciled with him so many times in the past. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

mlk's picture

my 13 year old son

My 13 yr old step-son Austin is displaying many if not all of the symptoms for anti social personality disorder. His mother abandoned him and his 2 other brothers when Austin was 3 years old and my husband and i met when Austin was 4. I could always tell there was a difference in austins behaviors vs his older and younger brothers behaviors. Austin was diagnosed with ADHD when he started school but alot of his behaviors were seemed more difiance related than attention. Austin was abusive to his younger brother, lied about everything, and refused to follow rules. Instead of feeling bad for inflicting pain on his brother or neighborhood cats that he killed, Austin displayed fits of anger when he got caught doing these things and punished. "how dare you catch me or how dare you cry and tell mom and dad that i hurt you". Now Austin is 13 and his grades are terrible, his lying has reached all new heights that include saying his teachers are verbally abusing him in front of other students, or hustling our 80 year old neighbors out of $40 by lying and telling them that i am a single mother who is struggling and in need of money. When confronted by his teachers about the verbal abuse as a group (teacher, me and him) he tells teacher that I am the liar and that he never said what he said. When confronting the 80 year old neighbors, Austin says they are lying...Its never him. We really fear Austins next "story"..He has almost burnt our house down on more than 1 occasion, he destroys things that have meaning to whom ever makes him mad, and he has physically abused his brothers. My husband and I have since had 1 child together over the last 9 years who is 2 years old now. Austin loves to play with her however he easily gets carried away and ends up hurting his little sister but when he gets yelled at for being too rough he looks at her with pure hatred. The look is so terrifying that i actually bring her to my bed at night and lock our bedroom door. I do the same with his younger brother also when Austin hurts him. Austin has raised his fist to me when his dad was not home but acts like it never happened when he is confronted about it. If it were not for his other sibblings witnessing most of Austins actions i fear his father wouldnt even believe half the stuff that Austin does as Austin has his father fooled greatly. His dad always tries to see the good in everyone and Austin plays on that greatly and knows and says exactly what he knows his dad wants to hear. Truth is I'm terrified of what my son is turning into and not just terrified for him but also for his sibblings and myself. I never in a million years imagined myself as being a victim of my child but when it comes down to it, im locking myself in my bedroom at night because I'm terrified of waking up to him him standing over me...I truely fear this is coming and people who are close to our family have witnessed Austins behavior and warn me of what i fear the most. How do i show my husband what his son is becoming? Leaving with my daughter has run across my mind but never happened because it leaves his brothers helpless...i love my husband and my family but this situation is tearing us apart..

AsPD Mom's picture

Afraid of Your 13-Yr Old Son

I feel so bad for you. It is heartbreaking to realize that one of your children is mentally ill, even worse to realize that they are dangerous. You have probably lived with this so long that you don't even see what really stands out - YOUR SON IS A DANGER TO YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY. He may be barely manageable now and you probably keep telling yourself that you just need to find the right thing to turn him around. After all, he is only 13, right. Even though the human brain is not FULLY developed until about 25, a child's basic personality traits and principles are there from about the age of eight. I hate to tell you this, but unless something drastic is done, he will only get worse and become even more of a threat to you and your family. Imagine what it will be like when he starts to grow into a man, puts on some height and some weight. Your other children deserve to be raised in an environment free of danger. You need to immediately start looking into treatment for his specific disorder. Check with your insurance company to see how much of the treatment they will cover. If there is no intensive intervention now, he will become a dangerous criminal as an adult. That is if he doesn't kill one of you before that. If your husband is resistant, film your son's behavior when he isn't around so you can show him. Then make him read as much as possible about Conduct Disorder and Anti-Social Personality Disorder. He is still young enough that a therapist who knows what they are doing might be able to work with him and his development of emotions other than anger and frustration. Do this before it is too late. You might be able to save him to some degree and certainly save your familly. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO LOCK THEIR BEDROOM DOORS IN THEIR OWN HOME! This is not normal adolescence, nor a stage. Deep down you probably know all of this. My prayers are with you and your family and I wish you the best.

Serendip Visitor's picture

save yourself while you can

I'm sorry about your problem. Austin feels no remorse and has no problem ruining your life and of everyone around him. You better do your best to bring your husband up to speed about this. He's shown violent behavior as well which means this could be more than just ASPD. This is more like psychopathy. If you have the money, one thing I suggest is taking him to Latin america for a spiritual healing. Otherwise, find ways to send him away. I know he is your child and you can't abandon him, but you have to decide between him and your family.

kilbeboy's picture

hey how is he now?! has any

hey how is he now?! has any change occurred in his behavior at all ?! Seems to me your son is slowly taking the psychopath highway. He seems to be very angry child too. I went through the same phase like him once. My father was there to guide me. He beated the consciousness in me. From where i am from we have a saying you can beat your son until he is 16, then you can consider him as a friend. Seems to me this case is due to lack of discipline in the house ?! I mean like beat your kid hard, if he raises the fist then you should let him know who's the boss. He clearly doesn't sees you as a mother but some woman who is blabbering all the time. Nobody is born evil but they will turn evil with a lack in discipline. There may be a way out for him but he should be equally willing to know the truth which lies in front of him. Dont be afraid (For now) may all be good.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Beat Him?

You obviously know nothing about the disorder everyone here is writing about. And,yes, some people are born "evil" - it's called genetics and genetic pre-disposition. No amount of discipline will correct the disorder and if they have children later, in addition to having poor impulse control, they have learned it is OK to hit a child "really hard". That is a recipe for disaster. A parent who is out of control and physicaly "disciplines" a child is likely to seriously injure or even kill their child.. Hitting is a very poor substitute for discipline. A child learns nothing, other than fear. Better to figure out what is important to that child and make them aware from the start what the rules are and that the consequences for not following the rules will be loss of something important to them. That is more like the way the real world works and the younger they learn, the better. They are given a choice and if they make the wrong one, they will have to live with the consequences. They did it to themselves.

Barb's picture

antisocial ten-year-old

I have a friend who has a ten-year-old daughter who exhibits, I think, antisocial personality traits. She is "popular" among neighborhood kids, but is the leader and I think they follow her in order not to be the under attack by her. She is frequently cruel to her siblings for no reason and seems to enjoy the control she has in being able to make them cry, scream or lash out at her. Of, course, the sibs get punished as no one except me (and her grandmother, I think) seems to see that she is the instigator. She is very sneaky and says horrible thing to her sibs that she thinks no one hears. Her stock reply is, "I don't care. You just don't get it... I don't care." She never feels shame or remorse for her cruelty and is always blaming everyone else. And she is very good at acting happy and loving when everything is going her way. As soon as something doesn't go her way, she is horrible to everyone around her. Her parents, unfortunately, aren't consistent with disciplining her, as they are with her younger (nine-year-old) sister. When the 9-year-old is told to go to her room, they INSISDT that she go. When the ten-year-old is sent to her room, it doesn't happen, becasuse she just refuses to go, and no one forces the issue. Is there anything I can do to help this kid? Or should I just get out before I become a victim in some way? I feel like I should just get away from the situation, but my heart wants to help if that's possible. Please feel free to reply as I'm beside myself about this.

Serendip Visitor's picture

7 year old grandson

My grandson is 7 years old but is a total loner he is very good in school and very well behaved. He is involved in many activities he plays baseball during baseball season and is involved in Karate a couple times a week... he loves to read and play chess. But he is totally anti social in groups he has been in karate since he was 4 yet never talks to any of the kids in his class same with baseball he enjoys the game and is very good at it but has no relationships with kids on his team. He is very good in school but yet some days crys because he doesnt want to go because he is always by himself and doesnt have any friends. Doesnt enjoy going to birthday parties for classmates. And doesnt want to go to the park if there are kids there. I have read articles on anti social behavior and he really doesnt fit the profile. I am at a loss as to what we can do. The family is a pretty typical dysfunctional family. Mom and Dad are not together but has a relationship with both. Has a relationship with both grandmas. Is good with close cousins. Can anybody give me some ideas of what might be the problem and what we can do?

AsPD Mom's picture

Definitely Not Anti-Social Personaity Disorder

I loved your post. I have two beautiful granddaughters, now 8 and 10, Very similar family situation, but their mom, my daughter, has AsPD. I, too, was worried somewhat about my oldest granddaughter when she was younger. She is extremely intelligent and seems to think way beyond her years. When I don't know how to tackle a problem, I research it. What I found was very encouraging. Many children who appear introverted are actually very particular or choosy about who they want to talk to and with whom they want to form friendships.. They are observers. They are thinkers. They then process the information and form opinions. I would guess this is what is happening with your grandson. I also found that in many situations my granddaughter didn't know what to say to another person. What I found helped at that very young, tender age, was to approach other kids with her - like on the playground. Show him ways to introduce himself. For example, at the park, walk with him to the other kids and let him watch for a few minutes. If he sees something he thinks looks fun and he wants to join in, go to the other kids and ask if the two of you can play with them. Believe me, at that age, kids love it when adults pay attention to them and want to join in their fun. That will be the start of a very positive experience for him. If you like, after a few minutes, tell everyone they wore you out and you need to sit for a few minutes. But, stay close so that he will feel comfortable continuing to play. You can also try telling him some things you did as a child to join in with other kids playing. Tell him that everyone loves to talk about themselves, so he can go up to someone and just ask their name.. Then just continue asking questions. Given the chance, most kids are talkers. When my granddaughter was 8, a new girl started at her private school. My beautiful girl told me that no one was talking to her and she felt bad for her. So, she befriended her. She helped that little girl get through her first few weeks at a new school and turned it into such a good experience. I beamed with pride. Now, at 10, she has a group of three besties. Because she was so choosy about her friends, she chose very well. They are well-behaved, very sweet girls who truly watch out for each other. Not only do they have fun together, but they will defend each other to the very end. I think these are friendships she will have through adulthood. So, stop worrying about your grandson. (Anti-social Behavior Disorder is a very serious personality disorder that used to be called Sociopathy - sociopath.) Your grandson is just young and somewhat introverted. Not always a bad thing. Take care.

Serendip Visitor's picture

know what his probleam is

that to is a form of antisocial i have it and had to get on SSI cause i cant even handle leaveing my house i was always getting good grades in school but hated going cause of all the people never picked up any sports and never really had any friends try to get him help i can say with 100% honesty that you do not want him to grow up with out getting help his life will be horrible i have no idea why they dont explain this side of antisocial maybe its rare i dont normal look these things up but my friend sent me the link trying to help he is stronger than me tho being able to go to baseball games would of been too much for me and am glad he is active it means he has hope none of my familly wanted to admit i had a probleam till i was an adult and by then its too late am glad your watching out for him.....

Serendip Visitor's picture

It really sounds like

It really sounds like aspergers. Also get him tested for Hashimotos thyroditis T3 T4 and auto immune antibodies (there is a close link with Aspergers)

Serendip Visitor's picture

Have him evaluated by a

Have him evaluated by a developmental peditrician. Also, Google Aspergers- this may be helpful.

brigitte's picture

Antisocial he's not, fixable ,social skills trainig

A lot of the terms used can be confusing and when I had placements in social work it took me some time to get used to them. "Antisocial" doesn't mean a person lacks social confidence or doesn't interact much with others. It refers to persons behaving very badly, breaking rules and doing illegal things without feeling any guilt. Most people assesed as having antisocial conditions are moving towards behaving like psycopaths and usually interact readily with others or even are gang members. Only a few of them are loners.

Your grandson has a problem in not having developed enough social skills which in an otherwise capable, normal sounding child, as you described would be the mix of having retinance and anxiety with a lack of suffient learning opportunities earlier for interacting with peers.

In one way he has been aware and socially astute, realising very early that their were unstated rules and expectations to effectively engage with others. He was even good in self awareness realising he had no real idea how to do this. So reasonably he retreated and so missed out further on aquiring and refining these skills.

He is very lucky you have noticed this and become concerned. He is still young enough to be helped in catching up with following basic social skills programs and being given assistance by adults in charge of the places he is with peers.These adults can even get some other children to start help including him. He does need to be helped very soon as this age is at the last parts of having the potential to fairly quickly without much trauma or that much effort to get him on track and soon interacting a lot comfortably, just like other children.
Not helped he would end up with unecessary issues long term.

The fact that he gets on with those he is familiar with and would prefer to be part of things and doesn't compensate in akward or hostile ways, plus is a capable child, indicates he is very much able to be fixed.
That type of child is everyones favourite to work with aquiring social skills since they are eay to assist with brief proper intervention and end up as total successes.

Does your school have guidance counsellors for you to make this type of request from as well as your raising it with his teacher.
Can they give you print outs or booklets on teaching and developing social skills.
This will help you to start understanding what to observe in what he does and doesn't do and needs to be told to try doing more, as well as taking the anxiety away from peer situations.

Some key things are: relax, smile, show interest in others and gradually make short approaches to some one who looks open and isn't absorbed in an established task or interactions.
Say" hello ",and ask them something. LISTEN to their answer and say something good back.
That's enough for an opening , they took him in, he learnt a bit about them.

Couch his need to change in good ways. Tell him he is a lovely clever person, he would make a great friend. When he grows up could have a good job and such jobs expect that he knows how to get on with all kinds of people to be in a "work team".

Point out everyone finds some things easy to learn and be good at and will find other things hard to do untill they work on their weak spot to catch up.
Ask him, to see if he knows kids who have lots of friends but not good at maths or karate?
Then tell him his job now that he is getting a big boy is to learn how to mix and play with other children.

Explain that it's really not going to be hard to do, because now he will be helped to learn a few simple things to do which will fix this.
It only looks hard because he missed out on finding out those few things.

It even won't take that long to get used to saying, "hi" to others instead of avoiding others.
You need to add, that anyway it won't feel worse than keeping on avoiding others feels now at school.
Later he will even feel happy being with other kids, just like when he plays with his cousins.

So if you can read things on teaching kids social skills you can already make a it a happy start on the right track.
Keep humour in your dealings with this , like joking about doing parts of any brief approach skill if he looks worried. "I guess if you smiled and said, 'hi', yet Riley ignored you". Then, will Riley get aliens to disintegrate you?" " No? Not that bad.So Riley hasn't got super powers and is just a kid like you!" "Anyway, it might not be you Riley meant to ignore, he could have ears aching so he can't hear properly that day." And he's scared thinking about the doctors giving him a needle again when his mum picks him up .

Also, note and identify the skills he is using well with others, sharing this with him. Tell him this is what he will be able to do with others soon.That he is just going to start being the same with the other kids. Then they too will know who he really is .
Joke about that to others he must seem like he thinks he's" the invisible man", except we still see his body.

Also make him think what would he be able to do if one of his cousins did to him what he does to the kids in his karate class and school. "Sure make it hard to play with him, wouldn't it?" "Now then, if your other cousin turns up and he's still the same is still friendly way, talks to you, what would you do?" "Play with the friendly one and ignore the cousin who won't talk to you."

It sounds like his mother has for herself enough on her personal life plate. Just keeping their boat of practical areas and emotional needs afloat.Add consequeces of being divorced from his father and your granson an only child. So mum wasn't aware of the need long ago to deal with his social retinance and earlier limited options. She's obviously done well enough in other areas for him to have the other strengths as well as other relatives positive inputs.
It would seem she'd be happy for you to help with this and possibly then get informed to be involved as well or go to the school with you if she doesn't need to be at work.

Best to avoid saying,"the parents are dysfunctional".
Because that term doesn't mean they do not function as well, were better organised practically .Plus easily sidetracked by lots of things going on. So much so, can't prioratise what needs to be dealt with first or the best way .
" Dysfunctional parents", are pathalogically impaired with extremely poor coping skills and twisted ways of dealing with their children, mostly around a level when welfare ought to be involved with considerations of removing the children from their care. More likely the parents are a bit disorganised and scattered by their demands and other personal relationships. This ends up resulting in a lack of predictable domestic patterns for children, inadequate time management and planning seemingly rather a chaotic way to live. These days that would apply to over half of all the average types of parents divorced or not.

I hope that this is a bit helpful to think about. Your grandson is very much in need to have this dealt with and very much able to be fixed.

Do have his ears checked. This outcome in a normal child is often started when they were younger and had ear infections that reduced the level of their hearing for a period of time. When a young child's hearing is reduced they can pick up enough of the sounds to work out what familiar family persons say knowing the patterns of speech and words they use. They may still hear much of the louder instructional voices used by teachers. Yet can't discern what unfamiliar people, especially other little children's speech that isn't that clear at coversational volumes. So they give up responding as they don't know what was said. Over a year like that they can be out of interacting so much they remain avoidant even if eventually their hearing picked up. I'm not saying that was your gransons cause, though it may once have been a factor.

lorne neaves's picture

my 13 year old brother

My brother Jacob suffers from abandoment from my mother when he was 2 years old. Physical and mental abuse from his three other symptoms through out his life. My dad also went to prison for drinking and driving several times and was hardly around unrolled he finally was sent to prison for 5 1/2 years for vehicular manslaughter. Jacob was then forced to be taken from the only person who did love n care for him, his grandmother. Which he moved in with his mothers sister n her husband where he was mentally and physically abused. From there he was taken from them by the state and placed n several different placement homes for children who mis behave. My father returned home 1 1/2 years ago and he now resides with him. My brother has and dies harm innocent animals, constantly steals, lies, gets into fights, can't get along with others, and now is starting to smoke weed and has just the other day stole a car and is now in jail. He refuses to take fault for his actions, has assulted a police officer right before thanks giving. Is there any chance of helping my brother? What is rong with my brothe? I have my own ideas, but im not an expert. N my dad is givin up all hope. N shows jacob no positive outlook or support. He is still young. Can he still be helped? The police arrested him today for stealing the car, n found serveral more stloen item when they wrecked our house searching for evidence, he actually posted on facebook his confession. How can i help my brother? And my dad? I am his 25 year old sister. Im so scared for him. He is the youngest child of 5. Our parents seperated when he was 2 they both never remarried...n my mother was a drugg abuser n dad an alchoholic. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!! Please

Joannabanana68's picture

Probably thr best thing to do

Probably thr best thing to do is ask for professional help. More than likely he's not going to go himself, maybe you or your dad or both of you together can go speak with a school counselor, a church representative or someone that can help you without you having to pay a professional. Unless you have some kind of insurance to help cover the cost of a mental professional. You can go on his behalf if he won't go. Good luck to and your family, you are in my prayers. God bless you, be strong sweetie.

angleheart's picture

does my spouse have some kind of personnality disorder?

I am hoping that somebody maybe able to tell me if my spouse has signs of some kind of disorder. (narcissistic, antisocial, etc.)

Here are a few of the things he does.

-It is always my fault and never his.
- He never apologizes for anything even when I catch him in a lie. He'll maneuver the situation so it's my fault.
-He is caring, understanding and very helpful to his sister and a couple of his friends. But very cold with my pain.
- At home, he does nothing to help out.
- He drinks and smokes weed. 3 to 4 times per week and does so till all hours of the night by himself and very content doing so.
- He hides the truth from all other people very easily.
- He had a bad upbringing. Hard childhood.
- He is separated with two children. For the first year or so of his divorce he barely saw his children. His ex brought him to court to have all his parental rights remove. She won.
- If his oldest doesn't show him the love he wants, he'll shun him from his life with no regrets. He only loves the one that is all over him. (the oldest is 10 and the youngest is 7)
- He has difficulty finding jobs. He is very picky.
- He never paid me rent, saying it's my house and he shouldn't pay anything. He sometimes buy groceries and say that it should cover his living expense.
-If we are having a big disagreement, he packs and leaves without telling me where he is or if he is coming back
-He threatens to leave all the time if things doesn't go his way.

I could go on but I think with this information you could maybe have an idea

katherine Dixon's picture

I have a husband thatIve been

I have a husband thatIve been with 20 yrs and I have cried for most of it and been very lonely within this marriage and been a single parent to four kids within it, my husband definitely has no sympathy empathy or compassion for us, he is verbally abusive to the kids and animals, and when Im ill he leaves town.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Sounds more like borderline

Sounds more like borderline personality disorder to me. :)

Brigitte's picture

Yes !Your desciption fits a PD & next facing it

There is no doubt that he has ended up developing a full on personality disorder over the years that has become intractable. He may have only stared with traits of whatever personality disorder through an underling disposition and abusive childhood. He since moved on to consolidating the traits by continually using them to get what he wants his way now and the substance abuse develops more of the same responses and would restrict any potential insight to the problems of living that way or dealing with the inadequacy of not working and having the means for making a proper income, being lesser than men of any respected standing.He has the impenetrable defences of the worst personality disorders. He isn't even of the type who remains internally the same but prepared to learn some better ways of behaving for aquiring a more functional fit in society. Many people can fall into this type of disordered persons fit, get damaged soon by them, so scrambled a that they don't get rid of them as soon as it would be logical to do so. They can deplete the partners, shrivel her world, confidence, rescources, confuse them by being so bad the reality is too hard to grasp for ages. Eventually the partner starts waking up to the hell he makes, seeing the devil he looks to be and always will be with the realisation he needs to go some day soon. Yet the painful disapointment has the partner latch onto evey dimming flames flicker that there may be hope on the few crumbs of lovliness devil drops intermittently. For a further time intermittent reinforcement has preposterously ongoing impact. Yet devil having got so complacent in his established cycle of abuse gets more lax with his crumb tossing, nor can he cope with a lack of distress causing power if partner adjust to coping with greatly limited expectations he even ups the anti of dispariging her and abuse. This ongoing escalation of devil's negatives without declining crumbs scattered eventually gets the partner calling it a day or screaming back her demands for improvements and pointing out his deficits can get the devil to go if young enough to get another unsuspecting victim. this type of relationship with a serious personality disorder always ends eventually if the partner is more normal than not. How damaged , the losses of all kinds are totally in proportion to how long time is spent with a devil, plus how long and hard the road to recovery will end up/.
Once you can ask the question as well as you did, with true coherence, it shows you do know that's what he is and by inference what you ought to do. Just ask yourself do you want to be abused, devalued, harmed and even unethically encourage all his worst traits by enabling him to do so? Are all your relatives and friends so worthless that they deserve to watch you pointlessly diminish yourself with nothing to ever give them of any worth anymore? Are you so bad or deficient in anything positive that you deserve a devil only to abuse you, not a human to respect you as a partner? Do you lack confidence in having capabilities to work effectively in this world and are desperate for an excuse to abdicate saying “devil abused me so much he left me too sick to do anything? If your answers are NO, start moving ASAP. If you have any Yes answers see a therapist to find out why they are Yes. The yes answers by fears and confusion when sorted out can turn to NO answers and go action ASAP. If you have really true deep seated Yes answers, it doesn't matter , you've found your soul mate, even if he is from hell. There is no cure for the overt personality disorders of the narcissistic or psychopathic type. A minority out of self intrest on rare occasions in prisons may deal with a few adjustments not to repeat crimes to stay out of jail, not their relationship behaviours. Covert self regulating disordered persons of this stream are not well understood and have the sense to avoid normal types for relationships with expectations that they couldn't sustain meeting.

Serendip Visitor's picture

APD victim

For the last ten years I have been going through the worse times of my life with my ex husband. I never understood why he was always so mean, rude, trying to ruin mine and our childrens life. I grew up in a small town of good down home people and moved to a big city where I met this monster. I never knew at what moment he was going to blow up on me, or intimidate me for something, accuse me of something I didnt do, force me to do things I didnt want to do, etc.Well, ten years later, I finally get the courts to order a psych eval on this person. He was diagnosed with Anti Social Personality Disorder. My children are terrified of him and they dont want to see him. He currently has supervised visitation because he assualted our oldest son ( who is a minor) and with eye witnesses seeing him do it, still denys it. My question is, will someone with this disorder ever just "stop" with harrassment, lies, violent impulses and outburst? He abuses drugs and alcohol as well as having this disorder. I have been fighting to keep my children away from him since our divorce 8 years ago. Recently I have almost completely succeeded by getting his visits Supervised only! Since then, he is still having violent tendencies, one was during a visit with the kids. How does someone deal with a monster like this? Is this a disorder that could possibly drive him to really harm me or my children? I know there are treatments out there but he is refusing to do it. So what do I do now? When will it end? I would appreciate any advice from someone who is going through the same thing, or someone who has this disorder to help me understand it.

Serendip Visitor -Natalie's picture

Stay or go

A lot of times I also just feel like I should stay home and do nothing rather than go out and risk something bad happening. A lot of bad things have happened when I have gone out such as getting stuff stolen from my car, my house was robbed because I did drugs and drank so much I blacked out and let random people into my house then fell asleep. It has been a horrible problem for me and now I don't feel motivated to do anything because at least if I stay home nothing bad can happen. Fear. I always feel guilty about something. I've come to learn that it's mature to accept responsibility for our mistakes, but it seems like now guilt is eating away at me for almost everything I do I feel guilty or disappointed in myself. I feel like I have nothing to be proud about in myself. I'm always looking at everything in a half empty glass kind of way. I just want to find happiness.

brigitte's picture

If you can overcome any drug

If you can overcome any drug addiction you aquired you are someone who can be treated for your other psychological issues. Your capacity to feel guilt is a strong indication of conditions that are very responsive to the right help involving counselling and possibly some medication for a time

Serendip Visitor -Natalie's picture


Sometimes I feel like I have APD because when I'm in social situations like a class or hanging out with a group of people I feel like I don't fit in. I'm often times really quiet because I don't know what to talk about. A lot of times I feel confused with myself so I don't want to go out, I will just stay at home and watch movies because I don't want to face feeling awkwardly shy or quiet. I have trouble finding things that I enjoy. When I'm around a lot of people I feel nervous and boring. For example, I won't know how to react to a certain situation or how to respond to something someone says. I feel more comfortable sitting back and watching and listening to what everyone else has to say. I used to have a drinking problem due to this feeling of uncomfortableness. I would drown the feeling with alcohol and eventually black out and not have control over what I was doing or saying. It was definitely horrible but I have over come the drinking problem as it has caused so much worry, strife, stress, and more problems in my life. On a day to day basis I just feel depressed, I have no motivation to go out and do something positive for my life. I feel embarrassed about my life. Maybe anti-depressants would help, I don't know what else to do. It was possibly contributed to my personality by my mother who had paranoid delusions that my father was sexually abusing me and poisoning her food. I often saw her fears consume her mind. Then, when I was 10 years old she divorced my father, we moved out (my sister, mother, and I) into a small 1 bedroom home, and my father was always there for us financially but never there emotionally. He always avoided the situation rather than faced it. I grew up with hostile feelings towards my mother and would drink and do drugs to try to fight the feeling of helplessness. I ended up on probation when I was 13 for four years until I went to a girls home for six months, then I was released to my father. I still never got the emotional support from my father as much as I tried, but he still supports me financially. I often feel confused about what I want to do in life, regarding a job, house, man, all these decisions and choices stress me out. I know I should have made better choices growing up. I just get frustrated so easily and I feel like giving up. Whatever may be causing it, I don't know, but I do know that I need to do something about it or I will be living my life in misery.

Serendip Visitor's picture

That sounds more like asocial

That sounds more like asocial behavior, rather than antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder is defined by a chronic manipulation of others without feelings of remorse or empathy. Individuals suffering from antisocial personality disorder are actually rather friendly and superficially charming, but they can also be hostile, aggressive and dangerous. They could be your neighbors, friends, or teachers and you would never know. They do not commonly suffer from depression, and do not care at all about family. Their main focus is on themselves, and their own personal gain.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Oh okay, I think you're

Oh okay, I think you're right. I thought an antisocial personality disorder was not wanting to be social, but you're right. I do have feelings of compassion and guilt if I do something wrong, so I definitely don't have this disorder. I just have a problem keeping healthy relationships, but I'm working on it.

Karen's picture

My soon to be ex-husband has this

I am in the process of a divorce from someone who has this diagnosis. I was not told about his problems as I should have been prior to the marriage. His parents kept it a secret from me as they were just happy to have someone take him off their hands. I thought it was me going crazy in the marriage til I snooped through his stuff and learned he had been under psychiatric care since the age of 17 and I found all his anti-depressants which by the way were not helping. No the divorce is going through and the children and I are so happy to see the back of him. Our home is a more joyful place now that he is gone. There is no help for these people just save yourselves and any children and get out. They should have an island and place all the people with this condition on it so they can all torment eachother. I am so glad to be getting away from the freak I am married to.

Serendip Visitor's picture

That's a bit rough

I'm a 29year old woman and also suffer from a personality disorder. I was diagnosed with ADHD and put Ritalin when I was 12. I also got very depressed when certain things happened In my life. I had an off and partner for 8years who I believe my condition must have effected the relationship but have more love for my family my friends, my current partner and my x partner. It's very hard to know you are different and every day is a struggle to make the right decisions so I don't impact negatively on anyone else. I am different but I'm still a person and do hope there is a cure or at least I may have a chance at a normal life. After reading your msg I felt so desperately Ill and wondered if I should even bother. I know your situation is different and everyone elses is but being as empathic as I am I feel for you so I only ask you acknowledge or give hope to others that are different to your husband. I'm so sorry he wasn't upfront with you.

Serendip Visitor Barbara's picture

I wonder what personality

I wonder what personality disorder you were diagnosed with? You only mention ADHD, which is a neurological difference, but it isn't a personality disorder.
I think it's important to remember that EVERYONE is different - perhaps if you had counseling about your feelings you would be happier in the world.
You sound as if you have a strong conscience, which means you DON'T have ASPD. Therefore, you should not refer the post you replied to to yourself, as it isn't about someone remotely like you. The husband referred to isn't empathetic at all - not even enough to love his mother. That's the nature of ASPD.
Once again, find someone to talk to about your feelings - it's sad you felt so bad about the post, but it wasn't related to you or your situation.

Peace at last's picture

I'm with you. I have peace

I'm with you. I have peace finally now that the APD spouse found someone else to torture.

Serendip Visitor Brigitte Jones's picture

Quick comment on anti-depressants for psychopaths

Given Antidepressants:The psychopath may feel marginally better in enacting his desired psychopathic penchants and totally loose any shreds of consideration for consequences, feeling his peak levels of confidence and arrogance.
No Antidepressants:The psychopath tends to include some positive behaviours for longer bits because over his lifetime he has seen the responses and losses of people pushed too often and too far with insufficient interspersed rewards depart in disgust with him.Without anti depressants a psychopath can feel some hestitation over a loss when uncertain of replacing it. In needing to gage this it keeps them a touch more in the reality of general society. Brief periods of being pleasant can even be restful for the psychopath. Because psychopaths do more negative actions in ratio to seemingly positive ones and already think they are entitled, it is even more critical to have those fragments of pleasantness and normalacy to maximise the time the psycho can sustain connections of normal society. It benefits their wellbeing. This fast forward effect of antidepressants means their arrogant aspects go at full throttle. This results in engendering major complaints by partners and others. These then fuel the psycho's anger and paranoia. Whenever my ex psycho took antidepressants it was much more clear how he had to go. He became an ultra confident in himself, though increasingly paranoid about me and a few others. He also became a very greedy, crazy, ruthless pig. Additionally his physically violent proclivities were re emerging towards me.

Serendip Visitor Brigitte Jones's picture

Congratulations on Your Understanding & Actions

Karen you have come to a real understanding about these freaks.One ends up on a twisted and convulated journey to get to this degree of understanding. I've personally been on the same type of trip and it's taken 2 intervention orders (last one granted for 2yrs), a proven theft charge on him, security cameras & my super ethical brilliant son to get rid of him completely despite no contact for 2yrs on my part. They are twisted evil damaging players and should be exiled. They can't get better, just worse. The psychopaths with a touch of rational insight to contain some of their most risky proclivities are motivated by protecting themselves, not others.They avoid coupled relationships since the proximity of intimate relationships, their expectations only would bring out all their worst potential. So those we never really deal with. I too, can't get over how psychopaths are just so over the top, that no one who finally gets to know them can really tell others. It makes the teller seem sick crazy and obsessed if you disclose more than a couple of points. Excluding criminal justice, forensic psychs and a few other advanced mental health staff, most others do not have any idea of personality disorders, psychopathic disordered persons and their completely untreatable state. Unlike some other incurable conditions there isn't even living around it. As soon as psychopath discovers you can ignore or tolerate by lowering expectations over any area of their behaviours they'll escalate, making sure now you won't be able to. Eventually it's obvious the only option is to EXIT, have NO CONTACT AT ALL- only your lawyers or law enforcement where needed. They are the only avenue where directives or agreements can or will count. You already know how they lie and twist things. Where possible tell him nothing and have him be struck where necessary by "fait accompli" on all areas of dividing property, kids etc.,. Though make sure they are ethical and reasonably justified by your cicumstances.Where it comes to your children you might avoid him having access by proving his conduct is emotionally abusive and only once he has treatment for his bipolar depression symptoms, irritably manic, limited insight, is when access can be looked at. That puts him on hold-forever- as privately you know psychopaths are incurable. Court wise if ever his psychological state is relevant the earlier description is safer though you can add that his condition with his lacking insight made it liker dealing with a some one viewed as psychopathic. I've mentioned this as it seems your kids don't want him either. I've felt sorry for women having the ex psycho partially there due to access for the kids. I can't understand how if a woman leaves an abuser,then is encouraged to have no further contact with such a sicko that it's seen as constructive for the kids. Just because he was the sperm donator? These men make a mockery of the term "father".I don't see a psychopathic person as less dangerous to children- mostly psychologically abusive- than a pedophile over a lengthy period of time. I wish you well. It will be interesting if he lets you go without trying to re enter and control you once he realises you really don't want him in any way or will be back ever again.My ex pscho of 9 years was at least post divorcing my sons father, an overall normal person impaired by a few unresolved issues in important areas.
Do not ever show him any emotion-aside rage that can't be witnessed or recorded. Never let him know if he is getting to you by any scurilous legal actions or requests. You can let him hear you say in court if you fear for your life or safety or his conduct is causing you uneccessary distress if getting an order to stop him doing such. My ex had reached wanting to kill me since I wouldn't resume complying to intimidation and lower level threats. He won't now as he can't without getting caught and the price too high for him. Though if I set up forms of publicly humiliating ex psycho and used footage from my security camera where he looks stupid putting it on You Tube, my son has no doubt he would kill me or at least burn down my house regardless of his legal consequences.This scenario would give ex psycho so much joy in "justifiable provocation"(needed to explain to his kids why he's getting incarcerated),adrenalin of vengance attack on me,followed by police chases, heaps of attention by court hearings as he loves having his name called out, free legal aid at last as crimes so serious, plus more calling out his name getting processed for remand and jail. I don't intend to ever make him so happy, hence despite him having a pompous side I've skipped pricking his balloon.
This latter point isn't relevant to divorce, but a reminder of how one needs to remain aware of the warped reward systems that can exist in psychopaths and what minimal factors act as constraints. This is so anything you need to do that could involve them has you question what might they react like, what would detter them from attacking you for it or what may escalate their attack, what would they think they are loosing and what rewards are in it for their penchants.You need to keep your lawyer, yourself or others from assuming they are anything like the rest of society.And even then they will surprise you with some unanticipated responses.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Yet here you are

Just reading the comments you made regarding so called freaks when you were responding to Karen, who coincidently made the same comment.......Just because the two of you couldn't or didn't have the ability to hold your family together it doesn't mean you have to project your prejudice and narcissitic views upon the world.

As evident by the lengthly ramble you have written perhaps it is, as the old adage suggests, he who protests the loudest is the one trying to provide cover for themselves.

Perhaps an assessment is needed for yourself.

brigitte's picture

response to a confused reply on narcissits

You obviously don't get the differences between different conditions. Many mental illnesses and disabilities have the potential to be treated. Most with those conditions don't lack a capacity for empathy or intend to hurt others. At worst, when overwhelmed by personal pain, the capacity to cope with multiple demands drops and can be limited for a period as to what that ill person can share with others. Karen and I were referring to personality disorders of the malignant type of the psychopathic spectrum. These include antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder as well as the psychopathic personaliy disorder. These people are not usually consistently ever mentally ill, but freaks, aliens and maliciously destructive towards others, especially in closer relationships. That's their nature and their personality You can't hold a family together with such a person-they have never been in any relationship with any one in the family, just interactions. Remaining with them would destroy what still remains of the family. Seperately, sometimes an ordinary partner with unresolved issues may need to be divorced and even appreciate the space to resolve their issues. This type can still be contacted and sustain constructive relationships with their children.Personality disorders of the psychopathic spectrum need to be cut off. I suggest you familiarise yourself with the different types of conditions and disorders a lot more to better judge those deserving compassion and those who don't . Is there any chance you have such a personality disorder? You did just project labelling another as narcisstic.

Serendip Visitor Brigitte Jones's picture

An Excellent Reflection

No can be cured of this disorder, but those from a reasonable background and intelligence can teach themselves to keep a proportion of behaviours in check. Clearly some behaviours of antisocial PD risk being disadvantageous in the long run. People can learn to behave in set ways regardless of the feelings they have or don't have. I'm glad to hear your comment as I believe there are far more people with all the core features and proclivities of antisocial PD who do keep themselves in check and silent about their personal awareness of such.Your fixed friend isnot fixed as he is outright lying. One can only consider trusting the statement of claiming awareness of having the disorder and working on behaviours being kept in check. The more conciously the behaviours are worked on the stronger will they stand against stressful events in life. Those with personality disorders are just like anyone else when hit by stresses to sucumb to their frailties potentially emerging.I hope you can continue to hold on to that self awareness and insight and thus minimize the impact of this condition.

Serendip Visitor Brigitte Jones's picture

A sorry misleading premature essay

You have completely missed the details regarding different conditions. There are many correlational that can be made. Sociopathic personality disorders lack the capacity for empathy-as adults- and be mindful full adult brain development takes up to 25 yrs. They are not truly impulsive, but later studies have found they will carry out acts in areas they crave pleasure regardless of what the consequences will be, rather they can be fixated. ADHD persons lack looking at consequences, if thety consider them they won't usually do that action resulting in recognisable detrimental consequences then. Aspergers are not impulsive in poor behaviours around others, they just don't understand it's off. ADHD persons have a great capacity for empathy if brought up supportatively. Psycopathic disorders are driven by a sense of entitlement and from a need to violate others to remain in control. A fair proportion get pleasure out of hurting others. Overall they lack much other capacity to feel.ADHD persons generally do have strong capacity for feelings.Any insensitivity to others is result of their distractability. They miss and notice all kinds of things, out of time to others. Aspbergers persons are restricted in their range of feelings and capacity for empathy. They also can get fixated. They genuinly are limited and often frustrated by their limited tune in potential to the rest of the world. Psychopaths have enough ability to mimic certain interpersonal skills, unhampered by any authentic concience. It takes deeper analysis to recognise their superficiality. Poor Asbergers struggle to memorize appropriate responses and are poor at initiating interactions. Younger untreated ADHD persons are partly flawed in their interpersonal skills by being readily distracted, competing factors for focused attention can have them miss or fail to act on others interpersonal cues at times.While Aspergers persons are rather in a world of their own, it's not from feeling superior, just cognitive impairments. They and those with ADHD have no asumptions of being entitled, nor have any desire for malevolence or need to control others. Their forms of seeming self centered at times are akin to the selfishness like the causes of younger childrens occuring from immaturity. Conduct disorders are often a young persons responses to stresses and depression. They can also be a sign of emerging psycopathy, a lack of a capacity to be socialised. You do each disorder a great injustice when you make mistakes in where different conditions seem to overlap. Furthermore you facilitate misleading many decent folk struggling with their family members conditions. It appears that you are unable to evaluate research findings even if you did expand your horizons. You need to cover one condition in rigarous depth to start with to avoid your superficial errors or even start to broach the more complex areas of comorbidities. I've kept my response actually over simplistic, but needed to to make some key points. While there are overlapping symptoms, their reasons are due to different brain structures being impacted on. People can have runny stools due to a whole range of areas along the gastric system being disrupted by a whole range of causative factors. Remember this, as I doubt you'd dare write on gaestroentological diseases with as much presumption.

Katie's picture


I have a brother who I believe has ASPD. He fits every single characteristic. The reason I am researching this info. is b/c I need help for myself & I am not necessarly doing it for him. We have the same mother but diff. fathers. My brother is 34 now & began getting into trouble w/ the law at the age of 15. He was just released from prison (for theft) in Oct. It is now Feb. & he has landed himself back in jail, & is facing a 4th degree felony (for theft of prescription drugs). He has been an addict since he was around 13. I could write a book a/b the awful things he has done & I have nightmares that he molested me as a young girl (however, I have no proof). I care a lot for him & have desperately tried to help him my entire life but it is the same thing over & over. Same lies, stories, manipulation, guilt trips, yadayadayada. I have come to the determination that he doesn't love me (he doesn't love anyone) & know that I need to completely cut ties w/ him. How do I do that? That is what I need help do I not communicate with him ever again. I mean, is that the right thing to do? I don't think I can deal with the pain anymore. I really hope someone has some advice!!!!!!

Jean Visitor's picture

Brother with ASPD

I've been in the same situation as you and I felt that I had no choice but to completely cut off my brothers because of the pain and suffering that I experienced from our contacts. I'm 54 and moved far away from home when I graduated from college so I've had limited contact with my two siblings who are both male. My Dad was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and I realized my Mom was very co-dependent so there were major issues growing up. About 3 years ago I realized that one of my brothers had ASPD and he moved back in with his wife to my mom's home and stold everything from her. He threatened to kill me if I visited because I would disrupt his situation. He was diagnosed with Conduct Disorder as a child. My other brother was diagnosed with Bi-Polar - the type with mostly depression but I realize that he exhibits the symptoms of ASPD. He is very intelligent but has been in and out of jail the past 3 years because of alcohol, drugs, damaging property, violation of his restraining orders, etc. I was his last contact who tried to help him but even at that, he blamed me for things like his being in jail because I didn't pay his attorney, etc. I felt that I was on an emotional rollercoaster so I've cut ties with him also. I understand the struggle that you are going through - I've found that my life is peaceful and I can cope without having to deal with the pain from worrying about him. I really don't see that there is even a remote possibility that my brothers will every comphrend their own actions and they certainly are not able to love anyone because they are emotionally incapable. Each of them have one son with whom I have limited access because of my brothers. I hope that some day they will understand but I have no choice and I have no other living family - just my friends and strong connection with my church. I think that you are doing the best thing for your own sanity. Best wishes. Jean

Serendip Visitor Brigitte Jones's picture

Act On It-No Contact

You have described a horrendous journey. It does take time to reach the understanding you have now.

You have no sane, safe or any other responsible choice to do anything but fully cut all ties and all contactwith him permanently. That is if you are worthy of any self respect and that of others or even truly care for any others in your life. Do seek some counselling for repair to yourself from the injuries he's caused you and to make sure you become wise enough to never be involved with any one else with any of the psychopathic spectrum disorders and you don't inadvertantly teach any children you may have to be a victim of such. If you won't do that then look in the mirror and acknowledge you are one who will KNOWINGLY collude with evil and perpetuate the evil such do.

Syed Hasnain Sohail's picture

Personality Disorder

i have a strange feeling everytime tht overcomes my ability to negotiate with daily life routines. i feel like being dragged away from my goal i feel scared and ashamed whether someone knows abt my thinking and wat they r thinking abt me. i dont have any therapist i just need a cure i m suffering from mental personality disorder due to my personality being shy from childhood i think the right way but can't same to put things on the right direction i haven't met any psychologist but i know i need some proper pills can u plz help me out

Serendip Visitor's picture

anti-social pd

to mitch,
surely that's what it's all about? In so far as it's all degrees in life.
I'm sure occasionally he does "lapse", it is not stated whether he has achieved an intimate relationship, just relationships, therefore maybe he is still working towards that and at the moment is still at the friendship stage of his growth in this area.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it all takes time and work and patient and perserverence.....
But this is our one life so we try

Anonymous's picture

antisocial personality disorder cluster B

I have a 31 year old daughter who was diagnosed with ADD as a pre teen. She was put on Ritilyn (sp) and refused to take it after awhile. She has every classic symptom of the cluster B disorder, so I won't state them but we as her parents have supported her financially to this point due to the fact she cannot keep employed. She is in total denial that she has any problems...she considers us the ones who are ill. How do we convince her to get help. After all my research about this mental disorder..I would consider her case quite severe but she at this point is not a danger to society, just her self. And where would we find the best place for us to get help???
Mental Health Clinic, Psch, ????

Serendip Visitor's picture


Hello, I was doing some reading on the net and came across your posting. I am in the same boat and what is interesting is tha it is my 31 year old daughter who has a severe case of ASPD (normally if a person meets 3 out of 7 can be diagnosed as a person with aspd but she meets all of them) My husband and I are so depressed to the point it is hard for us to function and we cannot deal with our daughter. In fact we are not talking to her, it has been over 1 year. She has a daughter last year and she is doing so many out of norm things that bother us soooooo much. I wonder if you have found any 'cure' for this condition.

Karen Black

Serendip Visitor's picture


Hello Karen, when I read your posting, I thought maybe my husband wrote it. The only difference is that my daughter is 32. The rest is exactly the same. 7 out of 7 she met. I for 31 years tried to cure her with all of my energy and time and cried a million times. Many friends told me to pretend like I did not have that child but I would not give up. Last year a psy friend showed me 2 papers and they changed my life because suddenly there is a name for my daughter's condition. I used to think she was just a bad kid. Ever since those 2 papers(about ASPD) I came to accept that there is nothing I can do. Anyway we don't have any relationship with her for the last 2 years and we have never seen the granddaughter. We are ok with the situation. If you would like to communicate with me, my email is

Rachel Brown

Deanne's picture

How can I find a therapist for my child with this disorder?

I have a 13 year-old son who has many of the symptoms of anti-social personality disorder in addition to bipolar disorder. The medication that he takes for BP does not improve his anti-social behavior. His father was diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder in the Ukraine early on in life (by age 12) and was never able to overcome it, so my son has a clear genetic predisposition toward this disorder. My question is; how can I find a QUALIFIED therapist to address the issues that my son's behavior causes? We have seen family therapists, but they don't seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation. How can I find a therapist who specifically deals with anti-social personality disorder?
Thank you,

Jillian's picture

Try Mayo Clinic in Rochester,

Try Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. They are probably your best bet if you really cannot find someone to help you.

Mitch's picture

overcoming anitsocial personality

I was curious about the friend who has become "healed" of "Antisocial Personality.
I wonder if he still has many of the tendencies, but can keep it in check, to some degree?
I wonder if in private, and with the right social triggers, or associations, if the Antisocial tendencies come out?
Additionally, Is it possible to have the disorder, however, was never abused as a child, and never diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant, or Conduct Disorder?
I have many of the symptoms as an adult, however, I was never aggressive, bullied, or committed crimes.
I have many of the other symptoms.

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