Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a personality disorder. It is marked by antisocial (criminal) behavior, anger, boredom, and general discontent. It is defined by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. The DSM-5 is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
They list the following criteria.
- Impaired self functioning showing at least one of these:
- Impaired Identity: Ego-centrism; self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure.
- Impaired Self-direction: Goal-setting based on personal gratification; absence of prosocial internal standards associated with failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behavior.
- Impaired interpersonal functioning showing at least one of these:
- Impaired Empathy: Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another.
- Impaired Intimacy: Incapacity for mutually intimate relationships, as exploitation is a primary means of relating to others, including by deceit and coercion; use of dominance or intimidation to control others.
- Pathological personality traits including at least one of these:
- Manipulativeness: Frequent use of subterfuge to influence or control others; use of seduction, charm, glibness, or ingratiation to achieve one’s ends.
- Deceitfulness: Dishonesty and fraudulence; misrepresentation of self; embellishment or fabrication when relating events.
- Callousness: Lack of concern for feelings or problems of others; lack of guilt or remorse about the negative or harmful effects of one’s actions on others; aggression; sadism.
- Hostility: Persistent or frequent angry feelings; anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults; mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior.
- Irresponsibility: Disregard for – and failure to honor – financial and other obligations or commitments; lack of respect for – and lack of follow through on agreements and promises.
- Impulsivity: Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli; acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes; difficulty establishing and following plans.
- Risk taking: Engagement in dangerous, risky, and potentially self-damaging activities, unnecessarily and without regard for consequences; boredom proneness and thoughtless initiation of activities to counter boredom; lack of concern for one’s limitations and denial of the reality of personal danger.
- The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are relatively stable across time and consistent across situations.
- The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not better understood as normative for the individual’s developmental stage or sociocultural environment.
- The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not solely due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., severe head trauma).
- The individual is at least age 18 years.
DSM-5 indicates that the annual prevalence of Antisocial Personality Disorder is .02% to 3.3.%. However, it may be under-diagnosed. Most people with antisocial personality disorder do not seek treatment on their own.
Sources & Resources
- Hofvander, B., Delorme, R., Chaste, P., Nydén, A., Wentz, E., Ståhlberg, O., Herbrecht, E., Stopin, A., Anckarsäter, H., Gillberg, C. and Råstam, M. (2009). Psychiatric and psychosocial problems in adults with normal-intelligence autism spectrum disorders. BMC psychiatry, 9(1), 35+.
- Lynam, D. R., & Vachon, D. D. (2012). Antisocial personality disorder in DSM-5: Missteps and missed opportunities. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3(4), 483.
- Rautiainen, M.R., Paunio, T., Repo-Tiihonen, E., Virkkunen, M., Ollila, H.M., Sulkava, S., Jolanki, O., Palotie, A. and Tiihonen, J. (2016). Genome-wide association study of antisocial personality disorder. Translational psychiatry, 6(9), e883+.