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What Is Anti-Social Personality Disorder?

Indiffference to other people is a symptom of ASPD

The ability to forge healthy social relationships is based on emotional capabilities, like trust and empathy. But, Tennessee residents with anti-social personality disorder (ASPD) have a limited ability to show trust and empathy, and this limited ability blocks them from enjoying the benefits of social relationships. An increased vulnerability to addiction is a possible consequence of this disability, but professional treatment can address this disorder and drug abuse at the same time.

Defining Anti-Social Personality Disorder

The modern definition of anti-social personality disorder hinges on the following seven characteristics:

  • Indifference to the needs or suffering of other people
  • Aggression
  • Refusal to comply with societal expectations
  • Habitual lying
  • Abandonment of responsibilities
  • Inability to plan for the future
  • Unnecessary risk taking

At least three of these characteristics must be present for Tennessee residents to be diagnosed with ASPD. They must also have displayed conduct disorder (a related mental problem) during childhood.

Uncertain Causes of ASPD

Thoughts and behaviors are complex processes that proceed under the influence of innumerable physical and psychological factors. So, because ASPD is rooted in thoughts and behaviors, it is very difficult to definitively attribute the disorder to specific causes. While it is difficult to identify causes of this condition, genetic factors play some role in the development of ASPD. A 2008 review published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London gathered data about twins and anti-social behavior; it shows that a tendency toward callous behavior towards other appeared is present apart from environmental factors.

However, experiences during childhood are also decisive factors in the development of ASPD. Arbitrary and inconsistent parenting, abuse and traumatic experiences all interfere with the process of developing empathy and emotional connections with others. These experiences may leave Tennessee residents ill-equipped to incorporate these emotional capabilities into their adolescent development.

ASPD and Drug Addiction

Impulsive and uncaring behavior associated with ASPD can cause many other problems. While difficult relationships, patterns of criminal behavior and a general tendency to die at a young age are all significant complications of ASPD, substance abuse and addiction is one of the most common and confounding problems associated with this disorder. In a 2004 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 71% of 615 heroin users could have been diagnosed with ASPD.

An unusual willingness to take risks and to defy societal expectations may account for some of the prevalence of drug abuse among those with ASPD. But, the emotional turmoil of ASPD is another possible motivation. Heroin, alcohol and other drugs chemically change the user’s state of mind, so the effects of these drugs may offer some relief from the symptoms of ASPD.

Regardless of the how or why it begins, substance addiction complicates the lives of those with ASPD. Depression, anxiety and other stresses that come with addiction can overload coping strategies Tennessee residents use to control their disorder. But, since many symptoms of ASPD are similar to those of addiction, ASPD may be masked from mental health professionals that are attempting to treat the addiction.

Anti-Social Personality Disorder Treatment for Tennessee Drug Addicts

If addiction and anti-social personality disorder affect you or a Tennessee friend, then call our 24 hour helpline now. The toll-free call to our admissions coordinators can connect you with resources that can help you recover, so reach out right now for professional support.