I am writing today about the basics of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD).
Quite recently, I realized that the ‘love of my life’ has ASPD. In addition, he has many characteristics of both Narcissistic and Borderline personality disorders along with decades of addiction to illegal drugs and alcohol. However, his primary personality disorder is ASPD, so I am writing specifically on that subject.
My interest in this subject is due to my own personal experiences. I am one of many voices on the internet who can tell you my tale of recovering from a relationship with someone with ASPD.
This relationship has hurt me financially, emotionally, physically, sexually and energetically. I met him when I was 18. We married young. I left him when I was 22 due to his drug addiction and involvement with criminals. Unfortunately, at that time, I did not grasp that my young husband was mentally ill. Instead, I blamed his problems solely on drugs and alcohol.
As a result, he was able to sweet talk his way back into my life when I was 40. He did this by lying to me, our daughter, our parents and my friends about his ‘recovery’ from addictions, which was completely bogus, as he’d never stopped using. Instead, he’d learned to hide his illegal activities by developing a double life; he showed one to his family and the other was spent engaging with criminals in criminal activities.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about Antisocial personality disorder is that the term has replaced Psychopathy in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM.) Yes, the person with ASPD is, in fact, a psychopath. It’s that scary, and that dangerous.
Definitions of Antisocial Personality Disorder/Psychopathy
Diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder
“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV-TR), defines antisocial personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B) as:
- A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:
- failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
- deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
- impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
- irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
- reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
- consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
- lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder)
Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder
The causes of ASPD are not well-known. It appears to be a genetic abnormality in the brain. Experts agree that people are born with ASPD, although there is some conjecture about the possibility of this disorder developing as the result of child abuse or neglect.
Brain Differences in Persons wtih ASPD
Researchers from the University of Madison-Wisconsin have recently released a study which proves that the brains of psychopaths have less connections between the ventromedial frontal cortex. (Source: http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/11/25/a-psychopaths-brain-is-different/31866.html).
We use our ventromedial frontal cortex for judgement, decision-making and social functioning. Research strongly suggests that people with ASPD have undeveloped brains. They’ve never developed into normal adults and do know neither what empathy is, nor delayed gratification. In many ways, they are like ten-year olds in adult bodies. Their bodies are mature, but they are not capable of being responsible, caring adults. Their primary purpose in life is to seek immediate gratification. They like to play with toys. Toys of an adult with ASPD are anything which gives him or her pleasure. (I was the toy of a man with ASPD. It’s a pretty crappy thing to try to recover from.)
Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder
Although there are some alternative therapies being tested, currently there are no medically recommended effective treatments for ASPD. Neither medication nor talk therapy has proven effective. Like those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, ASPD individuals share the core belief that there is nothing wrong with the way they are.
My ex husband spent so much time dealing drugs and hanging out with criminals, that after twenty-five years, he really was not able to judge what he or his friends were doing as ‘bad’. The only issue in their behavior was that of getting caught. (Again, this probably stems from their undeveloped brains.) From what I’ve read, most individuals with ASPD will only seek counseling when they are coerced to do so by either an irate spouse or the judicial system, and in these cases, they will flee counseling as soon as they are no longer required to attend.
How to Have a Relationship with Someone With Antisocial Personality Disorder
This answer is simple; you can’t. Unless you enjoy being lied to, cheated on, hurt and deceived in various ways, and you are tolerant of criminal activity, you’d better just get out. He or she won’t change. Most likely, the person in your life with ASPD was born that way. His or her brain is different from yours. Although this person can talk quite coherently about love and their feelings for you, remember that people with ASPD are actors. They are glib conversationalists who can be delightful companions. However, it is their actions which count and not their words. If you can stop listening to them and look at who they are, how they spend their time, who they spend it with and what their secrets are, then you will soon discover that the person you thought you loved is actually quite a scumbag.
- Get the Cluster B People Out of Your Life! (Psychopaths, Narcissists, Sociopaths…) (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Where Narcissicm Ends and Antisocial Personality Disorder Begins (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Realizing My Ex has Antisocial Personality Disorder (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Twin Study of Antisocial Personality Disorder (brainposts.blogspot.com)
- Brain Imaging in Antisocial Personality: I (brainposts.blogspot.com)
- How A Psychopath’s Brain is Different (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Sociopathy (psychopathresistance.wordpress.com)
- The Disconnection of Psychopaths (neurocritic.blogspot.com)
- A Misunderstood Personality Disorder – Psychopathy (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Is Your Child a Psychopath? (abcnews.go.com)
- Psychopathy and Beyond (oup.com)
- Psychopathy: A misunderstood personality disorder (thetoxiccoworker.wordpress.com)
- ‘My brain made me do it’ – a legitimate defence? (oshanebourthoumieuxscpo201110.wordpress.com)
- The Dark Path to Antisocial Personality Disorder (cherished79.wordpress.com)
- New Study: The Dark Path To Antisocial Personality Disorder (medicalnewstoday.com)