Personality disorders are mental health diagnoses that affect a victim’s ability to have normal healthy relationships with the people around them. Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is characterized by the inability to conform to social norms regarding honesty, criminal behavior, aggressiveness, blatant irresponsibility, and impulsivity. Suffering from the disorder can make the victims’ lives very difficult since they may find it hard to interact with other people, while those around them may avoid them due to their antisocial tendencies.
Here are five questions to ask yourself to know whether you suffer from APD:
- When your actions or words hurt people, do you feel sorry, guilty, or sad about it? The lack of remorse is a common symptom of APD.
- Do you find yourself manipulating others for your personal gain? If you manipulate people around you, often for personal gain, there is a high chance that you are a victim of APD
- Are you impulsive and overly spontaneous? Impulsivity regarding harmful, dangerous or illegal behavior is a key symptom of antisocial personality disorder.
- Are you an aggressive or irritable person? Both of these are key signs of APD
- Are you impatient when listening to other people’s opinions? People living with antisocial personality disorder have a hard time respecting other people’s thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Recognizing that you or some close to you suffers from the disorder is only a part of the journey. For the knowledge to help you, you have to work towards treating antisocial personality disorder.
Treating antisocial personality disorder
Treating this particular disorder is tough. There is no true cure for the mental and behavioral issues that come with APD. The best way to treat victims of APD is to motivate them to change their behavior. For this reason, therapy is the recommended treatment for antisocial personality disorder. To understand how therapy can help you alleviate APD and lead a healthier, more balanced life, here are the three main methods used by therapists to help people suffering from APD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
This form of treatment enables the victims to learn the triggers that lead them to indulge in antisocial tendencies, then help them learn ways to overcome these triggers. It is the best method to equip individuals suffering from APD with the coping strategies needed to increase positive feelings towards others, to enable them to function normally within society, and to prevent the impulsivity and risk-taking that lead to crime.
Talk therapy is very useful for patients who are willing to talk to a counselor about their issues. By using the counselor as a sounding board, they come to personal realizations that help them understand their conditions better. Talk therapy should be conducted by a certified therapist since untrained individuals may not be able to focus on the key areas that the victim needs to address. This form of treatment is best suited for people who only suffer from mild or moderate APD.
Schema therapy an alternative to CBT and is usually employed in cases where the latter has failed. It is best suited for victims whose antisocial tendencies stem from poor childhood coping skill. The therapy helps people decrease their occasions of violence and aggression in their lives.