Antisocial Personality Disorder

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Antisocial Personality Disorder revolves on an axis of power which is a defensive response to the belief that everyone is against him. Based on the core belief that no one cares for him, he in turn believes his needs and desires supersede those of all others and thus has no personal interest or affection for anyone other himself and is unencumbered by responsibility, apprehension or the weight of worry. He shows a history of contempt and disregard for the rights of others occurring since age 15, as are indicated by three or more of the following from DSM IV:

  1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
  2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
  3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
  4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
  5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
  6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations
  7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

The term antisocial is not a reference to poor social skills; the antisocial is often charismatic and skilled at captivating people and earns trust with ease; they are manipulative and calculating, abusing trust and privilege. The antisocial persons' dysfunction is beyond an inability to empathize which is the ability to feel the experience of another's emotions; the antisocial person is firmly grounded in reality with a clear ability to understand right from wrong but feels no concern for the rights or well-being of others. The narcissist lacks empathy because he failed to learn it through example and reflection in childhood and seeks attention to validate his existence, whereas the antisocial lacks it because of his deeper inability to feel and emote. The antisocial knows what society considers right from wrong--though she may disagree with society--the difference is that she doesn't care and may derive pleasure from rebelling against societal rules and conformity, she is without a conscience, remorse or a sense of shame.

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