DSM-5 Disorder of the Day / Antisocial Personality Disorder

The DSM-5 is the “Bible” of Human Behavioral Pathology; more organized than the original, but it paints an equally nasty portrait of Homo sapiens.

Antisocial Personality Disorder
The Antisocial Personality Disorder*
is characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for the rights of other people that often manifests as hostility and/or aggression. Deceit and manipulation are also central features.

In many cases hostile-aggressive and deceitful behaviors may first appear during childhood.

  • These children may hurt or torment animals or people.
  • They may engage in hostile acts such as bullying or intimidating others.
  • They may have a reckless disregard for property such as setting fires.
  • They often engage in deceit, theft, and other serious violations of standard rules of conduct.
    • When this is the case, Conduct Disorder (a juvenile form of Antisocial Personality Disorder) may be an appropriate diagnosis.
    • Conduct Disorder is often considered the precursor to an Antisocial Personality Disorder.

In addition to reckless disregard for others, they often place themselves in dangerous or risky situations. They frequently act on impulsive urges without considering the consequences. This difficulty with impulse control results in loss of employment, accidents, legal difficulties, and incarceration.

Persons with Antisocial Personality Disorder typically do not experience genuine remorse for the harm they cause others. However, they can become quite adept at feigning remorse when it is in their best interest to do so (such as when standing before a judge).

They take little to no responsibility for their actions. In fact, they will often blame their victims for “causing” their wrong actions, or deserving of their fate. The aggressive features of this personality disorder make it stand out among other personality disorders as individuals with this disorder take a unique toll on society.

Note: The conversion of “criminal activity as a set of behaviors that can be changed through rehabilitation”, into a permanent condition, that is, a “personality disorder” – condemns the person as a “criminal” by birth (or race, ethnicity or social class), and therefore that person presents an ongoing antisocial threat, for whom change in behavior is not possible. “Criminal behavior is not learned, but “inborn”. A lifelong cycle of imprisonment and recidivism is the result. “Warehousing” in prisons is the solution, not only for “criminals” but for the Mentally Ill, who are also judged to be “permanently” irretrievable and a threat to society.  In social policy and practice, the distinction between “criminal types” and the “mentally ill” is rapidly becoming obsolete.


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