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Signs And Behaviors: Antisocial Personality Disorder Pt7

Dr. Phil McGraw discusses antisocial personality disorder, also known as psychopathy or sociopathy. He explains that individuals with this disorder display a pattern of disregarding or violating the rights of others, either by ignoring them or actively harming them. They do not conform to social norms and often lie or act impulsively. While they know right from wrong, they lack empathy and remorse, making them selfish and uncaring. Antisocial personality disorder is more common in men and is often under-diagnosed because those with the disorder do not seek treatment.

Dr. Phil emphasizes the importance of early intervention, provides a checklist to identify characteristics of antisocial personality disorder, and discusses the distinction between assertiveness and aggression. He dispels myths about the disorder.

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Listen in to - Signs And Behaviors: Antisocial Personality Disorder

The Facts: Borderline Personality Disorder

What Makes Them Tick? Antisocial Personality Disorder


Source: Mayo Clinic

The exact cause of antisocial personality disorder isn't known, but:

  • Genes may make you vulnerable to developing antisocial personality disorder — and life situations may trigger its development

  • Changes in the way the brain functions may have resulted during brain development

Risk factors

  • Diagnosis of childhood conduct disorder

  • Family history of antisocial personality disorder or other personality disorders or mental health disorders

  • Being subjected to abuse or neglect during childhood

  • Unstable, violent or chaotic family life during childhood

  • Men are at greater risk of having antisocial personality disorder than women are.


Certain disorders may mimic ASPD, so it’s important for your healthcare provider to make the right diagnosis. These disorders include:


Complications, consequences and problems of antisocial personality disorder may include, for example:

  • Spouse abuse or child abuse or neglect

  • Problems with alcohol or substance use

  • Being in jail or prison

  • Homicidal or suicidal behaviors

  • Having other mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety

  • Low social and economic status and homelessness

  • Premature death, usually as a result of violence


  • There's no sure way to prevent antisocial personality disorder from developing in those at risk.

  • Because antisocial behavior is thought to have its roots in childhood, parents, teachers and pediatricians may be able to spot early warning signs.

  • It may help to try to identify those most at risk, such as children who show signs of conduct disorder, and then offer early intervention.

Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL)

Source: In book: Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Publisher: Springer Editors: V. Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford Authors: Kristopher J. Brazil Carleton University and Adelle E. Forth

November 2016 (preliminary research rating scale developed by Robert Hare and his colleagues for the assessment of the clinical construct psychopathy in criminal populations.) Items in the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised

  • Glibness/superficial charm

  • Grandiose sense of self-worth

  • Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

  • Pathological lying

  • Conning/manipulative

  • Lack of remorse or guilt

  • Shallow affect

  • Callous/lack of empathy

  • Parasitic lifestyle

  • Poor behavioral control

  • Promiscuous sexual behavior

  • Early behavior problems

  • Lack of realistic, long-term goals

  • Impulsivity

  • Irresponsibility

  • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

  • Many short-term marital relationships

  • Juvenile delinquency

  • Revocation of conditional release

  • Criminal versatility

Criminal Behaviors

  • Yet there is little public awareness of the patterns of these personalities and how deceptive and charming they can be.

  • When the news media wonders what each killer’s motive was, they should also be wondering if they had a life-long personality pattern that may have given some warning signs.

  • Killers with narcissistic and/or antisocial personality disorders don’t need a motive. Their drive to demean and destroy their Targets of Blame may be sufficient.

Signs And Behaviors: Antisocial Personality Disorder

Myths And Truths- Antisocial Personality Disorder

Mental Health Resources

  • The American Psychiatric Association has a comprehensive guide on help with personality disorders, for patients and their families. Learn about the 10 specific types, symptoms and treatment.

  • The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) offers contact information for several groups who can assist with finding treatment, financial assistance and advocacy services.

  • The Personality Disorders Awareness Network (PDAN) has compiled a list of international organizations that can help.

  • Cleveland Clinic offers research on Antisocial Personality Disorder including symptoms and causes, prevention and outlook/prognosis.


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