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Antisocial Behavior: How Dangerous Could It Be?

Smoking and the use of illegal drugs are more likely for people suffering from antisocial personality disorder / Photo by Jjimage Suntorn Niamwhan via 123RF

 

An antisocial personality disorder is a disorder that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of disregard for other people’s rights, often crossing the line and violating those rights. A person with an antisocial personality disorder often feels little or no empathy toward other people and doesn’t see the problem in bending or breaking the law for their own needs or wants. The disorder usually begins in childhood or as a teen and continues into a person’s adult life.

Southampton UK also explained on their website that having antisocial behavior could lead the person to cause wreckage and chaos by harassing other people and distress to them. It could be a very alarming behavior especially if someone who has an antisocial behavior lives in a place where there are babies and families who they could hurt. Antisocial behavior is often referred to by the popular culture as “sociopaths,” mental health professionals generally do not use that term in diagnosing or discussing the disorder. The more shocking, harmful, or dangerous behavior patterns are referred to as sociopathic or psychopathic.

Antisocial behavior could display aggressive behavior which could be often connected with psychotic behavior which is also dangerous if the person affected goes out of hand. Psychology Today mentioned that psychotic mind and antisocial behavior are both a kindling to violence especially if the person has a mental illness and that could affect their overall behavior because it would affect their actions. People with antisocial personality disorder are at higher risk for a wide range of physical and mental health problems as well as poor life outcomes.

Moreover, people with antisocial personality disorder are much more likely to smoke, use illegal drugs, and become dependent on alcohol than people without a personality disorder. In one study, more than half of people with an antisocial personality disorder were smokers, compared with only 12% of the general population. More than half also had a drug use disorder, compared with less than 5% percent of the general population.

The Concerns of Antisocial Behavior

According to Science Daily, an antisocial personality disorder is known to cause impulsive behavior which could lead to other personality disorders that would harm the person who has it. People with this illness may seem charming on the surface, but they are likely to be irritable and aggressive as well as irresponsible. They may have numerous somatic complaints and perhaps attempt suicide. Due to their manipulative tendencies, it is difficult to tell whether they are lying or telling the truth.

Individuals with antisocial personality disorder frequently lack empathy and tend to be callous, cynical, and contemptuous of the feelings, rights, and sufferings of others. They may have an inflated and arrogant self-appraisal and may be excessively opinionated, self-assured, or cocky. They may display a glib, superficial charm and can be quite voluble and verbally facile using technical terms or jargon that might impress someone who is unfamiliar with the topic.

Those with antisocial personality disorder are often impulsive and reckless, failing to consider or disregarding the consequences of their actions. They may repeatedly disregard and jeopardize their own safety and the safety of others and place themselves and others in danger. People with antisocial personality disorder might be often aggressive and hostile and display a dysregulated temper and can lash out violently with provocation or frustration.

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates from the norm of the individual’s culture. The pattern is seen in two or more of the following areas: cognition; affect; interpersonal functioning; or impulse control. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. The pattern is stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back to early adulthood or adolescence.

Genetics of Antisocial Behavior

There’s no easy answer to the question of why some people end up in jails and prisons while others do not. It’s a mathematical reality that the American criminal justice system disproportionately punishes poor people and black people for the same crimes as wealthier and white people. An antisocial personality disorder is widely overrepresented in prisons. Take a crowd of 100 people of the street, and chances are just one to three of them will have an antisocial personality disorder.

Meanwhile, The University de Montreal, shared that there is a gene involved in the regulation of emotions and behavior could influence the long-term impact of violence experienced in childhood on antisocial behavior. This is the finding of a longitudinal study carried out by a team of researchers on 237 young men who live in Quebec, some of whom were exposed to violence as children.

One gene that has seen particular interest in its correlation with antisocial behavior is the gene that encodes for Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), an enzyme that breaks down monoamine neurotransmitter such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Various studies examining the gene’s relationship to behavior have suggested that variants of the gene that results in less MAO-A being produced, such as the 2R and 3R alleles of the promoter region, have associations with aggressive behavior in men.

 

People with antisocial personality disorder may seem charming on the surface but are irresponsible / Photo by Rancz Andrei via 123RF

 

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