Anti-Social Personality Disorder

Similar In Some Ways To Narcissism

Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating others. This disorder is more often associated with criminal activity than is narcissism.

We usually associate parental alienation with a narcissistic parent who is obsessed with control and being the center of attention.  But, people with one disorder typically have others with either similar or more serous antisocial traits.  This combination of problems can make a diagnosis  difficult but it certainly creates problems with relationships.  To make it even more difficult, people with the syndrome are commonnly referred to as sociopaths  or psychopaths.

Like narcissist, those with this disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others either harshly or with callous indifference. They do tend to find themselves in legal difficulties  yet they show no guilt or remorse. They may lie, behave violently or impulsively, and have problems with drug and alcohol use. These characteristics typically make people with the disorder unable to fulfill responsibilities related to family, work or school.

This personality disorder is characterized by a disregard for social obligations, and callous unconcern for the feelings of others; like narcissists, they are distinguished by the inability to empathize with others' feelings. There can be a gross disparity between their behavior and the prevailing social norms. It is very difficult to modify this behavior. Even punishment tends to be ineffective. People with the disorder tend to have  a low tolerance for frustration and a quick and  low threshold for aggression, including violence; there is a tendency to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that  leads the person into conflict with society.

Click here to read more about Antisocial disorders on the Personality Disorders Page.

Individuals with this Antisocial Personality  Disorder tend to lack empathy and are callous, cynical, and contemptuous of the feelings, rights, and sufferings of others. They may display an inflated and arrogant personality  and may be excessively opinionated, self-assured, or cocky. They may display a glib, superficial charm and can be quite voluble and verbally facile (e.g., using technical terms or jargon that might impress someone who is unfamiliar with the topic-another trait of narcissists). Lack of empathy, inflated self-appraisal, and superficial charm are features that have been commonly included in traditional conceptions of psychopathy and may be particularly distinguishing of this disorder in prison or forensic settings where criminal, delinquent, or aggressive acts are likely to be nonspecific. These individuals may also be irresponsible and exploitative in their sexual relationships.

Like all personality disorders, this personality disorder has a deeply ingrained and enduring behavior pattern, manifesting itself as an inflexible response to a broad range of personal and social situations. This behavior represents an extreme or significant deviation from the way in which the average individual in a given culture relates to others. This behavior pattern tends to be stable. It may not cause personal distress, but does cause problems in social interactions .

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Typical symptoms include the following. Notice the similarity with some symptoms of narcissism:

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

The Hare Psychopathic Checklist lists the following traits as prevalent among people with this behavior disorder:

  • Glibness/superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Pathological lying
  • Conning/manipulative
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
  • Callousness; lack of empathy
  • Failure to accept responsibility for his or her own actions
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Poor behavioral control
  • Lack of realistic long-term goals
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Early behavior problems
  • Revocation of conditional release
  • Criminal versatility
  • Many short-term (marital) relationships

Like many people with mental illnesses people afflicted with this dysfunctional  disorder tend to avoid treatment. People with personality disorders, in general, do not often seek out treatment until the disorder starts to significantly interfere or otherwise impact a person’s life. This most often happens when a person’s behavior patterns are noticed by authority figures and force or coerce the person to seek help developing  a better ability to cope with their personal resources which are stretched too thin to deal with the stress of their life's events.

Diagnosis really requires a mental health professional who can compare the individual's personality and life history with the symptoms this here.

Antisocial behavior  can play a distinctive role with a parent who is actively  alienating a child against the other parent. This is especially true where the dysfunctional traits overlap with narcissistic characteristics.

Listed below are a few scholarly works about Anti-social Personality Disorder.  Click on the links to read them.

Table of Contents

Alienator Personality Types And Parental Alienation
Alienator Personality Types Perpetrate Parental Alienation
Personality Disorders And Parental Alienation
Personality Disorders Play A Significant Role In Parent Alienation
Convergent Emotional Disorders
The convergence Of Emotional Disorders Can Be The Key To Parental Alienation
Family Dynamics' Significance In Alienation
Family Dynamics And Individual Personalities Are Significant Factors In Parental Alienation
Child Advocacy Is Failing Families Battling Against Parental Alienation
Child Advocacy is Is Failing Families Battling Against Parental Alienation
Therapeutic Intervention In Parental Alienation
Early Therapeutic Intervention May Prevent Parent Alienation
Parental Alienation Destroyed My Family
A Carefully Executed Plan Of Parental Alienation Destroyed My Family
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