How Common Is Antisocial Personality Disorder? | The Ranch

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How Common Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

August 8, 2017 Articles
young man in the dark

Antisocial personality disorder treatment can provide great benefits for those living with the challenges of the disorder. The name of the condition is slightly deceiving; antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) has nothing to do with a disinterest in hanging out with people. Instead, it is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in early childhood or adolescence and continues into adulthood.”  ASPD is usually diagnosed in adults 18 and older.

Other traits of antisocial personality disorder include:

  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity
  • Remorselessness

Criminal behavior is common in individuals with antisocial personality disorder. It is sometimes called sociopathic personality disorder. Due to their noted lack of concern for other human beings, some people with ASPD would be referred to as sociopaths.

How common is antisocial personality disorder?

Very little research exists regarding antisocial personality disorder. The prevalence of the disorder is considered to be low, as it is seen in only 1% of the U.S. adult population. Both lifetime prevalence and the percentage of severe cases are unreported. Antisocial personality disorder is more common in men than women.

Oftentimes, those with antisocial personality disorder struggle with other co-occurring conditions, especially substance abuse and reckless behavior, which can lead to higher mortality rates for those afflicted. Additionally, among those with ASPD, 50% also have an anxiety disorder and 25% have some type of depressive disorder.

What is antisocial personality disorder treatment?

Research surrounding antisocial personality disorder treatment and its effectiveness is also limited. Intensive treatment is usually necessary. Of those studied, treatment that focused on the risk-taking behaviors and substance abuse were the most productive. Additionally, research showed that when individuals with ASPD attended four treatment sessions per week for a minimum of one year, they received better results. Antisocial personality disorder treatment shows more positive results when intervening while the individual is still young.

Despite the narrow scope of research, antisocial personality disorder treatment should still be pursued, as treatment is beneficial to both those with the disorder and those around them. Treatment can also help to minimize the risk these individuals face by addressing their preference for risky behavior, helping them live a longer, healthier life.


“Antisocial Personality Disorder” National Institute of Mental Health

“Antisocial Personality Disorder” Stéphane A. De Brito and Sheilagh Hodgins

“Antisocial Personality Disorder” PubMed Health

“Interventions for People With Antisocial Personality Disorder and Associated Symptoms and Behaviors” Antisocial Personality Disorder: Treatment, Management and Prevention

“Antisocial Personality Disorder” J. Reid Meloy and Jessica Yakeley

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