Living With Antisocial Personality Disorder

People with antisocial personality disorder pay little attention to how others think or feel. They often break laws and hurt others without feeling guilty. They may lie or manipulate or abuse people. Many people with antisocial personality disorder run the risk of seriously hurting themselves or others.

Due to the nature of antisocial personality disorder, many people with this illness don’t recognize that they have a problem. They don’t feel remorse, so they are unlikely to feel that their thoughts and behavior need correcting. This can make living with antisocial personality disorder very difficult for the affected person, as well as for his family and those around him.

Complications of Antisocial Personality Disorder

People with antisocial personality disorder often face incarceration and frequent conflicts with the law. Substance abuse is also a common problem among psychopaths. Due to substance abuse and symptoms of antisocial personality disorder, many sociopaths experience panic attacks, tension and anxiety problems. Many people with antisocial personality disorder attempt suicide or risk death by violent means.

Coping with Personality Disorder

Coping with personality disorders isn’t easy, especially antisocial personality disorder. In many cases, people with antisocial personality disorder will only pursue treatment when ordered or forced to do so; sociopaths are often not interested in making changes to their thoughts and behaviors that could benefit them. However, the following activities may be helpful for people with antisocial personality disorder:

  • Adding structure to daily life
  • Being surrounded by family and friends
  • Following a healthy diet and exercise program
  • Keeping a journal to let out negative emotions
  • Relaxing and managing stress.

Most of all, people with antisocial personality disorder need to stay focused and motivated. Recovering from personality disorders is an ongoing process.

Sociopath Support

Friends and family of someone with antisocial personality disorder should gently encourage her to seek therapy. Treatment may be one-on-one with a psychotherapist or in a support group setting. Participating in a support group specifically for people with the condition may give the patient a chance to communicate and share her feelings. Family and friends are often encouraged to participate in therapy.

People with antisocial personality disorder may cope with their condition by:

  • Adhering to a treatment plan, including attending all scheduled therapy sessions
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Being aware of warning signs that may precipitate harmful or destructive behavior
  • Exercising and staying active
  • Learning about antisocial personality disorder
  • Staying in touch with their doctors and getting regular medical care
  • Taking prescribed medications as directed.

Living with antisocial personality disorder and coping with the illness can be very difficult. With therapy and support groups, however, sociopaths may learn to control their impulsivity and treat others with respect.

Resources

Grohol, J. M. (2010). Antisocial personality disorder treatment. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx7t.htm

Lebelle, L. (2008). Personality disorders. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://www.focusas.com/PersonalityDisorders.html

Mayo Clinic. (2008). Antisocial personality disorder. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829