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Antisocial Personality Disorder most people have probably heard that term in passing. Usually we tie it with those people within our society that show a correlation to violent crime. However, this disorder is not just the domain of those who fit the Hannibal Lecter persona. Instead it can be found in the business world as well as all other areas of society. According to Weiten (2007), "antisocial personality disorder is marked by impulsive, callous, manipulative, aggressive, and irresponsible behavior that reflects a failure to accept social norms" (p. 581).1 These are essentially the sharks of the human world. They are predatory in nature and often times shrouded in mystery. However, that predatory nature often manifests itself early in childhood. The maladaptive behavior is rooted in conduct adverse to social functionality. Imagine if you will a child that begins to find itself in trouble due to outbursts of often time dishonest or violent behavior. According to Weiten (2007), "The antisocial personality disorder occurs much more frequently among males than females. Studies suggest that it is a moderately common disorder, seen in roughly 3%-6% of males and about 1% of females" (p. 581). As you can see this behavioral disorder manifests itself in a much higher rate in males. It may be higher in males because many of the symptoms displayed in antisocial behaviors are often stereotypically assigned male behaviors. Often enough society tends to look the other way when males are violent or disruptive in their day to day functioning within society. So it would not be that shocking to find that antisocial personality disorder is probably a great deal more prevalent within males in society and just underreported. According to the

Weiten, W. (2007). Psychological Disorders. Psychology: themes and variations (7th ed., p. 581). Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth.

National Institute of Mental Health that behavior manifests as a "disregard social norms

and laws, repeatedly lie, place others at risk for their own benefit, and demonstrate a profound lack of remorse" (National Institute of Mental Health 2013)2. The highlight of antisocial personality disorder centers around the lack of remorse or lack of conscience. It is effectively what makes the individual very predatory. Because without a feeling of remorse there is no restraint of action. However, no conclusive root has been found for this maladaptive behavior. Some signs point towards to both a social and inherited origin for this behavioral disorder. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, "Genetic factors and environmental factors, such as child abuse, are believed to contribute to the development of this condition. People with an antisocial or alcoholic parent are at increased risk. Far more men than women are affected. The condition is common among people who are in prison" (National Center for Biotechnology Information 2013)3. If you can't function within society then it is no shock that prisons become a catchall for those suffering from mental illnesses.

2 NIMH Statistics Antisocial Personality Disorder . (n.d.). NIMH Home. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/1Antisocial.shtml 3 Antisocial personality disorder - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health. (2012, November 10). National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001919/

However, what are the biological roots for this mental illness? According to NYU Langone Medical Center, "Researchers believe that biological factors may contribute, such as abnormal chemistry in the nervous system and impairment in the parts of the brain that affect judgment, decision-making, planning, and impulsive and aggressive behavior" (NYU Langone Medical Center 2012).4 Abnormal brain chemistry can cause a cornicopia of behaviorial issues. Some research has shown that antisocial personality disorder sufferers tend to project another image entirely which they do not accept. According to Perry, Presniak, and Olson (2013), "ASP and/or psychopathy, have a splitoff selfimagewherein the negative image is denied. They strongly fear their true selfstate of feeling worthless or devalued, and the use of denial and omnipotence/grandiosity helps keep this experience of the self from awareness. They tend to disavow any negative experiece by denying the effects of their behaviors" (Perry, Presniak, and Olson p. 47-48).5 Yet, due to the ambigioutiy of this mental illness it is also harder to treat.

NYU Langone Medical Center. (2012). Home Page | NYU Langone Medical Center. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=96473 5 Perry, J., Presniak, M. D., & Olson, T. R. (2013). Defense Mechanisms in Schizotypal, Borderline, Antisocial, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders.Psychiatry: Interpersonal & Biological Processes, 76(1), 47-48. doi:10.1521/psyc.2013.76.1.32

Treatment for antisocial personality disorder is very difficult for a very obvious reasons. Rarely do they realize that their behaviors are maladaptive. So they do not acitvely seek out a means of treatment unless pushed to do so by outside judicial forces. Yet, even when treatment has been forced upon the individual usually do to being involuntarily committed the treatments tend to be a mix bag of therapy and medications. According to NYU Langone Medical Center ( 2012), "Medications are used to deal with specific symptoms, such as aggressiveness and irritabilityMood stabilizers such as lithium or carbamazepine may also be useful to improve impulsivity. In general, medications that are likely to be abused are usually avoided because people with this disorder also often have substance abuse problems" (NYU Langone Medical Center 2012). So as with many behavioral disorders there is no pharmaceutical magic bullt treatment. Instead most the high rates of poverty and lack of access to mental health treatments often enough incarceration is the only course of awaiting these individuals. Many individuals ultimately find themselves back in the judicial system when faced with living with this mental illness. However, these individuals do not always end up there. Many times those who suffer from antisocial personality disorder learn to adapt so that their level of functionality is more standardized with the rest of society. They find themselves quite at home in areas of business where motivations are often less driven by coinciense. So they are adaptive at surviving their maladaptive behaviors.

Yet, those maladaptive behaviors still often land them behind bars. However, the prognosis is not entirely bleak. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (2012), " Symptoms tend to peak during the late teenage years and early 20s. They sometimes improve on their own by a person's 40s" (National Center for Biotechnology Information 2012). So sometimes a slight improvement is noticed by the time an individual suffering from antisocial personality disorder reaches middleage. Sometimes that improvement never comes. Antisocial personality disorder ultimately remains as mystery epidmeologically. The treatment is often a mix method of counseling and pharmacological However, that treatment can only work if the individual themselves seeks treatment. Even if forced into involuntary treatment the outcomes are rather negative. Negative in the sense that without continued treatment or therapy the individual will ultimately relapse into a the maladaptive behaviors that caused the problems in the first place. Or the individual ultimately finds themselves incarcerated for violent outbursts. Therapy is the only thing that can force someone suffering from antisocial personality disorder to see the underlying causual factors that manifest into grandiosity, unethical behaviors, and violent outbursts.