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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: antisocial personality disorder

 mai_mai - Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:30 am

Hey there,

one of my family members suffers antisocial personality disorder. Therapy didn't help much. I need to ask how can I deal with this person (as there is no other options but living with that person). Thank you.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:38 pm

Hello mai_mai,

The key feature of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood, according to the American Psychiatric Association. It occurs more frequently in males than in females, and is a chronic condition. It may improve by the time the person is in their 40s, especially in regard to criminal behavior. There is often a family history of the disorder.

Living with a person having the diagnosis is challenging and requires determination. Allow the person to suffer the consequences of their behavior, including through law enforcement. Be aware of and provide for the safety of yourself and other persons in the household. Maintain personal effects as money, credit cards, and checkbooks under lock and key, and keep the key in a safe place at all times. Avoid co-signing for loans or property, and if you are threatened in any way, do not hesitate to call the police. Do not have weapons available in the household; if you must have weapons, keep them in a weapon safe and guard the key. There is little to be gained by arguing or pleading with a person with this disorder; rather, state your expectations or rules and repeat them as often as necessary. Resist pity or sympathy; it will be used against you; use empathy and reinforce reality. Stress and reinforce with positive comments any appropriate behavior and conversation, and compliance with household norms. Finally, obtain supportive therapy for yourself and other family members if possible, and look in your local directory for support groups for families of persons with mental illness. Your local hospital can often help you identify and locate them in your community.

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck to you.

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