Teen Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)
Antisocial personality disorder is a condition that causes individuals to display an inappropriately low amount of care, empathy or compassion for those around them. While teens and adults with ASPD can regularly engage in social activity, often in charming ways, they sometimes feel like they are faking normal human emotions and responses to situations. ASPD can mean individuals act inappropriately or rashly at times, often without the guilt or remorse that many people feel when acting in a way that hurts others.
According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders, the pattern of such behavior must be pervasive over a long period of time for ASPD. It's normal for teenagers in the throes of their own emotions to take risky actions or act out without immediate feelings of remorse; isolated incidents of such behavior don't necessarily point to an antisocial disorder.
What is antisocial personality disorder?
Specifically, ASPD is a disorder that causes people to disregard normal rules, laws and social norms without the standard mental or emotional reaction to doing so. Psychologists and others usually categorize ASPD into two subsets: psychopathic behavior and sociopathic behavior.
- Psychopaths tend to take action that is calculated in nature, using manipulation to get what they want despite how it impacts others. Individuals with this condition are often unable to feel normal human emotions, but they are often able to mimic them.
- Sociopaths can he impulsive and easily agitated, but they are more able to form attachments that approximate normal human relationships; they also tend to act out without remorse, but in a less calculated manner.
How common are antisocial disorders?
When we start using words like psychopath and sociopath, it's normal for parents to become worried or even frightened. However, antisocial personality disorders are not nearly as prevalent as other mental health issues that teens might deal with. The prevalence of ASPD in adult populations in America is less than 1 percent. Statistically, males are more likely to present with ASPD than females, though it can be present in both genders.
If you're worried that a teenager in your life is displaying antisocial personality disorder symptoms — or if you've noticed any warning signs of teen drug abuse — don't hesitate to seek professional help. While you do want to let your child be a teenager — and that does mean dealing with the occasional drama or new behavior — when it comes to serious mental health issues or chemical dependency, it's always better to ask for assistance than hide from the problem. Call The Teen Treatment Center at 844-757-6484 today for more information.
How is antisocial personality disorder diagnosed?
ASPD is typically diagnosed by a mental health professionals, such as a psychologist, though medical providers and counselors are also trained to look for the symptoms. In fact, clinicians look for symptoms to have surfaced before the age of 15, though they don't make an official diagnosis often until someone is 18. The symptoms of social personality disorder often get word in teen years before getting better in later years.
What are some signs of antisocial personality disorder?
The signs of antisocial personality disorder are usually behavioral in nature. Some of the actions that someone with ASPD might take on a regular basis can include:
- Exploiting others
- Running cons or manipulation schemes
- Being vain
- Acting in angry or aggressive manners
- Breaking the law
- Getting into physical fights with people
- Showing disregard for their own safety
- Showing disregard for the safety of others
- Not being able to carry out responsibilities associated with social, work or financial obligations
- Use of drugs or alcohol
Antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse in teens
ASPD and substance abuse are linked, especially in teens. Medical studies indicate that a great majority of people who suffer from antisocial personality disorder have engaged in abusive use of drugs or alcohol. A study published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that individuals with ASPD are more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence than individuals who are not dealing with the personality disorder, for example.
For teens dealing with ASPD, any number of factors can increase their likelihood of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction. Some factors that might increase substance abuse for these teenagers include:
- An even more reduced risk-assessment capability than teens normally have
- A desire to fit made more difficult by a lack of empathy or understanding of normal social interactions
- Seeking refuse from angry or aggressive thoughts of behaviors
Why seek treatment for ASPD and substance abuse?
Sweeping scary behaviors and possibilities under the rug and hoping your teen grows out of this phase can put your child — and your entire family — at risk. Early treatment for ASPD can make a big difference in a teen's life and whether he or she is able to integrate into society in a normal way. Some teens that show signs of ASPD early are able to eventually develop some normal emotions and reactions; others are able to learn to approximate those reactions by learning life-skills that help them now and through their adult years.
Not getting treatment — whether your teen is dealing with substance abuse or a mental health disorder — can lead to long-term health issues, legal and financial problems, and even death. For someone dealing with ASPD, for example, serving time in prison is an especially likely outcome, especially without the right treatment.
How can substance abuse and ASPD be treated?
At The Teen Treatment Center, we work with adolescents who are struggling with substance abuse disorders, often in conjunction with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or ASPD. We provide a safe, caring environment for inpatient treatment, and utilize proven methods for helping your teen get off of drugs and learn about managing their mental health.
Some treatment modalities we employ include:
- Individual and group counseling to help teens dig down to the roots of issues, discovering causes and triggers
- Education about dealing with triggers and practice developing coping skills
- Family therapy when appropriate to help the entire family heal together and support the teen in recovery
- Academic and legal liaison support to ensure teens can keep up with school and meet any court hearing requirements
- Medication management when necessary
- Medically assisted detox to assist teens with getting off of drugs safely
When working with teens with substance abuse and mental health disorders, we believe that learning life-skills and how to cope with the disorder in the future is paramount to ongoing success. These are chronic illnesses, but with the right treatment and support structure, your teen can learn to manage them, allowing him or her to enjoy a normal, healthy life in the future.
Every teen deserves a chance at a brighter future. No matter where your teen is in the addiction cycle or what has happened so far, rehab and treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues can make a difference in that future. Call The Teen Treatment Center today at (844)319-5239 to find out what steps you need to take to help your child. Our admissions counselors are available to take your call any time, and every call is completely confidential.
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