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Essay about Antisocial Personality Disorder.


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Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Define the word Antisocial as it is used in the clinical diagnosis Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Antisocial from a layman’s standpoint simply means a socially isolated individual or loner. Relative to the phrase Antisocial Personality Disorder, it is associated with persons who are attractive, charismatic and able to attract sympathy from other societal members. Studies indicated that these individuals manifest above average intelligence levels as well as a superficial charm, are cunning, thoughtful, keen observers, personality analysts, and have the capacity to manipulatively exploit others (Gacono & Meloy, 2013). Such a person can use or even harm others without any hint of empathy and gain pleasure from it without any sense of shame, regret, guilt or remorse.

One of the hallmarks of AsPD (and thus psychopathy as well) is a lack of remorse and a lack of empathy

Empathy is an emotional state where an individual is able to correlate to another’s situation and from the affected person’s point of view (Gacono & Meloy, 2013). It is akin to placing one’s self into another’s shoe and grasp what they are experiencing. Empathy is believed to appraise helping behaviors. Personality traits of such individuals include being contemptuous, cold, tactless, and inconsiderate

Remorse is expressed as heartfelt grief or regret for a committed wrong, loss, suffering and pain caused to others (Gacono & Meloy, 2013). It is an emotion that compels people to the awareness that something ought to have been effected sooner and in a better manner. Exhibited psychopathic personality traits include disdain for other’s emotional well-being, cold-hearted, unconcerned, non-empathic and dispassionate.

People lacking empathy and remorse often do not hold a job for long due to low self-discipline, are quickly bored and consider routine tasks boring (Gacono & Meloy, 2013). In financial dealings, they can be unscrupulous, deceitful, underhanded, manipulative, fail to honor financial obligations, and financially exploitative dependence. They do not keep friends due to nomadic lifestyles, are pathological liars, and exhibit inadequate control of temper and anger. They are prone to promiscuous sexual tendencies and are unable to preserve long-term marital relations.

AsPDs and psychopaths view their behavior as Ego-Syntonic rather than Ego-Dystonic

Ego-Syntonic entails a state of being consistent with an individual’s concept of self. This ego state is often associated with positive attributes where concept of self matches reality (Gacono & Meloy, 2013).

Ego-Dystonic entails suffering inconsistencies with one’s ego state or self-concept. Individual with such a mental health issue comprehend that they suffer a known issue which creates conflict in the mind caused by compulsive feelings, behaviors and thoughts (Gacono & Meloy, 2013).

The connection between ego-syntonic and lacking empathy and remorse arise from the fact that individuals with this particular disorder think that antisocial traits are in harmony with their ego states (xxxxxx). Such a person fails to comprehend the need to change the apparent lack of remorse and empathy and in some cases, even become hostile when confronted during therapy.

Those who view their behavior as Ego-Syntonic are often said to have immutable behavior

Immutable behaviors are those which present no tendencies to change over time imply that ego-syntonic persons are unable to realize behavioral transformations (xxxxxx). Ego-Syntonic individuals do not perceive any troubles resulting from their traits therefore lack any motivations to seek professional help thus translating to immutable behavior tendencies.

Psychopathic Characteristics

With respect to failure to consider other’s feelings, psychopathic individuals at first sight appear devoted, trustworthy and very reliable. However, such persons suddenly turn to the extreme exhibiting high unreliability without provocation and no regard how their own actions adversely affect important situations or relationships. For instance, even in situations where lying is essentially non beneficial, the psychopath opts to remain untruthful.

Psychopaths manifest egocentric though patterns such that self-centeredness is as deeply entrenched and immutable as to be incapable to extend love to others including own children and parents (Gacono, 2015). They only show some form of positive social attributes with an end goal of self-gain and are thus overly manipulative.

Inability to learn from past negative experiences is such that in instances where ploys fail to bring about expected gains, they point fingers at victims and more so, plot revenge (Gacono, 2015).

What is the difference between ASPD and psychopathy?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) as provided by the American Psychiatric Association defines antisocial personality disorder as common in people with previous conduct disorders and symptoms outside schizophrenia or mania (xxxxxx).

Persons with ASPD often show symptoms reflected in psychopaths such as an inflated ego, manipulative tendencies, irresponsible behaviors, superficial charm and disregard for other’s well-being. Psychopaths present a PCL score greater than 30, can only be diagnosed through non-diagnostic clinical constructs and present both affective and behavioral indicators (xxxxx).

Regarding post-offense behavior, how might we expect an ASPD or a psychopath to behave post-offense?

People with ASPD often exhibit difficulties in hiding disorders and as such, have the potential to seek total behavior transformation in post-offense situations (Gacono, 2015). On the other hand, psychopaths manifest great pride in their overly manipulative capabilities and the inabilities to express remorse or guilt for wrongs committed thus do not show willingness to change in post-offense life (Gacono, 2015).


Case Study of an ASPD

In England, a notable former soccer star named Joey Barton played top flight football with the Manchester City Club (, 2014). To date, there remains no professionally qualified detail confirming him as an ASPD, as such, most psychologists have pointed to this fact founded on predominantly selfish and erratic tendencies that ultimately led to indulgence in criminal activity. For instance, he is known to have poked a fellow teammate with a lit cigar after a provocation (, 2014). Another instance of antisocial tendencies emerged in 2006 when he submitted a transfer wish causing the team manager and Stuart Pearce and many firms to heavily criticize the action. On as well as off the field, he never expressed any manner of personal responsibility or remorse for his unacceptable actions.

Case Study of a Psychopath

Theodore Bundy or Ted was an American serial killer said to have kidnapped thereafter, tortured and killed about 30 young ladies in a number of American states (Chivers, 2014). He is described as having been a well calculating, calm and highly manipulative. Ted suffered a bad childhood and as a grown up nurtured unique capabilities of gaining trust from young ladies by pretending to be an injured person. Afterwards, he would murder or cause them to lose consciousness and proceed to rape them whether alive or dead to the point where body decay made it impossible (Chivers, 2014). Hallmarks of his mental state emerged after being sentenced to death after which he attempted to assist investigators unearth murder mysteries. Ted actually prided himself in doing so, he had no remorse or empathy to the point of even failing to care for himself by raping decomposing bodies.


Chivers, T. (2014). Psychopaths, how can you spot one?. The Telegraph. Retrieved from

Gacono, C. B. (Ed.). (2015). The clinical and forensic assessment of psychopathy: A practitioner’s guide. New York City, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from

Gacono, C. B., & Meloy, J. R. (2013). The Rorschach assessment of aggressive and psychopathic personalities. New York City, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from (2014). Famous people with antisocial personality disorder. New Health Advisor. Retrieved from