What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
The Definition of a Sociopath
Sociopaths have little regard for the feelings of others and manipulate others in order to get what they desire. The term “sociopath” is no longer used in psychology and psychiatry, and the disorder is now called “antisocial personality disorder.” People who have this disorder often have no sense of right or wrong and many only receive treatment when forced to by the judicial system, an employer or family member. The disorder is relatively rare, with approximately 0.6 percent of Americans affected, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
People with antisocial personality disorder perceive the world differently than most people do and may not have the range of feelings that others have. Because they cannot relate to others, they have no trouble lying or violating the rights of other people in order to achieve their goals. Some of these people are very charming and adept at manipulating others, while others may use violence or intimidation to get what they want.
How to Handle Sociopathic Teenagers
People who have antisocial personality disorder may engage is such risky behavior as violence, vandalism, theft, bullying and cruelty to animals. They are skilled liars and often quite good at conning other people. They may be aggressive and violent, but show no remorse if they hurt other people. Sociopaths often react impulsively, failing to consider how their actions could harm themselves or others. Many have no respect for authority and have a history of losing jobs and being expelled from school. Drug and alcohol problems are common in people with antisocial personality disorders.
- People who have antisocial personality disorder may engage is such risky behavior as violence, vandalism, theft, bullying and cruelty to animals.
Antisocial personality disorder is thought to occur due to a combination of genetics and early relationships with parents and family. There is no specific cause for the development of the disorder, but it is thought that sexual, verbal or physical abuse can contribute to the antisocial personality disorder, as can a family history of antisocial personality disorders or other mental disorders. A diagnosis of conduct disorder during childhood, an unstable home life, death of a parent or divorce of the parents may also be contributing factors.
Codependency Checklists for Teenagers
It can take some time for a mental health professional to diagnose antisocial personality disorder. Other personality disorders must be ruled out before the disorder can be considered as a valid diagnosis. Antisocial personality disorder is usually only diagnosed in people 18 and older who have shown signs of a conduct disorder before age 15 and show several signs of the disorder.
- It can take some time for a mental health professional to diagnose antisocial personality disorder.
- Antisocial personality disorder is usually only diagnosed in people 18 and older who have shown signs of a conduct disorder before age 15 and show several signs of the disorder.
There is no medication known to help people suffering from antisocial personality disorder, although medication can be helpful if the person also suffers from another disorder, such as depression. Psychotherapy, which involves talking about symptoms and behaviors, is the primary form of therapy. Because many people do not enter therapy voluntarily, it can be difficult to make real progress. Treatment may focus on improving social and family relationships, learning coping skills and helping the person understand the connection between feelings and behavior. Group and family therapy can be helpful, as can teaching the person to recognize and control emotions. Learning stress and anger management skills is important in helping avoid violent outbursts and behavior.
- There is no medication known to help people suffering from antisocial personality disorder, although medication can be helpful if the person also suffers from another disorder, such as depression.
- Group and family therapy can be helpful, as can teaching the person to recognize and control emotions.
How to Handle Sociopathic Teenagers
Codependency Checklists for Teenagers
What Are the Causes of Sociopathic Behavior?
Behavioral Modification Summer Camps for Teens in Texas
Common Psychological Problems of School Children
Characteristics of Hearing Impairment and Deafness in Children
What Is Morbid Depression?
How to Enhance Coping Skills in Schizophrenia
Signs of Autism at 1 Year Old
Signs of Autism in a Three-Year-Old
- Psych Central
- Mayo Clinic
- US National Library of Medicine. Antisocial personality disorder. Updated July 2018.
- Patrick CJ. (Editor). Handbook of psychopathy (2nd Edition). The Guilford Press. 2018.
- Edens JF, Kelley SE, Lilienfeld SO, Skeem JL, Douglas KS. DSM-5 antisocial personality disorder: predictive validity in a prison sample. Law Hum Behav. 2015;39(2):123-9. doi:10.1037/lhb0000105
- American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC; 2013.
- Werner KB, Few LR, Bucholz KK. Epidemiology, comorbidity, and behavioral genetics of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy. Psychiatr Ann. 2015;45(4):195‐199. doi:10.3928/00485713-20150401-08
- Dargis M, Newman J, Koenigs M. Clarifying the link between childhood abuse history and psychopathic traits in adult criminal offenders. Personal Disord. 2016;7(3):221‐228. doi:10.1037/per0000147
- Harvard Health Publishing. Antisocial personality disorder. Published March 2019.
- De Brito SA, Viding E, Kumari V, Blackwood N, Hodgins S. Cool and hot executive function impairments in violent offenders with antisocial personality disorder with and without psychopathy. PLoS One. 2013;8(6):e65566. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065566
- Cleveland Clinic. How Is Antisocial Personality Disorder Treated?. Updated November 2017.
- Bateman A, O'connell J, Lorenzini N, Gardner T, Fonagy P. A randomised controlled trial of mentalization-based treatment versus structured clinical management for patients with comorbid borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. BMC Psychiatry. 2016;16:304. doi:10.1186/s12888-016-1000-9
- Fisher KA, Hany M. Antisocial Personality Disorder. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Updated Nov 23, 2019.
Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. Leviticus has a journalism degree from Lock Haven University, has written for Nonprofit Management Report, Volunteer Management Report and Healthy Pet, and has worked in the healthcare field.