01 Aug Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) and Addiction
Have you ever felt confused by someone, like you have this sickening feeling that something isn’t right, but you keep a relationship with someone (whether romantic or platonic) because you want to believe that he or she is a good person? This is what it feels like to know someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). You notice hints of violence or lack of concern for your feelings in different scenarios; you get this unshakeable feeling that this person is playing mind games with you, but you second-guess yourself because they seem so nice and approachable.
Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is a recognized mental health condition found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V) characterized by consistent lack of empathy and remorse for any emotional, mental, or physical harm done to self and others. As society’s charmers, individuals with ASPD are fun and charismatic, using seduction and deceit as a way to control others in order to achieve personal gain. They use people as stepping stones without conforming to ethical behavior or cultural norms. Factors that contribute to ASPD include the presence of a childhood conduct disorder, alcoholic parents, family history of personality disorders, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). According to research, individuals who exhibit antisocial behavior are at risk for developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol.
What does it feel like to be around someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder?
If your gut is telling you something, don’t ignore it. You can spare yourself a lot of heartache if you heed your instincts warning you that things could get worse. Habits of people with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) can be downright annoying, disrespectful and unlawful. Here are some personality traits to watch for when you think you know someone with this personality disorder:
They are full of themselves.
People who exhibit antisocial behaviors are self-centered, and the world revolves around them, their desires, comfort and convenience. They only feel better about themselves when they achieve personal gain, power and/or pleasure, oftentimes at the expense of someone else.
They make friends with people who will benefit them.
The purpose of friendships and relationships is not for mutual edification; rather, the relationship serves a functional purpose that will benefit the person with ASPD, whether the purpose is sexual, professional or otherwise. When the relationship no longer serves the purpose, there is no reason to keep the friendship.
They are flaky and terrible at keeping commitments.
Forget about making plans with someone who has Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). Every time you try to set up a time to hang out, you can expect them to bail at the last minute or completely not show up at all. There is zero communication, or they later make up lame excuses about flaking on you.
They get hostile and controlling when things don’t go their way.
Even the slightest transgression can trigger a disproportionate response from someone with ASPD. They could misread your intent or misinterpret your actions, which may produce a rude or disrespectful response. When you try to speak up, they shut you down and will not let you speak. If you do manage to say something, they completely disregard your opinion and insist on doing things their way, possibly coercing you to go along with their agenda.
They make you feel uncomfortable or threatened.
Somewhere in the back of your mind, you feel like this person is emotionally unsafe or even maybe physically dangerous to your well being. Perhaps it was something you said that made the other person grab your arm, and for a split second you thought this person was going to punch you. (Under the influence of drugs and alcohol, this violent personality trait may be uninhibited, resulting in domestic violence or intimate partner violence.)
Their stories sound like embellishments or exaggerated tales.
As you sit there listening to this person, you wonder to yourself if any of it is true. Why are they telling stories? Perhaps they want to look good and boast about their achievements, or they want to persuade their listeners who will help the story-teller achieve some personal goal. They are the sycophants at work, the charmers at a bar or party, or the well-disguised bully who shows his other face at home.
They suggest activities that are risky, unethical or unlawful.
You and your friends are out and about when you pass by a private event that’s attracting your attention with large crowds and live music. You want to crash the party but there are signs everywhere that this is a private event; the person with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) not only suggests crashing the party but also tries to bring others with him without any regard for the rules set by the event organizer. You stand by and watch while a small group of your friends split for a little while, only to end up humiliating themselves later when security kicks them out. You were embarrassed for them, but they thought they were having fun.
Why Risk-Takers Are Prone to Drug and Alcohol Addiction
There’s nothing inherently wrong in taking risks, but persistent risk-taking could be a sign of novelty seeking behavior found in personality disorders such as Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), rendering individuals susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction. Thrill seekers have an intrinsic need for excitement, novelty and change; those who do not have a drug and alcohol addiction usually carry out their sensation-seeking behavior in activities like skydiving, rock climbing, cliff diving or other extreme sports. Individuals who exhibit impulsivity are likely to turn to substance abuse, which reinforces and increases risk-taking activities, such as fighting, drinking while intoxicated, and having unprotected sex with multiple partners.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for ASPD and Substance Use Disorders
Help is available at New Method Wellness, a premier dual diagnosis addiction treatment center in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Through their wide selection of holistic therapy programs, New Method Wellness offers plenty of opportunities for thrill seekers to find their niche in addiction treatment. Clients can maximize their healing and recovery by staying at one of the luxurious residential treatment homes throughout Dana Point, Capo Beach and San Juan Capistrano. Every client at New Method Wellness is paired with two therapists to ensure success and lifelong recovery after program completion. Because of their high success rates, New Method Wellness has been recognized by Dr. Phil and the critically acclaimed A& E’s Intervention.