In this blog post, we will be discussing an interview with a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), and also cover what is antisocial personality disorder, symptoms of ASPD, and treatment for the condition.
An interview with a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder
People with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) can be clever, quick to impress, and a fun person to be around, but the catch is they frequently lie, use, manipulate others.
People with this disorder may act rashly and be destructive. People around them are often unsafe and they do not feel guilty when their actions hurt other people.
We will be discussing an interview conducted with a person with antisocial personality disorder in the further sections but before that let us understand antisocial personality disorder and then jump into the interview and world of a person with ASPD.
What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?
In the DSM-5, an antisocial personality disorder is placed under the class of personality disorders. It comes under cluster B personality disorders along with borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder which are all characterized by dramatic or erratic behavior.
Modern diagnostic systems consider ASPD to include two related but not different conditions:
The term “psychopath” is used for someone whose hurtful actions toward others tend to reflect calculation, manipulation, and cunningness; they do not feel emotion but they are great at mimicking empathy for others. It is a more severe form of antisocial personality disorder. They can be extremely deceptive, charismatic and are able to charm others easily.
In contrast, “sociopaths” are considerably more able to form attachments with others but they still disregard social rules and safety concerns. They tend to have a more impulsive nature, unlike psychopaths who can be quite patient and sociopaths are easily agitated than people with psychopathy.
What does the research say about antisocial personality disorder?
The antisocial personality disorder affects 2% to 4% of the population and is more common in men than women.
Researchers do not know the reason for its occurrence, but genetic components and other biological factors are thought to play an important role more in the severe form of ASPD like ‘psychopathy’ and also growing up in a traumatic or abusive environment especially in the case of sociopathy.
Traumatic physical brain injuries and defects or delays during developmental milestones are also linked to the development of antisocial personality disorder, according to research.
And since a lot of people with ASPD are impulsive, manipulative and destructive, they are often caught breaking the law which is why a lot of prisoners can be found to be having ASPD.
Early signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Conduct disorders diagnosed in young children and adolescents is known to be warning sign and they are more likely to develop ASPD.
The disorder is very similar to ASPD and is diagnosed in young people who are found to repeatedly violate social norms, the rights of others and hurt them.
Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder
- Impulsive nature
- Deviance from social norms
- Irresponsible behavior
- Lack of empathy and remorse
- Pathological liars and manipulators
- Display aggressive behaviors
Interview with a person with ASPD: Life of Dyshae
This interview has been retrieved from a youtube channel called ‘special books by special kids’. In the video Chris the owner of this channel interviews a person called Dyshae who was diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder.
This video helps us understand the world from Dyshae’s eyes. He has been having extensive therapy and right now, he is able to manage his condition and knows when and where he needs to back off.
Not everyone with an antisocial personality disorder is capable of being this self-aware and most people with ASPD do not agree with such kinds of interviews or even treatments so it becomes quite difficult to study this disorder and gather more insight.
What it is like to be someone with ASPD?
The video starts off by Chris asking Dyshae ‘what is it like to be you?’, to which he replies saying that it is actually pretty average and from outside he says it feels very boring.
He says that right now he has to limit how many people he talks to or meets every day because if he notices that the person in front of him has any weakness, his urge to manipulate him takes over.
He says that he does not open up to people but when someone opens up to him, he tends to form a personality with exaggerated features and make sure that it remains similar to what the opposite person would want you to be.
Growing up as Dyshae
Growing up he said that he assumed every other child was different and thought they were the weird ones. He always wondered why people get so sad about things or why they get too excited.
He always had trouble understanding emotions. He says that manipulation and lying started for him since school. He says he used to outsmart several of his teachers and could make up lies on spot.
When asked whether he sized up Chris trying to find his weaknesses, Dyshae said that he thought about it when he first saw Chris’s videos but since he likes what Chris does he did not try or feel the necessity to do that.
How to form trust with a sociopath?
He said that if you want to trust a ‘sociopath’, if you are close to them, then watch them and learn how they behave, that is if you even find out about their ASPD, finding how they react to situations, making sure that you are not in harm’s way due to violent outbursts, etc is important because not everyone grows up to be a felon.
I don’t feel emotions strongly
Dyshae was very upfront about the fact that he did not feel emotions very strongly and said that it had been a year since he manipulated someone. He said that he did not always understand the negative effects people went through because of him and did not feel sorry for them.
He only felt as if they were overreacting and did not understand why because for him, everything was just a game where others lost and he won.
ASPD with Bipolar Disorder
Dyshae said that along with his ASPD, he was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and because of that he was going through highs and lows where he sometimes was extremely happy and low phases where he was very sad and depressed, both of which he said were unusual for him.
How is life since he started therapy?
His life, he says since he started therapy, has been hard and tedious but it was something he was willing to do. He seemed to have a proper response formation through his therapy sessions which were evident when he was answering the question of whether he would feel empathy for someone.
He said that he does not feel empathy the way a ‘normal’ person would feel, instead, now, he tries to understand what the situation is and applies it to what he has learned, and then reacts. He would think about what the situation is, how people would feel about it etc.
This is one of the rare interviews where a person with an antisocial personality disorder is willing to cooperate and talk about what they usually are. Dyshae says that the reason why he wanted to do this interview with Chris is that he really likes and respects what Chris does and was willing to be a part of it.
There are many more interviews from way back with lawbreakers etc. but many of these happen in a controlled environment.
Treatment and management of ASPD
There is no permanent cure for antisocial personality disorder. In fact, there is no one full-proof treatment available that cures ASPD and much research has been done because a lot of people with ASPD end up in prisons and many of them live their lives either completely hidden away or as social outcasts.
Because not many people with ASPD are willing to receive treatment, it depends on a person’s situation and their willingness to participate in treatment and control the severity of the symptoms.
Psychotherapy, sometimes called talk therapy, is frequently used to treat antisocial personality disorder. It may include learning anger and violence management, treatment for alcohol or substance misuse, and treatment for other mental health conditions which may manifest with ASPD.
But of course, psychotherapy is not always effective, especially if symptoms are severe, that is, if they would not even admit to having an issue. This sadly is the case with most people with ASPD and it contributes to serious problems for themselves and especially for others around them.
Like in the case with most personality disorders, there are no specifically approved medications to treat antisocial personality disorder.
Doctors can only prescribe medications for conditions which can sometimes be diagnosed along with antisocial personality disorder, such as anxiety or depression or bipolar disorder in the case interview mentioned in the article and symptoms of aggression.
However, most drugs are prescribed cautiously because they have the potential for misuse.
We discussed what is antisocial personality disorder, got an idea of what are the symptoms associated with ASPD, and understood the life of a person with antisocial personality disorder and bipolar disorder in an interview.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs): An interview with a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder
What are examples of antisocial behavior?
Some of the examples for antisocial behavior include, manipulation, lying, absence of empathy and remorse, aggression, being charismatic in order to gain approval or manipulation etc.
Is everyone with ASPD a psychopath?
No, not everyone with an antisocial personality disorder is a ‘psychopath’. Not all of them turn out to be serial killers etc. Few people if proper treatment is received are able to manage their symptoms and function with care.
Can sociopaths love?
Despite the general belief, people with ASPD can love someone however they are described as being ‘cold’ and ‘distant’
What is the consequence of being antisocial?
People with ASPD often end up hurting other people and themselves. They do not have control over their aggression so even slight triggers might lead to a violent outburst. Since they are known to be manipulative, it is hard to trust them.
How do you interview a psychopath?
It differs in different situations and is person specific. But in general, when interviewing a person with a severe form of ASPD is to make sure that the questions are elaborate and are very direct, especially when it comes to questions about their emotions.
Maintaining eye contact is essential and make sure to not leave an opening that can trigger them to try and manipulate you but at the same time do not keep up your guard entirely. They should be interviewed by professionals who know what they are doing.
What do psychopaths do when cornered?
People having antisocial personality disorder, especially the severe form, need to be sure that they are the smartest person in the room. If they feel intimidated or cornered, they tend to become abusive and emotional and might even try to physically abuse the other person.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness: DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Wygant, D., Sellbom, M., Sleep, C., Wall, T., Applegate, K., Kruger, R., & Patrick, C. (2016). Examining the DSM–5 alternative personality disorder model operationalization of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy in a male correctional sample. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7(3), 229-239.
An Interview with a Sociopath (Antisocial Personality Disorder and Bipolar); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdPMUX8_8Ms