AntiSocial Paper

Submitted By adorak
Words: 1837
Pages: 8

The History of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Individuals with a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) are most notorious for a blatant disregard for the rights of others and the rules of society. They are usually manipulative, impulsive, deceitful, and lack any remorse. These personality traits are socially maladaptive and harmful (Torry & Billick, 2011). These individuals engage in criminal behavior and often exploit and manipulate others. People with antisocial personality disorder often steal, lie, are unsuccessful on their jobs, and have bad parenting skills. Throughout the years antisocial disorder has been viewed in a variety of ways. It has also been recognized by other names such as mentally insane and psychopath. The symptoms that characterized this disorder has also changed. The causes and treatment techniques has changed drastically over the years as well. The DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is also going through extreme changes in the way it will report antisocial disorder. Although this disorder causes severe pain in the lives of the patient and others, the way it has evolved throughout history is quiet drastic and very interesting. People who had a mental illness were initially thought of as being possessed with demons. Before the name antisocial disorder was adapted it was known by other names such as abnormal. Rebellious individuals who engaged in criminal behavior was said to be abnormal. Abnormal is when functioning renders the individual as different from the mass of human beings as to make him incapable of filling a useful place in society (Goddard, 1921). At one point in time the word psychopath was also used to define people with antisocial personality disorder because of all the criminal activity they committed. Investigations of antisociality frequently focus on two related constructs: Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) and psychopathy. Antisociality Personality Disorder comprises a pattern of antisocial attitudes and behaviors (e.g., irresponsibility, impulsivity, irritability) that begin before the age of 15 (e.g., getting into fights, bullying, lying) and persist in adulthood (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Psychopathy relates to a number of the same traits; however, individuals with psychopathy are also characterized by an arrogant and deceitful interpersonal style, callousness, and lack of emotionality (Zeier, Sommers, Newman, & Racer, 2011). In the past, anyone who participated in criminal acts would be looked down on and were often times persecuted. However, not everyone believed that these people should be punished for their actions. James Cowles Prichard felt that not all criminals should be condemned so he came up with the term “moral insanity”. Moral insanity was the word used to describe the body as being effected with a disease that causes a person to partake in criminal acts. In his book, A Treatise on Insanity and Other Disorders Affecting the Mind, he stated “I have described a form of mental derangement, under the title of moral insanity, consisting in disorder of the moral affections and propensities, without any symptom of illusion or error impressed on the understanding” (Prichard, 1837). Throughout the book Prichard is trying to convince people that insane individuals acted out not because they wanted to but because they were forced to do so.
Ceasare Lombroso is another pioneer in the development of the phrase antisocial personality disorder. Lombrosso thought that the bodies of criminals were different than the bodies of law abiding citizens. He believed that criminals shared anatomical, similar, structures with our Neanderthal ancestors. The more a person looked like a beast, the more crime they would commit. Today people who has antisocial personality disorder are viewed as having a mental disability. However, a lot of people with this disorder are currently in jail instead of receiving the