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With society’s obsession with serial killers and true crime, it’s easy to sensationalize antisocial personality disorder. But the vast majority of people with antisocial personality disorder do not become murderers, or end up in jail. For the most part, people with antisocial personality disorder seem quite normal but the personality disorder causes a lot of pain for those who have it. People with ASPD may feel as though they’re alone in the world because they lack the ability to empathize with others. Those with ASPD may have difficulties maintaining relationships with family and friends.

What Exactly Is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

ASPD is a personality disorder that affects how people understand themselves and the world around them. People who have personality disorders express themselves and their emotions differently than people who do not have personality disorders. Those who have antisocial personality disorders display what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders would classify as a “pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.” Examples of this might include repeatedly breaking the law, impulsivity, deceitfulness, and lack of remorse.

Is ASPD Hereditary?

A lot of people want to know why it is that some people develop antisocial personality disorders and others do not. Though psychologists cannot say with certainty what makes a person develop ASPD, the leading theory goes back to the diathesis-stress model. The diathesis-stress model is one of the leading theories on why certain people develop personality disorders. According to the diathesis-stress model, people are biologically predisposed to certain mental features and mental disorders. However, in order for the person to develop a mental disorder, or, in this case a personality disorder, something in the person’s environment must interact with the biological predisposition. So if you’re wondering, is ASPD hereditary? The answer is, not necessarily. A person may be biologically predisposed to it, but it doesn’t mean they will develop it.

Do You Have ASPD?

In 2021, “sociopath” seems to be the trendy new way to describe your ex who has wronged you. In fact, depending on what your relationship was like, your ex might even have called you a sociopath. You have read the title thinking, “Do I have ASPD? Of course not!” However, statistically speaking, prevalence rates of ASPD, or antisocial personality disorder, can be as high as 4%that’s one in every twenty people you meet! So, if you’re asking, “does my ex have ASPD” or, “Do I have ASPD?” read on to find out.

According to the DSM-5, a person may be diagnosed with ASPD when they meet the criteria listed below.

  1. A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
  1. Failure to conform to social norms concerning lawful behaviors, such as performing acts that are grounds for arrest.
  2. Deceitfulness, repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for pleasure or personal profit.
  3. Impulsivity or failure to plan.
  4. Irritability and aggressiveness, often with physical fights or assaults.
  5. Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others.
  6. Consistent irresponsibility, failure to sustain consistent work behavior, or honor monetary obligations.
  7. Lack of remorse, being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person.
  1. The individual is at least age 18 years.
  2. Evidence of conduct disorder typically with onset before age 15 years.
  3. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.


Though you likely know your ex well enough to make educated guesses on whether or not they meet the criteria, an accurate diagnosis can only be made by a professional. If you are concerned that you may have antisocial personality disorder, you may want to seek psychological counselling to get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment.

When ASPD Has Damaged Your Marriage

If antisocial personality disorder has caused permanent damage to your marriage, CoilLaw is here for you. We understand that leaving your marriage is a scary process. However, since a lot of people with antisocial personality disorder struggle to make lasting changes, you may have to leave your marriage in order to do what’s best for you. Contact us today to find out how we can help you start over. 


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