Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Antisocial personality disorder is very difficult to treat. People with this disorder may not even want treatment or think they need it. But people with antisocial personality disorder need treatment and close follow-up over the long term.

People with antisocial personality disorder may also need treatment for other conditions, such as depression, anxiety or substance use disorders. Medical and mental health providers with experience treating antisocial personality disorder and commonly associated conditions are most likely to be helpful.

The best treatment or combination of treatments depends on each person's particular situation and severity of symptoms.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is sometimes used to treat antisocial personality disorder. Psychotherapy is not always effective, especially if symptoms are severe and the person can't admit that he or she contributes to problems.

Psychotherapy may be provided in individual sessions, in group therapy, or in sessions that include family or even friends.

Medications

There are no medications specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat antisocial personality disorder. However, several types of psychiatric medications may help with certain conditions sometimes associated with antisocial personality disorder or with symptoms such as aggression. These medications may include antipsychotic, antidepressant or mood-stabilizing medications. They must be prescribed cautiously because some have the potential for misuse.

Skills for family members

If you have a loved one with antisocial personality disorder, it's critical that you also get help for yourself. Mental health professionals with experience managing this condition can teach you skills to learn how to set boundaries and help protect yourself from the aggression, violence and anger common to antisocial personality disorder. They can also recommend strategies for coping.

Ask the people on your loved one's treatment team for a referral. They may also be able to recommend support groups for families and friends affected by antisocial personality disorder.

Apr. 12, 2013