Diagnosis

People with antisocial personality disorder are unlikely to believe they need help. However, they may seek help from their health care provider because of other symptoms such as depression, anxiety or angry outbursts or for treatment of substance abuse.

People with antisocial personality disorder may not provide an accurate account of signs and symptoms. A key factor in diagnosis is how the affected person relates to others. With permission, family and friends may be able to provide helpful information.

After a medical evaluation to help rule out other medical conditions, the health care provider may make a referral to a mental health professional for further evaluation.

Diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder is typically based on:

  • A psychological evaluation that explores thoughts, feelings, relationships, behavior patterns and family history
  • Personal and medical history
  • Symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association

Though typically antisocial personality disorder isn't diagnosed before age 18, some signs and symptoms may occur in childhood or the early teen years. Usually there is evidence of conduct disorder symptoms before age 15.

Identifying antisocial personality disorder early may help improve long-term outcomes.

April 02, 2016
References
  1. Antisocial personality disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  2. Meloy JR, et al. Antisocial personality disorder. In: Gabbard's Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2014. http://psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.5555/appi.books.9781585625048.gg00pre. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  3. Antisocial personality disorder: Prevention and management. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg77. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  4. Black DW. The natural history of antisocial personality disorder. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2015;60:309.
  5. Black DW. Antisocial personality disorder: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, course and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  6. Black DW. Treatment of antisocial personality disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  7. Werner KB, et al. Epidemiology, comorbidity, and behavioral genetics of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy. Psychiatric Annals. 2015;45:195.
  8. Velotti P, et al. Mindfulness moderates the relationship between aggression and antisocial personality disorder traits: Preliminary investigation with an offender sample. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2016;64:38.
  9. Palmer BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 24, 2016.