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.