1. Health

Antisocial Personality Disorder


Updated August 20, 2008

Definition: According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) (DSM-IV), antisocial personality disorder is a “pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in early childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.”

People with antisocial personality disorder have been described as lacking empathy (or the ability to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” to understand their feelings), and they may often be deceitful or break the law. Antisocial personality disorder is also associated with impulsive behavior, aggression (such as repeated physical assaults), disregard for their own or other’s safety, irresponsible behavior (such as difficulties sustaining a job), and lack of remorse (such as not feeling bad when they have hurt someone else).

Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder frequently occur alongside symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD).


American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition. American Psychiatric Association: 2000.

Also Known As: psychopathy, sociopathy
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Borderline Personality
  4. Glossary
  5. Antisocial Personality Disorder - Definition of Antisocial Personality Disorder

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.