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What Are the Different Types of Antisocial Personality Disorder Treatment?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2014
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Antisocial personality disorder, characterized by a lack of regard for right and wrong and the well being of others, is considered an incurable condition. Treatment typically focuses on the management of this disorder, which often presents with criminal tendencies or actions. The most common antisocial personality disorder treatment is psychotherapy, which is best done by psychologists specializing in this condition; treating antisocial personality disorder can be emotionally damaging to therapists who don't specialize in it. There are some medications that can help to manage some of the side effects of this disorder. In extreme cases, however, hospitalization may be the best treatment.

Psychotherapy is the most common treatment for this disorder. It can be done in an individual or group setting and occasionally may include family members of the patient or close friends. This treatment typically involves educating the patient about his or her issues, helping him or her to recognize negative views, and replacing those views with positive ones.

Convincing a person with antisocial personality disorder to submit to psychotherapy can be difficult. Unlike many other mental health issues, this personality is typically how a patient is and always will be. Studies have found that psychotherapy that focuses on persuading patients that actions are having negative consequences on themselves is the most effective treatment. As those with this disorder typically do not care how their actions affect others, working with the patients' self-centered tendencies seems to work best.

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There are no medications specifically used for antisocial personality disorder treatment because it is not considered a condition that can be cured. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety medications can be helpful in limiting violent outbursts. They may also aid in limiting criminal activity by repressing violent urges.

As this disorder is often the result of a past trauma, antidepressants can be also helpful in eliminating some of the urges stemming from depression common in those with this disorder. Some studies have found that lithium carbonate has the best chance of ensuring some patients do not harm themselves or others. This is a common treatment for patients with borderline antisocial personality disorder.

In severe cases, hospitalization may be the best treatment. This can include closely monitored outpatient care or live-in facilities. Hospitalization is typically reserved for patients who have attempted to injure themselves or others.

For those suffering from a psychotic breakdown due to their antisocial personality disorder, hospitalization is often court mandated. Criminals diagnosed with this condition may be placed in a psychiatric facility rather than a prison. Jails are often not equipped to treat this disorder, and the environment may exacerbate the problem.

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