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What’s an antisocial personality?

EDITOR:

Antisocial personality disorder is a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, diagnosis assigned to individuals “who habitually and pervasively disregard or violate the rights and considerations of others without remorse. People with antisocial personality disorder may be habitual criminals, or engage in behavior which would be grounds for criminal arrest and prosecution, or they may engage in behaviors which skirt the edges of the law, or manipulate and hurt others in non-criminal ways which are widely regarded as unethical, immoral, irresponsible, or in violation of social norms and expectations. Those with APD often possess an impaired moral conscience and make decisions driven purely by their own desires without considering the needs or negative effects of their actions on others.

Impulsive and criminal behavior is common. The terms psychopathy or sociopathy are also used, in some contexts synonymously, in others, sociopath is differentiated from a psychopath, in that a sociopathy is rooted in environmental causes, while psychopathy is genetically based. The term antisocial may be confusing to the lay public, as the more common definition outside of clinical usage is an individual who is a loner or socially isolated. The literal meaning of the word antisocial can be more descriptive to both the lay public and professionals. To be anti-social is to be against society: against rules, norms, laws and acceptable behavior. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder tend to be charismatic, attractive, and very good at obtaining sympathy from others; for example, describing themselves as the victim of injustice. Some studies suggest that the average intelligence of antisocials is higher than the norm. Antisocials possess a superficial charm, they can be thoughtful and cunning, and have an intuitive ability to rapidly observe and analyze others, determine their needs and preferences, and present it in a manner to facilitate manipulation and exploitation. They are able to harm and use other people in this manner, without remorse, guilt, shame or regret.

It is widely stated that antisocials are without empathy, however this can be disputed, as sadistic antisocials will use empathy to experience their victim’s suffering and derive a fuller pleasure from it. Antisocials also have the potential to cause great harm to those around them, including family, associates, neighbors, and complete strangers, through financial exploitation, theft, emotional abuse, assault, sexual assault, and homicide.”

These descriptors fit our President like a glove, except for the homicide thing. He bragged a while ago that he could shoot a person on the street and not lose any voters. If you voted for him last time you will most likely do so again. But bear in mind, you are telling him you approve of all the above. And…you will be able to justify this with rationalization which is an ego-defense mechanism in which apparently logical reasons are given to justify unacceptable behavior that is motivated by unconscious instinctual impulses. It’s all on you. It has been and always will be.

Gerry Niedermaier

Gladstone

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