July 14, 2013

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Those with antisocial personality disorders are all about themselves.  They do not have any remorse for their actions, nor do they feel empathy towards other people.  They will lie, cheat, steal, calculate manipulate, violate, disregard, act recklessly and basically do whatever they want for their own purposes.  They don't want to be caught but if they are, they're not sorry for what they did and they don't care what the consequences are.  All the patient with antisocial personality disorder cares about is whether their horse will win the race.

These are the ones who abuse animals either directly or indirectly, such as setting a cat loose in a full birdcage.  They may abuse other humans the same way, either directly or indirectly.  Instead of stopping a child from touching a hot stove, they may just sit back and watch the child burn themselves without intervening.  They lack compassion--the suffering of others may be an amusement to them or merely something about which they don't give a flying...anyhow.

It is said that a majority of prisoners have antisocial personality disorder...I'm not surprised.  Most people with antisocial personality disorder are male, but females can be diagnosed with it.  It shows up in dual diagnosis frequently, appearing in the company of a chemical or other addiction.

Like all other personality disorders, antisocial personality disorder is a bitch to treat because it's how the patient is hard-wired.  You can never cure them, just help them work with it.  But the problem is that by the nature of the disorder itself, those with antisocial personality disorder don't want to work with it because it's not what THEY want.  These patients are very resistant to treatment.

Someone once told me that patients with antisocial personality disorder are lost causes.  Some days, I agree with that sentiment.

They're not my favorite patient population to work with, and it takes a lot of self-assessment and self-control for me to do my job properly and provide then with the best care that I can.  It's hard not to appear or be judgmental and to treat them with the same level of dignity, compassion and respect that I'd give any other patient, especially after I hear what they've done.  These are one of the patient populations that take a lot out of me.  I find working with patients with other personality disorders, even those with borderline personality disorder, far easier.


Kolohe said...

I can see how that would take it out of you. :( I prescribe a hug. (((hugs))) Dr. and pharmacist all rolled up into one; that's me! :)

Medic2RN said...

I can empathize with you about certain patient populations testing a nurse to her limits.
I enjoyed your description about the personality disorder. It was educational to hear from someone who deals with this type of mental illness.