Antisocial: You’ve Done it Wrong

We’ve all used the word before, often delineating someone who is shy and prefers the company of themselves.

I only recently discovered the meaning of this word, and how for years, I’ve been utilizing it erroneously.

Antisocial is poles apart from introversion, to say the least. It could be proposed that they are exact opposites, although not to precision.

Someone who is antisocial has complete disregard for societal norms and regulations. You could even say they are rebellious, but definitely to a more colossal degree.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, conveniently shortened to the acronym DSM-5, presents a diagnosis for Antisocial Personality Disorder (found in the Cluster B category). This serves as an alter for psychopathy and sociopathy, which are considered a set of traits rather than an official diagnosis.

People with ASPD, building off of the true elucidation of the word ‘antisocial’, lack a conscience and therefore are indubitably apathetic. This facet makes them more prone to committing crimes.

These symptoms aren’t solely artificial- neurology plays a paramounting role in patients with ASPD. The prefrontal cortex is a preeminent part of the cerebral cortex that oversees cognitive and behavioral functions. When this indispensable part of one’s neurological system is damaged, the ability to process and sustain pertinent emotions will cease to exist.

This hypothesis has been substantiated by countless cases, all analyzing the difference between the conventional brain and one with psychopathic tendencies.

Our biopsychosocial make-up also is a contributing factor in not only ASPD, but all psychiatric illnesses. Environmental factors, relationships, and even our childhood trauma/upbringing can affect our identity in the subsequent future.

Hi there, I'm Sruthi, a student and mental health advocate interested in the field of psychiatry.