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People with Anti-social Personality Disorder; appear to experience a limited range of emotions, which can explain their lack of empathy regarding the suffering of others. People with the disorder may be prone to substance abuse or risk-seeking behaviour as a method of attempting to escape their feelings of emptiness.

It has been stated, through research that a client’s disregard for the consequences of their actions and their lack of empathy is related to the fact that they are indifferent to the possibility of physical pain or many punishments and that they show no signs of fear when so threatened.

Before 15 years of age, for at least 12 months, the client has repeatedly violated rules, shown by at least three of the following:

  • Failure to social norms – repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
  • Deceitfulness, indicated by repeated lying, conning others for personal profit or pleasure
  • Failure to plan ahead or impulsivity
  • Aggressiveness and irritability, indicated through repeated assaults and fights
  • Reckless disregard for their own safety or that of others
  • Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by continuous failure to sustain consistent work behaviour or honour financial obligations
  • Lack of remorse shown through indifference to having mistreated, stolen or hurt another