Personality is who we are and it speaks loud and clear about us in our community. It is often defined as an enduring pattern of behavior after maturity (age of 18) which is not due to substance abuse or head injury. Personality is not sudden; it’s not a flash in the pan, it is an insidious process of forming of an individual. It is the bringing out of enduring traits of perceiving life which relates to our thinking and relating with the environment and vis versa in a wide range of social and personal contexts.
Personality comes with forms of extremities that is seen in many people, many people has some form of personality extremities present but it depends on levels or the situation at which these are frequently exposed, because personality style is on a continuum. Disorders of personality are viewed as ways of behaving that is not consistent as it should be, because it brings distress (to the person expressing it or to others around him/her). Disorders of personality falls into clusters A, B and C respectively, understanding this will give a clarity on how to deal with and handle each of the personality as it unfolds.
It’s good to know that every disorder including personality disorders have some form of normalcy attached to it, that is, it’s in the extremes of the traits that we see obvious signs of maladjustments, disorderliness, or distress which often calls for attention of others. A common form of personality disorder is Antisocial personality disorder.
Toba a 28 years old young man is currently having trouble with his parents as he sleeps all through the day. They are worried because he had been unable to hold down a job, consistently steals from them or selling common social properties in the home – and all he wakes up to do is often to watch TV daily. He didn’t finish University as he lied that he was studying engineering but was discovered he faked his Senior school leaving certificate (WAEC) result and was rusticated from the University. Currently, he tricks others to live the large life he desires. He had been arrested repeatedly for sexual abuse, pilfering and carjacking. His parents have taken him for prayers in different religious centers but no significant changes were seen. They’re tired and believed it must have been a curse as all the other three children are doing well and he looks fine except when he acts.
Please note: this is a fictional story it has nothing to do with our clients in our facility
The described behavior is a snippet of Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), it falls under the cluster A of the personality disorders, it is a personality disorder characterized by a long term pattern of disregard for or violation of the right of others as well as a difficulty sustaining long-term relationships. APD pattern of functioning affects the way we deal with others in terms of thinking about self, manipulating, exploiting or violating the rights of others without remorse. This behavior many times leads to a kind of criminal mindset as vices are almost always involved.
The cause of this disorder is unknown. However, genes and other factors, such as childhood abuse, are believed to often be contributory to its development. Also, Parents who are antisocial or alcoholic parents are also implicated in its development. There are more men affected than women although this is currently debated by rigorous research.
A weak or nonexistent conscience is often apparent, as well as a history of rule-breaking that can sometimes lead to law-breaking, a tendency towards substance abuse, arrogance, lack of remorse, irresponsibility and impulsivity, destroying things, excessive lying and aggressive behavior. Antisocial behaviors often have their onset before the age of 8, and in nearly 80% of antisocial personality disorder cases, the subject will develop their symptoms by the age 11 (this is termed as conduct disorder).
Evidence of some signs would have shown or at a time occurred in childhood which can lead to the development of an antisocial exhibition, occurrences in childhood like setting fires and animal cruelty, children with a case of conduct disorder are prone to develop into case of antisocial personality disorder if not well handled or closely watched.
Finally, although behaviors vary in degree, individuals with this personality disorder will typically have limited sense of understanding how they are harming others by giving recurrent excuses. There is no quick fix for personality disorders however, there is help available. If you see these aforementioned signs in you or your loved ones or suspect this, DON’T KEEP QUIET, help them seek psychological help immediately. Don’t wait and hope for improvement. Contact us 081 2827 6962, +234 2291 4084.
Olamide Olaniran, BSc
Reviewed by Olugbemi Olukolade