Understanding ASPD and PTSD
Understanding ASPD and PTSD
22 Jan 2024

Do people with ASPD also suffer from CPTSD?- Strategies for Coping and Healing

Understanding ASPD and PTSD:

ASPD is defined by a pattern of disrespect and infraction of others' rights, whereas PTSD develops after being exposed to a traumatic experience and manifests as a variety of upsetting symptoms. The intersection of these two disorders can make diagnosis, treatment, and general health more difficult.

What is antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)?

A mental health disease known as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) can influence your thoughts and social interactions, potentially leading to:

  • Trick or mislead others.
  • Utilize or abuse another person in order to further your own interests.
  • Ignore the law and other people's rights.
  • You have no regrets about what you did.

People with ASPD frequently behave badly toward other people, disobey the law, fail to consider the repercussions of their behavior, or decline to accept responsibility. Because you run a significant risk of hurting people around you or yourself physically or emotionally, ASPD can be risky.

One of the numerous personality disorders is antisocial personality disorder. Personality disorders have an impact on your thoughts and actions.

There is moderately good evidence that approximately 35% of PTSD sufferers also have a personality problem. Avoidant, dependent, and compulsive personality disorders (Cluster C; 63%) were more common than schizoid, schizotypal, paranoid (Cluster A; 29%) or histrionic, narcissistic, borderline, and antisocial (Cluster B; 27%) personality disorders.

What is CPTSD?

A mental health illness known as complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD, C-PTSD, or cPTSD) may arise from chronic (long-term) trauma. It involves reactions to stress, like:

  • Fear and anxiety.
  • experiencing dreams or flashbacks.
  • avoiding locations, circumstances, and other items associated with the painful incident.
  • heightened emotional reactions, including hostility or impulsivity.
  • persistent problems keeping relationships going.
  • Children who have experienced long-term physical or sexual abuse are examples of chronic trauma.
  • prolonged abuse at home.
  • being the victim of trafficking in persons or sex.
  • Conflict.
  • frequent acts of violence in the community.
  • Although childhood chronic trauma is frequently linked to CPTSD, chronic trauma in adults can also result in the disorder's development.
  • The diagnosis of CPTSD

Psychology experts are divided on whether or not CPTSD is a separate diagnosis and disorder.

For instance, there are differences in the views of two professional reference book publishing groups about CPTSD. CPTSD was included in the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019. However, CPTSD is not acknowledged as a separate disorder by the American Psychological Association (APA), which is responsible for publishing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS-5). Dissociative PTSD, a subtype of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that appears to include symptoms of CPTSD, is included in the DSM-5.

Some experts think that there may be a continuum of trauma-related mental health illnesses with varying degrees of symptom severity, including CPTSD, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Can you explain the distinction between PTSD and CPTSD?

The duration of the trauma and the associated symptoms are the primary distinctions between PTSD and CPTSD.

In the past, professionals believed that short-term stress, such a car accident or a natural disaster, was usually the cause of PTSD. Through study, they discovered that those who endure prolonged, recurrent trauma frequently exhibit additional symptoms on top of PTSD symptoms. Both CPTSD and PTSD involve symptoms of psychological and behavioral stress responses, such as flashbacks, hypervigilance and efforts to avoid distressing reminders of the traumatic event(s).

Additional symptoms that people with CPTSD frequently experience include persistent and severe problems with:

  • Emotion management.
  • Self-awareness and identity.
  • Connections.

Characteristics like impulsivity, dishonesty, lack of empathy, and a propensity for aggressiveness are indicative of ASPD. People who have ASPD may find it difficult to uphold relationships, behave in ways that are against society norms, or commit crimes. However, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a result of having experienced or witnessed a terrible event. It manifests as symptoms such as nightmares, hypervigilance, emotional numbness, and flashbacks. While PTSD is brought on by specific traumatic events like battle, sexual assault, or natural catastrophes, ASPD is frequently linked to negative childhood experiences and genetic predispositions.

How are they related?

The co-occurrence of ASPD and PTSD presents unique challenges due to the overlapping symptoms and underlying trauma. Individuals with ASPD may have a history of exposure to traumatic events, contributing to the development of PTSD. Conversely, the reckless and antisocial behaviors associated with ASPD can increase the risk of experiencing traumatic events. Moreover, the emotional dysregulation and interpersonal difficulties stemming from PTSD can exacerbate the antisocial tendencies of ASPD, leading to a cycle of maladaptive coping mechanisms and self-destructive behaviors.

Seeking Professional Help:

It's crucial for individuals grappling with ASPD and PTSD to seek professional help from qualified mental health professionals. A psychiatrist or psychologist can conduct a thorough assessment, formulate an individualized treatment plan, and provide ongoing support and guidance. Additionally, support services such as case management, vocational rehabilitation, and peer support groups can offer valuable resources for navigating the challenges associated with dual diagnosis.

Coping Strategies:

Living with the dual burden of ASPD and PTSD can be overwhelming, but there are strategies individuals can employ to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Building a strong support network of friends, family, or support groups can provide validation and understanding. Engaging in stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, or exercise can help regulate emotions and reduce arousal levels. Practicing self-care and setting boundaries are also essential for maintaining mental and emotional wellbeing.

How can Samarpan help?

When treating ASPD and PTSD together, a thorough therapeutic strategy is needed to address the antisocial behaviors as well as the underlying trauma. Samarpan employs Treatment approaches include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might help with trauma-related symptoms and encourage constructive coping mechanisms. In addition, pharmaceutical management could be required to reduce impulsivity, sadness, or anxiety symptoms. By addressing the underlying trauma, learning adaptive coping strategies, and seeking professional help, individuals can break free from the cycle of antisocial behavior and trauma-related symptoms. It's essential to remember that recovery is possible, and no one has to face the journey alone. With compassion, perseverance, and resilience, individuals can emerge stronger and more empowered on their path to healing.

Samarpan is a leading international standard counselling centre, which is staffed by experienced and qualified professionals from India and overseas. The counselling centre offers One to One Counselling, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Peer Support Groups, Family Support Groups, Psychological Assessments, Psychiatric Assessments and Psychiatric consultations.

Located in Churchgate, Mumbai – Samarpan caters to clients in a modern, confidential and well equipped centre – which is easily accessible. On-Line sessions can also be offered.

For information and how to book an appointment we contactable on Phone or WhatsApp on +91 81809 19090.

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