Why Being Introverted Doesn’t Make You Antisocial | Antisocial Personality Disorder


[ ♪INTRO ] Introverts can often feel antisocial — at
least, in a way. They can feel pretty ‘anti’ being social,
preferring to end a long week by doing their own thing instead of living it up at a big
party. But when psychologists talk about being antisocial,
that’s not really what they mean. Instead, they’re referring to behaviors
like manipulation, deceitfulness, and recklessness. In other words, someone isn’t avoiding social
interactions; they’re engaging in negative ones. And when those behaviors become a primary
part of someone’s personality, they might be diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder,
or ASPD. It’s one of the most easily misunderstood
conditions out there, and it’s often easy to portray someone with it as heartless. But that’s totally not true. Here’s what’s really going on. ASPD affects around 1 to 3% of the population,
and according to the DSM-V, the latest version of the handbook doctors use to make diagnoses,
it requires a few key symptoms. First, individuals have to show impairments
in regulating their own behavior. That could look like being strongly self-centered
or having trouble conforming to laws or ethical norms. They also have to show impairments in interacting
with others, like by exploiting people as their main way into relationships, or by not
having remorse after hurting someone. And they should frequently show so-called
antagonistic or disinhibited personality traits, which include things like manipulation, hostility,
risk-taking, and impulsivity. Finally, these impairments should all be stable
over time and in different situations, and shouldn’t be better explained by things
like medication, or someone’s social and cultural environment. It’s also important to point out that, although
they often get lumped together, some psychologists don’t consider ASPD to be the same as psychopathy,
another disorder not included in the DSM. It’s an ongoing debate, but they argue that,
while these conditions share a lot of common characteristics and often happen at the same
time, they don’t overlap completely. So there’s a lot that goes into ASPD, and
the things that cause it seem to be equally complex. From what researchers can tell, the disorder
has a strong genetic component, but also an environmental one. One 2010 meta-analysis suggested that around
56% of the variation in symptoms can be attributed to genetics. But studies looking at how the condition develops
show us that’s not the whole story. Multiple papers have found that factors like
abuse or neglect during childhood can make someone more likely to develop ASPD, especially
if one of their parents was diagnosed with it. That could be because the stress in those
environments can influence gene activity, which can ultimately affect brain functioning. But that doesn’t mean everyone with the
disorder had a rough childhood, either. Figuring out exactly what triggers this condition
has been tricky, because it’s probably not just one thing. Besides investigating where ASPD comes from,
other researchers have also studied what it looks like in the brain. And they’ve found that many of those with
this disorder have various atypicalities in their brain’s structure and function. For example, a 2013 meta-analysis looked at
12 studies involving brain scans of roughly 300 individuals with antisocial behavior and
almost 250 controls. It found that those with antisocial behavior
tended to have less gray matter in three areas involved with emotional processing. Gray matter is the type of tissue that contains
most of the brain’s cell bodies and synapses. This suggests that those with ASPD aren’t
just disinterested in other people’s emotions. Their brains actually have structural differences
that make it really tricky to fully understand them. This idea was supported by another study in
2016, which looked at 83 people who had commited crimes. It found that participants with ASPD had more
trouble visualizing the mental states of others. That likely explains why many people with
this disorder become involved with things like crime or illicit drugs. If someone can’t easily picture other people’s
reaction to their behavior, it could make those kinds of activities seem less harmful. Thanks to its symptoms, it can be really easy
to think ASPD makes someone totally incapable of having close relationships — or that
someone with it would even want them. But that isn’t true. Many will love and appreciate a select handful
of close family or friends, and their symptoms might even be less severe around them. But outside of that inner circle, the condition
make it much harder to have empathy or feelings towards others. Still, many with ASPD will hide their diagnosis
purely because of the stigma attached to it — which is never a good thing. Like with any personality disorder, it’s
important to remember that, even if someone’s brain works differently… well, that just
means it works differently. It doesn’t mean they’re a lesser person
because of it. For psychologists, the next big steps in research
are to learn more about what causes the disorder, and also how to treat it, since these symptoms
often disrupt someone’s quality of life. That said, treatment options are pretty limited
right now. Some studies suggest that methods such as
cognitive behavioral therapy, which is designed to change negative thought patterns and behaviors,
may help. But other studies showed no effect. The good news is, we are getting better at
treating conditions like this in general. In the past, psychologists concluded that
personality disorders just can’t be addressed with treatment. But that idea has recently begun to change,
and we’re starting to see more effective therapies for other personality disorders. So, maybe in the future, we’ll see some
reliable treatment options for this one, too. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
Psych! We believe psychology is all about understanding
what makes us human, and we’re really thankful for our patrons on Patreon who help us keep
making episodes like this. If you want to support free psychology education
online and help us explore more of what makes us tick, you can go to patreon.com/scishow. [ ♪OUTRO ]

100 thoughts on “Why Being Introverted Doesn’t Make You Antisocial | Antisocial Personality Disorder

  1. Can you do a video on Narcissistic Personality Disorder? It seems similar to ASPD, but if it doesn't fully overlap, that'd be interesting to discuss.

  2. Well do you need to treat it, if they are happy or content? Are they suffering?
    You could argue that others do, but doesn't represent an indication.
    I guess it's not a pathology, more that evolutionarily being antisocial was also a trait leading by manipulation to an advantage in resources. It's like cheating, but a social level.

  3. Nope the DSM-V is not the handbook doctors use to male diagnoses. It's been rejected in many countries outside the USA for many very valid reasons and even inside the USA it is heavily criticised with many psychologists preferring the latest update to ICD-10. for example the NHS publicly criticise it: https://www.nhs.uk/news/mental-health/news-analysis-controversial-mental-health-guide-dsm-5/

  4. I have diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder. I did have the rough childhood, but my birth mother (with whom I did not grow up) has much of the same issues as well.

  5. Been telling people that use antisocial wrong for years about this misuse of the word.

    Also, I have been trying to inform people that CEOs/Business Executives are far more likely to be a sociopath than the average person. That's a big reason why the idea of "business leaders make good politicians hurr" is the dumbest thing I hear when people support business people running as politicians -_-

  6. Now I need to do more research to understand the differences between APD, psychopathy, and sociopathy, because I know some individuals with the cluster of behaviors mentioned at the beginning of the video (manipulation, deceitfulness, recklessness) can also have very high COGNITIVE empathy, meaning they can visualize others' responses to their behavior. However, they still have low emotional empathy, meaning when someone else is hurting they don't feel bad because of it.

  7. Fellow introverts,do not be ashamed of who you are.you are who you are.and i personally feel that yall are the best.it is okay to be awkward in certain situations.it is okay to have been told to speak louder.it is okay to be mistunderstood because at the end of the day,it is your happiness that matters the most.do good for yourselves,not for others.

  8. Speaking of personality disorders, i was wondering if you would consider doing a segment on Schizoid Personality disorder, as it's an interesting condition on which the literature is woefully sparse…

  9. Introverts: says something really deep and insightful, causing one to rethink their entire philosophy on life
    Extroverts: Wow, you're such a nerd
    Also Extroverts: Why is that kid so quiet

  10. I love this cause i'm introverted but a really social person some might even say gregarious i just dislike indulging in social events for more than an hour

  11. Iam diagnosed with ASPD and BPD. ANd guess what ? Iam introverted too. Which is pretty shitty, because when i feelrageand VERY antisocialioften destroy things at my home or waiting forpeoples mistakesto yelland sream at them. I hate that i cant form ANY bondsto any human and that idontfeelcomfortablearound humans at all.It feels liksiam in a closed shellobeserving the other idiots outside. Ah…..i hate you all. 🙂

  12. So it's technically narcissistic sociopathy haha the divide and acceptance between sociopathy and psychopathy continues 😅 they just rebranded the terms with name aspd. Or are they trying to say aspd is deferent from sociopathy too?! And are they even still considering that sociopathy and psychopathy are real things yet 🤔 although I believe they are but I know the DSM still hasn't included it?

  13. I've never liked the term "anti-social personality disorder" as it's misleading. It sounds like someone who has it can handle long periods of time with no social interraction, to the point of being thrown in solitary confinement for decades and emerging emotionally and psychologically no worse for wear, but that's not what it actually is. Anti-social behaviour to Psychologists focusses more on how differently their behavior is compared to others such as laughing after watching someone die or an inability to cry under any circumstances despite being able to legitimately feel empathy.

  14. I went (obligated most of the time tho) many times to therapist, different ones (my mother didnt like the answer "he is perfectly fine…actually more than ok. I want to talk with YOU"). Until one particular day i was extremely pissed off and…well, given that i saw the psychology career, and saw how cocky some therapist can be, unprofessional even, it backfired to her. Perhaps i was a bit TOO intense? (didnt screamed nor anything) because at the end she was clearly in distress and refused to threat me. To be fair, she could had ruined my life by saying the STUPIDITY she considered i was (a bit antisocial with…" blablabla. Again, i saw several therapist, it was a misdiagnostic)

    People dont realize that a) even sociopaths can look normal b) is not that common to be antisocial, and you cant just say a person it is, because is not the lack of wanting to get involved in society (sorry for bad english)

  15. I don't have aspd, i just have strong idealogical and religious beliefs that defer from the norm. That being said, it often seems like I have an inability to have remorse or to empathize, although i absolutely can. I think for me its just conditional to the person and because of that i may come off to many as someone with aspd

  16. If more curious, Dr Todd Grande has great videos explaining ASPD, sociopathy and psychopathy one for expample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQSzH10SjqY&t=1s

  17. This is true. Just because someone can't feel things the way everyone else can or can't express it to the 1 (or few) people they actually do care for doesn't mean they don't have those strong emotions towards that 1 (or few) persons.

  18. Low-key upset you guys didn't explain the difference between asocial and antisocial. But I still enjoyed the video 9/10 lol

  19. Speaking for introverts, asocial seems to be a more appropriate word than antisocial, which is a completely different thing.

  20. Hey guys, not to pester, but can you guys do a video on borderline personality disorder? My partner and I are looking for information, but most information is extremely offensive to people with BPD.

  21. I'm antisocial and all my family said I'm antisocial yeah I'm antisocial I don't need my family anymore because I'm angry full of hate I'm gonna hang my self

  22. is it true that preferring bitter taste is associated with sadistic psychopathic traits like disinhibition? source from a published study in the journal appetite.

  23. We need to stick by the old tried and true treatment: Teaching ASPD kids to take out their urge to kill and mutilate on violent criminals who slipped through the cracks of the Miami PD.

  24. Isn't it odd how all of these online resources state a 1%-3% prevalence rate for all diagnosed mental illnesses? The DSM now lists 200 different afflictions. Quick math?
    Guess that means everybody on the planet has between 2 and 6 mental illnesses. Yes. Everybody.
    One by one, big pharma finds a way to to steer us all into their government sponsored revenue trap with flimsy criteria like.. 'is your quality of life affected?'
    Duh. Who has a perfect life?
    Ridiculousness.
    Yes. I am an extreme introvert.
    No. I will not apologize for it.

  25. This doesn't really seem to have anything to do with being introverted. I think it was mentioned once, but even then the title would have been more like "antisocial disorder doesn't make you introverted" .. it was about 90% about ASPD.

  26. Unrelated, but something I wish more people knew, psychopathic personality traits and psychopathic personality disorder are not the same thing.

  27. Mostly true, yet some people you really can't change or make better and even need to be contained from society or ultimately put down. It's the sad hard truth with Psychopaths and sociopaths.

  28. I was just checking back, and it kind of floored me to see the number of replies. To those of you opening up, I say, see you DO have something to contribute! The comment section can be a blessing.Of course like any blessing, it can turn into a curse.(I'm talking about the trolls),but here the good out weighs the bad.

  29. So people with ASPD would likely have much lower opinions about movies and books that are designed to be emotional. Sure there are other components to good story telling, but a major component wouldn't be felt the same way.

  30. Hey Sci Show Psych, can you do an episode on Autism Spectrum Disorder and explain how it's different from Anti Social Personality Disorder? There's still a stigma about people with autism not having empathy, but new research suggests this not only isn't true, but people on the spectrum tend to have stronger empathy than normal, they just don't express it the same way either doing so in extremes when they're overwhelmed, or shutting down completely and appearing to look apathetic.

  31. Interesting video. I try my best not to be judgemental towards people with ASPD, or many other mental illnesses that tend to make me uncomfortable (e.g. Autism), but it's hard, especially with this one. Because of those symptoms such as manipulation or lack of empathy, it's hard for me to not be afraid of them.

  32. There’s also a huge difference between being antisocial as an adjective and having antisocial personality disorder as a noun. APD is a serious diagnosis that has repercussions for usually other ppl … they’re the psychopaths and sociopaths of society. Whereas ppl like Nicola Tesla just weren’t social/were antisocial… but perhaps introverted is a better word to use than antisocial

  33. Highest concentration of Antisocial personality Disorders in America is on wall street not prisons or institutions.

  34. Socialising- even with my extended family make me want to run and hide… I just want to be on my own, but I also know that that's not healthy… why was I born this way?!

  35. check out this link to see Scientologys teachings on evil people and personality disorders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNDFcGldZT0&t=4161s

  36. Ngl I used to go out a lot I was able to talk to people and make conversation but I don't know what happened I go out but not with my friends I talk to people online and feel like I'm unable to make conversation or I think what other people like I don't and I think its gotten bad I'm 17 coming 18

  37. Antisocial does not mean someone who doesn't talk. Antisocial people are sociopaths, who lack remorse for others. Asocial means someone who doesn't socialize. An introvert is usually none of these.

  38. Being antisocial and having antisocial personality disorder are two completely different things. The person who made this video and the people in the comment section are failing to understand that. I consider myself both antisocial and asocial, and those two terms aren’t exactly exclusive. If you look up both definitions in the dictionary, you’ll pretty much get the same definition in different wording. But yeah, having antisocial personality traits is not the same as having ASPD. That’s like saying feeling depressed is the same as having clinical depression.

  39. As a victim of many people with aspd traits both as well of people who are malignent narcs … I can attest to the fact that most are not evil minded. However, due to people not getting educated from an early age about these things they become hostage either in ignorance about possibly becoming a target or victim or in ignorance about possible disorders they might suffer. The result of NOT WANTING TO STIGMATIZE is absolutely beyond horrible for victims who never saw it coming and of which a lot lose their life in horrible ways. Amongst people suffering these disorders are also people who will at one point in their life commit murder or acts of abuse, violence which are JUST AS BAD as murder. But if we victims dare to speak out about it, we are regarded as monsters…. how dare we 'stigmatize' people with a disorder ??? Who cares victims suffer from anxiety, lost their faith in people, lost family member, lost a business, lost their sanity, have a heart condition, eating disorders and hell to look forward to… all on count of people with disorders… But let's not stigmatize.

     I respect the fact some have a disorder, they can't help themselves.. But i'm starting to hate the fact that the damage they cause is being trivialized like hell, there's no eductation, some of these traits are even being promoted aided by wordsalades such as 'pro-social'… Are there people aware that as we speak : MILLIONS of victims are on the internet trying to get out of really bad situations of entanglement with a person who is suffering such disorders.

    Some of these people fear for their lives, or the lives of their childeren or relatives. Some have been driven to almost complete insanity… It's okay and a good thing to teach people the difference between asocial and antisocial… but i don't like it when these disorders are being trivialized. A lot of people are being abused and don't even know it. … desperately trying to ingraciate themselves with such people… seems our whole society is trying to do just that;… ingraciating themselves… That's like a mouse trying to stop a cat from attacking by doing a little dance in front of the cat, hoping that it will please the cat.

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