Conduct Disorder vs Antisocial Personality Disorder

Conduct Disorder vs Antisocial Personality Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Cure

Try your best not to cry or go into a rage after someone criticizes you in the smallest way.


Willingly or unwillingly we often hurt people with our words. The worst part is, regular criticism or extreme bad behavior can make people mentally unwell. 

Today we are going to discuss Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) and Conduct Disorder (CD). Jokes apart, most people think that they are different psychological conditions. 

But the truth is, CD is the root of ASPD. You can hardly identify Conduct Disorder because it always happens with kids. And, it turns visible when a person is 18 years old or above. And at that age, it becomes Antisocial Personality Disorder. 

I know as a parent you are now nervous and feeling conscious. 

Well, if the symptoms match with your child or partner, you can have ways to cure this mental illness quite sophisticatedly. 

How? Just go through our article.

What is Conduct Disorder? 

What is Conduct Disorder

CD is a negative behavior towards standard rules and regulations. Generally, kids in their adolescent and teen period go through various types of physical and mental changes. 

For the CD-affected child, the bad behavior change sometimes stays longer than expected, even permanent. 

Moreover, accidents in the head can also work as a trigger for this type of complication. People may refer to them as delinquent inferiors, but they are only mentally sick. These children are vulnerable to scold and abuse from their close ones. 

We live in a society that is abiding by many jurisdictions. Following good habits is what makes us different from other species. 

On the contrary, parents also have to go easy on their kids about appropriate manners and social skills. Modern complexity in relationships has made parenting hard to perform. However, sometimes even doing everything right doesn’t actually prevent the disorder. 

A 30-year-old mom named Laura tells how difficult it is to raise her 8-year-old son Nathan with CD. Nathen always yells at his younger sister for small mistakes, never does his homework, always misbehaves with his mother, and loves to stay alone. 

Laura regularly receives emails from his teacher that Nathan skips class and sports activities in school. The problem is Laura didn’t find any reasonable cause for Nathan’s odd behavior. -(Reddit) 

Conduct Disorder Symptoms

Conduct Disorder Symptoms

CD has some severe and weird symptoms, 

  • Aggressive behavior towards everyone. 
  • Violation of rules. 
  • The child disrespects surrounding people.  
  • Dishonest behavior. 
  • Fighting and bullying. 
  • “Don’t care” attitude. 
  • Instant mood swings. 
  • Physically violent. 
  • Exhibit cruelty. 
  • High temper. 
  • Irritable feeling in social gatherings. 
  • Impatient. 
  • Avoid people. 
  • Truancy. 
  • Running away from home. 
  • Conning others.  
  • Sexual and drug abuse. 
  • Don’t care about self-duties and responsibilities. 
  • Dangerous behavior. 
  • Threatening others for simple things. 

One strange thing is, CD hits children differently. Some kids show some particular set of symptoms (often for surroundings); others may show all the signs in their age progression. Psychiatrists believe that attention from parents can work as a Conduct Disorder treatment, which can stop some symptoms permanently. 

What Causes Conduct Disorder? 

Bipolar Disorder

CD is also related to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), BPD (Bipolar Disorder), and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).

The ADHD disorder affects the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which helps us to respond to any action. On the other hand, the ODD is almost similar to a Conduct Disorder, but symptoms may continue for only 6 months. 

All these disorders have similar symptoms and have related patterns of effectiveness. Scientists agreed that CD-affected children have some deformity in their brain’s frontal lobe. This part of the brain helps a person focus, determined, plan, initiate, organize, and self-monitor. BPD also can trigger Conduct Disorder at a certain age. 

Sushant Singh Rajput, a famous Indian actor, committed suicide on June 14, 2020. Sushant was suffering from depression and asphyxiation. His close ones said that he often experienced poor concentration, restlessness, violent behavior, and insomnia before death. These symptoms made the doctors believe that Shushant was affected by BPD (Biopoler Disorder), which ultimately led him to suicide. 

There are multiple reasons that can cause Conduct Disorder syndrome, 

1. Past Abuse Experience

Children learn to communicate and social skills from the age of preschooler period (ages between 2-5). This period is sensitive, and any wrongdoings will affect their adulthood. 

Misbehavior of parents, too much governance, parents separation, love difference between child, sex abuse, and beating can build grudge in a child’s heart, which later converts into Conduct Disorder. 

A recent report about child abuse states that the USA has the highest child abuse and child mortality rate among other western countries. 

Past Abuse Experience

2. Affected with Other Disorders 

Many children may have one or two disorders from birth. These disorders later become the cause of CD. A majority of ODD and ADHD-affected children will show CD symptoms later. 

3. Disorder History in Parents 

There is a 50% chance that parents can pass down their sick genetic traits to children. Depression and anxiety in parents can also negatively impact the child and develop Conduct Disorder. 

Moreover, consuming self-harming drugs in a pregnant state can also cause mental and physical disorders to the unborn infant. 

4. Malo-Nutrition and Poor Living Conditions 

Poor Living Conditions

One of the most significant reasons for Conduct Disorder is bad living states. The needy situation of a family creates a problem for the growing child. 

Later, parents force these children to earn for the family at an inappropriate age. Mainly poor and developing countries face this situation the most. 

A survey report by Humaniuam asserts that 120 million children are living in the streets. Among them, 30 million are from Africa, 30 million from Asia, 60 million South America. These children tend to engage in crimes like vandalism, theft, pick-pocket, robbery, drug abuse, and even murder. 

In 1993, two 10-year-old boys in South Africa killed a 2-year-old kid named Jamie Bulger. – (Book- Youth and Crime)  

5. Psychopathology in Maternal State

Mothers with mental illness can negatively impact a newborn, which leads to many mental disorders for the child later. Mentally sick mothers act violently, beat the child, and do drugs in front of them. Some mothers don’t love the presence of their children and intentionally ignore the baby. 

Psychopathology in Maternal State

Marshall Bruce Mathers III or also known as Eminem is a famous rap music artist and actor. Eminem faced many challenges at an early age of his life. His mother was a rude, drug addict, and mentally ill person. In songs “Cleaning out My Closet” and “Without Me,” he accused his mother of being abusive. -(

Besides these reasons, some other causes such as early exposure to violent acts, poor parenting, neglecting children, and experiencing misconduct can also develop Conduct Disorder. 

Which Countries Have the Highest Child abuse Rate?

10 Countries with the highest prevalence of Child Abuse

Countries Rating 
Brazil 62.4% 
Serbia 58.2%
India 57.6% 
South Africa 56.1%
Philippines 55.3% 
Tanzania 54.2% 
Kenya 53.8%
Uganda 53.7%
Malaysia 53.4%
Romania 52.8%
Source- (UN Dispatch)

Paul J Frick, an American psychologist, recently wrote a research report on Conduct Disorder. According to this research report, the worldwide number of children and adolescents (ages between 6-18 years old) affected by CD is 3.2%. 

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Antisocial Personality Disorder

ASPD is a mental state of illness that makes a person feel no regret towards a criminal or dangerous act and ignore others’ feelings. Doing this behavior a few times is not a sign of disorder, but repeated conduct will count as ASPD. 

Mostly, the symptoms of ASPD can begin in the childhood period of life and stay for a long time. The age range of ASPD is 8 years to 56 years. 

If not treated perfectly, ASPD will continue to improve and make the person more violent. In later stages of this disorder, a person may conduct gruesome crimes such as theft, robbery, and murder. However, one positive thing is these people have great concentration. Scientists believe that most serial killers are affected by ASPD. 

Israel Kayes is an infamous serial killer who took the lives of 11 people until his arrest on 13, 2012. His childhood was pretty shady and dark, which lead him on this path. 

Antisocial Personality Disorder Symptoms

Below, we have listed some basic ADSD signs and symptoms, 

  • No sense of wrong or right. 
  • Constant lying and exploiting acts towards others. 
  • Arrogance and disbelief in other’s rights. 
  • False blaming. 
  • Superior feeling in a people gathering. 
  • Violent behavior against animals. 
  • Use of manipulation to fool others. 
  • Hurt others for their own selfish goals. 
  • Opinionated.
  • Constant intimidation and dishonesty. 
  • Whimsicalness. 
  • Disbelief in law and order. 
  • Hostility towards people. 
  • Absence of compassion for others. 
  • Unnecessary risk-taking without regret. 
  • Relationships with friends and family are weak. 
  • Lose of temper in failure of a task. 
  • Anger management issues. 
  • Irresponsible towards duties and responsibilities. 
  • Crookery. 

A person can show these symptoms before the age of 15 and, in some cases ages, 20 to 25. Normal behaviors like anger, hostility, violence, fictional obligation, and property destruction are regular for these individuals. 

Some psychiatrists believe that ASPD is permanent and incurable. However, after many years of research doctors have found that it is treatable. 

ASPD can also increase for lack of self-awareness, but personal self-development can help decrease the symptoms. Society and loved ones will play a keen role in therapy for antisocial personality disorder. 

What Causes Antisocial Personality Disorder? 

ASPD can affect many factors of mind. Our brain and subconscious create every aspect of our personality. And, what kind of personality we will develop depends on outside environmental factors, inherited behavior factors from parents, and interaction with other humans. 

All these personality shaping elements are working simultaneously in a pattern. Any disruptions in this process will affect a child’s brain, later form many types of disorders. For personality-related syndrome, knowing what causes ASPD is hard.  

However, there are some reasons that we can highlight. 

1. Genetic Inheritance 

Any disorder that was affected in parents can transfer to the child. However, this behavior pattern in the genes stays dormant. The problem occurs when they are triggered and make the child vulnerable to ASPD-related disorders. 

2. Deformity in Brain 

Any contortion in brain development can cause serious problems. Later, it dysfunctions the brain, which results in the development of ASPD. 

Other than the body and mind difficulties, some risk circumstances can result in this psychological condition-

  • Childhood history of CD. 
  • Neglected or rejected from society in early childhood. 
  • Family issues. 

A scientific research report from Sciencedaily states that men are more vulnerable to the prevalence of antisocial personality disorder than females. Another research suggests that ASPD affects about 1% to 4% of people in the U.S.

Abusive Child-Hood

3. Abusive Child-Hood 

If a child faces cruelty and harshness they will eventually fall victim to ASPD. Scientists believe that witnessing rage and aggression from an early period of life may cause serious damage to the brain. The child who is going through this every day will mimic this behavior and ultimately show signs of ASPD in adulthood. 

7 Steps of Curing Conduct Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder

We will separate this disorder method for children and adults to make them more clear and precise. 

Solutions for Children Section (Conduct Disorder) 

CD disorder treatment is challenging to perform and may take months to see any actual result. In those times, parents and close one’s patience is the key to victory. 

Most of the difficulties happen for the child’s uncooperative response to any treatment opportunities. Another problem is, usually Conduct Disorder is diagnosed with other physical and mental issues. 

Below are 4 steps of curing the Conduct Disorder of any troubled children. 

1. Diagnose the Disorder 

Contact a psychiatrist to diagnose the disorder. The doctor will check 2 major factors before creating the final report, 

Take Interview
Take Interview

The affected child’s early records of Conduct Disorder occurrence, ongoing problems, behaviors, and state of living. A nurse or the psychiatrist will ask these questions to the child in a clinical interview. 

Checking Past Report

The next phase is creating a detailed report about essential data such as school data, any record of past medication, and recent therapy information. 

For the treatment part, the specialist will observe the child’s behavior and prescribe any necessary treatment. Most of these treatments are physically oriented. 

2. Friendly and Emotional Approach Towards the Person 

Well, this congenial-behavioral therapy helps the child to learn all the crucial behavioral traits that were absent. In this disorder treatment plan, the child will learn problem-solving, communication skills, stress handling, anger management, listening skills, and patience. 

For the first few months, it will be hard to execute because of stubbornness. So, parents and relatives have to adjust to the patient’s behaviors. 

Some parents feel uneasy around their disordered kids and send them to juvenile correction centers or home confinement. But, it will only reverse the effects. Love and patience will be the key to victory. 

Friendly and Emotional Approach Towards the Person

3. Essential Changes to the Family 

Family and close relatives will play a vital role in curing the CD disorder. For achieving perfection in communication and understanding each other’s feelings, family therapy is the best option. The rules of family therapy are simple, 

  • Gathering of willing family members for a short consulting. 
  • The therapist will also join. 
  • For information, the specialist will ask many questions such as the roles of each member, rules, bonding, appreciation, and social status of family members. 

The primary purpose of this meet is to recognize the strengths of your family, cooperation with each other, weakness, problems, and resolutions. While the conversation starts, remember to prioritize the patient more than other members. 

4. Positively Reinforcing the Children 

Positively Reinforcing the Children

Children love to get rewarded for task completion and get encouraged more. Parents should take this chance to support the child’s efforts. Any moral behavior or modest activity should be treated with rewards. Moreover, positive reinforcement will decrease the dependence on punishments. 

Another crucial part is monitoring their viewing and entertainment, such as gaming, TV, and the internet. Children are innocent and curious about their surroundings. 

Furthermore, they have a habit of mimicking others in both good or bad ways. So, monitor their activities on the internet and TV to avoid any shows that encourage violence. In this field, parental supervision is a must. 

Completing a Conduct Disorder treatment plan will be challenging and hard to overcome, but it is possible. And, the success will entirely depend on everyone’s group effort. 

Solutions for Adult Section (Antisocial Personality Disorder) 

Adults have a much more complex behavior pattern than kids. They also have different lifestyles and personality traits. But, the major problem is adults can change their lifestyle entirely after successful therapy. 

However, regular monitoring can reduce the symptoms of ASPD and permanently cure the disorder. 

The below 3 steps can work pretty efficiently for antisocial personality disorder tests and treatment. 

1. Consultation 

Conduct Disorder vs Antisocial Personality Disorder

It’s best to talk about the problem with a professional psychiatrist. Problem-solving with a peaceful conversation with the expert will help the patient recognize his/ her mistakes and find ways to cure them. Moreover, nursing diagnosis for an antisocial personality disorder may also help to discover other complications. 

This conversation will include drug abuse, anger administration, anti-violence, and daily health conditions. Moreover, the psychiatrist can also ask about other disorders that may happen. 

But, if the symptoms are severe, the only consultation may not effectively cure ASPD. It is because of the person who is affected by severe ASPD symptoms. 

2. Community-Based Programs 

Community-Based Programs

Democratic Therapeutic Communities (DTC) is a community therapy that intends to administer mentally disordered persons by describing the risks of offending any rules-regulations and also monitor their well-being and needs. This social treatment can positively affect the disordered person in many ways. 

DTC is gaining popularity in many jails and juvenile centers. And, most of the programs were successful in rehabilitating many people. 

The program can continue for an average of 18 months. Some work that will be done in this period is, 

  • Developing a peaceful environment for the members. 
  • Scholarly work and vocational programs. 
  • Community services. 
  • Speech and communication development programs. 
  • Routine physical exercise. 
  • Meditation. 
  • Group meets. 

If you want to apply for a complete DTC course, then you can contact NHS Pennine Care by NHS foundation in London. 

3. Practice 


No medication, treatment, and consultation will work until you practice good behaviors every day. APSD is stubborn and will influence the person to do more and more bad acts. The inner anger and rage will need a little spark ablaze. And, the next thing you, will find yourself in the same situation again. 

So, practice good deeds every day. You can start self-journaling and record all the occurred events. If journaling is not your thing, then why not create a regular paper to-do list system

Keep in mind that your central purpose will be to stay busy with your good behaviors and forget about bad ones. No matter how bad the situation is, staying positive will surely make you victorious one day. 

Summing up on Conduct Disorder vs Antisocial Personality Disorder

Behavioral associated disorders are unpredictable and may take years of effort to fix. In some cases, the person affected hurts himself for futile reasons and may even commit suicide. 

However, full recovery of personality disorders is possible if the therapy starts from an early state. So, after knowing about the disease, take precautions as fast as possible. 

You may not recognize it, but you are so much more than you think you are, don’t let any disorder take over a perfect personality. 

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