Over the past few years I have been curious as to what is wrong with me. I feel different, detached and slightly alienated. I have no interest in friendship or relationships (emotional or physical). I feel very emotionally cold and distant, I do still have emotions, but they are very diminished, I also have difficulty understanding what emotion I am feeling at any given time, in addition to lacking empathy. I often find myself being very manipulative and lying almost compulsively. It has gotten to the point where I will lie frequently for no reason, simply for the sake of lying. I am very impulsive and lack direction in my life, I pick up and drop new hobbies very frequently and I find it almost impossible to plan ahead and stick to life goals that I have set for myself.
During my childhood I was a ‘problem child,’ very angry, aggressive and cruel to animals and insects. Up until the age of five I would throw tantrums and purposefully projectile vomit. Now at the age of 19 my aggressiveness and irritability still remain. Finally, when I am in social settings (such as college) I find myself putting on a façade, pretending to be normal, pretending to feel the same as those around me.
Whilst I do not feel that these symptoms are affecting me negatively in my daily life, I would like to know if I do in fact suffer from antisocial personality disorder.
Thank you for your time.
It’s impossible to provide a mental health diagnosis over the Internet. I do not have enough information to determine a diagnosis.
Some of your symptoms might be indicative of disorders other than antisocial personality disorder. For example, feeling detached, different, alienated, and lacking emotion, could be a sign of depression. It’s common for people with depression to isolate themselves.
You mentioned struggling with emotions. That’s not necessarily a symptom of any one mental illness; it is something with which many people struggle, even those without mental illnesses. It’s relatively common to misunderstand one’s emotions.
You believe that you lack empathy but did not provide any examples. Examples would’ve helped me to determine if you do lack empathy.
You said that you lie but did not provide any context. There is a difference between “white lies” and pathological lying. For instance, if a friend asks you “how do you like my new haircut?” and you reply “I love it ” even when you don’t, that might be considered a “white lie.” White lies are often used when you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
That is a qualitatively different type of lie, than the person who lies about being a war hero or a September 11, 2001, terrorism survivor or a cancer victim. Those types of lies, might be characteristic of pathological liars, who seem to tell untruths for the purpose of manipulating others.
In all of the aforementioned examples, lies were told but only the latter examples are more likely to be associated with antisocial personality disorder.
Aggression is a concerning symptom but impulsivity and being unclear about your path in life, at the age of 19, may be developmentally normal. According to the latest brain science, the teenage brain isn’t fully developed until about age 25.
I’m not suggesting that you do or do not have antisocial personality disorder but I wanted to point out that your symptoms could be indicative of other mental health disorders or perhaps none at all. More information would be necessary to make a determination about a diagnosis.
The best way to determine a diagnosis, is to be evaluated by a mental health clinician.
You stated that your symptoms are not negatively impacting your life but I would disagree. You should not simply accept these symptoms as your reality. When you notice a problem developing or have concerns about a potential problem, you should investigate and attempt to correct whatever might be wrong. Writing to us was a good first step. Your next step should involve consulting mental health professionals. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle