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Antisocial Personality Disorder

            The modern concept of Antisocial Personality Disorder can be traced back to the early nineteenth century, and arguably, has always been tightly linked with contemporary societal attitudes towards criminal justice and civil liberties (Ferguson and Tyler. 2000). In the early eighteen hundreds clinicians attempted to understand criminals whose offences were so horrid that they were thought to be insane, yet their clinical overviews were not consistent with recognized mental health problems. As the world's medical knowledge began to modernize, the percentage of people in the United States having the disorder has inflated from .2 percent to between 5 and 6 percent of Americans. Antisocial Personality Disorder seems to be increasing at a rapid rate, but there are now ways to identify, treat and protect people. .
             Before the modernization of the medical field, clinicians were still befuddled by the inconsistency of the diagnosis. When describing such individuals, Prichard (1835) created the term "Moral Insanity", which was a form of "mental derangement" in which the person is unimpaired but the moral principles of the mind are "depraved" or "perverted" (www.ncbi.nih.gov). But over the years the term"moral insanity" was viewed as harsh so in 1905, Kraepelin, a physician, created the term psychopathic disorder. Clinicians believed this to be a better term for a disorder that was still not completely understood. In 1959 the term was even incorporated into the Mental Health Act in the United Kingdom, which made it possible for people to be admitted to the hospital for examination and treatment. Though the term seemed to fit the disorder quite well, many criticized it for its lack of specificity in regards to all signs and symptoms; therefore the term Antisocial Personality Disorder arose in 1980. It was put in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III) with all other disorders and covered all of the signs and symptoms for what was now known as ASPD.

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