Soldiers and Antisocial Personality Disorder

Soldiers and Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is a mental condition where individuals have constant dysfunctional thoughts and their own method of thinking, understanding and communicating with others. This disorder causes individuals to suffer many consequences that not only impact their own wellbeing, but that of others as well.

The Dangers of Antisocial Personality Disorder in the Armed Forces

Antisocial personality disorder is an extremely complex illness to handle in even low stress situations. Soldiers who have this mental condition are more likely to experience many continual consequences of their untreated condition. Having this condition while working in a combative environment can be incredibly dangerous, especially if this illness is untreated. Some of the many antisocial personality disorder symptoms that can bring about negative consequences in the armed forces include the following:

  • Lack of compassion – One of the most common traits of antisocial personality disorder is that individuals with this illness lack compassion for others. Therefore, a solider is more likely to kill others without feeling regret or remorse. While this might be seen as a benefit, it is also highly dangerous as those who are not affected by killing others are more likely to develop violent behaviors.
  • Habitual dishonesty – When in combat, it is crucial that soldiers are honest with one another so that everyone is consistently on the same page. This helps prevent miscommunications and also helps develop loyalty, two traits that are necessary in a successful operation. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder often habitually lie to others, which can jeopardize everyone’s safety while in combat.
  • Irresponsibility – Structure is one of the key elements in the armed forces, and it promotes undeniable focus, determination and success. When a soldier is struggling with antisocial personality disorder, he or she can become highly irresponsible. This means that he or she might not show up on time, might not use his or her weapon correctly or might not follow instructions crucial to the mission. This breaks down trust within his or her troop, which causes weakness amongst the team.

A soldier in the armed forces who is struggling with antisocial personality disorder can lack compassion, habitually lie to others and grow irresponsible enough that he or she puts others at risk.

Getting Help for Antisocial Personality Disorder

Just because an individual has antisocial personality disorder doesn’t mean that he or she cannot join the armed forces. However, with this mental illness, it is crucial that individuals get the treatment they need before joining so that they can prevent these dangers from occurring.

Numerous treatments are available, including psychotherapy and medications. Psychotherapy can help individuals with antisocial personality disorder develop skills that can combat the symptoms in high-pressure situations, and prescription medication can allow them to begin regaining control of their thoughts in ways that make them more mentally sound before entering into the armed forces.