I will never understand the white-knighting of the antisocial condition. I especially will never understand the antisocial that unironically white-knights themselves. I don’t wish to romanticize the condition – so I won’t – but let’s pause for a moment. The condition, ASPD, in the DSM-V is defined literally by the disregard for the rights and feelings of others. How anyone can spin this core definition to imply that one living with the disorder – which also by definition means that it interferes with a person’s interpersonal relationships and intrapersonal state in a way that is dramatic and not just in passing – is a saint or merely a victim of circumstance is beyond me. The wolf can file her teeth and whiten her fur, but she is still a wolf and not a sheep. The delusions of the mass are bad enough, but deluding oneself is a mortal sin.
While ASPD comes in many more flavors than its brethren, psychopathy, there are core features that mark it as a disorder to be respected and feared, not romanticized or dismissed. Those with ASPD do not receive a diagnosis because they play fair with others. They do not receive the diagnosis because they are secretly prosocial but act out on occasion. The diagnosis is made when the consequences of one’s antisocial alignment are so great that they cause distress for the individual or those around him. ‘Disorder’ implies severe dysfunction. It is literally impossible, given this very basic, but core, definition for an antisocial person to be a “good” individual. If you want to change your behavior, then do so. By and large, antisocials don’t want to change. And, by definition, if they are disordered to the point of diagnosis, then it takes a willful blindness to proclaim that you are misrepresented by those who are weary of your antisocial ways.
This is not to say that I am sympathetic to mischaracterizations of the condition. The antisocial is gaslighted by nearly everyone it seems, and a balance between recognizing the probability of the manifestation within an individual and the liberty and free will of a specific individual. One would not go up to a bear and pet it. However, we do not shoot all bears because they cannot be pet. There is a certain respect that is required from those around us and that respect is often beneficial for all involved rather than detrimental. However, we must also respect ourselves. We laugh at people that honestly believe themselves to be animals. Why then do we take serious those animals that honestly believe themselves to be human?