Information for the public

What happens when I first see a healthcare professional about my symptoms?

What happens when I first see a healthcare professional about my symptoms?

If you think that your care does not match what is described in this information, please talk to a member of your healthcare team in the first instance.

If it is thought that you may have antisocial personality disorder, you should be offered an assessment with a specialist mental health professional.

During the assessment you should be asked questions about your thoughts, feelings and behaviour, and how you cope with any problems. You should also be asked about different areas of your life such as your relationships, life at home and at work or college, and any other problems such as depression and anxiety, and problems with drugs and alcohol. You may be asked to fill in a questionnaire. The person assessing you will also discuss with you whether you need psychological treatment (see 'What treatment should I be offered for antisocial personality disorder?'), social care and support or help in finding a job or getting back to work. They should develop a plan of your treatment and care.

As part of the assessment, your healthcare professional may discuss with you any behaviour that may be harmful to yourself or others. You may be referred to a specialist who will ask you about any violent behaviour, any previous convictions or time spent in prison. They may also ask about any other conditions you may have and events in your life that make you feel stressed.

If you are diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, healthcare professionals should discuss with you, and your family or carer if appropriate, what this means and how it might affect your life. They should explain that you should still receive treatment for any other mental health problems. You should be encouraged to attend and fully take part in treatment for antisocial personality disorder and any other conditions.

If you have a learning or physical disability, and a healthcare professional thinks that you may have antisocial personality disorder, you may be offered an appointment with an expert in your disability. You should be offered the same services as other people with antisocial personality disorder, with adjustments made to the treatment where necessary.

Questions you might like to ask your healthcare team

  • Why have I been given this diagnosis?

  • Can I expect an improvement following treatment?

  • Who can I contact in a crisis?

  • Are there any specialist personality disorder services in my area?

  • Are there any support organisations in my local area?

  • Where can I access confidential advice and support if there is a problem with my healthcare?

  • Can you provide any information for my family or carers?