Another very common question asked is, can antisocial personality disorder be cured? While it can be quite resistant to change, research shows there are a number of effective treatments for this disorder. For example, teenagers who receive therapy that helps them change the thinking that leads to their maladaptive behavior (cognitive behavioral therapy) have been found to experience a significant decrease the incidence of engaging in repeat antisocial behaviors.
On the other hand, attempting to treat antisocial personality disorder like other conditions is not often effective. For example, programs that have tried to use a purely reflective (insight-oriented) approach to treating depression or eating disorders in people with antisocial personality disorder often worsen rather than improve outcomes in those individuals. In those cases, a combination of firm but fair programming that emphasizes teaching individuals with antisocial personality disorder the skills that can be used to live independently and productively within the rules and limits of society has been the more effective treatment for this condition.
While medications do not directly treat the behaviors that characterize antisocial personality disorder, they can be useful in addressing conditions that co-occur with this condition. Specifically, depressed or anxious individuals who also have antisocial personality disorder may benefit from antidepressants, and those who exhibit impulsive anger may improve when given mood stabilizers.