While some claim it is a result of upbringing and life experiences, the medical community recognizes some cases as a type of chronic mental illness, pointing to genetics as a cause. Often the answer can be found by taking a closer look at the individual.
People who have been raised in a less than desirable environment are more susceptible to becoming antisocial than their counterparts who were raised in loving, stable homes. Children who grew up with physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, were abandoned by one or both parents, and/or neglected may develop self-esteem issues so severe that it becomes almost impossible for them to have healthy social interactions. They withdraw into themselves, unable to fully trust or be comfortable around others. While this can be overcome to some extent, it is a long and difficult process that generally requires therapy.
Other people seem as if they were “born that way.” Most people call this a person’s temperament, inherited from parents or other relatives that an individual is brought up around. In many ways, we mimic the adults in our childhood and learn to deal with situations as they do. So if Mom was cheerful and outgoing, chances are that you may be also. On the other hand, if she always saw the worst outcome of any situation, you very well could grow into an adult who is overly pessimistic. Studies show that pessimistic people do not enjoy socializing with others as much as more optimistic people do.
Doctors have diagnosed the more severe cases of antisocial behavior as antisocial personality disorder. It is a recognized mental illness. A variety of treatments are used to manage the symptoms, including medicine, therapy and support groups. Although in some circles it is thought to be “curable,” others remain steadfast in their opinion that it is a lifelong illness.
Regardless of the root cause, there are many life events that could contribute to the worsening of the disorder. Heartaches, bad relationships, past abuse, and lack of positive peer interaction can all play a vital role in the person’s choice to further retreat into their shell..
It also cannot be ignored that some people simply prefer their own company to that of others. They would rather live a life of solitude than engage in social gatherings or relationships.