Which of the following types of psychological difficulties has posed major problems to all societies, with historical evidence of its existence going back to ancient Mesopotamia?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The answer to your question is antisocial personality disorders.

Those who suffer from antisocial personality disorders tend to exhibit certain identifying traits such as aggressiveness, lack of remorse, and narcissistic grandiosity. They are often cruel to animals and physically weaker peers. Some who suffer from the disorder may also be...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The answer to your question is antisocial personality disorders.

Those who suffer from antisocial personality disorders tend to exhibit certain identifying traits such as aggressiveness, lack of remorse, and narcissistic grandiosity. They are often cruel to animals and physically weaker peers. Some who suffer from the disorder may also be impulsive and deceitful, and they display a callous disregard for the safety of others.

According to Hamid and Stein in their groundbreaking research text The Surpu: Exorcism of Antisocial Personality Disorder in Ancient Mesopotamia, Surpu incantations on cuneiform tablets described antisocial personality traits as far back as the time of Ashurbanipal (eighth century BC). The traits delineated in the Surpu (or Mesopotamian incantation series) match the descriptive traits that correspond to antisocial personality disorder in the DSM-5 today. The Surpu not only described antisocial personality traits, it also prescribed special rituals to purify those affected by aberrant tendencies.

Today, experts maintain that the purification rituals described in the Surpu were actually meant to be performed by exorcists. Many people in Mesopotamia believed that those who exhibited such antisocial traits were likely possessed by evil spirits. Hence, the need for exorcism. In eighth-century Mesopotamia, the purpose of the Surpu rituals was to restore the supplicant's relationship to his god.

Source:

Atonement and Purification: Priestly and Assyro-Babylonian Perspectives on Sin and its Consequences by Isabel Cranz

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team