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sociopathic 13 year old
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sociopathic 13 year old

Can anyone recommend books on helping diagnosis and treat children with sociopathic disorders? All the books and information I have seen is on recognizing it in criminals, mass murderers. Diagnosing him would at least give us a handle on the "whys" involved in his behavior even though there might not be effective treatment.
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377600_tn?1225167036
Take him to a psychiatrist, and explain his behavior to the psychiatrist beforehand.  Let the psychiatrist use his or her expertise to diagnose your son.  If you cannot afford a private psychiatrist, take him to the local public mental health center and there he will see counselors x amount of times until he is scheduled to see a psychiatrist.  The fees will be based on your income.
Good luck to you.
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he's been thru all that for years. so many diagnosis, so much medication, I need to take control and find answers for myself. he was recently taken off all medication. he's been diagnosed or on medication for bi-polar, oppositional defiance disorder, depression, schizophenia (only the medication for this,I don't think he was diagnosed with it) and i'm sure there's a list i'm not aware of. When he was taken off his meds, we really didn't see any change in his personality. They werent' the solution......
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How old is he?  Did something bad happen to him (abuse, neglect, accident, divorce)?  Has he had any type of brain scan?  I'm sorry you are having such a hard time.
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no abuse, stable environment, lots of family members, no alcohal (alcohol) , drug abuse, violence in the family. Not sure about the brain scan, he's my nephew. There's lots of bad literature out there on sociopathic behavior, I'm hoping to read something positive ,or at least helpful, on how to first off deal with him so we understand what he's going thru and secondly to find him help
Thanks for your comments and concern.
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I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.  He might have a personality disorder.  Have him checked out for it.  It can be misdiagnosed as so many other conditions.  There are different kinds.  I will try to find some literature on it.

If you want to find out how to diagnose, get a DSM-IV psychiatric manual.  They might have one in your local library.  I just tried to find it online, but didn't see it.

I'm not a doctor or a psychiatrist, but I read voraciously about science and all types of things.  So I'm not an expert or anything.

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Personality Disorders

  

Common Characteristics


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Personality Disorders are mental illnesses that share several unique qualities.  They contain symptoms that are enduring and play a major role in most, if not all, aspects of the person's life.  While many disorders vacillate in terms of symptom presence and intensity, personality disorders typically remain relatively constant.



To be diagnosed with a disorder in this category, a psychologist will look for the following criteria:

Symptoms have been present for an extended period of time, are inflexible and pervasive, and are not a result of alcohol or drugs or another psychiatric disorder.  The history of symptoms can be traced back to adolescence or at least early adulthood.

The symptoms have caused and continue to cause significant distress or negative consequences in different aspects of the person's life.

Symptoms are seen in at least two of the following areas:

Thoughts (ways of looking at the world, thinking about self or others, and interacting)

Emotions (appropriateness, intensity, and range of emotional functioning)

Interpersonal Functioning (relationships and interpersonal skills)

Impulse Control

Disorders in this Category


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   Antisocial Personality Disorder

   Borderline Personality Disorder

   Narcissistic Personality Disorder

http://allpsych.com/disorders/personality/index.html

I thought antisocial personality disorder since you think he is sociopathic:

Antisocial Personality Disorder



Category


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Personality Disorders



Etiology


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This disorder was previously known as both psychopathic and Sociopathic personality disorder.  Like most personality disorders, there are many factors that may contribute to the development of symptoms.  Because the symptoms are long lasting, the idea that symptoms begin to emerge in childhood or at least adolescence is well accepted.  The negative consequences of such symptoms, however, may not show themselves until adulthood.



Research has shown that a large percentage of individuals with this disorder have recognizable behaviors prior to age 15.  These behaviors include difficulty with authority, legal altercations, cruelty to animals, fire setting, and a dislike or anger toward authority.  This disorder is diagnosed much more frequently in males.



Symptoms


Antisocial Personality Disorder



Category


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Personality Disorders



Etiology


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This disorder was previously known as both psychopathic and Sociopathic personality disorder.  Like most personality disorders, there are many factors that may contribute to the development of symptoms.  Because the symptoms are long lasting, the idea that symptoms begin to emerge in childhood or at least adolescence is well accepted.  The negative consequences of such symptoms, however, may not show themselves until adulthood.



Research has shown that a large percentage of individuals with this disorder have recognizable behaviors prior to age 15.  These behaviors include difficulty with authority, legal altercations, cruelty to animals, fire setting, and a dislike or anger toward authority.  This disorder is diagnosed much more frequently in males.



Symptoms


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The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include a longstanding pattern (after the age of 15) of disregard for the rights of others.  There is a failure to conform to society's norms and expectations that often results in numerous arrests or legal involvement as well as a history of deceitfulness where the individual attempts to con people or use trickery for personal profit.  Impulsiveness if often present, including angry outbursts, failure to consider consequences of behaviors, irritability, and/or physical assaults.  



Some argue that a major component of this disorder is the reduced ability to feel empathy for other people.  This inability to see the hurts, concerns, and other feelings of people often results in a disregard for these aspects of human interaction.  Finally, irresponsible behavior often accompanies this disorder as well as a lack of remorse for wrongdoings.  



Treatment


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Treatment for this disorder is very rarely sought.  There is a limited amount of insight into the symptoms, and the negative consequences are often blamed on society.  In this sense, treatment options are limited.  Some research has found long term insight oriented therapy to be effective, but getting the individual to commit to this treatment is a major obstacle.



Prognosis


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Prognosis is not very good because of two contributing factors.  First, because the disorder is characterized by a failure to conform to society's norms, people with this disorder are often incarcerated because of criminal behavior.  Secondly, a lack of insight into the disorder is very common.  People with antisocial personality disorder typically see the world as having the problems, not him or herself, and therefore rarely seek treatment.  If progress is made, it is typically over an extended period of time.


http://allpsych.com/disorders/personality/antisocial.html
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I think it sounds like antisocial personality disorder if he is old enough.
These are all the DSM diagnostic codes-on the website below.  I did not see sociopath. Maybe it is not a diagnosis but a descriptive of criminal behavior.  I don't know.

Source--you can go to this website and click on these conditions and read about them.


http://allpsych.com/disorders/disorders_alpha.html

Actually, the list was too long to copy easily.  Just go to that website.  The info is taken from DSM-IV.

Good luck.  I hope you figure out what is wrong.
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I just called my mother to confirm things that I see with him. He has an inability to FEEL things. He has a complete disrespect for authority. He was suspended from school 32 times last year AND that's with only being in school 1/2 days. They wanted to send him home before his medications wore off. He cannot be disiplined with any positive results. I think everyone has given up on him. He has never had a friend until last year and that has since ended. He was suspended from school this year within the first three weeks and asked not to come back. He completely takes over the attention in any of his classrooms and his teachers felt every other student was suffering for this. No one can disipline him with any results, Everything at one time or another has been taken away from him and he simply doesnt' care. There has never been any abuse in the immediate or extended families. Not even a divorse. We are well educated and family oriented people. He can carry on the most mature and intelligent conversation when talking with adults about hunting and fishing (his only passions) yet he can go off and cannot be reasoned with when he decides to get something going. He recently threw a propane torch into a wood stove because he was asked to add more wood to the fire. He has started several fires lately, He is 5 years behind his other classmates and the new school they sent him to is a 6-1-1 classroom, which means 6 students to 1 teacher to 1 teachers aide.
There is no reasoning with him, I once tried to teach him why he should not hurt his younger cousin, explaining to him that she was much younger and smaller and that hurting her would be a bad thing. Over and over he kept asking questions and now looking back I realized it's because he just doesn't "get"it. He does not feel the concequences for anything. yes it's a stubborn thing, more than that you can tell he just doesnt' understand the meaning behind it.
At the same time, when he's good, he's a fun kid to be around. We all want the best for him but we need to understand what he's going through before we can help him. You just assume he's acting the way he is because he wants attention, etc. but it's something more. No he isnt' hurting animals, but he hunts and kills on a regular basis. He does not take pleasure in watching them suffer. I don't think he's capable of feeling it's pain.
They tried "brushing therapy" on him when he was younger like with autistic children. He really has been on everything out there.
I'd been internet surfing and when I came into the sociopathic websites I knew I had something. We're afraid he might hurt his younger sister who is beautiful, easy going, sweet, etc, all the things he is not and never was.
The fire thing has just started. He started a fire at my mothers house in the leaves out back. Close enought to the house to be scary, and burned a hole on her carseat when she repremanded him for something. He's boastful and fabricates wild stories, and lies all the time. As bad as he can be, he's still fun to be around if he want's to be fun to be around. He completely rules every situation. You might think he just needs more disipline. It's way beyond that. There's something missing that should be there.
He's only 13, with diagnosis and an (sociopathic websites)talk about the parasitic lifestyle. He wants everyone to do things for him, he manipulates people and his goal is to live off the welfare system. With his history of medications and illnesses he propably could.
As much as I do for him, trips to DC to go to smithsonians, bought his cell phone (which he ran up 600.00 in game playing before I discovered it) he doesn't feel anything for me other than what he can get from me. I'm not being vindictive or mean, it's just his reality doesn't make any sense to anyone that knows him.
And it's getting worse.

I have a call into my sister about the DSM-IV testing. She is a school therapist and has been working with the school system to help evaluate him. She however is washing her hands of things as nothing she does or anyone else does helps.
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By the way I appreciate all the help. You've given me alot to consider.
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377600_tn?1225167036
No problem.  I hope it helps and you all find a way to help him.  By the way, when I was rereading what I posted about antisocial personality disorder, this stood out:

"This disorder was previously known as both psychopathic and Sociopathic personality disorder."

It is in the top part of the posting.  Maybe that is why DSM-IV does not have a listing for sociopath-it has been updated.

You don't sound vindictive--just concerned.
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Sorry, it is under etiology. You might want to try searching for antisocial personality disorder treatments since this doesn't list any-if you think it fits.  You have to remind your sister that she is a professional and has an obligation to find him help if she knows of his condition. Best wishes--
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FYI   Just found this website under conduct disorders.   focusas.com  Personality Disorders. I think the only thing missing between this and a sociopath is conscious. I don't think my nephew has a conscious.
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Conduct disorder is the most serious psychiatric disorder in childhood and adolescence.



Conduct disorder is a more severe form of

oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

and the childhood equivalent of

antisocial personality disorder.

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I think it is great that your are so concerned; I do wish the best for him and your family.
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ms. sadie, if you want to know the perspective from psychiatrists I can tell you because my father is a psychiatrist, and I worked in his practice.  I am not an MD and I can therefore give you insight that MD's are not legally able to say.  However the news is not too far from the criminal websites that you have read,  there is only a slight glimmer of hope that he will have a chance to fit into society and not be destructive.  This is not to say that he will be cured or learn emotion, that will NEVER happen.

He chooses not to take his medicine.  This is most likely why there is no difference in his behavior.  Even if a doctor forced it down his mouth, the best someone could hope for is that he might fall asleep because you cannot grow emotions.  At best he might not be as violent.  In all honesty, he will never understand that the medicine is for his own good out of your concern, that requires emotion.  It may not be worth the trouble of forcing him to take the medicine, he does not want to get better and will most likely spit out the pills when you or the doctor leaves.  Forcing him to take meds will seem like an insult and make him want to incur retaliation.

Most psychologist and MDs do not believe that there is a treatment for sociopaths since emotions cannot be grown.  Most MD's feel that clinics that "treat" personality disorders simply house these kids until they are 18.  Most kids with such disorders are uncontrollable.

The case you describe sound exactly like several kids with personality disorders.  Honestly these kids caused so much destruction and as hard as it may be to accept, he may never get better.

My father told me one particular case in which a kid with sociopath disorder showed some sort of integration into society.  The kid at the age of 15 caused all sorts of ruckus with the police and school.  He liked to burn animals and had no problem lying and manipulating.  He was violent at times.  My dad went into the room to talk with him and said, "I hear you have been spitting out the medicine.  If you don't want to cooperate why should I waste my time treating you?"

"You still OWE me 15 minutes of talk time!" cried the kid.

"Talk..."  my dad said and he kid got up pissed most likely because my dad did not want to play his game and the kid had no chance of winning.  Now the kid is almost 30.  He had a job as a police officer.  He probably relished in the power he had over criminals and I am sure he is still violent.  He also joined the army and is in Afghanistan.  For all I know, he may be causing pain to prisoners of war.  However society has some sort of use for him.

Apparently he learned that he would not have a successful result of causing violence out in the open so he may indulge in these violent practices incognito, even in ways that society may have use for.

Try to tell him if he behaves for 5 more years, for the sake of himself, he may find a job that society rewards his violence for to a degree, e.g. military or police.

Good luck
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By the way, 99.9  percent of police officers and soldiers are not sociopaths but are people driven by a commitment to help there fellow man and serve their country.  I am in no way bashing either professions.  Who knows, he may attack a deadly rapist or terrorist.
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I was just reading your posts.  OMG!  It all sounds like you are describing my niece, right down to most of the details.  She's 15 and in juvenile detention right now.  I took custody of my niece in 2006, when her mother died.  

It's been an escalating nightmare ever since, with the police being called sometimes several times a day.  Last July, she was charged with assault after she attacked me when she didn't want to go to school.  I had a bloody nose, numerous (about 20) deep scratch marks across my stomach and chest, and a nasty bite mark on my left breast.  She was held in jail for two weeks then given two years probation.  I baracade myself in my room at night now.

The lying and manipulation and violent outbursts are not reserved for me, however.  She's done the same thing toward my older children and their friends (she doesn't have any friends), as well as toward the staff at the mental health alternative school I've enrolled her in.  She also does the same thing toward men (usually ages 20-30), that she wants sex from, if they refuse. (She's already managed to have 4 young men charged with "contributing to the delinquency of a minor").

I petitioned for relief of custody last month, because I can't see where any treatments or medications have had any effect.  I also can't continue living in fear of whatever vindictive retaliation she will think up next.  Family services has told me that a  judge would grant my petition, in spite of all the efforts that have been made.  They are recommending long term residential placement, instead.

Like you, I've done a lot of reading.  From what I've found, this condition is the result of a brain development abnormality in the frontal cortex.  There currently is no cure.  However, there is promising research into long term cognitive behavioral therapy combined with medications, that when applied consistantly in a highly structured environment (for 1-5 five years), have shown noteworthy success toward teaching appropriate social integration.  

The biggest challenge is that sociopaths are not capable of empathy.  Therapy has to use the sociopaths own abnormal thinking patterns to help them find a way to want to behave differently.  Usually these individuals are intellectually above average.  For most of us, that poses a challenge in and of itself.  We tend to think that smart people process information the same way we do, and that they develop the same values we do.  That is simply not the case with a person who lacks empathy.

I noticed your post about trips to DC.  Are you in the area?  I'm in VA.

Good luck.  -Patty-


  
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I have been having the same problems with our now 14 year old son since birth.I knew he was different from all of my other kids (I have 8)He always cried and was irritated as an infant he was never easy to console.He played by himself all of the time except when he was hurting the other kids he would get this strange look on his face as if if he hadnt done anything and even when you catch him doing something he denies it.He was just recently diagnosed as manic depressive/bi-polar.BULL I say.I thing there is something that is much deeper.I feel it and everything that describes a sociopath describes my son.He has also broke my 10 year olds arm and tells him on a daily basis to tell us that he jumped off the bed and thats how he broke his arm.We have a court hearing in the morning because he struck my 16 year old in the face and he is now facing domestic violence and felonious assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.This 14 years of our life has been a nightmare.I wish there was a cure or someone could give us answers!!!! He has excellent art skills its ashame he is the way he is.He is very talented!!!But decieving and evil
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All of you have described my 10 year old nephew who has been diagnosed and is on Meds since he was 5 for depression, bi-polar disorder, schezophrania (sp), and ADHD.  But as an infant he would cry a lot and get irritated very easily.  He has recently started cycling because they have changed his meds and he is threatening kids and adults at school, using vulgar language towards other kids and adults, being violent etc.  My nephews father died when he was 2 and my sister has been a single mom ever since.  My nephew has no friends, and hates everyone and everything and gets pleasure out of hurting others.  I recently told my sister that I thought my nephew was a sociopath/psychopath because he has no remorse or emotion about what he does to others.  
I was reading an article I found on a website about sociopaths and it says that 1 out of every 100 men are born as sociopaths and 1 out of every 300 women are born the same.  What a scary thought?  I fear for my sister as my nephew gets stronger and more decieving, and he is very, very intellegent.  My sister has been trying to find support groups and receive help from the state, but to no avail as of yet.  
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I forgot to add to my last comment that children can not be diagnosed as being sociopaths until the age of 18 with a history that starts from the time they are 15 (which I think is ridiculous) especially if they have all the signs and are endangering others including themselves.  It's very sad.  
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i think my son maybe a sociapath and my daughter thy both get into fights serious my daughter is awaitin trial for gbh woundin with intent thy never seem to care wot happens to thmselves thy never take or understand consequences thy only seem to look out for thmselves ive bn reading alot of things online about this behaviour and it seems tht this is a massive possibility please advise on how to get diagnosis and treatment
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Avatar_m_tn
My step daughter isn't violent.  Animals love her, which is strange because she rarly gives them notice.  To all intents and purposes, and to anyone who meets her, she is seemingly, a loving sweet mild tempered 11 year old girl.  Imagining her out bursting is impossible, she rarly gets gets angry.  What concerns me about her is her utter and unusual lack of understanding or caring about consequence.

  Since she was a little girl she had an uncanny knack of disregard for caring about punishment.  If we told her she had to eat her vegitables or she wouldn't get desert she would simply say "ok" and then walk away from the table.  There was no malice or contempt.  No challenge in her little eyes.  She once came to the car when I was picking her up after school with a peice of tape over her mouth.  Aparently a little girl had told her to put it there just after lunch and she had simply complied without question.

As she has gotten older she has learned to use this oblivious attitude to manipulate her family members.  She intentionally acts dumb in order to irritate.  This may sound normal but her there is something undeniably eerie about it.  She has no motive.  

My 14 year old step son misbehaves.  When he comes home.late from school it's because he wants to hang out with his friends.  When he acts up it's because he isnt getting what he wants.  It's all tangible.  Threatening to take away privallages works.  That and I have the comfort of understanding his reasons and motives.

My 11 year old however, frankly, scares me sometimes.  She never out bursts.  She takes everything utterly stoicly.  Nothing disturbs her.   One  day, while we were pulling out of a parking lot at the grocery store I stopped to wait for a police car to roll by.  As we backed up she suddenly flung open the van sliding door.  She did this intentionally and acted like she literallly didnt notice that it happened.  Not that it was an accident or anything, she literally acted like she did not notice that the van door beside her had flung open at all.

It may sound like she had a little contempt on her face or that she was angry.  She wasnt.  Same inocent looking little girl that all outsiders thnk she is.  No malice or contempt.  No smugness in her at all.  But there was also no regret, no shock or dismay that this somehow happened.  No apologies for making a mistake or otherwise.

She makes the same mistakes again and again.  There has been no prgress at all in learning how to behave since she was 5 years old.  She eats up snacks and drinks all the chocolate milk when ever we have our backs turned.  If we leave the room she literally does what ever she wants regardless of the rule against it.  None of these things are major crimes but there its the lack of caring, the casual wanton attitude about breaking the rules.

To your face she has a carefully cultivated "sad" look that she has developed, but as soon as you turn around she commits the crime again.  Then says "ok" and stoically acepts her punishment with out question, before she goes back to commiting the crime again.  There is no aggression, there is no look of wild rebelion on her sweet little face.

I asked her to do some laundry.  I just wanted her to wash 2 outfitts for a Christmas party we were taking her and her little sister too.  I told her she needed dress pants and long sleeved shirts not casual attire but not over formal.  I told her no jeans or T shirts.  She came to me later and told me it was done.  When I looked through the basket there were two neatly folded stacks of jeans and T shirts.

I have tried over the years to understand her.  Its my instict to believe there is a deeper reason for her behavior. Something Im doing wrong.  Her own way of rebelling or lashing out.  I have come to the inevitble conclusion (and the one that scares me the most), that she has no motivation.  She honestly doesnt care about chocolate milk or snacks.  She doesnt care about Christmas presents or cell phones.  She gives these things up with ease.

She sees the world as a lab and probes and prods everyone around her for no other reason but the reaction.  I used to think it was about attention.  In my experience with working with kids you usually need to teach them the difference between postive and negative attention and show them the bennifits of positive.  I have been down this highway with her from coast to coast.  She honeslty does not care which she gets.  Either will do.

I am mosty afraid of the future.  Im terrified of age 15.  I know there is sometrhing wrong with her but I have no idea what or how to handle it.  No conventional method works and I have tried them all.

Any advice would be apriciated.
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I am scared for my 14yr old! I am scared for me too!!! I am going to end up in residential treatment myself if SOMEONE doesnt help her ASAP!!!!! She has been sexually active for over a year, with SEVERAL partners (no emotional commitments to those partners) She has done things that SHOULD have gotten her put in a detention center, but she has managed to talk her way out, usually by blaming me or her father, or teachers, or SOMEONE. She has done things, like distributed naked pictures of herself to boys cellphones at school, make threats over facebook, and beat other girls down at school in front of the cameras and she brags about getting away with it. She steals, destroys and bullys. She sets EVERYTHING on fire, including herself. She gets in adults faces and screams at them if they say something to her that she doesnt agree with, she feels that she is above all authority. She has has 5 physical altercations with adults. She refuses to even bring her homework home, or work on it at school. Sometimes she lies and sometimes she just says she doesnt want to. It depends on who she is talking to. I wont let her have a FaceBook account so she keeps making one under other names, when I find them and show them to her and ask her about them, she looks me right in the eye and says " thats not a picture of me". Everything decision is reckless, even the minor decisions she makes, like breaking into the lock I had to put on my bedroom door so she wouldnt steal my underwear. If I speak to her in a motherly, caring tone, she mistakes it for a moment of weakness and attempts to control me. She goes to far more trouble to do NOTHING than it would take to just get her chores or homework done. Even if I "help" her do her homework, she wont take it to school. I say "help" because, she acts like she doesnt understand EVERY question. To the point where I almost have to GIVE her the answer. She has no love, not even for me, her mother, even though it has mostly been just me and her all her life. She runs off everyone else in my life by either telling them lies about me or telling lies to others about them. I have attempted three times now to get her into residential care. The first time, they kept her fot a week, druged her up until she was a drooling mess (all that did was make her VERY angry) and sent her home. The second time, they asked her during her inital assassment: "Do you know why you are here?". To which she responded: " I doesnt matter, I will find a way for you to let me out early".  THEY LET HER OUT 4 DAYS EARLY, AND SAID THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH HER!!!! That evening she took a bite out of my thigh when I held her on the ground because she was trying to beat me down. The third thime was last week. She came to me and said that she wanted to check herself into a hospital because she was "cutting" and had thought of suicide. I called three diffrent places. they all said they only take transfers! Finally, I took her to the ER. During the assessment she was talking very calmly, holding my hand, and leaning on me, like she needed me. The doctor asked her if she had ever attempted to fight with adults. She said "NO". I looked at her without speaking, just like she had put on a halloween mask, she fliped her switch and began to scream and yell and cuss me. After a few hours, the doctor informed us that they could not admit her into the hospital because she was not suicidal at that moment. My daughter stood up to the doctor and began yelling at her. "you didnt just see me snap on my mom for no reason? Who says I wont change my mind that quick about suicide?" Im not sure if the worse part is that noone will help her, or that she has gotten so bad that she was playing a game to get admitted.....Did she really even want help? Can she be helped?
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   How is she doing at school?  Do teachers send home notes about her behavior, counselors call you, etc.?
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     Oh, I should have added.  You need to copy this and make it a seperate post.  That way more people will read it.  I only read it cause I thought I might find some book info.
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