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Avatar universal

compulsive stealing/lying

Our son is now 22 and lives overseas. As a child and young adult he had been diagnosed with ADD and was placed on ritalin. He also began weekly therapy sessions which continued through age 18. In the past year, he has stolen from people close to him (family, friends etc) as well as from us. He lies habitually. He has decided not to continue his undergraduate studies and has not worked. His hygiene we have been told has deteriorated. He simply goes from place to place, mooching off of others. When confronted with stealing/lying, he typically will admit wrongdoing. We have another child who is a successful professional. Both were treated similarly as they were growing up. Is there any hope? suggested treatment? It appears he exhibits no affect or conscience unless he is caught...Please help us.
35 Responses
Avatar universal
ADHD can make people mature later than others. With this in mind, he is 22, but with ADHD, maybe he has the maturity of a 15 year old. I would imagine that's kind of tough-- being expected to act like an adult when you have the maturity of a teenager.  

However, maturity level aside, he is 22 years old. He is legally able to make his own decisions-- and unless you think that he is a real physical danger to himself or anyone else, you can't do much. If you think he will harm himself or someone else, you can contact the authorities to intervene. But if thats not the case, then there is not much you can do other than to suggest to him that he seek some professional help so that he can learn to cope with life.
I did not mean to send the  "ff".  New system here that sends when you hit return.   Also you can't edit.  
Avatar universal
I suspect there is something else going on besides ADHD- either he was misdiagnosed or this is in addition to the ADHD.  SOunds like he really needs to seek mental health treatment but as the above poster mentioned, at his age, unless someone can say he is a danger to himself or others, he has the right to deny treatment.
Avatar universal
my heart goes out tp you i have an 11 yr old son who has adhd and aspergers syndrome he has been staeling from friends and family and local  shops for about 12 months without any shame like your son he never denies it he is no longer allowed out un supervised as he cant be trusted will it ever stop ................. i hope so xx
Avatar universal
You are in my thoughts and prayers. I too have a daughter that shows no remorse unless she is caught and then it's only cause she was caught, not because she feels bad. She shows an inability to control her lying and stealing and aggressive behavior.. I am looking into a personality disorder (to be more specific as to what the disorder is called cuz there are several personality disorders and they are all treated entirely different.... hers I believe is Anti-Social (formerly known as sociopath)personality. A few of the symptoms being:
    *  Chronic irresponsibility and unreliability
    * Lack of regard for the law and for others' rights
    * Persistent lying and stealing
    * Aggressive, often violent behavior
    * Lack of remorse for hurting others
    * Lack of concern for the safety of yourself and others
Hope this helps and you are in our prayers. I know they say that environmental issues can play a part but so can hereditary. I believe my daughters may be a combination of both cuz I was such a young mother (age 18) and had no idea as to what to do or how and patience. I got older and got married but had no clue what that was really all about either and it ended up in a divorce. I made my share fair of mistakes as did my ex husband but I am sure that neither of our mistakes helped her. Her biological father however, signed his parental rights off when she was younger and made it clear he didn't want to have her around cuz it was too much work and she knew he said this. He still shows signs and symptoms of this type of personality disorder but he lets it go untreated (no meds and no therapy whatsoever)! She is never left alone with him because of this reason. I took her out of his life a while back cuz of safety issues and I didn't feel it should be a convenience thing for him and he has matured some but I think that is due to living with his mother who was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer whom I still let my daughter see! It is not the grandparents fault that he signed his rights off so I refuse to punish them and I have been forgiving enough to give him a second chance as well, mostly cuz he lives with her! I use to go out to the bars a lot when I was married to my ex when things started going down hill and never really established a close relationship with my daughter and now that we are close, I feel as tho I am too late. Not that I will ever give up on achieving that relationship cuz she means the world to me along with her baby sister and 2 brothers. I am happily and I do mean very happily married today to my best friend of a year and a half whom I have known 12 years! We do not share any children together cuz I can't have anymore, but together we have four! I have made some really positive life changes and the most important to me is accepting God to take over my life and my heart and becoming a Christian and child of God again. He has been my rock and my salvation! There is hope and it's thru prayer which is the most powerful! I don't say this cuz my situation is fixed... it is not by a long shot fixed and I call my physician tomorrow to see what treatments for my daughter are available. And then, I will once again discuss her symptoms and mention the hereditary issues and environmental issues and once more humble myself again before the doctor, psychologist my daughter and God to admit that I was not always the best parent in the world for allowing myself to stay in an abusive relationship with her father, allowing her to see us argue and see him physically, mentally and emotionally abuse me. She also seen my ex husband (not her bio father but her adopted father) and I argue verbally! She has been through a lot and I had something to do with it but I have changed and it's been at least 6 years that I have not been the same person and it didn't happen over night and I am sure I still have some areas even now to work on but I will get there. No matter what I have done or not done, my daughter knows this behavior is not acceptable and she will continue to receive discipline constructively for it. There is always hope through prayer! =)

Blessings to you and your family!
Avatar universal
I have a nephew who si 18. He constantly steals food from his parents house. So much so, his parents have a padlock on their bedroom door, and so does his twin brother. When he is not at home he goes to other family members houses and steals food. He will eat while he is there, then when they are out of the room he takes more. Often family members have commented that money and food have gone missing after he has paid them a visit. His twin brother on the other hand is a delightfull young man with great prospects. Their environment and upbringing has been the same. It begs the nature nuture debate. Everyone is at a loss on what to do with him.
757137 tn?1347200053
Lying and stealing are not symptoms of ADD. Your son seems to have some sociopathic tendencies. You have a very difficult problem and I have no idea what you can do about it. Surely his behavior has nothing to do with the way you raised him.
209987 tn?1451939065
My little brother has tourette's syndrome and FAS. He is exactly like your son.
FAS also causes the same symptoms as anti-social behavior it appears...
I have ADD and I am nothing like that...so  i agree with the mis-diagnosis thing.
Avatar universal
   My son is almost 19 he has a stealing and lying problem. He has also has adhd. He steals from his father and myself all the time along with others. He always lies saying he didn't do it when he finally admits to it its like he's not even sorry for doing it. He's sorry for himself for getting called out on it. I'm am so tired of this he needs help I don't no what to do ?
Avatar universal
My son sounds the same way. Constantly lying and stealing ever since he could do so. Alot of people have this problem, but no one can give an answer to it. It is some kind of mental disorder, it has to be. My son has lost everyone. His family, his friends, his little girl and now he is in jail. It is like a disorder he can't control. This is very frustrating and everyone just wants to through him in jail and forget him. He also has ADD. ODD shows alot of his symptoms.
3177967 tn?1344395852
miss diagnosis it most likley ODD or anti social personality disorder
189897 tn?1441130118
     Just to set the record straight -  lying and stealing are very common signs of ADHD and ADD.  That does not mean that any of the above have AD/HD.  However, it is a common symptom of AD/HD (among other things).
Avatar universal
I don't know where to begin,.My 24 year old son has been stealing from his father and I since he was young teenager.  He has add never officially tested but he was in a IEP classes his whole life.  The doctor put him on some adderal medicine in high school but it only made him speedy.  Then we found out he was selling it.  He was also smoking pot in high school and we tried to help but nothing seemed to work.  He was arrested in high school for stealing with a friend car stereos.  He claimed he was an innocent by stander and we believed him.  I feel like I turned a blinds eye to a lot becase I wanted to believe he was good.  Looking back we should of helped him more back than,  Well now we have lost our business and our familu home and we are living with my sister and her husband.  My son comes home here late at night to sleep only. I just found out he has stolen my husbands wedding ring my brother in=laws wedding ring and college classes ring.  They are missing 2.000 dollars!  My grandmothers ring is also missing.  I am just sick to think he is that desperate to steal from his own family.  I love him so much he is a good person but he is very secretive/  He needs help I don't know where to turn.  He has no health insurance does anyone have any suggestions please!!!

desperate mother
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