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#2379 - 09/10/03 01:50 PM Re: Is my daughter also a P

Hi Algaringo

This is a slightly belated reply to your posts, but I am fairly new to the forum and have just been reading back on various threads and come across this one.

You don't say how old your daughter is - presumably teenage? Just thought that I would share with you that there was a time in her teens when my daughter had moments of mirroring the P's behaviour. But she has grown out of it to become the most loving, caring person anyone could ever wish for, and she is totally the joy of my life now. Hopefully it is a phase they go through and your daughter will grow out of it soon.

#2380 - 05/14/06 10:46 AM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath?
annieb Offline

Registered: 05/13/06
Posts: 3
I have a daughter who is almost 17. She has many behavioral and emotional problems. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders, ODD and ADHD. In addition to this, she was diagnosed about 4 years ago with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. She is taking some medication to try and manage her moods, but little has changed since then. I have tried everything to give her the help that she needs to be a responsible, productive, successful, happy person but instead of making progress, she just seems to become more defiant and repeats the same negative behaviors over and over again. She is a chronic me and her boyfriend whom she claims to love. I have been raising her alone and am becoming increasingly angry and resentful because she seems to have no sense of guilt or remorse everytime she betrays my trust. She uses people for her own personal gain and complains endlessly about being asked to do anything in return. She is full of anger and always talks about how she hates her life. I recently ran across an article about the psychopathic personality and was shocked when I realized that my daughter exhibits most of the warning signs that were listed in the article.

She has a psychiatrist and a therapist but neither of them have even mentioned this as a possible diagnosis.

Can anyone give me some advice on how to get connected with the proper resources to help me deal with my daughter and to help me get the support that I need to deal with the aftermath of living with a child like this?

#2381 - 05/14/06 05:30 PM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath? [Re: annieb]
sylvie25 Offline

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 325
Hi Annieb,

Welcome to the forum. I'm really sorry to hear about all you've had to deal with. When it's a family member with behavioural and physical problems, I imagine it must be exceedingly difficult, perhaps overwhelming, for a parent to cope with all of that. The impression I have is therapists are very slow to apply that label to people and that can make it quite frustrating for others who feel that is the condition they are faced with.

While I've dealt with personalities who I believe have strong psychopathic traits, I haven't been in a situation comparable to yours (involving a child) so I'm hoping that if there are other posters who have, they will provide some specific direction to you.

One resource that did come to mind was (or you can dial 211) which was launched by United Way. Not sure if you're already familiar with them - many are but some people aren't. I've never actually used the service but I though it might be a good starting point since their purpose is to provide information about all sorts of critical health and human services including physical and mental health resources. If you do get counselling for yourself, try to find someone who has experience with personality disorders/psychopathic personalities

Take care,

#2382 - 05/16/06 01:39 AM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath? [Re: sylvie25]
annieb Offline

Registered: 05/13/06
Posts: 3
Hi Sylvie,

Thank you for your reply and for your suggestion to utilize United Way's 211 service.

I have been bringing my daughter to therapy for the past three years and have worked with several therapists myself.

Initially I thought that my daughter just had a lot of anger issues from her extended illness experience in 7th grade when she was first diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. As she has progressed through her teen years (she is now almost 17), I am convinced that her issues are far more deep rooted and broader than that.

I have been doing a lot of reading about personality disorders since my original post and am almost horrified as I read stories that sound like they could be talking about my daughter. She makes me feel like the abuser, when in reality she is the one that is emotionally abusing me. It's almost like she is possessed by demons and for the first time, I am fearful that there is nothing that I can do to cast out the demons and regain my happy, out-going, motivated child.

As parents we are taught to love "unconditionally" and although I do love my daughter, living with her is becoming increasingly unbearable. She has become a master at manipulation and intimidation and will just not conform to any rules that I attempt to impose on her. I am a single parent with no real backup support.

I will definitely look into the resources at as you suggested. Thank you again for your support...sometimes the hardest part about my life is the feeling of isolation that I have.


#2383 - 05/17/06 02:37 PM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath? [Re: annieb]
sylvie25 Offline

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 325
Hi Annette,

I'm curious, have you found therapy to be helpful for yourself in dealing with this situation (if that's not too personal)? I too did wonder whether perhaps your daughter's behavioural problems were caused by her illnesses but it's clear you feel that they are more deep-seated.

The thing with loving "unconditionally" is that you can end up being worn out to the point of possibly finding it difficult to look after yourself and that wouldn't help either of you. It's something that took me a long time to realize.

Isolation can be terrible for sure. It was never my way to reach out for help in the past. I was very independent and self-contained but it finally got to the point where I had to. It wasn't even so much the actual favor that made the biggest difference but more how my request was received. It felt amazingly uplifting just to feel supported.

Something else I've learned in the last few years is that it seems like there are support groups or societies for many illnesses/situations because others have experienced the same thing. Perhaps it would be helpful if you could find one with other parents whose children have behavioral/personality issues. I've always found the internet to be a great resource.

I hope you keep posting. It may help even just to vent.

Take care of yourself,

#2384 - 05/17/06 11:00 PM Re: Is my daughter also a P
Mati Online

Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 169
Hi algaringo and annieb

I am sure that my daughter is a p (35) although she has not been diagnosed as such. She has been given the diagnosis of bi-polar and borderling PD. Things are not very good where I live regarding understanding of personality disorder (NE UK).

I cannot offer any advice of where to get help as I failed to find any myself. I went to a teen support group but it made things worse for me because it led me to blame nyself more. The stories from the other parents were much less serious than the problems I was having with her. The thing that stood out was that although the other teens would act like *****, there would be the odd apology, the odd appreciation towards the parent, in effect, a recognition of the bad behaviour even if it was only very occasional like at time of sickness.This did not apply to my daughter. She was always full of anger towards me apart from times when she would put on an act, and even her voice would change, of innocence and sweetness if she wanted something. But woe betide me if I did not give in. I wish that someone there could have picked up on things, but no-one did and social workers and police were involved with the family because of her behaviour.

The things I remember from early childhood were, extreme demands for attention, flirting behaviour with stranger males, non stop talking, jelousy of her brother, whom she later repeatedly got into trouble through telling tales and lying, lack of nurturing and tenderness towards dolls, other children etc, lack of bladder and bowel control,lies and manipulation.

By the time she was 13 she was taking drugs, smoking and drinking. By 15 she was vandalising, staying out with a boyfriend and impossible to control culminating in her running away with a boyfriend and phoning to demand to put into care. She had a friend who was with foster parents and who got a lot of material things which my daughter wanted and which we could not afford. Rather then see her on the streets, I had to agree. Thereby she went through forster placements like a dose of salts. One of them who really tried hard to understand her, rang me one day and said that she was heartbrken by the callousness of my daughter and said 'she is evil'. I tried telling social services that my daughters accusations that it was all because of the way I treat her was lies and that I thought that there was something seriously wrong with her but they did not believe me.

Unfortunately, due to extreme feelings of powerlessness from my own childhood, I did not know how to handle the situation or how to get help. My daughter was so convincing to everyone that anyone who spoke to her believed her that it was me that was the problem. She was so skilled at doing this.She knew how to press my shame button and did so mercilessly.

Once in care, she really began to break the law and was in remand centres and eventually prison, but amazingly the authorities were always extremely lenient with her and she got away with murder (practically).

I had friends of hers come to me with tales of woe of how she treat then dumped them when she got fed up with them and phone calls from them desperately looking for her to pay for huge phone bills before she had disappeared. It sounds unbelievable now that no-one myself included did not sit down with information on p's and work it out. But there was no internet in those days.

Her pattern of making friends was to be totally obsessed with the person and unbelievably to me, be soul mates within a few days. Her voctims were always nice vulnerable people. I never knew her get involved with an abuser. It would all go wrong after a ferw months and the person was left angry and traumatised.

She has succeeded in manipulating my family into thinking that she is a victim of my terrible mothering and turning them against me. Well some of them. You either fall for her manipulations or you dislike her intensely.

Now, she has ruined her mind and body with drugs and stays at home mostly. She is known to be violent and after some texts she sent me, making threats,I am afraid of her and have learnt to keep my distance through using my illness as an excuse not to visit her. I have had to distance myself to protect myself from her.

It is so different when one has a p as a child rather than a partner as there is no escape.

The only advice I can give is to make sure that there is someone outside involved in the situation so she is answerable to someone who actually knows about the problems you are having and who is wise to her tricks. And then have a strict behaviour code with punishments that are always enforced and usually regarding money. And stop self blame. And read as much as possible on handling difficult people and how to detatch from the situation. I think that care is sometimes the only option if the behaviour is too destructive for the family.

It has taken my until now to purge myself of the guilt I have carried over her due to my increasing knowledge of PD's. I have always felt guilt about the anger I have felt towards her and that I was a failure as a mother because I could not say that I loved her. But I do not now. She has harmed me so much that my feelings are understandable (to me). I think that the worst thing she did to me apart from ruin my reputation, was to make me doubt myself. Thank God I am recovering from that. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

#2385 - 05/17/06 11:02 PM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath? [Re: annieb]

Hi Annette
My situation is my partner’s son is a P, he is now14 and getting worse. I only really knew him well since he was 9 and knew immediately he was “odd”. I first met him when he was 7 and although I thought he was different I put it down to being brought up by a single father.
This is a post I found a while ago which helped me change my thinking enormously. I don’t know who the person is but she knows what she is talking about.
I hope it helps.

My 15-year-old has Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD). However, until he is 18 years old he cannot be “officially” diagnosed nor treated as such. Consequently, he is not being treated at all. Not that that makes much difference. There does not seem to be any hope for him. Everything I read says it is basically incurable and untreatable.
I was the first one to realize the truth when he was about 12. Having been, in the past, a practicing psychotherapist, certain behaviours caught my attention; lack of appropriate emotional response, unwillingness to take on any responsibility, ability to manipulate, lack of social skills and immaturity, lying and blaming. I hoped it was something else. But, as time passed, it became undeniable. Finally, we took him for intensive testing. Off the record, our suspicions were confirmed. On the record he was diagnosed with “conduct disorder”. Over time, his behaviour has worsened.
He is now textbook ASPD with the exception of displaying cruelty to animals. Since they cannot make an official diagnosis of ASPD until he is 18 they refuse to "officially" treat him as such. He smokes pot, fails every subject in school and refuses to do schoolwork, steals anything we don't lock down, lies constantly, blames everyone else, displays strange sexual behaviours, cons anyone who will buy it, refuses to obey any rules at school or at home, and has already been arrested 3 times. He honestly does not believe rules of any kind apply to him. He sees any attempt to place limitations on his behaviour as a challenge to prove he cannot be controlled. He has no real emotions (doesn't even grasp the concept) and seems to truly not comprehend there is a problem. As long as no one crosses him or requires anything from him he is charming, witty and pleasant. Otherwise he is either acting like we are the problem children he must tolerate or he becomes angry and verbally aggressive. We feel like his prisoners most of the time.
There are other, less threatening associated problems; poor memory, poor planning skills, inability to project consequences to behaviour, boredom due to bland emotional life, leading to thrill seeking. He does not comprehend the connection between work and reward and believes he will succeed in life simply because he wants to. He believes anything he wants is “owed” to him. He is incapable of comprehending “others” as separate from himself and is oblivious to their wants or needs. He knows no boundaries and does not recognize the rights of others nor respect them. He doesn’t understand why others find his behaviour intolerable. The hardest thing we had to accept is that this child is incapable of loving. He does not love us. Not in any true sense.
Initially, no one wants to accept he is ASPD. We have been through numerous therapists. They waste a great deal of our money and time while we wait for them to finally come to the same conclusion everyone else eventually comes to. Then they refuse to attempt to treat him. We have gone through the same thing with his schools. He is the master at identifying and latching on to a co-dependant teacher of counsellor and exploiting them most of the school year before we finally get the call of resignation and agreement that he is indeed ASPD. We have repeated this over and over. We begin every school year and every first counselling session the same way; begging for them to address this for what it is as opposed to trying everything else that has already been tried unsuccessfully. We usually have put up with the attitude that they know better. We have been told they are sure he does have emotions, he just suppresses them. We have been assured they can get to the bottom of it all. Most of the time they are a little arrogant about it. Most of the time they treat us as if we are horrible for believing such a thing about our son. But, eventually, they admit defeat. Then they act like something must be wrong with us to have birthed such a twisted kid.

We have managed to learn a few things that may be helpful to other parents of ASPD kids. We have learned:
§ the definition of true powerlessness. We cannot “fix” him or help him.
§ it is not our fault or a failure in out parenting abilities.
§ to deal with him unemotionally. ASPD’s find emotional people scary. We also refrain from using “feeling” words in our conversation as these words mean nothing to him.
§ to never show any real depth of feelings for him beyond being pleasant because he interprets this as weakness and will exploit it. We only deal with him matter-of-factly.
§ to not try to project our own feelings or those we believe he should have on him. The best he can do is imitate those emotions for the purpose of exploitation.
§ to be absolutely consistent. He sees inconsistency as weakness and will exploit it. Consequences must be swift, immediate and without emotion and without fail.
§ to describe possible consequences only in what he has to gain or lose. He has no concept of right or wrong except in relationship to his own discomfort or pleasure. Guilt is beyond his abilities. Shaming him only annoys him.
§ to not waste our time explaining why we must say “no”. Our explanations only provide him an opportunity to look for a loop-holes or argue in an attempt to wear us down.
§ not to expect him to learn much from experience. He won’t.
§ to act the same toward him when he is being charming as when he is not. We try to maintain a consistently even response at all times.
§ to acknowledge but not reward good behaviour. If we reward it, he sees it as a new method of scamming.
§ to suspect underlying motives to sudden charm or helpfulness. There always is one.
§ to avoid feeling sorry for him. It makes us weak and he exploits it.
§ to be tough and to not allow others to malign us for our "harsh attitudes".
§ to remember we cannot “hurt his feelings.” Sometimes harsh words are what will get his attention, at least temporarily.
§ to deal with him with our own best interest at heart because nothing we do will change him or his behaviour. We can only protect ourselves and others.
§ to accept that this child is a predator. He will use and abuse anyone to get what he wants without any concern for the victim.
§ to understand that, although he appears to be evil he is only concerned with doing and getting what he wants. He is oblivious to the harm it is causing others.
§ to love a child with ASPD can be deadly both to them and to us.
§ to disassociate from love for him as much as possible for our own survival. We have had to except he will, most likely, end up in prison or dead and can only hope he doesn't hurt too many along the way.
§ we can only do the best we can because there will be very little help for us along the way and probably none for him. We cannot possibly expect others to understand. Unless you have been there, it’s almost impossible to comprehend. More than once we have had to deal with others who see us as the monsters. More than once we have had to defend what little sanity our methods provide against “caring” people who want to come to our sons ”defence” , projecting their own emotions on to him.
We are sure he will leave us as soon as he can. We stand very much in his way of what he wants to do and refuse to cater to him. We won’t try to stop him. Socio-paths rarely maintain a relationship with anyone they cannot use. He will move on to the next “sucker” who will support him. It seems the best we can hope for is he will end up as a con-man as opposed to a rapist or murderer. We have grave concerns that he will be released on society and probably do much damage to others before (if ever) he is stopped. We also fear what will happen if he marries and/or has children. We feel helpless to protect whatever future victims he may encounter. We can only protect our family and ourselves.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear. I know you would rather hear that something you could do would make a difference. I wish I could say that is the case. But, so far, it has not proven to be so. I have not tried to give you hope. I have tried to give you strength and courage and to let you know you are not the bad one and you are not alone. Most of all, I have tried to share the tools that have helped make our lives with a sociopath more manageable; a way to survive until he is old enough to go. A day we are looking forward to.

#2386 - 11/03/06 04:09 PM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath? [Re: ]
Momof3 Offline

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 1
It is so hard to believe that my daughter may actually be a psychopath...although her father definitely is a psychopath? I raised my daughter for 10 years on my own with help from my husband of 7 years. He met my daughter at the age of 6. She is now 16. She completely has all the RAD characteristics. I could not discipline her at all. She would not listen and could look you straight into your eyes and lie to your face even though you had clear evidence right in front of you. She knew she was being monitored on the computer, yet she would still would not follow the family house rules. She became more belingerant after we basically had to take everything away from her. It wasn't until my husband and older daughter pointed out how she was constantly lying and fake crying that I figured her out. She was hurting herself by cutting herself. I could never understand what made her do that. Her father, a psychopath (diagnosed by my therapist), came back into her life when she was 10. What a big mistake!!!! He has only made my life a living hell!! He's a manipulative and controlling individual with complete charm appeal. We have now gone to court to determine child support, custody, and if I can have any contact with her. He has inherited money and obviously my husband and I live day to day. We decided to move to Texas to get away from this man, but unfortunately my daughter really starting acting up. Having sex with girls and boys (15 at this time), not following house rules, lying all the time, harming herself, no empathy or sympathy for anyone (My brother just died) and she didn't want anything to do with the funeral or anything. So, unfortunately one night, I asked her if she would like to go live with her dad with an agreement written up and he agreed to, but of course, when it came time to sign the form he did not. He took it to court, got a guardian ad litem, and because I moved, I'm looked as the BAD PERSON. The guardian ad litem has taken all my rights away totally. I cannot even call her, e-mail her, write her, or anything. She must contact me. She has only contacted me and one occasion was 1 day before her birthday. I had to ask her if it was OK to send her a card and of course I sent her a card and money. She has not spoken to me since. When am I going to get it? She is breaking my heart. This is not the same girl I raised. I think she has the guardian ad litem and her therapist fooled also. How can I get the guardian ad litem and therapist understand that I think he and she are psychopaths and that I AM NOT THE BAD PERSON. He just continues to take me to court for money (dental (which when he was with her she broke her front tooth). He wants cosmetic dental surgery and make me pay for half. When he didn't see her for 10 years. I never asked for an increase in child support because I just didn't want him in my life. I only decided to have him in her life, because she was asking questions at that time and then my brother (a minister) committed suicide, so my decision making process was totally a mistake. I'm struggling trying to understand her personality and how she can treat her own mother this way? I need answers. I have been in therapy for almost 2 years...but since I've moved to Texas, it's taking some time to get back into therapy. If she was to take the RAD test...she would pass with flying colors!! She has also said many times "friends are worth it". Recently she said the same thing to me. Her father said that to me during our short marriage, and that I wasn't worthy of his last name and at the time said the child wasn't worthy of the his name also. So, she has my first husband's last name. I know I'm just rambling on...but help me understand how a good kid go so bad and treat her mother so cruel.


#9649 - 04/05/10 12:24 PM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath [Re: Dianne E.]
Dianne E. Offline


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2787
Loc: United States
Re: My daughter [Re: Quakerlady]
Dianne E.


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1449
Loc: United States

Hi Quakerlady, my heart goes out to you. All these years of pain only to open those old wounds. You are not alone here, it is common for people to lose so called friends and family because a very well socialized Psychopath will trick them into thinking this is your fault, part of their trade, playing the victim.

Is there any way you can trick her into a professional evaluation so you can use this to hopefully make getting a restraining order possible? My guess is she will fall for the evaluation because after all she doesn't think she is the problem and if she thinks it might open up your money flow it could work?

Just tossing out an idea.


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#6022 - 05/11/07 03:41 PM Re: My daughter [Re: Dianne E.]

Registered: 05/08/07
Posts: 5

I honestly do not know where she is currently living. Even if I did, I do not want to have any contact with her. I just want her to go away and never show her face again. I keep hoping that she will be implicated with this rental car scheme and go to jail. My husband and I are trying to move to our Az home. He has a 4th interview for a job next week out there and we are hopeful. It kills us to be forced from out beautiful farm. She is so charming and so evil. I am capable of catching her in lies and this is what sets her off. She would kill me if she could and I believe this more then anyone knows. I get freaked out at a noise because I expect her to be there with a knife in hand. Others think this funny but not my husband, now. He saw here for what she is this time. So, if there is to be any good from this, she revealed her true colors to him.

#9656 - 04/06/10 12:02 AM Re: Is my daughter also a Psychopath [Re: Dianne E.]
Sahmera Offline

Registered: 02/01/10
Posts: 15
My daughter is soon to be twelve and she pulled a knife on her grandmother two weeks ago. The joys I look forward to are immeasurable. She is getting her medications adjusted once again. She wanted more food. She has gained a lot of weight with medications and with poor hygiene makes for a smelly person. She can eat the same amount of all four of us at dinner and still want more. IF she is confronted to stop she gets all oppositional. I believe she was practicing with the knife for later use and everyone else believes a part of it as well. We lock our bedroom door at night pretty soon I will be barricading myself in at night. Sometimes I wish she would just runaway and never come back. I thought I could get her to stay with grandmother and reunite the both of them until grandma called me with that information. I think there might still be hope. I want the best for her she doesn't want anything except mean spirited chaos.

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