Page 1 of 11 1 2 3 ... 10 11 >
Topic Options
#3785 - 05/11/05 09:52 PM RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths?
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
jan36
(member)
03/18/05 07:12 AM

Hi
I'm new to this discussion forum but have been looking for a source of information and support for a couple of years now. My partner has a child almost 13 years of age and after nearly 3 years of research I and other members of my family (observed from a professional perspective) have come to realise we have a "fledling psychopath". His mother wanted rid of hime by the time he was 7 years old because she couldn't cope with him and ny partner got sole custody. It is such a long story that I will break it down into more digestible sections and share my story with you over time. I would really appreciate any advice or information other members have found useful.

At this point I would just like to give you a brief outline of behaviours and events that lead to this conclusion.
Constant, pointless lying even when confronted with the truth, manipualtion and conning all he comes into contact with, stealing from his own home, school and our friends/relatives houses. Bedwetting usually around 4 nights per week often a lot more sometimes hiding 3 or 4 pairs of wet PJs and denying wetting and other times proud to tell all who will listen, selfish, greedy, stealing and hoarding sweet foods and drink (he once ate 9 Kit Kats and drank 4 litres of lemonade in one go), total lack of hygiene, encopresis (not going to the toilet for weeks on end and leaking). Destructive, either his own or other peoples property, absolutely no remorse when caught doing anything however bad, emotionally redundant. Cruel to younger children and samll animals-fortunately he is a coward and scared of anything bigger than a kitten. All his play is fantasy land, he dresses up and leaps around "killing" everything he comes across, all his toy figures are laid out in a death scene each with a weapon embedded in it. No friends although his facade of geniality cons people into thinking he is pleasant. School work is appalling although he has a good reading age. He is the laziest person I have ever come across and won't do a thing for anyone even though he expects to be given whatever he wants. He stamps and cries whenever he doesn't get his own way and expects to do what the adults are doing. Whatever he does is "forgotten" after the dust settles and he behaves as though nothing has happened. No punishment has any effect whatsoever and he does the same things over again.

There are so many other things but I wanted to keep this short and focused. In some ways I am fortunate because it is not my child so have no affection for him. I did all I could to make his life as good as it could be but everything I did seemed to make him worse as he had to manipulate harder to get control away from me. He had his father "sorted" before I came on the scene and resented me although I made sure he wasn't pushed out in any way, in fact I did the opposite. Nothing worked and for my own sake I had to mentally get out of the situation. We were very lucky to get him into a State Boarding School as it had come to the wire-it was either him or me that had to go. We are now like ships that pass in the night

If anyone wants to know about the UK state boarding system please contact me -it is one of the UKs best kept secrets.

Jan

Dianne E.
(Administrator)
03/18/05 07:30 AM

Hi Jan, welcome to the forum.

I am very interested in the UK boarding school situation. I have followed the efforts of the UK to enact laws to keep Psychopaths locked up after they do their sentence for crimes. Has anyone done an evaluation and give you a diagnosis for this young boy?

This is a very interesting topic and it sure needs more light shed on the subject. Thank you for coming forward to discuss this. Dr. Hare now has a "Youth Checklist". Along with Psychopaths outside of the prison system and youths we are just starting to enter some new territory as far as discovering and diagnosing them.

I look forward to hearing more of your story and trying to help any way that we can.

How often do you have contact with him? Are there any other children in the family?

Best Regards,

Di

Nan
(member)
03/18/05 01:20 PM

Hi Jan,

Welcome to the forum.

I don't quite know how to help or support you, for although your story is very sad and I am certain that you and the boy's father must feel sad and frustrated, you don't have a specific question, nor do you ask for support around any one issue. That you both probably need support appears obvious.

What can we do for you?

Without knowing anything about your relationship, I would imagine that it has suffered some dents and bruises and that perhaps that is where you should invest some of your energies now that the boy is away at boarding school.

I can only try to imagine how truly unpleasant it must have been to live with a child such as you describe. He sounds as if he is totally out of control in almost every way, even his poor body is out of control (encopresis), which must be a huge strain on his immune system and general ability to perform even the simplest tasks. I mean, he is slowly being poisoned with his own waste matters.

Has he been getting medications that could produce such a back-up in his system, or what could be the reason for this?I HAVE read that some people with mental disorders, which psychopathy is not, do have problems with their body image that relates to elimination, but I have never heard this particular thing mentioned in connection with personality disorders, nor have ever read about it in connection with psychopaths.

Has the boy been recently and formally diagnosed by a child psychatrist and if so, what is the diagnosis? How is he doing in the boarding school? Is his behaviour any better or just being kept under control in a strict environment?

I take it that he is not coming home for visits, although he may be allowed visitors. Have you visited with him and if so, how did it go?

So long as he is not a feature in your home environment, perhaps you both need some "time out" to relax and get back to caring for your relationship with each other. You relationship must be very strong and mutually supportive or you would not have managed to stay together through all this.

Please do not feel that you have to answer any of the questions. You are more than welcome to just write. Must of us here have discovered that simply writing about our ordeal can be a very freeing.

Take care,

Nan

Nan
(member)
03/18/05 02:09 PM

Jan,

Since I know nothing about encopresis, I have checked some websites. Among them this one:

Encopresis website
Here's an excerpt.

"What is encopresis?

Enco p resis is soiling that usually happens because of constipation. About 1-2% of school age kids have encopresis, so it is not uncommon. In children with encopresis, formed, soft, or liquid poop leaks from the anus around a mass of poop that is stuck in the lower bowel. The bowel can get so stretched that your child can no longer feel the urge to poop, and the anal sphincter (the muscle around the anus that holds the poop in) can get very weak. Sometimes the poop takes up so much room that your child's bladder doesn't have enough space. This can cause bedwetting. "

I thought it interesting that the constipation could become so severe that it would cause bedwetting, which you also describe as a problem with the boy.

Encopresis is severe and profound constipation that makes it very painful for the child to eliminate. The pain can be so severe that the child will REFUSE to even try. This in turn can lead to an total absence of recognising having an urge and on and on. This in turn can cause distended bowels that press against the bladder, causing bedwetting. The bedwtting is involuntary. The encopresis is involuntary as well.

Nan

Top
#3786 - 03/20/05 06:55 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Dianne E.]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
jan36
(member)
03/19/05 05:52 AM

Hi Nan

Thanks for taking the time to do some research on encopresis, I have also found some interesting info. There are 2 types of encopresis one is a physical problem and the other a mental one and often not classified as encopresis. What I didn't mention was this child uses encopresis to have control so falls into the second category. It is not a permanent problem. Even when I gave him a high fibre diet and a daily dose of "Syrup of Figs" he stll manages to hold on if he wants to. He very rarely leaks. He also has a toilet ritual and closes the blinds, day or night, although there is nothing but fields outside the bathroom window and the bathroom is upstairs. He then takes all his clothes off and will sit for a long time. On a couple of occasions he has smeared the excrement around the bathroom and on my face towels. Because he has to take his clothes off to go to the toilet it severely restricts when and where he can go. Hitler also had a "smearing issue". The bedwetting is not related to the encopresis as has virtuall admitted he wets the bed on purpose, even when his bowels are empty he still wets. I once found him lying face down on his wet quilt that was on the floor was waiting to go into the washing machine. His face was buried in the wet part, when I asked what he was doing he replied that he was tired.

I will go back and find the information I found as it may be relevant to others because it was written from a forensic perspective not just a physical bowel problem.

You may like to look up "The McDonald Triad" which gives the 3 behaviours linked to forensic behaviour. Bedwetting is top of the list. My siter and brother in law are senior prison officers and say bedwtting is common in the prison population. With this child enuresis and encopresis are used as weapons to control situations and entirely his choice.
Jan

jan36
(member)
03/19/05 08:09 AM

Hi Di

I am pleased to join the forum and will share my info on the UK state boarding school system. Go to www.isbi.com this gives a list of all UK schools then you can narrow the search to the state boarding system. Parents pay only for the board and lodge element which is approximately £2000 per term so fairly affordable. I don’t know whether there is any funding available for “statemented” children. We felt it was the only solution for us because the child (who I will refer to as R) was destroying our lives and it was impossible to live under the same roof as him. We didn’t alert the school to the problems we were having for a couple of reasons, firstly we wanted to know whether the behaviours were directed solely at me and secondly because we were worried the school may not accept such a disturbed child. He comes home for school holidays but spends about half of that time with his gran as he is the only grandchild.

When he is at home he just watches TV all day, he has no friends and has been banned from the neighbours houses either for stealing or being spiteful and cruel to younger children, destroying things or just making fun of adults. Anyone who knows him soon realises that the “little charmer” is only conning them to get something from them, once he gets what he wants he reverts to type. I can’t think of one person who likes him after the initial meeting.

R went to see a psychologist 2 years ago and was assessed as having “attachment issues of the avoidant type” although nothing was actually put in writing because of the long term stigma. We were told nothing could be done to help him as there is no cure and that we would have to find coping strategies until he was old enough to leave home. It was my sister who suggested that we research Reactive Attachment Disorder, she is a probation officer specialising in family welfare and she spotted the situation the first time she met him. I have come to believe that RAD and psychopathy are one and the same thing and as we gain more knowledge I think this will become more obvious. The checklist for RAD is a junior version of Robert Hare’s checklist for psychopaths. I have seen Hare’s Youth Checklist and it is very relevant to what we are dealing with. I have also read Harvey Cleckley’s Mask of Sanity which is no longer available in print but can be downloaded from Harvey Cleckley’s Mask of Sanity free book download

This is a must for anyone dealing with a psychopath, fledgling or otherwise.

R has a half brother from his mothers’ second marriage but he doesn’t express any desire for contact with him and the mother has very little contact with R anyway. My partner (N) left his marriage when R was nearly 2 and had constant contact until he was 6 when the mother insisted that he take the child permanently as she could no longer cope with him.

My son has grown up and left home and is a very loving, caring and well adjusted young man with no hang ups whatsoever. He even recently said when he has children he wants me to show him how to bring them up as I did such a good job with him. You can imagine how proud I was to hear him say that. I tried to be firm’ fair and fun. I was doing exactly the same with R but it was totally useless as nothing works with him- he just stepped up the anti the more I did for him. I even did more for him than I did for my own son because I was desperate to help him. What a waste of time and effort!

We are now at the stage where he is out of sight and out of mind for most of the time and when he comes home I have very little to do with him. I feel so sorry for N as he had a child for the wrong reasons (he thought it would help his ailing marriage) he hasn’t a clue about kids sot looks to me for guidance. He doesn’t know anything about normal kids let alone severely disturbed ones. And I am totally out of my depth with this kid.

I am secretly hoping that R will go back to his mother as she doesn’t impose any rules and he would be given total freedom to do as he wants (she will do it for the money which would be cheaper than school fees.) She has recently renewed contact now she thinks N has come into money –she doesn’t realise it is a state funded school .

Regards
Jan

Dianne E.
(Administrator)
03/19/05 11:42 AM

Hi Jan, very interesting comments about RAD, I did a bit of research. It sounds to me like this is something they are saying about kids before giving them the label of Psychopath:

In reply to:

In reply to:

While these kids can be healed, they have to want it, and the prognosis is not good. Without healing, these kids grow up unable to form healthy relationships with other human beings. Too often, these kids develop into sociopaths devoid of conscience or concern for anyone other themselves.


RadKids.Org

I posted a question at their forum to see what the reaction is to if this RAD diagnosis is just a early way of saying the harsher reality of Psychopath?

What has been the feedback you get from the school? How is he behaving?

Di

Nan
(member)
03/19/05 02:47 PM

Hi Dianne,

I checked out the RAD org. and read the section about What is RAD?

Excerpt from that page.

"RAD kids have learned that the world is unsafe, and that the adults around them can’t be trusted to meet their needs. They have developed a protective shell around their emotions, isolating themselves from dependency on adult caregivers. Rather than depending on their parents or other adults to protect them, the protective shell becomes the child’s only means of coping with the world."

While I can see that a great deal of the information on the site point toward these children being fledgling psychopaths, I can also see that the above explanation points to the idea that parental neglect is the cause of RAD. Here, the issue is not nature and nurture as is still the prevaling, although not conclusive, thought about the origins of psychopathy, but rather nurture by itself.

As far as I know, there is still NO conclusive evidence that psychopathy is created by the parent, the caregiver or the environment.

If RAD is created by the parent, the caregivers or the general environment during the formative years then, however difficult the child, the child cannot be said to be at fault.

In fact, my first thought when I had read the RAD site was that were I the parent of a child with such a diagnois, however tentative, I would feel terribly guilty and horrified to have been the direct cause of such an illness in my child. That, in my view, cannot be helpful to the parent. It certainly cannot be helpful to the child.

I was also struck by the notion that a neglectful parent would not be likely to visit a site such as RAD. The many forums posts point to a very high level of parental engagement and willingness to try anything if only to help the child.

I believe that it is against the law in the UK to label a child a psychopath, however much the diagnosis seems to fit the established criteria.

I'd be very interested in any replies you receive to your inquiry.

Regards,

Nan

Dianne E.
(Administrator)
03/19/05 03:48 PM

Hi Nan,

This is a very interesting topic that Jan has presented.

There is a reply to my post at the Delphi Forums RAD Discussion

I am pondering this around in my mind, thinking about what parents of fledgling Psychopaths have said in the past. It may seem kind of circular but perhaps a child who is a fledgling P is the one doing the rejecting thus making it harder for the parent to really embrace the child. Maybe the parent/caregiver is repelled from developing the bond and it doesn't have anything to do with being bad parents but perhaps a child that is the one doing the rejection? Am I making any sense?

I lean toward the nature aspect of Psychopaths so perhaps a less socialized P (for example the type who would end up being part of the 30% P's in the prison population) could be diagnosed with RAD since they in fact did have a very lousy childhood? Then I could go in another circle and if every child with a lousy childhood ended up being diagnosed with RAD, I don't know, this is a very interesting thought to process. I am still mulling over much of this so I hope I don't sound confusing.

Do you think we should have a separate topic thread for RAD and or/fledgling P's?

Di

Nan
(member)
03/20/05 03:48 AM

Hi Dianne,

"It may seem kind of circular but perhaps a child who is a fledgling P is the one doing the rejecting thus making it harder for the parent to really embrace the child. Maybe the parent/caregiver is repelled from developing the bond and it doesn't have anything to do with being bad parents but perhaps a child that is the one doing the rejection? Am I making any sense? "

Yes, you are! The old question of what came first? The chicken or the egg.

Yesterday, was my introduction to RAD kids, so I know very little about it. It appears to be a very severe case of 'Do you really love me' with the child doing its level (unconscious?) best to prove the opposite to the point where the parent is quite literally wringing his/her hands in despair of ever bringing home to the child that it IS loved.

In my life, I have met adults who seemed in need of temporary help and support, but it was not a temporary thing. These people were in such deep need that lending a hand was not enough. Their need for love and support was like a deep well that you could NEVER fill up, no matter what you did and it almost seemed as if they wanted to swallow you whole, i.e., their demands for attention were heavy and continual and so was the acting up, the continued creation of one crisis on top of another. The feeling I got was that NO amount of love, attention, help and support would enable these people to feel loved and more importantly, deserving of love. NO, I am NOT discussing the P.

"I am still mulling over much of this so I hope I don't sound confusing."

Not at all! We are both a little confused at this point because RAD is new to us and something we have not come across before. Certainly, I have not seen it mentioned in any of the books or articles I have read on psychopathy. However, it seems very important that we make a real attempt to understand RAD.

Personally, I am very loathe to label a child or very young adult psychopathic precisely because the label is so all embracing and therefore incredibly damaging. I have never known what to say or what to suggest when a parent writes a post asking, 'Is my child...?'

"Do you think we should have a separate topic thread for RAD and or/fledgling P's? "

Yes. That's a great idea. Jan is proof that we need more information and more ways to help and support parents and caregivers of difficult children.

Thanks for the link to the replies to your post. I will continue to educate myself on the RAD subject and incidentaly, Aspergers Syndrome, which JimEnigma has written a very informative post about.

Regards,

Nan

Top
#3787 - 03/21/05 06:02 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Dianne E.]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi

I was pleased to hear that Nan and Di have researched RAD. I have been studying this for nearly 3 years now and that was what lead me onto psychopathy. The latest research seems to indicate theat RAD children are born that way and their siblings can have exzctly the same upbringing and yes it can sometimes be a neglectful upbringing but the siblings do not go on to have behavioural problems. From my experience R's mother did not bond with so his father took over his care (he worked from home) so the child did have the potential to bond with soemone but chose not to. I think we have to look at where psychopaths come from....they don't wake up one morning at 21 yeards old and suddenly become one, it is someone that is developed over years. I just think that not many people have made the correlation between RAD and psychopathy and would love to see some research doen on this. If RAD was caused by upbringing then it would be "curable" but i think diagnosing RAD is just to give the condition a "child friendly" title as no-one wants to say a 12 year old is a psychopath. R has been with his father for 9 years and me 3. I think if there was any progress to be made we would have done so by now but in reality he gets worse as the months go by.
I now feel certain that it is nature not nurture and until someone comes up with a "cure" we just have to protect ourselves from these people.

Jan

I have attached an article which I found very useful
COPING WITH THE ADOLESCENT PSYCHOPATH
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.


Top
#3788 - 03/21/05 09:09 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just found an interesting quote which you might like to follow up.
QUOTABLE: MARTIN SMEDLEY
"People are going to say, if you've been abused as a child, if you've been deprived, if your environment's been so shocking, then inevitably that's going to have consequences in the way that you impact on your environment and on other people. But it's just not enough. It's an inadequate answer. If you look at areas of deprivation in the world, if you look at Third World countries, if you look at children who've got nothing, who've been abused, they don't turn automatically into psychopaths. This is something that is innate to the child, which the child is born with — not, I would stress, directly inherited. It's not that if your dad's a psychopath then you're a psychopath but it's much more to do with a combination of genes working together or not working properly together that creates a predisposition for this."
Martin Smedley, a specialist in
caring for seriously disturbed
children, cited on Equinox,
Channel 4 (Britain),
December 7, 2000

Jan

Top
#3789 - 03/21/05 10:03 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: ]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi Jan thanks! I couldn't agree more; these have always been my thoughts also.

In the last month or so on CourtTV here in the US there were two cases of teens that murdered. One young boy (Chris Pittman) at I think 13 murdered his grandparents while they slept. He had a "rough" childhood, abandoned by his mom, strict dad, shuffled around etc. He laid in wait till they were asleep, premeditation. He then burned the house to destroy evidence. His defense tried to use the "Zoloft" defense - they were backed into a corner since the kid gave the cops a full confession. There was testimony about his past, which certainly raised some red flags from my armchair. His ENTIRE family bought into the Zoloft defense and supported him. It was unbelievable. His family tried to make light of incidents in his past like chasing his sister down with a baseball bat etc. CourtTV Coverage of Chris Pittman Trial

The other case was a young teen named Sarah Johnson who from all appearances came from an excellent home. Loving parents, money, nice home etc. She was mad because her parents put their foot down over her relationship with an older (I think he was 19 or so and she was 15) illegal immigrant. She also laid in wait and murdered her parents using a high powered rifle, literally blew off her moms head while she slept and shot and killed her dad as he emerged from the bathroom. Interesting that her family appeared to be more functional and EVERY ONE of them testified against her for the prosecution about her odd behavior. I.e. her obsessing over needing a manicure after her nails were clipped for DNA and wanting to go to a basketball game the night of her parents funeral. CourtTV Coverage of Sarah Johnson Trial

I certainly am not a professional but from watching most of both trials I would have to guess from this armchair that both of them were fledgling Psychopaths.

It showed a sharp contrast in upbringing with the same results being murder.

My father was a hunter and collected guns. Back in those days there weren't locks on guns and they were just around the house. Things in my household were not great but it never entered my mind to go get one of the many guns that were all over.

To brush off bad behavior and blame the parents was a therapy thing in the 80's. We all make choices, none of us are perfect but bad parents in my mind aren’t a valid excuse for bad behavior. There is something deeper when a child is unable to be managed and is downright evil/psychopathic.

Di

Top
#3790 - 03/27/05 08:02 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Dianne E.]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
- ATTACHMENT DISORDER - -
This is a condition which has rendered a child unable to
trust, and enjoy loving, intimate relationships.

Typically children with this disorder exhibit no conscience
and are extremely difficult to parent as they need to be in
control of everything in their lives. They often feel the
rules only apply to others, are consummate victims, and are
often victimizers. Targeting moms with their hate;manipulate
and charm: dads, therapists, workers, & total strangers.

Traditional therapies haven't been particularly effective
in treatment (except in the mildest cases) because they are
based on the presence of trust. Confrontational therapies,
which include holding therapy, HAVE been successful, but
have often been viewed as too intrusive by the general
therapeutic population. Thus, there are only a handful of
trained attachment therapists in the US; the east coast in
particular is sadly lacking. However, the cone of knowledge
IS widening, and, because of the efforts of parents groups,
recognition is gaining and kids are being referred to the
appropriate helping professionals. In addition, children
that are treated in attachment and bonding centers (such as
the Attachment Center at Evergreen Colorado, Human Passages
Institute, The Attachment and Bonding Center in Ohio)
usually bring along their home-based primary therapist who
is trained in follow-up therapy and identification at the
same time that the child is being treated. This is a boon to
the child's home state because it is likely that the results
will be quicker diagnosis and treatment for *other* AD kids.

Here is a list of the symptoms: CHILDREN WITH ATTACHMENT
DISORDER WILL *USUALLY* DISPLAY MANY, MOST, OR ALL of the
following: ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~

Superficially engaging and charming - phoniness;
problems with eye contact;
indiscriminately affectionate w/strangers;
lacking ability to give and receive genuine affection (not cuddly);
extreme control problems (often appearing in covert or sneaky ways);
destructive to self, others, things;
cruelty to animals;
chronic, crazy lying;
lack of impulse controls;
lack of conscience;
lack of cause and effect thinking;
learning lags and disorders;
abnormal eating patterns;
poor peer relationships;
preoccupation with fire, blood, gore;
persistent NONSENSE questions and incessant chatter;
inappropriately demanding and clingy;
abnormal speech patterns.

(Remember: MANY...MOST...OR ALL of these!)

CHILDREN WITH ATTACHMENT DISORDER continues....

Top
#3792 - 03/28/05 01:32 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Dianne E.]
JustAMan Offline
member

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 186
Interesting...

Ive been wondering where all the child psychopaths have been hiding for some time. Obviously 'child psychopath', no matter how accurate, is NOT the sort of stigmatising label any therapist would wish to slap on a kid... some euphemism that is emotionally neutral and which nobody really understands is obviously needed.

From what I've now seen its pretty obvious that Reactive Attachment Disorder as defined in DSM-IV is synonymous with Child Psychopath as described by Hare in Without Conscience but NOT used by pediatric psychiatrists.

"Left untreated, such children can maim, kill and torture without conscience or feeling. They can start fires, kill pets and terrorize their families. It has been said that untreated RAD children grew up to be such persons as Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler, the teenagers who shot up Columbine High. They feel no remorse, have no conscience and see no relation between their actions and what happens as a result because they never connected with or relied upon another human being in trust their entire lives."

Excerpted from:
An Overview of Reactive Attachment Disorder for Teachers

See also:
33 point Checklist for RAD

...pyromania and cruelty to animals are also two of the indicators of the child psychopath, mentioned by Hare in Without Conscience.

Top
#3793 - 03/28/05 01:58 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: JustAMan]
Nan Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 501

I feel that the recent emphasis on "fledgling or child psychopaths" to be, at best, disturbing and at worst, misplaced.

As far as I know, and nor withstanding Robert Hare and other renowned researchers, no one has anything but a hypothesis about the origins of psychopathy.

We do not diagnose psychopathy or its origins here. We can only present the latest research. However, as we all know, some of this research deserves the label co-called.

None of us are doctors or serious researchers, so all we can do is present the research AS IS. Please!

Nan

Top
#3794 - 03/28/05 02:21 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Nan]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
I have been extremely interested in this RAD diagnosis. I agree with JustAMan that it sure is described with the same set of "symptoms" of Psychopaths.

I do agree with you Nan that this certainly is a serious diagnosis to put on a child. I am curious what the reception has been and how many Psychiatrists are being trained to conduct Hare's new evaluation.

I wish we could get a consultation with Dr. Hare. I suspect he must be seriously considering this very issue or he wouldn't recommend his latest Youth checklist for the 12- 18 age group. I can see why a very young infant can get the diagnosis of having RAD and it would seem like a later age would be more appropriate to consider screening for Psychopathic traits.

All of this is still rolling around in my mind. I hope I haven't presented this as my viewing that all RAD kids are fledgling Psychopaths, I just tend to dig into the research. I am very puzzled and with each question it seems like more pop into my mind.

Di

Top
#3795 - 03/29/05 01:41 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Dianne E.]
Nan Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 501
Dianne,

I agree that the information is interesting.

However, anything that is obtained a-priory is necessarily suspect, i.e., you want to prove XYZ and you collect all the information that support what you want to prove.

Regards,

Nan



Edited by Nan (03/29/05 01:41 AM)

Top
Page 1 of 11 1 2 3 ... 10 11 >

Moderator:  Dianne E.