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exhausted mom

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I believe my 13 yr old son is a psychopath. He has been diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 2 or 3. Since then we have received the diagnoses of ODD(now conduct disorder), Tourette Syndrome and Bipolar. He has been 'different' since he was little. He had oxygen deprivation at birth and I think this is a big part of the issue.

As he gets older things progress and get worse.

Our life has become utterly chaotic. It is constant screaming, yelling, swearing and name calling. I have been called the most vile names …things I could not imagine calling my worst enemy. He has a twin brother, and older brother and a baby sister. The 2 boys have been hurt physically and emotionally on a daily basis. He has called his little sister bad names and has recently made sexual remarks to her. To the best of my knowledge he has not done anything to her sexually but I can’t say for certain that he won’t. He has done sexual things to our dogs.

He has started fires, threatened us with knives, destroyed property and damaged walls/doors/windows, stolen money, run away, tried marijuana and drank alcohol.

He is not in mainstream school anymore. He was in mainstream school until 2 yrs ago and since then has gone so far downhill with his schooling that the prospect of him going back looks bleak. He is very smart, we have had him tested, but he does not care.

The main issue is he does not care. I don’t mean he does not care like teenagers don’t care….he really does not care. He has told me he does not care. In his words “ I know what I am doing is wrong and hurts people, but I don’t care. I do this because I want to and that is all I care about. I don’t care what happens as long as I can do what I want.”

How do you live with someone who does not care or have any empathy? I had a heart to heart talk with him, I was crying and telling him how I love him and want him to be ok…..after I was done talking he began laughing hysterically. I was shocked and could not believe what I was seeing or hearing.

Our home life now consists of us hearing his door open in the morning, at this point we all look at each other and think or say “here we go again”. He gets up and starts calling everyone names. He will make food that he won’t eat and if I tell him not to make it he will tell me to go F myself and add some vile names to it. Once he is gone to school it is a matter of waiting for an email of phone call regarding his behaviors. When he gets home the chaos begins again. The evening is spent monitoring his activity to make sure everyone is safe. There is swearing, screaming, yelling, hitting, kicking doors and walls. He listens to nothing and has no respect for anyone.

We can’t go out or he will start swearing in public. We can’t have people in because of these behaviors. We are isolated and stuck.

I have taken him to every doctor/psychologist/psychiatrist I can. He was hospitalized twice in behavior hospitals (when we lived in the US), I have read every book I can, looked online for answers. Nothing works. The medication is better than nothing but not good. I have called every agency I can and we get nowhere.

It reached a point 2 days ago when I realized that while I love him, I can’t sacrifice my other children for him. I took him to Social Services and told them I could not keep him anymore.

Now I am afraid I have made a huge mistake. My husband (not his dad) and I don’t know what else to do though.
Since he has been gone things have been calm, it is not something any of us are used to. I know it is normal but our sense of normal has been so messed up that this is weird now.

I looked up psychopathic symptoms

1. Glibness/superficial charm
2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
4. Pathological lying
5. Conning/manipulative
6. Lack of remorse or guilt
7. Shallow affect
8. Callous/lack of empathy
9. Parasitic lifestyle
10. Poor behavioural controls
11. Promiscuous sexual behaviour
12. Early behaviour problems
13. Lack of realistic, long-term plans
14. Impulsivity
15. Irresponsibility
16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
17. Many short-term relationships
18. Juvenile delinquency

And they are all my son.

I don’t know where else to turn or what else to do. My other children and normal and healthy (oldest one has ADHD) and I want to keep them like that. I have given my son up though and how does a mother reconcile that? I need to hit a point where I know he is not getting better and probably won’t. Is there a chance he will get better?

Any advice would be appreciated.

I wanted to add 2 things. He has told me he does not like people and people annoy him. He is happier alone unless he is bugging people. The other thing is he said that he figured out why his baby sister wants to climb on him....he said, 'I figured out that she loves me and wants me to love her, but I can't sometimes.'

He can't love. :(
 
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Jazzey

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I'm so sorry you and your family have been through this EM. :support: I'm a layperson, like yourself. But as a teacher, I have worked with children who were suspected of suffering from psychopathy. I say that, because if I'm correct, I believe that they can't diagnose that particular illness until the child is 18 years old.

As hard as your decision was EM, from where I stand, you've made the right decision, even if it's only a temporary thing. You've spent so much time protecting your other children from him, that none of you know how to live in a peaceful home again. And if I've understood you correctly, you genuinely believe that he may be a danger to your other children as well as to yourself and your husband.

I am however wondering if your family wouldn't benefit from counselling of some kind. I think that while you made the right decision, I'm sure that you're all struggling a little with it. And some support at this time may reassure you and your family about this decision. :support:

I found this article online for you EM. Are you involved with a Psychopath? & Psychopathy

And welcome to Psychlinks. :)
 
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exhausted mom

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We absolutley need counselling and have for a long while. It has been hard to have any kind of self care or care for the rest of the family when he has literally taken up 95% of our time. The other kids are missing out because it is all about him and making sure he is not doing something wrong.

It has been so odd, we bought a battery for our flashlight last night and knew that nobody would take it apart and destroy it. I was able to leave my purse in the kitchen instead of beside my bed....just normal things that everyone does that now seem novel. We even watched a move together as a family and enjoyed it.

I know in my heart I have done all I could for him and that this was the only right thing to do.

Thank you for your reply.
 

Jazzey

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Anytime EM :). Please feel free to lean on the people here at PL when you need support. :)
 

NicNak

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Hi ExhaustedMom. :support:

It was a very difficult choice you made, but I commend you. You were looking after the well being of your other children, especially your daughter.

I cannot even imagine how it must have been to live this way with your son behaving as he was.

Personally, (I am not a parent nor a professional of any kind) I would have done the same if in this situation. This maybe the best chance your son has to get treatment. Social services will be able to do an assessment of him and now that he is in their care, hopefully they will realize he needs help.

Jazzey had great advice for you. I too think that some family counciling would be benifitial for all of you, or even individual counciling. Your doctor might be able to help you access this as well.

I know it is very easy for me to say, but try not to be so hard on yourself. It sounds like you did everything you possably could to help your son. :support:

:welcome: to Psychlinks by the way :)
 

David Baxter

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I agree that you have almost certainly done the right thing for yourselves and for your other children, and quite probably for the son in question as well. If he is now with the CAS, they will have greater resources for trying to address his issues.

At age 13, a diagnosis of psychopathy (antisocial personality disorder) would not be appropriate, since such a diagnosis specifically excludes individuals under the age of 18. One of the major reasons for this restriction is that at age 13 the personality (and indeed the brain, especially the frontal lobes which are involved with planning, impulse controls, behavioral inhibition, empathy, and perspective-taking, etc.) are still developing - this will continue throughout adolescence and in some people well into the 20s. Thus, it is certainly possible that something can happen, perhaps a combination of professional intervention and physiological and psychological maturation, to change your son by the time he is an adult.
 

Eye Stigmata

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Hi EM,

First of all - Welcome to Psychlinks...I think you will find this forum very helpful.

I'm so sorry to hear about everything you have had to go through. Believe it or not, you are not alone, I'm sure there are lots of families that struggle with situations similar to yours. I think you made the right decision. Especially with having a young daughter in the house. As a mother your instincts are to protect your children, so I definately think you made the right choice.

I would recommend some kind of therapy for the little one. Kids at a young age can become so easily influenced. If anything I would get her the therapy as a confidence boost. It would be sad to see her growing up with a low self esteem based on words/names she was called by her older brother - someone she (at that age) believes she should be looking up to. Also, having some kind of therapy for her may determine if any abuse occured by her older brother, sexual or non sexual. Lots of kids will hold secrets like this in until much later in life. I was sexually abused starting at age 4, ending around age 7. I didn't tell a soul until about 6 months ago when I finally opened up to my therapist. (I'm 21 now). Also - if anything did happen, getting her help sooner than later can prevent long term issues that come with sexual abuse.

So - that said, I hope you can find a therapist for all the kids and yourself. I think it's important that they hear from another adult (aside from parents) that their brother had a condition and that non of it was their fault.

Again, I'm sorry for your hard times - And remember, we're always here to listen if you need someone! :)
 
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exhausted mom

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My daughter is only 14 months old so I don't think therapy is appropriate.

I am second guessing myself all weekend. I am on the verge of a panic attack. I don't doubt he needs to be somewhere, I just think this was a mistake. They tried to find a family member to take him. I am thinking social services is not understanding this is mental illness and he needs help. I have a meeting tomorrow and I am considering taking him back if this is not what he needs. I am so unsure what to do. Everyone says this was the right thing but this is my son and I should be the one taking care of him, even if it is killing me.
 

Jazzey

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I can completely understand why you would be second-guessing yourself. But you did make the right decision. You have the safety of your other children to consider, not to mention a safe environment where they can thrive as children.

For the time being, see what social services says tomorrow. They have programs and resources that you just don't have. And again, the stress that he's placing on your entire family is far more destructive than anything you can offer him in terms of support at this point...:hug:
 

Eye Stigmata

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Hi EM,

Fair enough, 14 months is pretty young. I guess lots of positive stimulation might be better for her. As well as the others. I would still maybe try family therapy with the other boys, but let them talk alone to another adult that they can trust, they could easily grow up with issues from the abuse from their brother.

I think you are doing the right thing. I can understand the desire to take him back. But honestly, I don't think it's in the best interest of your family from what you have shared so far. I think he needs to be in a safe, controlled environment where he can get all the help he needs. After being taken to social services, bringing him back home may cause him to further lash out towards the others. He may feel you love them more or that you don't care about him and that may cause him to further abuse his siblings and yourself.

I know this must be very difficult for you, but the first few steps of any journey are always bumpy. This doesn't mean you don't love him, it means you DO. It just means that you may not have all the right tools to help him on your own. By doing this for him, your giving him a better chance of getting the help he needs and getting better. Who knows, in a year he could be a totally different kid.

Keep us posted!
 
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Oh i do hear what you are saying and i can relate big time how you feel. It was not until i let the professionals take over my daughters care did she get well.
I fought for years, said the same thing she is my child i will take care of her. I know best for her but i did not have resources to make her well.
I did not have the coping skills even. What happened was i became ill trying to keep her well.
If you can go to the meeting with documentations of your sons behaviors police calls, school problems then social work will have to see your son needs and help.
Please stay strong here and get the professional help your son will need to survive because taking him home will only cause more illness for you and the rest of your family.
The energy needed is just to much YOu did the right thing and you are doing the right thing and that is getting you son the help he will need to survive. Please do it now don't leave it as i did.
Now is the time for getting him help take care.
 

exhausted mom

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I was very upset over the weekend. I had a social worker call and she was horrible to me, I was sure I had made a huge mistake.
Monday I met with the original social worker and she was not happy I had received that call. The one who called me was out of line and was never to have called.
She basically reiterated everything that I thought to be true. It is all voluntary and right now he is in a group home. this is where I wanted him, it is a great place for him to be....full of activities and round the clock supervision. It is a temp placement but we are all hoping it can be extended because it is what he needs.
My husband and I went out to see him on Monday night and took him clothing. He was his usual rude self, we wanted to look around and he kept telling us where the door was. That reinforced that this is right.
I feel very at peace with this decision and I hope it is what he needs to stabilize and come home.
 
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I must commend you on your strength to do what is right for your son. I know the pain is there and the confusion and i am so happy the social worker stepped in and help you. You are doing the right thing for him so do not second guess that. I hope in time he will come home with the skills he needs to function in a family unit. Take care of you in all this okay as i know how tiring it can get.
 

Ronbell

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As has already been said about not being able to diagnose until their at least 18, I thought i'd give you a bit of my perspective.

I'm also an ADHD person. When I was your sons age, I didn't do the things he did, but I was very violent. If anyone gave me a hard time, or disrespected me, I'd fight them. I had issues with authority, and severe anger problems. I outgrew it all.

As I was getting older, my conscience grew stronger and stronger and I realized that I could severely injure someone someday. I was losing friends left right and center because nobody wanted to be friends with me when I'd be so aggressive towards them. I'm still less empathetic than most people, but it's compensated for with a really strong conscience.

The future holds many things, and anything is possible for your son. Even though he's out of your house right now, you need to constantly remind him that you love him. Depending on how long he's out of your care, he might outgrow this problem, forget that he had those issues in the first place, and hold resentments towards you, possibly even blame you for giving up on him. If he has that constant reassurance that you care for him, and want nothing but the best for him, it may certainly help him out.
 

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