When Your Child Is a Psychopath

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When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by eddie on Tue May 23, 2017 2:40 pm

(Thanks to Ben for finding the article)

It's a long article but well worth a read. Very interesting topic which must prove, surely, that people are born evil?



The condition has long been considered untreatable. Experts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4. But a new clinical approach offers hope.


Psychopaths have always been with us. Indeed, certain psychopathic traits have survived because they’re useful in small doses: the cool dispassion of a surgeon, the tunnel vision of an Olympic athlete, the ambitious narcissism of many a politician. But when these attributes exist in the wrong combination or in extreme forms, they can produce a dangerously antisocial individual, or even a cold-blooded killer. Only in the past quarter century have researchers zeroed in on the early signs that indicate a child could be the next Ted Bundy.

At 11, Samantha is just over 5 feet tall and has wavy black hair and a steady gaze. She flashes a smile when I ask about her favorite subject (history), and grimaces when I ask about her least favorite (math). She seems poised and cheerful, a normal preteen. But when we steer into uncomfortable territory—the events that led her to this juvenile-treatment facility nearly 2,000 miles from her family—Samantha hesitates and looks down at her hands. “I wanted the whole world to myself,” she says. “So I made a whole entire book about how to hurt people.”

Starting at age 6, Samantha began drawing pictures of murder weapons: a knife, a bow and arrow, chemicals for poisoning, a plastic bag for suffocating. She tells me that she pretended to kill her stuffed animals.

“You were practicing on your stuffed animals?,” I ask her.

She nods.

“How did you feel when you were doing that to your stuffed animals?”

“Happy.”

“Why did it make you feel happy?”

“Because I thought that someday I was going to end up doing it on somebody.”

“Did you ever try?”

Silence.

“I choked my little brother.”

Samantha’s parents, Jen and Danny, adopted Samantha when she was 2. They already had three biological children, but they felt called to add Samantha (not her real name) and her half sister, who is two years older, to their family. They later had two more kids.

From the start, Samantha seemed a willful child, in tyrannical need of attention. But what toddler isn’t? Her biological mother had been forced to give her up because she’d lost her job and home and couldn’t provide for her four children, but there was no evidence of abuse. According to documentation from the state of Texas, Samantha met all her cognitive, emotional, and physical milestones. She had no learning disabilities, no emotional scars, no signs of ADHD or autism.

But even at a very young age, Samantha had a mean streak. When she was about 20 months old, living with foster parents in Texas, she clashed with a boy in day care. The caretaker soothed them both; problem solved. Later that day Samantha, who was already potty trained, walked over to where the boy was playing, pulled down her pants, and peed on him. “She knew exactly what she was doing,” Jen says. “There was an ability to wait until an opportune moment to exact her revenge on someone.”

When Samantha got a little older, she would pinch, trip, or push her siblings and smile if they cried. She would break into her sister’s piggy bank and rip up all the bills. Once, when Samantha was 5, Jen scolded her for being mean to one of her siblings. Samantha walked upstairs to her parents’ bathroom and washed her mother’s contact lenses down the drain. “Her behavior wasn’t impulsive,” Jen says. “It was very thoughtful, premeditated.”


https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/when-your-child-is-a-psychopath/524502/


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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by eddie on Tue May 23, 2017 2:42 pm

How sad is this part?:

Of course, even if Samantha can slip easily back into home life at 11, what of the future? “Do I want that child to have a driver’s license?,” Jen asks. To go on dates? She’s smart enough for college—but will she be able to negotiate that complex society without becoming a threat? Can she have a stable romantic relationship, much less fall in love and marry? She and Danny have had to redefine success for Samantha: simply keeping her out of prison.

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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by HoratioTarr on Tue May 23, 2017 2:45 pm

It's not impossible for psychopaths to recognise their behaviour and mitigate it.
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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by Syl on Tue May 23, 2017 11:29 pm

If it's instinctive and not learned behaviour, I have no idea how I would cope with such a child.

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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by HoratioTarr on Tue May 23, 2017 11:47 pm

Syl wrote:If it's instinctive and not learned behaviour, I have no idea how I would cope with such a child.

Me neither.  But I have a psychopathic dog with a penchant for tissues...... lol!

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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by Syl on Tue May 23, 2017 11:54 pm

HoratioTarr wrote:
Syl wrote:If it's instinctive and not learned behaviour, I have no idea how I would cope with such a child.

Me neither.  But I have a psychopathic dog with a penchant for tissues...... lol!


Is that you holding him?





Just joking. Razz

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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by eddie on Wed May 24, 2017 10:33 am

Syl wrote:If it's instinctive and not learned behaviour, I have no idea how I would cope with such a child.

Yes I already had the thought that I'm not sure I'd be able to love her.

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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by HoratioTarr on Wed May 24, 2017 11:19 am

Syl wrote:
HoratioTarr wrote:

Me neither.  But I have a psychopathic dog with a penchant for tissues...... lol!


Is that you holding him?





Just joking. Razz

Yeah, I'm really Dave the trucker! lol!
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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by Syl on Wed May 24, 2017 11:54 am

HoratioTarr wrote:
Syl wrote:

Is that you holding him?





Just joking. Razz

Yeah, I'm really Dave the trucker! lol!

Haha...I remember all that . Razz

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Re: When Your Child Is a Psychopath

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Thu May 25, 2017 9:22 am

eddie wrote:
Syl wrote:
If it's instinctive and not learned behaviour, I have no idea how I would cope with such a child.

Yes I already had the thought that I'm not sure I'd be able to love her.

Idea

That would be inherent,  not "instinctive"...
Not the same thing,  at all..


"Instinct" has nothing to do with it.

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