Skip to comments.Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?
Posted on 05/13/2012 12:12:29 PM PDT by KantianBurke
One day last summer, Anne and her husband, Miguel, took their 9-year-old son, Michael, to a Florida elementary school for the first day of what the family chose to call summer camp. For years, Anne and Miguel have struggled to understand their eldest son, an elegant boy with high-planed cheeks, wide eyes and curly light brown hair, whose periodic rages alternate with moments of chilly detachment. Michaels eight-week program was, in reality, a highly structured psychological study less summer camp than camp of last resort.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
This was a sad and creepy article.
There’s a bunch of stupid comments on the site such as he’ll do well in the corporate world to psychopathy is a variation where the successful ones are republican presidential candidates and the stupid ones end up in jail. Really stupid liberals.
It’s safe to say “Michael” is going to cause plenty of harm in the near future.
I am of the opinion that “first born syndrome” comes directly from the parents who dote hand and foot on the first born. They don’t teach him to be a well behaved child and to obey his parents. The child is allowed to get away with behavior that is not tolerated when the child gets older.
Then, when the next child comes along, there is a sudden switch. The parents attention is now on the new born and the oldest is expected to behave but has never been corrected or taught to behave. The child develops a deep seated resentment, especially for being forced to grow up all of a sudden.
The corrective action is the rapid application of a switch anytime a tantrum starts, the kid acts out or disobeys. However, since the child was not taught discipline from the beginning, I doubt the parents will apply discipline now.
The symptoms described in the article are way beyond that sort of rivalry. These individuals are clearly dangerous now and more so later.
While certainly, some people just aren’t “wired right,” it makes you wonder how much spiritual structure there is for some of these kids in their households.
Any spoiled child is a Psychopath....
America loves to spoil their children generally..
Proof: Republicans running the inventor of Romney-care against the inventor of Dohbama-Care..
America spoils the children they do not murder thru abortion..
Dohbama(biden) is just punishment for doing that..
A Psychopath as President and Vice President..
who fills the Executive Branch with other Psychopaths..
Many parents send their troublesome juniors into Boy Scouts (and other youth programs). I can put names on these guys ~ Hoon, .............. ~ dozens of them! One boy had an additional blood pressure problem and he'd have to run in place most of the time.
And I've seen them just "grow up".
Not once did we have a cutting.
My impression has been that these kids are all a problem to everybody in their growing years, but not necessarily so once they are adults ~ but some are. Paul Baker pops into my mind! And some others ~ mostly their parents ~ the interstate car thieves, the mobsters, the girls who ran away with the carnival.......
Makes one wonder if some haven’t dabbled in the occult and some children might be demon possessed.
That’s a legal question ~ I gather professionals in this field have to pay attention to age just to avoid malpractice suits by crazy parents who thought their kids could be cured instantly.
My aunt and uncle had two children; the oldest was the nicest person one could meet while the youngest was a terror diving into drugs and sex. Same environment with the same loving parents who never exhibited any different treatment for either of the kids. My aunt and uncle were constantly running off to see psychologists and therapists to no avail.
Sometimes it can be the parents but I’m convinced that sometimes it can just as easily be the mixture. Parents simply can’t be blamed for everything.
That might be the case. Regardless, I’ll purchase some more ammo. Can’t be too careful.
Same with my sister. She has 5 kids that run the whole range.
At the end of the article he says, why don’t more people do bad things? And the answers he offers are because they are inhibited, by empathy, by worries of isolation, by fears of getting caught.
I’ll throw in my own two cents and say part of it is these people believe they are masters of their own lives; they don’t believe in God or authority. Why should they listen to anyone? How many times in people’s lives would they do things, but for the fear of God?
Back in the day it was worse being the firstborn, easier being second and third, we could watch and find out how the “game” is played to stay out of parents line of fire. The youngest was the spoiled “baby” of the family.
Little FYI, applying the switch at the slightest provocation can be bad for a child as well. My father would spank me (and I’m talking a volley of hard spanks meant to hurt for hours, not a simple swat) for the slightest cross (hell, he spanked me once because I was backing my tricycle into the drain pipe on our house. Please, explain to me what harm I was doing), and there was never any explanation of why what I had done was wrong or what harm it had caused.
Essentially, I grew up almost afraid of my own shadow, because I never knew what would get me spanked or yelled at due to never knowing what my father considered wrong, and while I wasn’t always scared of my father, I was never comfortable around him (part of the drive to get out on my own was to finally get out from under his control). I believe in discipling a child at an early age, but there has to be logic and reason behind it so the child understands what’s going on, and doesn’t end up scared to death of the very people who are supposed to protect him.
Let's not ignore our search for the Medieval diagnosis to explain Psychopathy: A mother who consorted with the devil.
Some people are just plain evil. Witch doctors and psychologists (same thing really) try to come up with reasonable explanations like possession by a demon or brain chemicals out-of-balance, but these are just attempts to pretend that evil doesn’t exist. Some people are just plain evil from their earliest years. I’ve known a couple of kids like that. None of their brothers or sisters were troublemakers. The parents did their best. The kids were just plain vicious and cruel and destructive. No amount of discipline or love or anything made the slightest difference. Fortunately they are fairly rare. They invariably end up dead or in prison or more rarely become President or Speaker of the House.
Best book on the subject is Robert Hare’s “Without Conscience”. What you’re dealing with is a birth defect entirely like Down Syndrome, basically a modeling facility which all normal people have, but psychopaths don’t. And it’s very obvious at a very early age. Hare says there is no such thing as a parent of a psychopathic child who wouldn’t gladly hand the kid over to some government agency at age seven or eight.
Good luck with any castle doctrine, stand you grand law, make my day law, etc etc, should you ever gun down a 9 year old. Hint: Things will not go well for you.
There are several versions of one gene that can create all sorts of problems ~ including iron deficiency anemia, or pernicious anemia.
Gene A simply gives you anomalous heme ~ with the result that you end up dumping half your iron intake down the toilet as urine. You will invariably have a Vitamin B-12 deficiency unless you consume enormous quantities of meat or sublingual Vitamin B 12 pills (available at Wal-Mart $5.00 a bottle). Remember crazy old aunt Betty who got those shots once a month? They don't do the shots anymore.
Gene B is a bit more serious and you will have the same iron loss, and skin problems, and possibly some psychological problems. This one is fortunately far less common.
Then there's Gene C and it has a sort of psychotic behavior. Only 500 individuals with this gene have been found in Scandinavia. SImple injections of carbohydrates (sugar) will alleviate most psychotic episodes ~ assuming you can catch them as they run off across the tundra.
However, when it comes to shedding iron in the urine, these guys shed it in photoreactive form and it can turn PURPLE or VIOLET.
Modern science is finding murders and violent people have the same brain structure-missing key chemical areas in the brain normal people have.
I'm not giving these people a pass just saying what is being found.
One thing that is consistent in the liberal personality is a lack of real shame and remorse on a personal level.
It’s all fake group emotion, based on “narratives” where political correctness dictates when to feel rage and hate and when to feel at ease or even elated as a group think process. The ends justifies the means.
This is why crazy rules like “zero tolerance” where the innocent are punished equally to the guilty or wealth redistribution, which is theft from one to “give” to another, or p.c. diversity denial of equal rights, which is race hate and discrimination, make sense to liberals and makes them feel good.
They have no empathy, shame or remorse for the lives they wrecked but feel good because they are told to feel good about wrecking one in the name of another. Liberals who are leaders of the pack are manipulators like L in the story we read. That creepy homo guy Savage comes to mind. He can stand up against bullying and then, without an emotional clue, bully Christians who he hates.
This is a case way beyond “normal” child misbehavior. If they punished the dickens out of him for it, it probably wouldn’t make a dent. I don’t know all the technical terms, but the kid is off his rational bean and ought to be in an asylum before he does something that puts him on a gurney.
One of them is POTUS.
When My Son was small ( about 7 or 8 )..we lived next to a family with 3 sons who played with my son...next to them was a boy I can only describe as “weird”...His father was
a strict recluse and didnt allow His wife to talk to the neighbors..She was just as strange...
One day my son was playing with the 3 boys next door and 2 of the neighbor boys had som disagreement, and one boy chased His brother with a small stick..as they ran down the sidewalk the weird boy jumped up with his fist in the air and Yelled “Kill your Brother” “Kill your Brother”...
I thought that this kid will grow up and do someone great Harm...
But to take the attitude that psychopathy is untreatable because its genetic he shook his head thats not accurate. Theres a stigma that psychopaths are the hardest of the hardened criminals. My fear is that if we call these kids prepsychopathic, people are going to draw that inference: that this is a quality that cant be changed, that its immutable. I dont believe that. Physiology isnt destiny.
Psychopath and sociopath = monster. One you have that label, you have it for life, and you will become exactly as you are expected to be as an adult. That and on psychological drugs to boot.
Kids are quite capable of having a real mean streak to them. Their sizes maturing brains often keep them in check. They need guidance and people who can read them properly. The most important way is by example. Living by example.
On the same note, people grow up. I was an a-hole at 9 years old. Major league. And at 10, 11, 12, and 13. It wasn't the parent's fault. If they pushed harder against me, I would been even worse because I always had to win under any circumstance. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. I could almost have been this guy.
I grew up. Maybe Michael here grows up. His dad said he was a problem and grew up. Sometimes the best thing possible is for the kid to have a chance to be a man. Most boys genetically deep down want to be men.
Very sad. Imagine what it’s like to be the parents of a little monster like that. Clearly these people are doing their best with a kid whose brain is wired up wrong.
Not all kids who have this wiring problem give you a warning by (for instance) barbecuing kittens. I had friends who were nearly beggared by a girl they adopted in infancy. They adopted three other children, another girl and two boys, and the kids grew up to be terrific people, just like the parents. But the girl was a terror. She never raised her voice, never misbehaved in school, always acted perfectly, but she was sweetly, politely evil. And she had the acting skills of the greatest actress on the stage. You would believe anything she said. She had cops, doctors, psychiatrists, and judges—hardened, experienced people—wrapped around her little finger.
I’ve known a couple of other people like that. One was a real bad seed, a beautiful girl who as a teen enjoyed accusing innocent men of child abuse and wrecking their lives.
A lot of psychopaths start behaving better when they get into their thirties. Some don’t.
Yes, there’s evil in the world. There is a devil in hell. Often he uses sickness to cause suffering, whether it’s through cancer or through a person whose brain hasn’t been wired up properly and then goes on to cause misery. But we can’t put a bad nine-year-old child down as we would a dog whose brain was faulty. We have to try to do something to fix these kids.
EXACTLY. You never hear of this crap from Christian families. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Period.
That boy needs some extended psychiatric help, starting with a comprehensive examination searching for neurological defects. There is a whole collection of such things he *might* have, which quite commonly can be “dead before they hit the ground” lethal is untreated. If they *can* be treated.
It could be the equivalent of a precise epilepsy, juvenile strokes, a tumor, any number of congenital problems, you name it. He needs a CAT scan right from the start.
What this doesn’t sound like is psychopathy or sociopathy. “Sitting him down and talking to him” at this point is just a time waster, and could get him killed.
Make the kid keep doing it until they get it right without telling them what it is they are doing wrong. That is so Zen. Zen educational theory is whack, Zen parenting is just scary.
I thought Ubama was older than nine?
Bingo. My thoughts exactly. Remove all animals and small children from the home and deal with the problem (of which the parents might be part and parcel.)
Sorry, the case I cited above in #34 was a wonderful Christ-centered family who raised three other kids without a problem but had one bad seed. Psychiatric problems are not just a case of sparing the rod. Did you read the whole article? MRIs can visualize deficits in these kids’ brains. They’re actually not formed right.
Judging from the contents of the article this isn’t the run of the mill kid. This is one which exhibits extremely dangerous behavior up to and including remorseless violence. If he or any of his kind threaten me or my family I will defend myself and my loved ones. Period.
I just got rid of a roommate who was exactly the way you described. She was creepy -- everyone tensed up when she walked in -- yet outwardly she was pretty, articulate, & put together. But very childlike. And mean -- she had rages & engaged in spiteful behavior if she couldn't get her way. She absolutely terrorized me & the other person living with us. Told out-and-out lies to the community (i.e. other girl pinched her all over). If not psychopathic, she might be borderline.
Apparently she had been abused by a schizophrenic mother (who later died in an institution) & raised by her father, who was somewhat otherworldly himself. He remarried (& divorced) someone who was also slightly off. Lethal combination: crazy mom, passive dad.
I strongly see the biogenetic base in these children. Just yesterday I had Sabbath dinner with some friends whose precocious five-year-old exhibited disturbingly hostile behavior. Kept attacking his baby brother. The parents, though very nice, were a bit off & probably unaware. The home was very messy & chaotic.
Particularly since punishment is so ineffective as a behavioral tool.
Yes. Very good show on tv several days ago about the origins of evil. All these people had either a chemical imbalance or portions of their brain or were not producing chemicals in the part of the brain that produces compassion/empathy and so on. As you said the MRI's picked it right out.
I believe the parents re kidding themselves and putting the younger kids in danger forcing them to live with the older child. What will they do the day after he kills one of the other kids? I am the oldest child and probably id have a little of the first child syndrome since I was an only for almost 5 years but nothing like this! I used to hid his shoes so he couldn’t go paces with us....not try to kill him.
Nope, I read the article and in this case it is the parents:
“Watching Anne ride herd on her two younger boys that afternoon, I found her to be brusque and no-nonsense. When Allan started running around the living room and then crashing into the sofa cushions, she spoke sharply: Allan! Stop it. (He did.) When Jake and Allan grew whiny about a shared toy, she arbitrated the dispute with a tone of patient exasperation familiar to most parents. Just let him play with it for five minutes, Allan, and then itll be your turn. And when she grew touchy about parenting strategies Anne favors structure and strict rules; Miguel is inclined to be lenient Miguel listened quietly, then conceded that his relaxed approach might be optimistic.
It certainly seemed so. As the night progressed, Michaels behavior grew more violent. At one point, while Michael was downstairs, Jake clambered goofily onto the computer chair and accidentally unpaused Michaels Pokémon video. Allan giggled, and even Miguel smiled affectionately. But the amusement was brief. Hearing Michael on the stairs, Miguel said, Uh oh! and whisked Jake out of the chair.
He wasnt fast enough. Seeing the video playing, Michael gave a keening scream, then scanned the room for the guilty party. His gaze settled on Allan. Grabbing a wooden chair, he hoisted it overhead as though to do violence but paused for several seconds, giving Miguel a chance to yank it away. Shrieking, Michael ran to the bathroom and began slamming the toilet seat down repeatedly. Dragged out and ordered to bed, he sobbed pitifully. Daddy! Daddy! Why are you doing this to me? he begged, as Miguel carried him to his room. No, Daddy! I have a greater bond with you than I do with Mommy! For the next hour, Michael sobbed and screamed, while Miguel tried to calm him. In the hall outside his room, Miguel apologized, adding that it was an unusually bad night.
What you saw, that was the old Michael, he continued. He was like that all day long. Kicking and hitting, slamming the toilet seat. But he also noted that Allan had provoked Michael, at one point taunting him for crying. He loves to poke at him when he can, Miguel said.
From the bedroom, Michael called out: He knows the consequences, so I dont know why he does it. I will hurt him.
Miguel: No you wont.
Michael: Im coming for you, Allan.
An hour later, after the boys were finally asleep, Miguel and I sat down at the kitchen table. Growing up, he said, he had also been a difficult child albeit not so problematic as Michael. A lot of parents didnt want me around their kids, because they thought I was crazy, he said, closing his eyes at the memory. I didnt listen to adults. I was always in trouble. My grades were horrible. I would be walking down the street and I would hear them say, in Spanish: Ay! Viene el loco! Here comes the crazy one.
According to Miguel, this antisocial behavior lasted until his late teens, at which point, he said, he grew up. When I asked what caused the change, he looked uncertain. You learn to pacify the rough waters, he said at last. It just happens. You learn to control yourself from the outside in.
The parents are, apparently unknowingly, using reinforcement to create Michael. He gets a ton of attention for acting “crazy”, therefore you get more craziness. The father’s a goof and the mom’s a controller.
My former supervisor was like that. Outwardly sweet, a real southern belle, but an evil witch when she wanted to be. She would pit co-workers against each other and say contradictory things depending on who she was talking to. The worst was she would use things said in confidence against you. She reminded me of The Bad Seed girl or Single White Female. Really frightening to have to deal with.