An article about personality disorders crossed my desk this morning. Rather serendipitous considering I just blogged about parental (and child) conditioned responses… and how difficult it is living with someone who responds negatively to nearly everything you do.
The author of this article, Gary Direnfeld, puts out regular snippets of information about parenting and behavioral issues. I have seen his articles appear in adoption.com’s electronic newsletter.
In this particular article he addresses people with “difficult personalities” and specifically he mentions personality disorders. He says, “A personality disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis given to adults whose behavior brings them into conflict with many persons and society. Their behavior presents as frequently troublesome, inflexible and persistent.”
Well, I would say some of us are dealing with kids whose behavior is troublesome, inflexible and persistent… do ya think?
One of the slides I use when I present “RAD 101” shows the progression of Reactive Attachment Disorder… an ultimate diagnosis of a personality disorder. It has long been known that the hallmarks of sociopathic behavior are childhood histories of bedwetting, fire setting and animal cruelty. Many kids with severe RAD grow up to get a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (“I hate you, don’t leave me!”) and some are labeled Narcissistic or Histrionic PD.
I never cease to be amazed when a parent tells me their child has been given a diagnosis that reads something like… “Has the characteristics of antisocial behavior”. A Personality Disorder diagnosis cannot be given to a child until they are no longer a child. The theory is that they are still developing their personality when they are still children. Some of our kids are not very kid-like, are they?
I just heard on the news about a couple of boys that robbed a convenience store. They were 11 and 14 and they used water guns covered in duct tape to make them appear as real guns. The folks reporting this story were shocked that the kids were so young. Are any of you shocked? I’m not.
For more information about Personality Disorders, go here.