Can you call a 9 year old a psychopath?

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    May 17, 2012 3:31 PM GMT
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/magazine/can-you-call-a-9-year-old-a-psychopath.html

    Long article. Very interesting ideas and points. I can see how the brain functions involved would make a good argument about being able to see psychopathy developing early, but could it also be their brains just need more time to "wire" itself twards a normal human response base?
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    May 17, 2012 3:46 PM GMT
    You can, doesn't mean you should... may make you look crazy! icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif
  • Gamemage7

    Posts: 67

    May 17, 2012 8:43 PM GMT
    Technically, psychopathy (the disorder that is required to be accurately called a psychopath) presents during puberty. So... no, 9 year olds can't really be psychopaths.
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    May 17, 2012 8:52 PM GMT
    There are underlying structural abnormalities involved in psychopathy. If this was detected in childhood it would certainly be a wise idea to monitor the child as they develop, especially to see how their brain responds to emotional stimulation as they age.

    Not that there's anything inherently wrong with being a psychopath.
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    May 17, 2012 9:24 PM GMT
    No you can't. What is commonly called being a psychopath/sociopath is professionally termed antisocial personality disorder. One of the most significant features of this disorder is not only complete lack of empathy but taking pleasure in inflicting pain and suffering and blaming of victims. Like all personality disorders, antisocial PD can only be diagnosed in adults since children and adolescents haven't fully developed their personality. Normal child and adolescent development includes egocentrism so it would be impossible to conclude that even mentally ill child or teen will necessarily carry disordered behavior into adulthood. Certainly there could be predictors of adult antisocial personality disorder but nothing definitive (which is essentially what the article was getting at). There are two potentially severe behavior disorders that occur in children and can make them act like holy terrors, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (the distinguishing featuring being the target of aggression, the former involving general targets and the latter only authority figures). There is a much higher concordance rate for antisocial PD and conduct disorder than with oppositional defiant disorder and the current DSM criteria require that an individual have displayed evidence of conduct disorder before age 15 to be considered for antisocial personality disorder as an adult. However, only 25-40% of children with conduct disorder with have antisocial personality disorder as an adult (i.e. - become a psychopath). Certainly children, like some mentioned in the article, can show antisocial traits during childhood. Nonetheless, it would be impossible to presume adult personality in a still developing child, no matter how volatile. Especially considering most children outgrow the deviant behavior and only a minority become adult psychopaths.
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    May 17, 2012 9:44 PM GMT
    Maybe the problem with diagnosis is that the DSM is based on subjective observation with little to no objective criteria, such as brain scans etc, for the diagnosis of mental illness?

    Kids should be strapped into MRI machines, not taken to a psychiatrist.
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    May 17, 2012 10:35 PM GMT
    NorthCountyDudeSD saidMaybe the problem with diagnosis is that the DSM is based on subjective observation with little to no objective criteria, such as brain scans etc, for the diagnosis of mental illness?

    Kids should be strapped into MRI machines, not taken to a psychiatrist.


    Brain scans are far from acute and certainly not used as diagnostic tools in psychiatry.

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    May 17, 2012 11:11 PM GMT
    isnt the lack of remorse an early indicator of psychopathic tendency?
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    May 17, 2012 11:15 PM GMT
    Adam228 saidBrain scans are far from acute and certainly not used as diagnostic tools in psychiatry.

    But they will be. Geneticists, neurologists and psychiatrists collaborating to make more acute ('scuse me, accurate) diagnoses is how our next decade will suck less than the last.
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    May 17, 2012 11:31 PM GMT
    tumblr_m34fogW7XN1ro2c2ro1_400.gif

    Yes you can. There are clear indicators, and parents often make the mistake of ignoring them or believing they can right the kid with their influence.
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    May 17, 2012 11:32 PM GMT
    There are psychopaths younger than nine.
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    May 17, 2012 11:58 PM GMT
    Sure you can! grin!

    Badseed.PNG

    "The Bad Seed is a 1954 novel by William March, nominated for the 1955 National Book Award for Fiction."
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    May 18, 2012 10:35 PM GMT
    Nice post by vballboy12.

    I've an adopted nephew probably with personality disorders causing huge problems today in his early 20s as they did in his mid-late teens. Though I didn't know quite what I was seeing, I totally saw something off about him from when he was first brought into our family as a young child. I kept my mouth shut about it for maybe too many years, just hinting here and there as I could without making his parents feel bad.

    With as much trouble as he has become, we still have not given up on the kid, endeavoring to provide him with as many good tools as possible so that he might live at least a fairly satisfying, somewhat productive and non destructive life. It is often heart breaking for his parents.
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    May 18, 2012 10:43 PM GMT
    Knew this guy from the time he was two years old.......



    His parents were all about money........icon_cry.gif
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    May 19, 2012 6:45 PM GMT
    I wonder if these children have been given synthetic oxytocin which as the "bonding hormone" has a role in making people more sympathetic, empathetic, more generous, and overall more pro-social.

    However, more of these bonding hormones may produce more loyalty for other psychopathic people rather than society at large.
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    May 19, 2012 6:52 PM GMT
    Elusium saidtumblr_m34fogW7XN1ro2c2ro1_400.gif

    Yes you can. There are clear indicators, and parents often make the mistake of ignoring them or believing they can right the kid with their influence.


    I so need to watch this film !
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    May 19, 2012 6:55 PM GMT
    I can!

    I went to the local grade school and asked a few kids "are you nine?"
    the first one than answered yes, I said "you're a psychopath." I think she cried.