Posts Tagged ‘Antisocial Personality Disorder’

Liberals Are Like Bratty Kids

July 22, 2014

Liberals Are Like Bratty Kids

The following is a very interesting article by John Hawkins, that appeared on http://www.townhall.com.

Read it and you will see radical liberals in 15 ways that you never have before.

I endorse Mr. Hawkins’ perspective, but would add one important aspect to his views. I hope you will read his insightful article and then, see my psychological twist on his thesis.

http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2014/07/08/15-ways-liberals-are-like-bratty-kids-n1859780/page/2

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Mr. Hawkins makes some interesting observations about the behavior patterns of progressives/liberals/socialists/communists. But as a psychologist, I would like to take his thinking one step further.

Children do show many of the characteristics that  Hawkins ascribes to liberals. But there are some very important differences between children, and their behaviors, and those of radical liberals. The voters of America need to know these differences.

First of all, with the help of principled and loving parents, reasonable limits and humane discipline, children normally develop pro-social moral and ethical values and behavior patterns.  Judeo/Christian, or other similar religious teachings, can strongly reinforce these cognitive and behavioral developments in children and the citizens they become.

It is an important side-note that our Founding Father’s judged that religion was an essential part of citizen development and the preservation of a healthy American Republic. Reading their original writings will clarify this fact to anyone; no matter their political, philosophical, or religious perspective.

All of this underscores a simple truth that must be added to Mr. Hawkins’ insightful article: Under the right developmental conditions, most children are helped to grow-out of the personality characteristics of  liberals and conservatives with damaging personality flaws.

Tragically, the normally transient 15 features of childhood, noted by Hawkins, can become fixed and nearly unalterable in many adults. When this happens, these psychological flaws are often diagnosed as Personality Disorders. I do not intend to suggest that all “liberals” display personality disorders. However, the documented records of misconduct in office and private life strongly support that this is more often a trait among liberals than it is among conservatives.

However, I will assert that a great number of revolutionary progressive/liberals, such as those inspired by the thoroughly pathological Obama administration, do.

See for your self!

Antisocial Personality Disorder:

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/antisocial-personality-disorder-symptoms/

Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

Now, here is another troubling perception. When the two pathological personality configurations described above come into contact with individuals suffering from Dependent Personality Disorder, or perhaps only features, the results are normally the exploitation of and damage to the dependent individuals, or populations of dependent individuals, by the narcissists and the antisocial personality disordered.

As a psychotherapist I see this dynamic among individuals on a all-to-regular basis.

Dependent Personality Disorder:

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/dependent-personality-disorder-symptoms/

Although the  diagnosis of dependent personality disorder, as well as the other two personality disorders occurs in a small percent of the population. These traits and features in our population appear to me to be on a dangerous  increase in America. See the following references.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-narcissism-epidemic/201308/how-dare-you-say-narcissism-is-increasing

http://www.synthesizingeducation.net/2014/04/the-prevalence-of-sociopathy-in-america.html

I have not yet found data on increasing rates of dependent personality disorder, however the increase in our percent of population that have embraced dependency upon the government’s entitlement/welfare programs have increased dramatically in recent history.

http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA694.pdf

The welfare contingencies of positive reinforcement for people doing little, or nothing, will unquestionably shape dependent behavior patterns in recipients. I will judge that such population dependent behavior patterns are are moving along a continuum toward the full criteria for of Dependent Personality Disorder. These are therefore very bad citizen behaviors to reinforce in our increasingly socialistic America.

You may read the following article, or skip to item #4,  in order to understand some of the damages (though not all) of  socialistic contingencies of positive reinforcement a population.

http://spectator.org/articles/55875/five-reasons-reform-welfareagain

  • Can you see the results of these increasing population personality features  in an increasingly socialistic America?
  • Do you understand that the process by which this increase is a self-feeding one?
  • Do you understand that as the traditional methods by which children have been acculturated in America break-down our citizens become increasingly easy prey for unprincipled and unscrupulous power-hungry narcissists and antisocials?
  • Isn’t it clear to you that narcissist and antisocial progressive/liberal politicians (in any party) and their minions are advantaged by an increasingly dependent population?
  • Can you see this population transformation being fueled and shaped by so-called progressive politicians and citizens in key sectors of society (Political, Law, Education, Media, Religion, etc.) ?

If not, you had better look again. You had better look much closer.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Health Services Provider in Psychology, HSPP 20090171A

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend

 

 

 

 

Antisocial Personality Disorder

March 26, 2010

Antisocial Personality Disorder

This destructive personality disorder tends to emerge from childhood patterns of a disregard for the feelings and rights of others and for family, institutional, or social conventions,rules and laws. Childhood diagnoses for such behavior patterns are Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. These disorders are listed under Axis I in the DSM-IV. I have presented them here with Axis II disorders because I think it is important that you see the tendency of these childhood problems to evolve into similar but more fully developed adult behavior patterns. It does not always happen, but all too frequently these behavior patterns tend to develop through one or two other child and adolescent diagnoses into its fully mature manifestation known as Antisocial Personality Disorder. The developmental steps toward the fully mature personality disorder are as follows:

In Oppositional Defiant Disorder, children challenge adult rules and demands, argue with adults, have often have bad temper problems, lie and blame others for their troubles. These problems normally start before puberty at around eight years of age.

Conduct Disorder is a more severe pattern of problem behaviors in which the rights of others are frequently violated. These children often lie, cheat, damage property, and run away from school and/or home. They may often aggress against others and may even hurt animals for entertainment. Other illegal activities such a robbery, extortion, rape, and murder may also occur in extreme cases. Conduct disorder can start sometime before 10 years or in later adolescence.

When an individual reaches the age of 18 years and still shows the enough of the previously mentioned behavior patterns they will be diagnosed as antisocial personality disorder. Individuals showing these behavior patterns are also sometimes called “sociopaths” or “psychopaths”; the names may change–but the behaviors the same.

As adults, these people show a strong disregard for the rights of others and the rule of law. They appear to have failed to develop the ability to empathize with others and they do not suffer conscious pangs of consciousness if they hurt or kill others. They are impulsive, seek thrills, take risks, are unreliable, spend money foolishly, can be irritable and aggressive, and have trouble maintaining close relationships with anyone. The motto for this category of diagnosis may be “if I want it—I’ll take it, if it feels good—I’ll do it: lying, cheating, manipulating, and stealing is good fun.”

A Representative Example

Not surprisingly, these individuals have problems with drug and alcohol addiction and are often sentenced to prison for criminal behavior. Charles Manson is often cited as someone who shows many of the features of antisocial personality disorder, as well as other psychological problems.

A thirty year old man sought help from a therapist because he claimed to be having problems with his wife and wished to leave her for his girlfriend, of over one year. He attended only several sessions and attempted to persuade the therapist that leaving his wife and four children for his girlfriend was the right thing for him to do.

He contended that his wife was unstable. When the therapist discussed his responsibilities to his wife and children, and his moral obligation to work on his problem (actually only his reported “problem”) he did not return. Predictably he did not pay the bill for his sessions.

It was apparent that he was seeking a psychologist to support him in an impending court battle with his wife. At the start of the first session, this individual, with unmistakable pride and pleasure, reeled off a report of the drugs he had taken (nearly all that we might think of), the fights, the high speed chases with the police, fires that he set, a car he blew up, a “knee capping” (“shoot the guy in the knee cap –it won’t kill them but it will hurt like hell–and others won’t mess with you anymore”), and a stint in prison. He seemed excited to tell the therapist what he called the “Sicilian Motto”: “The sweetest form of forgiveness is revenge!” Yes, these and similar behavior patterns extended back into this man’s childhood; and yes, the diagnosis was antisocial personality disorder.

As you may already surmised, his wife’s psychological problems were largely a result of living with him. She would eventually  divorce him, but he would remain a very damaging factor in his children’s lives. If he would remain connected to him, which is doubtful, he would be a very bad model for them to imitate. If he deserted them, they would suffer feelings of abandonment for the rest of their lives. It is common for such divorcing personality disordered individuals to remain unreliably connected to their ex spouses and children to frustrate and torture their ex and to propagandize their children against her or him. They will frequently spend significant sums of money and time to hire lawyers to drain their meager funds with legal fees and make them miserable.

The above is a strong example of how behavioral contagion can damage others who are associated with someone who suffers from a serious personality disorder. Unfortunately, research strongly indicates that anti-social personality disorder has a significant heritability factor and so behavior patterns similar to those of the problem parent are more likely to show-up in the children as they mature.

Suspected Causes

Genes

Antisocial personality disorder is perhaps the best researched of all the personality disorders. There is strong evidence that tendencies to show antisocial personality disorder can be inherited. Many studies have demonstrated elevated correlations in antisocial behavior of within families.

While some of the similarities could be due to imitation factors, children adopted and raised by adoptive parents still show stronger correlations for antisocial behavior with their biological parents than with their adoptive parents.

There is evidence that individuals with antisocial tendencies have slower central nervous systems, lower levels of autonomic nervous system arousal and slower skin conductance than normal individuals. They crave excitement and are not much affected by punishing consequences for their inappropriate behavior. One of the earmarks such individuals is their failure to learn from their painful experiences.

Learning

Antisocial personality disordered individuals are very likely to have lived in families that experienced poverty, disorganization, discord, family violence, divorce, abuse and abandonment. Presumably as a result of this, antisocial individuals do not trust others and they lack the moral development and interpersonal empathy so important to normal social relationships.

It is also thought that antisocial parents may teach their children to behave in similar ways through their modeling these behavior patterns and children learning to imitate them. Furthermore, it is very possible that when children tantrum, argue, and become aggressive to parental instructions that parents may “give-in” and terminate their demands, thereby teaching the children to behave in these oppositional and coercive ways to authority figures.

It should also be noted that Children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder seem to at an increased risk of eventually being diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

It is likely that any, or all, of these factors could contribute to the development of antisocial personality disorder in any specific case.

Take care to protect yourselves and loved ones from the effects of Antisocial Behavior patterns. Vote for representatives who will work to protect society from increasing rates of Antisocial Behavior patterns.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/26/10

Conduct Disorder In Our Children and Youth

November 15, 2009

Conduct Disorder In Our Children and Youth

Children diagnosed with conduct disorder show a repetitive and persistent tendency to disrespect and violate the rights of others and to break normal societal rules and also laws. Conduct Disorder may be identified in children before 10 years and up to 18 years of age. It can be diagnosed in individuals older than 18 years, but only if they do not meet the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder which I will discuss in a later blog.  Briefly, Antisocial Personality Disorder is a life-long disorder that is more severe than Conduct Disorder. The early appearance of Conduct Disorder in a child makes it more likely that the problem will continue into Antisocial Personality disorder in adulthood.

Conduct Disorder may be classified as mild, moderate or severe in nature. Frequently, children with mild cases of this disorder can be helped with therapeutic interventions and the problem may improve with maturity. Severe cases are more likely to continue into adulthood and form a long-term pattern of deeply ingrained antisocial behavior patterns that are highly resistant to change. The majority of our prison populations would be diagnosed as Antisocial Personality Disordered.

 The list of actions shown by the children diagnosed with Conduct Disorder can be alarming. A partial list of such behaviors is as follows:

Recklessness and risk-taking
Curfew violations
Truancy from school
Running away from home overnight or longer
Lying, deceiving or “conning” others
Early sexual activity
Tobacco, drug and alcohol use
Bullying, threatening, intimidating and fighting
Using weapons (stones, clubs, knives, guns)
Breaking and entering homes, cars, or other buildings
Cruelty of people and/or animals
Property destruction (vandalism)
Robbery, extortion, mugging, purse snatching (while confronting the victim)
Assault and, rarely, murder

Conduct Disorder has increased in prevalence over several decades and rates are around 6% to 16% for males and 2% to 9% for females.

Suspected Causes

Many very bad childhood experiences appear to be tied to the development of Conduct Disorder. Parents who are drug involved, or have mental disorders of their own are more likely to have conduct disordered children. Research also suggests that the tendency to develop Conduct Disorder behavior patterns is genetically inheritable. Children so diagnosed frequently have experienced traumatic events, poverty, family disorganization, abuse, neglect, and abandonment. They have frequently lived in poverty and grown up around violent peers and adults. Children with a biological or adoptive parent with Anti-social Personality Disorder or a sibling with Conduct Disorder, are themselves at greater risk for developing a conduct disorder.

A Case Study

One 15 year old’s father was in prison for killing someone. The boy had visited his father in prison on numerous occasions and sometimes got phone calls from him. Despite his father’s pleadings to him to do good in school, follow the rules and stay out of trouble, the boy was failing in school, frequently suspended, and had been in a juvenile detention center for threatening and attacking other students. The boy’s mother had lived with several other men in the course of his short life-time and he had experienced drugs, violence, and the physical abuse of his mother and himself repeatedly. After frequently running away from home and being involved with older men and drug abuse, he was placed in a long-term adolescent treatment facility. The boys Conduct Disorder was severe in nature, with an early onset,  and it was likely that his behavior patterns would continue into adulthood and then be diagnosed as Antisocial Personality Disorder.

We must find ways to save our infants and children from these incredibly damaging influences. The majority of these human tragedies can be prevented before their contagious effects spread throughout our population. Our current late remediation strategies are failing miserably and are doomed to fail by the very nature of this intractable psychological disability. 

America must create bold preventive and very early interventions to avoid the continued escalation of the social havoc that we now experience due to our increasing rates of Conduct Disorders. 

 V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.    11/14/09


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