Can anyone relate to my sons behavior? If so, what diagnoses did you get for your Difficult Child?


New Member
He screamed his lungs out at us, called us every name in the book, has broke everything in the house, laid hands on me, threatened to kill everybody in the family (all of this stuff multiple times), hid knives in his room, pulled knives out on me, swung a baseball bat at my head and argued like crazy, laid hands all of his friends, followed my wife to neighbors house to yell at her etc..( I don't want to give anymore details because it makes me sad). These behaviors are pretty much solely at home except for hitting his friends and getting in minor trouble with the law ( he races cars, and petty crimes such as shoplifting and drug use, trespassing, DUIs and for hitting and threatening us). Hes always had a temper, but it was within normalish bounds. The behavior mentioned above started at 13. He use to bully a little bit in school and got expelled in junior high, both years for bad behavior. By far the most frequent behavior was arguing, yelling and name calling- easily by far.

So if your Difficult Child is like mine, what was the diagnoses?


one day at a time
Holden welcome to the PE forum. I am sorry for the reason you are here but you have come to a place of encouragement, support and ideas for moving forward with your life and coping with the stress of a Difficult Child.

It sounds like you have been through the wringer with your son. I wish I could help you with a diagnosis but that is way above our pay grade here. We are parents who have walked the same path.

What have the professionals said about your son? When did you have him evaluated? What kind of drugs does he use?

You may be aware that drug use can cause everything you describe. And until that is arrested and he is in recovery from drug addiction or alcohol addiction, there is no way to identify a mental illness---whether he has one or not.

Can you provide more background about the steps you have taken with him?

How are you and your wife doing with all of this? Please know we are here for you. We understand and we care.


Well-Known Member
Drug addiction? Or was this even when he was young. I believe strongly that very abusive adult children have one of two problems. One is drug addiction. Could even be heroin, which has made a huge comeback and we wouldn't know it. They hide it well. The second diagnoses I feel is under diagnosed are the various empathy challenged personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder (no conscience, no caring about laws, won't follow rules, no care for other humans), narcissistic (self-love, it's all about them, also empathy challenged and often in legal trouble stealing, lying, etc.) or borderline, especially in women (emotional, drama lovers, cutters, eating disorders, suicide attempts, abusive language, in abusive relationships, violent, drug use, drinking, self-abuse, etc).

That is how I see it. I have no professional credentials (this is important, although professionals have trouble diagnosing these disorders too.) Of course, personality disorder diagnoses are sometimes subjective and often not accurate, but a personality disorder not otherwise specified is often the cause of crazy behavior when drugs are not the issue. If it were my child, I'd prefer drugs. That can be treated.

This is only my opinion, by the way. Don't take it as anything beyond that and disregard it if you think it's baloney ;)


How old is you child now? My son also started his difficult behavior around age 13..14.. He started his drug usage around that time.. Coupled with puberty I think that is a bad combination.
The yelling screaming etc... All too familiar. My son was diagnosed as bi polar. I think also other things have played into his behavior. Loss of a close friend to suicide around age 16..
Lack of respect for authority was also huge in my son's case
We tried over the years to get him mental help.. Unfortunately the mental health assistance is lacking greatly in this country. He is now an adult and in jail... Not saying your son will follow the same route... But I do suggest getting him help sooner than later. I wish I would've pushed harder for that before it was too late and now he us lost to the court system.


Well-Known Member
Holden, I think the diagnosis is the least important thing right now. I agree with others that first there is the need to identify and treat substance issues.

The other thing that seems not to have been mentioned is that he may be reacting to some trauma. Males can react with anger and aggression to something like molest or even divorce. Depression can be manifested behaviorally by children. (This is not to say, it is this.)

The most important thing right now is containment. To protect you and the family and he. The behaviors you describe are dangerous. I would urge you to call the police every time he acts out violently against people or property. At the least such behavior will be documented.

There may be residential treatment available through mental health and the schools, paid for by them. If he is not in special education with an IEP, ED would be a possibility.

Keep posting. Take care.
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New Member
jude-in-nj, I know how hard it must be for you to talk about it, but could you tell me how much screaming and yelling and how intense it was for you? It so was so intense for us...


The screaming and yelling was at times out of control... I have been called so many names.. We have been blamed for things we've had no control over. With the screaming also came outbursts of violence.. Punching walls.. Breaking things. My husband who is not a violent person had a tussle with my son after he picked up a metal pipe abd threatened my husband. It has been pure hell.. I am sad to say it has taken a toll on our marriage. We try to stand strong together but everyone deals differently and that has definitely had some effect.
My son's violence has landed him in jail... I urge you to get help for your son now before it's too late.. My son is stuck in the justice system now and it has been extremely difficult to get him any mental health counseling.. Not to mention that my son is afraid of being viewed as weak in by his jail mates if he seeks out any counseling.
Please try to stay strong.


I font know if I mentioned that my son was diagnosed as bi polar.. But I think there are many other issues as well that affect his decision making.