Sociopathic gene?at most

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, May 11, 2013.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    Well my difficult child texted me because his cell phone charger is going... I talked to my friend out there who has not heard from difficult child but some of the other guys have. Apparently he has been spending some nights in the hospital with a girl who is very ill... leaving his stuff during the day and then hiding and sleeping in her room at night. For some reason I just find this kind of disgusting. I ended up texting my difficult child that if he needs help getting a charger he should contact the friend at the sober house that they are his best resources and I told him we loved him. I am trying to love him but keep my distance.

    I just read a novel about a family where the son commits a terrible act and it mentions the murder gene.... so I googled "sociopath gene" and it talks about various pieces of research on the brain, and the parts of the brain that differ between normal people and psychopaths.

    I have always felt that my son was wired in some way to be the way he is and I still think that is true. I hhave done what most of us have done and wracked my brain and heart for where I as a parent went wrong. I really dont think any of my mistakes would haave caused him to be the way he is.

    So in a weird way it is a relief to know there is research out there showing some of this stuff is kind of in their brain and can not all be blamed on environment.

    Apparantly my difficult child also found a way to spend a night in a hotel which just says to me he is scamming...darn it why cant he just decide to live a productive useful honorable life? It is hard having a kid who goes against all your values.

    *TL - trying not to feel hopeless
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have read that traits that cause personality disorders are inherited, which would include antisocial personality disorder.

    Most adoptive parents know that our adopted kids often seem to be more like the bio. parents they don't know and didn't raise them than like us. DNA is huge.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is no doubt in my mid that their brains are different. TL just looking at my difficult child and easy child is a sceintific discovery of how different brains work and the inherited properties.
  4. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member


    ive read a lot about sociopaths as I believe my mom qualifies. I think difficult child has some of those traits.

    there is a book which helped me understand it best...sociopath next door. Not all are murderers, violent, etc.

    I'm so very sorry you are hurting....
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    TL... I don't know if this helps or not, but a lot of what you write was like my GFGbro at that age... Somewhere just after age 25... he turned a corner, went back to school, etc. - and is doing fairly well (i.e. still has difficult child traits, but is considered a productive and acceptable member of society). Some of this may just take time.
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I think/know that my brother is a sociopath and it fills me with dread. It just became undeniable this week and he's 52, we are partners in a family business and I have no idea how to cope with this knowledge. So when I saw your post, I had to click. No advice except to say that it's definitely hard wired.

    I have come to the realization that expecting him to have be moral being is like expecting a fox to be a dog. They may look the same from a distance, they may have similar body mechanics under their skin, but they are different animals.

    I know that probably isn't helpful and I'm sorry. That said, my difficult child bro is 52 and his psyche is complete. Your son still has some brain development ahead. The myelin that gels moral behavior & governs risk taking is not yet complete. Your son may be a bit ott but he seems to land on his feet. I think that's a good sign that he may end up well equipped to lead a good life some day. We all know many grown and seemingly conservative men who admit to being hellions in their earlier years.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    AG thanks for the book suggestion, I just started listening to it on audiotape...reading I am reserving for pleasure. Lol. I think it is going to be helpful...he certainly has a lot of the traits and maybe listening to it will help me detach because clearly that is what I need to do right now.

    Insane thanks for sharing about your bro...Sig is right there is still more brain development to go. Although I think my difficult child is lacking in the morality department.

    i heard last night some things that indicate he was still using spice, which is of course not good but in a weird way makes me feel somewhat better because maybe some of it is just the drugs...although honestly my gut says no more of it is personality disorder.

  8. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member


    i hope you find the book useful.

    i believe my difficult child has a personality disorder along with addiction. My therapist taught me this about personality disorders....when they are active, it's like they are driving the car and your son is a passenger. They take over. Period. That's helped me...especially with other family members.

    studies show that many overcome a lot of the personality disorders through age/maturity. I'm praying for that.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    At the time... I'd have said the same thing about GFGbro. I don't know ALL he got in to... I didn't want to, the stuff I knew about was bad enough. Morals? not sure he could have even spelled the word back then.
  10. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member

    Dr Phil today was on sociopaths. Just fyi...
  11. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Then I would say that is what you are seeing, TL. People can and do display just those characteristics under the influence of those kinds of drugs.

  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Yeah but the lack of a moral compass has been there since he was little.... I do think he has empathy to a point but his lack of judgement and lack of remorse without being caught has been there a long time. But of course all of it is made worse by drugs.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Robert Hare studied and wrote about sociopaths.

    Sociopaths do not have a normal conscience. That's what makes them sociopaths. They don't mind smiling at you and taking all your money and can pass for normal for long periods of time. See Ted Bundy. If your difficult child shows empathy and honest caring for others, he is something other than a sociopath. If the person is morally bankrupt because of drug use, then he is a drug addict, not a sociopath. The person has to be void of empathy at all times. The way I understand it, sociopaths don't understand the feelings that other people have. They are usually smart and can learn to mimic them, but they are not in the person's heart. Not all are killers, most are not. But they will take what they want and not think twice about how it may affect somebody else.

    I thought the Robert Hare book was very informative.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Yeah I think I need to read more about borderline personality (or now being called something like emotional regulation disorder or something) because I suspect that is more accurate that sociopath although he certainly has a number of qualities of a sociopath but not all of them.
  15. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My difficult child is so much like his father it's scary! That was another stressor for me, it caused me so much guilt, and my difficult child used it against me. I married young and he hid his alcohol and drug use from me. He worked a lot of overtime and I didn't know at the time that they were drinking on the job, probably drugs too. Times were so different 30 years ago, it seemed OK for men, the 'boys will be boys' attitude.

    I think until you can get them totally free of drugs and alcohol it's hard to tell. Mine was clean and sober for a little over a year and he was a completely different person.

    I am totally convinced mine has mental disorders and he is a follower, add in the drugs and alocohol, all he thinks of is himself.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know what you can blame on drugs, what you can blame on mental illnesses or personality disorders or just blame plain on the person being a jerk. Sometimes being a jerk isnt a diagnosis.

    I hate hearing people using the borderline diagnosis thrown out there as if it is the answer for all the wrongs in the world. Not all borderline people are jerks. Look at both mwm and me. We both have so much empathy its almost pitiful. I have cried at those Kodak commercials for years!

    I dont have a clue what anyone would diagnosis Buck with except I know drugs have had to have messed his brain up but I also know he is a class A jerk and has always been one. He actually wants us to take care of him but has no clue why we would worry about our own children once they are past the age of 18! After all, they are adults then so we arent parents then. I had to explain that you never stop being mom and dad. You parent until you die. I dont think he got it.

    He actually left the room last night when I told him to save up change to send to the red cross for the tornado victims.. He has no empathy for others or cant understand why doing good things for other people would be good for the soul even though he claims to be reading his bible and going to church. He only goes so they will give him things.
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member


    I definitely dont think Borderline Personality disorder is the answer to all the wrongs in the world... the reason I think my son is more likely Borderline Personality is because I do believe he has some empathy.... which means he does not really fit into the sociopathic personality......

    I know many many years ago when I was in social work school Borderline was where they put anyone that was difficult that they didnt like.... but it seems for the little reading I have done that a lot of research has been done and a lot of progress has been made in understanding it.

    Also my thought that my son has a personality disorder did not come out of the blue or out of my own head. It was actually first suggested to me a couple of years ago when he was in a very well known psychiatric hospital because he was suicidal. And the personality disorder they suggested was Borderline (BPD)..... and I was bowled over because I had never considered it.

    I dont think in his case it is just because he is a jerk.... although he certainl is that a lot of the time. I think his whole history which includes a lot of very self destructive behavior and serious self sabatoging point to it just not being on the normal but jerky spectrum.

    I think my difficult child as well as Nancy, PGs, and Kathy's difficult child have all shown a lot of resistance to substance abuse treatment along with very self destructive patterns that point to serious mental health issues along with substance abuse... and it is so darned hard to figure out how to treat both issues.

  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A lot of people mistake borderline, which is emotional dysregulation, with antisocial personality disorder or narcissism. Most people don't know what borderline is or that it can be successfully treated.

    On the other hand, antisocial and narcissistic personality disorder is rarely able to be treated because the people like how they are and have no interest in changing. They are the ones without empathy.