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Can a Child Be a 'Psychopath'?

News 2012/05/15 13:00:00
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When the parents of 9-year-old Michael took their son to a Florida researcher for help with his behavioral problems, they couldn't have expected the diagnosis he received. For six years, they'd gone through "A.D.D.," "depression," "O.C.D.," you name it, but when Dan Waschbusch examined Michael's behavior -- sudden shifts from violent agression to "calculated charm" -- he picked the word "psychopath."

The most striking thing about Michael's behavior is his ability to mask his dark side with calm, intelligent conversation -- something that isn't common in 9-year-olds. Psychologist Mark Dadds explains, "No one is comfortable labeling a 5-year-old a psychopath, [but] the research showing that this temperament exists and can be identified in young children is quite strong." But should a kid ever be labeled a "psychopath"?


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Top Opinion

  • JanHopkins 2012/05/15 14:18:33
    Yes
    JanHopkins
    +15
    Yeah. Some kids are born that way and the sooner it is diagnosed the sooner measures can be taken to insure it doesn't get out of control.

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  • Prophet 2012/08/28 23:49:54
    Yes
    Prophet
    Or probably just possessed.
  • Alexander T Steward 2012/08/26 17:27:57
  • Chris Tate 2012/06/06 16:47:00
    Yes
    Chris Tate
    they can be born that way it is most easily diagnosed by a lack of empathy, when I was a young kid I had heat seizure and they told my mom I was going to be brain dead or a psychopath, because the cause of the seizures was supposedly the synopsis in were miss firing and from the region it appeared to be originating at was the part for emotion control
  • mrsgrint<3 2012/05/26 20:57:39
    Yes
    mrsgrint<3
    It's never too soon to fix your ways!
  • Kaleeba Ronald 2012/05/26 09:33:11
    Yes
    Kaleeba Ronald
    yes it can be b'se if he/she is influenced by child abuse he can be force to be a Psychopath please. But people you must know that a child his like acomputer Garbage in Garbage out
  • FineCut69 2012/05/25 20:50:22
    Yes
    FineCut69
    Sure, why not? We always teach them they can be whatever they want....
  • SheWhoFliesWithDragons 2012/05/25 18:43:42
    Yes
    SheWhoFliesWithDragons
  • stephen 2012/05/23 03:15:30
    Yes
    stephen
    yeah there born that way...sucks to say but its true
  • Magnus ☮ RP ☮ 2012 ☮ 2012/05/22 16:20:13
    Yes
    Magnus ☮ RP ☮ 2012 ☮
    +1
    Psychopaths are in fact born that way and that state cannot be acquired otherwise. That said, some very rare disease processes can in fact cause a state that mimics those who are in fact genuine Psychopaths, in that they are entirely incapable of feeling or expressing emotion (most of them fake and act their way through social interactions and to perceived emotional situations by observing others and how they see those other people react to different situations, and thus they are almost always notorious for inappropriate reactions to such situations, or noted as being 'awkward' around and with others especially in their formative years). However, unlike with genuine Psychopaths, this effect can be reversed with treatment and medications for the disease process responsible providing the afflicted patient is diagnosed properly to proceed with treatments, whereas in a genuine-born Psychopath they will not and cannot ever reverse their condition, and they will never be able to experience or to feel emotion for their entire lives.
  • DissidentRage 2012/05/21 20:40:59
    Yes
    DissidentRage
    If there's a smaller amygdala and a shorted connection between it and the neocortex, then yes.
  • xxx 2012/05/21 06:16:46
    Yes
    xxx
    of course
  • beth weisleder 2012/05/20 02:59:07
    Yes
    beth weisleder
    I find this very disturbing & frightening. Primarily because I believe it is true & there is no mediation or treatment to 'cure' it.
  • jackolantyrn356 2012/05/20 02:32:05
    Yes
    jackolantyrn356
    PSYCHOPATHS ARE BORN. :IKE cLINTON AND dR hOWARD dEAN WHO INTRODUCED oBAMA TO A nATION
  • Izzy! 2012/05/19 08:42:36
    Yes
    Izzy!
    It's pretty sad to say. but it's possible =/
  • Nozzle 2012/05/18 11:40:23
    Yes
    Nozzle
    ldo
  • William Day 2012/05/18 10:37:55
    Yes
    William Day
    Of course
  • sherie 2012/05/18 04:53:09
    Yes
    sherie
    Definitely
  • Arel 2012/05/17 23:39:42
    Yes
    Arel
    Of course.
  • Knowitall 2012/05/17 22:40:59
    Yes
    Knowitall
    Is it possible that one of the unneeded vaccines that children are forced to take could have caused this problem...who knows...
  • lylamerican 2012/05/17 21:25:29
    Yes
    lylamerican
    Most psychopaths begin to exhibit serious behavioral problems at an early age.
  • TuringsChild 2012/05/17 20:04:33
    Yes
    TuringsChild
    +1
    It's a brain characteristic in some percentage of the population. Unfortunately, they seem to gravitate toward positions of power. We need to administer a medical test so we can exclude psychopaths from govt work entirely.
  • marge 2012/05/17 19:55:43
  • lylamer... marge 2012/05/17 21:23:49
    lylamerican
    +1
    an inbread one, I love this show!
  • marge lylamer... 2012/05/23 05:00:39
    marge
    I do too!
  • Odinsown 2012/05/17 19:53:01
    Yes
    Odinsown
    My middle brother used to try and feed my littlest brother nuts(the metal ones) in his cheerios. His reason? "I don't want a little brother anymore." All with a smile on his face.
  • Maiko 2012/05/17 19:49:38
    Yes
    Maiko
    +1
    How many serial killers exhibited sociopathic behaviors at a young age? Many of them show signs of this sociopathic behavior at a very young age. Whether it be abusing animals, anti-social behaviors, etc Take a look at the news recently, just how many children, even under 10 years of age, have brutally murdered others, including their own family members? Sad thing about this is, many parents of children like this, see the signs right in front of them, but choose to be in "denial" instead of getting their child help. Then, years later when they become sociopathic serial killers, it's too late for any kind of help. Sad, but unfortunately very true with many of the parents who have potentially psychopathic children...
  • Insanebane 2012/05/17 19:48:32 (edited)
    Yes
    Insanebane
    +1
    Watching enough horror flicks and engaging in reckless behavior

    with friends. Killing small helpless creatures every way only in

    the imagination. Tormenting the little sister or brother

    to no end.



    There are those parents who truly believe their son or daughter

    are little angels. In most cases that's true but there is always

    that one or two percent that could have a future Bundy or

    Gacy.etc, etc.
  • God bless American freedom 2012/05/17 19:45:24 (edited)
    Yes
    God bless American freedom
    +1
    Yes, and quite often such chldren are often innately able to mask the anma by superior intellgence. In the case of this particular 9 year old, his intellgence was not sufficient to mask his anima which may be why his parents were able to notice lack of conscience in him.
  • DizziNY 2012/05/17 19:39:37
    No
    DizziNY
    +1
    I don't care, just take this disturbing picture off Sodahead please.
  • Christmas; In Chrome 2012/05/17 19:38:02 (edited)
    Yes
    Christmas; In Chrome
    I went to school with a bunch of them. Several schools FILLED with them actually. And these were PUBLIC schools! And PLEASE don't tell me that the kid's last name is Meyers!
  • Lerro DeHazel 2012/05/17 19:27:23
    No
    Lerro DeHazel
    I would really have to see the patient, first; before making that decision.
  • GoreGirl 2012/05/17 19:21:00
    Yes
    GoreGirl
    ....and it fascinates the hell out of me. o.O I have a thing for psychopaths and such.
  • ««Gingey, the Master Debate... 2012/05/17 18:44:44
    Yes
    ««Gingey, the Master Debater of Þ|-|Дэ†»»
    Oh hell yes they can. I've heard of kids torturing/murdering small animals before... makes me sick.
  • Christopher Kirchen 2012/05/17 18:43:49
    Yes
    Christopher Kirchen
    I imagine so; a chemical imbalance in the brain is what causes it, so I suppose it just depends on when in the person's life it becomes noticeable, and one possibility is childhood.
  • Airhead 2012/05/17 18:00:25
    Yes
    Airhead
    +1
    Can a child have down syndrome?
  • AmericanVirus 2012/05/17 17:34:20
    Yes
    AmericanVirus
    I'm not saying it's genetic, but the day a person turns 18 is not the day they decide they're going to be a psychopath. It's a mental thing that doesn't need any rhyme or reason to develop. You either are or your not, it's better to catch it soon then deal with it later when it's too late for god knows what.
  • Leinad 2012/05/17 17:26:15
    Yes
    Leinad
    psy·cho·path   [sahy-kuh-path] Show IPA
    noun
    a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.

    If the conditions are right, societies can and will breed by social osmosis these types of individuals...Since the beginning of time MANKIND has had this soulless and spiritual vacuum within these types of persons.. VOID OF EMPATHY.. NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER IN THE HIGHEST DEGREE. NO REGRETS or COMPUNCTIONS, and SO INTERNALLY and EXTERNALLY VIOLENT....this void of EMPATHY, is the greatest catalyst. Some social remedies are usable to lessen such a void, TEACHING CHILDREN the importance of OTHERS and TEACH THEM TO FEEL FOR OTHERS and HOW and WHAT it feels like to feel for other. EMPATHY CAN BE TAUGHT. As we see OUR WORLD is filled to the BRIM with NARCISSISM,"as long as I get me mine", "survival of the fittest" and " god doesn't exist" and "all is relative"..these ideas need to be DE-EMPHASIZED.....

    PSYCHOPATHIC INDIVIDUALS start their path in CHILDHOOD.
  • JackoClubs 2012/05/17 17:25:13 (edited)
    Yes
    JackoClubs
    I do have to admit, the kid looks creepy:

    theomendamien



    This seems to be the diagnosis of one doctor. Is that so? A second opinion is definitely in order, here.

    Most kids, especially teens, are considered mild sociopaths. It has to come from soemwhere, I suppose, but this is a dangerous way to look at it; are we going to start treating all misbehavior as psychopathy, now? I mean, the trendy, diagnosis-of-the-moment now is for any unexplained, small devation from "normal behavior" to be labelled "autism". A few years ago, it was ADD.

    So easy to label what we don't understand, isn't it?
  • Steve Rogers 2012/05/17 17:16:57
    Yes
    Steve Rogers
    +1
    For those who said "No" think about this. True Child Prodigies are born, not created. As this is a proven statement, then true psychopaths are also born, not created. A born condition can be affected by environment, but it is already there
  • Christopher101 2012/05/17 16:55:27
    Yes
    Christopher101
    Of course. One does not need to be 18 to lack empathy/manipulative/logical.

    It's definitely something you're born with as an underlying cognitive function. It would be akin to seeing the "glass half empty/half full" and how you have a pre born disposition for perception. Except in this case, the glass, whether it breaks or not (when dropped) stirs no emotional response and you clean it up and move on. It's a cause and effect with no worth. Break your favorite glass? Stare down, examine it, move on. Think of the next logical thing to do like replace it or not. The same can be done with people. It takes a person to self condition themselves with the philosophical/intellectual reasoning to not succumb to said biology.
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