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Shawn Ware-Avant
Shawn Ware-Avant, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 33
Experience:  Clinical professional for more than a decade. Trauma, Anxiety, Parenting, Adolescents, Couples
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I HAVE A NEPHEW THAT HAS BEEN FASINATED WITH KILLING ALL HIS

Customer Question

I HAVE A NEPHEW THAT HAS BEEN FASINATED WITH KILLING ALL HIS LIFE. HE STARTED SAYING 'I'LL KILL YOU' WHEN HE WAS ABOUT THREE. HE STARTED DRAWING PICTURES DEPICTING VIOLENT DEATH ABOUT THE AGE FIVE. HE STARTED ABUSING ANIMALS AT 6. LAST SUMMER HE THREATENED TO KILL A CAT WITH A BUTCHER KNIFE. THREE WEEKS AGO WHILE WE WERE IN CHURCH, THE MINISTER MENTIONED ANIMAL SACRIFICES IN THE TEMPLE IN OLDEN TIMES. MY NEPHEW GOT A TERRIBLE LOOK ON HIS FACE. HIS EYES ROLLED UP TO THE POINT THAT YOU COULD NOT SEE HIS PUPILS. HE GOT A HUGH SMILE ON HIS FACE AND HIS ARM WAS MOVING, DEPICTING KILLING WITH A KNIFE. IT WAS THE WORST FACE THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A HUMAN.
HE IS TEN YEARS OLD NOW. IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR HELP FOR HIM. I FEEL CERTAIN THAT HE WILL WILL COMMIT MURDER AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE. HIS MOTHER DENIES HIS ISSUES. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. HE IS UNDER THE CARE OF MEDICAL PEOPLE, BUT I AM CERTAIN THAT THEY ARE UNAWARE OF ALL OF THIS. IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR THIS PERSONALITY?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Shawn Ware-Avant replied 7 years ago.
Let me begin by saying that there is always hope. When we stop believing that, we are all in trouble. (smile) The media tends to sensationalize mental health disorders which often paints a picture in our heads that is grim and dispirited. Any individual has a much better chance of changing maladaptive behaviors, if they have the support of people who genuinely care about them and believe that they can change. With that being said, the behaviors you describe sound like conduct disorder. You can read more about it here: http://www.depression-guide.com/conduct-disorder.htm With early intervention which explores the root of his preoccupation and psychoeducation for you and his mother so that you understand what is going on and how best to assist him, his prognosis is good. I would recommend seeking a psychological evaluation to confirm this diagnosis and for additional support in connecting him with the right resources. It may be helpful, when approaching his mother about this to frame it in a way that does not focus on the preoccupation with killing, but perhaps on concerns about his social skill and assisting him in interacting better with peers so that he does not feel isolated. Discussing it while focusing on ways to improve his STRENGTHS, rather than weakness, usually helps people to see things in a more beneficial way. I hope that this helps! (Smile)
Shawn Ware-Avant, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 33
Experience: Clinical professional for more than a decade. Trauma, Anxiety, Parenting, Adolescents, Couples
Shawn Ware-Avant and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 7 years ago.
I am sorry, but I disagree. He has a horrible prognosis. These children often grow up to be violent. Of course he may change, but it unlikely. He does need to stay with profession help to make the best of it.
Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 7 years ago.

I am sorry, but I disagree. He has a horrible prognosis. These children often grow up to be violent. Of course he may change, but it unlikely. He does need to stay with profession help to make the best of it.

Expert:  Shawn Ware-Avant replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your follow up response Ed. I appreciate the opportunity to consider differing opinions and improving my professional insight as a result. As a family practitioner, and child/adolescent therapist whose goal is to maintain family attachments, I think supporting caretaker cognitions which interfere with their ability to provide support to the "challenged family member contributes more to a poor prognosis than simply reviewing symptoms in a generalized way without considering each individual's power to change. I agree, of COURSE he may change. He is inherently capable, and condemning him to failure, especially given the limited information provided, I feel contributes more to the horrible outcomes you've predicted. My hope is the former is the case, for this member, her nephew and his mother. Thanks again for the additional support! (smiles) Blessings!

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