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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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My 49-year old son fits the description of a Sociopath. I

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My 49-year old son fits the description of a Sociopath. I have supported him for all of his life and any jobs he has held have been temporary; ending abruptly in anger or just plain because he didn't like the work. He never gave any notice. He as married briefly; but, his wife left because he wouldn't work. He is highly educated; he has graduated from college and graduated from Chiropractic School; but, never followed through with any of it. Financially, I cannot help him much longer and I've let him know that in six months he will be on his own. He does nothing to find work; watching television all day and sleeping more than most. I fear that he will be on the streets once I stop sending him money. As a mother, I am having difficulty thinking that he will be on the streets and hungry. Sounds crazy, but I cannot help it. Should I just let it go and let him fend for himself? Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX California
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Lori Gephart :

Hello, I'm happy to talk with you. I am working on your question now.

Customer :

Thank you!

Lori Gephart :

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.


 


I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your son. From your description it is difficult to say if your son meets the description of a sociopath. Generally, a sociopath is someone who meets criteria for the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. Someone with this diagnosis will typically have no regard for the rights of others. They will not conform to the expectations and rules of society and are often described as antisocial. Symptoms usually begin around the age of 15.


 


Whatever his diagnosis, it sounds as if your son is not functioning, but is dependent on you. As long as you continue to take care of him and enable him to not have to be responsible for his own life and face the consequences of his choices, then is will continue to act in this way. There is no incentive for him to change as long as you are doing for him. I know that as a parent it's difficult and heart wrenching to sit back and watch however, if continue to help him you are actually prolonging his dysfunction. Tough love is what is called for here, as well as encouraging him to get an evaluation and treatment from a psychologist. I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.


 

Customer :

Thank you so much. Yes, I believe that he has an antisocial personality disorder; as he definitely has no regard for the rights of others....he also blames everyone for everything. Nothing is ever his fault; and, he never claims responsibility for anything. I think you hit it right...it was at about age 15 when I noticed this behavior. I will do this "tough love" and it will be difficult. He already sees (and has seen for several years) a prominent psychiatrist at Stanford University Hospital.....all I know is he goes every three months for 15 minutes...pays $85 for the visit and gets his prescription for drugs that he claims he must have to function.

Lori Gephart :

Keep in mind that meeting with a psychiatrist for his medication is one peice of treatment. Ideally, he should be in at least weekly therapy with a psychologist to address the issues through psychotherapy as well. Of course, you can only suggest this to him; he will have to decide for himself if he is willing to work on changing his behaviors. I wish you the best in this. I know that it can be very difficult to set limits and not enable.

Customer :

I really appreciate your feedback and I am going to do this tough love It will be hard; but, I will do this.

Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience: Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart
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Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.