Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
It depends on what you're asking about specifically. Can you give me some more details?
For example, in illnesses like Schizophrenia, genetics has a bigger impact. In things like personality disorders, it's environment.
My son is 16 and I had him when I was 15. His biological father is a registered sex offender and has made many bad decision. My son has never met him yet I see so much of his father in him its scares me. I'm tried to raise him to be kind and a good person with a good heart but he tells me my standards are too high. He now lives with my brother who is a great responsiblie man who works and own a new home. My brother has no children yet so my son is very happy and so is my brother they seem to be doing well.
Ah, okay. So you're worried about that component from his biological father seeping in. It's strange. There are definitely correlations when it comes to things like little mannerisms and emotional ways of responding that appear to have a genetic component. However, when it comes to criminality or being an offender, that does NOT seem to be genetically linked. I can say this with some confidence because I have worked with it and studied it for the first 10 years of my career. While some of his minor behaviors may remind you of his father, his major decision making in life should be borne out of environment. That's where he will learn right from wrong.
My son Markus says he wants to become a cop and most parents would be happy about it but me it scares because I afraid hes just looking for the loop holes to break the law. I know that sounds terrible but Markus is so adorable it just seens to get away with walking the edge of I didn't do anything bad but I'm not going to try and do anything good either. His father was the same way till he got caught. Then he spent 9 years in prison for transportation of a minor across stste line with the intent to have sex. The girl was 15 he was 32.
It's possible, but just to offer a little perspective: most cops I work with have a fascination with criminality. They often have interesting histories and I think it makes them better cops, not worse. Being able to think like the people they're trying to catch isn't a bad thing. That said, have you seen anything in his behavior that concerns you like truancy from school, fighting, manipulation of his friends?
Anything to be worried about in his sexual behavior either?
Well he's living with my brother 300 miles away because he turned 15 and started cutting himself, cutting classes, having sexual relations on school property durning school hours with a girl who parents both worked for the school district, cutting school and failed math and had to take summer school. the rest of his grades were barley D's it was a rough year. He was also inpacting his younger brothers badly they are 10 & 11 he stole porn and show it to them.
Okay, everything gels except for one thing - the cutting himself. Cutting class, sexual promiscuity, and theft could be part of what you've been concerned about and seem to indicate that he is gravitating toward more of a criminal path in life. But the cutting doesn't mesh with that. That's a self-abuse behavior seen mostly in Borderline Personality Disorder (which he is too young to be diagnosed with yet). So, there's a disconnect here. As a psychologist I have to try to get all the evidence together. My hunch is that while the prior behaviors have a criminal component to them, they're not generally in line with typical acting out (defacing property, indescriminate violence) - they're more in line with attention getting behaviors that also just happen to be more antisocial in nature. For instance, I don't think its a coincidence that the firl's parents both worked for the school district or that he tried to corrupt his younger brothers....
So, my best guess is that he is engaging in behaviors that will get everyone's attention and that the cutting on himself is an extension of that. Boys with patently criminal behavior aren't necessarily seeking attention, but are doing it only for their own gain. What are your thoughts about that?
Could this all just be bad teenage years? My brother says he's doing better. The cutting himself I put a stop to right away I told him I'd put him in a mental hospital if he did it agasin and he stopped. I don't think he's stealing anymore cause my brother made it clear to him he will buy him what he want he just has to ask. I don't agree but it seems to be working. He's not cutting school anymore cause it to far for him to walk home or go to friends houses. His grades haven't improved much but he looks a lot happier mentally how ever he still studders when he talks to me. I'm not sure if it's out of fear? He's only been with my brother since school started this year and we go see him every month. I try to call once a week cause I don't want to be to over bearing. I've fought for this kid for over half my life and I love him sooo much and I sent him to live with my brother to give him another chance he seens to be doing well I'm just sooo scard for him with all that kids face these days.
I hear that. There's a lot of temptation and bullying and god know what out there! But if he seems to be doing better, then maybe he truly is. If the cutting has stopped that's a great sign and it sound like maybe he was just going through a bit of a rebellion there. Just a question, has he ever been tested for any learning disorders by the school?
Yes he was diagnosed ADD/ADHD in 3rd grade he also has learning disablities in 3 out of 5 areas.
He is on concerta
Okay, well that might explain some of the difficulty with the grades and the truancy from before. All in all, I think you are doing everything you can for him and are being quite selfless in the process, I might add! It must be soooo difficult to have him so far away. But sometimes a change in environment can do a lot and it sounds like its working. I wouldn't be too worried about the genetics. Either way, you're doing what you can in the environment and you love him. That's what counts.
When I talk to my guys (my inmates), the biggest complaint is that they had bad relationships with parents - not that the parents were criminals or had some disease. What it all boils down to is, "did my mother love me?" - If the answer to that question is always "yes" - they often don't end up coming my way.
Its been a year with him but all in all good parents have to make hard selfless decisions and as hard as it was it has saved me and all 3 of my boys. The others boys father and I divorced 3 years ago and all the boys were on a bad downward sprial now there doing much better but I love them all and fight the battles for them everyday as parents should. They know they are loved.
Perfect. You're doing everything you can then. It will make a difference in the long run (and sounds like it is now too). I admire your ability to do that and I wholeheartedly think that its the right thing. Kudos to you. Are there any more questions that you have?
No andThank you for all your help I'm just going to keep loving my boys as I always have.