How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question

Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I married a man with a one year old boy, his mother is a train

This answer was rated:

I married a man with a one year old boy, his mother is a train wreck and a narcissist, along with other things like drug addiction/alcohol. I adopted him when we married, I am the only mom he knows. We are having horrible problems with this boy that now soon to be 7 yrs. old. He shows ALL the signs descibed here, HPD. We have had him tested with counselors but they did not have the answers, we are at a loss. He is very smart but fails to try, he chooses to manipulative, con and lie. He doesn't have any social skills except to be in everyone's face all the time for attention. He appears not have a conscious at all, no punishment seems to faze him. He does an awesome job when he wants to but rarely does so. Getting him play with toys is like a punishment to him and always has been, he is violent and breaks most of his toys, has no problem stealing, destroying things and has shown signs of being hurtful to animals, people too if they do not do as he says. His answer I don't know...Help!
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

Your adopted son seems to be suffering from a serious personality disorder, or at least is on his way to be fully diagnosable as have APD (Antisocial Personality Disorder), although he does also show histrionic and narcissistic behavior. Right now, considering his age he would best be described as having Conduct Disorder, which is often a precursor to APD.

I am not certain that he has HPD (Histrionic Personality Disorder) even though he does display some of the symptoms, particularly the attention seeking and the throwing of temper tantrums. These could also be due to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Often, a child with ADHD behaves badly, and typically has more prolonged tantrums than other children. They are often quite intelligent and can get so distracted by TV that they cannot hear that others are trying to get their attention. It is hard to get them to go to sleep and then hard to wake them up, and when they are awakened can be irritable. They are overly active and are badly affected by sugar, have poor social skills and erratic behavior.

Similar behavior is found in children with Histrionic Personality Disorder, and they cannot understand the needs of others. Neither can those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, who believe that they are privileged, are the best manipulators of others, make the best liars and con artists, and have absolutely no empathy for others. They are sociopaths.

So are those with Antisocial Personality Disorder. They bully, threaten, start fights, use weapons, are cruel to animals, cruel to people, destroy property, start fires, lie, steal, disobey parents, run away, and are generally problematic and risky children.

When they get older they often become lawbreakers, even violent ones. Like narcissists they are liars, cheaters, con-artists, and have absolutely no empathy for others.

As younger child he would be diagnosed as having Conduct Disorder.

The three personality disorders I described or mentioned above all belong to the same class of personality disorders which are called Cluster B Personality Disorders. They are difficult to treat. They sometimes occur together (just overlapping symptoms, perhaps from genetic tendencies [from his mother?] of environmental factors - being abandoned by his mother.

I recommend a very experienced child psychologist to help him. If you want to find one you can go to:


enter state and city and a list will pop up.

You can further refine the list in the left hand column under issues find children's disorders or a similar heading and it will bring those therapists to the top of the list;

I urge you to get help for him as soon as possible and try to save him from a very unhappy life

I wish you great success.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Dear friend,

Thank you so much.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Related Mental Health Questions