Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
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:
click FIND A THERAPIST
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.
Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC