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Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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My son is 30 years old, live at home, defiant, refuses to work.

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My son is 30 years old, live at home, defiant, refuses to work. He was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder at 9 - he attended private school for help. He is a witty, charming manipulator - One teacher actually said (in passing) that he acutally charmed her into doing his work for him. He quit school at 15 (while I was finalizing an aunt's estate 900 miles away# XXXXX he got his GED to please a girlfriend a few years later. In the past 15 years he has worked at a casino for 8 months before leaving, worked as a laborer for a couple months before quitting, passed the Mississippi insurance exam for life and health - worked as an insurance enroller for a couple years #which would result in about six weeks acutally on the job activity), worked at a radio station off and on part time since high school - very little work. Insurance license expired and now has failed the exam three times to replace it. Argumentative,lazy,charming,funny,disrespectful, defiant. Antisocial Personality Disorder?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi there. Let me ask you a couple of questions before I answer. First, in an ideal situation, how would you like this to turn out (other than wishing he wasn't like this)? Also, are you afraid that he will become violent or retaliate if you set limits? Tamara
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ideal situation - He becomes a happy productive person, he becomes respectful of us and others, respectful of his and other's property, learns work ethics and is able to work and become self sufficient. He is not a violent person - he refuses to have limits put on him or ignores them or (as in the case of our stopping his phone, computer and cable) he lives without things.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Can anyone help me?
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry. I had to go offline for awhile.

Edited by Tamara on 6/2/2010 at 10:20 PM EST
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi again. Based on the information you have given, I would agree that it is a good possibility that your son has antisocial personality disorder. If that's the case, as you are probably aware, the prognosis for him isn't good. The best you will be able to do is set limits to protect yourself from his destructive behaviors. He's not going to become a productive, respectful citizen - he is likely to just continue to figure out ways to charm and manipulate people.

You say that you have been cutting him off, but that he still gets money from you sometimes, and you are providing him a place to live. I suppose that's your choice, but it probably would be better for you in the long run if you weren't having to deal with him on a regular basis. There is likely little that you get from having a relationship with him. He will work a situation as long as it works for him - and then he'll find another one. You just need to decide if you want to be so involved in his life. If you don't, them ask him to leave (he'll find someone else to take care of him).

I am going to suggest a couple of books for you to read. The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout and In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by George K. Simon. Both of these will give you some better insight into the issue and also provide some information on how to interact with and have a relationship with someone like your son. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that you have to come to terms with the fact that he really doesn't have a connection to you (other than for what he needs from you), and that he will take advantage of whatever situation is provided to him.

Best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
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