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My daughter is a sociopath. How to deal with her?

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How to deal with a...

How to deal with a sociopath daughter? She is 24, lives at home. She constantly makes up these crazy lies, whether it is to her friends or her family. When we talk to her, she shows no emotion, never cries and seems to have no remorse. She continues on with her constant lies and seems to find it somewhat funny. She does not seem to respect our boundaries in our home, as in coming in our closed door in our bedroom without knocking. She does not take responsibility for her actions but when there is a free meal involved she is right there. She seems to do things to irritate me, knowing she is not supposed to do these things. I am at my wits end on how to deal with this issue. I know I cannot walk away from her, as she is our adopted daughter.

We adopted her as a baby and have raised her in a loving home, her dad and I. Life has been simple at our home, we do not partake in drugs, smoke or drink heavily. My husband just had 5 bypass surgeries and is recovering and our daughter continues on with doing these things that are wrong. He seems to understand it is an age thing, but I see it as more of a disorder. After much reading, I have come to the conclusion that she is a sociopath. She is constantly pushing herself on one guy, we have never met and I am not sure if he feels the same way. Anyways, to make a long story short, what is the best thing for me, as a mom and her dad, to deal with this? We have talked and talked these issues out with her and it still continues. What is your suggestion? I feel like I am going crazy sometimes.

Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
11/21/2012
Mental Health Professional: TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist replied 5 years ago
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6,011
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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It can be very difficult to cope with a child who does not respect you and does things that hurt you. And if your daughter has sociopath behavior, that complicates the situation. Some of the behaviors you describe could be attributed to a sociopathic disorder. They can also describe narcissistic personality disorder as well. Most 24 year olds do have some self centered traits but not usually enough to do harm. But it sounds like your daughter is beyond just simple immaturity.

You mentioned that your daughter is 24 years old so it is appropriate to tell her that she needs to live on her own now. She needs to either be gainfully employed at this age or in college. And even in college she should be earning an income and contributing to the costs at home or sharing housing with friends. Setting this boundary with her will get her out of your home and on her own, where she will deal with the consequences of her own behavior instead of you and your husband having to deal with it.

However, if you choose to have her stay in your home, then make consequences to her behavior. Insist she do chores and if she does not, then refuse to make dinner for her or do her laundry. Keep refusing to do things for her until she listens. Also, encourage her to see her doctor. Sometimes when a person refuses to get help from a mental health professional, they are willing to see their doctor. If she will go, contact her doctor ahead of time to let her know what you see with your daughter.

It can hurt a lot when your child refuses to respect you. And if you feel the situation is getting too out of hand, you and your husband can talk to someone to help you deal with the stress. Handling an adult child who lives at home and lies and hurts you is very stressful. Talking to a therapist can help give you support and a way to vent how you feel.

This resource may help as well: Almost a Psychopath: Do I (or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy? by Ronald Schouten and James Silver

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Well, thank you for such a quick response and from what you have said, we have started making her do some of her own chores and not including her in dinner. My husband is to ready to still help her out with some things as he is hoping to make some sort of bonding, but he does not see she is just going along with him to get what she wants, I will encourage him to stop what he is doing. She does have a full-time job. Her dad also co-signed for her car so I have been taking care of her money so she can get the car paid off and we can get our name off it it.

She only owes $1,000 so I am thinking in about a month. you are right, she does need to be on her own and be responsible for her own actions. I also thought about narcissism, as I have a stepdaughter that is but we were able to work through everything with her and her family and get along fantastic. She lives out of state, so the daughter we are concerned with is still at home. I am in the process of trying to find some good reading material on this matter, so if you know of one, please feel free to refer one.

Mental Health Professional: TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist replied 5 years ago

It sounds like you are on the right track with your daughter. That is encouraging and should help you and your husband distance yourself from some of your daughter's more harmful behaviors.

Here are some resources that may help you:

1. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor D. Payson

2. Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed by Wendy
T. Behary

Another resource that may help:

http://suite101.com/article/narcissism-in-a-relationship-a113185

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