My son was recently diagnosed with ASPD. Is my son going insane?
Whenever our children undergo some serious problems like this mother who shared her worries about her son’s recent condition, the struggle to accept and continue with life is sometimes unbearable. First of all, this kind of reaction is a normal response. Shock and disbelief are part of our initial reaction to something that’s hard to accept. We tend to question ourselves why this can be happening to us. The best thing to equip yourself with enough knowledge and understanding of the present situation and get hold of the reins in order to show support to your child.
Awareness of Anti-Social Personality Disorder
The American Psychiatric Association defined Anti-Social Personality Disorder as “…a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.” Statistics revealed that approximately 40-70% of children with conduct disorder will go on to develop ASPD over time. Although presentations of symptoms are observable in the early years, the official diagnoses for ASPD are at 17 years old.
Communicate with the school
“Though Antisocial Personality Disorder can only be diagnosed for individuals ages 18 years or older, many teens who engage in sociopathic behavior will ultimately be diagnosed with the full-blown disorder later,” says Seth Meyers Psy.D. If your child is still going to school, contact the guidance counselor and relay the condition of your child. If you are concerned about stigmatization, this can only make things worse. Disclosing to school authorities that your child has ASPD is one way of showing that you are seeking help. By doing so, there will be continuous coordination on how to handle his behavioral issues while at school.
Talk to your child
Don’t leave your child at this time of crisis. Be there for him emotionally and physically. Studies show that successful treatments for ASPD are more achievable when parents and support systems are available. It is understandable that sometimes the whole situation can be emotionally draining and it can also cause fatigue to everyone concerned, however, patience and perseverance to help our children attain a normal and productive life is far more important than anything else. “What we’ve been thinking about these kids—that they’re manipulative, attention-seeking, coercive, unmotivated, and limit-testing, and that these traits have been caused by passive, permissive, inconsistent, noncontingent parenting—is way off-base most of the time,” says child psychologist Ross Greene.
Find professional help
The management for ASPD will require psychotherapy sessions, medications, and behavioral modification among others. The person with ASPD will not only require a single management approach but will take a multi-system intervention in order to achieve positive outcomes. Psychotherapy sessions may be geared towards talking and finding solutions on the underlying sources of ASPD like substance abuse, anger management, dealing with authorities or superiors, and others. BetterHelp.com is a good psychological website where you can look for resources pertaining to ASPD.
“When we say anti-social in ASPD, it means someone who goes against society, rules, and other behaviors that are more commonplace,” explains Dr. Prakash Masand, a psychiatrist. Teenagers with ASPD are sometimes labeled to be a hopeless case. In as much that society has negatively marked this mental health issue, still, our trust to take care and hope for the best is there for our children.