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I am very frightened by him...

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I have a 16 year old boy who is out of control and I am very frightened by him. He has no respect for me and his father. He has damaged property, stolen, lied, drunk alcohol, hit his mother and father and called the police and had his father arrested. He was thrown out of the house and returned after 3 weeks agreeing to a very basic contract of respect, no lying, or stealing, going to school and coming back, and no going out and on probation or a month. within 3 weeks of that he was absuing the system by going out without permission and returning home at 12.30. Last friday he was brought home by the police as he was involved in a violent incident where one of his friends trashed a shop and other boys ran and 2 were beaten with metal rods and are now in hospital. They were kept in a prison cell and will be charged with criminal damage. Now the friends are arguing amongst each other and threatening each other with fights as to who is the snitch etc etc. The boy has no respect. He will not carry out any consequences. Just refuses and says I dont like your rules. Every thing in the house is either with a parent or locked up. The effect on all our lives is devastating and especially a younger sibling (boy) who is 13 who is so far OK. Can anyone help. I have been following the advice in the e-book but it is so hard and I dont know what to do.

Name, Zina


Anonymous said...

Sounds like your son has conduct disorder. Children with conduct disorder repeatedly violate the personal or property rights of others and the basic expectations of society. A diagnosis of conduct disorder is likely when symptoms continue for 6 months or longer. Conduct disorder is known as a "disruptive behavior disorder" because of its impact on children and their families, neighbors, and schools.

Another disruptive behavior disorder, called oppositional defiant disorder, may be a precursor of conduct disorder. A child is diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder when he or she shows signs of being hostile and defiant for at least 6 months. Oppositional defiant disorder may start as early as the preschool years, while conduct disorder generally appears when children are older. Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder are not co-occurring conditions.

Symptoms of conduct disorder include:
· Aggressive behavior that harms or threatens other people or animals;
· Destructive behavior that damages or destroys property;
· Lying or theft;
· Truancy or other serious violations of rules;
· Early tobacco, alcohol, and substance use and abuse; and
· Precocious sexual activity.
Children with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder also may experience:
· Higher rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and suicide;
· Academic difficulties;
· Poor relationships with peers or adults;
· Sexually transmitted diseases;
· Difficulty staying in adoptive, foster, or group homes; and
· Higher rates of injuries, school expulsions, and problems with the law.
Conduct disorder affects 1 to 4 percent of 9- to 17-year-olds, depending on exactly how the disorder is defined (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). The disorder appears to be more common in boys than in girls and more common in cities than in rural areas.

Research shows that some cases of conduct disorder begin in early childhood, often by the preschool years. In fact, some infants who are especially "fussy" appear to be at risk for developing conduct disorder. Other factors that may make a child more likely to develop conduct disorder include:
· Early maternal rejection;
· Separation from parents, without an adequate alternative caregiver;
· Early institutionalization;
· Family neglect;
· Abuse or violence;
· Parental mental illness;
· Parental marital discord;
· Large family size;
· Crowding; and
· Poverty.
Although conduct disorder is one of the most difficult behavior disorders to treat, young people often benefit from a range of services that include:
· Training for parents on how to handle child or adolescent behavior.
· Family therapy.
· Training in problem solving skills for children or adolescents.
· Community-based services that focus on the young person within the context of family and community influences.
Some child and adolescent behaviors are hard to change after they have become ingrained. Therefore, the earlier the conduct disorder is identified and treated, the better the chance for success. Most children or adolescents with conduct disorder are probably reacting to events and situations in their lives. Some recent studies have focused on promising ways to prevent conduct disorder among at-risk children and adolescents. In addition, more research is needed to determine if biology is a factor in conduct disorder.

Parents or other caregivers who notice signs of conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder in a child or adolescent should:
· Pay careful attention to the signs, try to understand the underlying reasons, and then try to improve the situation.
· If necessary, talk with a mental health or social services professional, such as a teacher, counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist specializing in childhood and adolescent disorders.
· Get accurate information from libraries, hotlines, or other sources.
· Talk to other families in their communities.
· Find family network organizations.
People who are not satisfied with the mental health services they receive should discuss their concerns with their provider, ask for more information, and/or seek help from other sources.

This is one of many fact sheets in a series on children's mental health disorders. All the fact sheets listed below are written in an easy-to-read style. Families, caretakers, and media professionals may find them helpful when researching particular mental health disorders. To obtain free copies, call 1-800-789-2647 or visit

Some diagnosed cases of conduct disorder may be considered serious emotional disturbances. Systems of care for children's mental health offer children with serious emotional disturbances and their families a wide range of comprehensive and community-based services to help them reach their full potential. To learn more about systems of care, call 301-443-1333, or to request a free fact sheet on systems of care, call 1-800-789-2647.

Zina said...

Many thanks for your comments. I really appreciate them. Does this mean it will be much harder for me to practice what is written in Mark Hutton's e-book because my son may have a conduct disorder? It seems that he is very moody and cannot control his temper; he just see read. However, there are times when he has been sent to his uncles house when in such a mood in his own house and he appears to be ok there. No sign of agression, anger or violence or tantrums there. How is that possible, he can behave outside of his house but plays up with this own parents? His medical history is such that as a 11 year old he suffered from multiple food allergies and frequent headaches. Is there any blood test to check for conduct disorder? Are there certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are out of balance? I have been taking him for counselling but he says that it is not helping him unless I change. (what he means by that is that I have to give in to his constant tantrums). Should I take him to see a psychiatrist now?

Anonymous said...

Actually Mark's book is geared toward teens with conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder - along with other behavioral problems associated with a variety of mood disorders. So I would say use his suggestions exactly as outlined.