Anyone familiar with the film The Omen must have been horrified at the thought of having a child with devilish tendencies. Even though Hollywood does a grand job when it comes to presenting terrifying circumstances in an entertaining way, the real life scenario is predictably more disturbing.
There has always been an unyielding fascination with the idea of a child having the uncanny capability to wreck incomprehensible havoc on the lives of innocent victims without any rhyme or reason. HBO explored this issue with much tenacity in the documentary, “Child of Rage” a few years ago, and their mission was to prove that when a child is emotionally abandoned and physically tortured, the consequences can be both tragic and catastrophic. This finding is no surprise; it makes sense that abuse would equal chaos and mayhem. But what if a child comes from what most would consider a stable and loving environment but still develops menacing traits that could potentially manifest into unremorseful hideous acts? How can that juxtaposition be rationalized?
This argument is what consistently drives a wedge between experts with half of them refusing to impulsively label a child a psychopath given the fact that they are still maturing into the person they will end up becoming. While the other half thinks it’s more effective to diagnose the child while they are still young because it means they will be more receptive to treatment which in turn could prevent a lot of unnecessary heartache down the line.
Whatever the case, it seems evident that children who exhibit psychopathic behavior are normally highly intelligent, efficient liars and show absolutely no hints of remorse for their unthinkable acts.
Remember the Columbine High School massacre? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold literally unloaded their guns on their school mates, killing 13 and injuring 24. And as ABC News noted, both students definitely displayed the symptoms commonly associated psychopathic behavior.
The real issue is how and when to take action and recognize the severity of the situation especially if your child’s future is at stake. We never expect that we would be the parent of a child capable of murder or destructive behavior but denial can be just as devastating.
Do you think a child should be labeled a psychopath?