I am Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Children and adolescents with conduct disorder are actually budding psychopaths. They repeatedly, and deliberately, and often joyfully violate the rights of others and breach age-appropriate social norms and rules.
Some of these kids gleefully hurt and torture people, or more frequently, animals. Others damage property. Yet others habitually lie, deceive, and steal even from their nearest and dearest.
These behaviors inevitably render them socially, occupationally, and academically dysfunctional. These children are poor performers at home, in school, and in the community.
As such adolescents grow up and beyond the age of 18, the diagnosis automatically changes from conduct disorder to antisocial personality disorder, or psychopathy.
Children with conduct disorder are in denial. They tend to minimize their problems and blame others for their misbehavior and failures.
This shifting of guilt justifies as far as they are concerned their invariably and pervasively aggressive, bullying, intimidating, and menacing gestures and tantrums.
Adolescents with conduct disorder are often embroiled in fights, both verbal and physical. They frequently use weapons purchased or improvised, for instance, broken glass, and they are cruel.
Many underage muggers, extortionists, hearse snatchers, rapists, robbers, shoplifters, burglars, arsonists, vandals, and animal torturers are diagnosed with conduct disorder.
Conduct disorder comes in many shapes and forms.
Some adolescents are cerebral rather than physical. They are likely to act as con artists, lie their way out of awkward situations, swindle everyone, their parents and teachers included, and forge documents to erase debts or obtain material benefits.
Conduct disorder children and adolescents find it difficult to abide by any rules and to honor any agreement. They regard social and societal norms as onerous impositions. They stay late at night. They run from home. They are truant from school or absent from work without good cause.
Some adolescents with conduct disorder have also been also diagnosed with oppositional Defiant Disorder and at least one personality disorder in attendance.
Learn more about oppositional Defiant Disorder in a future video. Stay tuned.