Wednesday, February 10, 2010


As Valentine's Day approaches and everyone is talking about love I thought of a boy I once knew who couldn't love anyone. Jake (not his real name) couldn't comprehend the difference between right and wrong or truth and falsehood although he tried hard to understand, and his parents thought that was one more learning disability. Doctors told them his violent tantrums were a result of ADHD and it wasn't until he was an adult that he was diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. People with that condition used to be called psychopaths.
Jake did prefer some people to others, depending on how much they pleased him. He was good at finding ways to control people psychologically, and enjoyed doing so. As an adult he became dangerously violent and he ended up in jail.
His parents felt like failures but it wasn't their fault. His personality disorder was the result of prenatal neurological damage they couldn't have prevented, and was no more something to feel guilty about than any other disability. His parents were loving people and did the best they could.
Personally, I feel sorry for anyone who is unable to love other human beings. While people with APD don't know what they're missing, that might be the worst disability of all.

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