Diagnosis I

Kyle was a 12-year-old boy who reluctantly agreed to admission to a psychiatric unit after getting arrested for breaking into a grocery store. His mother said she was “exhausted,” adding that it was hard to raise a boy who “doesn’t know the rules.”

Beginning as a young child, Kyle was unusually aggressive, bullying other children and taking their things. When confronted by his mother, stepfather, or a teacher, he had long tended to curse, punch, and show no concern for possible punishment. Disruptive, impulsive, and “fidgety,” Kyle was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and placed in a special education program by second grade. He began to see a psychiatrist in fourth grade for weekly psychotherapy and medications (quetiapine and dexmethylphenidate). He was adherent only sporadically with both the medication and the therapy. When asked, he said his psychiatrist was “stupid.”

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