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Does My Husband Have A Personality Disorder?

Question:

I am worried about my husband of 14 years. He and I have, within the last 6 months, begun a healing process from his abuse of alcohol. Even though he is not drinking, I am still seeing signs of soemthing not being right with him. He periodically has "episodes" where he acts as if he is drunk. He slurs his words, repeats the same sentences over and over, among other symptoms similar to his former alcohol buzz. A few weeks ago after one of these episodes he just happened to have an appointment the following Monday with his Dr. He mentioned this to him and immediately the Dr. took his blood pressure which he found to be very elevated. The Dr. told him that this was the cause of his peculiar behavior, so, he has been on high blood pressure medicine, also 2 different pills for high triglycerides and high heart rate and high colesterol which were all determined with blood tests. Last night he had an episode of acting strange again. I told him he needed to check his blood pressure. He did, and it was normal. I am at my wits end trying to determine what is causing his wierd behavior and he is afraid. There is more to this story, but not enough time or space to discuss. He has a horrible relationship with his father who was mentally abusive to him, his sister and his mother growing up. He blames this bad releationship for his alcohol abuse, etc, etc. Any ideas?

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Answer:

Given what you’ve talked about here, I would not be thinking that a personality disorder could explain this behavior.  Personality disorders aren’t things that turn on and off quickly.  Rather, they are pervasive patterns of relating to others.  They are chronic in nature, very much unlike what you’ve described. 

My thought would be that this may well be a medical problem of unknown type.  It could be seizures, as in epilepsy.  It could be a brain disturbance secondary to your husband’s alcohol use.  It could even be a small stroke; what is called a "transient ischemic attack" or TIA.  Really, only a physician, maybe a specialized one with certification in neurology and/or psychiatry, will be able to determine what is occurring. It may be wise to call the doctor and make sure he is aware of these episodes, your husbands heavy former (and continuing?) alcohol use, and urge him to order a more complete workup be performed so as to determine the cause of these troubling episodes.  

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Comments
  • Sue

    Have you ever heard the term "dry drunk"? It is something that most sober alcoholics who have participated in AA know. Behavior is like being drunk but no alcohol. Can go on forever and can even involve dreaming about being drunk and waking up with a "hang over". The only treatment is recognition of the situation and discussion with a person you trust, usually an AA "sponser". Have been sober over 40 years and have had a few of these episodes. If not addressed, can lead to a "wet drunk" in time.

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