Need help breaking free from addiction?
1-888-993-3112
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Ad Info & Options

Personality Disorder Symptoms??

Question:

My husband of 18 years has epilepsy. He suffered brain trauma in a motor accident 40 years ago. He is now 61. He is an alcoholic and was diagnosed with a personality disorder 6 months after we married. Now, so many years later, it is very, very difficult to live with him. He is mean, nasty, rude and abusive. He lies to everyone, especially me. He has no friends and has driven away my own 4 grown daughters after doing the same to his 3 grown children. He has taken me for every penny I used to have, leaving me entirely dependent on him. Somehow, he has managed to isolate me from my family and friends. I only stay with him because I feel sorry for him and try to help him.

Whenever he decides to actually speak to me he tells me he cannot live without me. He is dirty. He stinks. His toe nails are 1 year long. He only showers once a month, just to shut me up. I complain about him smelling. He also has grand-mal seizures, wets the bed and lies in it and expects me to do the same!!! He’s disgusting!!! He is lazy & withdrawn. He sleeps 10-18 hours a day. When awake, he watches TV in another room & does nothing, other than drink alcohol, secretly, eat and lie. If I ask him to do something he just ignores me and shows no response. He won’t even take his tablets. I have to fight with him to do so. He doesn’t care for our home, belongings, pets, me, anything. He swears & shouts & blames anything and everything for his own failures.

He gives me the “silent treatment” all the time whilst I am looking after him and taking care of running the household AND his life. He has been physically abusive to me before and I am scared of this man.

What kind of personality disorder does he have? Antisocial Personality Disorder??

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

I cannot help but think that you are asking the wrong questions at the end of your Email. The real question, it seems to me, is not what kind of personality disorder he has but why you continue to stay with him? Yes, he has a serious problem in terms of epilepsy. However, that is no excuse for his bad behavior. It is also a wonder that you have not set strict limits with him.

The only way you can set limits with this man is to let him know that, if things do not change, you will leave. By limits, I am referring to his stopping his abuse of alcohol, taking his medications as prescribed by the medical doctor, taking care of his hygiene, no longer swearing and putting an end to his physical and verbal abuse of you.

I am guessing that you believe you cannot set these limits because you have no money, no where to live and that you fear for his health and do not want to leave him alone. However, you have resources available to you that you may not have thought about using. For instance, you could let his children know that you can no longer tolerate his behavior and that they will have to care for him because you are leaving. In addition, you can speak to your children about helping you by giving you a place to live on a temporary basis.

It is possible that once he knows you are truly leaving him he will feel motivated to  make changes. Can you trust him if that happens? Probably not because abusive people are famous for making promises to change and going against those same promises.

I am not trying to be funny when I write that you deserve a medal for putting up with such horrible living circumstances. In many ways, the problem is not what his diagnosis may be, but, why you have tolerated his behavior for so long. It truly is time for you to start taking care of yourself. You deserve a chance to live with dignity and to be treated with respect. There is no reason for you to wallow in the same misery he choose for  himself.

I truly feel for you and truly believe it is time for you to make the kind of changes in your life that will give you peace and happiness.

Best of luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

Comments
  • doubtysmurf

    Personality disorder seems more like a symptom...

    the behavior cluster is indicative of dysexecutive syndrome brought upon by traumatic brain injury, especially if injury involved frontal lobe provided the patient had these behaviour all through these many years in which case some form of "management therapy" would be apt but if is a later onset then one should consider possibility of dementia indused disinhibition? in which case there are viable treatment options.

Close

Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.

Close

Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand