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Psychotic Ex-Boyfriend

Question:

I am still in verbal contact with an ex boyfriend who began to have all sorts of delusions about me cheating on him, assisting friends to video him and even to know he is know on the internet because of me. Due to the extreme anger (we had previous experiences where his anger was directed physically at me)combined with his fault thoughts I had to stop seeing him including the need for a protective order (threatened to kill me, kill other friends, etc) He moved back to his home in Chicago, (I live in Dallas) but kept calling me. He was in a mental facility for a week or so due to threats of suicide. While in Dallas, he did use meth and cocaine, and when I refused to see him unless in front of a psychologist, the doctor warned me that his first impression was that he was BPD with psychosis. (possibly drug induced) In Chicago he continued drug use, but evidently went to crank cocaine. I’ve read a lot of books, he did fit the role of loving me then hating me. I wanted to at least not turn my back and in many ways hoped and prayed that if he got help, the delusional thoughts would go away. He went into rehab, finally for the cocaine. Appears he has been clean for 6 months, and now in psychotherapy. We almost got together over July 4th based upon first meeting with his therapist, but 1 week before he went crazy again, returning to all his accusations of me etc. And then it went to wishing me a slow death, etc etc. No contact for past 2 months, then he starts to call again 2 weeks ago. While I don’t encourage, I do talk with him, yet past week he has started up the whole thing again about getting together, etc. I don’t trust him what so ever. After all that, “snore” but felt you needed background…here is my real question…do people ever get over these types of mental problems…I read the articles about being able to go on and lead productive lives, do they ever come to the understanding that their thoughts were incorrect? How does one “prove” such thoughts as wrong? I’ve said I would take a lie detector test, but that if I passed it, would he accept the results? I never get a direct answer which makes me think that he would just believe I conned the test administrator, etc. I accept the fact it may never be able to work out, so then how do I end it with him without just blowing him off completely. I never initiate contact, he does. How do I end it, without hurting him or possibly setting him off? Just be honest, do these types of mental issues ever reverse? Thanks for listening and staying awake!

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Answer:

Well, the answer to your question is Yes and No. “Yes” in that people can get themselves into a sustained recovery from drug addiction and/or other mental health problems, including psychotic and delusional thinking. I’ve seen it happen and it is a beautiful thing. “No” in that the odds would appear to be against the person you are describing for getting into and sustaining the sort of recovery that would make him safe to be around. He’s not just an addict. He has what would perhaps be best described as dual-diagnoses; there is a co-existing delusional disorder of some sort (whether independent of the drug addiction, or drug-induced is really an academic point – it’s real either way by your account) that predisposes him to make and carry out physical threats against you. We have the evidence of past physical assault against you and the need for a court order to help keep him away from you. The past really is the best predictor of what the future will be like, as much as anything can predict the future. Given this fellow’s past, and the very real possibility that he will be a physical threat to you in the future, I wouldn’t bet on him. Instead, I would recommend ending the relationship post haste, cutting off all contact with him (including when he initiates it), and possibly even get another court order to require him to stay away from you if he won’t stop trying to contact you. It seems like a harsh position to take, but we’re talking about your safety here. You cannot realistically and safely support someone who has threatened your life.

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