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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Is my partner dangerous?


 tpsmith - Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:11 am

I have been concerned about my partner for some time.

He is depressive and self harms, although his harming is only to the top side of his forearm and never that deep. He will get agry at the world in general and despise people becuase he sees them as weak or stupid.

When he drinks he gets very depressive and somtimes very agree and uncontrolable. he will shout and be aggressive although not aimed at me, more flinging his arms about and shouting about world issues and how to solve them.

I once found a list of 'normal' syptoms of a psychopath and asked him the questions over a few weeks, in conversation and he didnt realise I was asking him them for a reason.

The questions as follows:

need for stimulation/prone to boredom
pathological lying - yes, He will run at someting head first but once he thinks he has mastered it he will get bored, this can be only a few hours/days. He will lie about normal everyday things, make up a story that makes himself seem like he 'won' eg..an argument with his boss and he made them back down, I know one of his work mates and he has never seen on of these situations even though my partner says they where infront of everyone.

conning/manipulative - he lies to get what he wants, although somtimes i have no idea what that is.

lack of remorse or guilt - If he has one of his angry moments, 20 minutes later he will be talking about it and laughing. Im not sure what he feels.

shallow emotional response
callous/lack of empathy - He is very good at listening to other people and helping them with their problems but then will tell me all about them and how pathetic they are.

parasitic lifestyle - He doesnt do anything in the house and will take whatever he can.

poor behavioral controls - he lost his laast job because he was always taking time off sick when he wasnt, he would tell his employer that there was a family emergency and go home to watch TV.

promiscuous sexual behavior - He has cheated on me a few times and it is always random people, usually outdoor and thinks nothing of it.

early behavioral problems - he was bullied as a child, he thinks becuase ppeple jsut didnt like him but I think it maybe the way he was with them. Its hard to explain but he can seem very abstract at times. His mother told me he was prone to outbursts but qould quikly apologies.

lack of realistic long term goals - He never looks beyond tomorrow, we can make plans for tomorrow but anything beyond that he will go along with it and then dismiss it vrey quickly.

impulsivity - He is.

irresponsibility - Can be, but not with his dogs.

failure to accept responsibility for their own actions - He will always tryto hide anything he has done wrong and lie about it if someone picks up on somthing.

many short term relationships - not really, we have been together 7 years.

juvenile delinquency - not really, apparently he did what he was told.


criminal versatility - He's never been in trouble, but he talks about crime alot.


They tend to be intelligent, with IQ's in the "bright normal" range - His iq was measured at 120.

They do poorly in school, have trouble holding down jobs, and often work as unskilled laborers. - he did well in subjects that interested him such as human biology, general science, woodshop and metal work.

They tend to come from markedly unstable families. - not really although he tells be his parents would argue somtimes but not violently or loud and never infront of him or his sister.

As children, they are abandoned by their fathers and raised by domineering mothers. - maybe, his dad was emotionally closed untill he suffered some strokes and he had a heart attack. His dad is now very chatty and will tell you about his problems readily. This seems to be when my partner got worse though.
His mother is nice enough, she is a priest and active in the community. My partner tells me she was always there to give him a hug and a kiss when he was unhappy.

Their families often have criminal, psychiatric and alcoholic histories. - He uncle is in prison for armed robbery. Not sure is there is any psychiatric problems. His two uncles (mothers side) and his dad have had drinking problems.

They hate their fathers and mothers. - Not at all, from what I can see.

They are commonly abused as children: psychologically, physically and sexually. Often the abuse is by a family member. My partner tells me he was once raped by an uncle, twice by the same stranger. I am not too sure if this is true due to his lying. I know when he was about nine he would 'play games' with a girl next door about the same age but he said this was just them experimenting.

Many psychopaths spend time in institutions as children and have records of early psychiatric problems. - He has been to see psychiatrists but he told me afterwards that they couldnt see 'sublte hints as to what he was trying to say' so they didnt deserve to get inside his head. I wasn't too sure what he ment by this.

They have high rates of suicide attempts. - Not really, he will talk about it but its more to get attention.

From an early age, many are intensely interested in voyeurism, fetishism, and sado-masochistic pornography. - I know he hid pornography from the age of about 8 and would sneak out at night with it. Although he doesnt suggest playing it out, I have seen his internet history sometimes with very rough fetish sites, some bondage and strange festishes aswell.

More than 60 percent of psychopaths wet their beds beyond the age of 12. - I don't know this one and he avoided the question when I asked.

Many psychopaths are fascinated with fire starting. - Yes to this day he will set things on fire, he seems hypnotised by it also and doesnt like being distrubed when he has a fire in the yard.

They are involved with sadistic activity or tormenting small creatures. - His dad told me when my partner was younger he would set animal snares and if he caught a rabbit he would watch it die before taking the noose off it neck. His dad also told me how he caught him once wrapping a sparrow in paper and cellotape before putting under his bed. His dad took it away after my partner had gone out and found the sparrow had been shot with his dads air rifle in the wing. My partner had taken the wings and legs off, but his dad was not sure if this was before or after the bird died.

I hope I have made sense and given you the infomation you need. I am worried about him, not about hurting me but hurting someone else. I know he will take our dogs for a walk and follow other dog walkers for a while before he comes home.

What do you think I should do?

Thank you

Mr Smith
 Dr. E. Seigle - Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:04 pm

Hi tpsmith,

It sounds like your partner has some psychological problems, though it doesn't sound like one could speculate with confidence that he is "psychopathic'. Dangerousness is difficult to predict; the best predictor is a past history of aggressive behavior. I really couldn't predict your partner's potential dangerousness, however.

One question to ask yourself is to what extent is your relationship with your partner impacted by these issues you described. If your relationship is negatively affected, then you may feel the desire to talk with your partner about the ways in which the relationship could improve, and discuss the possibility of your partner receiving psychotherapy, or you and he receiving couples treatment. If you can have a validating, affirming conversation with your partner, you might want to ask if he has ever considered getting psychotherapy.
Where you go from there after he responds depends upon how concerned you are about your partner's problems insofar as they affect him and insofar as they affect your relationship.

Good luck!

-E. Seigle MD

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