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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Is it just Depression, Epilepsy, Border Personality Disorder

 marcia smith - Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:01 pm

My 35 year old fiancé and I were dating for just 2 months and he proposed. Having lost one parent recently, he felt he needed to change his life i.e.find a wife. I am 36 and this was the 1st proposal I ever got. I was so touched, appreciating he was serious and old fashioned. He was lovely. But, some disturbing incidents would frequently worry me.

Isolation: At work, he withdraws himself, saying ‘all people around us are immoral’. He sits at a corner alone, waiting for me to go and talk to, like a child, waiting for his mum. He has 1 or 2 good friends. They admire him for his strictness and fearless way.

Making scenes: He tends to make scenes very often, accusing me. If a man friend would kiss me casually in a friendly way, he would make a scene when we got home. He makes a scene if I don’t answer the phone, or if my phone is switched off, or if I am at a place with poor mobile reception - he then sent me disturbing messages accusing me I am a liar. He wants to check my phone to see who called me. As I also like to have assurance from someone, I didn’t mind to give assurance back. He wanted to be with me all the time, like dependent on me. If we were all day together, the relationship was perfect. When I was away and he could not check on me, we were fighting. Naturally, these episodes created fights, and then we would usually break up, and he would disappear. Then, when I couldn’t stand the silence, I’d ring him, he’d come back and we’d be back together immediately. These things were tiring, but not crazy yet. The most worrying things were different:

Night terrors: He goes to sleep late, saying he can’t sleep. I noticed he has night terrors, once in 10 nights, moaning, shouting and waking up from some ‘bad, vivid dreams’. It was someone telling him in the dream that I was dishonest to him, or another nightmare.

Sleep-talking: He is often sleep-talking, in rough language, making purposeless arm movements.

Sleep seizures: And early morning at around the same time (!) every 2-3 days, he has seizures across hands and legs, for half a minute, and I wake up. Is he epileptic? He said ‘I had no idea I was trembling, I will tell my doctor’ and then he came back with the answer ‘my doctor said it’s normal, everyone kicks in their sleep’. I accepted that.

Medication: He carries zololf 100 mg antidepressant and some round very small pills, broken in 4, placed (or hidden) in plain bottles. Were the broken pills tranquilisers? He refused, saying it was broken buspar. He took antidepressant when his parent died, but then his psychiatrist (who is just a family friend –according to him), said he still had underlying stress from the loss, which affected his voice, so he was taking the antidepressants again, alongside with buspar (muscular relaxer), to help his voice (he is an actor), and the voice was restored. I accepted this explanation, once again.

No reaction to horror pictures: What shocked me the most, was to discover last week, his favourite movie is a horror film, full of nudity, rape and corruption. I was offended by the violence and perversion in it, I could not watch it. He insisted the movie won Oscar for film direction, it has a ‘deep meaning’ etc. He said he has watched it 50 times, since the age of 17. Could he be traumatised since then? Or keen on violence?

Losing control over anger: He has a history with violence. He once was involved in a fight to defend a girl who was verbally assaulted, and the offender took out a knife and attacked him. Although I wasn’t there to see, that story made him look like a hero. He once punched an ex girlfriend (who lied to him) so hard in the face, that her teeth broke and she was hospitalised. He once exploded at me also, hitting the wall like a maniac, when he found some photos of my ex boyfriend, being in a drawer. I was afraid seeing him so angry. In the street, when teenager-strangers would use foul language, he would engage in loud conversation with them, threatening to hit them if they continue to rebel. I was scared he might create a fight, then the police would come and I would be embarrassed he is my boyfriend. So I always pulled him away.

How normal is all that? The antidepressant, the tranquiliser, the muscle relaxer, the night terrors, sleep talking, night seizures, relationship possessiveness, aggressiveness, liking a violent movie, having scars by a knife attack etc… He is also reading 2 books of Carl Jung. Is this another coincidence? Does he suffer from mental illness, and how can I help him? I love him dearly and try in my head, to find an alibi, in his defence. But after the violent movie incident, he refused to discuss, saying ‘believe the bad things, if it helps you split up’. He then disappeared as usual and didn’t explain anything to ease my mind.

Now I am checking websites, feeling hurt and possibly deceived. I want to find out the truth and deal with it, however I am embarrassed to face a professional. All my friends insist that I am being fooled, and he is hiding a mental illness. Please, can you help me, if the facts point to a direction? Thank you...
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:16 pm

Hello marcia smith,

Behaviors such as your fiance's actions are not normal. There are issues of anger management, controlling behavior, inappropriate confrontation, overly strict judgmentalism and physical abuse. These can be attributes of several different mental disorders, but without a detailed psychological interview, no diagnosis can be offered. There is certainly maladaptive behavior; I would suspect a personality disorder of a serious nature. The violent movie is of great concern and is typical of certain disorders that are prone to violence. The apparent dependence on you is more likely manipulation to control you. The outlook for change is not good, especially if one is unwilling to seek help and comply with treatment. The key issue for you is your safety; these behaviors will likely continue to escalate, and you could be physically harmed. I urge you to use caution and take measures to ensure your safety, which likely means ending the relationship. However, if you choose to do so, have measures in place so that you are not alone, if at all possible. Consider obtaining supportive therapy for yourself, to help you cope with these issues. Don't hesitate to involve the police if you are threatened. Please remember that you are not "causing" him to behave as he does, and you are not at fault. He is responsible for his own actions, as we all are.

Good luck to you.

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