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Family Member with Severe Personality Disorder - Please Help!

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Old 09-11-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
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lovelyfriend HB User
Family Member with Severe Personality Disorder - Please Help!


I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this in, but hopefully some of you guys can help me.

A member of our family has been suffering from some form of mental illness for several years now, and it has had a terrible impact on their life and the rest of our family's. We have tried to seek help, but as this person is in denial, there is apparently nothing we can do until they admit that they have a problem themselves.

It started with the person always having had OCD quite badly, but the individual was always very happy. In their early 20s, they left university and were unable to get a job. Progressively the OCD got worse, as did the person's behaviour. This person used to be the happiest person i knew, however bad experiences has made them into the opposite. Here are some of the things that happened:

They cut off all of their ties with all of their friends.
Refused to call the dog a dog, called it 'IT'. They had previously been very close.
Began sleeping all through the day and was only awake at night.
They also developed a problem with speech, repeating sentences over and over again, coming back to them hours later.
They also stopped washing, shaving, washing their clothes, refused to cut their hair etc.
They won't eat with anyone else, and only eat sweets and stuff like tinned food now.

This person has become completely selfish and unreasonable, and on occassions, very aggressive.

I think one of the triggers for this was when our grandparents died, as he spent a lot of the time helping others with their mourning, but didn't do much of it himself. He also had an argument with a family member who had previously been a close friend.

The person now goes away and works for periods of time, but always returns earlier than they orignally said they would, they also refuse to tell anyone where they're going, or to respond to any form of communication.

I need to stress that this person used to be the nicest person we all knew, but has turned into a very nasty and selfish individual. He demands to stay with different family members but ruins their lives for them whilst he's there, by making unreasonable demands.

Years ago, he used to admit that he had OCD but now he refuses to admit that there is anything wrong with him and gets very angry at the suggestion.

Basically, having been told that there's nothing we can do without him admitting that he has a problem himself or him hurting someone/self...we are completely lost with what to do. The situation is having a horrible impact on so many people's lives.

Is there anyone out there that has been through or knows of something similar? Or is there anyone we can speak to? Basically any help anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Just clarify, we've spoken to mental health helplines and our doctor but neither could help.

Thank you for listening

**** Please note, I have also posted this on the Mental Earth Website Forum as I'm desperately seeking help*******

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Old 10-17-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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Re: Family Member with Severe Personality Disorder - Please Help!

Originally Posted by lovelyfriend View Post
Basically, having been told that there's nothing we can do without him admitting that he has a problem himself or him hurting someone/self...we are completely lost with what to do. The situation is having a horrible impact on so many people's lives.
Hi There. Unfortunately, this is true. No one in this country can be forced to have mental health treatment against their will unless they have shown behaviors that indicate they are a danger to themselves or others, or that they are truly incapable of caring for their basic needs. Basically, he or she has the right to self-determination and can choose to live whatever kind of life they want.

Is your relative a male or female, and at what age did these behaviors start? With the limited information you have provided, I kind of suspect some type of thought disorder. He or she may be experiencing some paranoia and some of the behaviors suggest disorganized behavior, which is common in people suffering from schizophrenia. These problems usually appear in adolescence or early adulthood for men, a little later for women (early 30s). What you have posted seems to fit more with this explanation than with a personality disorder.

As far as advice goes, I'm not sure there is much you can do. You can continue to offer support on your terms and not let him/her take advantage of your family. It will be very hard, but if your family does not want this to disrupt their lives as much, they may need to turn them away when he/she "demands" to lives with your relatives. You could make the offer of providing a living space dependent on his/her speaking to a mental health profession, but it is unlikely to work. I think you would be best off finding ways that limit the amount of emotional harm this person can do to your family.

Old 10-20-2009, 08:43 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
chantele HB User
Re: Family Member with Severe Personality Disorder - Please Help!

I can understand to a apoint i suffer from PTS,Anxiety,depression etc.....I also cut my self off from my friends and really feel that they are a waste of time I became angry and would hit people that upset me mainly the person that cared the most for me.I would cry and disagree and was never in the wrong If I could make someone miserable I would didn't matter to me if i hurt someone like who care's I had and still have a lot of anger I am not the same person I was I can not drive alone ,nor work I lost alot of my independance due to the job that I had I became mentall Ill ,But I called the mental health and now I see 3 Doctors and out of the 3 only one makes sense to me but I go to my appointments bi weekly and I know I have a long road a head of me there is hope and I will heal some day but you first have to admit you have a problem before the healing begins. I hope my story helps you and if you need any more info please feel free to ask I been through alot and don't mind trying to help some one

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