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    Old 02-19-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
    Mistyedge
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    BF Obsessed With World Ending

    About 4 months ago, my boyfriend of 6 years began to start obsessing over the world economy collapsing.
    I am a post-grad Counseling student and I am not even sure what triggered this obsession or how long this is going to last....etc.Please HELP!

    Presently: Prior to him becoming obsessed about the world economy crashing, he became alarmed over the passage of SOPA and NDAA bills. He railed about how the government has basically become a police state. His theory is that the government is putting these laws in place because once the economy collapses, Fema will move in (they already have concentration camps in place) and then there will be martial law and take people's guns away, etc.
    He really believes this and not IF it will happen but WHEN. He is starting to grow his own food/refuses to go on vacations/has stopped riding his bike/and uses all his free time to visit certain websites.

    Family history of mental illness: No familial history of schizophrenia, personality disorders,etc. Alzheimers's, Down's Syndrome, and Aspergers run in his family however and he has several relatives that currently have these diagnosis.

    Medications: None. He smokes Marijuana daily and has done so for 20 some odd years. I have already thought about pot smoking for long periods and psychosis/paranoia....

    Previously:When I met him, he was spontaneous, fun and liked to do things that a normal guy in their 40's would do:exercise, travel, etc. We never argued, we did fun things that two people in love and dating would do....He has never cheated on me and has always been faithful. Our sex life has always been great....

    Emotional Background: There is some suggestion that his father verbally abused him growing up. His father was rarely present, but was perfectionistic and also physically abused his mother. He has never had a relationship longer than 2 years prior to meeting me. He has never been abusive towards me, but now that he is involved in this end of the world planning, he has become a bit more controlling - tries to keep an eye on my spending and has encouraged me to buy silver, etc He has one younger brother and they have a fairly good relationship. He used to have a lot of friends (many through cycling) but lately there is only one guy friend that hangs around him that also believes the doomsday stuff.

    Things that may have triggered this: Mother began exhibiting signs of Alzheimers recently and his family has decided not to get her medical treatment saying "Oh well what's the use". He disagrees with their decision and has tried to help her. He feels rejected I think. Also, he had a biking accident 4 months ago and a nerve injury but still tried to enter a bike race and failed miserably. I think that has made him feel worthless too. In addition, he has gained 10 pounds and feels bad about himself lately.

    Perhaps, this whole planning for the end of the world is empowering him to control things he feels powerless over?????

    Lately: He is very negative about everything. If I buy him some beer, he complains "Save your money, you need it to be stocking up on ammo". These symptoms are almost similar to depressive symptoms. He is not interested in cycling anymore or traveling or seeing movies or anything we used to do.
    He has taken up some new hobbies lately - camping (with his one buddy that also thinks the world is ending), gardening , and campaigning for Ron Paul.

    How It has affected me: I am really sad and I miss my OLD boyfriend. I feel like I am dealing with a different person these days. I also feel like I have to plan vacations with my kids now in private because I know he will get on to me about saving for the end of the world. We were supposed to go on a big trip when I graduate, but now that is off because he wants to save $ and invest in silver. I do believe in stocking up for emergencies like hurricanes but I don't believe in extreme survivalism. I told him he is acting like Ted Kaczinski. I am not sure if this is a phase or not and not sure how to proceed with him. Lately, I have been giving him a lot of space and joined some groups that do things that I enjoy like hiking...
    I don't want to break up with him because we have been together for so long, but I feel like I can't be with someone like this in the long term because his behavior is completely neurotic!!!!! I deal with enough mental illness professionally and have little room for it in my private life...
    Is this a mental illness like hoarding??? I just don't know what to think anymore

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    Old 02-20-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
    Eburt
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    He sounds a lot like my husband! They have cycling and having an abusive father in common, anyway.

    He went through this kind of phase a couple of years ago (we've been together for 7 years). Almost overnight he became obsessed with the Illuminati and Free Masons taking over the world. He became paranoid, and was seeing "secret" symbols in EVERYTHING, no matter how far-fetched. He was spending all his free time watching these homemade conspiracy theory documentaries. I thought he was going insane.
    My man eventually got over it (although it felt like it took FOREVER), and is no longer in that phase. At the time he was in that phase he wasn't doing anything creative (he's a painter, and musician.) and I think it was that boredom that made him a bit depressed and therefore he needed to fill his spare time with something. That's what I can think of anyway. Now his new obsession is recording his music, which is much more preferable to me! He was driving me nuts with his conspiracy nonsense and paranoia. I was embarassed to go out with him because that's all he'd talk about and I think his family thought he was going crazy. He's still a bit paranoid and tries to control my money a little here and there (we have separate bank accounts though).

    It sounds to me like your boyfriend is depressed. Having family problems, and an injury will definitely have an impact on one's emotional wellbeing, and then gaining weight as a result of the injury would make you feel bad too. Would he be open to professional help? A psychologist is someone who might be able to help him cope with things in his life. Has he also sought physiotherapy for his nerve injury? Some men are stubbourn about getting help, like my husband, who, despite a history of stomach ulcers, it took me over 6 months to convince him he needed to see a doctor about his severe ulcer-like stomach pain! I still haven't convinced him (I've been trying for years with the support of his family) to see a psychologist about his issues with his abusive father and his PTSD from watching his mum get beaten as a child.
    So anyway, it might not be easy! If he's not as un-wise as my husband, and can see the benefit in professional help, then I'd encourage him in that direction for sure.
    In the meantime, I'd make sure he knows youre there to support him and that you care very much for him. Make sure he knows you're willing to listen to his troubles if he cares to vent.

    Hopefully it will just be a phase and it will pass eventually. Good luck

     
    Old 02-21-2012, 02:54 AM   #3
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    Reminded me of the fable The Ant and The Cicada.

    One of the seven Capital sins is called avarice or greed. Maybe that is a keyword here, for your boyfriend.

    Anyway, this is a very difficult situation to be in, and I agree that he may need medical and psychological support.

    How old is he, by the way? I don't think it can be the onset of dementia, right?

    Can you remember if any event triggered this obsession with the end of the world?

    Maybe he simply realized that he is afraid of dying. A practice of meditation might be in place here.

    Well, the French has an interesting saying: A malin, malin et demi. I know this is an English-language forum, and a foreign language is not to be used, but this is just to illustrate a point. I can't offer a literal translation of the saying, but in approximate words it means that if you have to cope with a mean person, you have to be one and a half meaner than him/her.

    So, why don't you try for a while to play his game and become even more obsessed than him in his pursuit? Maybe he will then realize how foolish he is behaving and how short life is for you to worry that much about hoarding.

     
    Old 02-21-2012, 06:32 AM   #4
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    Has he become brainwashed by some religious organization? I know there is a major religious group that is preparing for the end of days now and they have all their followers convinced the end is near. Maybe that's it? I don't want to name any names because we really aren't supposed to discuss religion.

    It's easy to get caught up in all that but the bottom line is, what can a person do about it? All you can do is just live day to day...heck you could die tomorrow in an accident. The economy is in a horrible state now, there's no denying it. Plus the environment is being destroyed daily. I think that he needs some counseling.
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    Old 02-21-2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    he could be an undiagnosed aspie.....they obsess and can talk endlessly about a subject that interests them.....

     
    Old 02-22-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    I hope it is a phase too!

     
    Old 02-22-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    He is not involved in any religious groups and is an athiest...He has become very ardently involved in Libertarian party political groups lately (which he tries to keep secret from me). When I confronted him about it (because I thought he might be cheating) he said that he can't talk politics with me and therefore wants to keep all of his political gathering stuff private. I totally went off and said that after 6 years, we should not keep secrets of stupid things of going to political meetings. Now he is just acting cold and distant...great.

     
    Old 02-28-2012, 12:07 PM   #8
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    My first thought when reading your post is that it sounds like your boyfriend is suffering from depression. He sounds a bit like my boyfriend, who is also a creative type and prone to depression and anxiety. When he is particularly down emotionally he begins to see everything as a threat, thinks people are controlling him or are out to get him. He's not schizophrenic, he just lets his obsessive thoughts get the better of him.
    With all of the recent events your boyfriend probably feels helpless and out of control and this obsession makes him feel like he's in control of something, since he is preparing for it.

    Are you familiar with the enneagram? I would suggest you read about type 6, the fear based type, in order to approach him and this issue from a more understanding place. Other than that, my best advice is to try to convince him to get some therapy to help Jim get a grip on whatever is going on. And the pot smoking can't be helping.

     
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    Old 02-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    I will definitely look it up. Thanks for the info! He has eased up a bit about it, but then last night he sent me a video that had an interview with some investor predicting economic collapse....sigh.

     
    Old 02-28-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fjordhorse View Post
    My first thought when reading your post is that it sounds like your boyfriend is suffering from depression. He sounds a bit like my boyfriend, who is also a creative type and prone to depression and anxiety. When he is particularly down emotionally he begins to see everything as a threat, thinks people are controlling him or are out to get him. He's not schizophrenic, he just lets his obsessive thoughts get the better of him.
    With all of the recent events your boyfriend probably feels helpless and out of control and this obsession makes him feel like he's in control of something, since he is preparing for it.

    Are you familiar with the enneagram? I would suggest you read about type 6, the fear based type, in order to approach him and this issue from a more understanding place. Other than that, my best advice is to try to convince him to get some therapy to help Jim get a grip on whatever is going on. And the pot smoking can't be helping.
    I second this: the Enneagram is a very useful tool for both self-knowledge and relationships.

    Last edited by pendulum; 02-28-2012 at 03:59 PM.

     
    Old 05-21-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    Wow, I stumbled across this site and read some of these posts today and could have sworn I wrote them! I am relieved to see others are experiencing the same issues, but concerned because I don't know what to do. I do believe the economy is going to collapse and all the other theories out there but my husband is making it is mantra, his "religion" to read, listen and share with other people that mostly don't want to hear it then he gets mad. He doesn't share in a conversational way, he lectures non stop and family are avoiding him. He doesn't really have any friends to speak of. No males friends that he does things with so I get to hear it non stop and I'm worn out with it. We get in the car to drive to take a hike 2 hours away and I'm ready to jump out of the car at 70mph listening to this crap. He is so negative, (but always has been a half empty glass person) but it is even more so now. First it was Glenn Beck and now it is Alex Jones that he followed. Like your boyfriend, we can't go on vacations now, we need to buy supplies, we can't do anything unless it furthers our existence. Well if it is concentration camps, neighbor against neighbor, who will want to be living??? This is so awful. Life is so short and we are going to spend our short time left worrying about things out of our control? There is no joy in his life whatsoever. He is a very strong personality (former Marine) and I don't know what to do. I work too and don't necessarily want to sell off our home and buy supplies. We have food now that is past it's shelf life??? geez oh pete.
    At wits end......

     
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    Old 06-01-2012, 02:14 PM   #12
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    Quick Update:
    I consulted with a doctor and was told that such a sudden change in personality may be due to a concussion - post concussive syndrome! He did have a sports (head) injury shortly before this all began and he has had multiple concussions in the past.
    So, basically what I found out is depending on the severity of the concussion a person CAN undergo a personality change.
    I think this may explain his sudden change in behaviour.
    His behaviour is still the same. He is negative all the time: He hates EVERYONE, including his dad, one of his "best" friends, his neighbors...probably even me! It is really sad. He had a new neighbor move in and he got into an argument with him immediately, since then he has become fixated with "getting even" with this neighbor and all he talks about is "when the sh** goes down (when the economy collapses) I am going to take him out first". He is planning on the world ending --- he is planning to get revenge on everyone!!! argh! He actually tore out parts of the walls in his house to put in tiny windows and security cameras. It's creepy! I hate going over to his place now...The ironic thing is that he rips on his friends for buying useless stuff like guns!
    He has also had additional road rage incidents and one time spit on some guys car that did nothing to him!
    This has been going on since November...It is now June. I have started to seriously think about ending the relationship at this point. It is emotionally draining being around someone that is so negative all the time and such a hater and like a ticking time bomb of anger. I have cut way back on the amount of time I spend with him and he does not even seem to care.
    It's sad that I had 5 great years in this relationship and he totally changed. I guess there are no guarantees in life...:-(

     
    Old 06-01-2012, 02:18 PM   #13
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    Quick Update:
    I consulted with a doctor and was told that such a sudden change in personality may be due to a concussion - post concussive syndrome! He did have a sports (head) injury shortly before this all began and he has had multiple concussions in the past.
    So, basically what I found out is depending on the severity of the concussion a person CAN undergo a personality change.
    I think this may explain his sudden change in behaviour.
    His behaviour is still the same. He is negative all the time: He hates EVERYONE, including his dad, his cousins, his older brother and one of his "best" friends, his neighbors...probably even me! It is really sad. He had a new neighbor move in and he got into an argument with him immediately, since then he has become fixated with "getting even" with this neighbor and he talks about "when the sh** goes down (when the economy collapses) I am going to take him out first". He is not planning on the world ending --- he is planning to get revenge on everyone!!! argh! He actually tore out parts of the walls in his house to put in tiny windows and security cameras. It's creepy! I hate going over to his place now...The ironic thing is that he rips on his friends for buying useless stuff like guns! SMH
    He has also had additional road rage incidents and one time spit on some guys car that did nothing to him! EVERY time he drives there is SOME sort of road rage incident....I won't let him near my kids anymore since he yelled at my son for no reason at Christmas! Sucks.....
    This has been going on since November...It is now June. I have started to seriously think about ending the relationship at this point. It is emotionally draining being around someone that is so negative all the time and such a hater and a ticking time bomb of anger. I have cut way back on the amount of time I spend with him and he does not even seem to care.
    It's sad that I had 5 great years in this relationship and he totally changed. I guess there are no guarantees in life...:-(

     
    Old 06-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #14
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    wow sounds like it's gone from bad to worse......
    don't seriously THINK about ending this relationship......
    seriously DO IT.....

     
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    Old 06-05-2012, 01:36 AM   #15
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    Re: BF Obsessed With World Ending

    Wow, interesting situation you have there. Sounds familiar! And so I want to comment. Here's the thing though, there are two separable factors in play: there's the reality of the world that he's seeing, and there is his attitude of response to such things. I think you're mixing the two into one, and wrongly so. Believe me, it's not a concussion, it's not insanity, it's not childhood abuse, it's not his mother. It's called "learning the truth that the world isn't what you thought, and being seriously freaked out about it!" To you, I'm sure that just the hint of a notion of such a reality must seem so scary (and thereby absurd) that you'll never believe it, unless it all actually happens, and even then, probably not. BTW, this has nothing at all to do with the Mayan 2012 crap.

    Now, people have been predicting this kind of stuff and planning for it for years and years, and nothing big has happened. A lot of people have wasted a lot of years "being scared". But at the same time, you should read and research and become educated yourself on those things. Really. Read about Austrian economics, read about money supply and gold, and about laws being passed, and about fema, and all these things (but don't follow glenn beck! goodness...). There is evidence upon evidence that some big messes are coming down the pipeline, easy to see for anyone who can understand the term "ulterior motives" and put two and two together.

    BUT, his response to it all is also easy to see: FEAR! He sounds pretty darn terrified, which is making him turn away from all things "love" - both you, and toward people in general. And this is sad, and it's seriously a problem, and he is seriously caught up in it. Fear is the opposite of love ("Perfect love drives out all fear"). Survival and being prepared is one thing (you've gotta have food to eat and water to drink!), but the entire point of living, in my opinion, is to love. The greater point of being prepared is to put yourself in a position of strength from which to help others, and definitely not to become "me against the world", or to start resenting and hating others. And that in itself is no way to go through life, surviving or not. Plus, in all such scary times in the past, from medieval times to American Indians (the ultimate wilderness survival experts) to WWII in Europe, no one has ever survived long in a self-reliant, hateful vacuum. It always takes community and "playing the game" of politics with others, making deals and being "needed." He needs to hear that.

    Him coming as an atheist surely doesn't help either. That view seems to limit a person to survival as the end all, with all else meaningless, and unable to imagine a good purpose or intent or grand good goal behind even something as seemingly scary as what he believes. That combination would make me pretty darn depressed and withdrawn too! I personally, in the past few years, have gone from a mindset kinda sorta like his, to seeing God's hand in everything - and I no longer have such worry and fear.

    So my advice? Talk about what he believes and give him the benefit of the doubt (he won't be convinced otherwise regardless, guaranteed), and let him show you things, but strongly and consistently try to bring up the larger picture . First remind him of the need to interact with others and help others, and make lots of allies, even in survival situations - this is the starting point of discussion to open the door. But second, more importantly, that the larger purpose of life, even what he believed and felt before spending way too much time on scary websites, hasn't changed, and will never change! That even in the midst of the worst situation, having compassion and love toward others is the only thing that ultimately matters and lasts. That will surely be hard to get across, probably for some time, but I think it's essential for him to hear and absorb, and for everyone really.

     
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