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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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My grandmother spent the last years of her life in a state

Resolved Question:

My grandmother spent the last years of her life in a state mental institution- at least 25 years- with an undisclosed diagnosis hidden away from her family. My mother as been diagnosed with NPD. My ex had some type of personality disorder and was physically abusive to me. My two sons, although they had limited contact with him as children' are exhibiting the same personality charcteristics- Lack of insight, callousness, overspending, self absoption, no empathy, etc. Add to all ,this 2 out of 4 grandsons are autistic. What is this -nature or nurture?? Bad genes???
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.

Good Morning,


Personality disorders are not per se genetically linked in family members. It is possible that individuals had learned poor social/coping skills from one another. True personality disorders are also not per se cured but if an individual diagnosed with one is willing to see professional help, that individual may learn some healthy coping skills to manage the symptoms of their disorder.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have read some studies that show that some personality traitsare inherited ie: identical twin studies, sibling studies, etc. It just seems that my sons are so like their father in personalty that SOME of this must be genetic. They were raised in different environments form their father. Also what do you think of the autism factor?
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.

Some individuals may have these traits without having a true personality disorder

"Lack of insight, callousness, overspending, self absoption, no empathy" If a child had not been exposed to learning proper moral/coping skills this is not unusual. Initially children learn through the modeling they receive from adults/parents/caretakers (social learning)


In regard to the causes of autism there is still a lot of controversy out there. One of the possible causes is genetic in nature and yes you're correct this can be evident in siblings/twins. Immune deficiency is a speculation as well as vaccination as possible causes. Research at least proves that people with autism process information differently than those without the disorder.


My personal belief is that both biological and psychosocial factors shape a person's adult behavior and may predispose to different mental health disorders.

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