I am a mother of a 23 month old little boy who is fighting to preserve my son's well being during a very tough child custody battle with his father... My son's dad has suffered from severe anxiety
disorder for 30yrs and has been treated for it, but currently is not following any treatments and has been denying he has any anxiety problems in court and for our case.
Our son was conceived after we divorced in 2009, in what was supposed to be the basis of our reconciliation. As soon as I told my ex-husband I was pregnant, he abandoned me and said he never wanted to be a father again, that he had no business being a father in his words "a man without any ambition, or money, dealing with daily anxieties, etc," and left me.
A month short of me giving birth to our son my ex came back asking for yet another chance, and I accepted. But he continued to be an inconsistent presence in my and our son's life, not coming to visit at all during our son's first month of life, and then for a couple of days every other week, or 2 or 3 weeks at a time throughout our son's 1st year of life.
Finally, I presented my ex-husband with a structured schedule to provide the consistency
and stability that was lacking in our son's life from his dad, but without allowing for
overnights yet because our son is too young, and as I just mentioned my ex-husband suffers from anxiety disorders that cause phobias and panic
attacks and because of it he has even refused to take our son to the doctor the few times I couldn't at that specific moment because of anxiety, and therefore me having to go to the doctor with our son later which did
not help our little boy's ear infections, etc.
My ex is asking for joint legal and physical custody threatening me to take sole
custody, because he did not want to follow any kind of schedule and wanted to take our son with him to Baltimore, even though he is unable to meet our son's most basic needs, lives 1 hr away, I live in Rockville, does not believe in our son's medical treatments such as wearing glasses for his hypermetropia, hearing aids for his moderate hearing loss, antibiotics for his ear infections, just having very radical health care beliefs but more importantly being psychologically unstable.
What is even scarier is that he has been denying in court and to his lawyer and mine that he suffers from any anxiety and has no mental health problems at all, basically that I have been lying about his anxieties for over 13yrs. He never allowed me to go with him to his therapy sessions, or never wanted to share with me the names of his doctors, accusing me of not trusting him, when all I wanted was to help during his healing process, be supportive of him and more knowledgeable about his condition.
I was lucky enough to remember the name of his primary care physician towards the middle of this custody process, and the medical records finally came through stating that my ex DOES suffer from anxiety disorder and has been prescribed medication in the past, proving he's been lying. This doctor hasn't seen my ex in 5yrs after my ex aggressively threaten another doctor working under his practice and therefore was told not to come back.
So the court evaluator asked my ex to do a psychiatric evaluation, and he did ONE day ONLY. The psychiatrist who evaluated my ex only saw him for ONE session, and concluded my ex has no health problems of any kind, does not need any treatment or medication, and is perfectly fine...
I've researched anxiety disorders and I've come across consistent information stating these conditions are not curable, but manageable with treatment and therapy, medication if needed, and that en evaluation is conducted over a long period of time and many sessions... Yet my ex will use this psychiatrist's report to continue to say he is fine, and is asking to have our little boy, so young, overnights during the week and every other weekend from Friday to Monday, when he can't even provide the most basic care for our son.
I have been the sole care taker and permanent stable parent in our son's life, and our son plays very well with his dad when he sees him, but beyond that his dad has never lived with us or has ever been an every day dad who can't even take any responsibility for our son's health and other major decisions.
How can any ethical professional psychiatrist conclude that an individual with a history of lifelong anxiety is suddenly cured and fine with ONE evaluation? Is this possible? Even though my ex is denying it he is "secretly" suffering from it, I've smelled alcohol on his breath on a few visits with our son, putting our son to risk irresponsibly and dangerously. After the few overnights our son had with his dad over the past couple of months per the temporary visitation terms until trial my son came back with very bad diaper rashes, restless, agitated, hungry, having a hard time easing back into his routines, not wanting to be without me.
What can I do before trial?