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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist/Prof. Counselor for 20 years
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old friends,husband,grown kids,kicked to curb,when wife questioned about her decision maki

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old friends,husband,grown kids,kicked to curb,when wife questioned about her decision making, thought process...suffering from exact opposite personality swap..good-bad..what can be done
Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. Just to be sure I am clear, you are asking this question about your friend Patty who is 49 years old, married with grown children and has had a marked shift in personality in the past 3 years. It has now become critical and she is not trustful of you, other friends and therapist. She has shut you out of her life. Am I understanding correctly?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i am her husband..been married 10,together17 years

Thank you for the clarification, Matt. I know you are extremely stressed and worried. Since you say this is such a radical change and that she was a caring and loving person before the past 3 years, I would wonder if there is something physical going on, specifically if she is peri-menopausal and is suffering from hormone deficiency. Did anything significant happen in her life 3 years ago that would have caused major stress?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she was fighting with my teenage son,I broke them up yelled at him and asked her to calm down,she insisted I took his side of argument but that was not the case.Iwanted the shouting to stop so I took hum outside,told him to respect my wife and went back inside to check on her..she thinks I took his side,because I dint,slap him around or throw him out..however,you must understand this behavior by her was in itself not her normal personality..way far from it

This is helpful information, thank you. I believe your first step should be to rule out any physical causes, take her for a complete physical, including hormone check, brain scan (to rule out brain tumor). This type of personality change does not happened in our late 40s without some physical change, condition or severe trauma. Personality Disorders and Chronic Mental Health Conditions most always manifest by the early 20s. Of course, her behavior could be caused by drugs or alcohol, but since you did not mention those, I assume they are not a factor. But I do wonder if she started any prescription medication around the time her personality changed. So first step is her Primary Care Physician and perhaps OB/GYN. If not physical cause is found, I would ask for a referral to a psychiatrist for evaluation and appropriate medication. It does not sound like therapy is an option for her until the underlying physical or chemical imbalance in her brain is addressed. I would be gentle and supportive and tell her that you want to get her the help she needs, that you miss the person you know she really is and that this is not her fault, something has to be going on. I hope this is helpful. Chat back if you have questions. I wish healing for your wife and peace of mind for you, take care, Eleanor
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she will not see doctor as sh sees nothing wrong with het behavior,I cannot support her as she has totally withdrawn from me,and is keeping company with one of our old friends(who three years ago told her she needed help,and she kicked him to the curb)

part of the problem is he worked at a 300 unit apt complex UN Massachusetts,20 years ago.It housed emotionally and physically abused women,such he was happy to use and abuse more.he used to laugh and say he guessed he had no conscience,it used to disgust my wife,yet this is who she has turned to.drugs and alcohol are not factors,but as she sees me, and all our family and friends as the enemy,she herself will not seek treatment.She has one daughter with a behavioral disorder,when on medicine is sweet and kind,off meds(most of the time totally delusional)

most people see my beloved wife acting just like her daughter.patty thinks daughter is crazy and has nothing to do with her

and patty can't see she is just like her

in social situations,patty becomes party patty and acts normal,in her normal everyday life,she is a mess, viewed by all

can.she be forced into car,she is behaving in a very self distinctive nano,severe depression last year,tried to hang herself in a closet,told me about it,and then said I didn't care..Help!!!me please she now listens to no one but him!!!Help,is there legal action,she now wants a divorce,and is spending marital asserts on this loser,who is using her badly..Our whole family misses Patty like the Seth of a loved one,there must be something I can do,before she self restricts,and is alone









Oh my goodness, I am so very sorry. I am now wondering if she could have been abused 3 years ago by this "friend" or if the relationship triggered some buried trauma from her childhood; as I said, trauma can cause this type of radical change in behavior. Unfortunately, you cannot force her to seek help against her will unless she is actively suicidal or homicidal. It at any time she threatens suicide again of you feel she is an immediate danger to herself or to someone else, you can call #911 and she will be taken to a hospital for a 72 hour hold (in most states) for a psychiatric evaluation. I am not an attorney and cannot speak to any legal action; but you might want to talk with an attorney about an alienation of affection lawsuit against this man. I would also restrict her access to marital assets as much as possible. I am sorry to hear that she is seeking a divorce. I know it is painful beyond measure to watch someone you love self-destruct, in situations like this people often have to hit rock bottom before they can begin to get better. Chat back if you have further questions. I will be leaving the site for an early dinner, but will respond later if needed. If we do not chat again, I wish you the strength you need to get through this difficult time, Eleanor
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

in the hands of a man who is going to abuse's not if it's when!?She is not thinking clearly and when she had voiced her opinions on things,she had been told by family and friends that she needs help..I implore you to dig in the recesses of your knowledge,I need a solution b4 permanent damage is done!there must be a way..what's happening to her is a crime,and just saying keep up my strengths,and wait for her to hit rock bottom does not sound like a tolerable answer

I certainly understand your frustration that there are not more options for you. The is one other option which is worth trying, and that would be an intervention with her. This would mean gathering all concerned family and friends to meet with her and express your concerns and insist that she get help. Before you meet with her have a dr., hospital lined up where you can take her if she agrees. If you have not talked with your family physician about what is happening with your wife, I would make an appointment asap to do so. He/she will know of the best hospital, treatment center, psychiatrist. I am sorry to say that there is really nothing else you can do for your wife, short of having her declared incompetent and that is nearly impossible, but you could talk with an attorney about that option. I would definitely talk with an attorney about what you might do to keep this man away from her. If you have reason to believe he is abusing her, you can report him to the police and possibly get a retraining order to keep him away from her. If you can get him out of the picture, your chances of reaching you wife and convincing her to get help will be greatly increased. I have been practicing psychotherapy and family therapy for over 20 years and know of no other options for you. I hope you will explore the intervention with family and friends and your physician as they are often successful when nothing else has worked. I wish you all the best, XXXXX XXXXX Eleanor

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