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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4837
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My brother and I are trying to find out how we can get help

Resolved Question:

My brother and I are trying to find out how we can get help for our father. Our father is a very abusive and volatile man. He physically (beat us) and emotionally abused both of us until we were old enough and able to leave home. He still continues this behavior today with strangers and girlfriends, and we are both in our mid thirties. He has been married 6 times and has beat and emotionally abused all of his wives. He has to control all situations and his anger is explosive. He loses control pulling guns on people, hitting people, throwing things, I could go on and on. We know he has a mental problem but don't know what it is. Just recently I had twin girls that I refuse to let him be around....this has set him into a constant fit of rage. I live 3 hours away and fear he will show up and try to hurt my family. We have called the police to notify them of the situation and have even (just a few days ago) had police go to his home and take him in for evaluation when he threatened to take his own life just because he didn't get his way. He lives in a small town where the police know of his outbursts but never seem to do anything because he 'knows people' and can get out of trouble. An ex girlfriend of his wrote me and email yesterday telling me of many times my father beat her and even made her get on her knees while he held a gun to her head execution style. I fear that this will only end in the death of someone he hurts or by someone shooting him.
In your opinion what are people with these types of issues diagnosed with and where can we go to find him help??
Thank you for your time,
Lori
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your father has been exhibiting this type of behavior, I can imagine how this is distressing to you and your entire family

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask a couple questions to get more information, so that I can give you the best possible answer

Dr. Z :

When your father gets angry like this, is usually instrumental in nature where his anger is meant to achieve a goal/reward, or meant to punish purposefully?

Dr. Z :

Or his is anger more impulsive in nature and unpremeditated?

Customer:

His anger usually is to punish purposefully for things not going his way but it can be also to achieve a goal that he wants someone else to do. Not sure if that makes sense. His anger can be impulsive but I have also seen him plan to do something to someone.

Dr. Z :

Okay, that does make sense. I believe your father has one definite personality disorder called Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) that can account for this anger and possibly another personality disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). These two personality disorders are commonly seen together as well. Here are a couple links that can explain them in more detail for you

Dr. Z :

The NPD can account for his manipulative and controlling nature as well

Customer:

My father is also very good at hiding this from people outside his inner circle, and will lie about everything he does. The Narcissistic Personality makes quite a bit of sense because everything is always about him not matter what you have going on in your life. He also tends to tell people how young he looks and feels for his age all the time.

Dr. Z :

So NPD is definitely a strong possibility. I also think APD as well for your father because that accounts for his anger, disregard for others, lack of empathy, not following societal rules, abusive relationships, etc..

Dr. Z :

Most individuals NPD are not overly aggressive like this and that is why I think a combination with APD accounts for his symptoms

Customer:

Both seem to fit him perfectly. How would you suggest we approach this with him? Or is there no hope unless he realizes he does have a problem?My bother and I both have told him we will not have contact with him unless he does seek help. He says that everyone is out to get him (which another huge issue). He has no close friends and has ran everyone out of his life because every single person has wronged him in some way....as if everyone sits around all day thinking of ways to anger him.

Dr. Z :

So because of his abusive nature he can be compelled to go to mandatory therapy if he gets in trouble with the again. But I see many of these types of cases in my forensic practice and history of working in state hospitals and jails (70-80 percent of offenders have these diagnoses) and given his age, most likely therapy will not be successful for him because he does not think anything is wrong with him, but instead feels everyone else is wrong. So this leads him to not be motivated to change

Dr. Z :

There are some antipsychotic medications out there that can help lessen his anger if he chooses to take them or is compelled to take them if he gets in trouble with the law.

Dr. Z :

Typically though only long term Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is successful in treating these individuals with these disorders, but the success rate is not high.

Dr. Z :

Here are also some good books that can help protect you from his behavior and enlighten you as well of these two disorders

Customer:

Thats just the thing the officials never make him do anything because he tells them lies and they always let him go. The women he abuses never turn him in because he will threatens to hurt someone in their family if they do. It's very sad but I do think this will somehow kill him or he will kill someone else. I expect to receive a phone call one day telling me that exact thing and it would not surprise me at all

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry for this predicament. If no one will turn him in because of his threats and manipulation, then most likely he will not voluntarily seek therapy. If he does say that he wants to hurt himself or other though, he can be placed on a 72 hour involuntary psychiatric hold as this is the law in all states to protect him and the community

Customer:

The police did take him into the ER on Monday night to evaluate him, but once again he talked his way out of it and they let him go home. I was truly hoping they would keep him. I think that's all we can do is try to protect ourselves from him. Do you think making a phone call to a judge or police chief and tell them everything they would look more into it? Thank you for you help. I will take a look at the sites you sent and the books.

Dr. Z :

I think the police probably have good file on him already and are trying everything to try to get him locked up and treated appropriately it seems like, but they just do not have enough evidence or he manipulates his way out of it. Calling the judge will not help because a judge is neutral, but you can call the district attorney to take a closer look into the matter with the police, but I believe that the police are tying their best right now. I think distancing yourself away is the best option because you want to keep you and your family safe.

Customer:

They do but he is a prominent person the this small community so they don't want to 'stir the pot'. They will wish they did something when something bad does happen. Thanks again for you help.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4837
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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