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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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Cleptomaniac, manipulative, habitual liar, depression,

Resolved Question:

cleptomaniac, manipulative, habitual liar, depression, anxiety, excessive sleep, inability to hold a job or friends, easily angered, poor hygiene, poor appetite, frequent thoughts of suicide, refusal of the idea of medications, spends most of his time alone---what type of illness has all of these in common? What should we be seeking help for? (my son in 19...this all started at 5yrs old)
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

No single diagnosis likely captures these problems. Some hypotheses would include: Antisocial Personality Disorder, PLUS Major Depressive Disorder or Dysthymic Disorder. One cannot of course, offer a diagnosis in a question-answer format such as this, without a proper evaluation.

I suspect your son has had many other diagnoses over the years such as oppositional defiant disorder as a child, perhaps bipolar disorder and ADHD. If your son is willing, he needs to be in long-term, individual and/or group psychotherapy, and family therapy would be a good thing if he is living at home. For individual therapy, I would suggest a particular modality of therapy called dialectical behavior therapy.

What do you think? He may also do best in a structured, residential living setting that offers group therapy or a therapeutic community, but these are hard to find unless the individual primarily has a drug or alcohol problem, or significant deficits in intellectual functioning.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He currently is not living at the past 8 months he has lived in 3 different places...all with family, each time when he is confronted with lies and theft he has packed his things and moved the next day to someone elses home, but always with family--never friends.
He frequently cannot remember different things or conversations that have happened and imagines things and situations that have never happened---has spoken of suicide and has been physically stopped many times since he was 5 yrs old. because he is over 18 and not living at home~~is there anything I can do to help him recieve some type of help?
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Unless he can find a stable place to live, where his behavior is tolerable (this is HIS decision to make), there isn't much hope of helping him. From a stable base of living, he might then connect with your state or regional vocational rehabilitation office. He has a clearly documented mental disorder or disorders and should qualify for benefits. This office should do an evaluation and help him decide about job training options. These can range from unskilled apprenticeships to simply job-coaching, payment for books to attend class, or get his GED if he needs this; tuition for a vocational training program. The vocational rehab office can also help pay for psychotherapy. So, there are graduated steps that one can take to help this kid but he isn't seemingly, willing to cooperate or tone down his behavior enough for anyone to put up with him. He is going to 'run out of family' to stay with if he continues to alienate someone. If he becomes homeless, this might serve as a severe enough crisis in his life to prompt him to get serious about obtaining help. As a homeless person, he might be able to start from the bottom rung of help through a homeless shelter or salvation army. Here again, they could help him get into a room-mate situation with public subsidized housing, which is better than being homeless. Apparently, nothing severe and negative enough has occurred to cause him to begin seriously looking at his own behavior. It may take a serious life crisis, in which he has to live in a shelter awhile, seriously worry about where his next meal will come from, etc., before he is willing to follow some not-too-difficult steps and behavior changes. These behavioral demands are not difficult for even people with serious problems to adopt i.e., don't lie, steal from family members and agree to take a simple job, even something part-time to start with. Go to work on time and go to your voc. rehab appointments, your therapy appointments, etc.

What do you think? Are such behavior possible, or do you suspect he might even fail here, even if he experiences a very serious crisis in his life e.g., homelessness?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank You so much for answering my questions--you have given me alot to think about and look into. These suggestions will definitely give me a starting point....Thank You again for your is greatly appreciated!
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Good luck with this. Let me know if I can be of further help. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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