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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My thirty-year-old daughter is divorcing her verbally abusive,

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My thirty-year-old daughter is divorcing her verbally abusive, and at times, physically abusive husband, who is obcessed with guns and knives. She has emergency custody of their 6 year-old daughter. Unfortunately, She has turned to an ex boyfriend for help that (she has shared with me) has worked very hard over the years to overcome "sociopathic tendencies" and is now a very decent guy who my granddaughter describes as "her (my granddaughter's) best friend".
After seeking counseling for my daughter for what we only knew as depression and behavior problems, my daughter left home at 16. I only recently learned it was in part,because of the verbal abuse she was suffering from this ex boyfriend during high school. Example- he"cheated" on my daughter with another girl, but convinced my daughter he was really cheating on the other girl with my daughter. Again,recently shared information from my daughter.
I am so afraid for them and can't believe how poor her judgement is concerning their safety. Even the ex boyfriend told her she was too trusting and forgiving when they were dating.
She is staying with this person because her husband can't find them and she isn't alone. (I think she still has feelings for him)
Does sociopathic tendencies mean he is a sociopath? Are my daughter and granddaughter safe? Is there an official website she can be directed to that can clarify this? (I have found plenty that are filled with articles submitted by people who are not qualified in this field)
My daughter admitted to being confused and vulnerable right now. I feel like I'm watching a train wreck about to happen!

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concerns for your daughter

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you daughter is going through this and I understand your concern for her safety and the safety of your grand daughter

DoctorZ :

Just because someone has "sociopathic tendencies" does not necessarily mean he is a sociopath at all. Sociopathy is very similar to psychopathy, and the difference between them is that a psychopath is born the way they are and a sociopath learns the behavior over time.

DoctorZ :

Most likely though when your daughter said that he had "sociopathic tendencies," he most likely has a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, which I will send a link describing more in full detail

DoctorZ :

Now for psychopathy (or sociopathy) the only way to make a diagnosis of that is to be given a test by a specialized psychologist called the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R). Here is a link describing the scales and behaviors being measures on that test

DoctorZ :

The biggest concern I have for you daughter is that after an abusive relationship that she experienced, why is she going right into another relationship (that could be potentially abusive for her and her daughter)?

DoctorZ :

I think your daughter may have Dependent Personality Disorder, which is why she is going to another possibly abusive relationship. It happens with some individuals when they have experienced abuse in the past, which is what leads them to repeat the behavior, which is what you are worried about.

DoctorZ :

I see that you are offline right now, but if you would like to discuss this further or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me anytime and I will answer you as promptly as I can.

Customer: He volunteered the diagnosis to my daughter and said he had been through extensive therapy
Customer: I found it!
DoctorZ :

Found what exactly?

Customer: Another question, although this is a critical situation right now, is there something causing my daughter to not recognize problems in the men she has been drawn to and could counseling help her make healthier decisions?
DoctorZ :

My best diagnosis would be that she has something called Dependent Personality Disorder, which is causing this type of behavior. And for someone who was abused in high school at a young age like you said, then this may cause her to gravitate more to men that will cause further abuse. I will give you a link about Dependent Personality Disorder for you too. Honestly something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will help her a lot to make better decisions.

Customer: I mean once she gets past this...and what can I do to be supportive without hurting our relationships
Customer: I found your answers and links. I was unable to access them for awhile
DoctorZ :

Well I think you are doing a really good job of supporting her and having productive talks with her. Just tell that you will always be there for her when she needs it, you dont have to push the issue that she is making bad decisions (she may have to figure that on her own in therapy), but voice your opinion, just so she knows how you feel and leave it at that.

DoctorZ :

Really, do the links work now?

Customer: Yes, and thanks for your responses
DoctorZ :

Anytime, is there anything else I can help you with tonight?

Customer: You've helped me a lot , so much is going on . your responses made sense. I hope I can be there for them emotionally. It hurts to see them struggling and vulnerable.
DoctorZ :

I understand and you are good parent to be caring for your daughter so much. It will take time, but I am positive that with therapy she can put a stop to making these unhealthy decisions and take a more positive direction for her life. These past traumas do not have to define her

Customer: Thank you for those words of encouragement Mind if I slide them into a conversation or two?
DoctorZ :

Of course you can, you are more than welcome to use anything I say here to help your daughter

Customer: You've been great, I might actually rest for a while.good night...
DoctorZ :

Good night and good luck with everything

DoctorZ :

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service tonight

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