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Personality Disorder Diagnosis for DH

(12 Posts)
MINKY75 Sat 10-Feb-18 13:15:51

My husband walked away from our family the week before Xmas after havING some kind of mental breakdown. Since then he has been (in his own words) full of melancholy and mania, has expressed a want to kill himself and become insomniac. He has been prescribed antidepressants which he is taking and his symptoms have improved. He is still adamant however that our marriage is over. We have the same GP and she has gently suggested that he is just a man just trying to leave his wife. Erm...what about all the other mental health stuff and the fact that we were the happiest couple in our friendship group???She has said mental health issues do not appear overnight (he is now saying he wanted to self harm since he was 15) and the only thin g that she can suggest is that he has a personality disorder. I know very little about this...can anyone help by explaining if this sounds plausible??? He is functioning bur feeling no emotion and can only show anger and contempt for me despite nothing happening for me to deserve this.

Digestive28 Sat 10-Feb-18 13:18:22

Sorry you are having a tough time. To find out more about personality disorder I would highly recommend “out of the fog” website if you give it a google it is an amazing source of knowledge and more than can be written in a few lines here

MINKY75 Sat 10-Feb-18 16:50:49

Thank you. X

thethoughtfox Sat 10-Feb-18 17:30:33

It sounds like he has told her he wants to leave you and she is telling as as much as she legally can. I'm so sorry.

MINKY75 Sat 10-Feb-18 18:08:01

Thanks for your reply. I KNOW he has definitely told her he wants to leave but the GP has suggested that he has a personality disorder which I would like advice on. Many thanks though.

Aintgotnosoapbox Sat 10-Feb-18 22:35:05

I don't think the GP can really assess and diagnose this condition- I think it would be more of a specialist diagnosis.
I would suggest ask him for more information, and see if he will ask the GP fir a psychiatric referral. If he is manic or psychotic, different medication may be required.

Carnt Wed 28-Feb-18 15:48:36

I agree with Aintgotnosoapbox, a GP can most definitely NOT diagnose a condition like this! There is a specific qualification for this and GP training does not cover this. It must be "Tests and Diagnosis. A licensed mental health professional—such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker—experienced in diagnosing and treating mental disorders can diagnose personality disorders." (from the NHS website) Do not listen to whatever the GP says, in fact go back to your GP and ask what qualifications s/he has to make that diagnosis.

Sorry to hear you are struggling, MINKY75. Hugs.

HarrietBasset Thu 01-Mar-18 19:37:28

He needs a psychiatric assessment. Gp can refer though waiting times very. You can go private if you have the means. Gp can't diagnose personality disorders (I'm a mental health worker)

NolongerAnxiousCarer Thu 01-Mar-18 23:28:40

We have just had an experience where DHs GP sent him to hospital with a letter stating he had a history of personality disorder. This was news to us and on checking with his psychiatrist she confirmed that he doesn't and never has had this diagnosis. I would be pretty cross with the GP as a)she is not qualified to make this diagnosis and b)she shouldn't be speculating about his diagnosis with you anyway that's a breach of his confidentiality. If she does think that he has a personality disorder she should be referring his for a proper psychiatric assessment.

I've had some really dodgy opinions about my husband's mental health diagnosis and prognosis in the past. When he first started with delusions I discussed it with my GP who told me he had schizophrenia and printed me out a load of info on it. He doesn't have that diagnosis either though his psychiatrist has said that it is a possibility, just an unlikely one in her opinion. I've also had a GP who has never met him tell me that he will never be stable! He has long periods (years) of stability (hence his psychiatrist thinking schizophrenia unlikely) I think it's a case of a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Fri 02-Mar-18 10:47:43

@MINKY75 I've just reread the OP and decided that your GP is talking bollocks! Whilst mental health problems may not appear overnight they are often triggered by stressful events and mental health crises can and do often seem to appear out of nowhere, even when sometimes in retrospect you may be able to see a build up. There's a certain level of stress that you can cope with for a while and then what feels all of a sudden you realise you are not coping anymore. That's my experience anyway. Apparently if you put a frog in a pan of water and heat it very gradually it just adapts to the slow change of temperature and doesn't notice it's too hot until it's too late. Humans are a lot like this with stress. We don't realise how bad things are until our mental health gives out on us. At other times mental health problems can be triggered by sudden events such a bereavement, job loss, illness or trauma.

I had urges to self harm as a teenager but got through that patch without telling anyone, I was treated for depression in my 20s was then fine until stressful life events in my 30s where I've had a couple of episodes of depression, PTSD (which came on suddenly as a result of a sudden traumatic event) and anxiety but been absolutely fine inbetween times.

DH suffers from episodes of psychosis. He has done since he was a teenager but it wasn't picked up on until his late 20s because he was muddling along somehow. He also has long periods of stability and then a crisis can seem to appear out of nowhere certainly the one that got him diagnosed went from us having no idea he was ill (and never having heard of psychosis) to being sectioned in little over a week. I am part of a carer support group for people with psychosis and bipolar and although in most cases this seems to emerge when people are in their teens and early 20s there are people there who's loved ones had no signs of illness until much later, one ladies husband was in her 60s before he became ill and was diagnosed with bipolar!

My husband and I also separated for a while when he was at his most ill. He thought I was trying to harm him and kicked me out. It was a very difficult time as I knew that he was unwell rather than just wanting to break up and it left me in a kind of limbo where I didn't feel able to make any decisions about my future until he was well. My advice would be to use this time to do things for you so that you are in the strongest place possible yourself whichever way things go. For us once my husband's delusions settled we were able to rebuild our relationship. I do understand how hard it is when you don't know what's going on and the professionals are not able to give you any information either.

MINKY75 Fri 02-Mar-18 10:59:45

@NolongerAnxiousCarer Thank you so much for your reply, it's so helpful to hear from someone who has been through a similar experience. Unfortunately the GP has now done untold damage because she has since met with him again and stated that she believes he is not mentally ill. His family and I had considered paying for a private psych assessment but he won't agree to this now. As a result our family has fallen apart. He is now about to move into a room in a rented house, has reinvented himself as a "drinker and gamer" and doesn't really care about anything apart from his laptop and phone. Both my MIL and I have ex pressed strong concerns that he is acting in a regressive and unusual way but the GP has brushed it all aside and (it would seem) encouraged him to move ahead with his 'new' life while the rest of us are left dealing with the fall out.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Fri 02-Mar-18 12:24:42

Ok so the GP has told you she thinks he has a personality disorder but told him that he doesn't have a mental illness hmm. I'm no expert on personality disorder and I think that there is a debate about whether they actually constitute a mental illness or not, but if she does think he might have a personality disorder she should be referring him for a proper assessment as there are treatments available from mental health services.

The difficulty is that he is an adult and so you and his family have no actual say in this. He has a right to make what we may consider unwise decisions and his GP has to support him in this. Also you only know his version of what the GP has said. DH came back from his psychiatrist appointment once after a major crisis and told me that the psychiatrist did not think he had been ill again she just thought he had had too much to drink. I was very hmm about this as she had also restarted his meds. I went to the next appointment which she opened by saying how incredibly ill he had been, he was shocked as he hadn't taken that on board at all.

I have found it very hard to get professionals to listen to me regarding my concerns about my husband. I've had a GP telling me I was looking for an excuse for bad behaviour and even post diagnosis a crisis team professional telling me that my husband just had a "nasty temper " and wasn't mentally ill. (He was clearly psychotic to me and to his own CPN when he was able to see him the following Monday) so I can understand how frustrating it is.

If you think that he is a risk to himself or others then his nearest relative (this may have reverted to one of his parents if you have separated) can request a mental health act assessment from the local mental health team without his consent. The Rethink website have more info on this and template letters etc. There is a big gap though where people are not at this stage but maybe lack insight into the fact that they are unwell and will decline assessment and help. DH has spent a lot of time in this category in the past where I am desperately asking for help and he is then telling the professionals he doesn't need it because he is fine.

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