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Could you help me define some of these character traits?

(8 Posts)
Thinkingthisthrough Thu 05-May-16 00:41:46

I know how inaccurate armchair diagnoses can be, but could you help me identify some of these personal character traits based on the way my father behaves, and tell me if they fit a personality disorder or type, so that I can get a better idea of what is (and always has) been going on with him:

1. Paranoia and suspicion about others which is unfounded. Reading into other people's behaviour, facial expressions or words where there is no justification to and finding something sinister or hostile. And from thereon claiming their negative perception of that person as the absolute truth. Eg seeing someone walking into a pub and deciding that they must be an alcoholic.

2. Taking extreme counter-measures and/or revenge to combat the perceived hostility or negativity of someone else like bugging phones, personal attacks, bullying, stealing of possessions, spreading rumours.
3. trying to control the rest of the family to think and behave the same way regarding the perceived negative threat or person. Deciding that if a member of the family does not comply to their decision to perceive someone a certain way, then that member is also colluding in the perceived negative behaviour of the hostile person and therefore must be guilty of the same thing. Eg labelling someone a paedophile because they were in a primary school during lunchtime. Then if someone points out that their belief is based on no evidence, accusing them of being a paedophile too for questioning the perception.
4. Flying into blind rages due to perceived threats that are not really there. Going red, shouting, unable to physically control themselves.
5. labelling people "good" or "bad" and being unable to reframe their view of someone or see them as "just human."
6. a tendency towards dramatics - lots of shouting, confrontation and feigned illness.

Aussiebean Thu 05-May-16 01:15:15

I can't help with this, but I imagine there was/is a huge impact on you.

Have you gone to councilling? They would probably be able to help you get an idea of what is happening

GarlicShake Thu 05-May-16 03:20:54

This sounds very frightening for you and other family members - and for your father. A personality disorder is a lifelong pervasive pattern of fixed attitudes & behaviours, which impair the person's ability to relate normally with the outside world. In most of the disorders, the person has little understanding of how 'non-PD' interactions work.

People can have traits of several disorders together. Usually there will be one set of traits that are dominant. Your father's character might fit the paranoid PD description most closely. Depending on the nature of his paranoid beliefs, he might also have schizotypal traits.

Are you living with him? Who bears the brunt of these rages?

GarlicShake Thu 05-May-16 03:32:46

5. labelling people "good" or "bad" and being unable to reframe their view of someone or see them as "just human."

This is common to most PDs, though certainly not exclusive to them. Your point 6, too - dramatic/histrionic behaviour - occurs in the majority of PDs.

Personality disorders begin early: if the subject hasn't always been like this, it's not a PD but there may well be some other psych problem. It's hard to imagine anyone with such extreme traits having formed a marriage & family. Did this seem to start later in life? If so, he could be suffering paranoid schizophrenia or some other mental disturbance.

SeeYouLaterAlligator Thu 05-May-16 04:14:46

It sounds like your father has a degree of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). NPD isn't always 'exclusive' and can run alongside other Personality Disorders such as Paranoid Schizophrenia.

Nollynoodle8 Thu 05-May-16 04:52:21

Definately a PD of some description going on there. Trouble with personality disorders is they're often untreatable as the person with them can't be helped without acknowledging there's something wrong first and the very fact of their mental impairment means that's impossible. My exdh was exactly like your description, he was diagnosed as NPD with psychopathic traits - untreatable. To this day he doesn't even accept a diagnosis has been made, never mind disagreeing with it. Just considers everyone 'interferring bastards'. It's very sad. I was taught it's a form of damage going back to their childhood, specifically around the age of two when the child learns he's a separate entity from the mother. I'd put money on there being difficult circumstances at that time.

SeeYouLaterAlligator Thu 05-May-16 07:20:02

Here's a link that explains what it is like to have a Narcissistic Father...you may notice some of the red flags on a more personal level as to how it can affect the children/family of someone with NPD.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201303/the-narcissistic-father

GarlicShake Thu 05-May-16 14:00:49

Schizophrenia isn't a personality disorder, it's an illness.
PDs are not illnesses.

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