This forum is for questions and support pertaining to mental health issues such as: Anger, Dementia, Depression, Family Problems, Memory Problems, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Schizophrenia, Transitions and Work Problems.
My husband seems to exhibit some of the less severe symptoms of antisocial disorder. I've been doing research and he seems to fit the diagnosis enough to make me wonder. My aim is to be able to help him connect emotionally and have less problems socially. To give you a bit of background: he is highly intelligent having skipped several grades in high school and been tested to show an IQ at the genius level. He was diagnosed as a child with ADHD and saw several psychiatrists growing up. He was extremely disruptive as a child and had trouble with authorities and exhibited minor delinquent behaviours. As an adult he has consistently underperformed in school and at work moving from job to job (no longer than a year) often citing persecution by co-workers. He has trouble with lateness and can be quarrelsome. I have been encouraging him to be more social and to be aware of people's feelings and so in his last job he successfully held it for 3 years and was promoted each year, but lost eventually, again to personality conflicts. The other problems he exhibits is a lack of understanding between his feelings and actions and how they might affect others. For example, he forgot to invite one of his best friends to the wedding, he told me it never occurred to him. If you are not in front of him he forgets about you and does not seek to maintain contact (including myself). He often misses social cues or does not notice when people are uncomfortable ie he's walked into a woman's public washroom behind me before to continue a discussion and I had to rationally explain to him for 20mins why he shouldn't do that. He met up with a friend of mine and flagrantly flirted with her to the point where she was uncomfortable and discussed it with me. He had already described the meeting without leaving any details out but didn't understand why she perceived it that way. Prior to his relationship with me (of 12 years) he has been able to sustain long term friendships and had long term girlfriends. He is capable of being extraordinarily sensitive and loving but on a day to day basis often remains a bit aloof and is difficult to have an emotionally intimate relationship with. His past relations with family and friends have all been loving but also with abusive elements(with him taking most of the abuse) or strained. He does also display glibness, and social ease that he told me he studied carefully to mimic this masks his real insecurities, he also shows a 'laziness' and an inablity to carry a task through. In your opinion does he have an antisocial personality disorder? If not do these traits indicate any other disorder? What can we do help him connect emotionally and understand the connection between his behaviours and others feelings? Aside from going to therapy (which I assume you will suggest)is there something I can do right now to help him become aware of these traits and to overcome them? Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!
I do not think the label makes any difference. The issue is his ability to change, and this mostly dependent on you. You seem to be loving and caring and have his best interst at heart. If you can tell him what you just told me in that loving caring way, it will start the kind of therapeutic conversation you can have with him, which may, if continued be enough, or may be the incentive he needs to carry on with a therapist. You start out as the therapist in situ. If you need more help in exactly what to say about a particular situation, I suggest you go to my site, www.masteringstress.com, and start a session, and if you need more help than the session, ask for a consultation.
I would check Asperger's syndrome out as a possible diagnosis.
Aspergers is the new kid in the block of the autistic spectrum disorders and a little of a fad right now, having been in the news lately.
There is not that much information about it and plenty of misinformation, but for what the new research is showing, your husband would fit that clinical picture very well.
It seems to affect one in 250 to 500 people, depending on who is counting, so it is more common than was thought at first.
Since it is an exacerbation of normal traits and many times accompanied by co-morbid conditions, like learning disabilities as in dyslexia, discalculia, disgraphia, semantic-pragmatic disorder, ADD, social integration problems, depression, social anxiety, etc. some have questioned if it is a syndrome in itself, but the studies conducted lately point to such.
The only person that could diagnose that properly is someone in the mental field, so an evaluation is really necessary to confirm it.
You may find more about this at:
http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/ , the OASIS Forums and:
http://www.isn.net/~jypsy/sitemap.htm , a definition of Aspergers and other related autistic spectrum disorders.
If this is the proper diagnosis for your husband, to follow up with it and learn more is very important, as autistic syndromes have a definite inherited bias and if this affects any childern you both may have, to be able to help them early, so they don't have to muddle thru life as their father is, will be invaluable.
I have to say that I've done further research and I can't tell you how much my husband fits the description of Asperberger. When he did his own research he was shocked by the similarites and even started crying because he finally felt understood. We are now in the process of pursuing a formal diagnosis and some self help guides to help us understand this syndrome better. I can't thank you enough for DB47 for pointing me in the direction. I am eternally grateful to you.
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