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Re: Could he have a personality disorder?

Posted By Carol on April 27, 1999 at 23:18:15
My grand-daughter's father is very abusive and a chronic liar.  He was brought up in a violent environment; his father beat his mother and the children.  At a very young age, he was taught to lie and get paid for it, by his father, to cover for his father's infidelities.  As he grew up, other family members would lie for him to cover up his misbehavior.  He never takes responsibility for his actions.  He can look someone right in the face and lie without blinking an eye.  Even if he is shown proof that he is lying, he will still deny it.  He believes his own lies.  If someone confronts him, he becomes very angry and will lash out with his fists.  He is also a thief and thinks there is nothing wrong with stealing.  He believes he can take whatever he wants.
When my daughter was with him he beat her when she questioned him or didn't do what she was told, especially if she would'nt lie for him.  After my daughter left him he started visitations with my grand-daughter.  We learned last September that he and his fiance were abusing her.  He would also threaten and intimidate her not to tell anyone.  Even though there was total proof of the abuse, he still denies it.  My 4 year old grand-daughter is now in therapy.
Could his upbringing have caused a personality disorder and how severe could it get?

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Posted By HFHS M.D.-JK on May 03, 1999 at 21:42:50
Dear Carol,
It appears that your grand-daughter's father had a traumatic upbringing.  Growing up in an environment where there is abuse (either mentally, physically, or sexually) tends to leave children with poor coping skills.  Unfortunately, children who have been abused themselves can grow up to be adults who abuse their own children.  A personality disorder implies by definition that the behavior is an enduring pattern that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture.   This pattern is inflexible and pervasive and leads to impairment of social and occupational functioning. The areas of impairment involve interpersonal relations, impulse control, emotional responses, and how the person perceives self and other people.  Without knowing your granddaughter's father, it appears that he may meet these criteria.
As far as how severe his condition may become, it all depends on his decision what to do with his life and the people with whom he surrounds himself.  You could suggest that he seek psychiatric counseling, but it sounds unlikely that he would pursue this option.  
Although you did not mention it, I assume the police or protective services were notified that your granddaughter was being abuse.  It is imperative that children be protected.
Good luck.
To set up a confidential psychiatric consultation at Henry Ford Behavioral Services, call (248) 689-7476.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition.

Avatar universal
Posted By Carol Phipps on May 05, 1999 at 13:04:13
Thank you, HFHS M.D.-JK for your help.  My daughter did report the abuse to the police and child protective services in our area.  The father's girlfriend has been "Indicated" as a child abuser by DHS because she left bruises on my grand-daughter.  She can no longer be around my grand-daughter.  The father has been ordered into supervised visitation by family court once a week until they have a Hearing in June.  The problem we are having is that he continues to threaten her so she will not talk to anyone regarding the abuse.  He even went as far as telling her not to talk to her therapist, that she was not her friend, and if she told her would be very angry with her. The supervised visitations are only visually monitored, no one is listening to his coversations.  My grand-daughter has opened up to her therapist about these conversations with her father and that she is very afraid of him.  Her therapist has set up an appointment for my grand-daughter to see a pediatric psychiatrist and is also recommending to the court that her father seek psychiatric counseling.
Thank you again,

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