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Mental Health

Does my partner have antisocial personality d

10/29/2008

Question:

I have been with my partner 5 yrs and in that time he has cheated repeatedly, lies constantly and I have just found out that he has been stealing my savings. Everytime he is caught out doing wrong he denys it then disappears for days then eventually he will admit what he has done and says he is genuinly sorry only to do it again months later. He does have certain traits of APD like not holding jobs down for long, defaulting on loans, immaturity, cheating, lying. But he does have some good qualities, when he does work he will give you money over without an argument, he will help out around the house and with the kids, he has never been violent towards me but he just doesnt seem to learn from his mistakes or care about the hurt and pain he causes when he lies cheats and steals from me. He says he knows hes hurting me and is sorry but if that was the case surely he wouldnt do it again. I used to put it all down to immaturity as he is 24 and this is his first proper relationship. I need to know if I need to seek help as we have a child together and if he has got APD i need to know asap, many thanks xx

Answer:

Although your question seems easy, a clear answer is not possible without a direct clinical evaluation. Let me focus on the information that you have provided.

You outline how your partner is basically unreliable long-term. Despite his apologies later, he falls back into the same pattern of behavior. If we use the old expression, "actions speak louder than words," his actions certainly do.

You point out his "good qualities." However, any decent man should find violence unacceptable and should contribute toward the household. No praise is necessary.

Fundamentally, your partner has demonstrated that he is not trustworthy. I do recommend that you seek a clinical evaluation for yourself. I also recommend consulting an attorney on how to protect yourself and your child legally before your partner damages you more.

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Response by:

Ram Chandran  Kalyanam, MD Ram Chandran Kalyanam, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University