Doctor insights on:
Dealing With A Sociopath Family Member
Very gently: People who truly have narcissistic personality disorder are exquisitely sensitive to criticism or perceived slights. These can result in verbal attack or sometimes a complete cutting off -- both painful for you. Depending on my relationship with this family member, i would tread carefully, protect my own boundaries, and do extreme self-care after being with them. Might even get help myself. ...Read more
A sociopath is someone who exemplifies antisocial personality disorder. Sociopaths are glib and superficially charming; they are masters of influence and deception. They have no guilt or remorse about exploiting or manipulating other people; winning is the most important thing. They can use words poetically and almost hypnotically. When veracity is challenged, ...Read more
Set Clear Boundaries: Set clear boundaries and stick to them. Sometimes these have to be severe, e.g. Not allowing the person in your home. Remember that the usual controls of behavior, like conscience, maybe largely absent and that talking a good line is likely to have little to do with reality so that one has to impose boundaries based on behavior. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Complex: Although behavioral issues may be similar to alzheimer's, here meds are a bit more involved. Need antiplatelet drug to prevent more strokes, and clopidogrel or Aggrenox may be useful. The best tested drugs for this kind of dementia are donepezil and galantamine (galantamine hydrobromide). ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Dissociation?: Multiple personality or dissociative identity d/o is rare, but does exist. Behavior changes in a family member may have many other causes too. If concerned about your family member, help him/her get to physician for a check up, and tell the person and doctor why you are worried. The doctor will help by evaluating & examining, & recommending further steps needed. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Great question!: Caregiver stress/burnout; caregivers develop a love-hate(don't we all) relationship with the pt. The pt with dementia is usually happy but the family's not. Recommend going onto www.Alz.Org and look for local resources. Recommend the caregiver getting 1/2 or 1 day off per week to maintain sanity. Thanks! ...Read more
Understanding: Most importantly is to help your family member by understanding them and their condition first. They need your support and empathy most of all because this can be very disabling and embarrassing for them. Also see if they are seeing a doctor and/or psychiatrist on regular basis to treat this disorder effectively. They may need your help getting to appointments and getting meds as well. ...Read more
Suggestions: #1: remember that you don't control others and cannot change them. #2: take care of yourself and behave in ways that make you feel good about your own behavior. #3: avoid heated power struggles. #4: understand that it's difficult for your family member to trust that other people are not hostile, threatening or demeaning. #5: you might suggest therapy, too. #6: care, but carry on! ...Read more
Knowledge is power: The best way to cope is to know the facts and accept them. You should learn all about the cancer that is inflicted on your loved one and find out its stage and prognosis from the treating doctor. Most patients with cancer are cured of their disease especiallly if it is caught and treated in its ealy stages. A little prayer daily can be an extra crutch and source of support for you and your family. ...Read more
Kindly: Really, the same as any citizen. They are not cripples, and should be encouraged to choose new life styles and get on with a good life. ...Read more
Challenging: Alzheimer's can affect memory and organizational skills, but can also affect behaviour. Therefore, be aware that inappropriate reactions are due to the disease and not the intrinsic prior character. Most pts require a diligent caregiver most of the day. Best to keep home events on a constant schedule, and avoid any changes which might confuse the member. More info available from the alz assoc. ...Read more
Realistic support: Persons with emotional disorders need support. However, they also need to have mirrors so that they can see what others see. Part of emotional disorders is the inability to truly see oneself. ...Read more
Can you please share your personal experiences with borderline personality disorder or with someone who has it?
Several: In addition to "an unquiet mind" by jamison, "when someone you love is bipolar: help and support for you and your partner " by last; "loving someone with bipolar disorder: understanding and helping your partner" by julie fast; and "bipolar disorder: a guide for patients and families (2nd edition)" by mondimore. ...Read more
Encouragement: Encourage them to get treatment and be supportive. You cannot force one into treatment unless they are a danger to themself or others. ...Read more
Can someone with schizophrenia get married and have a normal relationship with family or friends?
It is possible for: people w/schizophrenia marry and have good relationships, but like other disorders, it needs to be treated and it is a risk factor. There are varying degrees of symptoms manifested when someone has schizophrenia and that needs to be considered also. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Peace and good health. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Holidays can be : challenging. Expectations R high and disappointments R common. If U have problematic relationships w' family members, plan shorter visits, meet a friend 4 coffee or lunch over the holiday vacation, take walks on your own, play w' the kids 2 avoid adult tensions, help w' cooking or clean up, avoid alcohol which lowers inhibitions and could lead 2 saying or doing things U may regret later. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Information, calm: I suggest keeping calm, and not allowing yourself to be overcome with emotion. Make sure you are giving your family member accurate information. Be clear that it is impossible to predict the future with certainty, despite our medical technology. Many treatments are available. It is also important to address the patient's spiritual needs in a time like this through prayer and meditation. ...Read more
Wow: Not enough space to answer fully but in a nutshell: be available and supportive but not smothering. Respect the dignity and decisions of your family member (assuming he/she is competent) even if you don't agree. Keep petty family arguments and infighting out of the picture. Go with him/her to the oncology visits if you can. Just be your honest self. ...Read more
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