Q. Hi Dr. Heller,
I will try to be brief, one thing I am concerned of, is I won't be able to get back to this sight to find your answer to my question, being an amateur computer operator. I live with my boyfriend, 4 years now. I believe he has some sort of personality disorder? Briefly I will explain behavior changes in him. He is a wonderful person for weeks at a time, and then slowly he gets agitated. I think he tries to fight it. This problem works its way up slowly, it starts with irritability, and peaks in about a week, and last a total of two weeks. He does so many things that isn't like him at all. He will keep his paycheck, which is totally unlike him. He gets very dominant! He will lay on the couch, so no one else can sit down. no t talk to anyone, even if they are talking to him. Listen to heavy metal music, no matter what anyone is doing in the house, rocking the baby, sleeping, he doesn't care about anyone in the house except himself. He won't answer the phone. I can not emphasize enough how different he is in this "mood". He will take money from my purse. If our son is crying, he doesn't do anything like comfort him, which he always does. It is almost like he looses all his feelings for everyone in the house. He also laughs at anyone in the house who gets upset at him for treating them so mean. It is such a dramatic personality change. I feel like I don't know him at all when he is like this, and I certainly don't like him when he is like this! He is very cruel, and mean! It doesn't bother him at all to keep all his money and leave myself and children with no food in the house. All the while he is here, and just sort of off in his own world. He thinks he is being the same as he always is. Normally he is polite, and loving, and very considerate to everyone in the house. When he is in a "mood" I call it. He is just mean and cruel to everyone in the house. I see it as a Dr. Jeckel, and Mr. Hyde thing. To the extreme!! I can't get him to go get counseling or an evaluation, he has all kinds of excuses not to go. I just hope you can tell me weather he sounds like he is having some familiar symptoms of a personality disorder, or if you think he may just be a BRATT!!! :o) This has a pattern also, it happens about every other month or more, and always last around two weeks. I realize this is not a diagnoses or anything like that. But maybe if I can get a professional opinion, that this could be a physical or mental disorder. He may consider going to be checked out. I also know he doesn't like being like this either.
A. While I obviously can't make a diagnosis, you're describing someone who cycles. I would recommend you check into bipolar disorder and cyclothymic disorder and find out all you can. The combination of either with a mild case of the BPD becoming dysphoric is a possible explanation. All of these disorders are discussed and explained in my new book "Biological Unhappiness" which may be a good reference source for you.