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Question
Posted by: Forrester | 2009-06-12

How &  by Whom is Psychopathy Assessed?

A family member of mine may be an unaggressive, non-violent psychopath. He has been treated for clinical depression since 2001 and is prone to alcohol abuse. However, it has become more &  more evident over the years that he has numerous psychopathic tendencies (chronic lying, being irresponsible &  wilfully self-destructive, poor grasp of reality, huge sense of entitlement, perpetual sponging off others, is manipulative, &  above all no conscience, no remorse for past wrongs &  hurts). Our concern is that he may never overcome his depression &  alcohol abuse if there is some other mental imbalance that impedes any recovery. Question is: Where can he be assessed (in Jhb area) &  by whom? Initially by a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist? And is Psychopathy treatable? Your help is gratefully acknowledged.

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Our expert says:
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Psychopathy is so often a disorder one guy has, and which OTHER people then suffer from. ANy competent psychiatrist or psychologist ought to be able to assess him for this. Whoever was treating his depression one would hope would have picked this up, but then if they only had what HE told them to go on, he wouldn't be likely to have revealed the signs. Indeed, he may be reluctant to see anyone now. Psychopathy as such wouldn't impede his recovery from depression, unless it encouraged him not to actually take his medicines. Psychopathy is very hard to treat, and would need to efforts of a very skilled and experienced shrink, probably a psychologist, and understandably most shrinks would prefer not to deal with psychopaths. Treatment is imposible unless the person recognizes sincerely that they have a problem, and sincerely works in therapy to improve their condition

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Our users say:
Posted by: Forrester | 2009-06-12

Thank you for your prompt response. I fear what you say at the end is what may nullify any endeavour to get him any kind of help - he doesn' t think he has any problem(s) that may require any effort on his part to open up or to accept any responsibility for the poor turn of events in his life: they were all someone else' s fault or that of the Universe. It seems he does take his depression meds but combines them with booze  this after being warned by his doctors not to drink because he is also on Warfarin, following a pulmonary embolism. He' s daring Fate to take his life &  seems unconcerned that he has a child (presently in a Children' s Home for the past 5 years) to fight/live for. So then, are there support groups for ' others'  who suffer from his disorder? And is it morally correct to withdraw one' s emotional &  financial support? Again, thanks for sharing your wisdom &  knowledge.

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