Q: I am considering ending a relationship
with a friend of almost 10 years, because I’m worried he may have an
incurable mental disorder. “Friend” is misleading, as our
relationship has been semi-sexual and… not very friendly. He seems
to be completely self-absorbed, emotionally retarded (not displaying
emotions), lacking remorse and empathy, incapable of intimacy in any
real form. Ex: He occasionally calls me late at night with grandiose
professions of love, but will claim the exact opposite the next day.
He instigates explicit sexual conversations, but cannot handle
physical contact with me except on very rare occasions (sexual
encounters in which he had to exercise complete dominance and control;
also he refuses to have intercourse). He regularly makes plans with
me that he has no intention of keeping. I stumbled across an article
about psychopathy, and he seems to fit all of the non-criminal
descriptions perfectly, with one major exception: sociopaths are
supposed to be free from anxiety, something he experiences in excess.
He is an artist and lives alone, and claims he has many friends, is
very intelligent and charming, and is generally functional. Do you
think this is an amalgamate of several disorders? What kind of
treatment is available for them?Is my friend a psychopath?
Is my friend a psychopath?
I can’t, of course, make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter. And, frankly, I’m less concerned with his diagnosis than with the fact that you’ve put up with this for 10 years. You met this guy when you were only 14 so you were too young and inexperienced to see how destructive and unhealthy this relationship is. I’m so very glad you’ve finally gotten beyond being flattered by his charms.
If this man wants treatment, I’m sure a therapist can help him. But that’s not your problem. Your problem is figuring out how to end this once and for all and how to make yourself available for an appropriate partner; someone who will cherish you and who will be a real friend and lover. If you find this difficult, perhaps you should see a therapist to help you recover from the years of negativity and sexually abusive treatment. Please take care of yourself. You deserve so much better.
I wish you well.