Today my boyfriend told me that he has a mental problem. He said that he just sees people as people, he doesn’t really see the emotions and lives behind them. He said he’s trying to stop but it scares me that he doesn’t see me and think about how he loves and cares for me, he just thinks “that’s my girlfriend.” Also, growing up as a kid he was abused and neglected by a step parent when his own weren’t fit to take care of him. He’s grown up with his grandparents since the age of 6 with no remorse for burying animals as he has buried 7 of his previous dogs and killed numerous rats and bunnies. I’m so scared for him and myself because I just want to understand what could be going on… I want to help him and I just want to know a possible diagnosis. Please help me, I’m desperate. (From the USA)

A:  While I have a high regard for you love and concern, your boyfriend’s problems will need professional help. A history of being abused, killing animals, and no understanding of others feelings is a collection of issues that will need more than your love. I’d recommend that you talk to your parents, school counselor or a therapist about the feelings you have for your boyfriend, and they can help you direct him to local services while providing you with a safe place to talk about your feelings and concerns.

It isn’t possible for me to offer a diagnosis for your boyfriend, but I will confirm your concerns, and having your own counseling is the best place to begin.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral