Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Help In Identifying A Psychological Condition (If It Has A Name)


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Questioning

  • Members
  • 240 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 05:20 AM

We have a friend who has some peculiar psychological traits, and I'm trying to see whether they fit into a known psychological category. I use the word "friend" for lack of a better word, because she is the same age as my children and relates to my wife much better than to me.

 

As a background, both my wife and I have recognised after a long period of investigation that we are both somewhere on the Asperger's spectrum, or mild autism if you like. Having come to this conclusion, we recognise the same traits in our friend, but to a much greater degree. But there are aspects which are beyond that. 

 

Here is a summary of her characteristics:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Intelligent, degree in maths.

 

Has an Asperger's diagnosis

 

Has had therapy for body issues, eating disorders. Refuses to exercise, is seriously overweight.

 

Pre-therapy held extreme and critical moral views and excessive prudishness. Age 40, still a virgin. No relationship.

 

Lives in her computer.  Is obsessed by computer technology, especially virtual currency. Has all the latest Apple stuff.

 

Obsessed with strong female actresses/celebrities, sequentially, throughout her life. (A therapist suggested that her "friendship" with my wife was just an extension of this attachment to strong women)

 

Obsessed by self-imposed and seemingly arbitrary rules which she applies rigorously. Does not do housework but is obsessed with washing hands.

 

Is extreme in restrictions, especially dietary, to the point where she is eating carrots and quark.

 

Has been a lifelong vegetarian, against a background of maternal psychological abuse. This vegetarianism extends to insane restrictions such as refusing any product whatsoever which might contain trace animal products (but is blind with wine and chocolate). Refuses rational discussion on this.

 

Has no friends of her own age, has only two friends, female, 20 years older than herself.

 

Avoids all social interaction 

 

Cannot identify the appropriate level of intimate detail when verbalising thoughts which she needs to express (e.g. detail about consistency of menstrual blood - too much info for anybody)

 

Has no concept of personal boundaries, which is a clear trait in the entire family, especially the parents. E.g. sharing beds with adult daughter, total lack of bathroom privacy, interference in every aspect of each others lives, mother still buys her clothes, etc. (This is the characteristic which baffles me most and is the most difficult to deal with)

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The above summary gives a confusing picture of a mixture of Asperger's, OCPD, Tourette's and everything else. One might get the impression that she should be sectioned immediately, but she seems to function normally on some levels, had a secure job in a bank for several years, her own apartment, and is a kind gentle person. I see her as a girl who reached puberty at which point her emotional development stopped. Extremely naïve about everything. How she got a degree in maths is a mystery to me.

 

The impetus for this post is to try and deal with somebody who I think has attached herself to us and depends on us (mainly my wife) for psychological support, so we feel obliged to try and help as best we can. And she is a nice person.

 

Any ideas?

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 06:13 AM

We have a friend who has some peculiar psychological traits, and I'm trying to see whether they fit into a known psychological category. I use the word "friend" for lack of a better word, because she is the same age as my children and relates to my wife much better than to me.

 

As a background, both my wife and I have recognised after a long period of investigation that we are both somewhere on the Asperger's spectrum, or mild autism if you like. Having come to this conclusion, we recognise the same traits in our friend, but to a much greater degree. But there are aspects which are beyond that. 

 

Here is a summary of her characteristics:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Intelligent, degree in maths.

 

Has an Asperger's diagnosis

 

Has had therapy for body issues, eating disorders. Refuses to exercise, is seriously overweight.

 

Pre-therapy held extreme and critical moral views and excessive prudishness. Age 40, still a virgin. No relationship.

 

Lives in her computer.  Is obsessed by computer technology, especially virtual currency. Has all the latest Apple stuff.

 

Obsessed with strong female actresses/celebrities, sequentially, throughout her life. (A therapist suggested that her "friendship" with my wife was just an extension of this attachment to strong women)

 

Obsessed by self-imposed and seemingly arbitrary rules which she applies rigorously. Does not do housework but is obsessed with washing hands.

 

Is extreme in restrictions, especially dietary, to the point where she is eating carrots and quark.

 

Has been a lifelong vegetarian, against a background of maternal psychological abuse. This vegetarianism extends to insane restrictions such as refusing any product whatsoever which might contain trace animal products (but is blind with wine and chocolate). Refuses rational discussion on this.

 

Has no friends of her own age, has only two friends, female, 20 years older than herself.

 

Avoids all social interaction 

 

Cannot identify the appropriate level of intimate detail when verbalising thoughts which she needs to express (e.g. detail about consistency of menstrual blood - too much info for anybody)

 

Has no concept of personal boundaries, which is a clear trait in the entire family, especially the parents. E.g. sharing beds with adult daughter, total lack of bathroom privacy, interference in every aspect of each others lives, mother still buys her clothes, etc. (This is the characteristic which baffles me most and is the most difficult to deal with)

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The above summary gives a confusing picture of a mixture of Asperger's, OCPD, Tourette's and everything else. One might get the impression that she should be sectioned immediately, but she seems to function normally on some levels, had a secure job in a bank for several years, her own apartment, and is a kind gentle person. I see her as a girl who reached puberty at which point her emotional development stopped. Extremely naïve about everything. How she got a degree in maths is a mystery to me.

 

The impetus for this post is to try and deal with somebody who I think has attached herself to us and depends on us (mainly my wife) for psychological support, so we feel obliged to try and help as best we can. And she is a nice person.

 

Any ideas?

 

 

 

Many of these traits are not generally traits of a mental ill-health.



#3 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 06:17 AM

The only thing you should really elaborate on is the boundaries thing.

 

I am not a doctor, just very knowledgeable of certain things. The no boundaries part does interest me, but you also said she is prudent, at 40 with no relationship. Is she promiscuous at all?

 

The lack of being able to verbally express herself may be related to the autistic/aspergers spectrum. Does she have any other conditions that have been identified, such as semantic pragmatic disorder? Being introvert, avoiding social interaction is not always a bad trait, many of us tend to get quieter as we get older. I would not go as far to say these show antisocial behaviour due to a mental health condition, such as being a sociopath for instance.

 

 

More details would nice.

 

 

Edit - sorry you said she was a virgin, she is not promiscuous then.


Edited by Dubbelosix, 27 June 2017 - 06:18 AM.


#4 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Questioning

  • Members
  • 240 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 08:14 AM

Many of these traits are not generally traits of a mental ill-health.

 

I'm looking for something to describe the psychological state, rather than a diagnosis of ill-health

 

The only thing you should really elaborate on is the boundaries thing.

 

The lack of being able to verbally express herself may be related to the autistic/aspergers spectrum. Does she have any other conditions that have been identified, such as semantic pragmatic disorder? Being introvert, avoiding social interaction is not always a bad trait, many of us tend to get quieter as we get older. I would not go as far to say these show antisocial behaviour due to a mental health condition, such as being a sociopath for instance.

 

 

More details would nice.

 

 

No semantic pragmatic disorder, but considering her level of education, she is hopeless at explaining anything. Yes, we get quieter when we get older, but she's 40 and she hasn't ever been through a noisy stage, not even as a student.

 

The boundaries issue is an interesting one, and involves her family of parents and two sisters. It is as if the whole family does not identify each other as separate entities, but they all treat each other as extensions of themselves. As one example: a sister is involved in a custody issue about her young child. The ex-partner, father, is claiming legal access. The sister has legal representation in court, but her parents have been writing letters to the court telling them what a **** the father of their grandchild is. That got so bad that a court official had to intervene and tell them to stop, at which point they wanted to write to social services, totally oblivious to the absurdity of their action. Our friend has recounted all these proceedings to us, in agonizing detail and with a maximum of drama, as though she were the mother involved, not her sister, and not actually aware that she is only the aunt of the child involved.

 

Other boundary issues are so numerous and in themselves trivial but weird. The family treat it as unusual that somebody locks the bathroom door, and even object to it: (What have you got to hide?). When the parents visit our friend, the mother treats it as normal that she shares a bed with her. When they visit the sister (38), the mother shares a bed with her daughter and two-year-old grandchild, and father sleeps in the same room, even when there are two other bedrooms. The parents visited us once, for lunch, and I had to get up and leave after several hours of their not taking a hint that lunch does not last until 18.00. During that conversation, the only thing I can remember was the mother telling us which hand she uses to wipe her bottom (I do not have this info for any other person). When our friend's guinea pig died, the mother wanted to visit (a 5-hour flight). The list seems endless. We strongly suspect, as does a therapist who worked with her, that she was sexually abused as a child and that it is all too buried to go there.



#5 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 09:11 AM

I'm looking for something to describe the psychological state, rather than a diagnosis of ill-health

 

 

No semantic pragmatic disorder, but considering her level of education, she is hopeless at explaining anything. Yes, we get quieter when we get older, but she's 40 and she hasn't ever been through a noisy stage, not even as a student.

 

The boundaries issue is an interesting one, and involves her family of parents and two sisters. It is as if the whole family does not identify each other as separate entities, but they all treat each other as extensions of themselves. As one example: a sister is involved in a custody issue about her young child. The ex-partner, father, is claiming legal access. The sister has legal representation in court, but her parents have been writing letters to the court telling them what a **** the father of their grandchild is. That got so bad that a court official had to intervene and tell them to stop, at which point they wanted to write to social services, totally oblivious to the absurdity of their action. Our friend has recounted all these proceedings to us, in agonizing detail and with a maximum of drama, as though she were the mother involved, not her sister, and not actually aware that she is only the aunt of the child involved.

 

Other boundary issues are so numerous and in themselves trivial but weird. The family treat it as unusual that somebody locks the bathroom door, and even object to it: (What have you got to hide?). When the parents visit our friend, the mother treats it as normal that she shares a bed with her. When they visit the sister (38), the mother shares a bed with her daughter and two-year-old grandchild, and father sleeps in the same room, even when there are two other bedrooms. The parents visited us once, for lunch, and I had to get up and leave after several hours of their not taking a hint that lunch does not last until 18.00. During that conversation, the only thing I can remember was the mother telling us which hand she uses to wipe her bottom (I do not have this info for any other person). When our friend's guinea pig died, the mother wanted to visit (a 5-hour flight). The list seems endless. We strongly suspect, as does a therapist who worked with her, that she was sexually abused as a child and that it is all too buried to go there.

 

 

I used to write books on psychology... fantasy but still based in theory so I had to do a lot of studying into the mental state.

 

I am trying to build a picture of the person and compare it to other people I am aware of. So you have talked about this sharing bedrooms thing, can you explain or share with me, what troubles you with it the most? Is it an age issue? What is her mental age, do you have one for her in your mind?

 

You cannot assume she was sexually abused. For instance, you explain she is a virgin, so she identifies as never having sex. She embraces powerful women, is this a reflection of her sexuality, or is it something she wished she was as an individual?

 

Is she attracted to all types of powerful females, like J Rowling for instance?


Edited by Dubbelosix, 27 June 2017 - 09:13 AM.


#6 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 09:15 AM

The more information about her, I might be able to build  a type of profile, so keep the info coming.



#7 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Questioning

  • Members
  • 240 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 10:14 AM

I am trying to build a picture of the person and compare it to other people I am aware of. So you have talked about this sharing bedrooms thing, can you explain or share with me, what troubles you with it the most? Is it an age issue? What is her mental age, do you have one for her in your mind?

 

You cannot assume she was sexually abused. For instance, you explain she is a virgin, so she identifies as never having sex. She embraces powerful women, is this a reflection of her sexuality, or is it something she wished she was as an individual?

 

Is she attracted to all types of powerful females, like J Rowling for instance?

 

It is just a suspicion that there was some kind of profound disturbance during childhood. We hear all kinds of things about her family which build up a disturbing picture, so I would not dismiss the abuse, but nor would I assume it.

 

She seems to be attracted primarily to actresses and celebrities, rather than strong women in general. 

 

The problem is of course that everything is being filtered through my amateurish account of her behaviour, and thus anecdotal at best. If any other issues occur to me, I'll post them.



#8 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:15 AM

It is just a suspicion that there was some kind of profound disturbance during childhood. We hear all kinds of things about her family which build up a disturbing picture, so I would not dismiss the abuse, but nor would I assume it.

 

She seems to be attracted primarily to actresses and celebrities, rather than strong women in general. 

 

The problem is of course that everything is being filtered through my amateurish account of her behaviour, and thus anecdotal at best. If any other issues occur to me, I'll post them.

 

 

This is in contradiction to what you told me earlier. You said she was attracted to your wife because she was a strong women... yet, I assume, your wife is not famous?



#9 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:21 AM

My analysis is this so far... she is maybe lesbian, which is why she has not formed a proper relationship by the age 40. I don't take her reclusive nature as a damaging thing, but perhaps a reflection of a coping mechanism, maybe based in her early years. The coping mechanism may have came from a sexual abuse in the past, but I'd make this a hasty assumption based on the fact, most people who identify as a virgin, often account a conflict of this identity in a rape situation.

 

Your friend has characteristics that are attributed to billions of people over the world. I would not be worried but I would certainly try and be her path to help if you can, with adjusting to a new lifestyle which may be considered, more healthy in the socializing department.


Edited by Dubbelosix, 27 June 2017 - 11:24 AM.


#10 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:24 AM

But yeah, I haven't seen any alarm bells that lead to any condition specifically that I know, other than some obsessive compulsive disorder.... which is nothing really.



#11 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Questioning

  • Members
  • 240 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:29 AM

This is in contradiction to what you told me earlier. You said she was attracted to your wife because she was a strong women... yet, I assume, your wife is not famous?

 

Not really in contradiction, just generally obsessed by actresses and celebrities, and clearly being clingy and dependent on the wife. This may simply be 1) wife is 20 years older with a relatively infinite amount of common sense and experience 2) Wife is actually a local celebrity, well known in our very small circle for having a news site which is well respected. There may well be some kudos in being a friend of hers.

 

Just seen the other post - I don't dismiss the lesbian idea, but she admits to having fantasized about boys from the age of 8. At the age of 11 she tried to chat up a boy who responded by telling her that she was repulsive. She seems to have taken that as a universal opinion, obviously deeply affected by it. (She's potentially quite attractive, in fact)



#12 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:33 AM

Not really in contradiction, just generally obsessed by actresses and celebrities, and clearly being clingy and dependent on the wife. This may simply be 1) wife is 20 years older with a relatively infinite amount of common sense and experience 2) Wife is actually a local celebrity, well known in our very small circle for having a news site which is well respected. There may well be some kudos in being a friend of hers.

 

Just seen the other post - I don't dismiss the lesbian idea, but she admits to having fantasized about boys from the age of 8. At the age of 11 she tried to chat up a boy who responded by telling her that she was repulsive. She seems to have taken that as a universal opinion, obviously deeply affected by it. (She's potentially quite attractive, in fact)

 

 

This is very confusing --- you don't dismiss the idea of lesbianism, but apparently she is sharing the fantiasy of an immature situation back at the age of 8 and 11. Do you think this is characteristic of an abused person... it is possible.


Edited by Dubbelosix, 27 June 2017 - 11:34 AM.


#13 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:33 AM

edited ^



#14 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:34 AM

Have you ever asked her whether she was abused, how deep does the rabbit hole go, do you know?



#15 DrKrettin

DrKrettin

    Questioning

  • Members
  • 240 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:45 AM

Have you ever asked her whether she was abused, how deep does the rabbit hole go, do you know?

 

No we haven't. We persuaded her to have therapy with a (qualified) friend, who identified serious problems arising from childhood. But even she did not try to plumb the depths to that extent. The friend gave that up way before they had accomplished anything, which makes you suspect that she was frightened about what might get revealed. It was not a financial decision.

 

I mentioned earlier that she seems to behave like an immature teenage girl (infinite sharing of detail about personal crap etc.). She seems to treat the wife as a kind of teenage friend with whom she can automatically share really boring trivia (Phonecall: "Just been to the vet, and he said the lump on my guinea pig.......") and assumes the wife is interested, even though it is hard to see why anybody would be.

 

I have no idea why a 40 year old woman behaves like that, hence this thread.



#16 Dubbelosix

Dubbelosix

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 538 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 11:58 AM

No we haven't. We persuaded her to have therapy with a (qualified) friend, who identified serious problems arising from childhood. But even she did not try to plumb the depths to that extent. The friend gave that up way before they had accomplished anything, which makes you suspect that she was frightened about what might get revealed. It was not a financial decision.

 

I mentioned earlier that she seems to behave like an immature teenage girl (infinite sharing of detail about personal crap etc.). She seems to treat the wife as a kind of teenage friend with whom she can automatically share really boring trivia (Phonecall: "Just been to the vet, and he said the lump on my guinea pig.......") and assumes the wife is interested, even though it is hard to see why anybody would be.

 

I have no idea why a 40 year old woman behaves like that, hence this thread.

 

 

Ok there is some dissociation going on. There seems to be a mental age gap that isn't meeting up with her suspected intellectual authority.

 

Whether that is related to autism or aspergers is unknown to me, but if there is aspects of this in her life, it could answer several things at once. That's all I contribute, thanks for your honesty.



#17 Farming guy

Farming guy

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 550 posts

Posted 27 June 2017 - 05:14 PM

It may or may not be of any help to realize that some people are just not right, and not much can be done about it.