Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Paranoia?

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Hello!
I am a 52 year old woman who has been in an on again-off again relationship with a man for the past two years. We "clicked" right away the first time we met. He is extremely loving, kind, and we get along very well WHEN he is his normal self. He has even proposed marriage. Unfortunately, there is something strange going on, and for the life of me, I cannot figure it out.  Approximately every two months, almost like clockwork, it's as if a switch gets turned off. He gets very weird: extremely cold, distant, and says things to me like "stay away from me and my family", "I can never see you again and I can't tell you why", "I love you and I'm breaking my own heart but at least I was real (insinuating I'm not)", and he's accused me of things like being an FBI informant, of spying on him, of recording him, of talking to his family behind his back, and so on. The most recent episode has happened a few days ago. He told me he dreamt of his mother who told him that "there is someone very close to you who's true intentions will be revealed and they are not who they seem to be" so of course, he said that was me, and then he cruelly cut me off again. Many times I've had no idea what set him off, it's as if he creates scenarios in his head and then believes them. I have tried to speak with him about these episodes, but he behaves as if he doesn't remember anything. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I am pretty much done with him by now. I do love him deeply but this is affecting me very badly. I would like to have at least some inking of what is going on and why he behaves this way. Some background: he has a very stressful life, money problems, no friends (besides me), has lost a child, and was considered a hero (saved many lives) until he was very publicly shamed in the media and held up as an example for a minor error. Thank you for any insight you can give me. I am considering speaking with his family, he's a good man with problems that I think can be helped. Thank you so much.

Answer
Hello Olivia

I am also at a loss. Doesn't sound like classic bipolar but there's some resemblance.  (If he is in fact bipolar, there's a good medication treatment available, but he would have to be diagnosed, prescribed, and monitored.)

In any case, it's pretty clear that your being done with him is a wise resolution, at least until and unless he is successfully treated and he takes his medication. But if his family has not seen anything amiss by now, I think it's unrealistic for you to expect that any help can be forthcoming, or that there'd be any benefit to your contacting them.    

You sound like you deserve better. You have a long life ahead in which to find someone without such problems, and if not, if you don't become vulnerable you won't get hurt.

Thanks for asking us, sorry I couldn't answer your question more directly, and the best of fortune to you.

Alan

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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