Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Problem with Father


My father acts in ways which seem as if he has a mental problem, but since I am not a professional, I do not know. My father has always been that father that was never loving or caring, and he was always strict and mean. You would barely see him smile. He is always serious and mad for no reason. I have 2 other siblings and my father raised us all the same; always yelling and screaming and even putting his hands on us.  He does not respect his wife- my mother. He does irrational things like he thinks as a man he does not have to cook or clean and he even said that a man does not open the refrigerator and that someone has to get his food for him out of the refrigerator.  He thinks he is above everyone. He always rubs it in people's face whenever he gets a phone call that he has a master's degree in psychology and other degrees so that makes him smart. I am currently 20 years old and he does not understand that I am my own adult only because I live under his roof even though I am working and trying to support myself. He has never supported my siblings and I but he thinks that he has a right in everything and even said stuff like if you guys don't do this or that you won't be happy in this house or I'll make things very difficult for you.he is 54 years old and he has dreams of becoming a musician and he only cares about himself. He always says that he is training us as if we are animals. He always wakes up as if he is a boss and he always uses that he is a man so he has control over everyone. He even said that he has never made a mistake on he has never failed in his life. He just doesn't act normal as if he has feelings or remorse for anyone.

You call him unloving, uncaring, strict, mean, unsmiling, inherently serious and mad, and describe him as lazy, self-centered, egotistical, unrealistic, controlling, and unfeeling. Sorry, that doesn't sound like a mental disorder to me, Angela, it just sounds like someone who is [go back to the top].  

And where a person is totally lacking in insight (self-awareness), there is no way to change those attitudes and behaviors. He has been that way since adulthood and he will die that way.

I can suggest two things that you can consider. One is to lay on a whole lot of agreeing with him, and pretending to admire his personality and people-skills.  It should make things more comfortable, in the sense of "if you can't beat them, join them."

Secondly, make quiet plans to escape. Look after yourself, and insofar as you can, your siblings and mother.  Look for a social worker (online? Yellow Pages? local hospital?) whom you can ask about applying for social assistance to set up a separate living arrangement.

If this does not or will not work out, you might want to revisit your allusion to his putting his hands on you. You could find out what constitutes assault in your jurisdiction, how you could document it, how and to whom you can report it, and what the consequences to dad would likely be. The social worker could tell you those answers, as could someone in law enforcement. Most police departments have a woman officer who specializes in domestic violence and could advise you.

Sorry I don't have the diagnosis you sought, but I hope those comments might be somewhat helpful. Thanks for asking us, and all the best to you and yours.


Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach


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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