I had a good talk with my son to discuss his recent struggles in honest detail and he mentioned he thinks he has sociopathic tendencies. I wonder if this could be a consequence of the addiction and the social isolation that results, or if there could be some other mental issue. It’s so hard to untangle the true personality and person behind the effects of drug use.
I don’t think my husband has used this word exactly (I had to google it noun 1. a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.)
Still, he has certainly made statements about his ‘craziness’ and cocaine use of the past had heightened his paranoia - which I recently discovered is still there. So it begs the question, was the paranoia there before the use or exacerbated by it?
I think substance it might be a bit of both. I don’t know if I’ll ever know.
What I do know:
- Selfish tendencies that are on display in loved one’s with addiction struggles are very much driven by the substance dependence (hijack of the rewards systems makes it feasible to do crazy things)
- Prolonged substance use is isolating
- These two combined set the foundation for someone to feel quite at odds with society and their own humanity
… and I just googled “Sociopath vs. Narcissist.”
Really interesting question @Julie_Smith. My sister has a theory that my dad has narcissistic behaviors - I’m not totally sure I buy it, but I too have a hard time untangling dad’s attitude and behavior from his personality or his substance use.
Like @polly I don’t know if his attitudes and behaviors were there before the use or exacerbated by it. And to echo what’s been said, the social isolation that can come from prolonged substance use certainly isn’t helping if there is a personality disorder at play.
I guess my question becomes how do we encourage connection for our loved one’s even in spite of possible mental health issues - either ourselves, or by leaning on the support of others in our loved one’s village?
My husband has said this exact thing about himself. How he cares about me and thats it. Not himself, his family, his kids, nothing except for me. When he is around those people he seems happy and like he loves them, but as soon as we are away he says how miserable he was and that he just wants us to be together by ourselves. I feel like this may sound controlling and its nothing like that, just a self proclaimed introvert. He also has paranoia, although it has calmed down some. He has had it basically his entire life though so I am not sure if the drugs have just enhanced it or what
Thanks for the note. I am a tax accountant so I’ve been working some OT lately. My son is doing well, although - he has no permanent housing; his driver license was suspended for nonpayment of tickets (he is slowly sorting through that); he is living with his girlfriend except when they get in a fight and he comes down here to stay overnight with us. He has to have a valid driver license to apply for an apartment. But even with these challenges, his state of mind has been okay and we continue to encourage him - one step at a time. Really, I think he’s been so lucky and things could be so much worse, looking at other people’s lives and troubles.
He also wrecked his car again recently - he’s been sober every time he has gotten in a car accident including this latest one, but he was driving fast on our country road and hit a deer full on. He walked away fine, the car not so much. We foot the bill for the car repairs so he can get to work and back. (This was before the driver license issue which I think is a temporary problem now that he’s paid his tickets off.)