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Psychiatrists advise on personality disorders

Posted July. 22, 2013 01:36,   


One can be relieved for a while if one’s spouse who uses violence at home or becomes violent after drinking is arrested and sequestered temporarily. If the spouse is released, however, the situation will remain unchanged. Therefore, arrest investigation cannot be a perfect solution. Here`s what we heard their characteristics and how to treat them from psychiatrists.

○ Personality and delusional disorders require medicine treatment and counseling

If one uses violence repeatedly without drinking, one could have a personality disorder, a kind of mental illnesses.

“Paranoid Personality Disorder” is particularly serious. The patients overreact to nothing and make others at a loss by interpreting it seriously. They take other people’s benevolent or unintentional actions malevolently and quibble over them for a long time. Among them are those who get mad at trivial things and show anger saying, “I’ll get rid of it,” or “I’ll set fire.”

Those with the “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” look fine outside but turn things into chaos after returning home. Those who have a high self-image and think themselves smart tend to act like that. They try to show goodness on the surface and hope that people can respect and obey them. But they turn violent if people touch their sense of inferiority hiding inside them.

People with personality disorder need medical treatment and long-term counseling sessions. It is said that treatment is not easy, however.

The delusion of infidelity, which is one of delusional disorders, can also cause domestic violence because patients with delusional jealousy use violence based on the delusion that something that did not actually happen did happen. They get angry and use violence when their spouse says a word to a passer-by or when someone that they do not know look at their spouse, believing they are cheated.

Park Eun-ho, a psychiatric professor at Samsung Medical Center, said, “The disorder requires medicine treatment but if it doesn’t work, there is no other option.” In addition, counseling with a psychiatrist is a must. Park said, “It depends on patients’ conditions but they generally have two to three years of counseling sessions. But patients often do not want to get counseling.”

○ Abstention from drink is the starting point for domestic violence after drinking

One of the most common forms of domestic violence is beating one’s spouse after drinking. The frontal lobe has a function of restraining offensiveness. Alcohol paralyzes such function. One can bear anger well but becomes violent after drinking because the restraining function is paralyzed. Some do an about-turn after drinking, while others drink and use violence as a habit. This starts from repeated binge drinking.

Kim Chang-yoon, a psychiatric professor at Asan Medical Center, said, “If one drinks a lot, one’s personality shows subtle change. One becomes impatient and sensitive and turns into self-centric and loses one’s temper.” The best solution to this type of people is to stop drinking.

If a habitual drinker stops drinking, one often cannot sleep as a withdrawal. Professor Kim said, “One can reduce withdrawal symptoms and one’s desire to drink by taking medicine at least for one or two weeks. But after that, one should stop drinking with one’s own will.”

One can use domestic violence even without drinking and any mental disorders. One can use violence when feeling that other people do not understand him or her and having trouble with expressing one’s emotions and thinking in a sophisticated manner. For example, if one expresses anger and one’s spouse provokingly says, “Why on earth do you get mad?” or “Did I say something wrong?,” one gets to use violence because one feels unaccepted by others.

These people can improve their actions with the help of doctors. “If one cannot communicate with one’s spouse and use violence at an extreme moment without having a serious marital problem, psychiatric counseling can be helpful,” Prof. Kim said. “People should not be afraid that they have a mental problem and rather learn how to communicate with others.”