Divorcing a psychopath in Arizona | Understanding the Disorder
Divorcing a psychopath in Arizona will likely have a significant impact on almost every aspect of your divorce. You and your attorney, with the assistance of mental health providers, need to understand the diagnosis of Psychotic Disorders and Schizophrenia to understand the impact such a diagnosis will have upon your divorce in Arizona.
Mental health providers use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (“DSM”). The “DSM” defines psychotic disorders as abnormalities in one or more of the following areas:
- Disorganized Thinking and Speech
- Grossly Disorganized or Abnormal Motor Behavior
- Negative Symptoms
Divorcing a Psychopath in Arizona | Understanding Delusions
Delusions are beliefs held by someone that does not seem to be able to be changed despite evidence that proves otherwise. There are several forms of delusions. However, the most prevalent type is Persecutory Delusions, which causes the person to believe someone is out to hurt them in some way.
The other types of delusions are Referential Delusions (an unnatural belief that certain things are directed at them). There are also Grandiose Delusions (an abnormal belief of their own identity, knowledge or skills). There are Erotomanic Delusions (an unnatural belief that someone is in love with them). The AreNihilistic Delusions (an abnormal belief that a catastrophic event will happen to them). There are Somatic Delusions (an unnatural belief about their health or organ functions).
Delusions are either categorized as Bizarre Delusions or Non-Bizarre Delusions. Bizarre Delusions are those delusions that are not plausible, such as having a delusion has been taken over by some other force or being. Bizarre Delusions sometimes focus on losing control of a person’s mind or body and include delusions that their thoughts have been removed (Thought Withdrawal), ideas have been implanted into their mind (Thought Insertion), or their ideas and conduct are controlled by an outside force (Delusions of Control).
Non-Bizarre Delusions are those delusions that lack credible evidence but are possible such as the police are out to get them.
Divorcing a Psychopath in Arizona | Understanding Hallucinations
Hallucinations can include seeing things that are not present, hearing voices and other similar false perceptions of their environment. These hallucinations are not triggered by anything specific and are not controllable. Any similar experiences, while falling asleep or waking up, are not considered to fall within the category of Hallucinations.
Divorcing a Psychopath in Arizona | Understanding Disorganized Thinking or Speech
This behavior can manifest itself in several ways, such as someone being grossly overly silly or grossly too angry or upset. People with this disorder who are in a Catatonic state show decreased interaction with their environment and the people around them. There are several forms of Catatonic states ranging from refusing to follow directions (Negatism), to having a bizarre posture to a complete cessation of speech or movement (Mutism and Stupor).
Divorcing a Psychopath in Arizona | Understanding Negative Symptoms
Negative symptoms are found in people who have schizophrenia and include:
- Diminished Emotional Expression, which results in the person failing to show any emotions
- Avolition, which manifests itself as a lack of motivation to do anything
- Alogia, which manifests itself as a lack of speaking
- Anhedonia, which manifests itself as a lack of ability to feel pleasure
- Asociality, which manifests itself as a lack of interest in activities
If you are divorcing a psychopath in Arizona, it is imperative you hire an attorney who understands the impact this condition will have upon the divorce process, as well as the underlying issues. Some of the more important issues that may be affected are the issues of child custody and potentially child support and spousal maintenance if the condition is so prevalent that it impacts the individual’s ability to work.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.
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