psych assessments

  • 17 Replies
  • 1559 Views
*

Associate of Daniel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1711
psych assessments
« on: December 27, 2016, 09:41:17 AM »
Hi, All.

My u/npd exH is asking to have our ds10 for an extra night per fortnight. He currently has him for 3 nights and now wants to change the court orders to make it 4 nights and an extra day.

A few years ago I worked out (thanks largely to this forum) that if exH were to be diagnosed it would likely be npd.  His wife is an N, if not npd also.

Ds adores them both and would love to spend more time with them.

I've never told my ex of my "diagnosis" of him and his wife but he told me a little under a year ago that I have npd.

I would love to have them both undergo a court ordered psychiatric assessment. I've been told that his N wife would not have to do one and that if he did one I would also have to undergo the same assessment.  I've also been told it's extremely expensive.

My questions are:  would I need to produce any kind of "evidence" to convince a court that a psychiatric assessment is necessary? And is now a good time or should I wait until ds is older and starting to be more independent from his parents regarding his own opinions etc..? It's then that he would start to conflict more with them (and me) and their behaviour towards him may become worse.

Too, what are court ordered psychiatric assessments like?  Are they just run of the mill google tests that anyone can pass or are they more complicated?  Are they accurate?

Do you advise that I take that route, whether now or in the future?

AOD

*

HotCocoa

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 946
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 10:10:59 AM »
AOD - I've learned not to jump whenever faced with something pd wants to change.  I stick to the status quo.  What is his justification for wanting one more night?  Why would a judge sign off on that?  I don't know if he's filed anything in the court about it, just keep on keeping on.  My response half the time is no response, unless pushed by an order as there's no reasoning with my ex and he ALWAYS has an ulterior motive. 
One more night means he has him over 50% of the time and there are tax ramifications for that.  If you take son on your taxes because you have him 4 nights instead of 3, you have him over 50% of the time, which is crucial at tax time.  So his requesting this is very suspicious and I would be wary of doing anything, of making ANY changes. 
As far as psych evals, unless your attorney states, wow, he really needs one due to some severe problems, the court won't usually consider a narcissism diagnosis, unless he is a danger to your son.    My advice is to save your money for the time being, they are in the tens of thousands of dollars and perhaps stick with the status quo right now.  Good luck.
The smarter you become about narcissistic abuse, the crazier the narcissist will say you are.

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 10:24:25 AM »
Tens of thousands of dollars is probably too high an estimate. In my case, it was about $1500-2000 per person. The exam was completed by a Psy D doctor who was trained to do evaluations. A lot of the eval consisted of discussion about past events, and additional paper tests were administered. The people who completed the tests were well trained, they've seen it all. Both parties had to come to an agreement who would complete the evaluations. The situation with my DS6 was out of control and extreme, so it wasn't difficult to justify as necessary. People don't lose their children for having a mental illness, they lose their children because of actions and harm. A diagnosis can assist the judge when it comes to understanding what is happening.

*

HotCocoa

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 946
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2016, 10:34:34 AM »
Tens of thousands of dollars is probably too high an estimate.

I went through one with my ex and that was the cost.  It was upward of $10,000.
The smarter you become about narcissistic abuse, the crazier the narcissist will say you are.

*

Associate of Daniel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1711
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 10:56:23 AM »
Thank-you Hot Cocoa and Kazzak.

I should clarify (at the risk of being id'd)  I'm in Australia. We don't claim our % of care on our taxes. But our taxable income is considered when the Child Support Agency makes their assessment each year.

My u/npd exH's solicitor has sent me a letter outlining the request. The hope is that we can come to an agreement without going to court. That agreement would then be written up by the solicitors and presented to the court as court orders for its approval.   We would not have to attend court.

I currently have ds for 11 nights per fortnight -71% of the time.

The reason ex states for wanting more time with ds is that ds is older now and more confident at staying with him for longer.

I have heard various prices for psych evals including those you've both mentioned.

So far there is no physical or mental danger for ds that would be recognised but would the raging email manipulative bullying I receive from u/npd exH and his N  wife be enough for the court to order one?

AOD

*

Steve42

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2016, 11:16:31 AM »
HI AoD,

All you need to do to get a psych eval is tell the judge that your ex is "mentally ill" and give a few examples and he will order a psych eval. That's what I did.

HOWEVER.....

I do not recommend it at all. You will have to take a few tests that are very accurate (probably the MMPI-II and MCMI-III tests) and they will show patholody if it exists. My ex certainly couldn't hide from them and her pathology came out in droves, but unless there is physical abuse, drug abuse or blantant neglect, it really won't matter what the test results say. Basically, MOST people that go through acrimonious divorces involve one or more party with a personality disorder and the courts really could not care less. What they care about is behaviors.

The results of our psych eval was the most painful experience of my life because I pinned my entire case on the outcome and all I got was a worthless piece of paper that said we are basically equally to blame for our difficulties.

Well here I am 5 years and $30,000 later and I finally have enough evidence for 100% decision making and custody....so you tell me if I am "equally to blame for our difficulties."

Oh, and in my case the test costs $1,200 each (so $2,400 for my ex and I).

I vote save your money.

*

Steve42

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 11:26:20 AM »
In case you are wondering, our results of the psych evals were as follows:

Mine was as follows (summarized but word for word):

The husband took the test in a defensive manner and as such he may be unwilling to admit to many personal faults. However, the husband is essentially well-functioning with no major personality disturbances and any troublesome symptoms he may be exhibiting are probably situational and transient in nature.

As far as taking the test in a defensive manner there were many questions like this:

Sometimes when I am angry, I feel like smashing things: true or false

If you put true you look like you have anger problems, but if you put false, you look like you aren't willing to admit to personal faults!

Here are my ex-wife's test results, again summarized but word for word:

The wife's test results are consistent with test results of individuals that are hostile, paranoid, suspicious, argumentative, unable to "forgive and forget," tend to blame others for their difficulties, and "prognosis for therapeutic intervention is poor because these individuals are likely to rationalize much of the time."

It also said (this is important):

it should be noted that the wife did not answer all of the questions on the test. THIS MAY RESULT IN AN UNDERESTIMATE OF THE PROBLEMS MEASURED BY THE AFFECTED SCALES.

His conclusion: my ex and I are "equally to blame for our difficulties."

What a pathetic joke..........
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 11:28:15 AM by Steve42 »

*

Associate of Daniel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1711
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 11:53:34 AM »
Thanks, Steve.

I remember your other post of your results.

Your question example (sometimes when I get angry  I feel like smashing things) is one of the reasons I'm highly suspicious of such tests.

I'm sorry for the frustration and heartache you are experiencing.

MMPI-II MCMI-III. Can you explain what these tests are and are any samples available to the general public? Probably a naiive question.

AOD

*

Steve42

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 204
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 12:10:34 PM »
The MMPI-II is the most common psyc test, although the MCMI-III is also popular, especially for personality disorders.

http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/2/135.full
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millon_Clinical_Multiaxial_Inventory

You have to realize, the tests are amazing....they exactly hit the nail on the head with my ex. The only problem is that it's almost impossible for healthy individuals like me to come off perfectly clean. In my case, it said I am unwilling to admit to personal faults, but that's factually incorrect. I have no problem at ALL apologizing and admitting when I am wrong and I certainly have no problem admitting personal faults. I am overly sensitive, I have a huge amount of anxiety, I sometimes overreact and I can be a little selfish at times. There I did it! lol (seriously though!)

The issue is that it really doesn't matter what the tests say, what matters is behaviors. The only test results that could help you are results that show dillusional thinking or something like that. If you ex isn't hitting the kids or abusing drugs or neglecting them, the test results just won't matter.

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 12:19:47 PM »
If you ex isn't hitting the kids or abusing drugs or neglecting them, the test results just won't matter.

Good advice Steve, I'd be hesitant too. In my case the circumstances even involved addiction, child neglect, physical abuse ... my son has even had a felony crime committed against him. That's not me saying, those things were determined in court by a judge. Didn't matter much.

I will say one result, in my extreme case, is the judge ordered that the NPD/HPD follow the psych evaluations recommendations. Of course, the NPD/HPD didn't. Just another court order not followed is what I got out of it. Within my overall strategy, I have no regrets.

*

turtlemama

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 319
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 12:30:36 PM »
Hi AOD-

I'd be wary of these psych tests as well.  With a little google searching you can find a list of the questions...

Even if best case scenario your ex came back diagnosed with a PD, it means nothing.  And you will probably come back as stressed or high anxiety due to what you are dealing with.  Like everyone else has commented, it is the PD's actions, drug abuse, neglect, etc.  Here, each state has a list that goes towards the "best interest of the child", and my GAL went down that list point by point.  Never mind that the PD can lie. 

In the US, in my area, changes in custody really only change due to changes in circumstance of the residential parent.  There has to be good reason.  It doesn't sound like anything has changed for you, and the burden will be on your ex to prove why this change would be in the best interest of your child. 

I would think the psych tests would be ordered in a more extreme case- asking for a change in decision making- not asking for 2 more days a month. 

*

Rose1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1138
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2016, 09:03:02 AM »
From what I can see our courts are getting more and more like us courts,  expensive and achieve little.  I wonder if you are better off gathering evidence to show your ex and wife are interfering in your parenting.  It might take a while but these  behaviours rarely improve.  I also don't get what's in it for her.  N supply? That fades as kids get older and opinionated so may die a natural death.  You say she does little of the actual work so she may well get sick of it.  If you get your son extra time by default,  document it.  Slow and steady.  I wouldn't react either.  If you get a court summons then reply that the status quo is important for son's stability.  Try not to lose any decision making you have,  compromise on it,  maybe 1 day per month extra in return for exhs wife not being at all doctors visits or whatever is making the most trouble.  If you give something why shouldn't there be something in return? I found extra money was a good one for having requests fade away.  Hearing more disturbing things about court -  ie lots of money,  no resolution but a few crumbs tossed to the pd,  which are usually guaranteed to make normal parenting more difficult.

*

Fairtuckychick

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 179
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2016, 12:48:57 PM »
I am currently going through the process of a full psych/custody evaluation with my exNPD.  He's asking to change from me having DS2 5 nights a week and him 2 to him having joint if not full physical custody.  Nothing has changed in my home situation at all since DS was born, let alone something enough to warrant a change in the status quo, so I don't have a huge concern there, and I have no idea how the judge ordered the evaluations because I wasn't present, consulted, nothing, so apparently it's pretty easy because I have no mental issues (aside from my now-healing lack of confidence that brought me to such a jerk in the first place), nor any history of anything but excellent care of DS...meanwhile exNPD has a documented history of mental health issues and is a great liar...to the point of convincing himself of the validity of things that never happened.  Ughhh...anyway, unfortunately, he also is a highly functional business-guy for the time being and has beau-coup bucks to abuse DS, me, and my family (included in the evals) via the court system.

I don't know any results and our court date just got pushed back a few months for another unknown reason so it's likely I won't know for a while yet, but I felt like in my time with the evaluator (PsyD) that I was telling him things I feel would be valuable information in the situation that he seemed not to know anything about after having already had an interview with exNPD (i.e. inpatient mental hospital time, a very strained relationship with his mother including forbidding her from seeing DS, etc.). Overall, I feel pretty ok with how things have gone so far in the evaluation; as in, I don't feel like anything I've brought up or has been brought up to/about me has been a negative in regard to custody, which by the way is the truth - I've done nothing I shouldn't and have been honest and a good mom since day 1, regardless of how much spite exNPD has for me and a bit I've had for him.

All in all though, I expect it all to come out something like "he's fine to parent, she's fine to parent" regardless of anything else the report may say about either of us....we all have to grit our teeth and remember that being an un-empathetic jerk is an individual's prerogative and not against the law and the court is only involved to deal with issues that violate regulation/law and they don't care how awful a person is so long as they don't act on all that horrible-ness in a manner that violates a law....and verbal/emotional abuse is real and even recognized but generally not addressed by the courts.

Sitting where I do now, I'd chime in with the others that say don't spend the money unless/until you HAVE to.  It's been my experience, along with so many I've read before me on here, that when dealing with a PD, it's best not to involve the courts any more than necessary.  Obviously if there is violence or neglect or something flashing neon wrong then by all means use all avenues available, but the court will typically not recognize a PD as a dangerous person and won't help you keep distance between the PD and the kid(s), and will in fact validate a PD's "right" to be the way they are and give the PD ammo to use against you.  Mine sure uses the court to his full advantage....and I fear in the upcoming bunch of court crap he'll get either the "he's not dangerous and I don't have to agree with his parenting/personality" crap or the "yes, he's mentally ill, but he should see a T twice a week until he's fixed and then he can be 'normal' again" crap.  Either way - DS and I are screwed...

I'd recommend you spend your effort just being the best mom you can be on the time you have with DS, he's getting old enough his opinion will be taken into account in the coming years and you can guide him toward good morals and being a responsible, considerate man and gain far more in the way of personal satisfaction than I imagine anything the court system would offer could.  Not to mention, you can help him see the way his NPD dad reacts to various situations is not necessarily the correct reaction and watch him blossom into a young man that knows better.  You've got this.  (Oh, and, of course, keep up your documentation in the background!  Many on here have proven that with time, you do get enough out of it via the courts to make it worth while!)

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2016, 05:18:47 PM »
fairtuckychick, that was very well said. Good post.

*

lifeline

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1019
    • IG
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2016, 05:47:18 PM »
I have been following this thread, for educational purposes.  But something my DV counselor told me today when discussing risks and fears of leaving I think may help here.

In my state there have been cases where psych evals were ordered by the courts during custody proceedings.  Unfortunately they do not typically sway the judges decision.  In fact it has been questioned why bother if the 'evidence' is not taken into consideration.

There have been two fairly recent cases, using different psych MD's, cases unrelated, where one parent was in fact labelled or diagnosed as NPD.  Again, the courts decisions were not swayed by this, and joint custody, 50/50 living arrangements were granted.

The good news is, the PD type diagnoses are becoming more prevalent, and more paid attention to.  The counselor in my area expects that in the next five to ten years, courts will take more into consideration emotional abuse, and that a person who exits a psych eval with a PD label will not be granted such loose terms of custody.  Scientifically speaking it is realized by society that a personality disordered person is not only incurable, but very very damaging to a child being raised by them.  It's only a matter of time before the justice systems catch up.

In the meantime all we can do is be healthy peaceful parents at least on one side of the fence.

My heart goes out to those of you dealing, and fighting for what you know is right.  I pray for you guys, and for your children.

:bighug:
"Only I can change my life.  No one can do it for me."
-Carol Burnette

*

Kit99

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 910
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2016, 09:43:34 PM »
This is what I've found to be true as well: "unless there is physical abuse, drug abuse or blantant neglect, it really won't matter what the test results say."

The court wasn't concerned with my exH's mental health and parenting abilities as long as he wasn't a physical danger to the kids.  In his defense, he is capable of being a good parent when he chooses to be!  I don't think family courts understand personality disorders and what it's like to live with someone who suffers from a PD. Additionally, I think it's a challenge to get an accurate diagnosis of someone with a PD because often these people are masters of disguise.

The only thing the court took any interest in was exH's history of drug abuse. Their solution was to allow me to order a predefined number of random drug tests for a few years. Even if he fails the tests he's still allowed to see the kids but may need supervised visits for a few weeks until he passes the drug tests again. Mind you this is someone who has spent the better part of a decade flying under the radar with his drug abuse so it's highly unlikely he will ever "get caught" anyway.

It probably also depends on what country/state you live in as to how effective psych evals are in the family court system. Good luck... has your lawyer offered any suggestions for blocking him from continuing to demand more parenting time? That's something I worry about as well.

*

Fairtuckychick

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 179
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2016, 10:27:37 AM »
fairtuckychick, that was very well said. Good post.

Thanks Kaz, I find that the more in need of support and guidance I am, the better I feel offering what I can to others in similar situations.  I'm grateful it's a small group of us that recognize and have to suffer life adjacent to PDs, but at the same time, it's a small group and it's such a gift to be a part of a community of people that understand what I'm going through and can speak wisdom into my life.  Not to mention, the best way for me to absorb ideas and whatnot is to speak them back out loud.   :grouphug:

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: psych assessments
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2016, 12:12:29 PM »
You got it. The more I interact and contribute, the more I get out of it. I find that it's a good filter to make sure I'm on track. When I do post something off or different than others, I'm thankful when others jump in to give their perspective. Keep at it, only gets better!