re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

I wanted to answer a question in another thread and discuss it, but the thread was already going in a different direction and I hoped to be able to refer back to this conversation. so I hope the orginal poster of that thread (SweetAndSour) doesn't mind that I seperate some of my thoughts here....

I've been obsessed with understanding the "why's" to certain things involving infidelity... I'm facinated with the brain, the fog, and all of these crazy behaviors... lol.

I saw the thread titled Mental, personality disorders and infidelity. and thought... "AHHHH... There is it!!!!!"...

I said that I believe if we dig deep enough, the link between depression/BPD/MDD and various other mental disorders and infidelity will jump off the page. I think we are talking about a link strong enough to classify it as a cause/effect relationship between the two.

In short, the very same things that cause the mental disorders (depression/Bi-P) are the exact reason that they are dangerously succeptable to cheating, and affairs. Worse yet, For someone that suffers a genuine mental disorder/chemical imbalance the levels of intensity they experience in an affair could be characterized as a "super fog". It really is interesting to look at. It's not an excuse obviously, but.. physiologically it makes sense.

Some technical food for thought....

There have been some significant breakthroughs regarding the role that the neurotransmitter dopamine plays in various mental disorders, primarily in serious depression.

Its long been thought that the primary culprit involved in depression was serotonin (and norepinephrine). But, based on recent studies, gene research and neuroimaging, there is strong evidence to support the hypothesis that major depression is actually associated with a state of reduced dopamine transmission.

There was recently a University study of the brain scans of severely depressed subjects. The subjects were administered amphetamine (as we know cocaine and other high grade amphetamines effect the brain in the very same way that affairs can, they target the dope circuits (dopaminergic pathways ) in the brain, these reward circuits are also credited with most addictions and addictive behaviors.) These subjects had a hypersensitive response to the rewarding effects of the drug, (ie; hyperaddicted responses too?) and their scans revealed activation of certain parts of the brain which further implicated dopamine circuit dysfunction in major depression.

Without going on and on... a picture worth painting is this...

If your brain is not producing or absorbing this nuerochemical properly, (as with depression, etc..) it is essentially "starving" for it... and like a blind dog locked in a meat locker, when the brain gets the monstrous surge of dopamine it goes buck wild taking in as much as it can with reckless abandon!.

With these discoveries about the role dopamine plays in depression, you would think that curing or treating depression would now be simple. Just treat it with dopamine?

But, there in lies the problem and the thing that we see in affair situation. The ugly side effect, Addiction and addictive behaviors.

Levels of addiction happen to most people in affairs. I believe It's fifty fold for people who naturally suffer from an inability to regulate dopamine properly. Coincidentally, the same thing also happens with crack cocaine addiction. SUPER DENSE FOG!! The brain's behavior switches don't just flip, they go haywire.. All behaviors become focused on MORE, MORE, MORE!!! Advanced thinking out the window, Logic gone... Base survival instincts take over. One track mind... MUST.GET.MORE.REWARD.

The picture I’m painting and the leap I will make here is this…

1. If someone has depression, or any mental disorder they are much more likely to cheat. The brain will kick in those rationalizations and break down barriers between itself and the reward it is starving for.

2. Worse, someone who does get through those moral barriers and crosses that line is MUCH more likely to fall victim to severe affair addiction.

I don’t have stats or research to back up the conclusion I will offer, but I’m confident someone will someday…

Mental & personality disorders and infidelity are related. not just cousins either. lol.

With that in mind... If you or your spouse suffer from depression and your are obviously dealing with infidelity issues (or you wouldn't be here? lol.) don't overlook the depression. Put it on the top of your recovery/reconcilation priority list.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

Well without anyone thinking I'm giving myself some type of free pass I think you're absolutely on to something. My father cheated on my mother - he suffers from mild depression. My father in law cheated on my mother in law - he suffered from depression and alcoholism. I suffer from mild depression and pretty large self esteem issues and I know I have an "addictive personality."

My wife on the other hand, her mother, her maternal grand parents, her aunts and uncles are the most stable and well adjusted people I have ever met - not a drop of infidelity among them - despite divorces, suicides, affairs and lots of other nasty stuff flung at them by others.

I know my AP was like me as well. She had ambien and xanex on tap before our affair started.

So, yeah, I agree with you 100%.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

I find all this fascinating as I too read up a lot when I was diagnosed with BPD. The thing is, BPD and NPD are not caused by a chemical imbalance like other mental disorders.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

I like your post. I am battling with my H who 1) doesn't believe he ever had an EA, 2) answered our counselor last week that he has no depression. Yet on all 3 of our D-Days I have asked him if he is depressed based on his comments???

Oh and not to mention the drinking during all of this time: begins socially but ends up not able to stand straight at the end of a night once every month or so.

Thanks for insight, research, and sharing.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

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Originally Posted by pidge70 View Post
I find all this fascinating as I too read up a lot when I was diagnosed with BPD. The thing is, BPD and NPD are not caused by a chemical imbalance like other mental disorders.
Isn't there some evidence that a derangement of various dopamine pathways in the brain being the cause of BPD? saw this paper I thought there was some association with NPD and nuerotransmitters as well?
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

It would be interesting to know if this happens in the singles world as well. Are people with depression or other mental disorders more likely to move from relationship to relationship chasing a high?

Self medicating?

Are those in affairs self medicating? They sure do talk like it.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

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Originally Posted by TheGoodFight View Post
It would be interesting to know if this happens in the singles world as well. Are people with depression or other mental disorders more likely to move from relationship to relationship chasing a high?

Self medicating?

Are those in affairs self medicating? They sure do talk like it.
I'd say absolutely.

But, I'd also point out that they are dating in the "real world" and the intensity/rush that the forbidden affair ads to the mix changes the high all together.

It's probably the difference between "smoking" a lil' and main-lining a big needle full directly into your artery...

Then there's that thing most guys know... "Loose" women do tend to be a lil' crazy?. (feels all guys in forum quietly nodding) All kinda ties together. huh?
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

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Originally Posted by Pit-of-my-stomach View Post
Isn't there some evidence that a derangement of various dopamine pathways in the brain being the cause of BPD? saw this paper I thought there was some association with NPD and nuerotransmitters as well?
At this time from what I am to understand, it is all hearsay. While an interesting read, it is all circumstantial as it states in that article.

Borderline Personality Disorder
The Treatment of BPD

There is no specific or universal method of treatment for BPD. At times, drugs can take the edge off impulsive symptoms. For example, some patients do better with low dose neuroleptics. However, no psychopharmacological agent has any specific effect on the underlying borderline pathology. In spite of the association between impulsivity and low serotonin activity, specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as fluoxetine) rarely produce a dramatic improvement.

The mainstay of treatment for BPD has always been, and continues to be psychotherapy. However, because of their impulsivity, about two thirds of borderline patients drop out of treatment within a few months. Those patients who stay in therapy will usually improve slowly over time.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

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Originally Posted by Pit-of-my-stomach View Post
I wanted to answer a question in another thread and discuss it, but the thread was already going in a different direction and I hoped to be able to refer back to this conversation. so I hope the orginal poster of that thread (SweetAndSour) doesn't mind that I seperate some of my thoughts here....
No problem at all Pit, I hope we get more input, more threads are fine with me.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

I agree.
My WW has suffered depression for over 12 years. Every cheater I know has some form of depressive / anxiety condition. Even the OM in my case is a depressive. I've always believed that depressive illnesses or personality disorders are definately an aggrivating factor in cheating.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

pit,

you say... "If your brain is not producing or absorbing this nuerochemical properly, (as with depression, etc..) it is essentially "starving" for it... "

My wife in the in an email exchange to OM3 tried to explain why she started cheating on me years before...

Her exact words, "I was Starving for affection." And of course, she was taking ambien to sleep and soma drugs to "make it through" the day. She says going crazy due to nasty ****tail of guilt, shame, confusion, and most important betrayal.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

My husband is the sort who's always up for the next big thing. In the 15 years we've been married, he's jumped from one expensive adrenaline high to the next in his hobbies - ultralight airplanes, deep sea diving, cave diving, race cars, sport fishing from kayaks, and on and on. He's also a big drinker and a big gambler and has big sexual appetites. I've had more than one person tell me they were amazed that he lived past 30.

But it's not really the plane or the diving or even the drunk or the score that he's after. It's the "high" he gets from ever-increasing risk. And anything that gets in the way of his pursuit of that high is in danger of getting run over. It took me many years to realize that he wasn't just an active and avid outdoorsman or someone who likes the excitement of living big. He's actually self-medicating.

Stressed? Sex and alcohol. Anxious? Cave diving or flying to "center himself". Grieving? More sex, more alcohol, a gambling weekend, a sailing trip in iffy weather.

The rush he gets from being inappropriate, sexually and emotionally, is just another part of his self-medicating.

My husband is the child of an alcoholic father who was emotionally unavailable even when he wasn't drunk, and a severely co-dependent mother who controlled her children because her own life was out of control. He also has untreated ADHD and strong narcissistic tendencies. Sadly, though, he doesn't see and won't accept that he is self-medicating. To him, it's being at home living a normal life that makes him feel bored/depressed/smothered. He can't see that he's got ADHD/depression/emotional issues and that normal just doesn't provide enough of a high to alleviate problems that already exist.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

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Originally Posted by Numb-badger View Post
I agree.
My WW has suffered depression for over 12 years. Every cheater I know has some form of depressive / anxiety condition. Even the OM in my case is a depressive. I've always believed that depressive illnesses or personality disorders are definately an aggrivating factor in cheating.
Yeah, what got me on this line of thinking was my XW. As with many other people here, I never saw her affair coming. It's not because Im not perceptive, Ive always humored myself as an exceptional judge of people. As with most of our friends and other people who knew her, I felt like she was the least likely person to do this.

Her fog was deep and so twisted and the change in her was so profound it defied anything I could grasp...

There were lots of contributing factors that got her to this spot I'm sure. But, I felt like there was something that "broke the camels back" and helped her completely disregard what were previously unquestionable moral values...

She suffered from depression, but to some degree she always had. When the affair really started was after my son was born, she suffered from acute postpartum depression. Going back, I can mentally mark the exact period that it began. It was during this time. I had trouble convincing myself that was coincidental. So, that was a piece of the puzzle my mind wondered about...

I never mentioned it until now, but the original post is what I discovered. It made sense, it didnt give me any peace but it made some sense when so many other things didn't. I don't know if any of it matters really, but finding some logic in the mess somehow helped a little.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't know if any of it matters really, but finding some logic in the mess somehow helped a little.
Finding some logic, some understanding, thats all I am hoping for after all.

Your avatar is exactly what I see in the mirror everyday pit. It is so bad.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Depression, Mental Disorders and infidelity.

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Finding some logic, some understanding, thats all I am hoping for after all.

Your avatar is exactly what I see in the mirror everyday pit. It is so bad.
I know my friend, I know. Listen to me... it's going to be alright. Trust me, I was there. Im still recovering, but it's night and day... Peace comes back, I promise. Keep plugging.
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