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Does my father have a psychiatric problem?

Q: This is regarding my father who is 52 years old. He is presently jobless and at home. He has a problem, which is weakness for women. He is constantly on the look out for women and gets excited on seeing one. My mother is constantly troubled at this fact and always fights with him. He likes to see smut on the TV like FTV and all indecent things like adult content on channels. At any public place he will always pay attention to other ladies and will be in his own world. He speaks indecent language at times related to sex. This problem has been for the last few years and it has aggravated. Please suggest if a psychologist can help?

A:The first thing to assess on your own or with the help of the family members is if the behaviour patterns you have described are definitive changes from his earlier behaviour pattern, or only an exaggeration of the earlier behaviour. In the former instance, it is much more likely to be due to a mental illness or a psychological problem. In the latter case, it may be a part of his personality which is showing up more now. Of course, in either case consultation with a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist is certain to help in clarifying the matter and finding suitable methods to help. If it is a mental illness, the urgency is high for consultation and some definitive treatment can be planned whereas if it is a part of his personality, it may require long term therapy for change. Do make sure that you don't delay consultation.

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