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His Wife Divorced Him Over a 'Personality Change': 'Turns Out I Have a Brain Tumor'

A Redditor shared that an undiagnosed brain tumor caused him to have “erratic and bizarre” behavior which led to his divorce

<p>Getty</p> Doctors examine a patient

Getty

Doctors examine a patient's brain scans.

A 32-year-old man shared that his wife divorced him in 2022 after a “personality change’ marked by “extremely erratic and bizarre” behavior.

“Turns out I have a brain tumor,” he wrote. “Not sure what to do next.”

In a post on Reddit’s r/relationship_advice forum, a Redditor named ThrowRABasic-Donut87 wanted to know if he should reach out to his now-ex-wife to let her know his diagnosis — but posted that she’d made it clear she didn’t want to hear from him due to his past behavior, which included drug use.

“I was devastated, but I couldn't blame her,” he wrote. “She was my best friend … I was extremely close to her whole family as well. I was her brother's best man at his wedding.”

“But then the troubles started. My mental health took a steep decline. My behaviour was extremely erratic and bizarre — when we were in public I often thought I was being followed. One time I became convinced listening devices had been implanted in our home. I thought the police, or government agencies, were after me and monitoring my devices. My wife finally dragged me to the emergency room after one of these incidents, and I ended up getting diagnosed as having a psychotic break, with bipolar and schizoaffective disorder.”

<p>bymuratdeniz/Getty</p> A couple gets divorced.

bymuratdeniz/Getty

A couple gets divorced.

A psychotic break, according to Verywell Mind, is an episode “when a person loses touch with reality due to a decline in their mental well-being. It could either be a sign of an underlying medical condition or occur due to a stressful or traumatic event.”

The Redditor, who said he’d only previously drank alcohol socially and smoked marijuana, wrote, “I continued my strange behaviour and thought patterns … There was lying and substance abuse.”

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“It was all very out of character for me — I'd always been a very stable person. But I seemed to be spiraling.”

After he was caught lying about using unspecified drugs, “my wife had enough, and told me she wanted a divorce,” which ended their six-year relationship..

He shared that after the divorce, his ex-wife and her brother “cut me off.”

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“Mutual friends dropped me too. I couldn't blame anybody. I think additional lies and misbehaviors had come to light so I was a pariah. I sank pretty low, lost multiple jobs, and barely scraped by.”

It wasn’t until he collapsed while traveling that his brain tumor was discovered.

“When the doctor heard my history he immediately ordered an MRI,” he wrote. “Lo and behold, I have a brain tumor. The funny thing is, when I found out, I was... relieved? Finally it all made sense. Apparently it's not unheard of for such a thing to be misdiagnosed as bipolar. The doctors say it's probably been growing slowly for a long time, and explains my strange and out of character behaviour. Thankfully they think it's treatable and with surgery, I stand to make a good recovery.”

Related: Why Scott Hamilton Is Choosing Not to Treat His Third Brain Tumor: 'I'm at Peace with the Decision' (Exclusive)

In another comment, he shared that it’s a tumor in the frontal lobe — which according to the Cleveland Clinic, “is home to areas that manage thinking, emotions, personality, judgment, self-control, muscle control and movements, memory storage and more.”

And as the National Library of Medicine points out, “Infrequently, psychiatric symptoms may be the only manifestation of brain tumors. They may present with mood symptoms, psychosis, memory problems, personality changes, anxiety, or anorexia.”

<p>peakSTOCK/Getty</p> A man gets a brain scan.

peakSTOCK/Getty

A man gets a brain scan.

The Redditor shared that he will be undergoing surgery, and he isn’t harboring any resentment toward his doctors for not discovering the tumor earlier.

“I have some family history of mental illness, and I think my symptoms lined up with their initial diagnosis,” he wrote,

He also shared that surgery isn’t a definite cure for his personality change: “One doctor I spoke with seemed optimistic, but they obviously won't know the full situation till the surgery, and regardless the road to recovery will probably be long. I'm definitely scared about whether or not I'll ever be ‘me’ again.”

But while “I’ve done enough damage,” he does want to let his ex-wife know.

“During the breakup she told me about how I'd destroyed her trust. I feel like knowing the truth could give her some closure.”

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