Does my Dad have mental problems?

This has been bugging me ever since I was a kid, and let me just start off with saying that I love my Dad. He just drives me crazy at times.

He literally complains about everything. When he was married to my mom he never took her out to dinner, bought her gifts, etc. Now he never does the same with my step-mom. He always seems to have the same problems that re-occur, so he never really learns from his mistakes. It kills me to write all this, I am honestly not trying to bash him. it’s just so annoying.

Here is the kicker, the real thing that got me so mad/sad.

My aunt (dads sister) passed away recently and my step mom was asking my dad if he was going to buy flower arrangement for the funeral. My dad says “oh my god, now i have to spend money??!!” I know my Dad is cheap, but CMON, that is just f*cked.

What do you guys think?

Moderator Action

Since this asks for opinions, it is better suited to IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

Sorry to hear about the problems with your dad, but it’s impossible to get a factual answer to your question via anonymous messageboard query.

Clinical mental illness can be very tricky to diagnose even for qualified practitioners who know the patient’s character and history very well. There is absolutely no way that anybody here can reliably tell you whether or not your father has mental problems.

For opinions and discussions in a non-factual-questions forum, you might try asking a moderator to move this thread to MPSIMS or IMHO.
[ETA: the mods are way ahead of me. Well, a minute ahead of me.]

So is he a cheapskate? Or just self-centered?

My pet theory is that personality is 50% inherent, 50% learned.

Why do people complain and “pick” at others? Often, this is how they learn to get their way.

The person that always complains “I feel sick, my back is sore, etc. etc.” learned that if they did hat, mommy would jump in and say “that’s ok dear, mommy will do it.” If they criticise and complain about the other person, they learned from watching mommy and daddy that if you tell someone they’re useless, they jump in and do what you want to prove they’re not, if you complain, they jump in to do what you want to shut you up. Of course, they attract enablers…

He could be like me, in my youth. I was always of the opinion that people would prefer “truth” to a washed-over kind of diplomacy. Somebody an asshole? Let everybody know it. Prices too high? Tell your family, to warn them. For some perverse reason, none of my so-called friends would ever set me straight. Whenever some rare acquaintance would set me straight, I weighed it against the number of my friends’ seeming approval, and I discounted their advice. I didn’t start to learn that nice beats ‘truth’ almost every time until I was in my late 40’s. Even then, the habit was very hard to break.
Point being, your dad may have been trained in this way. Then again, he may be mad as a hatter. I’d go with the former, tho. Why think he has some chemical imbalance or defective genes, just because he isn’t nice enough for your tastes?

It’s not fair to judge someone’s general sanity by his reaction to the death of a sibling. It’s not like he refused to buy a flower arrangement that would have somehow saved her life. Having to do something he apparently hates, spending money on something useless-seeming, on top of his grief may have seemed like adding insult to injury. Not buying gifts, flowers, or taking people out to dinner is not a sign of mental problems.