Personality Disorders and Coping

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Think_Kink, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    As I talk to people it is becoming more and more clear that many people have been diagnosed with a Personality Disorder. I myself have one, it is interesting for me to cope daily.

    Has anyone else been diagnosed? Do they wish to share which one, and what type of coping mechanisms they use?
     
  2. simcha

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    Wow, Think_kink, you have some courage to want to discuss this here.

    In the field I see evidence that Personality Disorders are much more common than once believed. Then again, the population I serve, homeless 18-25 year olds, skews my sampling of the general population.

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're suffering. It seems that Personality Disorders are partially triggered by major trauma, abuse, and neglect early in childhood. It's a very primal wounding related to poor attachment.

    I'm glad that you are aware and it seems like you are getting some good help with it. From your sharing on here you seem like such a nice, articulate, and friendly person. I hope you find healing. Best wishes...
     
  3. BigDuder

    BigDuder New Member

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    bipolar affective disorder. i have good days and bad days.
     
  4. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I guess I have nothing to really hold back at this point.
    I have mainly Avoidant Personality Disorder, with also borderline Borderline Personality Disorder.

    The criteria for diagnosis are:
    1. Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection
    2. Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
    3. Shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed
    4. Is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations
    5. Is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy
    6. Views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
    7. Is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing
    I actually suffer from every aspect of Avoidant PD. With the Borderline there are fewer that I suffer from.

    1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. [Not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5]
    2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
    3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
    4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, promiscuous sex, eating disorders, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). [Again, not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5]
    5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
    6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
    7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
    8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
    9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.
    They said that my sypmtoms for Borderline were not strong enough or pronounced enough at this point in time to diagnose it as a serious thing. There is nothing that they can do for me either. The psyciatrist basically told me I would have to learn to cope. The took me off Olanzapine becuase the risk of Diabetes for me was too high. For soothing techniques I used Satsuma Body Butter from The Body Shop, sleep relaxation music on my iPod, and my computer. Most of my time spent online is destressing. I work in a grocery store and that helps a lot, I can practice talking to people and holding conversation.
     
  5. simcha

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    OK, so you've been to the psychiatrist, and he or she has assessed you and has treated you with medication in the past. Have you had psychotherapy? I ask because psychiatrists rarely offer therapy these days.

    It's true that there isn't a specific drug that treats personality disorders. I'm glad they took you off of the Zyprexa (Olanzapine) because usually it's best not to be on an atypical antipsychotic unless you are having psychotic symptoms, using current thinking about these medications in light of the risks of taking these meds. Personality disorders don't have anything to do with psychosis. That's the good news. So maybe that's what your psychiatrist was saying, that there's nothing medically that can be done.

    There is plenty that you can do in the context of psychotherapy to develop ways of coping. It takes a special psychotherapist to treat personality disorders, and one that has worked on him or herself in therapy is best. Actually, I would say that a psychotherapist shouldn't work with people suffering from personality disorders unless they are in psychotherapy themselves. It's challenging work, as I'm sure you are aware because you're living with it.

    So, if you choose to seek psychotherapy, interview possible psychotherapists. Ask if they like working with people who suffer from personality disorders. Unfortunately, there are some psychotherapists who believe that they cannot work with people who have personality disorders because they believe that nothing can be done with these clients. I think that these psychotherapists just find it too challenging to work with people suffering from personality disorders and are to afraid to admit it.

    Like I said, it might be good for you to work with a psychotherapist who can work with people who suffer from personality disorders because you can develop ways of coping. No, there is no cure for personality disorders at this time. Yes, the best you can do is find ways of coping. And the good news is that people with personality disorders are, for the most part, very functional people.

    Good luck...:wink:
     
  6. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I could look into it. But where I live we have 2 psycologists... and they are over webcam. We actually don't have any living here. I was on a list for 8 months to see this guy over a webcam. So I'm almost as sure there are not many psychotherapists.
     
  7. Principessa

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    Simcha, I'm not in the field, but don't you think a combo of CBT and DBT is better for someone with BPD?

     
  8. SpoiledPrincess

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    Seems everyone these days is being forced to accept this label and that label, TK's 'symptoms' are just what 20 years ago would have been considered fairly normal teenage acting out, and we'd expect her to grow out of that as she got older, now people get stuck with labels and that makes them think that there's something wrong with them when all it is is a normal development stage they're going through. Fuck, I'm as bossy and demanding as humanly possible and I don't have any personality disorder, it's just the way I'm made. Unless you can be neatly pushed into a pigeon hole marked 'average' you're seen to be in some way not normal. Normal is a much wider sphere than behaviouralists would have had you believe. For a 19 year old fear of being hurt, insecurity, anger, not knowing who you are exactly, all those other things are fairly standard behaviour.
     
  9. simcha

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    Actually, there are studies that show that yes, CBT and DBT are very good for someone with BPD. These are two evidenced-based practices that work for many suffering from BPD. Sometimes in-depth psychotherapy is just the wrong way to go for people who have personality disorders. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) offer tools for coping.

    I prefer using DBT because it includes much of what is good about CBT and is more of a holistic approach. It is a way of teaching mindfulness and helps the client to focus on the present. It's rather Zen-like. Also, it allows the client to work through the relationship with the therapist, which is essential in treating personality disorders. Attachment is something that doesn't come naturally to most who suffer from personality disorders. So, I like to use relational therapies for people who I suspect suffer from personality disorders. Also, DBT is very practical and helps the client to prioritize treatment for pressing issues like self-injurious behaviors.

    Most psychotherapists I've worked with and have trained with use a hybrid of techniques tailored to the needs of the client. I'm biased in that regard because I have a specialization in Transpersonal Psychology (a holistic approach to psychology) which stresses ways of working with clients that are specific to the needs of the client.
     
  10. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Standard to a point. I'm far beyond that point. My councilor assessed me, I've done countless 250 questioned test, had therapy every week for 4 months. They knew me pretty well in and out. I'm not a normal teenager at all. I know that. Most teenagers aren't afraid to walk down the street because they think people are judging them just by looking at them. Most teenagers can walk into a store and ask for the product they want to try on; I don't go in, if I do avoid all talking, and never make contact with anyone ever. Unfortunately there are far too many examples I could give.

    The greatest thing I ever taught myself was to play invisible to people. Get them to ignore me, and act as if I was a normal person when confronted.
     
  11. simcha

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    SP, there are differences between "normal teenage acting out" and personality disorders. Also I try not to confuse "normal" with "healthy." Just because most of the population acts and is such and such a way, doesn't mean it's good for everyone or even most people. Also, it doesn't mean that there's something pathological going on. And, yes, there is a wide range that is considered "healthy" because there is no "one size fits all" approach to being human.

    A lot of this is a matter of degree of wounding. I tend not to pathologize my clients. I don't like the DSM-IV-TR conventions for diagnostics. And it's under revision. The DSM V won't be out until 2011, most likely. Unfortunately it's a tool we all have to use in the profession because it allows us to have a "lingua franca" to use to conceptualize specific cases. Diagnosis can be useful to help us see a client and to strategize ways of helping a client to heal. Where diagnosis fails is when the clinician and the client use it to conceptualize the client as "sick," "diseased," or "pathological." Most people in society are, by in large, psychologically healthy. There are those who are on the edge, and who go beyond the edge of healthy. That's where diagnosis helps. Sometimes, it's not helpful to share your diagnostic impressions with a client because it can cause the client to start to see themselves as "damaged." I use extreme care when or if I choose to share my diagnostic impressions with the client. I make sure that the client understands that diagnosis is simply a tool to allow me to develop a framework where I can come up with ways of helping that client to heal. I also am careful not to diagnose clients unfairly because a diagnosis has a way of following people and labelling them.

    That being said, I work with some fairly extreme cases. I have clients who suffer greatly and who exhibit extreme symptomology. In these cases it would be irresponsible for me to neglect diagnosis as part of conceptualizing a case and developing a treatment plan. A diagnosis isn't the sum total of who the client is. It's a tool to be used to help the clinician understand what's going on so you can assist the client in their own healing process.

    The above is my take on diagnostics and comes from a more holistic and relational orientation. It's not meant to be the final word on diagnostics.
     
  12. AlteredEgo

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    This sounds like most of the people I was friends with in high school. I think this describes about 50 people I know. I always have to place food-delivery orders because everyone else is afraid of the voice on the other end of he phone. I was in constant fear that everywhere I went, if people were laughing, they were laughing at me. If I couldn't hear them talking, they were talking about me. This lasted from ages 8-13, when the constant fear got downgraded to frequent fear until I was about 15, and occasional fear (maybe three times a year?) to this day. It is normal. I dreaded leaving the house when I was a kid. One of my best friends gets hit on by guys, and as soon as their attention is momentarily diverted, she literally turns and bolts. I have lost track of her this way on several occasions. Actually, that hasn't happened in a long time, and I assume she's outgrown that level of discomfort. I have the exact same urge when men pay too much attention to me in public. I have just never acted on it. Meanwhile, inside, I panic. I think the best thing to do really is to come up with effective coping mechanisms. Coping IS outgrowing.
     
  13. SpoiledPrincess

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    Simcha, sometimes parents who are constantly exposed to Oprah, Sally, Ricki, step in sooner than they might thus creating the environment in a child who is going through a normal development stage of creating the feeling within the child that he isn't normal. I was advised to take my child to a therapist, having a number of friends who are therapists I took the decision not to and he never knew that I'd been advised to do this, two years later he'd grown out of all the bad behaviours that had been the triggers which had been behind the advice to take him to a therapist, had he gone to the therapist he'd have got the idea there was something wrong with him, and would most likely now be thinking he had some kind of personality disorder. It may not be the case for TK, from one short paragraph it's hard to say, but for some people we jump in too quickly on what are normal behaviours for a certain age group and diagnose them not as what they are but as disorders.

    And yes Tinky those are pretty normal feelings for a teenager, in part they feel they're the centre of the world and in part they feel that everyone is looking at them and judging them badly on how they look, what they wear, their most minute reaction.
     
  14. simcha

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    Gosh, I can't say enough about how much Oprah and Dr. Phil have done to confuse people about when to seek therapy and what therapy is for and what it isn't for...

    Also, you really don't know what would have happened if you had brought your child to a therapist. Since you didn't the point is moot. It seems things turned out for the best, that's good. It really depends on the messages that the child receives about being in therapy that determines whether or not the child starts to feel that there is something wrong with him or her. It depends on the family's attitude toward therapy and what it means, it depends on the social context, and it depends on how the therapist interacts with the child.

    I can't speak for all therapists. All I can say is that I'm very careful to help the client understand that they aren't seeing me because there's something "wrong" with them. All people need other people. I'm simply a resource when clients need extra and specific help. You don't have to have something terribly serious going on to benefit from therapy.

    And, there is a lot a therapist can do to harm a client, especially a child. That's why it takes a very long time, in most places, to get licensed. It's actually akin to the process that licenses medical doctors. Where I live you have to have a specific masters degree. Then you have to earn 3000 hours of supervised experience. Then you take, not just one, but two in-depth tests before you can be licensed. This process can take as long as 9 years to complete from start to finish.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of very bad therapists offering bad therapy out there. It gives the rest of us a bad name.:mad:
     
  15. SpoiledPrincess

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    It doesn't rest solely on how the therapist and family acts, a large part of how a child reacts to therapy is based on how his peers view it, unfortunately a number of children will consider him a 'nutcase' or 'mental' for having to see a therapist. Tell him not to mention he's seeing a therapist and you're giving him the message that it's a negative so it's a no win situation.

    My child is now a healthy stable adult, I felt his behaviours as a teenager were normal teenage behaviours, if I had taken him to a therapist one thing that wouldn't have happened is that his behaviour would have turned out as it did, therefore I can only surmise it would have had a negative effect on him.
     
  16. Eva

    Eva New Member

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    Major chronic depression. It's run in my family for generations but I'm the first one to seek out any sort of therapy or help. I'm hoping to nip it in the bud with my nephews. I can already see that one of them got the bum gene and I'd like the dude to know he doesn't have to follow in the footsteps of my father, who makes a career out of being miserable. (I adore my father. I also want to beat him with sticks sometimes.)

    I also have ADD. I've always had it, apparently, but found ways to deal with it. My test scores were off the charts for ADD but when my therapist did an IQ test on me, she found that I excelled in areas that ADD people usually falter in. After long discussions, we determined that I came up with far more tricks to keep up with those areas.

    I deal with my therapist, whom I adore and refer to just about every single person I meet. (Okay, not really, but I have sent her at least 10 people.) I also medicate. I fought pills for years--off, on, off, on.... I finally got one that works like it's supposed to and I'm now far less tortured, far more artist now.
     
  17. lafever

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    I have a mild case of O.C.D, obsessive and compulsion disorder, i deal with it by having awarness and being able to identify what i`m feeling so i can take action and arrest those impulses, sometimes its like a god given gift though, lol , so i`m ok with it.

    lafever
     
  18. Boobalaa

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    I've been an avid crisis line /homeless shelter volunteer for the past 8 years..before that, i was using my soc. degree working as a program manager in a group home for MRDD adults..I concur with the above comments regarding labels, lists, catagories and boxes..Richard Dawkins describes this habit as .."the tyrany of the discontinuous mind"..with all these lists of symptoms, boxes and arrows and such..Life, personality, behaviors..everything..are on a continuum..
    Now it's intersting that we are on this forum discussing this particular topic because just last weekend at the crisis line, we were wondering if forums such as these enable and exaserbate personality disorders and mental illness' by making it easier for people to isolate themselves..

    Just in case you really want to be listened to and not just "heard"..to tell somebody your story, to hear a non-judmental voice who will give you feedback if you want it..here are a few numbers to call..You do not need to be suicidal to call one of these lines..

    Resources:

    Crisis Centers in Canada

    Crisis Centers in the United States
     
  19. Principessa

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    Sorry SP this is one of few things upon which you and I have always disagreed completely. You have no clue how deeply tortured and difficult life with a Borderline Personality Disorder is. NO CLUE!!!!! A great example is TattooedMamaMeg's posted Schema Quiz from this months Oprah magazine. I looked at your scores early this morning and wondered why they were so low in comparison to mine. Then I realized, you're 'normal.' While I have a rather severe case of Borderline Personality Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I agree there is a lot of psychobabble/bullshit out there. BPD which, (by the way needs a new name) is not psychobabble. It is a real diagnosis and a very big problem here in the United States. I was in therapy for 7 years and had been seeing this particular therapist for 3 years before he figured out why I wasn't getting better.


    Think_Kink and I luck out because we are both smart and attractive. There is a chance that we can live pseudo-normal lives. I'm not being vain it's the truth. Studies have been done and statistically, attractive, intelligent people are better at sticking with the rigorous treatment programs which are necessary to achieve some degree of normalcy.


    You lucked out! BPD is more hereditary & environmental than biological. There are a few new studies which say it is actually environmental and neurological. Basically if my mom hadn't been a total Narcissistic Personality my life wouldn't be so fucked up now. My dads family is full of undiagnosed depressives and fucntioning alcoholics.

    Like I said earlier, check my schema quiz scores and my supporting info. It reads like a text book case of BPD. Given the shit I have had to endure both at home, and in school, as a child the miracle is that I am able to fucnction at all.

    I'm sure Simcha can back me up on this with real statistics. For the most part men with borderline personality disorders end up in prison or dead. Women end up cutting

    I doubt very seriously more than 4 of the people you know would actually qualify as a borderline personality. Trust me on this, I know from wence I speak. The girl that runs away in a crowd, the people who can't order take-out, that's more likely a form of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. That is not a Personality Disorder.


    Speaking of God given gifts, next time you feel a little OCD and are in NW, Georgia I'm sure I have some mindfulness exercises which will help you.:wink:
     
  20. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Ok... there is a large gap of space between feeling this way at 15, and my age now. I'm almost 20 lets not forget here. The whole process of me abandoning my friends, sitting alone with my animals, and living in seclusion from the world didn't start till I was 15-16.
    My parents never watched those shows. My mom watches ER, General Hospital, and Greys Anatomy. The problem was my parents were never around without getting into my life story, my brother and I were overly overindulged children, my parents bought up lots of stuff to keep up happy. It is probably the reason I have 5 animals, plus the family cat. My parents never understood that spending time with us was better than going out and buying a $500 trampoline, or buying us expensive clothing wouldn't help us get friends. My parents were always harsh with me over my soothing issues. *aha scary to admit this online* But I have an adult soothing problem. And they said they refused to fix my teeth, and then two days later they would tell me how great my teeth would look when they fixed them. My brother lived in an unstable home where we never knew rules or what was actually happening cause we were threatened back and forth over things. I'll explain further later I'm going to get my hair done.

    I have the number for my local one ;) Thanks.
     
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