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Re: Misdiagnosed?? (way too long) sedona

Posted by likelife on April 16, 2003, at 21:21:06

In reply to Misdiagnosed??, posted by sedona on April 16, 2003, at 1:18:05


I'm sorry you've had to deal with this--it can be so hard/disconcerting/confusing/frustrating to disagree with a therapist, especially after building a 2 year relationship.

I've recently had a similar experience--with borderline pd as well. I have been seeing my current therapist for a little over two years and about six months ago I began talking honestly with my her about how I felt about her, which was basically extremely attached, pretty dependent, and somewhat frustrated by these feelings, and because I felt like she was and continues to be somewhat cold and uncaring. Being, of course, terrified of abandonment, this was a difficult thing for me. She was somewhat receptive to hearing about this, but I was thrown completely by the amount of emotion that I was having, and after having spent the better part of two sessions talking through it, the issue was dropped (mostly because I felt like she wanted me to drop it).

So, anyway, in short order I became quite depressed after this, which was probably caused in part by my disappointment, inability to talk about it, and an enormous amount of stress from beginning grad school.

I am having difficulty making this make sense.

Somewhere in here, my pdoc, who works at the same clinic, asked me if I thought I have borderline personality disorder. I knew a little about it at the time, but his question came completely out of left field for me. I told him no, and we moved on (pretty much I already couldn't stand this guy, but felt stuck with him). Later, I confronted my therapist, and asked her why he had asked me about BPD (I know they regularly consult with each other). She admitted that she thought the diagnosis fit as well, and I was (not in order) pissed, confused, terrified, miserable--mostly because I had a lot of misinformation about the disorder, and felt it was being used as some kind of sentence, rather than as a useful tool (as noa was talking about).

I am one of the most passive people I know, and one of my "characterological deficits" is that I will believe almost anything someone else tells me about myself. So my therapist and I discussed her use of the diagnosis (at my insistence), and whether she would have told me had I not asked. I have come to believe her, but wonder occasionally about how my need to please and not make waves has brought about this agreement. When sharing this information with my husband (much later), he was shocked and angered that someone would "label" me with that group of traits. (For the record, I do fit somewhere around half of the diagnostic criteria, but only when I am quite depressed).

You could say I have made progress in therapy since this point, as I have been handling stress much better, most importantly staying away from cutting (the defiant child in me wonders if I'm not doing this in part just to spite her--see, I'm not what you say I am). But as far as the relationship with my therapist, I feel like I have been trying very hard to distance myself from it, and make it not matter so much to me, since I am finding that it is much more painful to allow myself to think and feel about it.

The point I think I'm trying to get to here is that after reading your message, Sedona, I wonder if I shouldn't agree with my therapist so readily. When I told her I found her cold and uncaring, she turned it back around to me and labeled it as one of my many cognitive distortions, and asked me how I could reframe that perception. I halfheartedly told her something about the necessity of clinical distance, but I didn't believe any of it. She also proposed that perhaps she is reacting to my often apparent lack of emotion in sessions. But what didn't even occur to me then was that I *did* have a previous therapist who was much more warm toward me.

I'm reeling all of a sudden. It has been my therapist's mission to make me realize that my perceptions and cognitions can be very distorted, and I agree--BUT, I have agreed to the point that I don't trust my own emotions or appraisals of situations. Have I helped in my own brainwashing? OK, that's probably a bit too extreme, but why do I suddenly feel like I'm not sure which way is up?




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