Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 912904

Shown: posts 1 to 15 of 15. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

finally diagnosed with personality disorder

Posted by deerock on August 18, 2009, at 20:36:17

hi, i met with my therapist today and i asked her a few times if i had a personality disorder. nobody has ever told me i did except most of my ex girlfriends. therapists always told me it was anxiety or depression or panic or OCD.

anyhow, she said she did not believe in DSM diagnosis and said that i am dealing with a disorder of the self. i said that i felt this was simply semantics and that she was saying i had a personality disorder. she certainly did not disagree.

i am actually devestated by hearing this suspicion confirmed. i have a lot of trouble with self regulation and i suspect this is the root of the idea that my self is disordered. the idea that my self is disordered tells me that its not like having a bum knee, or a bad back, its me, i am faulty.

she kept trying to get me to focus on my strengths but i could not let go of the fact that only a small percentage of people have personality disorders and that if 5% have them, 95% do not and i kept saying 95% of people are more mentally well than me. she was saying i do not know the statistics dee but i what you are saying makes sense, most people do not feel what you feel.

the most upsetting thing to me about this is the idea that i will never ever no matter how hard i try be able to regulate myself the way a normal person can. this means that i have a disability. this is very hard to accept.

i think i could easily find a therapist to tell me she is wrong and that its anxiety or depression or ocd. i am tempted to bail on the therapy but something inside me is telling me not to.

im wondering what others have to say about what ive written. id appreciate any input. thank you.

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder

Posted by Sigismund on August 18, 2009, at 20:39:53

In reply to finally diagnosed with personality disorder, posted by deerock on August 18, 2009, at 20:36:17

>i could not let go of the fact that only a small percentage of people have personality disorders and that if 5% have them, 95% do not

Who says?

This didn't exist 20 years ago and in 20 years time it'll have been forgotten. It's hardly worth paying attention to.

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Sigismund

Posted by deerock on August 18, 2009, at 21:01:51

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder, posted by Sigismund on August 18, 2009, at 20:39:53

i saw some study or something online that was done by NIMH that 2% of people were borderline.

what got me was when i said to the therapist you mean to tell me i am experiencing things that most people do not feel?

and she said yes, you are experiencing more discomfort than most people.

that tells me that either its true or that she thinks i have issues that i dont have.

sig, you do have a way of making me feel better. i appreciate it.

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder

Posted by Nadezda on August 18, 2009, at 21:30:38

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Sigismund, posted by deerock on August 18, 2009, at 21:01:51

Do you think you're experiencing more discomfort than most people?

And why, by the way, do you believe that people with personality disorders, if there is such a thing, can't regulate their emotions? DBT is a form of therapy predicated on the idea that people can and do.

Maybe you don't at the moment do this well, but it can be worked on and a lot of progress made. It doesn't really matter what other people are experiencing or doing, does it? What matters is the quality of your life. Feeling or thinking that you have a disability, that you'll never be as well as most people, and other things-- even interpreting your Ts words as meaning that you have a personality disorder-- doesn't improve your sense of self or of emotional regulation. So maybe it's not worth calling up those thoughts. Maybe they're making it worse, rather than better-- and may be you have some choice about how to you see yourself.

Words, even as thoughts, have tremendous power. If I keep telling myself something's a catastrophe, I start to feel awful. If I think instead that it's a challenge, that perhaps I have things to work on, that I haven't achieved all that I want, but that it's a process-- or other, kinder thoughts-- I feel stronger and more capable, and can see a way through. The same may apply to you, and to what you're creating in this moment, from this conversation with your T.

She seems to be trying not to contribute to your tearing yourself apart with such thoughts. But ultimately, only you can start to work on not going there. Even if it's hard-- or harder than for some people-- that doesn't matter, does it? if learning something, or being able to do something is hard, should one give up? or isn't the only path through to keep on, to be more unyielding in one's efforts?

I try to choose the latter, because if I want something, then I guess it's up to me not to be swamped by obstacles, but rather, to stand my ground, and work forward. It isn't about how hard it is, but about how determined I can be. One thing you learn, over time, is that everyone experiences suffering and anguish-- that everyone has to struggle against limitations, and that what is, is-- and what you do with it, is in an important way, the question that everyone faces.

Nadezda

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder deerock

Posted by Garnet71 on August 18, 2009, at 22:54:49

In reply to finally diagnosed with personality disorder, posted by deerock on August 18, 2009, at 20:36:17

Hey Deerock,

My T said just about EVERYONE who comes into his office has a mix of traits from several or many of the personality disorders. It doesn't mean a lot in terms of 'defining you'. It just is a way to describe a set of core issues you particularly deal with. Core issues that usually came from childhood abusive or neglect--things that happened to you that you did not deserve.

It is more effective to treat to define IT (the issues) - IT is not defining YOU. There is a whole, content, defined self, functional, innocent you lying under those core issues......Defining a PD makes it easier to treat because doctors can be taught how to treat specific PDs in classes if there is a concrete name to recognize, describe it, and discuss how to treat it, and because there is research on each particular PD - research that helps to prognosis of anyone suffering from a set of issues that can constitute a particular disorder. Most people have such traits. Some people have more traits predonimantly from one as opposed to the other(s).

A disorder of the 'self' has been sometimes referred to as narcissistic personality disorder. There are many schools of thought revolving around object relations, attachment theory, etc. But the 2 larger schools of thought that contain much of these micro aspects (that I can see) seem to be the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic view and the other is the DSM view. If you are interested in learning more, you might want to look at the psychoanalytic/dynamic view--it makes more sense than the DSM; it explains a lot. If you google NPD and narcissistic, etc., it's not going to be very helpful, imo. I think if you are interested in learning about it, you'd be best off reading about attachment theory and object relations in regard to NPD. Stuff like Kohut and Kernberg and Bowlby. There are so many conflicting opinions out there and I don't think the DSM describes the complexities.

I am not educated in this stuff, but was in a relationship with someone with NPD for a long time, so I've read a lot about it....and have been interested in your posts, have been following them since you got here. I think you are doing remarkably well-I am really impressed at your self-introspection and overall progress. Perhaps only a guess, it seems you have a very skilled therapist and you should stay with her. The best type of therapy for NPD (if my guess of a disorder of self is not incorrect) is definitely the type of therapy you are in. Without a doubt.

Often someone with NPD characteristics takes a long time to get close to a therapist; after you do feel an attachment, the urges to destroy the object of your pain are worked through. It's a rage to destruct the self-object, which your T has become under the transference. I don't understand it wholly, so I can't explain it well....I just recognized what was going on abstractly from your posts and had read about it. I guess youre not supposed to intellectualize it though--you are supposed to feel and work through everything. I was hesitant to say anything, except that you are questioning and questioning your therapist and your relationship with her, and I have been concerned you were going to give up.

I really believe that you are at the appropriate step--and once you get past this milestone,the rage and anger will dissipate, and you'll be one step closer to self-actualization. Please stay with it, stay with her. You can get through this. I really think you have an excellent T, and you are motivated to get better and putting 2 and 2 together, I can really see you overcoming your issues. Really-I think you are doing everything right. It's probably tough to recognize that right now, that it feels right, but please stay with your T and work this through.

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Garnet71

Posted by obsidian on August 18, 2009, at 23:07:54

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder deerock, posted by Garnet71 on August 18, 2009, at 22:54:49

I just wanted to say that I thought that was a very nice and informative post garnet.
best regards,
sid

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 19, 2009, at 0:15:09

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder deerock, posted by Garnet71 on August 18, 2009, at 22:54:49

Your T said you have a harder time than most people, but why does that bother you? People go to T's in the first place because they're having a more difficult time managing life/emotions than most people do. My T once said to me -- if therapy was easy for you, you wouldn't need it.

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Garnet71

Posted by deerock on August 19, 2009, at 10:51:37

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder deerock, posted by Garnet71 on August 18, 2009, at 22:54:49

garnet, im really touched by your post. im not going anywhere. im sticking it out. i know whats good for me sometimes. and the therapist i have is very skilled, its just that my anger gets in the way of my seeing it.

as i said, i have had a lot of therapists. an ex GF was getting her PHD in clinical psych and i asked her to get me a referral from one of her professors to someone who was really good with psychodynamic psychoanalytical work. there was some part of me that knew what i needed.

thats how i got to this T. again, im really touched by everything that you said and i think youre right on the money with everything.

thank you. i hope you have a great day.

dee

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Nadezda

Posted by deerock on August 19, 2009, at 10:53:43

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder, posted by Nadezda on August 18, 2009, at 21:30:38

thanks nadezda. personality disorders get a bad rap. and i work in a prison. i see the results of DBT on some of the inmates. they go from totally nuts to pretty nuts. its an improvement but they are still a mess.

thats what i worry about. ill get better but never good enough. and i get that this is self sabotaging. i try not to think this way.

thanks for taking my post seriously and replying. enjoy your day.

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder deerock

Posted by Phillipa on August 19, 2009, at 17:47:51

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Nadezda, posted by deerock on August 19, 2009, at 10:53:43

Maybe they have antisocial personality disorder hence in a prison. Just a thought Phillipa

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder

Posted by Garnet71 on August 20, 2009, at 8:06:28

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Garnet71, posted by deerock on August 19, 2009, at 10:51:37

(((Deerock))))

"im not going anywhere. im sticking it out."

I'm really glad to hear that! Maybe after you get through this rough spot it will be uphill from here? It will get better. It takes a lifetime for all of us to develop our issues; of course we can't 'undo' them overnight, but fortunately--it will not take a lifetime to get better. Stay strong.

Hugs,
Garnet

Note to Phillipa: Deerock indicated he worked in a prison!

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Garnet71

Posted by deerock on August 20, 2009, at 9:05:00

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder, posted by Garnet71 on August 20, 2009, at 8:06:28

thanks garnet.

so youre saying psychodynamic therapy is the best treatment for this kind of problem?

as in personality disorders are most effectively treated with multiple visits per week psychodynamic therapy?

im asking because i sometimes wonder if im so rageful because i feel helpless and i feel like she is putting labels on me that may not be accurate.

i keep asking her if i am having problems that she doesnt have or if i am more f*ck*d up than she is. and i know she is sitting there thinking yes but she wont answer me.

im getting really angry with her again as im writing this.

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder

Posted by Garnet71 on August 20, 2009, at 9:48:30

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Garnet71, posted by deerock on August 20, 2009, at 9:05:00

Hey,

I'm sorry if I confused you at all - I don't know what your main issue is-disorders of self include other things, but often it is used to describe NPD and after reading your posts i always think it's NPD. NPD has a range that most people fall within. The most extreme/far right is antisocial; however, psychodynamic therapists won't treat antisocial, from what I've read. And the fact you are in a Ts office probably indicates you are not as bad off as others.....

Most people with NPD do not even enter a therapists office. Some researchers think a larger proportion of the population has NPD than what's indicated, and that many end up in government, teachers, etc.. Most people with NPD will not admit there is anything wrong with them. Those notions are commonly accepted.

Again, I'm not educated in this stuff, just have read a lot....However, I am 99% sure psychodynamic therapy several times a week is the best kind of therapy for NPD, if that is your issue, and I think the only type of therapy for that.

But most people have a mix of several PDs traits. Maybe your T doesn't ascribe you to one in particular and therefore CANT answer you directly? Either way, your T seems to be trying to remain sensitive to you while remaining honest--as in not lying saying oh, you have no major issues...I personally wouldn't want a T to "tell me what I want to hear". That would not be good for you; I think she's trying to do what's best for you. Many Ts will not give you diagnoses at all. That is not uncommon at all.

I hope you can think less about the label and more about getting better. But know people with NPD are known to hate that there may be something wrong with them and as I said before it's known many people with NPD will not even acknowledge there is something 'wrong' with them, even though there is something 'wrong' with all of us.

A psychodynamic therapist will, from the way I see it 1) identify the ways we cope/adapt/ defense mechanisms 2) unveil your core self 3) integrate all those adaptions with your core self to amalagate a true self 4) enable you to identify and know and become your true self 5) rebuild and help you shape your true self, revealing and using your own insights to help you change your negative coping mechanisms and relating to people (NPD) to positive coping mechanisms and ways of relating to people.

The relationship with the T is key. The relationship is the tool to helping you do this. Your progress and ability to do this is based upon your relationship with T--how you interact with her. She is like a psuedo-parent who allows you to complete 1) through 5).

We develop our unhealthy coping mechanisms from our relationships with our parents; you can learn to change your coping mechanisms through the relationship with T.

I should not post about this anymore because I think I'm making things worse for you. Deerock-PD traits are just ways we adapt to cope-they do not define us as individuals. Most people have PD traits and I do too. We all have issues, distortions of self from things that happened to us when we grew up; things that shaped us. Please remember that!

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Garnet71

Posted by Phillipa on August 20, 2009, at 20:41:12

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder, posted by Garnet71 on August 20, 2009, at 9:48:30

Garnet yes I know the poster works in a prison. I suggested that the prisoners themselves strong link to antisocial personality. Very many personality disorders. Since I have no Axis II i'm assuming I myself don't have one. Phillipa

 

Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder

Posted by backseatdriver on August 25, 2009, at 16:37:25

In reply to Re: finally diagnosed with personality disorder Garnet71, posted by Phillipa on August 20, 2009, at 20:41:12

just wanted to chime in -- you can do this, deerock.

everyone has traits that look like personality disorders; a lot of diagnosis is totally relative and a matter of "taste" in some way, though the doctors try to make a science out of it. i think garnet is right to stress that the "symptoms" of a personality disorder are better understood as ways to cope with awful situations.

we have learned ways to cope with awful situations.
sometimes those coping strategies don't work out well in the long run.
but with a T -- the tool, as garnet said, to our improvement -- we have a shot at learning new strategies, new ways to cope that are more adaptive and better for us and the people we love and who love us

i hope you're feeling better soon -

bsd


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.