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    Old 10-20-2003, 04:25 PM   #1
    KTUC
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    Post Understanding Personality Disorders, an introduction

    I really like hb.com. The forums are easy to use. What I see is there are several people who hang out at this forum who are quite knowledgeable about personality disorders (pdo’s). Everytime someone new comes, their specific question might get answers but the person may leave without understanding much more about pdo’s than when they came. It seems to me to be it would be helpful to do our own FAQ’s , so to speak. Here are some questions:

    How many personality disorders does the DSM describe? And what are they?

    How accurate is the DSM in depicting the various personality disorders?

    Do personality disorders occur on a continuum from mild to severe?

    Do people range in their own personalities from few symptoms to many symptoms at different times?

    Do personality disorders have little or a lot of overlap between them?

    Is there one personality disorder that seems to be core to all of the rest of them?

    What are some the differences between Cluster A, Cluster B, and Cluster C personality disorders?

    What distinguishes borderline pdo (bpdo) from other pdo’s?

    What does bpdo have in common with other pdo’s?

    I will come back and edit this post if any of you have other FAQ’s to add to this brief list.

    I will go ahead and answer these questions, my way, in another post.

    I hope some of you will either respond to my answers or give alternative answers. There are several points of view in the personality disorder world. I know my point of view does not fly with everybody, but probably, yours doesn’t either. So let us agree to provide our own multi-course buffet of responses and let others pick and choose what suits them.



     
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    Old 10-20-2003, 07:26 PM   #2
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    I think that is a very good idea that you have up above KTUC. The more education a person has , the more choices they can make in decieding for themselves what to do with their lives. The only way a person can change themselve is via education and knowing that they have options and choices so many so that they may not now about them how it may change the discourse oftheir lives and essential happiness. The point is here being that we all have choices in our lives. We have the freedom of will and inthe USA that is a big chance for happiness as not all other countries women have so many choices to pick from. you have only need to look around you visa via the media to see what is going on all around the rest of the world. Life is the canvas, and you do the painting. What you do with your life will depend upon what you see yourself being able to do and the only way you can do taht is through education. informed consent for living, is what it is. EVeryone has some kind of apptitude in themselves that they enjoy doing. The idea is to know what it is that you like to do and apply yourself to it and above all negative people who wish to keep you down either in your family or peer pressure. You have only one chance to live life and life is a learning experience in itself. it may take you a lon time to find out what it is that you may be successful at doing but sooner or later you will know and then figure out a way to incorperate this into work and living. Find some joy in life. Find a way to be happy and only you can be responsible for your life in the end. You can chose wisely if you are knowledgeable or you can chose poorly if you are not knowledgeable. You must see the big picture though which means learning to postpone self-defeatin g behaviors of drinking smoking and taking drugs as these keep you in the now and take something away from. They dull your mind for the moment so that you can forget the pain of having to remember painful thoughts. they are a temporary fix. you must learn to do away with these types of bandaid approaches as these serve to undermine your bigger picture so dont use. An educated person doesnt necessarily have to rely upon temporary dulling agents for thier minds as they can see into the future well enough to know that it takes a while before circumstances change in a person's life but to keep at it ..this is called perserverance. When you are invloved in bad family dynamics with an abusive mother,father,step parent or sibilings, you may feel a loss of sense of self esteem. this happens when yopur boundaries are ingnored like inthe previous post KTUC was talking about how some people do not respect boundaries, and she defined the nature of boundaries that each person has. a boundary is you have the right to be respected and not have anyone in your body space of 2 ft around you, you hav the right to not be abuse physicially, emotionally ( taunted teasing bullying and sexual abuse all fit into this catagory) you should have the right to have a say in how you feel about things in your life directly involving your feelings, you have the right to be fed loved and appreciated when you are under aged. You should live with some rules within the household but the punishment should not outweight the crime so to speak, in other words, it is ok for your parents to take wawy certain priviledges if you have broken some family law or rule to help protect yourself and well being of the family. this includes not studying and hanging out with bad people who will try to be a negative influence upon you to do inapproiate things or to go places you should not be. Your family should set up certain rules that serve your further advancement for a positive outcome for you in your life, i.e. going to school, doing chores, and doing what you are supposed to be doing. your family should also have set up a system of rewards also for you should be rewarded postively when things go smoothly. You should not have to be hit, have food taken away from you or be sexually abused or be emtionally abused, being told that you were not wanted or loved is a form of emotional abuse, or being ignored or not have your say about something that directly interferes with your well being also. it is hard enough being a teenager and having to cope with your body changing and dealing with your emerging adulthood. You have a right to room privacy but not if it includes harboring drugs or other oherwise illegal or off limits things. if more families show the same respect that they themselves want to their own children then much of the pattern can be reduced so that you ar not at a risk for becoming a BPD person with this challenge. mistyone

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 07:19 AM   #3
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    Q. How many personality disorders does the DSM describe? And what are they?

    Disclaimer!
    I am going to phrase my answers in casual layman’s language. Now I want you to know that I am just referring to symptoms, not people! People can have some lousy behaviors, but those behaviors are not THEM. If you have had one of the following labels applied to you, please know it is a label for a behavior/personality style; it is not you. No matter what label you may have gotten, you are a pretty decent person with some issues that peak and may continue to peak until you find ways of dealing with them. Having said that some of these symptoms/behaviors are not nice and I can be blunt about them.

    A. The DSM IV-TR ( Diagnostic and statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) describes the following 10 disorders in the body of its text:
    Cluster A: Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal. This group is characterized by eccentric behaviors, and hold others at arms length for various reasons.
    Cluster B: Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic This group is outgoing,. All members of this group are clearly narcissistic. They all have trouble keeping appropriate boundaries and tend to use others, each in its own way.
    Cluster C: Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-Compulsive. This group is known as “the anxious ones” They range from giving up all power to others (dependent) to wanting to have total control over others’ details. (OCD pdo is different from O-C disorder. OCD pdo is much more about details and control than having to repeat things over and over as in OCD proper.

    In addition to these ten, there is the catchall pdo: Personality Disorder NOS (301.9) This is listed in the DSM for those who do not clearly fit one of the above, but have enough PDO traits to mention it.

    IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE PDO’S LISTED IN THE BODY OF THE DSM TEXT, THE FOLLOWING DISORDERS ARE LISTED IN VARIOUS APPENDICES OF THE DSM:

    Passive-Aggressive pdo is mentioned in Appendix B of the DSM_TR. This pdo is about NOT doing the stuff one is supposed to do. Sabotage through the stab in the back, rather than face-to-face.

    Depressive PDO. These people are pessimistic and nothing you say, and NO med can influence their attitude. This pdo is also in appendix B of the DSM-TR

    Adding these two disorders brings us up to 13 personality disorders.

    The next two pdo’s were mysteriously dropped from appendices of the DSM-TR but may still be worthy of honorable mentions in the overall list: They were listed for many years in appendices of previous DSM’s and are worthy of thought:

    Self-defeating (masochistic pdo) Set themselves up to fail and/or be hurt, physically, mentally, you name it.

    Sadistic pdo. These are folks who do not mind stepping on heads metaphorically or torturing people psychologically and/ or physically. This pdo seems to be a prerequisite for serial rapists and murderers.

    I would be interested in finding out why these two pdo’s were dropped.

    Any corections, additions to above?

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 01:12 PM   #4
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    I think you got it pretty much wrapped up there KTUC sounds like it to me! of course some of these can overlap to other disorders also, so it makes it hard sometimes for a proper diagnoses. Also, I have found that all of this is subjective to a point as to who is evaluating the person, and how familuar they are to the evaluator. i.e., we know that some people tend to lie alot with this disorder so what they tell the evaluator should be taken cautiously. But then again anyone could lie to their therapist about anything and at any time, so either way for any diagnoses it is all objective-subjective to some extent. However, the true behaviors usually do come out in the long run and it is not too hard to fool a therapist for very long. mistyone

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 01:14 PM   #5
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    I think you got it pretty much wrapped up there KTUC sounds like it to me! of course some of these can overlap to other disorders also, so it makes it hard sometimes for a proper diagnoses. Also, I have found that all of this is subjective to a point as to who is evaluating the person, and how familuar they are to the evaluator. i.e., we know that some people tend to lie alot with this disorder so what they tell the evaluator should be taken cautiously. But then again anyone could lie to their therapist about anything and at any time, so either way for any diagnoses it is all objective-subjective to some extent. However, the true behaviors usually do come out in the long run and it is not too hard to fool a therapist for very long. mistyone

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 01:18 PM   #6
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    I think you got it pretty much wrapped up there KTUC sounds like it to me! of course some of these can overlap to other disorders also, so it makes it hard sometimes for a proper diagnoses. Also, I have found that all of this is subjective to a point as to who is evaluating the person, and how familuar they are to the evaluator. i.e., we know that some people tend to lie alot with this disorder so what they tell the evaluator should be taken cautiously. But then again anyone could lie to their therapist about anything and at any time, so either way for any diagnoses it is all objective-subjective to some extent. However, the true behaviors usually do come out in the long run and it is not too hard to fool a therapist for very long. mistyone

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 04:59 PM   #7
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    Thanks mistyone
    thanks mistyone
    thanks mistyone

    I am so glad we are finding points of agreement. I respect your presence on this forum.

    Here is my answer to another one of my self-posed questions. It is at least what i think I know about it.

    Q. How accurate is the DSM in depicting the various personality disorders?
    Do personality disorders occur on a continuum from mild to severe?
    Do people range in their own personalities from few symptoms to many symptoms at different times?
    Do personality disorders have little or a lot of overlap between them?
    (Disclaimer. I have studied the DSM’s section on personality disorders in particular, but that sure doesn’t make me an expert. The following is my opinion. It is a report on a book I read. My purpose in starting this thread is for any of you to express your knowledge on this subject, by answering either the questions above or posing your own. And/or reading these posts may start your education on pdo’s. These are only opinions and everyone has a right to disagree. If you have a pdo, you might want to come up with your own answers to some of these questions.)

    A. I think the DSM has a pretty good list of symptoms in their personality disorder (pdo) section. There seems to be no clear basis except the tradition of the former DSM’s, for truly defining separate pdo’s. The DSM admits it uses a discrete model, meaning it is going for separate description of each pdo. Each one in its own box; nice and tidy.

    Actually, it is very messy, because there is overlap and commonalties between various pdo’s and their symptoms. If the pdo boxes were arranged in a tic tack toe style and if all the commonalties were threads of silly putty going back and forth, it would show how messy that view of pdo’s is. But, as they proudly say, that is their method, and they are sticking to it!

    However they do not insist others stick to their model and briefly describe a number of other models for personality d/o’s out there.

    The first alternate model mentioned is that some people think personality disorders are on a continuum from a normal personality style when calm, and the degree of the pdo escalates on the continuum as acting out escalates. So instead of boxes, pdo symptoms would be shown as separate scales. Dr. John Oldham was on the DSM committee for pdo’s and tried to get that model accepted, but it only made first alternate selection. He also wrote a fun book for laymen on the subject called, “Personality Self-Portrait”. It has great names for each pdo ie “vigilant” for paranoid pdo. You can take and score the test he provides in the book and rank yourself on the DSM’s 13 pdo descriptions as separate scales. It is fun and his point is that everybody has traits associated with several of the types, but tend to score higher on one or two scales. It is not our personality styles that create the disorder, it is our acting out behaviors and distorted cognitions that make us rise on the scale.

    Now I like this model and I will stick to it, until the experts really get to the biological underpinnings for our basic temperaments and can express them in some kind of behavioral model.


     
    Old 10-21-2003, 06:16 PM   #8
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    thanks.KTUC..sorry for the three posts my computer crashed at that precise moment and it messed things up here.....i wanted to know why they never put pdo in on axis 1 always on axis 2. Why do you think this is given all the information on this you would think that it would rank as an axis 1. usually they put depression on as axis 1 then pdo on axis 2. what do you know or think about that? I know that the DSM 4 is the bible on all the mental disorders that all the shrinks and diagnosatations use (sorry for the incorrect spelling but i never could spell anyways and am too lazy right now to look it up)mistyone

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 06:24 PM   #9
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    you are a very smart lady KTUC....what is up with you and all this about pdo, i mean why the interest on your part? does it hit home for you somehow like others on here or do you know someone close to you with this? just curious thats all.... are you a pro in the field? what do you do?
    thanks, mistyone

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 07:21 PM   #10
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    Mistyone

    Thank you for your compliments. I compliment you as well. To answer your first question -

    Q. Why are personality disorders on Axis II and not axis I as is every single other disorder except mental retardation?

    A. Beats me. I think it is because is is a personality disorder, not a clinical disorder, in the strictest sense of the word.
    I have made comments before about this. Here is a quote:

    "Boundary violations typify the behaviors of people with escalated personality disorders. Personality disorders are not considered clinical conditions like schizophrenia or depression, so they are not Axis I disorders, they are Axis II disorders, along with Mental Retardation. Every other disorder in the DSM is under Axis I, with sometimes special reference to Axes III, &/or IV. Go figure.

    "Maybe the forces that put together that illustrious tome didn't want Personality Disorders to be all alone on their own axis, so they decided to put Mental Retardation there too, to keep them company. (As all too often happened in real life, - esp. in the past) The point here is that personality disorders are character problems, behavioral problems, not clinical conditions. They sure do complicate clinical conditions when they co-occur, though. (Now do NOT for a minute think that applies to the other Axis II disorder, Mental Retardation. Character and poor choices are entirely independent of mental retardation. People with MR show personality d/o’s at about the same rate as the rest of the population.)


     
    Old 10-21-2003, 07:56 PM   #11
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    Mistyone
    I bask in your compliments, but truly I am an old lady who was very avant garde in my youth. I was so lucky to grow up in a multicultural home with American, West Indian, Mexican, Irish, and Navajo influences that opened my eyes to cultural differences and cultural personalities. I took an anthropology course in high school (with Joseph Epes Brown, author of, "The Sacred Pipe") that changed my life.

    I did a major in anthropology and a minor in psyc in college, and studied theories of personality. For some reason, it stuck with me. I have changed my mind so many times about psychological theories in the last 40 years, it would make your head spin if I listed them here. It is a hobby, I guess you might say. Maybe I will list them in this forum someime and give my opinions about it all. i have enjoyed doing this one - but not if others aren't getting something from it.

    I speak on this forum from a lifetime of learning and questioning and questionng, not from the expertise of any degree.

    As an observer of mankind, I have also studied astrology as a possible source of personality answers. I don't think pdo's as discussed in the DSM any more scientific than astrology, but I admire the spirit of man - who always tries to get things into easy boxes whether as astrology or pdo’s.

    I think my mom had borderline traits, though the Dx wasn't even available until 1980 and I was 39 by then. And, I occasionally demonstrated some of my mom's worst behaviors. ugh. I think I worked out a lot of my existential drama through art and dance.I was a professional dancer (modern ballet)I lucked out to get a master's degree for my life dramas! I have been a member of many groups and have met many folks in therapy in these groups. I just have a desire to understand the human psyche and to take back all the power I can.
    Thanks for yuor interest. I havbe picked up some into about you from your posts. We have some differences on some things, but we have a lot in common.


    [This message has been edited by KTUC (edited 10-22-2003).]

     
    Old 10-22-2003, 07:31 AM   #12
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    Q. Is there one personality disorder that seems to be core to all of the rest of them?

    A. I was recently introduced to the concept that narcissism is the underlying pdo. This idea would give rise to a pdo model shaped like a tree with each of the others branching off from narcissism. (Pine tree as in Christmas tree style?) This may be a true assertion, but it isn’t a good model because of all the overlapping traits. Which branch should grow from which?

    Now I do think escalated narcissistic behaviors are the straight path to psychopathy rather than anti-social pdo by itself. I would imagine many if not all criminal psychopaths will have highly escalated narcissistic traits and may also have antisocial and/or sadistic traits.

    Perhaps all psychopaths score on the narcissistic scale, but the reverse is certainly not true. There are many healthy narcissists and it is an excellent personality style for many successful people. Dr Oldham calls it “the Self-Confident” personality style.

    It is easy for people to tell when people have gone over the top in self-confidence and/or false self-confidence; it is then called “an Ego Trip” by laymen. Some people are continuously on some kind of exaggerated ego trip and are callous and un-empathetic: that is narcissistic pdo in a nut shell. What narcissism shares with other pdo’s is some kind of exaggerated sense of self (positive or negative), poor boundaries, lack of insight, and blaming, or not taking responsibility. Pdo’s are about people’s non-productive habits, not about the people themselves.

    Does this make Narcissism the underlying pdo? I don’t know, but it is interesting to look at.

    Quote of the day: “As we learn about our habitual way of being in the world, we can transform our habit from a stumbling block (albeit one that has aided us as children) to our greatest gift. In other words, we move from unconscious behavior to conscious behavior. We run our habit, rather than it running us. The most compelling reason is to become our best self, to live and love to the fullest of our abilities.” Lynette Sheppard

     
    Old 10-22-2003, 10:18 AM   #13
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    hi KTUC- thanks for the info on you personally....i read with interest about what you wrote on the astrology aspect. I have read some rather interesting books on this and also on reincarnation. one book s that really struck me was, many lives, many masters by brian weiss m.d., written in 1988 and then he wrote the book only love survives a few years later. if you have not read it you should. personally, i think there is something to it especially if a shrink puts he practice on the line about hypo-regression therapy like he has done. he is from boston. It was a quick read and short. I have also read about the shanti devi case in india, and the bridey murphy case, as well as the mary cocknell from ireland. I think there must be some thing to all this and wonder sometimes if people who have pdo, are not working off some karma here in this lifetime?
    what do you think being that you have some native american blood in you or at least have some experience with american natives.....mistyone

     
    Old 10-22-2003, 02:38 PM   #14
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    I am most interested in the Cluster B personality disorders, I have a copy of the DSMiv right here. It may be a little out of date, but it will do for listing and comparing.

    First I will summarize in layman’s language what I think the DSM is saying about some of the escalated behaviors of each of the Cluster B pdo’s, then I will describe a well-compensated person of that personality type – well compensated meaning no escalated behaviors (or just everyday escalated behaviors!). Each disorder has a really great personality type behind it, waiting to be expressed! Personality disorders are about escalated behaviors, not the personality behind them!

    Antisocial Personality Disorder. When escalated: Callous, shallow, and glib, this pdo uses these traits to put over their lies, cheats, cons, and steals. Self-centered rule breakers and boundary pushers, they will not own up to anything bad, unless it serves a purpose Lack of insight. Blaming behaviors. Multiple destructive relationships. Are impulsive and main emotion is anger. Will put themselves and others at risk and be calm about it.

    A well compensated person of this type is described as the Adventurous style: It is characterized by a strong internal code of values. Has the unstressable personality able to take on challenges and high-risk challenges. Probably will still be outside the norms, but not the law. Adventurers. Astronuats, explorers, high risk sports, test pilots, any one succeeding on the frontiers. And all the risky jobs. They live fast, live high, but live well. Only a very few people with this personality style have escalated behaviors

    Borderline Personality Disorder: When escalated: Impulsive, highly volatile emotions, self-centered, boundary pushers who can devalue and/or dump others on a dime, “I can put you down/leave you, but you can’t put me down/leave me!” Being dumped can lead to highly escalated behaviors. Devalue themselves emotionally, physically, mentally and present this as self-loathing image. Lack of insight and a lot of blaming behaviors. People don’t get this diagnosis without some significant self-harm or SI issues. This is the ONLY pdo that is characterized by self-harm. My opinion on self harm is about 10 pages long, so I won’t go there….but I will put it up elsewhere if anyone asks.

    A well compensated person of this type is described as the Mercurial style. Deeply emotional, they have learned to handle being rocked with emotion and they know how to give their emotions plenty of positive outlets. This becomes a fervently lived lifestyle of passion and deep connection. Passion lends charisma to this personality style. Romantic passion – of course! But any deep interest becomes a passion. Sports, arts, cooking, you name it, these are all big in America today because of the people who have a passion for them. Gifted with great empathy and deep insight they can become the most passionate of encouragers. Down to earth, they neither devalue nor inflate themselves, but fill others with their enthusiasm for their passions.

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Escalated behaviors: This is the classic person on an ego trip. A shallow mask is presented to the world. Self-centered, grandiose, callous, glib, lies, cons, and superior snobby behaviors. Lacking in insight. It’s all about appearances. Dotes on admiration. Steps on heads and toes. Will devalue others and grab more than their share of credit, attention. Has been said not to be in love with self but with refection of perceived self from others. Manipulates this false image to get admiring responses.

    A well compensated person of this type is called the Self-Confident personality style. These people are good and they know it. They are charismatic and naturally draw attention to themselves. People readily bestow it. They are extroverted, goal oriented (ambitious) and intensely political. They are very self aware and have great insight. They understand what motivates others and can supply it. Even scoring just a few traits on this scale adds pizzazz to other personality styles.

    Histrionic Personality disorder: Self centered, emotional, dramatic, impulsive, exitement seeking, shallow, glib, and vague. Sexual overtones in dress and behaviors. Appearances are everything. Dotes on attention. Dramatics to get attention. Flamboyant style. Some SI, if crushed. Poor insight and blame shifting.

    A well compensated person of this type has been called the Dramatic style. Sensation seeking, demonstrative, affectionate. Spontaneous and lively. Strong sense of harmonious relations. ability to make others comfortable. Perform BEST under intense scrutiny. Often found in the spotlight or in front of people -actors, teachers, motivational specialists, in highly competitive individual sports such as gymnastics, tennis, and golf, they get BETTER under pressure.

    Hey Mistyone
    Interesting thoughts. Is there a forum somewhere for that? Right now I am focused, I just have this hankering to get to it with personality disorder stuff. I retired last November due to illness. I have so much time on my hands to think and write. These forums stimulate me to form opinions and share them. Now I am looking for a forum that can relate to some of my thoughts on personality disorders. I see so much fear and even hopelessness and circular thinking from people who are just beginning to figure it out. I wonder if putting up a semi-coherent point of view that stands just a little bit separate from the standard DSM thinking of pdos would help ground people more into who they really are and less into PDO acting out behaviors.

     
    Old 10-22-2003, 03:56 PM   #15
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    Hi there KTUC- i am not sure if there is a forum on that subject or not as i have not seen one on this thread anyways....was just asking your thoughts on it but i see you are more interested in staying focused on the BPD so i will frop this question for you.....i believe, many on these threads are interested in what you have to say, however, it has been my to express myself more on the teenagers or lay person's advice concerning BPD as i have worked with kids in the past and this is what they can understand from their level and age appropriate levels....i think what you added is very good though and helps for all ages to sort out what they have or have not got. So far, your threads have been the most interesting and informative that i have seen in this dot com forum. i hope that others feel the same way as i am sure they do. there are lots of questions about this disorder, but i have to say that it was considered a disorder as far back as 1973, as i know some who were diagnosed with it even back then .....i dont know what the dsm said about it backthen though, as there have been so many revisions on so many different disorders over time things change!!! take care and keep up the good work in educating people here....mistyone

     
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