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concern for 18 yo stepdaughter with possible PD

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Old 06-30-2008, 01:17 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Canberra Australia
Posts: 1
deyonce71 HB User
concern for 18 yo stepdaughter with possible PD

Over the past year I have watched my stepdaughter diminish into someone quite obsessed with her health (she does have diabetes type 1 and coeliac disease), unable to socialise, ending relationships with men her age, quitting university due to tiredness/anxiety, being violently aggressive with her younger sibling, unable to manage any stress;she works as a checkout operator at her local supermarket and was asked to take some time off because she was "too emotional" at work.

Her recent visit was filled with bouts of extreme emotional responses from rage to crying inconsolably and moments of my old stepdaughter. My friends were quite concerned for her and noticed a dramatic change over the past 2 years.

I spoke to her mum about my concerns and was told she would arrange for my stepdaughter to see a psychiatrist, 6 weeks later this hasnt happened and seems unlikely. I offered for her to see a psychologist during her visit with us and as her mum said it would be unhelpful she didnt want too.

After much reading and talking to a friend who is a psychologist I am concerned she has Personality Disorder. Any suggestions as to how we tackle the situation? My husband and I feel we just have no influence and because we live interstate our face to face contact is quite limited.

We are feeling almost desperate about the situation. Everytime we speak to her she is planning a new career direction. It seems she is obsessed with getting into medicine now despite the fact she studied no relating subjects in her last year of school.

Any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated.

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Old 07-26-2008, 04:39 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 212
waratah HB User
Re: concern for 18 yo stepdaughter with possible PD

BPD is a very complex condition that is often under-recognised, over-diagnosed, misunderstood, gender biased, stigmatised and dreaded by medicos. For this reason, a diagnosis is unlikely to be reached from one visit with either a psychologist or psychiatrist. Of course, there are many reasons why people experience emotional upset, but putting a label on it won't help her feel better. Nevertheless, . . ..
I know there are a number of really great books on BPD. Perhaps you might look into this at your local library.
Some good ones are Lost in the Mirror, Sometimes I Act Crazy, and one that I found most informative is published by Oxford University press called 'Borderline Personality Disorder - the facts', AU: R. Krawitz & W. Jackson.
Give it a go & good luck, and please keep this board informed of your step-daughters progress.
Many thanks, W

Old 10-01-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 14
xheffalump HB User
Re: concern for 18 yo stepdaughter with possible PD

You cannot really suspect your step-daughter to suffer from a "personality disorder", because the phrase alone means nothing. There are not really any symptoms or behaviours that apply to all Personality Disorders, so there is no way you could tell if somebody was suffering from one unless you had a rough ideas of the specific behaviours of the one you suspect.

Did you mean that she might be suffering from BPD? Because it sounds a little bit like that to me. If so, I feel sorry for you and her. It is a very difficult, challenging condition that really does inhibit day-to-day life for the sufferer, and therefore those close to her also.

The disorder was destroying my relationships, destroyed my education, destroyed my prospects of a good career and moreover, has destroyed me as a person. I no longer know who I am, what I want or where I'm going in life.

I suggest you try harder to get her help, and fast. I'm now having DBT which is supposed to be very helpful. The only problem I see is that she's 18, and if she doesn't want the help then you cannot force it on her.

As waratah said, I would also encourage self-help books. I have "The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide" by Kim Gratz and another writer, which was relatively helpful. I'm sure there are others out there also.

Last edited by xheffalump; 10-01-2008 at 05:42 PM.

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