Thursday, December 12, 2019

Comments by Zippy321

Showing 47 of 47 comments.

  • “Too many who pass thru my door aren’t so interested to really reexamine insight and judgment, no, they want what is popular, easy and convenient.”

    That sounds like a therapist sharing a conclusion he has come to after decades of experience. He is not in a session with a patient, so I think your assumption that he’s judgmental or snide to patients is an unfounded leap. Such a conclusion may be true, but that does not necessarily mean there is not also empathy and a desire to help, does it?

  • If there were evidence connecting diabetes to violent acts (self-harming or harming others), that should be explored. However, there isn’t any.

    As for “fraudulent “diagnosis,” forget about naming the problem, if that is the issue for you, and just ask which of the following descriptions do not aptly describe Trump’s behavior:

    1. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    2. Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    3. Exaggerating your achievements and talents
    4. Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
    5. Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
    6. Requiring constant admiration
    7. Having a sense of entitlement
    8. Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
    9. Taking advantage of others to get what you want
    10. Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
    11. Being envious of others and believing others envy you
    12. Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

  • “The fact that we are even having this discussion on a national level shows just how bankrupt the idea of DSM diagnoses are. Would there be a national argument on whether Trump had cancer?”

    This is just a silly argument. Suffering from cancer does not make one potentially dangerous. The DSM’s description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder’s symptoms fits perfectly with the behavior we have witnesses over and again by Trump. There is no denying that. This man is now in the most stressful job in the world, and stress is not a friend to someone who suffers from this problem.

  • “A vain and nefarious rich young man learns about true courage and kindness…” That is a nice and hopeful thought, CatNight, but it is pretty clear that Trump is suffering from a serious personality disorder that is not going to be “learned” away. He should never been elected to serve with this disability. It makes him potentially very dangerous now that he has been handed power. We’re all walking on eggshells for the next 4 years.

  • You have repeatedly displayed behavior in this thread that is both defensive and offensive in response to myself and others simply stating our opinions – opinion that are based on our experiences, of which you know nothing. Knowing nothing of them does not prevent you from lashing out, however. You are choosing to cast aspersions on others rather than looking into the validity of what they are saying and either agreeing or disagreeing in a reasonable fashion. Perhaps they threaten you – I don’t know you so I won’t speculate further.

    Good luck with your life.

  • Good grief, “high functioning” is nothing like the obviously and intentionally negative words you cite – “crazy”, “psycho”, “faggot”, etc. To suggest otherwise is silly at best, and an intentional effort by you to paint this useful term with those negative connotations.

    It does no one any good to look for negativity where there isn’t any, and it does harm to society if we must narrow acceptable speech in the absence of real negativity to conform to the standards of those with egg-shell thin sensibilities.

  • “I grew up with a father who terrorized me and my family, who was a textbook case of Narcissistic PD, as well as Bipolar, and possibly Personality Disorder …. had he been diagnosed with any of the above, perhaps that could have inspired him to heal himself. But even reading the DSM descriptions gave me a HUGE relief recognizing that his pathological treatment of me and other family members was not normal.”

    Liza, I think your post here is very valuable. Its importance can probably be only understood fully by someone who was invested and close to someone with such personality illnesses. “Huge relief” is as an apt description of what I felt as I can provide. You and I certainly a kindred spirits in that. Well said.

  • I’m just sitting here watching All the Way with Brian Cranston (wow!) and occasionally peering at any responses. Silly accusations without foundation -“Self-control”, “Just can’t resist,” and then turning the allegation around without foundation….

    Yep, a lot in common. Night night. I’ve got 1/3 of the movie left, so I’m happy to comment further if you inquire.

  • Yes, “mansplaning” – another canard for those without substance to respond looking for an easy “trump” card.

    I was simply stating my opinion. If you don’t like it, say why you don’t like it. Don’t put up a silly straw man and think you’ve carried the debate.

  • Sera, I am replying here to your comment two above because the website is now not offering me the ability to “Reply.” Curious.

    In any event, there is nothing wrong with the term “high functioning.” It is aptly descriptive. It is not – sensibly – understood as harmful. It simply distinguishes some from those whose mental issues prevent that.

    The world is tiring more and more of people telling other people how to speak, rather than trying to communicate about the topic at hand and make progress.

  • Sera, high functioning in the way I was using it was to convey that he is more than capable of functioning in work and general life activity despite his mental issues. Is that really problematic for you?

    I have no idea how the term impacts insurance. This is just another “correction” that serves only to limit speech and free thinking, unfortunately.

  • Please reread the DSM symptoms on NPD and then watch start to finish his press conference of two days ago. It is you who is “blinded” if you can’t see that this man needs help. “Ruling class strategy” – ha. The strategy is with Bannon and those who are in his inner circle. As for Trump, he is a high functioning ill man who, like a dog who caught the squirrel – is now in the whirlwind. Its only going to get worse, Oldhead.

    Thanks, Lizza.

  • Steve, on your question of whether I “really think that assigning a DSM diagnosis improves one’s understanding of the problem?,” I do indeed. I can only speak deeply as to my own relationship with someone with BPD, but had I known before that the behavior I was seeing was not specific to my ex, but, rather, a shared illness with common symptoms, that would have helped me cope in the very least. I think it would have helped her as well, as well as helping her family understand and better empathize.

    For example, knowing that the otherwise incomprehensible emotional meltdowns I was seeing manifest again and again could be better understood as an intense fear of abandonment would certainly have helped. When someone finally explained to me the concept of splitting, it was like I had been blind and someone gave me glasses to clearly see what I had been seeing and not comprehending for years. I would say the same of the threats of self-harm. Hiding a diagnosis is the antitheses of truth and greater learning.

    When you ask the following, you seem to be asking about best course of treatment, I think: “Isn’t it more effective just to talk about what behavior they engage in that is distressing or problematic? Wouldn’t we understand more if we asked the client about his/her perspective on what the problem is in their terms, rather than trying to force them into our artificial frame of reference?” I don’t know if that is more effective in terms of treatment or not, as we never got that far, unfortunately. From my perspective, if someone told me that my ex was having severe emotional problems, that and $4 would get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

    You don’t vaguely tell someone they have a pain in their leg. You tell them you think they are suffering from a bone fracture, or a pulled muscle or whatever the evidence suggests it to be.

  • Steve, whether NPD and other personality disorders are caused by nature or nurture or, more likely in my opinion, some unfortunate combination of both is certainly a question that I cannot answer. While I do not agree that BPD is wholly born of abuse and tend to think it is likely an additive factor, this is admittedly pure speculation on my part.

    With Trump, if you’ve watched the very good PBS Frontline documentary on his history, he certainly had a father who may have caused some negative impact on his psyche, so who knows?

    However, I do not at all think that he is simply an “asshole” as you say because it is learned behavior. There is an illness here, and your question sort of implies choice.

    [Forgive the response down here, but there is no “reply” button available below your post.]

  • Kindredspirit, your advocacy for a more restricted executive power is well worth some debate. Unfortunately, it has little to do with the issue of whether Trump is mentally ill, other than to support the conclusion that the illness question is even more important today because the executive branch is currently vested with so much power.

    You suggest above that I think “any” mental illness is disqualifying. You are just putting words in my mouth inappropriately. Obviously there are illnesses that are more dangerous or debilitating than others. Trump may be high functioning, but his NPD is disqualifying to me as it focuses on himself (did you listen to his last 90 minute press conference about himself?), blaming others based on his own insecurity and an obvious penchant to react not to facts but to his out of control emotions. Facts mean nothing to the man, and he is run by his emotions – that is dangerous in a President.

    Throughout the campaign and still to this day, we have heard apologists for Trump note that he is a “different kind of President” yada yada yada. Well, that is true, but its a little like saying the universe is a big place.

    It is more and more clear with each passing day that Trump is unhinged in a way that no other President has ever been known to be. None of the past Presidents you name are in the same ballpark. Give me Grant and his purported alcoholism any day of the week – at least he would wake up sober.

  • Well, I think we’ve reached what common ground we can. I do not think psychiatrists who are trying to understand a problem are doing so to make them feel “more legitimate” or for “purpose of billing.” It is certainly a difficult endeavor, but the endeavor to understand mental issues (“struggles”) that are seen to repeat over and over is a positive endeavor, despite the fact that it is hard to do and there is a lot less certainty than with the more obvious physical (non-brain) problems. Categorizing is one of the ways mankind learns and works through things – mental illnesses just likes types of cancers or fractures, etc.

    To realize Donald Trump has a real mental illness is simply and not voting to make him POTUS is not “prejudice and discrimination” in a negative way. It is common sense. He is the one who put himself into the public sphere.

  • I sympathize very much with and agree with some of what you just wrote. I just don’t agree with the conclusion.

    I am all in favor of removing the stigma that you fear will be put upon people from such diagnosis – although we have to recognize that some mental illnesses do have negative consequences on those who have them and those around them and those can’t be ignored. That said, I am in favor of educating away the stigma, but adamantly against stifling discussion of the diagnosis. Yes, diagnosis are “man made”, but only in the sense that it is man’s effort to try to understand.

    I assure you, had my ex had a diagnosis, I would have doubled down yet again (and there was already a lot of such doubling down over seven years) to help. The lack of a diagnosis and the lack willingness to call a problem a problem – well, that was the problem. The fact that I stayed at it for seven years when I knew there was a real mental issue should be testimony to the fact that I did not run from it, which is what you fear people may do.

  • “Why should it be disqualifying?”

    This is just an absurd statement. He is Commander in Chief, finger on the button, able to start war. He is obviously unbalanced. His mental illness is already wreaking havoc on our nation, and it is only going to get worse, as stress is not the friend of the personality disorder. There is a reason that Presidents leave office looking 10-15 years older than when they arrived.

    “Nearly half of American presidents have suffered with what we now term mental illness.” Depression and similar issues are nothing compared to what we have in Trump. He’s a danger in this position.

  • Sera, I have no idea about your situation, so I am not commenting on that. I am certainly not an advocate for taking anyones kids, etc. based on a diagnoses unless there is behavior that suggests that there is a danger to kids, etc., so please don’t suggest otherwise. However, your own situation aside, are you suggesting that people don’t struggle with mental issues like personality disorders?

  • I congratulate you on your achievements, particularly in the face of a personality disorder. My perspective would not “serve to ruin” your life, however. Diagnosing someone as potentially having a mental issue is akin to diagnosing someone with any other physical malady, except its harder because you can’t see the broken bone or whatever.

    When you suggest, “Look at what someone is doing, not some subjective, man made diagnosis,” that is what I am doing. I have watched Mr. Trump on an extremely public stage now for 2 years and what he is doing fits all too well with a particular diagnosis. That information is valid and valuable. That said, I am not suggesting for one second that it should be misused.

  • “I think you are one of the diagnosed”

    AntiP, you are being quite generous in calling your post “thinking.”

    I lived with someone for seven years who was ultimately diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Although I only knew she had problems both before and after we married, I did not know with any more specificity what the issues were as she refused to get her help. As someone who tried for so very long to make things better and get my loved one help, I am intimately knowledgable about this topic from the inside, but not in the manner you so flippantly suggest. I have long realized that, had we had a diagnosis, we could have done much more to help her and our relationship. Hiding from the diagnosis was a very bad thing.

    Trump, on the other hand, exhibits his symptoms publicly every day for all to see, though there will eventually be a some book that discloses the behind the scenes stuff that most certainly impacts himself, his family and colleagues on a daily basis. Here, I am more concerned about the next election because he chose to enter into a job for which his mental illness is – should be disqualifying. That is not true with most jobs, but it certainly is in terms of POTUS.

    In a way, advocating that we not talk about his problems is just another way of lying to the American voters.

  • “….making assumptions and limiting someone[‘s] potential based strictly on some sort of label” – yes, that is precisely the sort of thinking that is disheartening to me because it assumes that the diagnosis is a bad thing. In reality, a diagnosis is a helpful thing because it is only when someone knows what the problem might be that they (and their loved ones) can focus in on helping address it. In terms of Trump, voters have to understand the underlying illness before the next election.

    If Donald Trump’s tax records showed he was a cheat, or that he actually does have problematic financial ties to Russia, is noting those facts to suggest there is reason why he should not be President discriminatory? Well, if Donald Trump has a mental illness, that is similarly important information for us to have and to discuss in terms of the potential implications. To say that is “discriminatory” is silly, and I think you will ultimately see that if and when his illness shapes his behavior in a way where it impacts your life directly.

    You seem to be equating the rendering of or even discussing a possible diagnosis with “playing into the country’s fears and prejudice about ‘mental illness’”. I assure you, that is not what I am doing. Trump – like anyone with a personality disorder – needs help, and I would join you in thinking we have work to do to better educate the public that there are many folks with these issues just like there are many people with physical illnesses and that they should not be “discriminated” against unless and until their illness impacts others or themselves in negative ways.

    What I won’t join you in is ignoring a very valid and important inquiry because you worry that it might make some people feel bad. With all due respect, it is your viewpoint that is trying to stifle ideas and speech by calling it discriminatory, etc.

  • Yes. Just one example would be that the Republican Congress and Fox News and other apologists often downplay the problem here by saying things like “he’s just a different kind of President,” as if he just has quirks. We all have quirks. This is something far more dangerous, and we have put immense power in his hands. Explaining how the symptoms he so flagrantly exhibits fit hand in glove with a likely diagnosis is far more likely to get people (voters) to realize that we have made a huge error. It is not discrimination to not want a mentally ill person be President, is it?

    Beyond Trump, I am disheartened by the current trend to apologize for diagnosing people because of fears of stigma. Its not the diagnosis we need to fear – it is the people who don’t understand that many people have troubled minds and who would not offer help. We do harm to deny the diagnosis for politically correct reasons.

  • Sera, I disagree completely.

    If you don’t understand that Donald Trump is mentally ill, and that this illness informs and shapes his actions – actions that now effect all of us as citizens in the United States, you lack a huge piece of crucial information about what is going on here. You can’t understand what he is doing unless you understand the genesis of those actions. You are denying the truth because you apparently are not comfortable with doing anything that could be seen as inflicting a “stigma.” Well, when a person who suffers from a mental illness behaves in a way that is doing harm to others, the truth is more important than such concerns or political correctness.

    You simply cannot understand this President without understanding his illness. We need to pull our heads out of the sand – and we should have had this conversation before the election.

  • What symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder doesn’t he clearly exhibit? We may not have clinical analysis with him on the couch, but that does not require us to stick our heads in the sand.

    From the Mayo Clinic Website: “DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

    1. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    2. Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    3. Exaggerating your achievements and talents
    4. Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
    5. Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
    6. Requiring constant admiration
    7. Having a sense of entitlement
    8. Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
    9. Taking advantage of others to get what you want
    10. Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
    11. Being envious of others and believing others envy you
    12. Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

    “Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others.”

  • “The diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder frequently serves to invalidate the trauma of women who have experienced abuse.” Wow – what a sweeping statement that serves so well to try to undermine the actual experiences of those who have been harmed by those who suffer from BPD. For seven years I struggled with someone who had this issue, although I had no idea what to call it at the time. I tried over and over to get her help. When I finally ended things, she conducted a distortion campaign against me, including false accusations of violence and stalking. Let me assure you, this does happen. It happened to me. Apparently, it does not serve your political purposes to acknowledge it. Unfortunate.

  • Melodee, I recommend that you read Sinead’s comment above, which I will summarize here as I think it remarkably captures the reason why confabulation is tied to BPD:

    “People lie when they are afraid. The alarm set off by fear is internal, and quiet. Unbearable anxiety is frightening. It demands an explanation — a story to explain what someone or something is doing or has done to us — to explain this angst and fear to us. The explanation is a story we tell ourselves and each other. A believable story – not necessarily a factual one. The truth is all that matters is the quelling of the unbearable angst – because – first and foremost, we all need to feel safe in our own skin – we strive for this. By whatever means necessary? Sure, sometimes. Confabulation can be an indication of a protracted state of fear.”

    We can have empathy for the person who suffers this – my God, I was with my ex for seven years and I tried and do have empathy. At the same time, and without being contradictory, we can (in fact, we must) recognize this if that person who is suffering bears false witness against others that has to be confronted.

  • Nothing in my statements suggests people who suffer from BPD do not deserve compassion. Quite the opposite. Recognizing that people who suffer from BPD sometimes cause harm by fabricating and inflating stories is just recognizing reality. Denying it because their condition (aptly described by Sinead above) is the cause helps no one. It’s better to face it and gain a greater understanding of the problem by so doing.

  • You say: “The explanation is a STORY that we tell ourselves and each other: A *believable story*– not necessarily a factual one.
    The TRUTH is ,–all that matters is the quelling of the unbearable angst–”

    Sinead, I recognize that. In fact, my understanding of that actually flowed from my ex’s diagnosis, and I never would have understood it without that diagnosis.

    But what happens when when the story a person tells does not reflect reality (beyond the person’s internal reality)? What happens when that story is then told to other people – friends or neighbors, or to the police, or to children’s services? What happens when the person whose internal story does not reflect reality but they are telling people it is true? Real consequences flow.

  • Most people on this board say they don’t like to “label” people as borderline, but I would point out that there can be a positive side of the diagnosis. (I would not call it a label at all, as that term itself is negative.) I was with my ex trying to help as best I could for years, but there was no comprehensible explanation for what she suffered from that I knew. I had few tools. I think a lot of family members and loved ones of such people feel that way, but much more so when there is no explanation. Finally learning what she suffered from was a revelation, and the diagnosis actually gave me more empathy and real peronal relief. There was a name for what I found incomprehensible and I was not alone in caring for someone with these problems! In fact, if that diagnosis came to light earlier, rather than after we split up, it’s possible I could have done more.

    Fine, don’t label people with these problems, but do diagnose them. The diagnosis is of a very real problem. Pretending its not makes things worse in my opinion.

  • Jacqueline, thought distortion may well happen to a lot of folks with a variety of problems, but let’s understand clearly that those who suffer from BPD have that problem. Until we face that uncomfortable truth, how can you go about trying to help them properly? I just don’t see it.

    All – much appreciated, but no need for sympathy. I’ve made my peace with what happened and hope the best for her. I just would like an honest discussion about the condition and that requires facing truths that are unpleasant to hear (although liberating for others).

  • I certainly agree, Brent. My point was that borderline personality disorder cannot be understood, in my opinion, unless we confront the fact that much of the purported tragedy is inflated beyond rational thought. That is part of BPD – a symptom, if you will. Sure, sometimes the tragedy is exactly as claims, but often inflated beyond rational thought? Absolutely.

    It seemed your article simply took the patient’s tragic stories (see the quote from your article I cited above) at face value. Maybe you were just being tactful by not saying that, but I think it must be confronted and that it plays a much bigger role than most are willing to admit.

  • I am sorry you are feeling defensive. I only know the situation with my ex-spouse. For years my heart went out to her as she told me of the terrible wrongs done to her over the years, as if tragedy were metal and she a magnet. I sympathized and tried to help. When it all became too much and I left, I witnessed her saying things about me remarkably similar and I knew that her statements were simply false. Knowing that they were false, I do now doubt the veracity of the things she said about others.

    I am sure some people are wrongfully accused of making things up. That does not mean that the opposite is not true, as is often the case with people who suffer from BPD.

  • With all due respect, I honestly do not think you understand BPD at all. And I fear that you really won’t unless you live with someone who suffers with it, because only then will you realize that, though their stories are emotional and powerfully persuasive (amazingly so), they make things up.

    You say that, “Over the years, I’ve heard countless horrific stories of abuse, neglect, trauma and most every form of torment that one human can inflict upon another. The sting of such stories never lessens. I’ve often marveled at the mind’s capacity to focus a sustained attention upon new ways to perpetuate and promote anguish. Sophia’s story is tragically similar in regards to the abuse she suffered. Her life, by her convincing account, was really an endless series of disappointments and traumas, of every imaginable variety, layered on top of one another.”

    What you don’t understand is that people with BPD turn ordinary events into trauma and drama. Until you realize that, you will be doing the patient no good, and you will potentially be assisting with the slandering of the “split” person they are telling you did these terrible things. Whether you like labels or not, its called a “distortion campaign” when it gets hot and heavy, or just a way for them to externalize the bad feelings they have about themselves and gain sympathy when it hasn’t reached a crisis. People who suffer from this do deserve sympathy, but not from the stories they tell. I actually lived with someone who had this for seven years and I know the truth and I know what was said after I ended things, and the two had very little in common.