How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steven Olsen Your Own Question

Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
45885103
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Steven Olsen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been given the diagnosis of histrionic and borderline

Resolved Question:

I have been given the diagnosis of histrionic and borderline personality disorder, and admittedly show some traits. My concern is that I have a strong history of sexual abuse and feel this diagnosis acts more as label, opposed to a realistic acknowledgment of the suffering I experienced and the positive methods I've used to manage myself. Because of this diagnosis, I have had issues within the court systems over joint parenting access to my children and I am deeply upset about this. Please help me understand how I can combat the "label" but still work through the traits I show that could be considered histrionic in nature. I also want to know if histrionic or borderline have been shown to affect parenting in general or how these disorders could affect children. Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 3 years ago.

What you are saying is essentially at its core, true. MH diagnoses are indeed, simply labels. They do not mean that you are capable or incapable as a parent. There is no proof, anywhere, that having a mental health disorder causes you to be an inadequate parent.

 

The only exception to this may be anti-social personality disorder where the nature of the disorder often shows patterns of harm to children and family relationships, but that is not the diagnostic issue here.

 

Many good parents have mental health histories and diagnoses and this should not, unless neglect or abuse occurred with the children, affect the decision of the case.

 

It would not only be short sighted on the part of the court, but it would be discriminatory as well...As a matter of fact, you have a strong case to say that the MH diagnoses that you have been given are being used as a way to discriminate against you as far as custody of the children.

 

It really isn't about you proving your diagnosis is the issue; it is the court's issue. They have to show that behaviors that occurred on your part are the reason you are capable or not as a parent, not a label.

 

How do you combat the label? You should be very assertive about the fact that there is no proof that having an MH diagnosis is a reason to prevent joint custody. I would ask instead for a list or specific behaviors that you have done as evidence instead. Anything less is discriminatory and is against the law. Period.

 

I would also think about contacting NAMI, the national alliance for mental health and seeing if they can help provide information about MH discrimination. Why fight an accusation when you can fight back yourself? Use the diagnosis label against those who are using it against you! What they are doing is wrong. A person is not a label and that cannot be used as a basis for custody, only actions.

 

On a personal counseling side. You do need support throughout this difficult process. You are stressed and frustrated and need an outlet.

 

Many forms of counseling such as Gestalt therapy do not label clients, but rather simply help them in the here and now. You may wish to see if there is a Gestalt therapist in your area, as this would be a much more pleasant (and non-diagnostic) experience for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience: More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
Steven Olsen and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education