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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I have a daughter who I believe is a borderline personality.

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I have a daughter who I believe is a borderline personality. She lies so smoothly that it boogles the mind! For example, she recently had a phone conversation with my sister during which she said,"my mother doesn't have a master's degree she only has a B.A." My master's is hanging on the wall in my computer room. My daughter is 32. I asked my sister who is a nurse if she felt that my daughter really believed what she said and she said yes. My daughter was never abused or neglected. I just don't understand how she became so sick. Can you help me understand?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am sorry to hear your situation. Let me ask you a question before I offer an answer. When did she start showing behavior problems? What age?

Edited by Dr. Olsen on 12/2/2010 at 3:15 AM EST
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She was 11 before she started to be weird. She had just started her period. By the time she was 13 she became a real problem. She was diagnosed with A.D.D. at 17 but that doesn't explain her behavior. I am also A.D.D. as are several other family members but no one is like her.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi, Thanks for your response. Let me ask another question before I offer an answer. Is she under your care now? Does she have a job?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She is married to a raving maniac who stays home with their 3 young children while she works as a a major hospital.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I see Dr. Olsen is away and you haven't been answered for quite a while, so let me be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. On the one hand your daughter says you've always been there for her. But on the other hand she seems to act in such a contradictory way, not caring about you at all.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. You are seeking an explanation for her behavior and wonder if Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) explains her behavior. I would like to point you perhaps in a different direction, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Why?

BPD is characterized by tremendous instability in relationships, self harm, almost always being emotionally overwhelmed, and blaming others. BPD almost always involves a history of early sexual or physical abuse.

NPD is more familiar to lay people: self absorption, willingness to use other people for one's own ends including making things up about others for one's own advantage, being interested in one's own happiness and problems to the exclusion of any real interest in others' happiness or problems.

So, some of her behavior does not quite fit NPD. Narcissists usually don't stay in therapy with one therapist very long if they are willing to go to therapy at all. With BPD this is more prevalent. But, her behavior just seems more like she's using you and others more than that she's emotionally overwhelmed. The not crying at her father's death is part of why I'm viewing it in this fashion.

So, consider if this will help understand her better. Here are two good books for non-psychologists I've found help people cope with narcissists. See if you can get them from the library and if they fit.

1. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship by Eleanor Payson. This is a great book that will help you with the lack of self-esteem that living with a narcissist or being close with a narcissist will do to you. Amazon:

2. The Object of My Affection is in My Reflection: Coping with Narcissists by Rokelle Lerner. This book is newer but is extremely clear and insightful and has helped people since it came out 2 years ago. Amazon:


I wish you the very best!


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Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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