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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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I think I have a very difficult situation. I firmly believe

Resolved Question:

I think I have a very difficult situation. I firmly believe my wife has a psychiatric disorder. And I know she is an alcoholic. Can mental conditions be diagnosed at arm's length by symptoms alone? I'm sorry, I thought this would be an ongoing dialogue. I don't think we can do much without communication.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your wife's situation.
If she is alcoholic, she may have depression or other mood problems.
Let me ask you a few questions first.
Does she have any medical condition?
How long has she been alcoholic?
Has she exhibit depression or anxiety?
Is there a specific question I can assist you with?
Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I firmly believe she has borderline Personality Disorder. She has been an alcoholic for at least 20 years. The line was blurred for a long time between abuse and outright alcoholism. But she is definitely an alcoholic for the last 7 or 8 years. She has declined steadily.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for waiting.
I can imagine how sad, anxious and worried you must have felt about your wife's situation.
It sounds like she has alcohol abuse/dependence, depression, and possible Borderline personality disorder (BPD).
It's common for people with BPD to abuse alcohol or substance.

Borderline Personality disorder is emotional regulation problems. BPD is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, affect, and marked impulsivity. A person with BPD is intensely fearful of abandonment and may engage in impulsive and extreme behaviors to keep other people with them. Disturbances in self-image are often manifested as frequent shifts in career goals and sexual identity, while impulsivity is reflected in unsafe sex practices, reckless driving, financial irresponsibility, and substance abuse.

As you are aware, she may need treatment - individual and group therapy and/or medication in addition to alcohol addiction treatment (working with a certified alcohol counselor) in inpatient or outpatient settings.

You may need help and support to associate with your wife. You may need to get support from a counselor/psychotherapist and/or your doctor. You may need to be patient with her behavior - angry outbursts and erratic behavior as she has this serious illness (depression and possible BPD). You may not overreact to any outbursts, emotional displays, or other behavior of her, as your overreaction may be an escalating factor in her behavior.
However, set limits with her behavior without high emotion. You may not change yourself to accommodate her behavior as she may try to manipulate you. Keep an honest perspective, especially in regard to your own needs. Develop friendships and social interactions with other people, making sure you are not sacrificing your own quality of life in your efforts to deal with her.

Again, she may need to work with a certified alcohol counselor.
In terms of her psychiatric illness, she may benefit from Dialectical-Behavior therapy (DBT) or Psychodynamic therapy.

There are good facilities for her across the U.S..
For example, The Menninger Clinic is a renowned treatment center for various mental health problems including Borderline Personality,
Depression, Self-Harming, Suicidal Ideation etc. They work with adolescents and adults. They provide long-term and short-term inpatient treatment.

Here is the info:

The Menninger Clinic XXXXX
Houston, Texas 77080
Admissions Office
phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Website -

Other hospitals that offer DBT treatment to patients with BPD are:

Silver Hill Hospital XXXXX
New Canaan, CT 06840
call 1-866-542-4455

Community Hospital
Behavioral Health Center
5637 Marine Parkway
New Port Richey, FL 34652

The Zucker Hillside Hospital
75-59 263rd Street
Glen Oaks, NY 11004 (NNN) NNN-NNNN Cloud hospital XXXXX
St. Cloud, MN 56303 (NNN) NNN-NNNN
(800) 742-HELP toll-free

Forest View Hospital
1055 Medical Park Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546

If she is dangerous to herself or the other OR is unable to take care of self due to mental disorder or alcohol addiction, ask her to go to an emergency room of a local hospital. If she does not, call A LOCAL MOBILE CRISIS TEAM or PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM designated by your city and county for psychiatric evaluation and involuntary hospitalization. If she is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.

I hope your wife seeks treatment. You may need ongoing support and advice from a psychotherapist, your doctor and/or a support group.
A support group is available via NAMI organization (website:

Please let me know if I have overlooked any or you have more questions. Warm regards, XXXXX remember to click the green ACCEPT button. You do not get charged twice; I will continue to answer your question whenever I am back online; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Olsen" in the front of your new question. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

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