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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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I know someone that is suffering from character flaws that

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I know someone that is suffering from character flaws that correlate with several different aspects of personality disorders. She is very charming beautiful and sweet on the surface. She has been hospitalized for short periods of time and has been diagnosed as bipolar but I think that this is a misdiagnosis. In a nutshell she displays characteristics of a female narcissist but is subtle in making these characteristics apparent. She is very hedonistic and indulges in pleasures ranging from sex (male and female) and drugs of varying kinds. On the surface she seems very sweet caring and supportive of other people. When it counts there is a convenient excuse as to why she can't do this and that etc.... Frankly she hurts many men in relationships. It seems that she socializes with people when there is something to gain from it but removes herself when a favor is asked of her or complications arise. She appears remorseful but can forget about it and move on as if nothing happened a day later. She has been prone to cutting/hurting herself more so than in the past now. If confronted about why she emotionally hurts people she says that she feels like everyone wants a piece of her and that she doesn't know what she wants. She dated a friend of mine and led him to believe that she was in love with him but made a nonsensical excuse one day after they were (in love) as to why they can no longer see each other (they were together about 6 months).. I asked her why she did it that way and she said that she did not want to break his heart and would not entertain the subject after that. She shows an endless cycle of self indulgences and hedonism/narcissism. She is very deceitful and manipulative but at the same time temporarily shows remorse for her behavior yet she repeats the same behavior again and again. I have confronted her about her behavior as frankly she has hurt several friends of ours and she responds that she has had a lot of disappointment in life... every man she has known has hurt her. She has told me that there is history of sexual abuse from her father, when she lived with her mom her mother was very overprotective and their relationship was strained. She remains envious of people for petty things (she likes him, her) or whatever. If I bring up the notion that she has character flaws she says "I'm crazy I'm a bad person" but is fixated on the idea that she is bipolar and uses this as an excuse for her actions often. I am worried about this person and frankly feel very sorry for her.What would you call this or what personality disorder/trauma does this most correspond to?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for writing in here.
A person can have Bipolar disorder and other diagnoses such as ADD/ADHD and personality disorders.
This woman may have Bipolar disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder and possible personality disorders such as "Cluster B" personality disorders - Borderline, Histrionic, and/or Narcissistic personality disorders.
Many people may not fit characteristics of one personality disorder; they may fit those of the same cluster category.
This woman may exhibit dramatic, emotional and erratic behavior towards others, So, I suspect she may have Borderline, Histrionic, and/or Narcissistic personality disorders.
Indeed, your descriptions of her behavior fit all these personality disorders. She seems to have mood swings, hypersexuality, drug abuse, exploitation of others, self-harm, chronic feelings of emptiness etc..
I think this woman is suffering from depression and sexual trauma etc..
Many people with Borderline (BPD) and Narcissistic (NPD) personality disorders have PTSD and depression.

NPD and BPD are serious illnesses. In mental health, people with NPD and BPD are difficult to work with because they have low motivation for treatment (counseling).

People with NPD and BPD want only empathy, support and praise without any criticism. If you show slightest criticism, she may verbally attack you. She may be highly manipulative even in conversation.
She may have distorted sense of reality in order to defend herself.
Her narcissistic features may have a lot to do with anxiety, depression and self-esteem issues.

She may NEED ONGOING PSYCHOTHERAPY weekly - individual and group therapy. Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) or Psychodynamic therapy may be effective for her condition.

Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,

Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 4 years ago.
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