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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Customer Question


I broke up with my x girl friend about a month ago (Dubai). I explained that the reasons were that she lied so I could not trust her and that we had a different perspective on a number of things. I had been with her for about a year and 3 months and was pretty much living at my place for about 9 months (although she still had her own place). Since that breakup moment, i have experienced the following:

1) 1 hour after the breakup she claimed to have taken many tablets to attempt suicide. She said that she couldn't live without me. She called saying she wanted to spend the last hours of her life with me. I wasnt sure if she actually took tablets but I called the ambulance just in case and went to the hospital. It was a dramatic experience. I believe the whole stint was an attempt to get me back. From then on she moved out to stay with her aunt and since I have been worried about her well being. I couldn't cut off communication completely due to my concern. I wouldn't initiate communication, she would. (she's31years old).

2) 4-5 days after the break up later she requested to see me and she begged to have me back. Literally begged repeatedly. I also repeated a number of times that this could not happen and if I told her that there was a chance I would be lying. After the 12th time (roughly) of begging she said 'just for the sake of saying so i wont go crazy just tell me that there may be teven a slightest chance'. As the conversation was worn I replied, 'ok, just for the sake of saying it, whatever..' I was also worried about her suicidal tendencies.

3) about 10 days after the break up she requested to see me and said it was very important. We met up she claimed to be two weeks pregnant with a tubal (fallopian tube) pregnancy. We had used protection in our relation ship so it was hard to beleive.
She also said that a tubal pregnancy is risky and she can die from it, but with medical means she can have the baby. She said with or without me she wanted to have the baby.
She was observing my reaction and I mentioned it didn't make sense at all and that I'd like to see the Gyneachologist. in suspicion I said 'I'm not saying anything till I see a doctor' and then scheduled a time for this. We parted and she then went back to her aunt's place announcing the pregnancy to her aunt, she also called her mom (living abroad) and told her friends about this 'pregnancy'. She was very excited as I could see from her messages later that evening. I realised she misunderstood me completely when i said 'I'm not saying anything till i see the doctor' thinking after seeing the doctor, we may get back together as i may want to have the baby with her. In order not to clarify my intentions, my reply to her series of messages was, 'IF you are pregnant, i don't think you should have the baby'.
She was upset the next day. I checked with and overall the medical story did not make sense.

Before the scheduled appointment with the Gyneachologist, she said 'since you don't want the baby, i will induce an abortion'. In Dubai abortions are illegal, so she did some reseach and drank tea made from laurel leaves to induce an abortion on her own. Laurel leaves and their berries were used in ancient times to induce abortions. But they were taken in large amounts. The same night she claimed she took the laurel leaf tea she dramatized that the abortion was taking place and she was bleeding a lot. It all did not make sense and it was obvious she was lying. One lie after the other. Finally we went to her Gyneachologist who was paid to lie too and said, 'indeed the baby was lost'. There were inconsistencies in the story. A lot of lies, even to her friends and family!

4) I spoke with one of her close girl friends today and we both realized that over the past, she has made a number of lies to both of us. Her friend told me that her friends in University nicknamed her 'liar'. She continues to sent me obsessive messages saying how much she loves me and wants to be with me etc...

Overall, it looks like some obsessive behavior. She also spontaneously dropped into my house about three times since we broke up. She obviously lies a lot. Suicidal tendency; maybe, it could be but could be a lie as well. She is extremely jealous as well. At one point when we met up after the breakup and I mentioned one of our friend's names (female), she lost control and pushed me and groped my neck at the same time.

I didn't expect all this before breaking up!!!

Today her close girlfriend and I agreed that she is ill/not well. I want to help her to be well.

Overall, what do you think is wrong with her?
What do you recommend I do to help her?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how overwhelming this situation must be for you. You have been taken on a very wild emotional ride and you don't know where it will stop so that you can get off and get on with your life.

You know, it's very interesting: I recently worked in therapy for a while via Skype with a man in Canada with the same situation: a woman who when he broke off the relationship pretended to have been raped by someone he knew and that she had been hurt by the person. He threatened the man who claimed he knew nothing about it and she then escalated to say she was pregnant by my client and aborted it and then finally that she had Herpes. He was an emotional wreck!

But the key was that he had to realize that the emotional drama is the operative part of her life. It wasn't just that she is a liar; it's that her inner world was one that generated drama. And instability in her personal relationships. And always this great fear of abandonment.

He, of course, had to cut off all connection with her. And slowly he found that he wasn't the first who had gone through so much drama with her. And he had to cut off all ties because he was losing his healthy life outlook. And you must do the same. I don't know if you need to work with someone, but you must allow yourself to live your life and not take responsibility for her. She must take responsibility for herself.

And so she may threaten whole manner of things to get you to stay. And you have to stand firm and to go forward in your own life. I'm going to paste in a narrative description of the psychiatric description for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Why?

I don't know if she has the full blown personality disorder or features only. But it certainly sounds like she may have BPD.

Randi Kreger wrote a book with Paul Mason you will find in the library though it's very popular and may be checked out. So you may want to buy it online. It is called Stop Walking on Eggshells. Her is the American Amazon page for it:

She also has a wonderful online group called the Oz Online Community for Family Members. You need to really get to know her resources because they'll help you. She's a very nice person, too.

Because, again, I have a very strong suspicion that she is not just a stable, normal, loving, easy natured, likable, person who's feeling bad she lost your love. I suspect she has a long history of instability in relationships. If I am correct, I want to point you to go to Randi Kreger's website and get her book of that same title and especially go to the link on the left for support groups and see if you connect with some of the information you read there.

Here is the BPD description. It's long; I apologize: I didn't edit it. It's from the BPDtoday website:

Borderline Personality Disorder DSM IV Criteria

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

7. chronic feelings of emptiness

8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

The DSM IV goes on to say:

The essential feature of Borderline Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (Criterion 1). The perception of impending separation or rejection, or the loss of external structure, can lead to profound changes in self-image, affect, cognition, and behavior. These individuals are very sensitive to environmental circumstances. They experience intense abandonment fears and inappropriate anger even when faced with a realistic time-limited separation or when there are unavoidable changes in plans (e.g. sudden despair in reaction to a clinician’s announcing the end of the hour; panic of fury when someone important to them is just a few minutes late or must cancel an appointment). They may believe that this "abandonment" implies they are "bad." These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with them. Their frantic efforts to avoid abandonment may include impulsive actions such as self-mutilating or suicidal behaviors, which are described separately in Criterion 5.

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder have a pattern of unstable and intense relationships (Criterion 2). They may idealize potential caregivers or lovers at the first or second meeting, demand to spend a lot of time together, and share the most intimate details early in a relationship. However, they may switch quickly from idealizing other people to devaluing them, feeling that the other person does not care enough, does not give enough, is not "there" enough. These individuals can empathize with and nurture other people, but only with the expectation that the other person will "be there" in return to meet their own needs on demand. These individuals are prone to sudden and dramatic shifts in their view of others, who may alternately be seen as beneficent supports or as cruelly punitive. Such shifts often reflect disillusionment with a caregiver who nurturing qualities had been idealized or whose rejection or abandonment is expected.

There may be an identity disturbance characterized by markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self (Criterion 3). There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values, and vocational aspirations. There may be sudden changes in opinions and plans about career, sexual identity, values, and types of friends. These individuals may suddenly change from the role of a needy supplicant for help to a righteous avenger of past mistreatment. Although they usually have a self-image that is based on being bad or evil, individuals with this disorder may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all. Such experiences usually occur in situations in which the individual feels a lack of meaningful relationship, nurturing and support. These individuals may show worse performance in unstructured work or school situations.

Individuals with this disorder display impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (Criterion 4). They may gamble, spend money irresponsibly, binge eat, abuse substances, engage in unsafe sex, or drive recklessly. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder display recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior (Criterion 5). Completed suicide occurs in 8%-10% of such individuals, and self-mutilative acts (e.g., cutting or burning) and suicide threats and attempts are very common. Recurrent suicidality is often the reason that these individuals present for help. These self-destructive acts are usually precipitated by threats of separation or rejection or by expectations that they assume increased responsibility. Self-mutilation may occur during dissociative experiences and often brings relief by reaffirming the ability to feel or by expiating the individual’s sense of being evil.

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may display affective instability that is due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days) (Criterion 6). The basic dysphoric mood of those with Borderline Personality Disorder is often disrupted by periods of anger, panic, or despair and is rarely relieved by periods of well-being or satisfaction. These episodes may reflect the individual’s extreme reactivity troubled by chronic feelings of emptiness (Criterion 7). Easily bored, they may constantly seek something to do. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder frequently express inappropriate, intense anger or have difficulty controlling their anger (Criterion 8). They may display extreme sarcasm, enduring bitterness, or verbal outbursts. The anger is often elicited when a caregiver or lover is seen as neglectful, withholding, uncaring, or abandoning. Such expressions of anger are often followed by shame and guilt and contribute to the feeling they have of being evil. During periods of extreme stress, transient paranoid ideation or dissociative symptoms (e.g., depersonalization) may occur (Criterion 9), but these are generally of insufficient severity or duration to warrant an additional diagnosis. These episodes occur most frequently in response to a real or imagined abandonment. Symptoms tend to be transient, lasting minutes or hours. The real or perceived return of the caregiver’s nurturance may result in a remission of symptoms.

Associated Features and Disorders

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may have a pattern of undermining themselves at the moment a goal is about to be realized (e.g., dropping out of school just before graduation; regressing severely after a discussion of how well therapy is going; destroying a good relationship just when it is clear that the relationship could last). Some individuals develop psychotic-like symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, body-image distortions, ideas of reference, and hypnotic phenomena) during times of stress. Individuals with this disorder may feel more secure with transitional objects (i.e., a pet or inanimate possession) than in interpersonal relationships. Premature death from suicide may occur in individuals with this disorder, especially in those with co-occurring Mood Disorders or Substance-Related Disorders. Physical handicaps may result from self-inflicted abuse behaviors or failed suicide attempts. Recurrent job losses, interrupted education, and broken marriages are common. Physical and sexual abuse, neglect, hostile conflict, and early parental loss or separation are more common in the childhood histories of those with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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