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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I just moved in to a sober living house, the manager, a woman

Customer Question

I just moved in to a sober living house, the manager, a woman about 50 yeras old is bi-polar by her own admission. This past week has been fraught with conflict and animosity between us. I need help dealing with her!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The woman who is so difficult to deal with may be bipolar, but she also might have Borderline Personality Disorder Instead.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Living with a person with BPD is often described as "walking on eggshells".

Customer:

yes, thinking the same.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me give you the "official" criteria for BPD from the DSM-IV.

Customer:

read the book years ago....

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



BPD – DSM-IV


1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.


2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterised by alternation 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 or binge-eating.


5. Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behaviour.


6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood, e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety, which usually lasts for between a few hours and several days.


7. Chronic feelings of emptiness


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


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


Anyone with six or more of the above traits and symptoms may be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. However, the traits must be long-standing (pervasive), and there must be no better explanation for them, e.g. physical illness, a different mental illness or substance misuse.





BPD – DSM-IV


1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.


2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterised by alternation 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 or binge-eating.


5. Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behaviour.


6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood, e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety, which usually lasts for between a few hours and several days.


7. Chronic feelings of emptiness


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


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


Anyone with six or more of the above traits and symptoms may be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. However, the traits must be long-standing (pervasive), and there must be no better explanation for them, e.g. physical illness, a different mental illness or substance misuse.




Customer:

raised by a phychologist, familar with DSM

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

People with BPD are easily triggered by feelings of being rejected or abandoned, real OR imagined.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You must continue to be careful, and redouble your efforts.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have a wonderful book or too.

Customer:

sounds right, several charactoristics have clearly manifested themselves this past week, it's infuriating, depressing and counterproductive. I find myself more and more enragedARGHHH

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason MS and Randi Kreger

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This is the best book on the market and is filled with page after page of wisdom on the subject.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot let her get you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You must be like the bullfighter and let her harmless charge into something other than you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You could actually win her over.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I know people with BPD and it can be done, especially by someone with your background, intelligence, and understanding.

Customer:

i have already felt it necessary to call 911 a few days ago. theres a stray cat we feed, he has worms, i got medicine, she flipped out. She won't be cordial or can't be, i am constantly waiting for her to intrude, invade, ursurp, she has nothing nice to say, hides in her room mostly,m completely bereft of empathy. I need to feel safe, I find myself ready for a fight, just super piussed, I don't care about her, cos she won't let me, i have tried numerous attempts to be "acceptable", it appears she has made up her mind that I am some kind of bad guy/ monster, she has threatened to kick me out, called me stupid, thats when i called police. i realize i need to get a grip.

Customer:

I am outside on back porch tryiong to type, hands cold. afraid to be in house.room which i paid for.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Are there no supervisors above her to intervene?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She should not be in this position.

Customer:

the rules are completely unclear, the ones she has laid out she violates herself daily. i am new to my area, know few people, on limited income, so my options right now are limited.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What is the best course of action for you, other than moving, which should NOT be an option?

Customer:

ok. BOTH women and myself all agree with you, she should not be in that position. One girl has been here 7 months, how she copes is by not spending time here or hiding in her room, she and i pow wowed a few hours, she devulged that several women have come and gone in the past months exactly because of tjhis issue, the owner who lives underneath the house is aware and has been approached by several women comp,laining of mistreatment and general crazy making. He is away for the holidays. The girl told me, he basically says he can't find anybody else.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You know the situation better than I do. You know what you are facing. You know if you have somewhere else to go.

Customer:

I DONT. That's why I am reaching out, I just moved from Oklahoma to San Diego, I am looking and open to other options, praying, meetings, etc.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If he is aware of it then if you approach him together and tell him that he must deal with this woman. You could also deal with her collectively and tell her that she must stop harassing all of you or leave herself.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You could also offer the owner to take the position that this woman currently holds.

Customer:

Specifically, can you tell me the basics, not referrals to books which I can't afford now, but what is your experience with

Customer:

THAT IS A GREAT IDEA!!!

Customer:

Is there a way to save this conversation on m y computor?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have the qualifications and if you approach the owner well he may go for it and you can transform the place because have the skills and temperment.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Absolutely. First of all, it will remain on the site unless you ask for it to be removed.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Secondly you can just print the page.

Customer:

worth a try.... course, she catches wind of it it will be war.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Thirdly you can copy the page (Ctr C) and then paste into WORD and save and/or print.

Customer:

don't have printer

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Select all first (Ctr A) then save copy to Word of other program (Ctr C) then save (Ctr S).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can then copy to a stick drive or disk and print somewhere else from the disk.

Customer:

I think it unlikely though, she has held this position for 3 to 4 years, I know she takes lots of stuff cos of her temperment, I know she gets therapy {ain't working}. I know she "doesn't like change", so she alienates everyone and runs them off. I got a tenants rights book at library, this is not a state certified home, there's no lease, just month to month, the way it's wired it's a one way street, not a home condusive to recovery at all!! Just trying to grasp how to dodge her hostilities. I tend towards confrontation, not afraid of it at all, retired SFFD, liscensed medic, pilot escort, flagger, tiler, painter, poet.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can but try. You can also give this woman an ultimatum to leave you alone. Does she have the power to kick you out?

Customer:

I love a good fight, but I realize she is very ill and HOSTILE. All my life, because i'm strong and competent, I am the one to leave, I need to learn to stay, but stand my ground GENTLY with love, not anger

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would still recommend a rational approach to the owner, as to how he would be better off.

Customer:

She can give me 30 day notice.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have come up with the BEST answer.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I love your courageous and gently wise attitude.

Customer:

yes, believe I have, I have a lot to contribute and know I am competent, can do gal, maybey, DUH! she sees that and is threatened by that, hence the barage of hostilities. I came in on Christmas eve, open heart, cleaning, cheery, available, generous, almost immediately shot down, GRRRRRR....

Customer:

Guess my heart got hurt, didn't initially understand the depth of her illness. I will go to library get lit on subject, make a case to the owner at an auspicious moment, and hope for more help for her.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Don't be an easy target. She wants ones she can control AND THAT INCLUDES GETTING A REACTION FROM YOU. Don't give her one. She will find a softer target. Challenge her softly if need be, with a low voice and a smile.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes. That would be the best approach. Explain you psychological background. Explain her illness in terms of how it is hurting the owner.

Customer:

Yes, I see now, that getting me upset is her gig, she doesn't want happy, joyous, free. If she can upset me, make me mad, react poorly {guilty} then she is vindicated. She doesn't have to face and be with her own misery she can project it onto me. Let's see, sooooo. difficult as it may be, my job is to....

Customer:

play toro toro, refuse to let her get my goat, kill her with kindness, go about my business, pity her if it helps me stay out of anger, and no antagonizing , although, i admit, I am tempted, which is why I saught this help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Allow her to stew in her own juices.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She may end up coming to you for acceptance.

Customer:

Great idea, I read walking on eggshells years ago, cos a friend thought my ex was/is BPD, time for a re-read. I must be the bigger person here, for my own sake, I have come a looonnngg way, and this is no time to regress to old rage/vengence tactics, though, it is fun, I need to focus on MY recovery and endeavers and know that this too shall pass. sky ain't falling, I am ok. I felt so good helping the kitty with his worms, just shocked me how she responded, I have pretty good sense of priorites I believe, I know life can't function well at half mast, so, I keep my word, and do things to heal and heal others. I thank you, XXXXX XXXXX to articulate my rage and frustration, I can see now, I am bigger than all this.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are good. You SHOULD be running that house, for starters, and then move on to bigger things. You have a bright future ahead of you. Happy New Year. I am definitely impressed with you. ! ! !

Customer:

ok, so step away from the crazy making lady by standing in my recovery and knowing it aint personal. WHEW!

Customer:

bless you same to you. you just might have averted a needless disaster, THANK YOU!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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  • 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
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  • 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
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