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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 believe my daughter has a shopping addiction. It has cost

Customer Question

I believe my daughter has a shopping addiction. It has cost her a lot, I hate to see her doing this to herself. I know she is going to ask me for money soon, I also know I can't give it to her. How can I respond when she asks me, I want to be supportive but nothing is ever enough.
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 :

I need to know more about the things that "floor" your in regards XXXXX XXXXX daughter's behavior.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It sounds as if she has either bipolar disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder. Both of those conditions would cause her uncontrollable spending and other "reckless behavior" including driving, gambling, or sexual wildness.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I see that you are online and look forward to hearing your responses.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The symptoms of both disorders are similar and both can involve mood changes and reckless behavior.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

In Bipolar Disorder there are periods of depression and periods of mania. Sometimes it can be mostly one or the other but sometimes they can cycle, and occasionally cycle rapidly

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Sometimes the depression and mania con co-exist, and this is the most severe.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You know what depression is, at least more than you do mania. Here are the "official" criteria for mania from the DSM-IV psychiatric "bible" of diagnoses.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Mania DSM-IV


A) A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary)


B) During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:


1) inflated self-esteem or grandiosity


2) decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)


3) more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking


4) flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing


5) distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)


6) increase in goal-directed activity (at work, at school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation


7) excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)


C) The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode


D) The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.


E) The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition.


 

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder and not a mood disorder, and is a result of a trauma of rejection or abuse or abandonment, usually.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here are the criteria for BPD

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.




Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Sorry it repeated.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe I gave you a lot of information from which you can understand a lot more about what is going on with your daughter.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Please get back to me and let me know what you think and I can recommend some ways to proceed.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I look forward to hearing from you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, LPCC, NCC

JACUSTOMER-jw5ovkyk- :

I am sorry I have a lot of trouble with my internet connections, thanks in advance for your patience. I understand that my daughter has some deep issues that she needs to decide to resolve. I have offered to pay for counseling. She has to decide to go. She has huge financial problems which caused a divorce which has just become final. She has lost her job due to attendance problems. She has a Master's degree, but has massive student loans. She moved out of the house to an apartment, and cares for her son there half the time. He is almost 4.

Customer:

Elliott - having a hard time with this format - but the reason I have not rated yet, is although you responded with a very complete description of what my daughter's problem may be, you have not discussed what a parent should or should not do, how to interact with a troubled person in a helpful way without feeding their addictions.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Since you are having trouble with this format, I will switch to the Q&A format. It will change. You will see a message and then wonder where the rest of the answer is.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you get back online and don't see the answer, that means I am still writing it, so just give me time to complete it. I have nobody ahead of you and am working on your question right now.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can also get back to me in this format.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards, Elliott

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Melinda,

You never did tell me about your daughter's other behavior to help confirm the possible diagnosis.

If she has BPD then she will be very touchy to criticism (imagined abandonment) and show signs of anger and may even hurt herself (cutting is often the means).

If she has bipolar then she may stay in "manic" behavior, as described above, but then will become depressive.

Changes could be volatile in both, but usually more so in BPD. Behavior could be reckless in both disorders (spending, driving, gambling, sex, etc.)

In either case you should approach her gently but firmly. If you are to bail her out she must first go to counseling. If this is a relationship problem with you, as well as her reckless spending, then you could go with her.

Help her but make it conditional. SHE will have the choice of getting your financial help or not, but you have to make it clear to you that you have also consulted with a therapist, and I am a licensed practitioner with two national certifications, and have taught at the college and graduate level. Your advice was that you should continue to help her on the condition that she helps herself, and you are going to help her in this regard.

You are concerned about her anger. If she has BPD then she will be more volatile. Let me recommend a book for you that will help you deal with her. BPD is a difficult disorder that must be dealt with by a SKILLED practitioner who works with BPD patients. It is helped by therapy, and drugs are secondary.

Bipolar is a mood disorder and may depend more heavily on drugs but can be more easily controlled.

You need a really good and experienced practitioner to help her. Please note that these two disorders are often confused.

Here is the book I recommend:

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

This is a brand new update of (about 4 days ago) of my favorite classic on BPD and is available at amazon.com and elsewhere.

If I can be of further assistance, please let me know. Remember to be calm and gentle and very loving even in the face of her anger. Get the book and gain great insight.

I will keep your family in my prayers.

Warm regards,

Elliott
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.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much and God bless you and your family.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanks, it is looking more like BPD, and I will take your recommendations, I am also lucky to have a supportive spouse who has been stepdad for 27 years. At least now I can feel like I am trying something and a little less worried how to respond when/if the drama returns.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Melinda,
I am so happy to hear this. You can get her the help that she needs. Having wonderful support means so much. God bless your family.

Warm regards,

Elliott

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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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