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I need to know more about the things that "floor" your in regards XXXXX XXXXX daughter's behavior.
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.
I see that you are online and look forward to hearing your responses.
The symptoms of both disorders are similar and both can involve mood changes and reckless behavior.
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
Sometimes the depression and mania con co-exist, and this is the most severe.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the criteria for BPD
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.
Sorry it repeated.
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.
Please get back to me and let me know what you think and I can recommend some ways to proceed.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can also get back to me in this format.
Warm regards, Elliott
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.