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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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Im not in a marriage but I guess relationship issues are similar.

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I'm not in a marriage but I guess relationship issues are similar. I've been with my boyfriend, Greg, for 3 and a half years or more, we broke up this past summer because I cheated on him with someone who I've know since I was 16; I'm 24 now. I then started dating Garret, whom I cheated on Greg with, and fell in love. Greg was devastated and I was so scared he might kill himself, there were a few close calls. Garret ended up dumping me after 3 months because he didn't know what he wanted anymore, and Greg was right there to scoop me up. Greg and I then started going on dates for a couple of months and he was very sweet. We worked out almost all our problems it seemed. During the time Greg and I started going on dates, I started seeing and sleeping with Garret again. Greg and I got back together at Christmas, even though Garret and I have been sleeping together the whole time. I love Greg very much, he's my best friend, but we haven't had an intimate relationship for about 2 years. I told him I didn't want to sleep with him anymore because I'm not attracted to him. I only want to sleep with Garret, and I'm IN love with Garret. I feel comfortable and safe with Greg, knowing he'd never hurt me, but I don't want to ever sleep with him. Greg told me that he would rather NEVER sleep with me again, just as long as we stay together forever... even during marriage. I don't want a sexless life, I enjoy having sex with Garret, and we understand each other and have so much love for each other. I am also manic depressive and have been on medication for almost 2 years. I went off my medication 2 days ago because I'm completely done even trying to feel normal, or be happy for that matter since my life is so messed up anyway it doesn't matter. I spoke with a crisis counselor today who convinced me to take my med since I was going through a serious withdrawal and couldn't function. I feel like hurting myself, I have dreams of killing myself or picking up and moving far away and forgetting about my life. I don't know what to do. Greg wants me to get help about our sex life, and I just don't want a sex life at all with him. Garret wants to be my boyfriend, and doesn't want to be a secret anymore. I don't know what to do, I feel like I'm going crazy.
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 in this very perilous situation in which you find yourself.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me ask you a few questions about YOU. I hope you are online and will respond.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can type at any time and send. Even say yes or hi or bonsoir je suis canadienne, etc. :)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

When you were young were you ever abandoned or abused?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have a bad temper?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Have you ever or do you still hurt yourself or have an eating disorder?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you spend money or drive or recklessly or engage in any other reckless behaviour? If so, what?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have racing thoughts or have periods where you talk very rapidly?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have fast mood changes?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What medication were you taking and when did you quit?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What happened when you quit?

Customer:

Are you asking me all of the above questions regarding my initial question?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes I am. I want to confirm your diagnosis and that is the best way to start.

Customer:

I have a bad temper

Customer:

I used to cut myself, and still do on occassion

Customer:

I used to be bulimic during first year college

Customer:

I sometimes engage in reckless/random sex

Customer:

I have fast mood changes, I can go from being happy to screaming

Customer:

I was taking affexor, I have been for a long time, I quit 2 days ago but talked to a crisis hotline and they convinced me to take it today so I did

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am glad to hear that you got back on the Effexor, not because I think Effexor is wonderful, because I don't, but because quitting cold turkey is absolutely horrible for most people.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are clearly MISDIAGNOSED. You do NOT have bipolar disorder. You have Borderline Personality Disorder.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I know that you are surprised to hear that but I shall sent you below the "official" diagnostic criteria for BPD and you will understand. Give me a moment please.

Customer:

Effexor does help me a lot, and I felt crazy today without it. I couldn't see and i was shaking. Really? Thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is because you were starting to get the horrible discontinuation effects. Some of my colleagues call it, disparagingly, "Side-Effexor" because of the many side effects.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here are the BPD criteria:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


For your enlightenment and information here are the official criteria for BPD from the psychiatric diagnostic "bible", the DSM-IV.


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 :


There are some similarities to borderline: the reckless behaviour and the mood changes, but you clearly have BPD - classic symptoms of rage, cutting, bulimia.

Customer:

Wow that sounds exactly like who I am

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


The best treatment for Borderline is not medication but a certain kind of psychotherapy call Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


You will have problems with any relationship until you can get a grip on yourself.

Customer:

What does dialectical behaviour therapy consist of ?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


Let me provide you with a few books that can help you understand the disorder and get you started with some Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) which you should ultimately get from working with a professional.

Customer:

Okay thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is a form of learning self awareness and practicing changing your relationship.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will give you those books in a moment.

Customer:

alright thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let us not forget poor Greg. He will have to get over you because you don't want to be in a perverse and unfulfilling relationship with him. Be gentle with him, but there is no way forward with him and he will have to face the facts. He needs to move on with his life and you cannot mother him;.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Now for the books

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and this great book for others to learn about you:

Customer:

yeah he's really hurt right now. i just broke up with him and he's taking it really hard. I told him that I can't be in a relationship that isn't intimate as much as I try. I just feel so bad because I 've been with him for so long and he's been my best friend for so long. It's so hard for him because this is our 2nd breakup. Thank you for sending those books

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Everyone I have ever met with BPD has a very sweet side to them. You can be understanding and kind, which you are, but you can't be what he wants you to be. You are doing the best thing.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You will have to find a therapist who does DBT.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Look at www.psychologytoday.com and search by your province, city, and by Borderline Personality Disorder.

Customer:

I do have a very sweet and understanding side... but Greg has said so many times that I can be so cold and heartless and he and I dont understand why . I find it impossible to make him happy

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Then you know that you have to move on.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I hope that this has been helpful to you.

Customer:

Yes very helpful thank you.

Customer:

I'll definitely look into getting help for personality disorder

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Take one positive step at a time forward and get yourself the help you need.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep you in my prayers.

Customer:

Thank you so much. I'm going to a walk in counselor tomorrow after work I think. Or maybe I just need to find a counselor who deals with personality disorders

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You need someone who understands BPD and has skills in DBT. Remember, you were misdiagnosed for a long time by so called professionals who were giving you strong medications.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Search carefully for the best person and you will get the best help.

Customer:

Yeah for sure, im really looking forward to finally feeling better

Customer:

Greg keeps saying how I ruined his life, and that he's going to be the biggest ass now. My mom just keeps saying that i'm not responsible for anyone elses life

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Hopefully you will be successful. Be patient. It is one step at a time.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your mom is right.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And Greg is starting to be the biggest ass by saying that he will be. You cannot help him.

Customer:

That's true. I'm trying my hardest to make myself happy above everything/everyone else.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do your best and don't worry.

Customer:

And I know I have a drinking problem as well, but I find that really hard to change, and when I'm with Greg I just want to drink more. But then he yells at me and tells me I need to change. I don't think that's very fair to ask of me

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He is not your therapist and is not good for you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You do need someone to help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Perhaps the walk-in might be helpful on the short term and help you find someone who is skilled in DBT.

Customer:

That sounds like a good idea. I'm going to go tomorrow. ... I don't know how to make Greg understand that this relationship is just not working for me though, he's not understanding no matter what I say. I told him that I have to fix myself before he could ever expect me to make anyone happy, and that my happiness comes before anything else. But he just says I need to go fix myself then, but not break up with him. That I'm making the hugest mistake ever etc. He suggested we never ever have an intimate relationship, just as long as we can stay together. But that's not fair for either of us, and I don't want that.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Greg is wrong. He is desperate and unrealistic. You cannot show him with words. He only understands actions, which means walking away.

Customer:

He said, whatever I'm done trying. He's very very bitter towards me. Am I being selfish?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

No. He is trying to control you one way or the other. You are being practical and realistic.

Customer:

It's just very difficult to deal with. I feel like I'm losing my best friend, and he's so mad at me. He wants to work things out, and be there for me while I'm getting help. But we've been through too much for this relationship to work properly. He thinks i'm running away from our problems by breaking up with him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are leaving a situation that cannot be fixed. Don't let him define the situation for you. He is grasping at straws and will say anything.

Customer:

I'm just going to end the conversation with him. I told him that I'm sorry I can't fix us, I need to fix myself. I'm not sure how else to make him understand. Thank you for all your help, I really appreciate it. Will those books stay on this chat if I leave the window open? Or in my hotmail?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Absolutely. The chat will remain; You can also save it or print it or copy and paste.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I wish you great success.

Customer:

Okay, thank you very much. I appreciate your help, it's really gotten me through a lot. Have a good night.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are so welcome.

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 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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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
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