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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5469
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a family member who has been diagnosed as schizoaffective.

Customer Question

I have a family member who has been diagnosed as schizoaffective. She does well when she's on her meds - but I still have a sense that there's something else going on - narcissism or another personality disorder-type thing - that makes it very difficult for her to function. She's on MA so has limited mental health care. Is there a treatment option that can help with personality disorders? Is it typical for personality disorders to accompany schizoaffective disorders?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

If you feel she might have a personality disorder and you she is willing to get help, then therapy is the best option for her. At this point, there are no medications that address personality disorders directly, though anti anxiety or anti depressives medications can help treat symptoms. Therapy can provide an evaluation to confirm any additional diagnosis. And therapy is the best treatment right now for personality disorders.

Your family member has just as much chance of having a personality disorder as you or I do. In other words, they do not have an increased or decreased chance of having a personality disorder just because of their existing diagnosis. It would be equivalent to having a broken leg not increasing your chances of having a cold. Both diagnoses are completely different.

If your family member is on MA insurance, they can try going to their local community mental health center for an evaluation and treatment. And evaluation is needed to diagnose any personality disorder. If she doesn't have a personality disorder, they can find out what she does have and offer the appropriate treatment. She can find her local community mental health center through the United Way or by calling her local city/county government office.

You can also help by learning more about personality disorders so you can be there for her. Here are some resources to help:

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/publications/factsheets/families-friends-help

I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment-Xavier Amador.

http://www.nmha.org/go/informati on/get-info/personality-disorders

http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydisorders/a/personalitydis.htm

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201209/can-people-personality-disorders-have-healthy-relationships


I hope this helps you,
Kate










May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5469
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Kate: first off, is there an additional charge for this second question? If so, then I'll pass - thanks. But here's my follow up question: She is seeing the psychiatrist at her county mental health agency, but I since her time with him is so limited, my sense is that they're just focusing on her schizoaffective disorder, but I wouldn't know that for sure. As a matter of course do they screen for personality disorders, particularly if there's the prospect that such issues could be interfering with her willingness to stay on her meds?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

No there is no additional charge for an extra question. All you need to do is rate me for the original one. JA does not charge you more for rating my answer either.

 

Your family member should have been evaluated already when they were diagnosed with Schizoaffective. Yes, they do screen for all disorders at that time but depending on how long ago it was and who did the evaluation, she may need another one, especially to screen specifically for personality disorders. You can certainly tell the psychiatrist your concerns (they may not be able to talk with you because of confidentiality but you can talk to them) and they can evaluate her again. Or she may already have this diagnosis as a secondary issue and you just do not know about it for some reason.

 

Kate

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it!

My best to you and your family,

Kate

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