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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5458
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hello, My 20 year old daughter has very low self esteem. we

Resolved Question:

Hello, My 20 year old daughter has very low self esteem. we just found put that she is promiscuous and will let herself be abused verbally, sexually and physically. She hangs out at a frat house where she will have sex with anyone willing. She say to her friend that she admires a man who abuses sexually her because he doesn't care about anyone but himself and she wishes she was more like that. She lives with us and has been saying she is suicidal for a while. My wife and I are at wits end. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern for your daughter

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that she has been exhibiting this type of behavior, I can imagine how distressing this is for you.

DoctorZ :

She could be letting herself be abused because she believes that she deserves the abuse. This is a result of her low self-esteem and that she believes that she has no worth or value to anyone

DoctorZ :

Also she may have a disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) here is a link explaining it in further detail for you

DoctorZ :

At this point, there is only one successful treatment for BPD and that is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Here is a link that can also provide more details on this type of therapy

DoctorZ :

I see that you are typing, so I will wait for your response

Customer:

we are getting our information from a friend of hers who is also disturbed by her behavior. She gets very drunk and lets herself be sexually abused. She is a smart young lady and is in 3rd year university. she is in Poli-Sci and claims to be a feminist. She goes out drinking every night. She lives with us and we have just told her she nows needs to pay $250 rent and has a 2 am curfew. She says that is unexceptable and is now looking to move out with our 18 tear old daughter. we are very concerned that the situation may deteriorate and she may try to take her life.

DoctorZ :

If you feel that she want to take her own life and since she has made suicidal remarks, then you can call the local authorities and they can evaluate her and put her on a 72 hour involuntary hold to get her immediate and intensive treatment.

DoctorZ :

This 72 hour hold law is designed to help people that are a danger to themselves, danger to others, or grossly disabled. And in this case your daughter is a danger to herself.

DoctorZ :

You mentioned that you have tried periodic psychological appointments, does this mean that she is not going to therapy regularly?

Customer:

No. She has seen a few social workers and a psychologist but no one regularly. She just rescheduled an appointment for a month from now. We are in Canada. Do you know of any treatment centres for this type of behaviour or is seeing a psychologist the way to proceed? Would a psychiatrist be a better option?

DoctorZ :

You can see a psychiatrist for antidepressant medication, like Lexapro, and also she can see a psychologist/therapist that can provide DBT therapy. What city do you live in and I check for therapists that provide DBT therapy or if there is a center nearby that can provide DBT too

Customer:

Halifax NS

DoctorZ :

Okay give me a couple minutes to look up therapists in your area

Customer:

Anti-depressants have been prescribed (Zoloft) but we advised her not to take them. I am not a fan. If you think that is the best way to proceed we would take another look at that.

DoctorZ :

May I ask why you are not a fan of antidepressant medication?

Customer:

I feel they are over prescribed for young people. They seem to be the first option. She is over weight and does not take care of herself. She is a beautiful young lady. We are trying to get her to exercise and take care of herself but that is futile. She only makes half hearted attempts.

DoctorZ :

So these are a list of therapists in your are that can help your daughter. The first link is the homepage of a place that has many psychologists and therapists, so I am sure there are more than one therapist there that will help her

DoctorZ :

Well it is hard for her to exercise if she has low self-esteem, and I do agree with you that they are overprescribed. I usually recommend them for patients that have severe symptoms, like self-harm, and then only recommend their temporary use until therapy really starts to take hold and help manage the symptoms and behavior.

DoctorZ :

Medications are good to lessen the symptoms, but only therapy can get at the root cause and completely "cure" a person.

Customer:

Should we contact her therapist and tell him the things we have just learned about her behaviour. She has not been open and honest with him. She has only seen him one time for a two hour appointment.

Customer:

They have not talked about the abuse only the suicidal thought,

DoctorZ :

Yes you can call and tell her therapist what you have noticed about her behavior, but if you mention that she has been expressing suicidal thoughts, he may have her committed for 72 hours because he is bound by law to do that.

DoctorZ :

Oh sorry you just mentioned the suicidal thoughts

DoctorZ :

Yes you can still tell him about the abuse, as a therapist he can listen, but he cannot reveal what she says in therapy per medical privacy laws

Customer:

Thank you for your help. We will be following up with her therapist and contacting the links you have sent. Very much appreciated.

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I think based on her behavior there are two possible diagnoses that require two different paths to treatment, one is a Major Depressive Disorder and the other is Borderline Personality Disorder

DoctorZ :

I wish your daughter the best and I hope she responds well to treatment. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime.

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service

Customer:

Yes, Thank you. Good night.

DoctorZ :

Good night to you as well

DoctorZ :

Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5458
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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