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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 am a 43yr old female and I feel that I need some type of

Customer Question

I am a 43yr old female and I feel that I need some type of therapy because I get very verbally aggressive and angry and lash out verbally at people , I would say about every 2 weeks. This has been a problem for me all my life and has resulted in no friends, relationships, job and as of today a point where my family and I are not talking to each other even though we live together. I know I need help but I don't even know where to start? I have never been diagnosed with anything. Right now I don't have health insurance or a doctor. I have tried a few sessions of therapy but quit because I just don't want to continue if I am not with the right therapy or type of doctor etc. I do prefer to do natural food, health therapies, but I am not totally adverse to other methods if I know it will help me in the long run. Where can I start because I know I need help before I lose control again.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 8 months 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 with this situation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am hoping that you will come back on line because I would like to ask you a few questions.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Hearing your responses will help me to guide you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Since you are currently off line, I will nevertheless begin to ask the questions now.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you are still not online by the time that I am done, I will save the chat and exit.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here you are. That is easier.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever or did you ever injure yourself by cutting or any other means?

Customer:

sorry, I am a little new to this and it's not accepting my email.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Can you see what I am writing?

Customer:

No. I don't cut, drink, or do anything that seems "out of control."

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Good. Have you ever had any eating disorder?

Customer:

No, I do eat junk food when I am upset or stressed so I am about 10 pounds overweight because I don't exercise because I don't care about it anymore.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Would you call this binge eating?

Customer:

No, I just eat as if I were a teenager again, and was able to eat whatever I wanted. It does comfort me but I seem to be able to control it. (like, I don't eat a whole cake, just a slice.)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And what are your biggest stressors that might cause this, or cause you to exhibit this aggressive anger?

Customer:

But food does play a role in my life because I like it both healthy foods and junk foods.

Customer:

My mother and older brother. Anyone who I feel has "offended" me. I have been told I am hypersensitive. And for the most part I would have to agree with them.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Did you ever feel like you were abandoned or neglected or like the "orphan" child or were you somehow abused emotionally?

Customer:

All the time. I feel/felt emotionally abused but It was never blatant, because my mother was always "joking" I have told my mother this (it not a nice way ) how I feel and felt but she denies all of it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have unstable relationships with others?

Customer:

I have no relationships with others, because I can't seem to form them. I have no hobbies and was never good at anything, so my jobs were mediocre which makes me angry at myself and then I lash out at someone for some inconsequential thing. I can't sustain any relationships with anyone because I feel like all I do is listen, then after about 2 weeks I lash out over some inconsequential thing and poof! there goes the relationship.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

So you don't have a very good self image or sense of yourself.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have mood swings?

Customer:

No self esteem, but I used to be able to sort of "hold it all together." so that I looked ok and friendly, I used to do a lot of customer service work and either I was really good at it, or I would be really stubborn and bitchy at it. I don't see it as a mood swing. I feel like my anger is always there and then something will set me off but I know in my heart that I am not really angry at what "set me off." I am probably hurt by something else that happened like two weeks ago or something.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever engage in reckless behavior, meaning reckless spending, driving, gambling, or sex?

Customer:

I wish I could engage in reckless behavior, but I just can't. Shopping I buy little things and fritter away my money. Eating, I eat junk food but not even enough to make me sick. I am extremely law abiding, my room is a bit messy but not even close to being a hoarder etc. There is nothing that I do for any professional to think that I have "a problem".

Customer:

I feel like I was just born "mean" but it's not the person I want to be.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I already know that you have a problem. Let me ask you one or two more questions and then I shall give you some direction.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?

Customer:

Sorry, I didn't mean that you don't that I have a problem. it's just that any general practitioner or therapist that I have seen just sort of made me feel like it was stress. I have been asked that question before, and honestly I do think about suicide but in reality because of a story I had heard once when I was a little girl, I personally feel that suicide would not make me happier.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I understand where you are coming from and I know that this is something more profound than stress. Because of the way you were treated and traumatized when young, you have developed a personality disorder known as Borderline Personality Disorder. I have worked with many such clients and I believe that this is what is going on with you.

Customer:

Can you give me a brief idea of what Borderline personality disorder is? I can of course Google the details but is this something that needs medication? and/or will I be able to change my behaviors?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will give you the official psychiatric diagnostic criteria from the diagnostic manual DSM-IV and then I will offer you two books that you can purchase from amazon.com or elsewhere. I will give you the links.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

BPD really cannot be treated with drugs although some doctors might give you something for depression.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your family physician probably will not have a clue as to what to do.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The best treatment is a gentle form of psychotherapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy..

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will give you the diagnostic criteria.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Then a link to a book by a woman who was cured of BPD and tells her story.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And finally, I will give you a self-help workbook on Dialectical Behavior Therapy which will give you the insight and knowledge to begin your own journey of recovery.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

First the diagnostic criteria:

Customer:

Sounds good, a little scary but this is hopeful. I am willing to do things on my own so the books will be helpful but I was also wondering of what title of therapist and or support groups I could look for. I feel like I will also need some type of "human contact." while I try to change myself.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


 



For your enlightenment and information here are the official criteria for BPD from the psychiatric diagnostic "bible", the 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 is also a new book that is also excellent, I have been told by reputable sources:

Customer:

Yeah, I think some of those traits sound very familiar to my situation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and another one (DBT uses concepts that are similar to Buddhism and psychotherapy and IS the best treatment):

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



This disorder is often misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder or Depression, but it is more profound. You don't want to mask symptoms with drugs but get to the underlying trauma of earlier times that brought this about.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can and will make progress. You also have the right attitude and I shall keep you in my prayers for success.

Customer:

I will read the books, and then hope that when I do find a therapist I will not be misdiagnosed with bipolar, because that will be my biggest fear that will stop me from going forward. Thank you for at least pointing me in the right direction and thank you for your time.

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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