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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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My sister loves attention. She will do or say anything she

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My sister loves attention. She will do or say anything she needs to in order to receive it. When we were younger she told family friends that our brother had molested us. She claims I was involved in this but I do not remember it and my brother denies it happening. I do remember her molesting me though. She throughout school used her ADD as an excuse for doing badly in school and was always socially awkward. Because we are twins that ended up causing me issues with having friends as well because where I went she had to go too. She was always and still is very jealous of me. She will lie or go to extremes in order to get attention or to put me down in an attempt to be seen as better than me. She throughout our lives would bring up the molestation thing to get attention again. In high school she started experimenting sexually, assuming that I was sexually active (though I wasn't) and believing she needed to compete with me in this "race". She would constantly get into verbal arguments at school and was picked on for the things she would say or do...even by teachers. She dropped out of school our junior year and finished at a community college. She started clubbing when we turned 18 and would go out, get drunk and go home with random men. She would also meet men on the internet and go off with them. In college, one such even lead to her supposedly being "gang raped" (though she only called it gang rape after the guys wouldn't return her calls). She has contracted several STDs because she does not use condoms with these random men and has had well over 60 partners. She has also prostituted (though she hid this behind the guise of giving "massages" for money) and has admitted to being paid for her services in order to make rent (which she cant make rent but can eat out every meal and buy tattoos). Recently she discovered she has slept with a man who may have HIV. She gave blood shortly afterwards in an attempt to get a free HIV test. One of her friends called the blood bank and warned them afterwards and she of course immediately played the victim and refuses to talk to the friend now. She is putting herself and others in danger. She claims she has a "sex addiction" but I think she is using it as a crutch and an excuse to just do as she wants to get attention, just as she used her ADD as a crutch throughout school. I think she needs help but she won't see anyone professionally...she just goes to church support groups (which I think is another way of her getting attention because she can publicly air her dirty laundry). Is there anything I can do? Does involuntary commitment cover this kind of thing?

Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your sister's situation.
It sounds like she has mood disorder and possible other psychiatric condition.
Let me ask you a few questions first.
Has she had treatment from her doctor, psychiatrist and/or a psychologist before?
Does she live in the U.S.?
Is she dangerous to herself now?
Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As far as I know she has never received professional help, she just goes to support groups at her church. She recently changed churches because her old one stopped giving her the attention she wanted. She blamed them for her "relapsing" into her sexual addiction because they didn't care enough about her so she went looking for attention elsewhere. She currently lives in OK. She moved there because some friends were going to "help her" with her spiritual needs in order to help her "overcome her sexual addiction"... they recently realized they can not help her and suggested she get professional help and she has since stopped talking to them because of it. Last month she slept with a man who may have HIV. She in the past has spoken of trying to kill herself but as far as I know that is not something she is considering right now....I know that she is currently "talking" to a new guy but she claims they haven't had sex yet. She lies a lot though. I don't know how to help her and my family constantly makes excuses for her.

Hi there, Thank you for your reply.

I'm sorry to hear about your sister's situation. It sounds like she may have mood disorder and some neuro-psychiatric condition such as ADD and Bipolar disorder.


I wonder if she had a trauma in childhood.

Her lying and promiscuity in high school may have to do with ADD and impulse control problems. I suspect she may have Bipolar disorder or Borderline personality disorder (BPD) as she exhibits impulsive, extreme and risky sexual behaviors. It sounds like she is able to make friends, finish college, and ask others for help (e.g., attend a church suuport group).

However, she needs ongoing and intensive treatment (psychotherapy and medication assuming she has mood swings) for her condition.

According to your report, she is not suicidal. That's good. But, she can be harmful to self as she practices unsafe sex. If she is dangerous to self (and others) due to her condition, call a local mobile crisis team or psychiatric emergency response team designated by his city and county to initiate psychiatric assessment and involuntary hospitalization. Or, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance. I understand she is refusing to see a doctor of any kind (her doctor, a psychiatrist and a psychologist) though you, her family, and friends have encouraged her to get treatment. If she is adult, she HAS TO ACCEPT WITH TREATMENT .


Let me explain her potential condition - Bipolar disorder causes mood swings that range from of the lows of depression to the highs of mania. When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may only occur only a few times a year, or as often as several times a day. It can cause symptoms of depression and mania at the same time.

Borderline Personality disorder (BPD) is emotional regulation problems. BPD is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, affect, and marked impulsivity. A person with BPD is intensely fearful of abandonment and may engage in impulsive and extreme behaviors to keep other people with them. Disturbances in self-image are often manifested as frequent shifts in career goals and sexual identity, while impulsivity is reflected in unsafe sex practices, reckless driving, financial irresponsibility, and substance abuse.


In any case, she will need PSYCHOTHERAPY weekly - individual and group therapy. Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) or Psychodynamic therapy may be effective for her condition. CBT will work for addiction as well. If she has Bipolar disorder, she needs to work with a psychiatrist (M.D.) and a psychotherapist. Treatment consists of pharmacotherapy (by psychiatrist), individual psychotherapy (Cognitive-behavior therapy - CBT) or Interpersonal therapy (ITP) by a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist), and group therapy or support group by a psychotherapist.

I hope your sister accepts treatment as soon as possible.

Please feel free to ask me a question if you have even after you get this answer. All the best,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She claims that our brother molested her when she was little. She claims that he molested me as well...but I don't remember things the way she tells it. I don't know if being sexually promiscuous can count as being a danger to herself and be grounds for involuntary commitment, can it?

She has not finished college, she enters and then drops out...she has done this so many times now that she can no longer receive financial aid.

she has resorted to prostitution before.

She can make friends but they are not healthy relationships. They are usually with drug addicts or people with similar personalities as her as well as people who see her weaknesses and manipulate them. They never stay around long though. She can not maintain friendships or romantic relationships.

I don't think she really WANTS help... I think she asks for it as a way of getting attention...

Hi there,
It sounds like she tends to lie about things. Right?
If she was molested by her brother, then she may have Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.
I wonder if she had some trauma in early childhood.

I think you may not be able to initiate involuntary hospitalization for your sister being sexually promiscuous.
However, you or your family member might become a conservator for her if she is mentally ill.
People become conservators of family members too sick to function from day to day. You may talk to an attorney.

Does she use drugs? If so, she may need drug treatment as well.
Her attention seeking behavior may have to do with some personality disorder such as Narcissistic and Borderline PD.

I understand how worried you must have been about your sister.
You may ask her to get a physical check-up from her primary care doctor if she is open to see her doctor.

Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Best,
Dr. Olsen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As far as I know she doesn't use drugs. I think she lies about a lot of things....but she doesn't believe they are lies. I think she truly believes the things she says. I am not sure I can get my family to actually support me on acting on this.

Hi there,
I assume your parents are also aware of her behavior problems.
I suggest you and your parents continue to encourage her to get treatment for her problems.
You may also contact the Adult Protective Services in your city and consult with them how your sister may be dangerous to herself.

Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any.