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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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My husband & I took in his neice (A) when she was 15, she is

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My husband & I took in his neice (A) when she was 15, she is 18. We put her through rehab cleaned up of drugs & drinking & got her counciling & special ed classes. A's mom never graduated from 8th & had 6 kids by an illegal - A is oldest. The reason she came 2 live w/us was due to her mother living with a Meth addict who had a restraining order against him because of abuse against the children.
Anyways, she has 1 class left 2 graduate & is going downhill all over again. Lying pathologically & will continue even when caught. Counciling helped little. She shuts down when we are angry but will do things just 2 make us angry. Takes any attention she can get. Has began cutting but is not a cutter (shows her wounds & all wounds R superficial) Will only cover them after they have been noticed. The last council said tough love but now she is acting out on others - school friends, our friends & stealing, I am ready 2 divorce my husband of 13yrs & run w/our daughter to stop this nightmare. HELP

Good Evening,


You are in a difficult spot. She's 18 now and technically considered an adult. If she is still living with you, she ought to start contributing to the family/get a job, buy groceries (show some responsibilities)


You are also correct that she takes any attention she can get. What she does to aggravate you is just that- trying to get a reaction. Try to set strict limits, follow up with them for example (if you're providing her with money, cell phone, access to a car, etc) these things can be taken away if you're providing them to her.


If she is lying and cutting that is something that can be addressed in counseling (it could be helpful but it has to be something consistent and she has to want to get the help) If she has never been evaluated by a psychiatrist, you may encourage her to do so to rule out different disorders such as borderline personality disorder or any other mental health condition.

Stealing/lying are traits of antisocial personality disorder (personality disorders are never really cured but can be managed if the person is willing to make some changes)

Edited by Dr. Rossi on 12/18/2009 at 11:04 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

We did therapy and counciling. She is diagnosed w/personality issues. She is on a strict rule regulation. She has no car, no phone. no internet access. She is sleeping in the office on the couch because she "lost" her room. She does chores for food, water, and essentials on a point system. It's not working. She has tried medication, did not find one that worked including buspbar, paxil, ect...

I dont think anything will work. I dont know what to do. It's not the guidelines, we are strict. Its not repetition, we have someone at the house to watch her and follow the rules from the time she gets home - at our expense - to avoid problems. She STILL does it. Now she isnt alowed to use the bathroom with the door closed or have a shaver and her bag where she keeps her things is searched DAILY to find anything she could cut herself with. I dont know what else to do.Please help with some new advise. Please, i am begging.

If she has not been in residential mental health treatment that may be something you would want to try. If you have an individual with a personality disorder it would require a lot more than an e-intervention.

If you believe that mentally and emotionally she is at a risk to cause someone or herself a harm, usually the probate judge in your state can mandate someone to be brought to a clinic and held there for an evaluation for up to 72 h/the sheriff dept picks the person from their home and brings them there.

If you believe that she will agree to treatment, then the residential option would be something to explore.

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