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Personality Disorder as the Underlying Force Driving All Negative Behavors - by Cheryl
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Monday, August 29, 2011

Personality Disorders and Drug & Alcohol Abuse

I have been reviewing the laundry list of licensed social workers, psychologists & psychiatrists we have seen over the past 6 years with Andy (now 18) and all of the diagnoses he has received.

A specialist in dual disorders stated:

*a personality disorder as the underlying force driving all negative behaviors.

*It is illegal to diagnose a personality disorder in anyone under 18 years of age but a disorder may be hinted at.

"A person must be at least 18 years old to be diagnosed, though the pattern can begin in early childhood or adolescence. Called 'conduct disorder' in children and 'antisocial behavior' in adults, this untreated and unresolved behavior pattern can develop into sociopathic behavior."

Click on Causes of Sociopathic Behavior for the complete article.

One psychiatrist stated ‘Bi-Polar Type 2 with Mania’. The Mania stems from a stable emotional balance for 3 months and then self destruct for a period of 5-7 days and then level out again for another period of 3 months.

Other Licensed Social Workers, Counselors and Psychologists have given their opinions of 'Oppositional Defiance Disorder' (ODD) with 'Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder' (ADHD); anxiety and depression with an addictive personality.

All Educational Psychologists have concluded that Andy is in the near genius level of intelligence. He graduated with a 4.0 his senior year of high school because he was in placement and off of alcohol and drugs.

We were so very proud of Andy as he even tutored other residents in the facility!

Whose opinion do you trust? What do you want to believe and especially what diagnosis do you truly NOT want to believe, but must, for the sake of your family and the community?

I decided to do a little more research on my own today and found three facts listed below that apply to personality disorders and drug & alcohol abuse:

1 - Those with antisocial personality disorder lack normal feelings of responsibility and compassion and thus have little motivation to restrain their reactions.

2 - Alcoholism and other addictions, like pot/marijuana, prescriptions drugs, cocaine, etc, are the result of a personality disorder.

3- Addiction is extremely toxic, and greatly worsens the effects of a personality disorder. But if the substance abuse stops, the underlying personality disorder is still there. http://www.livestrong.com

Unfortunately, we as parents of a child with a personality disorder have experienced these three facts for 15 years (Oh, the first three years were wonderful; he didn't begin talking until the age of three as he had three older brothers to talk for him!)

Jim & I love Andy dearly (our children are Our Hearts walking on this earth.) We can’t punish him anymore; the legal system has had to take over that end of parenting, but we can love Andy, counsel him on his future decisions if he is willing to listen and want our input.

That is up to Andy, and we are sure he will tell us when to get lost.

Carry on Soldiers!

Cheryl, Jim & Andy


Wilma said...

Cheryl and Jim,

I love your comment "our children are Our Hearts walking on this earth".

Thanks for this informative post. As my son is also diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and very intelligent (we've been told and can see it in him)I have this fear that we might see conduct disorder in him at some future date. (I had heard about this dx from a collegue). I didn't realize that they have to be 18 to be diagnosed with the personality disorder.
My heart goes out to you and your family.


Max said...

Cheryl and Jim,
You guys are amazingly strong, and channeling your grief in a healthy way by educating yourselves as much as you can. Knowledge is power. Although YOUR knowledge may or may not help Andy, it helps YOU understand this complicated young man to the best of your ability. You are actively detaching ("we can't punish him anymore..but we can love Andy and counsel him if he is willing to listen...")which although painful, is necessary if you two are going to continue to enjoy your own lives. This all takes such courage and strength, and I tip my hat. Please consider coming to SOS Families Anonymous on Tuesday nights -this is what we help each other with. As always, my heart is with your family.

Jenn said...

Cheryl, your final comment at a recent PSST meeting really left an impression on me. No matter what your son does, no matter how much he disappoints you - even if he were on death row - you will still be his parents who care for him and love him forever. Your inner strength & undying love in the face of so much pain is inspiring. We pray for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

Cheryl, and Jim,
Your love for your son is always evident, even when you crack jokes about your situation to lighten things up. What I admire most about the two of you is that, no matter what you may be going through with your son, you always take time to encourage and support other parents in turmoil. Our thoughts are with you each week.
Brigitte and Francois

Anonymous said...

A paragraph omitted during editor posting is:

One psychiatrist stated ‘Bi-Polar Type 2 with Mania’. The Mania stems from a stable emotional balance for 3 months and then self destruct for a period of 5-7 days and then level out again for another period of 3 months.

editor inadvertently copied one paragraph twice instead of inserting this one.

Thank you all for your kind comments and support. We could not do this without you and PSST!

Sally said...

I entered the omitted paragraph into this informative post.

It is true that we draw our strength from PSST, from those who run it and from we who attend it.

You two are heroes in my book.

Lloyd Woodward said...

Sorry, if I left something out. I think another editor must have fixed it ;-)

Anyway, I have been thinking and talking to other parents about your post. A lot of PSST parents are in the same boat with the dual-diagnosis . I believe that the personality disorder does drive the behaviors. I'm not sure that except for making sure that you have the best mental health professional on the team, that you end up doing a lot differently. In fact, it was first through you Jim,and Andy that Kathie and I became aware of April W from Phoenix Rising. She really seems to be one of the best mental health people that we could have on the team.

For example, we know that medication can play a crucial part; however people generally expect too much from meds. Medication is high level guess work or should we say trial and error. Even when it seems that you've got it right, it needs changed or the patient stops taking his meds bringing on chaos. Also, sometimes when clients decide to stop taking meds it can turn out to be a positive thing; it's a case-by case sort of thing. Of course, it's always important to encourage your teenager to at least chat with his psychiatrist first, before he starts cutting back on meds.

We've mentioned before that when it comes to boundaries and limits, which you and Jim have done a good job with, the dual-diagnosed needs them as badly as the guy who doesn't have dual.

Thanks for sharing this and I know readers would love to hear more from you and Jim.

Lloyd Woodward said...

Sally, thanks for fixing that! It's great to be on a great editing team like ours!

Cheryl, Jim, Andy + 3 Stooges said...

I agree Lloyd, we still need all the skills, education and role play acquired at PSST meetings to live with both diseases as they feed off one another. If we can keep our teens clean treating mood or personality disorders is more effective.


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