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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:42 pm 
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I am wondering if bipolar and borderline personalilty disorder and depression type issues are common with SA and is there anyway you can know if they have it without the person being diagnosed from a professional they won't see? I know you can look up the symptoms and compare but like in a possible divorce case with young kids how does it effect the outcome and custody case if they are not even diagnosed but have symptoms? Will it force them to get a diagosis or will they not even go there and just do joint custody? I read an article on line about the commonality of depression types and SA but wondered really how common it was or if they have symptoms and issues if there is anyway to get them help if and when they need it even if they think they don't need it but they really do.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Hi Calene,
Quote:
I am wondering if bipolar and borderline personalilty disorder and depression type issues are common with SA
From what I have read, SA does occur sometimes with bipolar BUT don't interpret that to mean that SAs commonly are also bipolar. There is a big difference.
Quote:
and is there anyway you can know if they have it without the person being diagnosed from a professional they won't see?
No.
It takes a professional to determine this. We can all read and guess but that's about it. In dealing with the court system, ask a lawyer or family services about how this works. If it is a concern of a parent in a divorce, it may be something that can be introduced by a lawyer, but I don't know.
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if there is anyway to get them help if and when they need it even if they think they don't need it but they really do.
Very hard to do unless you think they are a danger to themselves. I recently experienced a similar situation and it boiled down to making a 911 call asking the police to make a "health" call to make sure the person was OK.

If it's loved one you're worried about, this can be very hard. If it's a spouse, you might try joint counseling and hope the counselor identifies the behavior that you suspect while observing the person you're worried about.

Maybe others can offer better advice and suggestions for you. :w:

Nellie James


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:04 am 
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I have now been told my two therapists that SA do commonly have personality disorders. Not that every single one does but apparently a lot do. My husband went for an evaluation and unfortunately the doctor was just a pill pusher so he never got a diagnosis.

Another thing these two therapists advised me was that OCD is also common with SA. This fits my husband to a "T." He has OCD and it definitely is worse when he is stressed.

I doubt that without a psychiatrist's diagnosis that you could do much in the way of a divorce or custody situation.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:46 pm 
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I'm hoping that Coach Cheryl weighs in on this topic.

One therapist might make a generalization about SA that another doesn't agree with. Based on what I've read here on RN, many of us partners have struggled in finding a counselor or therapist for ourselves that doesn't put us in their particular box - codependency being the usual one. I'm no expert. However, I feel that we have to be careful about labels.

I recently learned that OCD is an extreme form of anxiety. It's not just about hand-washing or other repetive rituals. It's about intrusive thoughts that can be managed once the person re-valuates himself, takes meds, and joins a support group. My friend takes Paxil, recognizes that the intrusive thoughts aren't real - he as never acted on them but is frustrated that they are there. He talks with other OCDs in cognitive group therapy and is learning to understand and manage his disorder and is able to lead a productive life. That''s all I know about it but felt compelled to share this with you. :w:

Nellie James


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:41 am 
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I found my post on BPD and NPD but I also wanted to comment on the labeling, especially from therapists and doctors. First keep in mind that Sexual Addiction is not yet included in the DSW. They have added some sexual compulsive diagnosis but have not made the leap to label it an addiction. So from that perspective a lot of people in the medical field are reluctant to diagnose someone with SA. And since some traits of SA are exhibited in NPD or BPD and they are included in the DSW as legitimate conditions it is much easier to put that label on them.



CoachCheryl wrote:
Has your h been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder? If so then for the most part it is believed they cannot love anyone but themselves. There are treatments that can work on mild versions of the disorder from what I have read.

If your h has been diagnosed as SA and not NPD then he most certainly can love. He can choose to feel all healthy emotions including love, he can choose to make decisions based on his values. He can choose to recover. It's a long journey for some quicker for others but it happens all the time. Addicts can recover and live the same value filled lives as someone who didn't have an addiction.

Also a word of caution if your h has not been diagnosed with NPD and his therapist is saying he is incapable of loving someone its time to get a new therapist. I posted some info below that may help.



Quote:
I just wanted to give a caution while speaking about narcissism.


Be careful not to mix up or confuse narcissism, which is not a mental disorder but an immaturity and/or conceit that is often associated with addiction and is dealt with while recovering, with narcissistic personality disorder, which is a mental/personality disorder and some say is untreatable, (hence the warning not to get involved with) though I have seen that disproved in some individuals.


Ok let's see if this helps you.

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

* Believing that you're better than others
* Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
* Exaggerating your achievements or talents
* Expecting constant praise and admiration
* Believing that you're special
* Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
* Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
* Taking advantage of others
* Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
* Being jealous of others
* Believing that others are jealous of you
* Trouble keeping healthy relationships
* Setting unrealistic goals
* Being easily hurt and rejected
* Having a fragile self-esteem
* Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.

When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don't receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may also seek out others you think have the same special talents, power and qualities


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Hi Calene

My H started RN at Xmas. It has been of help but was not going to be enough and that there were underlying issues. One thing that convinced me of this was the fact that he did not fit some of the descriptions of a sex addict and he did not struggle with urges to act out sexually once he did commit to recovery but he still had all the anxiety and desire to 'shut off'. Although he used his acting out like an addiction, his behaviour seemed very OCD/adhd like to me. Alongside using porn, he had another routine where he would mastibate in the shower each morning to 'clear his thoughts' so he could focus on the day. His thinking was obviously sexual when using porn and he would scan imaged and videos but ASFAIK this sexual thinking and behaviour did not over lap into his normal life and he did not think about using porn throughout the day or scan, he would just think 'oh thats what i need to do' at the point of feeling overwhelmed and wanting to shut down. He would obsessively clean himself in the morning and obsessively clean the computer at night.

I understand that all recovering SA will be left with so much 'mess' after starting recovery and abstaining from acting out, but in our case, I was convinced there was more to the story and I was convinced that he would not get fully better without specific treatment nor would we ever have a chance of healing our relationship without face to face professional help alongside self help. Its sad, I had initially thought self help and commitment would be enough but I had to accept that was not the case and as I had kids with the man I felt the responsibility of ensuring he got help whether our marriage ended or not.

I eventually convinced him to get help. His problem manifested in the way it did because of exposure to his dads porn and then using porn and compulsive mastibation to 'shut down' and have 'alone time'. He is now seeing 2 counsellors and has also been for a one off appointment with a psychologist. He was diagnosed with OCD, severe anxiety and clinical depression. The psychologist also recognised asperger traits but said it was not enough to diagnose. His therapists agree with the diagnosis and also believe he has mild aspergers and adhd. He has started medication for OCD and depression but I still think he should get a second professional opinion regarding the ADHD. Its all more money we don't have though.

I feel relief that he is now getting some kind of help because I always felt like he was holding something back over the years. Eventually I just took it as rejection. On top of dealing with the discovery of my husbands sexual behaviour, It felt like a burdon to realise how deep rooted my husbands problems were after starting recovery and I am glad that he had found therapists who specialise in sex addiction as well as his other problems. I am still waiting to see some kind of relapse plan though and I feel he should go back and work on RN and if some execises seem like they don't fit, then he can still take something from the lesson and write something in his thread. I do feel like I need to remind him at times that we are dealing with SA not just the other stuff.

My husbands depression and anxiety is not obvious to people. He comes across as laid back and easy going. He has some mild signs of social anxiety like lack of eye contact but nothing major yet he says he feels extreme anxiety in social situations. He now has to learn to integrate the different 'identities' . I considered personality disorder and sometimes I still wonder on those days when it feels like he is either messing with my head or is completely delusional. The above disorders plus addiction do seem to fit the bill more though.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Quote:
that OCD is also common with SA


OCD is complicated because it is based on Anxiety (as Nellie said). And because Anxiety can be the basis of a lot of conditions including depression, Bi-polar etc a diagnosis must be made by a psychiatrist through a series of appointments/assessments. I would caution anyone who has a therapist or counselor who would try and diagnose your partner without actually assessing them in person or relying on a psychiatrist who has assessed them. Of course they can help you deal with the behaviors and even make suggestions as to what it COULD be, but they should be advising you to not worry about putting a label on it unless he is actually diagnosed with it by a professional.

Quote:
Alongside using porn, he had another routine where he would mastibate in the shower each morning to 'clear his thoughts' so he could focus on the day.


This is common in SA. Lifting the fog so that they can function. It actually comes from not being able to manage emotions, situations, life. It becomes a coping mechanism and over time a habit. One that can be broken through recovery. So while it may also show up in other conditions it is definitly a common behavior in SA.

Quote:
His thinking was obviously sexual when using porn and he would scan imaged and videos but ASFAIK this sexual thinking and behaviour did not over lap into his normal life and he did not think about using porn throughout the day or scan, he would just think 'oh thats what i need to do' at the point of feeling overwhelmed and wanting to shut down.


I'm really not sure what you are trying to say here but just going by what you wrote alone, the fact that he thought "oh that's what I need to do" when overwhelmed and wanting to shut is a primary behavior of SA and most certainly over lapped into his normal life because what we label a "normal" life would not include those things as ways to cope. I don't mean to sound argumentative I just want to make sure that others understand these things that you identify as distinctions between conditions are really traits that go with many conditions. It's when you add up the traits that you are able to see what is the primary concern.

Again labeling can be very frustrating and so try not to focus on it but instead on how to heal and protect yourselves against the behaviors as well as understanding what can help your partners overcome them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:30 am 
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Quote:
I would caution anyone who has a therapist or counselor who would try and diagnose your partner without actually assessing them in person or relying on a psychiatrist who has assessed them. Of course they can help you deal with the behaviors and even make suggestions as to what it COULD be, but they should be advising you to not worry about putting a label on it unless he is actually diagnosed with it by a professional.


In my husbands case he has been assessed by a consultant who has formally diagnosed OCD, anxiety disorder and depression. He also discussed the possibility of aspergers but said the team tend not to diagnose those with more mild aspergers therefore a diagnosis was not made. Regarding the suggestion of ADHD by the counsellor, ADHD is the one condition my husband did suggest himself based on his own research. The therapist agreed this seems likely and understands my husbands my husbands desire to look at this further. She is helping him with ADHD self help skills and helping him deal with his feelings around not been diagnosed as a child. The profsesional my husband saw does not believe in adult ADHD, therefore we feel his opinion on whether or not my husband has it is irrelevant and this is why my husband may look at a second opinion regarding this.

Quote:
Quote:
His thinking was obviously sexual when using porn and he would scan imaged and videos but ASFAIK this sexual thinking and behaviour did not over lap into his normal life and he did not think about using porn throughout the day or scan, he would just think 'oh thats what i need to do' at the point of feeling overwhelmed and wanting to shut down.


I'm really not sure what you are trying to say here but just going by what you wrote alone, the fact that he thought "oh that's what I need to do" when overwhelmed and wanting to shut is a primary behavior of SA and most certainly over lapped into his normal life because what we label a "normal" life would not include those things as ways to cope. I don't mean to sound argumentative I just want to make sure that others understand these things that you identify as distinctions between conditions are really traits that go with many conditions. It's when you add up the traits that you are able to see what is the primary concern.


He says he did not engage in activities such as scanning or think about porn during the day. There would not be triggers of a sexual nature which would lead him to mastubate during the day. He did at times, mastubate during the day when feeling very stressed and anxious. MY point is that whilst his behaviour was extremely inappropriate and he was acting out sexually by mastibating, he was not experiencing triggers from things one would interpret as sexual, such as images or feeling attracted to someone for example. From reading the recovery forum, it seems that many recoverers struggle with these king of triggers. I don't know if my husband is being honest with me, but from what he says, this is not the case for him. I am not saying this is better or worse, just that his use of porn did not make him experience triggers in the way that it seems many sex addicts do. Use of the internet for example would not be a trigger for him or something that he needs to incorporate in his recovery plan. For example; he would not be on the internet, see a picture of an attractive woman and then decide to search for porn. The way he says it worked was that he would be having intrusive negative thoughts about himself whilst trying to get work down for example and would start thinking about mastibating and then look for porn. I understand that many/all sex addicts experience this same inability to manage emotions, but my distinction here was that my husband (and I am sure others) would not be triggered by 'sexual' things. He would seek out sexual 'aids' once he had the urge to act out.

If this is all true, then it makes sense what my husband says about not relating to some parts of the lessons and other things he has read about SA and relapse plans. Although he used porn, at the moment he is disgusted by the thought of it and convinced he wont go back to it. He is working on the anxiety and controlling the intrusive thoughts and impulsive/compulsive traits he has and recently trying medication has helped him further because although he was not experiencing urges to act out sexually, he was struggling with other compulsive/impulsive thoughts and behaviours.

However, my concern is that he is not addressing a relapse plan for if and when he experiences and urge to act out sexually in the future. His point is that he is addressing the anxiety and all the things that led to him using mastibation previously. He says he has broken that cycle he learnt as a child and is convinced he will never act out again. He wants me to commit to making a go of things and I have questioned by reluctance to commit to this as opposed to 'wait and see' and I believe the absence of a detailed relapse plan which considers the possibility of urges to act out sexually as well as him concentrating on a healthier life and tackling the problems that led to acting out. I also have doubts that he is being honest with me because so many addicts do experience sexual triggers and he does not (in the way I have tried to describe above)

Again labeling can be very frustrating and so try not to focus on it but instead on how to heal and protect yourselves against the behaviors as well as understanding what can help your partners overcome them.[/quote]

I don't like the term 'labelling'. I have met many professionals who said they did not like to 'label' and then decided to 'label' my eldest child with labels which were not useful and indicated she just wasn't the most likeable person or that it was down to her having sour grapes about her medical condition condition. Eventually she was properly diagnosed and I have been able to use those diagnosis to explain her difficulties to her and she now knows these disorders are recognised by people and other people experience them too. She has now met other people with the same diagnosis and has been able to join in specialised activities alongside mainstream clubs. I believe that diagnosis was absolutely vital for my child and it was vital for me because her symptoms have been increasing with age and I would not have been convinced I was helping her in the correct way without confirmation or a diagnosis by a professional I trusted. There are no services for her to get any therapy etc, its all down to me so diagnosis was very important for me to be sure I knew what was going on.

My husband is now experiencing the same thing as an adult seeking assessment. He faced lots of barriers getting the assessment and then when he did see the consultant, he said he could give my H a few diagnosis, but did he really want to be 'labelled'? My husband said yes, he would find it helpful to get a diagnosis especially as he was being discharged the same day. Now he has the diagnosis, he has been able to get extended therapy from the therapy service who would have struggled to be able to offer him the service unless he met that criteria.

As much as I would like to have thought my husband would recover without professional help, I don't think he would have. I think its important for couples to consider the possibility of other issues alongside SA which mirror problems shared by most SA but need further investigation and treatment. It will be especially important if children share some of those diagnosis.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:47 am 
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Initially, I didn't think my H fit the typical or stereotypical version of SA as set forth here on RN or based on other things I had read. It bothered me. I, too, had a lot of questions. Over time, I came to realize that my H's Heinz 57 variety of acting out was his ritual, his set of components, his style based on his own fears or need to maintain his good guy image to the world and to himself. It didn't matter that he didn't fit in the "box." The lessons did help, he did seek counseling to get to understand all the supporting behaviors that went along with his SA and contributed to its manifesting itself in the first place. He learned to be aware and change patterns, but could he have done it with RN alone? No. Could he have done this with counseling alone. He doesn't think so. It was the package that worked.

I am sorry you have faced so many obstacles in getting the assessment done. I empathize totally. My son has been through the mill with this and has been a guinea pig for various meds. He was treated for ADHD and said the meds were like bad drugs. Another doctor saw the anxiety and OCD and Bi-Polar so now he is on Paxil. I don't think an actual assessment was ever made. It's crazy-making for him and the family as I'm sure you have experienced. My heart goes out to you. Your plate is full.

I hope you find the time to focus on yourself and your own healing. RN helps us regardless of our H,s diagnosis. At least it seems to have worked for me maintaining my own sense of self based on my values as I deal with both my son and my husband.

Nellie James


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:05 am 
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Calene wrote:
I am wondering if bipolar and borderline personalilty disorder and depression type issues are common with SA and is there anyway you can know if they have it without the person being diagnosed from a professional they won't see?

I don't know much about bipolar, but I've read a lot about borderline PD, and other personality disorders. I get more convinced all the time that there is some sort of personality disorder underlying with my H. The problem is that alot of the traits of BPD are the same as those described with addiction. I have driven myself crazy so many times with the whole chicken/egg thing here - is it personality disorder causing addiction, or is it just addiction causing those traits? My H outright refuses to seek professional diagonsis or help. Classic BPD stuff really - he shows some awareness that he has problems, but always comes back to not accepting it's about him & that he needs help.
He left me & is choosing life alone. He says we just "don't work", that it's just our relationship. He can't cope with depth. As time as gone on, and he has moved further & further away from looking to change or help himself, I become more convinced that personality disorder is in the mix. The addiction is, I believe, part of a bigger picture, of which he only ever seems to see one part at a time - he is never able to piece the picture together. I don't think he ever will without professional help. And like the others say, the label doesn't matter really - while he refuses help there is no future for us. Whether it's "just" addiction or BPD doesn't really matter - the same sort of emotional immaturity, the same sort of behaviour patterns are what he needs help with.
The only thing I do see is that perhaps if BPD, or other personality disorder is in the frame, then maybe the sufferer is less likely to ever accept that they have problems and need help. And that whole thing about them having to "hit the bottom" possibly doesn't happen the same way. It's not as simple as them having to hit the bottom to then see that they want to change. I have wished so much, on so many occasions, that there was something I could do to just make him see. But there's not. Only he can get himself there. And what seems to happen when I have tried to talk about any of this stuff is the classic reaction that is written about in relation to BPD relationships - he feels more stress, more anguish, anger, that I am telling him what he feels...

I read this about surviving a break-up with someone with BPD, and it fits where I have been (whether BPD is his problem or just addiction):
"Belief that if you say it louder you will be heard - We often feel if we explain our point better, put it in writing, or find the right words....
People with BPD hear and read very well. But when emotions are flared, the ability to understand dimishes greatly. Most of what you are saying is being interpreted as dogmatic and hurtful. And the more insistent you become - the more hurtful it is - the less your partner feels "heard" - and the more communications break down. Your BPD partner will not likely validate or even acknowledge what you have said. It may be denial, it may be the inability to get past what they feel and want to say, or it may even be payback
."
All of this has been played out just like this with me & him.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:15 am 
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Thanks, jak
Quote:
."Belief that if you say it louder you will be heard - We often feel if we explain our point better, put it in writing, or find the right words....
People with BPD hear and read very well. But when emotions are flared, the ability to understand dimishes greatly. Most of what you are saying is being interpreted as dogmatic and hurtful. And the more insistent you become - the more hurtful it is - the less your partner feels "heard" - and the more communications break down. Your BPD partner will not likely validate or even acknowledge what you have said. It may be denial, it may be the inability to get past what they feel and want to say, or it may even be payback."

I find this applies to the addictive mindset as well until they become aware of their behavior patterns. I have seen this in my husband and my son. It's a very hard place for us to be.

Nellie


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:39 pm 
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Bump


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