Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by instability of moods and behavior. Seemingly mundane events may trigger intense symptoms for BPD patients. Symptoms include emotional instability, impulsivity, and poor self-image and social functioning. Those experiencing BPD may go through very short bouts of intense anger, anxiety, and depression that last only hours or days. Patients rapidly change moods within a matter of hours and often experience paranoia and intense dissociation from oneself and from reality. Although the exact cause of BPD is unknown, treatment can be successful in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. Treatment…
Reactive Attachment Disorder
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a rare disorder that occurs in children. It is characterized by a failure to form normal attachment to parents and caregivers during early childhood as well as developmentally inappropriate social interactions. RAD typically arises after the child has experienced significant neglect or abuse from the parents or caregivers. Children with reactive attachment disorder may show more familiarity and bonding with strangers than they do with their caregivers. RAD often coexists with other psychiatric and intellectual disorders. Treatment is focused on improving the caregivers parenting skills and interactions with the child, and is most successful when started early.
Depression is the most prevalent mental disorder in the United States, characterized by an enduring sadness, feelings of hopelessness, and loss of interest that persists for days. Symptoms may also include fatigue, irritability, trouble concentrating, aches and pains, and insomnia. Those with depression may also feeling nothing or feeling “empty”. Depression can significantly interfere with one’s life, causing absences from work/school and a loss of interest in friendships and relationships. Depression is also the leading cause of suicide in adults. However, depression can be treated with therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, and/or medication. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death…
Parental alienation is the psychological manipulation of a child by one parent into rejecting the other parent. Manipulated children start to show distrust, fear, and even hostility toward the alienated parent. These children often refuse to see the alienated parent and have no desire to continue a relationship with them, believing that this parent is entirely bad and the other is entirely good. Parental alienation is considered to be a form of child abuse, and leaves the child at a higher likelihood for mental and physical illness. Sometimes, reunification therapy can be helpful in reuniting the child and alienated parent.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is characterized by a disregard for or violation of the rights of others. Many of those diagnosed have a history of crime, substance abuse, and legal problems. Impulsive and aggressive behavior is common in these individuals, who often act recklessly without concern for their safety or others. Those with ASPD often have weak emotional bonds with others and manipulate and exploit others. They lack remorse for their actions and often display a superficial charm. Psychotherapy including anger management and, if applicable, addiction counseling, can sometimes be helpful in treating individuals with antisocial personality disorder.
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is a psychological disorder most commonly found in infants and young children. The disorder is characterized by a significant amount of fear and distress while experiencing the absence of an attachment figure such as a parent or caretaker. A child with SAD can experience severe psychological distress from even the anticipation of separation. Children may refuse to go out without the attachment figure and be extremely fearful of unlikely events such as being kidnapped or the death of the attachment figure. Physical symptoms such as headaches and gastrointestinal symptoms can also be experienced. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can…
Domestic violence is a growing issue in the United States that is legally defined as violent acts committed by one family or household member against another. This can refer to spousal or child abuse and can be physical, emotional, psychological, economic and/or sexual in nature. Domestic violence victimization can have lasting effects on both the immediate victims and the witnesses, including adverse psychological disorders like depression, dissociation (numbing of emotion, loss of connection to reality) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therapy can be helpful to treat the lingering psychological problems of domestic violence victims and witnesses of any age, and…
Profiling is the practice of analyzing a crime scene in order to infer the personality characteristics that the offender is most likely to have. Evidence has shown that there are links between the way an offender behaves at the crime scene and their personality. In certain cases, having a psychologist profile a crime scene can be a valuable tool for law enforcement officials. Profiling can be especially helpful in determining whether or not a group of crimes seem to be committed by the same offender. Psychologists trying to create a profile look at behaviors such as victim characteristics and interaction,…
Reunification therapy is sometimes mandated by court systems in order to repair the parent-child relationship during divorce or custody battles, typically in situations where some type of parental alienation is present. Typically, reunification begins with a needs assessment, where court documents are reviewed and a treatment plan is made, followed by an initial therapy appointment with each parent and child separately. Then, the therapist spends time with the alienated parent and child in order to try to address and repair the broken relationship. Therapy aims to break down any inaccurate negative images the child has of the alienated parent and…
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of treatment that simultaneously integrates acceptance and change. It teaches behavioral skills based on these principles: acceptance through mindfulness and distress tolerance and change through interpersonal effectiveness and emotion regulation. Mindfulness helps a client to be fully attentive to their outer and inner environment, while distress tolerance helps them tolerate rather than change pain. Interpersonal effectiveness improves communication, relationships, and self-respect. Finally, emotion regulation helps the client to change negative emotions. DBT has been shown to be effective for suicidal individuals and is a typical treatment for those with borderline personality disorder. Dialectical…