Histrionic Personality Disorder

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    My daughter saw her therapist yesterday, and today the therapist asked for my husband and I to come in and talk to her. J is now 17.5 and a senior in high school. I used to post on here 2 or 3 years ago... Anyway, therapist is leaning towards HPD, instead of depression and anxiety, which is what they have used for forever. After getting this info today, I returned to this forum and searched for info, and I found a post from several years ago, where it wrote that HPD sounded just like her! I didn't even remember that! I know they don't usually diagnose it as a young teen, but she had gotten progressively worse.

    Her biomom was diagnosed bipolar, but I am wondering if she could be HPD also? The therapist made it sound like there is no real medication to treat, and treatment is not usually successful unless the patient has had enough problems in their life to want to get better. I know daughter dies not think she had a problem. Everyone else has a problem, but not her!

    We are seeing a new psychologist next week, as the therapist says this is a little out of her area of training, plus the therapist has more years if school and experience. Crossing my fingers that we can survive the next 6 months. daughter wants to move out so bad... And at this point I am ready to help her pack.

  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Had a rough night last night. 17yo tries to boss (by boss, I mean she sarcastically and rudely tells her what to do) 15yo sister around with disastrous results. For the last two nights, I have told her that she is NOT to tell sister what to do. And... She still does it. Little sis came unglued and verbally let her have it. Said that she should no longer consider her her sister, not to talk to her, not to tell people they are sisters, just basically does not want to acknowledge her in any way.

    I go upstairs to calm things down, and 17yo(J) is crying in her bed because her feelings are hurt. I tried to explain that is why I have told her NOT to try and to "parent" her sister as it is not going to work. Then, She gets mad at me.

    It took about 30 minutes to calm 15yo down. She says if J doesn't move out when she turns 18 she will move in with bio dad. That she can't live like this. I know the feeling. I have even been googling if you can let your 17yo move out with out getting in legal trouble.

    I have been sick off and on for almost 8 weeks with horrible digestive problems. But they can't find a cause for it. I think it is all stress. Had to spend my 60th birthday in the ER with older daughter has she came home stinking drunk and I was afraid she was drugged.

    I feel that she is slowing devastating our family. She was terminated from her job this week. I so looked forward to those days when she was out of the house. Little sis was more relaxed, we would play board games and laugh and feel like a real family. If we do that when J is home, she gets mad if someone else wins. Takes all the joy out of it.

    I don't even know what question to ask... Not sure there is any help for us. Hoping the new psychiatrist has something... Ksm
  3. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Hello @ksm. I'm so sorry your daughter is putting your family through this. It's completely understandable that her treatment of you and the rest of your family has made life very chaotic and stressful. Who wouldn't be very emotionally fragile under your circumstances?

    I wasn't familiar with Histrionic Personality Disorder, but I found a summary of information about it at Cleveland Clinic that fits the behaviors your daughter is experiencing. Here's an excerpt about how it's treated:

    How is histrionic personality disorder treated?

    In general, people with histrionic personality disorder do not believe they need therapy. They also tend to exaggerate their feelings and to dislike routine, which makes following a treatment plan difficult. However, they might seek help if depression—possibly associated with a loss or a failed relationship—or another problem caused by their thinking and behavior causes them distress.

    Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is generally the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorder. The goal of treatment is to help the individual uncover the motivations and fears associated with his or her thoughts and behavior, and to help the person learn to relate to others in a more positive way.

    Medication might be used to treat the distressing symptoms—such as depression and anxiety—that might co-occur with this disorder.

    From what this article says therapy is the treatment of choice. Hopefully the new therapist will be able to give her some tools to get herself under control.

    In the meantime you need to take good care of you. Make sure you take some time to do something for yourself.

    As far as your digestive problems all this stress certainly can't be helping. I know when I'm stressed out my digestive system sometimes goes nuts and I wind up needing to take a lot of pepto bismol. I'm not a doctor so take this suggestion with a grain of salt but... have tried taking probiotics? Here's a link http://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/1101/p1073.html

    I just wanted to let you know that I have read your posts and wanted to offer you some support. Hang in there, you are not alone.
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your response. I have been reading up on it too, and if they ever need a poster child for HPD I can send them a photo. I do have some probiotics, but things are calming down for the last two weeks. After two miserable weeks or practically living in the bathroom, they put me on flagyl for two weeks, along with an anti diarrhea medication. They told me not to take probiotics while on it. For several more weeks, things seemed to be better, but once or twice a week it would start up. Knock on wood, normal for 8 days now!

    I have found myself withdrawing from daughter so not to have so many conflicts. Not good, but a way to protect myself from being the recipient of all her anger. Maybe that is why she is targeting little sis...

  5. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    I completely understand the need to establish some emotional boundaries between yourself and your daughter. There's nothing wrong with setting up boundaries to protect your own health and well being, especially while she is so unstable.

    Here's an excerpt from Healthline about Setting Boundaries With a Depressed Person

    Caring for the Caregiver

    In the face of such despair and pain, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that depression is also hard on the patient’s close friends and family, especially those tasked with caring for the depressed individual.

    While you may want to help the patient in any way you can, it’s not unreasonable to take steps to ensure your own ongoing mental and physical health and safety. Studies show that people who provide care for a loved one with major depression are often at risk of suffering some degree of psychological distress themselves.

    One study suggested that caregivers of people with major depressive disorder experienced reduced quality of life compared to similar people who were not caring for a depressed patient. This impact on quality of life is not unique, however. Distress among caregivers is common for a broad range of disabilities. If you find yourself assuming responsibility for the care of a depressed person, it may be wise to establish some ground rules regarding what is, and is not, acceptable behavior by the patient.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi KSM

    Welcome to the forum. Do I understand the stress. Stress affects my digestive system, too. I take a probiotic. I think it is helping me.

    This is my take on things: While our children's diagnoses may differ what we have to do is basically the same. Take control over our homes by setting limits and placing responsibility and consequences onto our difficult children. They will never learn unless they experience the consequences of their choices and their behaviors.

    Taking care of yourself and your relationship with your husband is essential. Especially communication between you, so that you can stay on the same page re your daughter which is a priority. You need to maintain a united front.

    When my son stays in our home, I feel as if acid is being poured down my esophagus. My physical and emotional condition is devastated. I have learned that I cannot have him here. Even visits are hard. Pain and extreme suffering should not be part of the job description as mother.

    Your daughter is not yet 18. But you can make plans. There is Job Corps. Or college. Or the military. Could you enlist the new therapist or a school counselor to assist your daughter to decide on a career plan?

    The sooner the learning process via real world feedback starts for your daughter the better, I think.

    Staying with the family to act imperious and controlling and a drama queen and promoting conflict..and inflicting her moods. just reinforces the behavior. And the family suffers. For what?

    To close, I will say it again. The diagnosis is not as important to me, as the response: take control, set clear limits, encourage, in fact, insist upon independence and responsibility for herself. Take care of yourself and your relationship with your husband. Protect your other kids.

    If she is drunk/drugged in the house, I would address that first, involving the therapist to make a plan. You might also ask parents here how they have dealt with it. And I would think about her access to the car, and whether that is wise.

    Welcome. Keep posting. Take care.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    She has a restricted license, but we do not let her drive alone. We tried once or twice and the last time, instead of driving home, and waiting for me to finish at an appointment, then come get me... She came back with two other girls in the car, a bag of Taco Bell, and hit up her bank to get $50 when she had already withdrawn her amount for the week. Found out she had taken over $350 OVER her weekly amount. Yes, she earned it from a part time job, but her friends use her to get money and have fun on her dime. Now with no job, she will be lucky to keep her phone on for several months. KSM
  8. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    And you are right, the rest of the family has to find ways to put a buffer up to be shielded. It is like she is so full of anger, it is like a poison that bubbles over and affects everyone in contact with her. KSM
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    KSd, my opinion is to make sure you get a psychologist's opinion. Therapists can not legally diagnosis.

    You need to take care of yourself no matter what her diagnosis is, but call my cynical...I would never take the word of a therapist. I would definitely see one to talk to, if we got along well, but I would not consider a therapist fit to diagnose anything. They don't have enough training. That's a heavy diagnosis for a young one and I'd want a second opinion given by a neuropsychologist (psychologist with extra training in the brain). Either that or I'd take her to a psychiatrist.Since her mother has bipolar, she may well have a mood disorder. However, one can have a mood disorder plus other things. Most people who are labeled as mentally ill in some way, like me, have more than one diagnosis and no diagnosis is carved in stone because there are no blood tests. I agree that the treatment plan and your own safety and well being and reaction to her behavior matter more than the diagnosis. At her age, nearing 18, she will be responsible for her own mental health care anyway. There isn't much you can do about it.

    If she does agree to be tested, make sure she sees somebody who sees a lot of adopted kids. They are a different animal. We love them just as much, but they have special, seperate issues as does any child who suffers a major seperation from his/her birthfamily and the older they leave the home and the more foster homes they have been in(or orphanages) the more that could be going on with them. Genetics too. Doesn't sound like this therapist took the role of adoption into consideration and that is probably not good on her part...adopted kids are far more likely to receive a psychological diagnosis, although with so many divorces and split families it may be getting smaller as a gap. Still, they do tend to have problems. Not all, but a large percentage. Most think about t heir birth families whether they say it to us or not and many are very angry at having been abandoned by them.

    Most of us adopt kids when we are older and our kids then turn 18 when we are maybe even in our 60s, which makes our own health more open to bad things happening under stress. The age gaps between us and our adopted young people are often wider than the normal age gap. I know mine is. I am 62 and my youngest is 19. My adopted son is 22. Quite an age gap. I could actually be grandma to either of them!!! Thankfully, they do not cause me stress. But I do worry about them if something happens to me. They are still too young to lose a parent. I didn't think of that when we adopted them, but I do now.

    Do you think she knows something is not right with her? The adopted status could mean, she could also have many other issues that most therapists an d even some psychiatrists know little about, such as reactive attachment disorder, symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome or drug exposure in utero, and trauma before you got her. It becomes more complicated with adopted kids.Adopted mom here!!!

    JMO and major big hugs!!!!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding in some supportive hugs.
  11. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    She has an appointment next with with a psychologist that deals with kids that are /foster/adopted/attachment issues. The therapist said that she saw a lot of daughter in the HPD symptom list. I mentioned it to a family therapist who was seeing us and younger daughter, replied that even though he only met older daughter once, he thought that it seemed likely.

    I also have older daughter set up for a FASD screening in December. It is probably a combination of attachment issues, FASD and HPD But the HPD behaviors really are over the top.

    The therapist said she has noticed how all of DDs relationships are superficial and only last a month or two, but right off the bat, they are her BEST friend ever. How she can be crying about something, and then if she asks another question who whole demeanor changes and she is smiling and laughing.

    Hoping to get solid answers before she ages out and we have no control any more. KSM

  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Fetal alcohol spectrum is organic brain damage in varying degrees and often mimic mental illness. They dont understand or learn from their mistakes and do not resond to therapy. This is what their birthmithers did to them.
    After we adoptes sonic we took him to a bid diagnostic and research center in chicago for diagnosis. All they see are alcohol and drug affected kids.

    Fetal alcohol spectrum kids can not control their behavior and often need group homes to keep them safe. They can not learn to make good decisions. I hope it usnt that for your daughter. We do kniw drugs and alcohol given to a developing fetus will impact the devoping brain.
    My son lucked out. His bmother drank and drugged while his little brain and body were developing inside of him and he was delayed and has a form of autism. He does not show symptoms of full spectrum Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). At 22 he is doing pretty well and has a calm disposition. He does still need mild supports. He works part rime and collects ssi and has his iwn place. I am his guardian and payee.

    Your daughter will be hard to diagnose because of all the variables in her background, even before her birth. If you feel she will need supports as an adult the time to start planning is now and with her high school counselor.

    It is unlikely a de facto personality disorder without neurological or brain damage. Aneuropsycologist well versed in drug and alcohol exposure in utero helped our son and us. He would not be the happy, secure young man he is if he had not been helped due to diligent testing.

    I hope you find her answer and hope you get help for her that is appropriate to our innocent children whose birthmothers gave them so many issues.

    Good luck.
  13. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    We have had a neuropsychologist consultation two years ago. She did not state daughter was Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). I know she does not have the typical facial features, but I worry about impaired executive functionbilities. Hope for more answers with new psychologist and also FASD screening coming up. KSM
  14. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Saw the new psychologist today, and she isn't officially diagnosing daughter with anything but major depressive disorder. But, unlike the therapist, she is leaning towards mood disorder, specifically, bipolar. I know it takes more time to get to know the client... She was glad we have the fetal alcohol screening in 3 months.

    The problem is, daughter did not show her outbursts like she does at home, or even at the previous therapist. So things were pretty calm. daughter did seem fairly receptive and honest with her answers.

    Hope to learn more later. We go back in 2 weeks. KSM