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How to tell my friend she's a "textbook case"

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How to tell my friend she's a "textbook case"

Postby Mouse_Nightshirt » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:47 am

Hi there,

I'm here looking for some advice. After accidently discovering all about histrionic personality disorder, and reading up on it, I'm nearly 100% sure one of my "friends" has this condition.

I say "friends" because recently, we fell out big time, which we've patched up on the basis I'm living in the same flat as her for my next academic year at university.

When I say she is a textbook case, she is 100%. Having read up on the ICD definitions and diagnosis criteria, she fits every single one. As a medical student, I am confident that this is not a passing resemblance, but full on matching.

She recognises she has something wrong, and is currently on seratonin uptake inhibitors after an attempted suicide (which was as a result of a break up in a relationship as she seemed to think there was a lot more to it than the guy did oddly enough).

In any case, I want to try and let her know gently, as she really does need help to prevent her from a repeat performance down the line, which I'm worried is a near certainty, owing to her avid dislike of the idea of growing older.

Please, any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

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Postby sum1 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:17 am

Print out the diagnostic criteria or a short description of HPD and
leave it lying around.
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Postby digital.noface » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:42 pm

sum1 wrote:Print out the diagnostic criteria or a short description of HPD and
leave it lying around.
Heh, I've always wondered if that'd work.
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Postby some1new » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:38 pm

If you find an effective answer to this question, please share it with me.
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Postby mousey » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:11 pm

I don't think you can tell them...they will never recognize themselves
"Love myself better than you"

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Postby Her0savestheday » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:17 am

digital.noface wrote:
sum1 wrote:Print out the diagnostic criteria or a short description of HPD and
leave it lying around.
Heh, I've always wondered if that'd work.

No, no, and no.

I've tried.
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Postby lobstermanne » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:15 pm

There was a previous post “How to Tell an HPD What They Have”

The correct answer is “Any way you want to”

This is not sarcasm, but truth.

The reason for this is if they are truly HPD, they will have a very dynamic denial mechanism. The see themselves as good people who have to survive against a world that is more powerful then they are. They manipulate other people and reality, for their security needs. They are the good and loving victims. They prove to themselves that they are good by showing love, while clothing the people and the world around them with their own fantasy.

None of this is consciously conniving. In their reality they really believe that they are being good and loving.

So If you tell them they are HPD, and the truly are HPD, they will deny, rationalize, ignore, their own behavior, the message you are trying to send, and the concept that they are somewhat imperfect or responsible for any harm to others.

If they say “Hmmmmmmmm. I had never thought about that. You may have something there. I need to think about this and maybe get some help.”…………..

……………then they really aren’t HPD, are they?

So, how do tell and HPD what they have? Any way you want to. Because ………

if they are truly HPD, ………………..

it will make absolutely no difference!

From what I’ve picked up. HPDs do not respond to cognitive therapy (seeing the reality in themselves and there environment). Most only get in to treatment when suffering from depression after an unsuccessful relationship. Trying to tell them what they have falls into “cognitive Therapy.”

So, if you try to tell an HPD what they have, you are not helping them, but trying to address some need within yourself.

There was another poster (now banned) named “Beefheart.” He was in misery and pain because the wife who once adored him, now was being cold and manipulative. His counselor suggested that Mrs. Beefheart showed behavior typical of HPD.

He came to this forum for help. He started several threads.
“Can I live with Her, What Would It take”
“Is there a cure”
“How to leave her”

… or something like that.

Finally, in pain, despair, and anger, he lured her on to this site ……. hoping that he could save her by getting her to see what was wrong with her.

What followed was something like the Jerry Springer show. Mrs. Beefheart lashed out in denial, other posters chimed in. You can go back to these posts if you want.

In the end, all those involved seemed pretty convinced of Mrs. Beefheart’s HPDishness ……

……………Except Mrs. Beefheart.

That was 6 months ago

The divorce will be final in 5 weeks.

Beffheart became aware of his own patter of codependent behavior that he had lived with his entire life. A work book “Untangling Relationships” (Springle) gave him some amazing insights into his behavior. Some were absolutely on target and made him smile, like ……………

……….. “You are very effective at identifying and evaluating other’s problems, …….but not your own.”

To this day, Mrs. Beefheart still denies she has any issues what so ever.”

…………. Or so I’ve heard.

If you want to be a friend to your HPD friend, accept your friend for what your friend is, and be there for your friend whent the hard times and depression hit, because the surely will.
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Postby shivers » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:18 pm

very well said, Lobstermanne, and is also very relevant to the NPD'er as well. Tell a young NPD what you think he/she has and it's denial all the way, tell them when they're older and their history fits, they may even consider it for a short time, may even consider other PD's, but come back to the conclusion that they aren't really NPD. They might even try harder to be nicer on the surface, but comments and actions reveal that it's only an act, and their original thinking and activities are deeply embedded within the personality disorder.

The best thing anyone can do if involved with one of these is arm and brace themselves for the impact and keep the emotional barriers up high to lessen the damage they cause.

But I really do like the answer to this question.....it fits the NPD and one I should remember to use.....note to memory: How to tell a narcissist or histrionic what they are? Any which way, it won't make any difference... :lol: Good one.
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Postby Beefheart » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:16 pm

The real riddle, ............ although I can read, and totally accept Lobstermanne's words, is why do I still feel the urge to try to set things straight?

My soon to be ex-wife showed up here again on a different post with what sounded like another rant. I wanted to engage her with another duel of facts....... The reality she lives is so based on a one-sided manipulation of what was, ... what is.

I know that it would do no good, but still the urge to make things more reality based was strong. It's kinda like the feeling you get when you are watching some politician on T.V. spouting stuff that you know is totally off base.

Writing the words may help me live them, and "letting go" takes constant maintenance. ....... although it really isn't as hard as it used to be.

Looking forward to a new life and enjoying all the wonderful things I am now enjoying is the real fuel.
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Postby cleaningguy » Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:04 pm


It truly is a riddle as to why we care so much to need to "set the record straight", as beefheart mentions. I agree with Lynn that Lobster says it best. I believe it's codependency, at least for me.

My story goes like this. My exHPD had a tumultuous time back in May this year. I began some crying tirade about I read a book about Borderline Personality Disorder and knowing my ex was in therapy periodically for "bipolar" (wrong diagnosis), I suggested that I couln't continue in a relationship with her unless she would get help for Personality Disorder. I then realized she had started a new relationship after agreeing to get a diagnosis. Well, she showed me a bunch of stuff about HPD she printed out from her new therapist and was amazed at how she matched so well to HPD. So, she was aware of the disorder--that she has it, and what it means.

Now the question is, is she using the knowledge she has learned to "hide" the disorder better so she won't lose people she sucks into her web? That's the question I can't answer. But I do agree that she is not a bad person and to be friends with her is to offer her support and be there as much as you are emotionally able. That's what I'm doing and keeping with strong boundaries.
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, why did I see a swan?
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