When Your Symptoms Look Like Something Else

Safe Relationships Magazine

by Sandra Brown, MA

Posted Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Women tell me other therapists have diagnosed them with a variety of diagnosis which has made the women not only confused, but often MAD!  They have been diagnosed, for instance with disorders like Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoia, and other not-so-fun labels.

We recognize that this happens a lot which is why we have instituted a therapist training program so that the therapists can understand what they are seeing in context to what you have experienced. (Therapist trainings are Nov 2010 in LA and January 2011 in FL).

To come to bat for the undertrained therapists, the reason you are being diagnosed with various disorders is because your symptoms are similar to various disorders–they are mimicking true mental health symptoms.

For instance, when your moods are swinging all over the place and you are depressed and anxious, you look Bipolar. When you are cranky, highly reactive and want vengeance you look Borderline. When you are scared about what he will do next, fear you’re being followed, or afraid he is sneaking around to see you do something so he can accuse you, you look paranoid. When you think things are happening that you can’t prove to other people, you look delusional.

The issue is, these are ALL normal reactions to what is called Coercion, Stockholm Syndrome, and your basic prisoners of war, or in other words Aftermath of Pathological Love Relationship. In THAT context, your symptoms make perfect sense! You were coerced, your mind was played with, and you felt stuck and held in a pathological relationship against your own spiritual will. You did fear that your emotional and/or physical existence was in jeopardy.  And the pathological DOES do things he never gets caught for and that you can’t prove.

In pathological relationships, women emerge with signs of PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome, and Coercion. Unfortunately, not all therapists understand the overlap between PTSD, Stockholm and Coercion–which is why you are often diagnosed ‘other things.’

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.