Histrionic Personality Disorder

By: Sam Reiner

A person who has Histrionic Personality Disorder is someone who exhibits excessive emotionality and are extreme attention seekers. People with this disorder feel best when they are the center of attention and when they are not they will become visibly and extremely uncomfortable. They tend to commandeer the role of “life of the party” wherever they go and try to make all interests and conversations about themselves. The main cause of this disorder is unknown however it could be linked to childhood events and genetics. At the moment, Histrionic Personality Disorder occurs more frequently in women than men. However, it is very likely that it is simply diagnosed more often in women as attention seeking and sexual forwardness are less socially acceptable for women than men.

For someone to be diagnosed with Histrionic Personality Disorder, five or more of the following symptoms must be present.

  • Self-centeredness, uncomfortable when not the center of attention
  • Constantly seeking reassurance or approval
  • Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior
  • Rapidly shifting emotional states that appear shallow to others
  • Overly concerned with physical appearance, and using physical appearance to draw attention to self
  • Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details
  • Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotion
  • Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
  • Is highly suggestible

If you or someone you know may have Histrionic Personality Disorder, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

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Breakups: High School Sweetheart not so Sweet

By: Emily Mulhaul

To all of the silent sufferers out there who feel as though they are being dramatic for grieving a loss of a relationship for over a year now, you are not alone and you are not dramatic. Breakups can take an emotional toll on us that sometimes prolong for a year or more. Often times, our past experiences shape our present situation, meaning the termination of one relationship may affect our future relationships. Not only may it shape our present relationships with others, but it shapes relationships with oneself as well. Breakups may deprive us of the self confidence and hope we once had because it seemed to have vanished alongside the memory of the relationship.

Whether your break up is affecting your relationship with others or your relationship with yourself, experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

 

Relationships: Abusive Relationships: Why We Repeat the Past

“Why didn’t you just walk away?” “How could you let this happen to yourself again?” These questions are not uncommon for survivors of domestic abuse to hear. When a person has numerous maladaptive relationships, it leaves them and others baffled. Why on earth would someone put themselves in an abusive situation again? The answer to this lies in a psychological phenomenon called “repetition compulsion.” In repetition compulsion, a person either puts themselves into a situation where abuse is likely to happen again, or they reenact the past situation with another partner. Below are some theorized reasons why people repeat the past in their relationships.

  1. Change can be a scary or anxiety-provoking thing. Most of us stick to what we know, even if it means regularly dating partners who are physically and/or emotionally abusive.
  2. Some think that by putting themselves in the same situation, they can change the outcome this time. They think that they will be able to master this relationship, and this will make up for the last bad one.
  3. We might believe that if we act in just the right way, our partner’s behavior will change and they will treat us right.
  4. We begin to internalize the beliefs that we are unlovable and deserve to be mistreated.
  5.  Unconsciously or consciously, we seek out abuse from others due to conditioning.
  6. “Winning” an argument with an abusive partner may lead us to believe that we are able to do this again and the abuse will stop.

Despite how terrible the situation may be, know that you are not alone, there is help available, and there are resources to begin the healing process.

The psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Further reading: “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Source: Esposito, Linda. “Why Do We Repeat the Past in Our Relationships?” Psychology Today. Sussex Pulishers, 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2016

By: Scout H

Relationship & Dating Tips

First dates can be exciting, enjoyable, and can open up a wide range of possibilities. If you’re about to spend time with someone new, make sure you keep your eyes open for some red flags that may predict the fate of your relationship down the road.

  • If they pay more attention to electronics than to you during the first date, you can easily tell where their priorities are.
  • If they spend the majority of the time talking about themselves during the date, it is possible you might end up with a narcissist.
  • Disclosing how much they hate their job or friend or relative, especially on a first date, should make you apprehensive. This shows that they have a history of tumultuous relationships.
  • Talking about an ex or comparing you to an ex is a huge indicator that your date is still hanging on to the past.
  • Asking if someone is enjoying the restaurant/music/movie is fine. You might find yourself becoming uncomfortable with how many times you need to reassure them. However, asking many times throughout the night how things are going may be a sign of low self-esteem.
  • If during the date they disclose a view that is fundamentally different from yours, don’t ignore it! Having different opinions is fine, but if your core beliefs are too different, this could make for some serious clashing in a relationship.
  • Being unnecessarily rude towards the waiter, a parking attendant, or other person in front of you is never a good sign. If they blow up on people for small things, imagine how they’d treat you if they thought you did something wrong!

If you learn to recognize the red flags, you will be able to know when to call a first date your last date!

If you’re dealing with relationship problems, consider reaching out to the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source: Degges-White, Suzanne. “13 First Date Red Flags.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 31 Mar. 2016. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

By: Scout H

How to Recognize a Sociopath

Sociopaths: devious, controlling, cunning. If you ever come across someone with this toxic antisocial personality disorder, it is important to know how to recognize the signs for your own personal safety. These people repeatedly disregard the feelings of others while seeking only to please themselves. They are unable to have the ability to organize their emotions and therefore have no shame about their actions, regardless of how it makes those around them feel. Often, they find internal gratification from hurting others. Below are some warning signs to help you identify a sociopath:

  • A discrepancy between what the person says, and what the person does
  • Making excuses for themselves when they are caught in a lie
  • Changing the subject when they are caught in a lie
  • Beating around the bush when asked questions about the lie you caught them in or not answering them directly
  • Knowing others’ vulnerabilities and manipulating them for personal gain
  • Ability to understand laws and rules, but being unable to understand emotionally why those rules are in place
  • No feelings of shame when they know they have hurt other people
  • Repeatedly putting themselves in situations which could get them arrested
  • Disregarding the safety of themselves or others
  • Constant irritability, hostility, and antagonism
  • Performing cruel and gruesome acts on animals

If these warning signs sound like they apply to yourself or someone you know, it is very important to start therapy. With the help of a medical professional, the combination of medication and psychotherapy can help people with this personality disorder.

The psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Sources:

“Sociopath X – ALL ABOUT SOCIOPATHS – Sociopathic Personality Disorder and Types.” D for Depression Depressive Psychological Disorders. Depression D, 2010. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

By: Scout H

Breakups: The 5 Stages of Moving On

Often, the end of a relationship can feel like a loss. In a second, lovers can turn into strangers and it is only natural to grieve over someone who played a significant part in your life. Although the path of moving on is different for everyone, here are five common stages that you might experience after breaking up.

  1. Denial. Our hearts play a big role in this stage, as we struggle to come to terms with the fact that our lives are about to drastically change. When the breakup is fresh, no one wants to think of having to start over and adjust to a life without their significant other. We often think of ways to get the person back or convince ourselves this is only temporary. You might even tell yourself the situation is a mistake and you and your partner will get back together soon.
  2. Anger. Once the reality begins to set in, we become angry with the situation and usually at our ex. “How could (s)he do this to me?” “I bet s(he) was cheating on me all along!” We might also become mad at our friends once hearing their opinions on the breakup. Although they might say some valid things, you are in no mindset to hear anyone who disagrees with you.
  3. Bargaining. To start, you could begin to bargain with your ex. “I’ll change”, “I’ll start being nice to your friends” or “You’re hurting the kids by walking away!” are some common things to say. People sometimes turn to a higher power and beg for the situation to be different.
  4. Depression. Now the reality has sunk in completely. You may feel like you do not want to leave your bed in the morning. You feel hopeless as if nothing will work out in the future now that this person is gone.
  5. Acceptance. Over time, you will acknowledge the loss and realize that you are slowly moving forward with your life. You might fall back into one of the previous stages, but remember that this is a process and you are taking things a step at a time.

 

If you’re struggling with a breakup or are having relationship problems, consider reaching out to the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source: Kromberg, Jennifer. “The 5 Stages of Grieving the End of a Relationship.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

By: Scout H

 

 

Relationship Advice: What Behaviors to Avoid on a First Date – Bergen County, NJ

date

By Irada Yunusova

            First impressions, first dates, and first kisses are all very exciting. However, the goal of a successful relationship may not be realized if the first date does not go as smoothly as desired. Some people who may struggle with relationships do not realize that certain behaviors they engage in during their first date may be the source of the problem. Avoiding the undesirable behaviors discussed below, drawn from patient’s shared experiences, may lead to greater success on first dates.

 Over complimenting your date may make them believe you think little of yourself or that you are fishing for compliments.

  1. Not being able to accept a compliment may come off as having low self-esteem or fake humility. Do not sabotage or minimize compliments by saying “Oh, please I’m hiding a lot under this dress” or “I need to work out more.”
  2. Over-planning can create unrealistically high expectations that make the real date less satisfying. Also, getting upset over a date not going as planned may make you come across as controlling or neurotic.
  3. Drinking excessively is a major turn-off. Although alcohol is considered a social lubricant, over-consumption or consumption of drinks with high alcohol content may distort the way you want to portray yourself by influencing your actions and by giving off the impression that you are not well put-together.
  4. Being clingy turns off the other individual on the date. Instead of texting the date immediately or over-touching during the date, living in the moment and allowing the relationship to progress organically is much more effective.

 Relationships are a vital aspect of life. If you are struggling with dating or relationships, you might find helpful guidance by contacting a mental health professional at Arista Counseling & Psychological Services in Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY. Feel free to contact us for a free phone consultation at 201-368-3700 or 212-996-3939 in order to set up an appointment with one of our licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists.

 Sources: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/life-goals/2014/08/first-dates-are-you-scaring-them-away/

Dear Journal – Bergen County, NJ

Diary

By Laine

Keeping a diary can be beneficial for a variety of purposes. It is often referred to as “expressive writing” and is a great therapeutic self-help technique. Diaries are easy, convenient, and inexpensive. They are available as your companion any time and any place.

One of the uses of a journal is goal setting. Many professionals have found that putting down your goals in writing increases the likelihood that you will follow through to achieve them. Written records feel concrete, as opposed to thoughts, which seem abstract. The more detailed you are about your goals the better.

On the other hand, journals may be used as a safe space to share private thoughts. For instance, it may be healing to write about negative aspects of life or feelings that are concerning you. After some time you may be able to recognize thought patterns, or emotions consistently resulting from specific settings or scenarios. You can try to embrace those that give you positive feelings and minimize those that evoke negative feelings.

Furthermore, after experiencing trauma many people hesitate to tell anybody about the occurrence. This may be due to fear of reliving the experience or the shame and embarrassment of admitting what happened. If you are not ready to tell your story aloud, try writing it down. This is a private way to let out your feelings and avoid bottling up distress. This can be used as a steppingstone which can help you to gain the courage to eventually share your story with another person.

In certain cases the act of writing may be cathartic, especially when releasing negativity. Some people do not go back to re-read their entries, but simply feel better after completing them. Other times with positive entries, reviewing your previous writing can motivate you, and keep your optimism high.

A psychotherapist is a great resource if you need to share what is recorded in your journal, or are ready to discuss a concern or trauma. If you are in Bergen County, New Jersey, feel free to call 201-368-3700 to find out more information or make an appointment with one of our own licensed professional counselors, therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists.

Anger Management: Can Keeping the Peace Keep You Alive?

Research on the effects of arguments on health

By: Davine Holness

Anger management: Argumentativeness may increase your risk of health problems

Anger management: Argumentativeness may increase your risk of health problems

While arguments can be hard to avoid, most of us know how damaging they can be to relationships.  But a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reveals that frequent expressions of anger and verbal altercations may be just as damaging for physical health.  The research was conducted by a team at the University of Copenhagen and kept track of 9,875 participants from 2000 to 2011.  The results were shocking: the participants who had initially reported that they had anger issues and often argued with people in their social circle were at least twice as likely to have died by the end of the eleven-year period during which the study was conducted.  This correlation might be because people with conflict-ridden families might be more reluctant to seek treatment for medical, psychological and psychiatric concerns.  Another posited explanation for the increased risk of death is that stress from frequent clashes with friends and family increases one’s chances of getting certain ailments such as hypertension, high levels of cortisol, inflammation, and angina.

What’s causing all this conflict?  The reasons may vary from person to person, but there are some common ways of thinking that cause arguments and verbal expressions of anger.  One of these is emotional insistence on something that’s highly unlikely to occur.  Such insistence happens when we try to change that over which we have no control; when we won’t budge, an argument is bound to ensue.  Another factor is stubbornness: we often over-value being right.  Rather than admit to others – and to ourselves – that we have made a mistake, we put more energy into proving our point and conflict escalates.  A similar issue is blaming others: attributing the fault for our own problems on other people or circumstances.  This does not leave room for resolution.

If arguments are causing problems in your life, therapy may help.  Feel free to contact the Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920.  Visit www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

 

Source:

Bundrant, M. (n.d.). » Common Form of Expression Doubles Risk of Death – NLP Discoveries. Psych Central. Retrieved May 30, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2014/05

Relationships- Abusive Relationships- Bergen County, NJ

By: Michelle Dierna

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Abusive Relationships take many shapes and forms. The most commonly known forms of abuse are verbal and physical but there are other kinds as well. In romantically abusive relationships, usually the abuser yearns to have a sense of control and power in the relationship. Many abusers have similar behavior patterns and characteristic traits that can be recognized as “red flags”. It is highly important to recognize the “red flags” if you feel you might be in an abusive relationship. Abusive relationships, no matter what form, can be extremely harmful to a person’s self-esteem, often causing one to question one’s sense of identity. There is also the strong overlapping issue of someone constantly trying to control a  victims thoughts and actions. This results in the abuser punishing the victim are verbally and/or physically abusive.

Some abusers share these traits:

  • Charismatic & Charming: It may shock some, but many abuser can at first, come across as very charming and charismatic, both widely attractive features. The abuser usually projects himself/herself as the ideal mate, courting the other individual by showering them with compliments, admiration, even with sentimental gifts. All of these “charming” approaches are smothered onto the person the abuser is trying to court. This can lure any person into starting a romantic relationship if they feel these signs of affection are authentic.
  • Manipulative and Controlling: Most abusers use the skills of manipulation and control. Both are innate characteristic traits of abusers. This may possibly be due to the fact that the abuser has often been the victim of abuse. People that have abusive tendencies, usually learned by seeing, hearing or experiencing abuse in their past. This might help us understand certain behaviors of abusers, but absolutely does not excuse it. These behaviors can potentially become dangerous.

Usually a person who is manipulative will control the more “submissive” individual by observing and taking advantage of “weak” and “vulnerable” areas of the other person. For example: ” Your dad left you because you have extreme anger issues and now I have to deal with it, because no one else will”. This is the point when power fuels the dynamic of the relationship into an unhealthy relationship. One person in the relationship obtains more authority which makes them believe they can set the boundaries and place rules as to what is right and wrong in the relationship.  This bias is usually towards themselves. The victim of a master manipulator will either detect these behaviors at first and leave the toxic situation or give the abuser exactly the reaction he/she wants, by giving the abuser the satisfaction of having control.

  • Narcissistic: In simple terms, the whole world revolves around a narcissistic person He or she is typically self-absorbed. It is hard to develop meaningful communication with a narcissistic person because the conversations are usually about his or her own feelings and his or her views and his or her interests. Someone who is narcissistic finds it hard entertain opinions other than their own. Thus, they tend to be more close minded than most people.
  • Jealous and Aggressive: Many people in abusive relationships don’t realize the abuse; they grow scared or become comfortable in the cycle of abuse, feeling unworthy of their significant other. Jealousy is yet another way for the abuser to take control away from their significant other. Victims will get scrutinized over actions that may cause their partner-the abuser to feel jealous. People in healthy relationships fight and argue too, but abusive/ unhealthy relationships can be filled with words of discouragement and false accusations. What healthy relationships find petty, unhealthy relationships magnify. Insecurity plays a huge part in jealousy by abusers: if the abuser feels that he or she is losing authority and control over their partner they can escalate any situation fast. When the abuser has this feeling of entitlement, most likely because of narcissistic tendencies, it is not uncommon for jealousy to turn into rage that can lead to aggressive physical abuse.

Once a person touches you against your will or even threatens to, don’t ever take it lightly. If you are scared to leave your significant other, call a friend, a therapist or the police and discuss what happened immediately. Keep in mind that verbal abuse is no better than physical abuse; they both can intertwine quickly and the outcome could potentially be terrible. Thus, ask a few questions to yourself if you are unsure if you are in an abusive relationship and make sure to seek help as soon as possible.

*Some questions you can ask yourself:

 1.  Do you feel nervous or anxious around your partner?

2.  Does he/she criticize and embarrass you in front of others?

3.  Are you afraid of having a different opinion from that of your partner and voicing it?

4.  Does your partner exhibit jealousy and accuse you of cheating or having an affair?

5.  Does he or she threaten to hit you or harm you in any way?

6. Are you constantly criticized and made to feel that you cant live without your significant other?

Relationships can be extremely complex at time.  Many woman and men stay in abusive relationships because they may feel that staying is their only choice. They may feel controlled by their significant other and scared to leave because of what their significant other might do if they leave. If this is you, get help immediately.

If you or a loved one think you might be in an abusive relationship,or feel you may be suffering from any form of abuse; feel free to contact our Manhattan or Bergen County, New Jersey offices to make an appointment with one of our own therapists, counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists for guidance needed or an evaluation.

Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920

Visit: http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Sources:

1.”The Christian Broadcasting Network.” 12 Traits of an Abuser. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. .cbn.com/family/marriage/petherbridge_abusertraits.aspx.

2.”The Christian Broadcasting Network.” 12 Traits of an Abuser. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. .cbn.com/family/marriage/petherbridge_abusertraits.aspx.