I was asked a question by a member who had been diagnosed with a psychological condition. Here is what he wrote:

Over the weekend, I had my first full session with one of two therapists in my state that specifically counsels Love Addiction. She is familiar with limerence.After this first session, she referred me to have a psychiatric evaluation, saying that often limernece is tied to personality disorder and she felt strongly that she was reading Histrionic Personality Disorder from me. Personality disorders seem to carry a lot of stigma as when I did an amazon.com search, I noticed that there are a lot of books, from professionals in the field, addressed to the general population on how to stay away from people with personality disorders, . I also noted websites that referred to personality disorders very negatively. What if we are the people with these disorders? Am I supposed to lock myself up and not interact with the world? Am I so dangerous to the general population that I should heed a warning label?I wish we didn’t live in a society so focused on difference. I am so ashamed of being limerent and feel even more ashamed about having a personality disorder. I feel like hiding. I already felt that I couldn’t tell friends or family about my mental health struggle and for the majority of my experience, I hid it from my long time therapist. I feel I am getting on the right path for help, but it feels so lonely and shameful.Has anyone else been diagnosed with a personality disorder? How do you feel about it? Any advice for coping?

Its so easy to beat yourself up on this journey. *sigh*

The professionals are hell bent on putting us in boxes and giving us labels. Perhaps it makes them feel more comfortable with their own insecurities. I could easily diagnose myself with BPD, NPD, HPD, cPTSD, ADHD, Aspergers, codependency, love addiction, adult attachment disorder, dysthymia, depression, anxiety, blah blah blah.

I got to the point that i no longer feel the need to label myself as this or that. I learned to practice compassion for myself. I can talk openly about my internal struggles when its appropriate and safe. Its just stuff. If it doesn’t kill me, it makes me stronger. I also had a great therapist, Stacey, that wasn’t big on labelling and was more interested in working with me on my symptoms and exploring their origins.

So no, you don’t need to hide from society, no you are not a danger, you are just you and all your parts are welcome, especially here. And if therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are sitting there making out they are all sorted, likely they are lying, deluded and struggle as much as you do. Most people ,even therapists, are struggling with their own stuff as much as you or me. There are plenty of wounded healers in the caring professions that are completely unaware of what drives them to rescue others. At least you’re doing something about it.

Id suggest having a read up on complex PTSD. 2 books id recommend are Peter Walker’s bookhas lots of practical advice for healing. And The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk. I think most of these clusters of PD’s would fit into the cPTSD diagnosis.


David qualified as a Medical Doctor (GMC number 2941565) in 1984 from St. Thomas’ hospital, London. He obtained his GP and family planning certification. In 1999 he left medicine to set up docleaf, a leading Crisis Management and Trauma Psychology Consultancy. He has experience as a hypnotherapist and holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and counselling from the Centre of Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London and is currently studying for an advance diploma in executive coaching.

David spends part of his time as an executive coach and running docleaf leadership which works with CEO’s and other C suite leaders in helping them develop and grow.

David has written extensively about limerence, sex and love addiction as well as trauma and PTSD. His interest in romantic relationships led him to set up www.limerence.net, a support forum to help those impacted by this debilitating condition.

David is passionate about men’s work and his mission in life is to help people become more conscious by teaching and helping others and continuing his own self-development. He is actively involved in volunteering with the ManKind Project charity which helps men live their lives with more integrity, honesty and taking more personal responsibility.

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