How Does a Family Court Determine If a Parent Is Unfit?

  • A history of child abuse.
  • A history of substance abuse.
  • A history of domestic violence.
  • The parent’s ability to make age-appropriate decisions for a child.
  • The parent’s ability to communicate with a child.
  • Psychiatric concerns.
  • The parent’s living conditions.
  • A history of domestic abuse; either physical or emotional.
  • A history of mental illness that could incapacitate the parent to care for the children adequately.
  • Unreasonable behaviour during the divorce process
  • Their ability to discipline children fairly
  • The quality of their house or neighbourhood where they live in a home that is unsafe for children to reside in
  • A history of criminal offences and/or imprisonment
  • A strongly negative attitude of the children towards the parent, or unwillingness to live with that parent

Measurement Tools

Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, Psychopathic behaviour.

The Psychopathic Personality Traits Scale (PPTS; Boduszek et al., 2016)

Single-Item Narcissism Scale (SINS)

Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, a test of sociopathy

Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and Bech-Rafaelsen Mania Rating Scale (MAS) – Bipolar disorder

Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) – Bipolar Disorder

DA12profile Personality Inventory, and SCL-90- Antisocial and Schizoid Personality Disorder Scales

The Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS) – psychosis and schizophrenia.

Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) · Spiker Psychoticism Scale (SPS) · psychotic symptoms

Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSI).

The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) – anxiety and depression

Brief Histrionic Personality Scale (BHPS) – PsyToolkit

Narcissist, Sociopath or Psychopath???

You decide

Narcissist, Sociopath or Psychopath???

Continue reading “Narcissist, Sociopath or Psychopath???”

What Is Reverse Projection?

Reverse projection means even if you’re no longer in relationship with your abuser, you may still thing well of her rather than face the truth- she abused you.  Being realistic will help you to accept that yes, you were abused, yes, things were bad & yes, you have been adversely affected by it all.  Once you admit these things, & only then, can you begin to heal.


And if reverse projection helped you to accept responsibility for being abused, that will create plenty of problems in itself.  It’s unhealthy to accept responsibility for being abused because you did nothing wrong!  Doing so creates a root of toxic shame inside, & toxic shame creates so many problems.  It destroys your self esteem, it sets you up to be abused by others, it makes you unable to accept help when you need it & more.  You also are carrying the abuser’s shame when it’s not yours to carry.  That shame needs to be laid square on the abuser, never on the victim.  Whether or not the abuser carries her own shame is up to her, but it is never your responsibility to carry it! Continue reading “What Is Reverse Projection?”

Pseudologia Fantastica: A Fascinating Case Report

Using structural magnetic resonance imaging, Yang et al6 found a widespread increase in white matter (23%-36%) in orbitofrontal, middle, and inferior prefrontal subregions, and a 36% to 42% reduction in prefrontal grey/white ratios in liars.
This white matter increase may predispose some individuals to pathological lying.

Lack of attention, negligence,and abuse can contribute to individuals developing a
need to lie.
Narcissistic personality disorder is very similar to pseudologia fantastica in that the former often tells exaggerated stories about the self to obtain constant attention and approval from others and overcome the underlying inadequate sense of self. In pseudologia fantastica, the stories are even more extreme and often not even possible, whereas the narcissist tells stories that are within the bounds of reality.
Borderline personality disorder and pseudologia fantastica can both cause patients to lie and not be able to acknowledge the truth from falsehood. However, in pseudologia fantastica, the other prominent features of borderline personality disorder (eg, impulsivity, self destructive behaviors) are absent.
Histrionic personality disorder shows similar dramatization and the extreme need for attention found in pseudologia fantastica. However, the former also manifests other histrionic features such as inappropriate sexuality, seductiveness, selfdramatization, and suggestibility.
Pervasive developmental disorder, which can be a co-occurring disorder, can be differentiated from pseudologia fantastica in that the former, although it can involve the telling of stories, the stories have a more preservative quality than those stories of
a person with pseudologia fantastica.

Continue reading “Pseudologia Fantastica: A Fascinating Case Report”


Narcissism, or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), is another cluster B personality disorder. It’s similar to HPD in many ways, but there are a few key differences.

One diagnostic requirement for narcissism is a lack of empathy. People with this condition may ignore how others feel and have little compassion. People with histrionic personality may engage in self-centered behavior, but they don’t necessarily lack empathy.

Another important distinction lies in the reasons for attention-seeking behavior. People with narcissism want to be recognized as special or superior to others. They often lie or exaggerate their own accomplishments in order to receive praise, recognition, or status. People with HPD need the attention of others but may care less about how they get it. They may take on the role of victimhood and allow others to think of them as fragile or helpless. Continue reading “HOW DOES HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DIFFER FROM NARCISSISM?”

Understanding Histrionic Personality Disorder

HPD is one of 10 personality disorders recognized in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). HPD is one of the Cluster B disorders, which are characterized as dramatic, overly emotional, and/or erratic.

The DSM-5 defines histrionic personality disorder as a pattern of extreme emotionality and attention-seeking behavior that begins by early adulthood and is obvious in different situations. In addition, you must have five or more of the following signs or symptoms to be diagnosed with HPD:2

  • Discomfort in situations in which you’re not the center of attention
  • Interaction with others that’s often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
  • Rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotion
  • Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
  • Style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
  • Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
  • Is easily influenced by others or by circumstances
  • Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are

People with HPD might be described as being overly dramatic, emotional, or attention-seeking. This pattern of behavior rises to the level of a clinical disorder when it significantly interferes with relationships, work, or other important domains in life. Continue reading “Understanding Histrionic Personality Disorder”

Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)

Patients with histrionic personality disorder continually demand to be the center of attention and often become depressed when they are not. They are often lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious and sometimes charm new acquaintances.

These patients often dress and act in inappropriately seductive and provocative ways, not just with potential romantic interests, but in many contexts (eg, work, school). They want to impress others with their appearance and so are often preoccupied with how they look.

Expression of emotion may be shallow (turned off and on too quickly) and exaggerated. They speak dramatically, expressing strong opinions, but with few facts or details to support their opinions.

Patients with histrionic personality disorder are easily influenced by others and by current trends. They tend to be too trusting, especially of authority figures who, they think, may be able to solve all their problems. They often think relationships are closer than they are. They crave novelty and tend to bore easily. Thus, they may change jobs and friends frequently. Delayed gratification is very frustrating to them, so their actions are often motivated by obtaining immediate satisfaction

Achieving emotional or sexual intimacy may be difficult. Patients may, often without being aware of it, play a role (eg, victim). They may try to control their partner using seductiveness or emotional manipulations while becoming very dependent on the partner.

Continue reading “Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)”

Psychologists Have Come Up With an Official Test to Measure Your Need For Drama

This new scale is based on three main factors:

  • Interpersonal manipulation: “Characterised by a person’s willingness to influence other people to behave in a manner serving of the manipulator’s goals.”
  • Impulsive outspokenness: “Characterised by a person’s compulsion to speak out and share opinions, even when inappropriate and without regard to social consequences.”
  • Persistent perceived victimhood: “The propensity to constantly perceive oneself as a victim of everyday life circumstances that many people would dismiss as benign.”

After testing a range of potential measures for NFD against various statistical models, the team, led by psychologist Scott Frankowski, came up with this 12-point survey, which tests characteristics such as an individual’s paranoia, outspokenness, and self-absorption: Continue reading “Psychologists Have Come Up With an Official Test to Measure Your Need For Drama”

Reviewing the Drama Queen

This is the second of seven articles that deal with personalities,
personal style and trouble getting along in the workplace. Click
 for an archive of the entire series. Each of the personality
disorders discussed includes at least three elements. First, the behavior
patterns are both inappropriate and painful to the self or to others.
Second, the maladaptive patterns are substantially unaffected by external
inducements to change. And third, little by little, the patterns create
problems for the organization and for co-workers. The workplace effects
of personality disorders and styles are initially more subtle than the
effects of such more overt problems as depression or alcoholism.

The previous installment dealt with the obsessive compulsive personality.
Subsequent installments will discuss antisocial, paranoid, borderline,
narcissistic and passive-aggressive traits. All are adapted from the newly
published book, “Mental
Health and Productivity in the Workplace: A Handbook for Organizations
and Clinicians
,” edited by Jeffrey P. Kahn, MD, and Alan
M. Langlieb, MD, published by Jossey-Bass (a Wiley imprint) and noted
in publications as diverse as HR Magazine, Inc., and the New York Times.

Continue reading “Reviewing the Drama Queen”