You are here:

Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Unsure as to shrink's assessment


Hi Dr Haropp;

I hope you are well.

I recently saw a clinical psychologist who referred me to a psychiatrist because he felt that my case was too complex and ould benefit from a psychiatrist input.

My assessment with the shrink effectively ended in her stating that there was no diagonsis of mental illness, there was nothing she could do medically. She felt that I had unhappiness that stemmed from negative personality traits (which she did not expand on, although I did not ask). She qualified this by noting that everyone has negative personality traits, and these can be softened with time.

I asked her if she thought I had a personality disorder. She said she would not be comfortable or able to make that assessment on a first meeting, but that perhaps some of my reactions are more extreme when provoked in certain situations.

She then repeated her comment regarding that everyone has negative personality traits. However, she also concerned me by stating that I would be unresponsive to therapy, as I do things my own way, and I have the answers (again, not really explained/explored).

I am utterly confused by this. Am I "sane"? Am I capable of being medically classed as competent? Is she suggesting that I DO have a personality disorder? I'm a little worried.

Am I "sane"?

"Sane" is a legal term, like "competant" or "incompetant." It has nothing to do with whether someone has a psychiatric disorder.

Am I capable of being medically classed as competent? Again, a legal term: you are competent until a court declares you incompetent.

Is she suggesting that I DO have a personality disorder? Yes, that's what it sounds like, although she also said (correctly) such things are difficult to diagnose on one visit.

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.


Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

©2016 All rights reserved.