The article below was submitted to MeowMix by a Registered Psychologist. It is not a clinical diagnosis. Rather, it is this expert’s explanation of what a personality disorder is and what Jessica Yaniv Simpson might have based on known information.
I requested this expert opinion to clear up some recent confusion about whether or not Yaniv has Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD. When Yaniv was sentenced in court for his weapons offense, a psychiatric evaluation was provided to the judge to assist in the sentencing. Attendees in the courtroom are unclear about what was heard – did the judge say “borderline personality disorder” or simply “personality disorder.
We are awaiting a transcript to confirm, but at least two people have told me they don’t recall the word “borderline” being said.
There is also some chatter about Yaniv’s mother Miriam Yaniv possibly having BPD, or another personality disorder. I am unable to confirm the source of this, but I personally recall it being said somewhere. I simply can’t find it. I could be imagining this.
It is my opinion that the judge most likely said “personality disorder” without the word “borderline”, and that others on social media mistakenly added the word borderline after the fact. At this time, I do not believe the judge read out the full details of the psych eval nor did he cite specific diagnosis. He simply stated JY had “a” personality disorder”, similar to one may state “that person has cancer” instead of specifying what type of cancer.
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Please note that the psych eval is not available to the public.
MeowMix thanks our psychologist friend for taking the time to offer their expertise for this article.
Jessica Yaniv Simpson and Personality Disorders
Recently, it was revealed in Court that Jessica (or Johnathan) Yaniv (or Simpson) was diagnosed with a “personality disorder” in the course of a pre-sentence forensic psychiatric assessment.
You may be wondering: What is a personality disorder? A personality disorder is a way of thinking, feeling, and behaving that deviates from the expectations of culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and persists over time. Essentially, it is a permanent disorder of one’s personality (or simply the “way they are”).
While a personality disorder is classified as a mental illness, it is NOT the same as other mental illnesses (such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder). Personality disorders used to be categorized on their own, because they are permanent and generally do not respond to medication or other treatments. A personality disorder exists at someone’s “baseline”, which means their “normal”.
Whereas clinical disorders such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia shift between active and controlled phases (ie: people have symptoms when experiencing an episode, but little or no symptoms when treated or controlled). How a person thinks, feels, or behaves when in an active phase of anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia is NOT how they would think, feel, or behave when well (or at “baseline)”.
To put it simply, think of how you feel and behave when you have the flu. You probably don’t feel or act the way you normally do when you have the flu, but you bounce back to normal when you recover. Clinical disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia are a lot like the flu. Now, think of your skin colour. It will always be the same, regardless of what is going on in your life or whether or not you have the flu. Your skin colour doesn’t change. Your personality is a little like your skin colour, it doesn’t change. (Yes, I know there are always minor exceptions, but in general, skin colour doesn’t change).
Essentially, Yaniv has been diagnosed with having a personality that is abnormal, causes problems for himself and others, and this is not something that is likely to change. In other words, the problem is simply that Yaniv is “the problem”. Yaniv’s behaviour is not caused by a temporary, clinical, or treatable condition. Yaniv is simply being himself, and this is what is causing himself and others all the grief. No medication will change this, and therapy is unlikely to be successful.
It is true that people CAN “change” their personality, but this is a very lengthy, complex, and advanced level of therapy that takes years or even decades to achieve. This style of therapy only works if the person WANTS to change. Most people with personality disorders do not accept or acknowledge that they have anything wrong with their personality. Instead, they tend to blame other people and external events/ factors for all of their problems. For this reason, it is very hard (if not impossible) to successfully treat or “cure” a personality disorder.
Instead, Therapists usually work on helping the individual find more effective ways to manage their world and communicate effectively with others. Therapists try to help these individuals blend in and conform, so that they can function in society. Therapy, if the individual chooses to engage, can work well to help the person function in a manner that doesn’t cause harm to self or others.
Some people with personality disorders will take medications, which are prescribed to help “symptoms”. The medications do not treat or cure a personality disorder, rather they MAY target some of the “symptoms” the person experiences as a result of having a personality that is largely incompatible with society. Antidepressant medications may help the person feel less depressed about feeling different, misunderstood, etc. Medication therapy has limited results.
There are many different types of personality disorders. I am aware there has been some debate over whether Yaniv was diagnosed with “personality disorder” or “borderline personality disorder” in Court. It doesn’t much matter either way – both labels still mean the same thing generally. Adding the word “borderline” just helps categorize certain patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are seen in the individual.
Borderline personality disorder is a dramatic/ erratic personality disorder characterized by unstable self-image, relationships, mood, etc. Borderline personality disorder is HUGELY over-diagnosed (especially in biological women). Classic borderline personality disorder includes extreme sensitivity to rejection, fear of abandonment, and repeated non-suicidal self-harm or suicidal gestures/ attempts.
A classic example is a Woman who (in response to) being dumped by her boyfriend of 1 month, overdoses on 15 tablets of Tylenol (nowhere near enough to do any actual harm), calls 911 and texts her boyfriend in an effort to make him feel guilty and return to her. Suicidal behaviour that isn’t intended to actually cause death, but is intended to cause others to feel bad, guilty, upset, and generate sympathy.
Yaniv certainly has some traits of borderline personality disorder, based on what is public information (Note: I cannot and have not diagnosed Yaniv, as I have never assessed him in person). But Yaniv also has traits of other personality disorders, such as narcissistic, antisocial, and (especially) histrionic personality disorder. Histrionic personality disorder is essentially a “drama queen” to the extreme.
Yaniv is someone who will likely use his diagnosis of personality disorder as an excuse for his behaviour and a reason to be “disabled”. This is not appropriate. People with personality disorders can control their behaviour, but usually choose not to. Yaniv COULD learn to function with others, if he wanted to. He does not have a mental illness that renders him incapable of working, etc. He chooses not to.
Please do not feel any obligation to extend sympathy to Yaniv for having a personality disorder in the way you might for someone with depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. They are very different types of “mental illnesses”. At least Yaniv has a disorder that doesn’t render him physically non-functional and incapable of doing better. Yaniv can do better – but only if he wants to.
Anonymous Registered Psychologist
Psychologist Consultant for Meow Mix.