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Information for people contemplating
a career in emergency medicine and
other medical specialties

By Kevin Pezzi, MD


Things to remember once you become a doctor: Dating advice

by , MD

Dating advice for doctorsThe #1 relationship mistake that most people make is failing to psychologically diagnose the people they date. Yes, you heard me correctly, diagnose them. That is, consciously analyze their behavior and see if it meets the criteria for one of the many psychological disorders.

Or you could do what most people do: date people and waste months or years struggling to make relationships work when those relationships are doomed from the start because the people you're dating have psychological disorders. For example, more than a few men date women who are exasperatingly difficult to get along with. If a man is very attracted to a woman, he will usually bend over backwards to harmonize with her. He might attribute her behavioral quirks to the beautiful woman syndrome, or he might think that all hot women are difficult. No, just the nutty ones.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . .

You don't have to go to medical school or become a psychologist to diagnose behavioral abnormalities. In fact, you probably have no difficulty spotting people who are depressed or overly anxious, for example. If you familiarize yourself with some of the more common mental illnesses, you might realize that people who seem exasperatingly difficult are much more likely to have the borderline personality disorder (BPD), which can be so maddening some psychologists and psychiatrists refuse to treat patients with that condition.

Does it really do any good to diagnose such annoying behavior as "borderline personality disorder" rather than merely characterizing it as being "exasperatingly difficult"? Yes, because a correct diagnosis can give you a crystal ball into the future of your relationship. How so? Along with every diagnosis is a prognosis. The prognosis for reforming people with the borderline personality disorder is so abysmal that even trained mental health professionals often become very frustrated by those patients. If they drive the experts bonkers, it is no wonder that they'll make your blood boil, too.

We don't yet have a "BorderNorm" pill that normalizes the behavior of people with the borderline personality disorder. Figure that out and you'll win a Nobel Prize. Until that day arrives, the best way to harmonize with them is to avoid them, or limit your interaction to superficial pleasantries such as "hello," "good morning," and "good-bye." Especially good-bye.

If you don't heed my advice and sleep with a borderline, you run the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease and getting her pregnant (women are statistically more likely than men to have BPD, which is associated with an increased prevalence of STDs). This, my friends, can be a major blunder that will haunt you for decades. Getting involved with a borderline might also land you behind bars for assault and battery, or even murder. Even normally placid people can be so infuriated by borderlines that they become mad enough to physically assault them with everything from a fist to a firearm. Don't do it. Just say those magic words: Good-bye.

Borderlines have an oversupply of venom they just love to inflict on others for the flimsiest of reasons, or no reason at all. Internet trolls are often borderlines who enjoy stirring up conflict because they like to inflict pain on others. Misery loves company, and if they're miserable, borderlines want you to join them. Note how antithetical this is to normal people, who enjoy pleasing others and making them happy.

Borderline personality disorder is just one of the many mental problems that you might encounter if you do much dating. You might also meet people with narcissism, alexithymia, bipolar disorder, and other troubles. At a minimum, you should learn about those conditions. If you do that, you may save yourself a lot of anguish.

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