'Real Housewives of New York' Have Real Personality Disorders

Julie Ryan Evans
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Jill Zarin Real Housewives
Photo from bravotv.com
We've called them crazy and thrown around terms like "disturbed" and "scary" to describe their behavior, but what's really going on with The Real Housewives of New York?

I caught up with Elizabeth West, trained behaviorist and author of blog A Real Housewife's View, who analyzes their often bizarre behavior. So, just in time for tonight's reunion show, here's what she had to say about the New York ladies and their real-life personality disorders. See if you agree:

Kelly Bensimon, Paranoid Personality Disorder -- I really think she has paranoid personality disorder. She's very concerned about hidden motives and that she's going to be exploited. She isolates herself socially. Even though she's pretty outgoing, she has no real connection with anyone and gets irrationally hostile.

I don't think it's a good idea for her to be on the show at all. I think you can tell from when she started the show until now that there's been a definite downward slide for her. She needs to get back to the real reality.

Jill Zarin, Narcissist -- She is so obviously a classic narcissist. She truly believes she's special and doesn't do anything wrong. And she doesn't let go of her delusion. Ever. She's never going to think yes, I did something wrong.

I think the show is great for her. The kind of public backlash she's getting could be very helpful for her to realize she has a problem.

LuAnn De Lesseps, Narcissist -- LuAnn is also a narcissist, but a different kind. She knows she's not perfect, but she defends her Countess persona and clings to it like a security blanket.

Bethenny Frankel -- Bethenny has a lot of issues from her childhood, but her coping method is a lot better than the other housewives. She's trying to make improvements. Like all of us, she has issues, but she's making it work for herself.

I really hope she doesn't make up with Jill. There's nothing to be gained from being friends with a narcissist. It's best to just let narcissists be.

Alex McCord -- Alex seems relatively sane. She may be a little passive aggressive, though not so passive this season.

Sonja Morgan, Histrionic Personality Disorder -- Sonja may have a little histrionic disorder. She has a lot of sex and obvious issues with alcohol. But she also seems to have a good head on her shoulders.  

Ramona Singer -- I adore Ramona. The first season she drove me nuts, but either she's on some kind of meds or she actually has had some sort of psychological or spiritual awakening. She's so happy and is really trying to be friends with everyone. She has moments of such clarity. I've been really enjoying her this season.

So, does everyone have a personality disorder?  

Not everyone has a personality disorder, but I do think Bravo is looking for people that are distinctively flawed then putting them in situations where their interactions are going to be dramatic and explosive. I don't know if it's entirely safe, and I think this season of New York and New Jersey should teach them something.

Speaking of dangerous, what about Danielle Staub from The Real Housewives of New Jersey? What's going on with her?

Danielle is the one I'd definitely fear most. She's an antisocial personality. When confronted, she's very blasé about her behavior and will turn it around. She has an excuse for every behavior and uses her tragic past to get others to feel sorry for her. She has absolutely no empathy, is engaged in stalking behavior, and has shown signs of aggressiveness. If I were on the show, I'd be very concerned about her.

What do you think of the above diagnoses for The Real Housewives of New York? Will you watch the reunion show tonight?


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