RHONY’s Ramona Singer – Cyclothymia (Cyclothymic Disorder)

I want to again thank everyone for visiting, reading and responding to these posts. I really appreciate each and every one of your contributions, I think they are what makes this blog so special. I am glad to see this blog is making other people think about the Real Housewives as well as the topic of psychology in a new way.

Once again, this blog is about examining the psychological disorders displayed by the Real Housewives in the various series featured on Bravo. I do have a legitimate psychology degree but I am not a practicing psychologist. These writings come with the disclaimer that they are intended for entertainment purposes only, mostly my own entertainment to be frank. I can only analyze behavior I have witnessed on the Bravo series or from reliable sources (such as direct interviews with the participants or court documents). Read this with that in mind.

This time I will be taking a closer look at what makes Ramona Singer, the wild card of The Real Housewives Of New York, tick. I believe that Ramona is a prime example of cyclothymia. Cyclothymic disorder is a mild form of bipolar disorder in which a person has mood swings from mild or moderate depression to euphoria and excitement, but stays connected to reality. 

With cyclothymia, people experience periods when their mood noticeably fluctuates from their normal state. They may feel on top of the world for a time, followed by a low period when they feel somewhat blue. Between these highs and lows, they may feel stable and fine. Compared with bipolar disorder, the highs and lows of cyclothymia are much less extreme.

People with cyclothymia are almost always fully functioning, sometimes they are even hyper-productive. The unpredictable nature of the mood shifts may significantly disrupt their life because they never know how they’re going to feel — and they can’t just will themselves to live life on an even keel. It can also have an impact on those around them as they interact with the person.

We have all witnessed Ramona Singer’s mood swings while watching the Real Housewives. She can be flying high one minute and the next in tears. The first episode of this season had Ramona hosting an event on her boat, full of euphoric talk of her *renewal*. Shortly afterward there is an argument with her co-stars and Ramona is in tears, her party ruined, referring to how inappropriate and harsh the mean girls are. Cut to a few moments later and she is back to party mode. Even with editing this most likely took place during a very short period of time.

During her highs, Ramona often seems to be in her own world. She often honestly seems to not realize how her behavior affects others. She can be very aggressive in the way she interacts. Her speech becomes rapid as she communicates, ideas coming from all different directions.  She is easily agitated. You can witness people often trying to get a word in edgewise during a Ramona barrage. You can also see Ramona grow more and more insistent with others as she tries to overcorrect or justify what she has said or done. She says inappropriate things at the most inappropriate moments on a regular basis.

Ramona is often very blunt and direct. While I enjoy this about her it is not adored by all. She directs this unedited conversation at both friend and foe alike. I do not think her utterances are hostile, indeed I think she often just lacks an edit button. Afterwards she can be very apologetic and shows definite guilt for her behavior harming anyone’s feelings. She also is not always this way so I believe at some points she can control herself but during others she cannot. Prime example of this was when she told Bethenny on the Brooklyn Bridge that she would end up with no one. We have witnessed this behavior directed towards all the housewives at various times though.

While we witness periods of chaos, Ramona has maintained several businesses. She has RMS Fashions, True Faith Jewelry, Ramona Singer Jewelry and a skin care line called Tru Renewal. Ramona is very successful with these endeavors and seems to have another new business venture every season. I think if her illness were the more severe Bipolar that this would not be likely.

Signs and symptoms of hypomanic episodes of cyclothymia may include:

  • Unusually good mood or cheerfulness (euphoria)
  • Extreme optimism
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Poor judgment
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Aggressive or hostile behavior
  • Being inconsiderate of others
  • Agitation
  • Increased physical activity
  • Risky behavior
  • Spending sprees
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Inability to concentrate

Signs and symptoms of depressive episodes of cyclothymia may include:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite problems
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Problems concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain without a known cause

For anyone having navigational issues here are the links to the other discussions on the Housewives of New York:

http://angelofdevs.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/kelly-killoren-bensimon-update-schizoaffective-disorder/

http://angelofdevs.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/rhonys-jill-zarin-the-classic-narcissist/

http://angelofdevs.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/rhonys-luann-de-lesseps-compensatory-narcissistic-personality-disorder/

http://angelofdevs.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/rhonys-bethenny-frankel-obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder/

About angelofdevs

A real life housewife who likes to chatter about the psychological disorders of Bravo reality TV versions of housewives.
This entry was posted in Real Housewives Of New York and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to RHONY’s Ramona Singer – Cyclothymia (Cyclothymic Disorder)

  1. jayedee aka ntiveheart says:

    Cyclothymia aka Ramonitis aka a ride on the Ramonacoaster lol

    you’ve done it again-wowed me with your brilliance! i love reading your blog and wait eagerly for the next installment!

  2. Something about the way Ramona behaves is definitely unnerving; but on the flip-side, I have a really hard time not liking her. You can tell she genuinely wants to treat people fairly unless she feels they’ve pushed her too far…(i.e. the comment she made to Kelly about ‘can’t talk to you, no brain…’) I believe the way she acted when Simon was in on the girl’s night was over the top, but to me, she seemed genuinely hacked off that she made arrangements to be away from her family and there was a husband there. Again, I think also that some of this is staged. When she walked into Jill’s event and just picked a fight, she had a smirk on her face that told me they had sent her in there with a script for starting up drama. Also, being a mother, I really admire the way she cares for her daughter. She dotes on her (even though her daughter sometimes has a sour disposition) and tries to really hear her. That’s commendable for any parent; dealing with the tumult of raising teenagers is hard and I’m learning myself that thick-skin is required.
    That’s just my two cents….I really like reading these and learning about different personalities.

    • angelofdevs says:

      I quite like Ramona too, I think this season there has been a marked improvement in her behavior and I do wonder if she has had some therapy.

      I still do not think it is *scripted* by Bravo. I do think they create situations but I do not think they tell the wives what to do. I do think some ladies purposefully create drama on their own volition for their own reasons. I do think Bravo has a history of keeping the more dramatic acting people on their reality programs and that can motivate some women to ramp it up to secure their jobs.

  3. Sue says:

    I don’t understand.. although I did see Ramona cry remembering the abuse her mom recieved from her dad etc. she is in no way has shown any symptoms of depressive episodes? Doesn’t “bi” polar need to have BOTH the hypomanic as well as depressive episodes? I definitely see the hypomanic, but not one depressive symptons that you have listed above. I think Ramona just simply lacks filtering ability. And again I think this is a learned trait. She learned to be rude from her dad. Evenif you know this is wrong, it is hard to brush off everything you have grown accustomed to growing up. I know she is in her 50s, but everyone knows you can’t totally remove yourself from your parent’s influence – 18 years of seeing/hearing him talk abusively to her mom, NO DOUBT would have rubbed off on her. Or perhaps it’s genetic… being mean?? I don’t know. But I give Ramona alot of props for realizing this and trying to break herself away from it though, as I can tell she tries very hard to be a good/nice person..

    • angelofdevs says:

      Like bipolar, the down periods are not always exactly equal to the up periods. I think we have seen numerous occasions of Ramona feeling sad, guilty and anxious but yes she seems to be more hypomanic on the show. We have all seen the mood swings both ways though. I gave the boat example but there have been others of course.

      • Sue says:

        that’s the thing, I have not seen numerous occasions where she is feeling sad, guilty, anxious, depressive, suicidal. Only when she talks about her parents passing she cries. But that was recent events, everyone cries when thinking about close relatives passing if it has been a recent event. And that’s it. Other than that it either she is mellow (calm, logical), or hyper, but definitely no suidical, depressive, sad, guilty episodes. There MUST be another “disorder” you can cram her into.

      • Sue says:

        Again, I don’t see a single one of the depressive symptoms you have listed displayed on Ramona, hence, I think the diagnoses is simply wrong…. Look at it one by one, I haven’t seen not one of these symptoms on Ramona.

        Sadness (only about her parents passing recently, which is natural)
        Hopelessness
        Suicidal thoughts or behavior
        Anxiety
        Guilt
        Sleep problems
        Appetite problems
        Fatigue
        Loss of interest in daily activities
        Decreased sex drive
        Problems concentrating
        Irritability
        Chronic pain without a known cause

      • angelofdevs says:

        You are welcome to think as you will. You seem very agitated that you must be right. You may be right. I do not discount that.

        In fact in this very blog in the comments section already I agreed it could simply be hypomania but I am sticking with cyclomania because that is what I feel it is. I don’t feel if it is solely hypomania she could be clearheaded enough to realize her behavior is damaging others or to feel guilty or anxious about it.

        Ramona on the boat during the season premiere, huge mood swings in both directions.

        Ramona whenever she realizes she has gone too far, anxious and guilty.

        Look at how upset she got about being caught not inviting Jill to a dinner party in season one, practically in tears with her guilt and anxiety.

        See her stuttering and trying to overcorrect herself during a confrontation with LuAnn about calling her husband old.

        She got revved up and irritable about the tennis match and Jills conflicts with Mario.

        She practically had a meltdown whenever she had to deal with Alex and Simon before this current season.

        Not all low periods have to be suicidal depression, in fact I think I covered that they can be mild, not last for long durations and manifest in different ways such as anxiety, guilt, irritability, etc.

        I also think the constant references by everyone associated with the show to the Ramonacoaster infers pretty solidly that there is a mixture of highs and lows.

        Again I am sorry if you don’t see it. You can disagree with me and that is fine.

        To be honest I do wonder at the mental state of anyone who allows cameras to film their lives. It is a big intrusion. I realize many of these ladies are using it for self promotion and I do understand that.

        I do think Bravo is looking for people who are different personality types and the more extreme the better. I do not think everyone on the planet has a personality disorder but over the years of watching these shows I think most of these women have some sort of personality disorder that manifests itself in varying degrees.

        I will put up a global assessment of functioning (GAF) at some point so that you can understand what I am talking about.

      • Laila says:

        One correction, often individuals that are in a hypomanic state don’t necessarily realize their behaviors and symptoms are problems. If you look in the DSM-IV-TR, it states that individuals that experience hypomanic episodes often are unaware of the negative effects of their behaviors and often need to be told that the behaviors are problematic. The DSM even reccomends getting information from family members in order to gather enough information to determine is the person has experienced a hypomanic episode.

    • Sue says:

      I wasn’t agitated at all. Was just disagreeing with you as your own list does not support the diagnoses, but certainly didn’t mean to offend you. You do seem to get offended when people disagree. I guess all the situtaions you have listed to me about the depressive episodes of Ramona, actually seems like a very normal reaction of someone who is not too rigid and proud. It seems like Ramona just has no problem apologizing if someone gets overly offended like how Luanne was during the cancer dinner event preparation. And she did NOT cry for not inviting Jill over for dinner on season one (?I don;t know where you got this). Her anxiety about things are not at all different from anyone else who could be in competition. If people don’t get anxious about certain situations, they are not human. You are trying to fit her into having depressive modes at certain instances, whereas to others it doesn’t seem out of ordinary at all. So let’s just agree that we are seeing Rmaona in a different ways when it comes to her depressive modes.

      I just think Ramona has a rude, and impulsive personality (probably stemming from her childhood), and is someone who is trying to better herself from being this way. So I do agree she is super hyper (be it happy or angry) at moments, which is very unusual. I have not seem people get this overly worked up before. Definitely, based on your list itself, just doesn’t fit Ramona when it comes to depressive symptoms. So I am just curious to know what her real issue is, because she IS weird. Perhaps as you said it is hypomania, although since you have not described what the symptoms of hypomania is, I have no clue.

      Again, just trying to get familiar with all these disorders, definitely enjoying all the informative details. Thanks. However, I disagree that all the housewives could be fit into having some kind of disorder as you are trying to do. I’m sure if you and I were on tv, we would be scrutinized too, perhaps be labeled with some kind of disorders, seeing how easily the people with psychology degrees can fit (although sometimes it seems forced) people into having a disorder. But I guess that is another thing about “disorder”. Perhaps, majority of the people around us has a “disorder”, as such that the “normal” as we perceive it is actually not the majority, but rather the minority.

    • Maxine49 says:

      Sue, the cameras are not following Ramona 24/7…and Bravo decides what to put on TV…so they have obviously chosen episodes of Ramona behavior which are mostly “manic” as that is when she is the most entertaining. Bravo is not psychoanalyzing her—they are just going for what makes a good show. However, I have seen hints of the “depressive”…it’s there.

    • Lou says:

      I’m a bit with you on this. Actually, I have wondered if maybe she has ADHD/ADD, as this type of behavior (talking a lot, not being able to control how much, control enthusiasm/urge to talk while in discussions with others etc – a sign of the impulsivity common in ADHD) is quite common in girls/women with the disorder. They often do not have a very marked hyperactivity, even if they might have it. Having this type of disorder sure could explain her tendency to be “all over the place” when talking to others, not being able to control the need to stop and listen to others as well as letting them respond in a balanced way etc.

      For women of this age, ADHD was seriously underdiagnosed, and many continue to struggle with the symptoms, and other people’s negative reactions to them because of it – and they remain undiagnosed and for that reason, not getting any help. For intelligent and “good girls”, they most often fight a daily battle, but hide it from others (simply because it is embarrassing and the self esteem might be “two-sided”, torn between knowing their own accomplishments and positive sides and feeling bad about this side of themselves).

      Just a thought… Even if it might be totally off, just like the Cyclothymia theory might be (we of course do not know all that much about these women and have a very limited view of them from very special situations etc. etc.)…

      I don’t have a psychology degree, I’m just a certified social worker/counsellor… :)

      • Chris says:

        I’ve always thought Ramona has adhd. In my opinion, she displays the behavior of a person being treated for the disorder with a stimulant drug at too high of a dose. No matter what, I love her and always will!!

      • Judy Hamilton says:

        Look, mental disorders are not funny and not funny to watch. Shame again on Bravo for not doing something to step in with Ramona. IF it is ADHD she has company with the Octomom who exhibits similar behaviors. Ramona is too often inappropriate all the while thinking its everyone else who is. Tom Arnold and Howie Mandel are two more that struggle with ADHD. For the record, you can have attention deficit disorder without the H (hyperactivity) component too.

        But how about AVIA- this season I thought they had some kind of more normal ladies but Avia is a trainwreck too.. codependent on her hubby and a zillion phobias and who says she wants no attention for her leg but draws attention to it every opp and Carol who cannot let go of a tragic air accident years ago. No wonder NY is a prozac/Xanax city – but honestly no worse than living in sububia with housewives and lives in the suburbs. All human.

  4. cmg says:

    I truly enjoy your blog! Thanks for writing. I have never heard of cyclothymia but your analysis seems to be spot on. Best of luck to you, and Ramona!!

  5. Amy says:

    I just wanted to say how much I love this blog! I’ve been checking daily for your updates on the real housewives. I think you are really right-on in diagnosing everyone! Thanks for creating this great blog!

  6. Jo Marie says:

    Thank you for addressing Romona. She is a mysterious mix of appealing and appalling.

    • Amy says:

      Well I think she is just appalling. I would like to think that Ramona is a light hearted ditzy blonde who makes charming faux pas when she speaks, but she has this sly look she gets on her face during these episodes that makes me think she is purposeful in what she says.

      I also don’t know whether the temper tantrums are staged or just a way she has learned to either get her way or have others just give up when trying to defend themselves with her. She came close to one of these with her husband when they had a scene together in his office over some jewelry she designed and insisted on having done her way, but I had the feeling he saw the vitriol coming and just placated her to glide by the embarrassment.

      • hurr says:

        “she has this sly look she gets on her face during these episodes that makes me think she is purposeful in what she says.”

        Of COURSE she does, she is PAID to create drama. How can she secure another season of paychecks without stirring the pot? I don’t understand how people can bypass the obvious “personalities” all of these women turn on to get maximum camera time. Ramona just has a very biting personality, as does Bethenny, as does Jill, which is why the 3 of them have basically been the epicenters of drama on show since it it’s humble beginnings. The problem she faces now is that the other cast members caught onto this charade & are trying with all their might to make themselves as relevant as the 3 main cast members (same goes for JZ & her hanger-ons LuAnn & New Girl & Bethenny & the Silex superfans). These “Real Housewives…” shows have turned into meal tickets & otherwise mild personality flaws have turned into full blown psychological disorders. Ramona is not the only woman who has appeared on TV with an intent to stir up shit & she certainly isn’t the only one on this “Real Housewives…” rendition to partake in these dramatics.

        To sum up my point: I think you’re making a mountain out of a holemill.

      • Amy says:

        Well hurr, according to your statement, the ladies’ actions are so purposeful that no disorder is at the root of the really bad behaviors we watch each week. (What is wrong with me? I am a fan of the Jersey girls and the New Yorkers. I think it is because I don’t know anyone like these gals, and I find them fascinating.) I can accept your position that it is all contrived and purposeful, but we are discussing the author’s hypothesis that Ramona suffers a mental disorder, which is the root of her misbehavior.

        Angel explains above that the producers cast people with specific personalities that are extreme. Therefore, I think she believes that a disorder is the root cause of the extreme behaviors we watch. That tends to show me that she thinks the gals are acting according to their propensity to allow their “disorders” to control their actions. Therefore, I found the sly look on Ramona’s faced to be indicative of the fact that she acted in full consciousness of her meanness, and not involuntarily if you will. In other words we agree.

      • Dark Star says:

        @hurr — I think you meant making lemonade out of lemons :-)

    • angelofdevs says:

      She is, I find her highly watchable.

  7. rich says:

    I’ve never had pinot grigio before. I must remember to purchase several cases, then I can test your diagnosis firsthand.
    http://www.cal-italiawine.org/varietals/pinot_grigio.html

    • angelofdevs says:

      Regarding the alcohol, it is a depressant, to someone in a hypomanic state it could be a way to even out their mood a bit.

      • Maxine49 says:

        LOL, angelordevs, we found ourselves in a restaurant the other day ordering Pinot Grigio and when it was poured, we spontaneously toasted “to Ramona!” I think your conclusions are spot on. Thanks for the enjoyable reading.

  8. I just discovered your blog, and these insights are fascinating. As for Ramona, her behaviors reminded me of menopausal mood swings, and given her approximate age, I thought that might be the cause.

    Also given the revelations of her childhood this past season, I imagine that psychological factors are at play as well. An interesting mix, for a woman who seems to have a good heart, if not the Edit Button on her every thought as it exits her mouth.

    Your proposed explanation covers a broader and more specific spectrum of the incidents we’ve watched (than hormonal mood swings) – certainly as far as the RamonaCoaster rocks and rolls.

    Now as for the “Ramonics” in her speech? Any ideas?

    • angelofdevs says:

      I think many people have their own way of speaking but yes scattered and disjointed type speech could be from cyclothymia. They often have racing thoughts and rapid speech.

  9. dcscrewylouie says:

    Such an interesting “diagnosis” of The Ramona-coaster! I was sort of leaning towards good old-fashioned drunk (generally happy, but then plenty obnoxious if the blood/pinot G. level gets too outta whack.) But I think a call of hypomania is just about right. Brilliant!

    You are so correct that full blown, UNTREATED bipolar is out of the question. No way could she have that many successful businesses with that albatross around her neck. UNLESS she has been diagnosed with bipolar and is being treated, then success is highly possible. But I doubt this… no one being treated for a serious mental illness should drink THAT much pinot G. Who am I kidding? No one should evAH drink THAT much pinot G.

    I am inclined to debate the merits of a cyclothymia “diagnosis”, though. I rather agree with another commenter that we have not seen enough “down” Ramona to warrant that call. However, it seems others on the show have (she ain’t called the Ramona-coaster for nothin’), so you might be on to something. Do the Ramotions swing between “just” normal and hypo-, or does she swing down to depression, too? Or, perhaps Ramona IS just a well-meaning, occasionally obnoxious wino? I’m inclined to go with hypomanic, not full cyclothymia, but that’s just how I see it. All in all, I like her ditzy ways. Thanks, as always, for your wonderful and thought-provoking analysis, and everyone here for their thoughtful comments. Great community!

    • Amy says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Alcoholism. I am no expert on the subject either way, but Ramona has to be at least an alcoholic. I remember thinking that when she arrived at the fashion show, wine in hand, her own “second best glasses,” ready to pour for herself and others.

      • Jo Marie says:

        If Romona is alcoholic there must be some extreme editing going on. The scene on and after the Hooters boat is the only time we see her truly in extreme drunkenness. At her age she would most likely drink to and beyond that point quite frequently.

      • Sally M says:

        Alcohol alters moods. All the housewives mention that Ramona gets nasty after consuming wine. I just wonder how much of her mood swings are due to alcoholism. If she stopped drinking period, it would be interesting to see what her personality would be like.

  10. karenlee says:

    Did she say in her vows that she remembers the first wedding like it was yesterday and that she feels even more beautiful today? I found that an odd statement to be attached to her vows.
    Also, her thing with the eyes is intentional. Someone told her once that she had big beautiful eyes and she likes to remind people that she has that physical quality. I noticed that she was constantly throwing her hair over her shoulder, like a teen girl would when it was long, it’s a flirtation and a reminder of youth. She has a great body and she’s successful, her quirks are not so bothersome, I don’t think she intends to be rude or mean when she is and she is less damaged than say Kelly or Danielle or Jill.

  11. Yirssi says:

    I’d love to ask you a question about this post, but can’t find your contact information. If you have a chance, could you please email me some contact information. I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Karen Lee says:

      Yrssi, are you talking to me, Karenlee? How does one email someone from this blog and why are you uncomfortable asking the question(s) here? Thanks.

    • Karen Lee says:

      I asked why you were afraid to pose some questions here but I regret asking that. I should have asked why don’t you want to ask questions here.

    • angelofdevs says:

      Are you talking to me or another poster?

      • Karen Lee says:

        no, to yirssi. sorry. i had surgery today on my right hand not able to type well. i thought she/or he asked me a question and i was rude. using my left & slowly.

        i love this blog and i wish every one, even on the show could get along….but our issues get in the way.

  12. Jan says:

    I see her soft heart showing this season. In the first 2, she kept it protected but has shown her inner feelings and I feel that is healthy. I see some of the traits you mention also. Her rage about Simon coming to the all girls event and her rage about the booze posters at the charity event was not normal. That company donated 20k worth of booze and I felt it was their right to put posters behind the bar and Ramona and Jill were out of line there.

    • Marybelle says:

      I found the thing about the alcohol posters odd too, but I think she is a bit of a drama queen who likes something to get riled up about OR she mentioned it casually and Jill blew it out of proportion. It is so hard to tell with Jill who is the most reactive person on the show next to Kelly. blech.

  13. Mara says:

    Ramona is a paradox. I’ve hated her one moment and liked her the next. And I do think she’s this constantly up and down woman – we never know what we’ll get episode to episode – or even moment to moment. Crazy Ramona, inappropriate and mean Ramon, – funny, kind, thoughtful Ramona. So yes, I can see how this diagnosis fits.
    Thanks for another insightful blog!

  14. zero milligrams (o.m.g.) says:

    she’s goin’a be on you like white rice…

  15. Terry says:

    Hi there, Angel!

    I love, love your blog; you have a keen and analytical mind. I’m not sure about this diagnosis though.

    I’m bipolar and the daughter of a father who was abusive to my mother. My manias (and depressions) have a nasty, angry quality, with manipulation thrown in (something I don’t see but others do). When I’ve experienced rapid cycling, I’ve had a difficult time doing much of anything, although I am capable of achieving things in a neutral state.

    While I recognize that a person’s temperament and character will make one’s bouts of illness seem different from another’s, my feeling is that Ramona is too accomplished and “together” to suffer from cyclothymia.

    Could it be that her direct, acerbic and hurtful comments come from her not having learned to be tactful? That her impulsivemess is just that. And that her business skills are the result of having to accomplish a lot even in childhood?

    Then again, maybe you’re right. You’ve been spot on with other housewives.

    Anyway, thanks for blogging. You make me think and your analyses are fin to read, so my hope is that you’ll continue.

    Best wishes!

    • angelofdevs says:

      There are degrees within each illness for sure and yes no two illnesses are the same. I am grateful you are sharing your experience with us, it is very brave indeed. Bipolar is much more severe than cyclothymia and cyclothymics can be not only functioning but often very high functioning. You could also be right though.

      Many people are arguing for her being hypomanic only and I can see that, I just feel that there have been more ups and downs on prior seasons. I also feel Ramona’s downs present more as guilt and anxiety. This season Ramona has actually been the most even keeled we have seen her.

      • Marybelle says:

        maybe part of her renewal was therapy? Or the loss of her father helped her come to terms with a lot of her past and allowed her to open up more with others and also address issues she had been burying.

  16. Marybelle says:

    Even if Ramona is a complete nut, she’s still my favorite. :-)

  17. not oprah says:

    You really must do the Atlanta housewives. STAT

    • angelofdevs says:

      I think I will save those ladies for once I am through with Jersey and New York but they are awfully tempting subjects.

      • Sue says:

        So, that must mean that you think every one of the real housewives have some kind of disorder. I find it too contrived, that you are trying to fit every one into having some kind of disorder. And according to your analysis, I would think every man and woman in this world probably has a disorder. I do agree with you on Kelly, Jill and Danielle though – after reading your analysis and having watched them on the show, the diagnoses are very compelling. The rest, it seems like trying to ill fit their individual personality into an illness.

      • wachuset says:

        I agree that they are tempting subjects and as for Sue your statement that angel’s analysis seems to pinpoint that all of the housewives could have some disorder would correlate with every man or women having some disorder is right on the money. You may not be willing to admit that but every human being young and old alike has some type of personality disorder. Some disorders come in varying degrees that do not impact every day living, working, socializing etc. I have always watched people they fascinate me. The way the communicate their quirks the things that make them happy or set them off and even the interactions with others they exhibit. It can tell you allot about them. Many doctors watching “normal” people in scientific experiments will classify patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, morality, ethics, happiness in their subjects they would have a field day if they would be allowed those experiments on the rich and famous boy the stories they could sell.

  18. Brenda says:

    Angel and all, I’d like your opinion on the “regional” aspect of all of these women. This post may sound like a generalization, or (forgive me upfront) bigotted, but having lived on the west coast and in the south (I’ve visted NY often), I find people to be ‘generally’ quite different. West coast people are spread out and tend to not be very friendly (no eye contact in markets, enclosed in cars, keep opinions close to the chest), Southern “women” appear to be overly friendly and can easily disguise their comments like, “Well, bless your heart, aren’t you sweet” to really mean “B**ch, back off!”, whereas NY’ers tend to tell it like it is. In a city with sooo many people, I find that NY’ers are not unfriendly at all, but rather the opposite. They are not protective of their personal space — be it physical or verbal. I wonder if that’s not a big part of the way these women talk to each other and act the way they do. Albiet with cameras rolling, which obviously magnifies their behavior. I often think while watching this show… Thoughts? Am I out of line? Bless your heart (no really, I mean it! :))

    • wachuset says:

      I don’t think its a generalization but a fact. Your environment does impact your behavior. I am a New Yorker although I currently live in Alabama. New Yorkers are blunt (It’s hard for us to sugarcoat things or just put up with b*llsh*t), streetwise, risk takers and have been exposed to allot. We really do not have issues interacting with others physically or verbally. (Their are exceptions to the rule is this is not every New Yorker) When I moved to Alabama 4 years ago it was like a culture shock. I assumed people would be genuinely nice but their not. They tend to carry a facade of southern hospitality but it’s mainly for show. They will rip apart their own family members after Sunday services. When my girlfriends came for a visit we had a couple drinks talked about sex and the Southern girls were looking at us like we were “ho bags” although I personally know some of them have had extramarital affairs go figure with the hypocrisy. I definitely think where you grow and how you grow up is relevant to your personality. (Their are exceptions to the rule and this is not every Southerner)

      • Ole Miss Chi O says:

        If you dislike the South and Southerners so much, why don’t you move back to New York? Then you can talk sex without being thought of as a “hobag”.

        I’m sure 1-65 and I-59 both willl take you out of Alabama.

      • Brenda says:

        I don’t think she meant it as a “dislike” of southerners. I get it. I think a lot of what we hear/see from these ladies — whether it be “unfiltered” “blunt” or even “rude and bitchy” can be attributed to the fact that they simply are New Yorkers. No disrespect! For Bethany and Romona, I tend to think they just interact like a New Yorker. The other ladies fit the personality disorders as described by Angel quite well. Keeps us watching, and visiting sites likes these because they are so delicious.

      • wachuset says:

        Ole Miss Chi O I don’t dislike the South at all. It has many wonderful qualities that I embrace as well. I was born and raised in New York for thirty five years and was commenting on how environment does impact our personalities. I love NY the culture, diversity, energy etc. I am here because I want to be not because I have to be. I visit NY often because AL can’t compete with the BIG CITY. I love AL for its beauty, weather and football mania. I have many friends and love them all for their differences and accept them as they are. They accept me as I am “ho bag” and all because they know that whatever is thrown our way they can count on me to see them through the storm. Sex is like a second language to a New Yorker I would not expect you to understand that but I’m sure my NY ladies understand completely. I’m content in allowing you to keep the crown. Have a Blessed Day. / Brenda you were right on point……..wink wink.

      • Lou says:

        This is so interesting to read. I have been visiting the US 6 times for some weeks each time, and have visited a few states. Before going the first time, I heard so much negative about people in New York, both from Americans (online) and people here in Europe. They all told me that people there were so cold, didn’t care about others etc. But when I got to New York and started getting around the city (in my wheelchair, just being a tourist together with some friends who also are wheelchair users), I was shocked. No other place (I’ve travelled in many countries/continents) have I met so many friendly and helpful people. I couldn’t believe it the first time a busy businessman (in his pretty silk business suit, briefcase in hand, obviously hurrying on his way to something) stopped and offered to give me a hand to get up a hill (in most large cities, people hurry around, just minding their own business). I mean, a complete stranger!!! I thought it had to be an exception, but I soon found out that it wasn’t. Ever since that first visit, I have gone back several times, as I soon came to love that city. But hadn’t it been for all the friendly people there, I would never have had such a positive experience. The city is buzzing and pulsating and has so much to offer, but without the friendly athmosphere the people there gives the city, it wouldn’t have been interesting at all. When I was around in a city in North Carolina, many greeted you “How are you?”, but it seemed more “automatic”, if I can put it that way, everybody just responding automatically with the standard “Fine/Great, how are you?” (not as if they ask because they actually care and want an honest answer)… They didn’t stop to talk in the way that so many New Yorkers have done when I’ve been there, so many engage in an actual conversation, something that especially is so much fun and so interesting when you are a tourist. But, just so that is clear, I loved the people in NC too, those that I met because of attending something with them, where we were in a setting where people naturally meet and get to know eachother. They were wonderful (just as most people in this world are, even if we have our differences!)! The difference for me between the people in NYC and in NC was in the way I experienced strangers meeting strangers on the street etc. – that just seemed different. I can’t wait until my next visit to New York. It’s been a while now and I often find myself missing it and wanting to go back! (but I love to get out of there too, it is soooo wonderful to get away from the noise of that city during summer, especially all those AC units etc. making that loud humming sound (maybe better during winter?) – I guess that for me it makes it a perfect city to visit for a while. Wouldn’t have minded living there for a while though, would have been quite an experience! Maybe some day? :) )

        I experience the exact same thing where I live, people *in general* are clearly influenced by the local culture where they live. Some places people are much more open and inviting than other places. Etc. etc… I think that’s the case in every country…

  19. Liza says:

    I am OBSESSED with your blog!! I think your diagnosis of cyclothymia for Ramona sounds very fitting. I’ve personally taken an interest in understanding what makes Ramona, Ramona since season 1. The first thing that always popped into my head when attempting to understand her behavior (and her bulging eyes) was cocaine abuse. Her mood “highs” would be associated with the drug’s highs and symptoms of euphoria and increased energy, excitement, and sociability, whereas her mood “lows” would be associated with the drug’s withdrawal symptoms of irritability, agitation, restless behavior, and depressed mood. Her rapid mood swings would also be explained by this, as the cocaine high generally lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, allowing her to experience a high, a withdrawal, (and possibly another high) within a relatively short time period. This also provides an explanation for her bulging eyes.

  20. Lex says:

    Ahhh… so this is the scientific name for the RamonaCoaster. Regardless of her diagnosed disorder, I adored her this season- she seemed a heck of a lot more loving and together, and won a new fan for how she held herself together on Scary Island/renewed her vows.

    I wouldn’t mind a course in Ramonics. Even if it gave me “pronounced” eyes.

  21. Terry says:

    I’m loving Liza’s opinion. Coke would cause the ups and downs. Then there’s the Pinot Grigio.

    On the other hand, Ramona’s face and body are great, and I would imagine steady use of coke and booze would show. I’m wondering now how much she actually partakes of famous Pinot Grigio. Ramona rarely looks or seems drunk.

    Is it possible to have cyclothymia so mild that one can function at a very high level? I ask because even the mildest hypomania renders me disoriented and confused, though I may not realize it at the time. My cognition is illogical — and it shows.

    I’m also confused because, as I understand it, even mild cyclothymia would make one angry, bitchy and edgy — on a level much sharper than that exhibited by Ramona.

    But what do I know? Not all of us are necessarily afflicted in a debilitating way.

    Well, whatever ails her, I enjoy Ramona. She’s entertaining and doesn’t seem cunning. I like that when she’s bitchy, she’s openly bitchy, to the person’s face, and then she feels guilty and scandalized. She’s not passive aggressive. She doesn’t seem devious to me.

  22. Sarah says:

    Ramona definately lacks a filter, and as the child of an alcoholic I tend to think she is a functioning lush. Obviously she is able to have a very successful career and perform in everyday life, which makes me think she is not a total drunk. I do wonder though if she self medicates with any other medications which may mimic the personality disorder you describe. I remember in one episode, LuAnn was talking about how all the middle age women were taking Adderall. This type of stimulant drug would cause the high energy, impulsivity, etc. But really it doesn’t matter, Ramona could just be eccentric. I love to watch her blunt honesty, and I would love to have a quarter of her energy. She seems to be a genuine person, which is really lacking from some of the other cast members like Jill, Kelly, and LuAnn.

    • Jo Marie says:

      I think it was Sonia who mentioned the Adderall, neither Kelly or Luann where willing to take up the subject with her. I remember thinking it could explain a lot of the weird behavior. How ever, I’ve tried to converse with someone abusing that drug and it is very difficult. The speech is so rapid it is unintelligible so it is impossible to determine weather the thought pattern is reasonable or not.

  23. Joy Day says:

    WOW…we all have personality disorders. Maybe I need to “PAY ATTENTION” to what I may have….um I think it’s hooked on Housewives…LOL!!

    • dcscrewylouie says:

      Oh, that’s too priceless… we all have HOH (Hooked on Housewives)!

      • wachuset says:

        Love that …I have HOH. I think that means I can have another skinnygirl margarita…..whoohooo.

      • Maxine49 says:

        I just tried the Skinny Girl Margaritas the other day—bought a bottle …finished it in two days—went back and bought two more…gave one to my sister…the other is on the shelf. It’s really, really good…you must try it. I’m so happy for Bethenny. I live in Massachusetts and the “package store” (that’s what we call liquor stores up here) owner said it is blowing off the shelves! Bravo, Bethenny….or as Ramona would say “Kaduze.”

  24. GloriasGlam says:

    What is the difference between this disorder and bipolar disorder?

  25. Karen Lee says:

    she just becomes more fun to watch & she has to be savy to run all those businesses, I would be drinking a lot more than her.

  26. Jan says:

    I love Ramona. I hope she comes back next season.

  27. Lorill says:

    Could someone who really hangs out with the high society of New York please explain the social strata in Manhattan?

    Sonja is clearly hanging out with the old money via her Morgan marriage and probably with the contacts that she has developed over the years, like Ivana Trump.

    Sonja and Kelly have been at the same parties . . .but Kelly was married to a famous photographer, so how does that make her high society? Kelly did competitive horse riding in the Hamptons, but there must be something else. In Season 2, Kelly made it clear that Bethenny was down here and that Kelly was up here . .I’m assuming social circles.

    Luann knew Sonja, but I’m not sure that there is actual money behind the title. Andy Cohen mentioned in aghast when Kathy Griffin was on “Watch What Happens” that the townhouse Luann was residing in before the divorce was rented. So Luann seems a notch or two below Sonja.

    Ramona and her husband seem to be very well off since their residence in Manhattan is clearly larger than Jill and Bobby’s. It seems like Mario comes from a moneyed family, but I don’t know. Ramona has worked for her money and status. Ramona knew Sonja . .but from Sonja’s single days, so probably doesn’t hang out in the same social circles. Ramona has a beautiful place in the Hamptons, but doesn’t know anything about horse competitions. So I suppose she is not part of the old money, high society.

    Bethenny didn’t seem to know any of the other housewives before the show, but seems to have alot of business contacts. So her father was a horse breeder, but how does that fit into NY society?

    Alex seems to have come from some money since she said that her mother used to live in St. John’s or something. Since she lives in Brooklyn and her husband isn’t super wealthy, I assume NY society would look down on her. She does have a manner that does indicate “good breeding”.

    Jill wants to be high society, but didn’t know Sonja, Luann, or Kelly before the show. She flaunts alot, but the Manhattan apartment seems very small. They have a place in the Hamptons, but doesn’t impress me as going to horse competitiions. Her accent and speech paterns are not refined, so I would assume, it would turn off high society.

    So someone please explain to me the NY society pecking order.

    • Jan says:

      NONE of the NY housewives were born into money. Jill is from Long Island. Ramona said her mother is from Brooklyn as they would go to her grandma’s in Brooklyn when her dad abused her mom. Sonja is from upper state NY. LuAnn was a model & nurse. Although Bethenny’s parents divorced early and she said neither loved her, someone had money as Bethenny was sent to boarding school as a child. Bethenny was an event planner which would expose her to high society and many wealthy people own race horses which she group at the tracks. The other housewives MARRIED into money. If the husbands left them all broke, Alex, Bethenny, Ramona, and Sonja would do well. The others would not. LuAnn is desperately trying to make it with her own skills. Her book failed and now she is doing the music. Jill has an easy job at Zarin Fabrics which Bobby owns. Jill has a real estate license but she does not use it.

    • Maxine49 says:

      Hang on, the Trumps are NOT “old money”…not in the least. “Old money” means money that was in families before the Federal Income tax laws were passed. That’s when/how massive fortunes were earned and kept. The Trump fortune started with Trump’s father after WWII. Morgan money is “old money” but I doubt that Sonja, now divorced, remains in that social strata. Really, though, there isn’t that much “old money” around anymore. It’s all nouveau riche money…and non of these women are even close to being really rich–well off, yes, but rich—nope–they wouldn’t be on reality TV if they were. None of these women will ever make the Forbes list.

  28. Pingback: No Good News From Booze » Blog Archive » RHONY's Ramona Singer – Cyclothymia (Cyclothymic Disorder) | A …

  29. windycitygal says:

    Wow, fun reading, this would make an interesting flow chart.

    Just to add a couple recollections….. I read somewhere that Bethenny babysat for Paris & Nicky Hilton when they were young girls. So I would guess that B comes from some old, solid money. I’m sure even to babysit for a family like the Hiltons you would have to have an “in”.
    Also, at last season’s reunion, Jill made several comments about Kelly’s apartment was “much much more expensive” than Jill’s (they were calling Kelly out on driving a pickup truck or something…). I’m sure Jill knows down to the last penney what all of her fellow castmates are worth!

  30. IpreferOregonPinots says:

    Hi, this week my therapist told me that she thinks I suffer from mild cyclothymia, so reading this post about Ramona has been very interesting to me. I just experienced a mild hypomanic episode – man was it fantastic. I couldn’t stop talking, though I always made sense, and once I noticed this behavior I was able to stop it. I think that being on this show may be fueling Ramona’s hypomania, which is why we always see her so up. Even her mood swings are manic, but not really depressive. I think this might come when the camera leaves permanently.

    As for all the posters who say she can’t be cyyclothymic because we never see her depressed, let me ask you this – do you think she’s going to tell the cameras if she’s suicidal? I was pretty much on the verge of suicide a few months ago and NO ONE knew, not even my therapist. I could pull everything together and go to work – put on a happy face there, etc. And I absolutely NEVER cried, not to anyone. Crying does not equal depression. Friends might notice that I seemed stressed, but that is all. And as Angeldevs has written, cyclothymiacs can be high-functioning – I have an executive job and am considered highly competent. I’m just able to bs my way through episodes where my thoughts are racing and I can’t concentrate.

    Something else I’ve noticed – exercise can help “even out” people with this disorder. It definitely helps me moderate my moods, and I only became really depressed when an injury kept me from daily exercise. Ramona is a fitness nut too – maybe because it’s her healthy way of self-medicating.

  31. Lisa says:

    Great Blog, but yOU’RE OVER THINKING THIS. i,TOO, HAVE A PSYCH BACKGROUND (1974) including a Masters, but my background is in experimental psych and research. (Not interested in the clinical stuff.) i shy away from labels, preferring a more individualized AND PRagmatic approach. After time spent at IBM, home raising kids and 25 yrs in a Middle School, if asked, I’D SAY THAT RAMONA is suffering from reality showitis, stress, and difficulty adapting combined with midlife hormonal issues. Menopause-pre, post and right in the thick of it! It makes some of us act like we have had way too MUCH pinot grigio at times….(Now, Kelly…..she does have issues! ;) (BTW-just sliced my finger and the bandaid is causing the neurotic keyboarding….not lack of education, anger and rebellion or digital Tourette’s SYNDROME. Must adapt………Yup. Unless you know someone, take an individualized and pragmatic approach.)

    • angelofdevs says:

      LOL no worries about the typing, hope the finger heals well.

      I am not giving an actual written in stone diagnosis but rather my opinion of what is causing the behavior and why I think that way, in no way am I taking this as seriously as you worry I might be. I agree the self medicating these women do can change what we see but I think a lot of it is to ease the underlying issues, not the liquor or drugs as the sole cause of problems. The labels as such are a way to explain. I have said before these disorders are on a sliding scale at any rate, some of the women are clearly dealing with their particular issues better than others. Besides, I never claimed to have all the answers and this is reality TV observances, not therapy.

      I really do appreciate the post though :). I totally get that true professionals may be put off by it but I am grateful you bring your concerns in a respectful way.

  32. Pingback: Kelly Killoren Bensimon – Update – Schizoaffective Disorder | A Real Housewife's View

  33. Pingback: RHONY’s Jill Zarin- The Classic Narcissist | A Real Housewife's View

  34. Pingback: RHONY’s LuAnn de Lesseps – Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder | A Real Housewife's View

  35. Pingback: RHONY’s Bethenny Frankel- Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder | A Real Housewife's View

  36. cyclothymia says:

    Cyclothymia is not commonly known. Perhaps one reason is because symptoms are often not so severe that one will seek treatment.

    Cyclothymics, like those diagnosed bipolar, alternate between depressive and manic phases. Actually, with cyclothymia true mania is not reached. The proper term to describe this phase is hypomanic.

    During the depressive phase, cyclothymics experience low confidence, fatigue, negative thoughts and loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities. During the hypomanic phase confidence returns in excess, though mood may be irritable, sleep difficulties may be present and there are reduced inhibitions.

    It is possible that cyclothymia will progress into full bipolar disorder. This illness is usually diagnosed in the teenage or young adult years.

  37. Susana says:

    Is Dysthamia the same as cyclothymia?

  38. Wall St Man says:

    What medication is usually prescribed for cyclothymia ? Is lythium used ? Do u think Romana takes meds for it ? Most important isn’t it dangerous to drink while on any mood drug ?

  39. Songbird9987 says:

    I actually think that Ramona suffers from Graves disease. She seems manic and her “crazy eyes” lead me to believe that she needs to see an endocrinologist and not a psychiatrist.

  40. weightwait says:

    Wow, these profiles were so fun to read. I think you hit the nail on the head! I find Bethenny most likeable simply because she is self-aware. What a crazy bunch of broads!

  41. T says:

    I think Ramona is high on Cocaine. In close ups there is white gunk in her nose and look at her pupils. Not only that she rubs her nose more than the others. These are classic signs, which she displays.

  42. Jane says:

    I keep wondering why oh why you don’t at least address the issue of Ramona’s over consumption of alcohol. To a woman, everyone says that Ramona is different when she drinks and the hints are always there that she drinks too much. Frequently, alcoholic behaviour is misdiagnosed as bipolar or cyclothymia. Functional alcoholics, with wide mood swings and abusive behaviour which blames everyone and everything else is very common.

  43. Lee says:

    Romana Singer is definitely on adderall. All the symptoms are there.

  44. Whatever says:

    Whatever she is, she’s an alcoholic. She needs to address that. We can speculate all day about her underlying issues, but she has definitely had a rough upbringing, so there are environmental issues at play there, and Ramona is not the type to seek out therapy for those. She is the type to sweep things under the rug, unlike past-season former housewife Bethenny, who goes for therapy and get things out in the open.

    This season, with a glass of wine constantly in her hand when she wasn’t barking for one to be placed there, and being belligerent toward her fellow housewives and downright mean to many other people on the show, and shown almost constantly drunk, I think we can agree that Ramona Singer is an alcoholic.

  45. Whatever says:

    Reading up, I have to agree with Jane. It is easy to misdiagnose alcoholism with mental illness. Not everyone who is an alcoholic is mentally ill. I don’t think Ramona is mentally ill; I just think she had some family issues in her past that she never dealt with, and on top of it, she never got her drinking under control, and it’s just gotten worse and worse. Alcoholics can be mean and feel they can say whatever they want to people with no consequences whatsoever. I don’t think Ramona would have such drastic mood swings if it weren’t for her Pinot Grigio. And yes, she could also use some therapy because she doesn’t know when to shut her mouth. She has hurt a lot of people and needs to wake up and realize she really is an alcoholic.

  46. Melany B says:

    Fascinating reading….just read every post and enjoyed every one. I recently read somewhere that in Ramona’s contract with Bravo there is a clause about her beloved Pinot…hahaha……..that she may, in every scene, when possible, make reference to or show her beloved Ramona Pinot Grigio (spell check) wine…….sigh, sigh, sigh.

  47. mandy says:

    I too noticed the white stuff in Ramona’s nostrils.

  48. I do believe all of the concepts you have introduced in your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for starters. Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  49. gina says:

    what about her eyes? I think she’s on speed…. I have Bipolar disorder and my eyes don’t look like that….

  50. J says:

    It seems to me with this many lay/semi prof diagnosises (jeesh is that a word and how do you spell the plural of diagnosis) Anway, that there is definitely enough signs for a BRAVO intervention if they give a hoot. When I watch her I feel so hyped from her hyper speech and actions I am afraid she is going to just explode from the sheer hyperness. Doesn’t anyone care enough to get her into some treatment for a true and proper diagnosis. Cyclowhatever, bipolar, alcoholism, cocaine, depression, ADD, adderall addiction, – serious stuff. Shame on Bravo to let this go like they did with other Housewives clearly exhibiting serious life illnesses, including spousal abuse, alcoholism etc. They could at least make the attempt to get her some intervention. But Ramona NEVER admits or thinks she is wrong or did anything. Its ALWAYS the other people that mess with her. Still Bravo or her family should try. I cannot imagine how that man has stayed married to her. They never talk about his profession or job. Is he living off of her?

  51. 2rcom4t says:

    Let not leave out the fact that she is in the beginning stages of menopause which can heighten every behavior and Alcohol just makes it worse. And Bravo isn’t going to do anything about it because that would mean she could be out of the picture.

  52. Angelia says:

    There is nothing mild about Ramona she’s just a nut case someone get her help before she kills somebody! I don’t think its funny having her on that show!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s