Welcome to my second blog about the psychological disorders displayed on the Real Housewives series featured on Bravo. Once again I do have a psych degree but I am not a practicing psychologist. These blogs are intended for entertainment purposes only, mostly my own entertainment I will admit.
Thanks so much for the responses on my first attempt at bloganalysis. I do love any and all comments, feel free to disagree or point out flaws in logic. I am open to anything.
I could not resist tackling the juicy subject of Kelly Killoren Bensimon today. If you watched last night, I am sure you know why. Kelly is one of the women featured on Bravo’s Real Housewives Of New York City, also known as RHONY. It does not take a psych degree to see that Ms. Bensimon is suffering from a case of paranoid personality disorder.
People with paranoid personality disorder are highly suspicious of other people. They also are usually unable to acknowledge their own negative feelings towards other people in any realistic way. They generally do not work well with others, feeling as if they will be exploited or otherwise harmed. When paranoid people are in any way confronted or feel threatened, they tend to respond either by detaching emotionally or reacting with hostility that can even manifest in physical violence.
Kelly on the surface seems to be a very social and self confident individual. We see her party hop, chatter and generally act the part of typical socialite. Appearances can be deceptive. Kelly may also be active in her social life but she fails to connect with anyone, even her own children, on any significant level.
Case in point, when she posed for Playboy magazine. She took her daughters to lunch for a conversion about what was going on and I imagine to prep them for what was to come. The entire exchange was fraught with complete misunderstanding by Kelly of everything her kids said as well as a total misread by Kelly of how the children actually felt. There was no connection, it was a going through the motions type of talk. At one point her daughter praised her for working hard for them and Kelly took it as she was saying Kelly was hard on them. Why would that be where Kelly goes? Odd, no?
Kelly does not like Bethenny Frankel. Instead of telling her that or owning that emotion to others, Kelly instead will tell you that Bethenny hates her. She will add that Ms Frankel has attempted to smear her in the press and even that Bethenny has tried to kill her and harm her innocent children. I don’t think Ms Bensimon has any clue why Bethenny or anyone else would dislike her or her behaviors, any negativity is perceived as a direct attack and not dealt with rationally.
I will give her that Bethenny does not like her and indeed has probably made many comments that have made it into the papers. I am sure every housewife is guilty of that in varying degrees, some is probably just normal talk that worms its way down to reporters and some probably is indeed blatant feeding to the press trolls. That kind of press goes with reality TV and really any type of fame in general and you need to realize that going in. I think most rational adults would.
The idea though that any of the housewives tried in any way to harm Kelly’s children is patently ridiculous. I am just not drinking that Kool Aid thanks. As for the Bethenny is killing me comments, well if it had been said in an ironic tone then I would get it. Trouble is, it was not. Kelly honestly seems to believe that Bethenny Frankel is legitimately plotting to kill her. Yes that is indeed paranoia and crosses into legitimate full blown disease.
Kelly maintains a façade of self confidence. If you watch her interactions carefully you will see how often she engages in approval seeking. I think that may be some of the reason she ignores other women for the most part socially, she perceives them as a threat. With men she gets the positive reinforcement she craves, as they are more apt to appreciate her appearance.
Her relationships with women, when she does have them, are odd. She has befriended Jill and meekly accepts Jill’s corrections of her behaviors, even her way of speaking. She is obviously desperate for the acceptance of Jill Zarin, that would not be the case if she truly had self esteem. She defends this woman to everyone (to her own detriment) and in return gets how many times she says *like* counted at her. Yes that is a whipped puppy’s behavior, not the alpha dog.
Kelly does not work well with others. Awhile back the women tried to organize a charity event Jill Zarin was hosting. Kelly’s first reaction was to insist she doesn’t put her name on anything, implying that her good name would somehow be harmed if she were associated with the endeavor. She seemed suspicious of the motives of the others for being involved as well.
During a vacation shown this week on Bravo, Kelly displayed a lot of her general feeling that everyone is out to get her. A varying times she refered to others as witches, mean, vile and even accused one castmate of “channeling the Devil” himself. She at times self isolated and at others lashed out toward at least three of the women. Her ramblings were illogical, at times even unintelligible. Her anger was of an inappropriate level to the given situations as well.
Whenever emotions were shown she grew more uncomfortable and agitated, even when the emotions were innocuous or not directed at her in any way. She read into every situation a threat against her personally. She raged against anyone who was visibly feeling anything, claiming it was *so 1979*. I confess the amateur shrink in me wonders exactly what happened to Ms Bensimon during that particular year as it is an otherwise completely random choice. She told numerous people to zip it and otherwise shut their mouth, as she clearly could not handle conversation of any type. A true breakdown occurred and I doubt we saw even close to the worst of it.
I also must go into a real life incident off show. Kelly Killoren Bensimon admitted she hit her real life boyfriend Nick Stefanov in March of this year as part of a plea deal. She in return did not have to plead guilty and served two days of community service. When this incident was mentioned on the show it was presented as Kelly volunteering. The fact remains she did legally admit to resorting to violence in a confrontation with her then boyfriend. Not exactly the action of someone in control of themselves. I think after watching a recent episode I can see how it might have come about.
I think Sonja Morgan may have saved more harm coming to anyone else during the vacation scenes. She calmly and rationally made everyone realize the powder keg was ready to blow. Do I think it could have escalated in something dangerous? Yes I really do. Luckily dispassionate calmness is indeed the best way to defuse paranoia.
At any rate I do indeed feel that Kelly Killoren Bensimon is a true case of Paranoid Personality Disorder but again, judge for yourselves.
Other common symptoms include:
- Concern that other people have hidden motives
- Expectation that they will be exploited by others
- Inability to work together with others
- Poor self image
- Social isolation