Editor's note: Dr. Drew Pinsky, a board-certified internist, regularly interviews people in the spotlight to learn more about their emotional lives. Bristol Palin will be Dr. Drew’s guest on a special edition of "Dr. Drew" on HLN Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.
One thing jumped out at me over and over again when I interviewed Bristol Palin: She had difficulty identifying and expressing feelings.
Even when pressed, she was unable to dig deep and readily find an emotional response.
Based on how Bristol described her family, the Palins seem to exhibit what in my line of work is called an “enmeshed” family. It’s more than being close. It’s being too close.
Members are extensions of each other. It’s hard to tell, for example, where mom begins and daughter ends. Boundaries are blurred. Each feels that she’s essential to the other’s happiness, even survival.
And while it is not an awful situation it can be a handicap.
Bristol's message: Don't skip your pill
In more severe enmeshment, individual identity suffers. Sense of self can be totally lost. A person is ultimately unable to look within. So he or she acts out.
And this, I believe, is what may have happened to Bristol to some degree. She was the proverbial “good girl” with loving, supportive and well-meaning parents. She was exactly the daughter that they needed to her to be. But when they didn’t keep up their end of the bargain and became too busy, the enmeshment became more complicated.
It’s tough when your mother is Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska.
Bristol Palin: Being a teen mom is hard
Bristol lost her virginity to “bad boy” Levi Johnston while drunk on wine coolers. As she explains in her new book, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far," she’d lied about him and what they were doing. She lied to her parents, and to herself.
And then came baby Tripp. Bristol was forced to publicly confront the reality of being pregnant during the 2008 presidential campaign. Her mother, John McCain’s running mate, was even less available to Bristol than ever. For a girl who grew up seeing her mom and herself as one, this was beyond difficult.
Bristol: I'm not accusing Levi of rape
Bristol is sweet, genuine, and intelligent. She has so much to offer. And she has a platform. The country is listening to what she has to say. But she needs to work hard to develop a sense of who she is. She is Bristol Palin. Not Sarah.
Follow @DrDrew and @CNNHealth on Twitter
I hope she is on the Palin bus and all of them go off a cliff.Dr Drew is such a moron.What happened to him since loveline to make him so creepy?
Dr Drew should know that where there's no sense, there's no feeling...
Dr. Drew is an internest and he is making snap psych decisions about a family? How cheap is he for ratings. very very cheap. almost all teen girls first lie to their parents about pregnancy at first for all kinds of reasons. that is normal. Dr. Drew is desperate to keep his worthless show on the air. He is weak in stature and personality.
"Dr. Drew is an internest" Oh, snap. You really zinged him there.
This kid need some schooling along with her mom.Daughter like mom
So, Bristol Palin got Levi Johnston drunk on wine coolers. Did Sarah buy them for her?
Well, the sea is the greatest ore body, and there is more gold in the sea than on land. I cubic mile of sea water connaits 0.02 tons of gold. Unfortunately it is uneconomic to extract. The cost of trying to extract this gold, mixed with 165 million tons of other dissolved material, from such a large volume of water, is greater than the value of the gold.
For someone who would be a big fat nobody if she hadn't gotten pregnant Bristol sure likes life as a rich celebrity whiner.
So what does this woman do for a living? Does she have a degree? So far all we've seen is Dancing with the stars, a book to set the record straight about Levi, and interviews with Dr. Drew. I 'd be kind of worried if my kid were her age and didn't have anything substantial going on yet. She's an underachiever, a non-producer.
She's supposedly going to attend college in the fall. One certainly hopes she does so. At some point the professional celebrity of being Bristol Palin will wear off and she needs something to fall back upon with a child to support. Her position with the Abstinence education isn't likely to continue. Their funding is gone and since their program doesn't work on 80% of youth there's no point in teaching abstinence as a method of birth control.
"She's supposedly going to attend college in the fall."
Hmmmm. I wonder how she's going to do that at the same time she's supposedly going to be in some sort of hokey reality show with the brothers Kyle and Chris Massey? Or did that fall through?
I really wonder – what did the Palin family every do to so many people that they feel a need to demean them and call them names – as far as i can tell – none of them every did anything to any of the above – so I ask what is your problem. For god sake, Bristal is a young 20 year old girl who has done nothing different and thousands of other girls, I don't see you stupid people raking on them
The University of New Mexico is a high ranking university. You should sign up for some classes.
Perhaps you should take some remedial English classes with sarah. Of course, she'll also need to take remedial geography and civics also.
Thousands of other girls aren't helping their moms get elected to jobs where they could do real damage to this country.
Teen pregnancy is a retialy in this country. I hope the Bristol's pregnancy will open conversations across the country with mothers and daughters. Girls need to know that this can happen to everyone, not just teen celebs. It is honorable that she will be having the baby and in the height of her pregnancy while promenading through the political arena. I hope the media isn't cruel to her. She is after all a teenager that obviously made a poor judgment call.
Dr. Drew always has been and always will be the most foul, base sewer-level sack of human filth ever to hold a doctor's license. He harvest souls for cash and I truly hope he and his evil heart and soul die. A real doctor does not engage in public diagnoses, and too many of his patients have died or relapsed. He is a sick dog that should be put down before he hurts anyone else.
I'd like to address these rumors that Dr. Drew is FING me. Not only are they not true, but Dr. Pinsky is butch. Thank you.
that someone else would call me back about this, but I haven\'t heard aninyhtg yet. I can\'t remember the name of this person, (Dan?), but wouulde be grateful if you would pass this message on. My number is [---]. I teach, so I can\'t be reached until about 4.45pm on weekdays.I look forward to hearing from you soon.Alex Galvin
Sometimes, you just have to close the gaps in the link to get the whole story:
http :/ / politicalgates .blogspot. com /2011/06/bris tol-palin-tells-her-story-of. html
The link above takes you to a montage of screen grabs from Bristol's 2007 MySpace page, where she muses about being overheard talking about how she might be pregnant (Looooong before Levi Johnston came a'knockin at her door...), numerous nights of drinking and getting stoned... yup, Levi "stole" her virginity all right! NOT.
Really? So she's a liar just like her mother?
Why am I so surprised? It runs in families.
LISTENING to Bristol Palin? An uneducated wannabe celebrity? That's really really offensive Dr Drerw, to even thinik anyone gives a hoot about what she has to say.
The whole Palin family is a steaming, stinking pile of filthy white trailer trash.
I like battery operated buttplugs.
I am going to list "twittery" as a new paraphilia in my next book.
Palin vs. Bachmann!
Splitting the Republican Party three ways, and a Meowrrrr hissy-fittin' battle to the finish.
Make a bucket of Orville Reddinwhatisspellin, crank back the Barcalounger, tap the pony keg, AC to high, ...Nirvana!
Marcus Bachmann is gay.
the country is listening to her? are you joking?
Only the numbnuts
"Bristol lost her virginity to “bad boy” Levi Johnston while drunk on wine coolers"
The darn broad is using my excuse
Ok its time to put a muzzle on the pigs in lipstick and on proud to be a Republican
Maybe you need to have DR Drew work with your hate issues.
Is it really hateful to tell someone that their fly is open? Because Sarah Palin is your open fly, Republicans, and you are going to get that thing caught in a door if you don't zip it back up.
Nicely executed, old friend.
Will never understand liberals' hate for and obsession with the Palin family. Its sad.
Will never understand Conservatives hate for Obama and his family...
Having contempt for evil in its most banal manifestations isn't hate, it's just the practice of good social hygiene. Besides, even if they didn't actively seek to serve evil the Palins epitomize how dumbed down segments of our society have become. I've had dogs with greater intelligence and useful life insight than Bristol Palin, and her mother is the phrasebook example of a 'box of rocks'.
New website coming soon... "All Palin, All Hate, All the Time.com"
Uh oh, Dr. Drew, now you've done it. You've said something that can be seen as negative towards a member of Sarah's family. Prepare to feel the hate and irrational fury of her fanbase!
Difficulty expressing herself huh? And yet she wrote an entire book...INCREDIBLE!
Co-written (meaning written by) Nancy French...do you really think she or any other celebs write their own book?
First of all, I did not realize Dr. Pinsky is NOT a therapist, he is an internist. Yet he postures as though he is a certified counselor/therapist. Second, boy, did he drink Bristol's kool aid or what??? Above he states, she was a "good girl". From what I hear from people in Wasilla, (and this came out right after her mommy's VP nomination), she was known as a stupid party girl who drank like a fish and slept around. She didn't get good grades. She and Levi were sleeping together openly in the Palin's home. Dr. Drew, do your homework and check out some of the blogs out there. Another fluff interview, with no real, hard questions and certainly no honest answers. No wonder I don't watch tv anymore.
You get your news about the Palins from blogs? Try doing YOUR homework.
To sea-libtard: Blogs are more reliable than getting information about the Palins from a Palin. It's a well known and provable fact that Sarah Palin, for example, is a liar.
Her Truth Index is an appalling minus -36.67. (Barack Obama's is plus +11.36, very good for a politician)
Wait, did I read that right? Whatever happen to "Abstinence"
At least the "pill" message has a shred of truth and reality to it.
"Bristol lost her virginity to “bad boy” Levi Johnston while drunk on wine coolers."
This is the funniest part of this whole made-up How-I-"Lost"-My-Virginity fairy story. Wine coolers? Alaskan teens drink the hard stuff. "Wine coolers" are soooo 1980's!!! As a matter of fact, it sounds like something Sarah threw into the story to attempt to make poor Bristol look less of a drunk....FAIL.
Let me guess-Bristol and her tent-dweller friends were also listening to the Go-Go's that night. LMFAO!!!!!
"Based on how Bristol described her family, the Palins seem to exhibit what in my line of work is called an “enmeshed” family. It’s more than being close. It’s being too close."
Sarah HAS to keep all of them close enough so no one opens a closet door and lets the skeletons out!
The entire Palin family are ridiculously ignorant opportunists and Dr. Drew's attempts to pander to them diminishes what little reputation that he has as a professional therapist.
I don't consider Bristol's inability to express herself due to any kind of "enmeshed family" theory. I give more weight to the "not too bright, no world view, lack of common sense, unrefined, intellectually lacking" gene she inherited from both her mother and her father.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.