11/21/2011 03:55 pm ET Updated Jan 21, 2012

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills : Stunted Growth

The first season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was -- as would be expected -- grand, opulent, and ostentatious. This second season, though, has delved into many more issues and the once innocent fun is clouded by reports of abuse and suicide.

As a result, I've seen many multifaceted dynamics and read enough viewers' comments that I wanted to share my thoughts as well.  A couple things first:
  • Although it is "reality TV," we all know that it's only real to a certain point.  What we see is the truth diluted with clever edits, exaggerations, and sly suggestions.
  • The following views are my own interpretation of the "reality" I've seen -- combined with my psychology background -- and how it relates to lessons I've learned.
 Stunted Growth  After this week's episode, I've read countless comments that went something like this:

"Taylor's behavior was completely childish."  
"She really seemed like she was in elementary school."
"'Girls, back me up,' 'Lisa said I don't have any friends.' Are we in high school again??"

The thing is, if Taylor is as emotionally and mentally messed up as she claims, she could have a grade school mentality. One thing that's known among addicts is that emotional and mental growth is essentially stunted at the time addiction develops.  I can say that for me and others I've known who had eating disorders, when we began recovering, we had a lot of catching up to do maturity-wise and often reacted to things differently than our non-addict friends would.

Even still, I'll occasionally find myself reacting to something much differently than my other friends, and I'll try to ask myself, Is Adia of the past reacting or is this present-day Adia?  It helps me to call myself out (or for my friends to call me out), look at the issue, and either adjust my thought process or accept it.

If Taylor does have some sort of addiction or trauma that occurred when she was younger, she too could be emotionally and mentally stunted.  That obviously doesn't bode well if she's dealing with "age-appropriate" adults, but with help, it is something she can work on and improve. It's not necessarily easy, but it's worth it.