Month: April 2015

brain

Ask about BPD: Is BPD Real?

Today’s  question: Is BPD real or is it a matter of being too sensitive and living through a lot of stuff? What is BPD? Borderline Personality Disorder is a chronic mental health condition that most noticeably disrupts emotion regulation in the people who have it. The DSM-5 (the most current edition) defines it as: “Typical features of borderline personality disorder are instability of self-image, personal goals, interpersonal relationships, and affects, accompanied by impulsivity, risk taking, and/or hostility. Characteristic difficulties are apparent in identity, self-direction, empathy, and/or intimacy, along with specific maladaptive traits in the domain of Negative Affectivity, and also Antagonism and/or Disinhibition.” A big part of BPD is a fear of abandonment. It might be real or might be perceived. People who have BPD suffer from chronic feelings of emptiness, markedly impoverished self-esteem, unstable relationships (love/hate), suicidal ideations, and usually some type of self harm or substance use. Suicide attempts are incredibly common, though aren’t present in every person who has BPD. Origins Developing BPD is mostly the result of some sort of childhood trauma …

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BPD Voices Project: Emma’s Testimony

Some may find this post triggering due to religious content and personal beliefs about healing and BPD. BPD Pieces of Me does not endorse or support one religious tradition, but we do support everyone’s right to have their voice heard in the BPD Voices Project. From The BPD Voices Project Hi all my name is Emma Growing up was not easy, I never felt like I belonged.  I was a burden and never felt loved or accepted as I always got it wrong. I started to self-harm in my early teens and attempted suicide for the first time at the age of 18.  I was prescribed anti-depressants and met with a counselor, but when she left I harmed myself more! I suffered every form of mental illness and the effects were immense.  I had an alcohol problem, a drug problem, OCD, eating disorder, relationship problems, anger issues, I used to steal and commit crime.  I slept around, I rebelled against everything and everyone because I did not know what was wrong with me and I had no …

family

Ask About BPD: Parenting

Does anyone have any advice for being a BPD parent? I’ve only been able to find stories and information from the children of BPD parent not info about ways to help when you have BPD and are raising a child. Thank you for your question. It is a tough one. Not because I don’t know how to answer it, but because the answer is so very complex and so I am going to apologize in advance for the very long article. I will start by saying that having a parent with BPD is both a blessing and a curse. Parents with BPD are known to be loving, involved, self sacrificing, and overall amazing. The trouble comes when a parent has undiagnosed or unmanaged BPD, not from the BPD itself. I am a trifecta of sorts. My mother has undiagnosed BPD, I have diagnosed BPD and my oldest daughter has BPD traits. I knew growing up that I did not want to belike my mother, but I didn’t really understand what that meant. I wanted to …

unhappy-worker

Ask About BPD: Toxic Co-worker

Today’s Ask About BPD Question: There is a guy who sits next to me for 8 hours a day and he brings my mood down to a massive low. He complains how he can’t cope at work anymore, it’s just constant bad news out his mouth. I’m really struggling to cope with it. He is also the most selfish man I’ve ever met. I need some advice on what to do? Nobody likes his attitude so it is noticed, but he leads me to self harm a lot. I think most people can identify with a toxic co-worker, but when that person sits next to you and you have BPD it can be a recipe for disaster. I know this because it happened to me at my last job. I was in a toxic work environment with toxic people. It wasn’t until after I left could I see the damage it had done. Toxic Work Environment Toxic work environment are more common than we want to believe. There are competing egos, office drama, people (like …

i-am

BPD Voices Project: Borderline Recovery

From the BPD Voices Project Opening My Eyes to the Fact that Borderlines Can Recover As I read about borderlines in long-term therapy, I was shocked to realize that many borderlines had fully recovered. The case studies showed people starting out hopeless and nonfunctional, but becoming able to work productively and enjoy relationships. It was crystal clear from the narratives that these “borderlines” were coming to trust others, working through their pain, and coming alive. I finally had some hope. Given enough time and support, former borderlines could improve greatly and even be “cured”. I remember thinking, “Wow, a lot of what I’ve been told about BPD is completely wrong; this is not a hopeless condition! If other borderlines can recover, why can’t I do it?” This burst of hope inspired me to seek help. I pursued psychodynamic therapy, interviewing several therapists and finding a kind psychologist who had worked with many trauma survivors. I went to see her twice a week for several years. Gradually, painstakingly, I made progress. Through reading accounts of borderlines …

gaslight

Ask About BPD: Self Gaslighting

Dear Ask About BPD, I have been in recovery for a few years now, but I still struggle to trust my own emotions. I often feel like I am gaslighting myself. Any tips on how I can learn to trust myself and my emotions?  One of the most difficult things in BPD recovery is learning how to trust ourselves and our emotions. For many of us we went from having extreme emotions, to no emotion, to confused emotion. Integrating our emotional selves means letting go of the fear and doubt we have. What is gas-lighting: The term gas-lighting comes from a movie of the same name where an abuser tries to convince his wife that she is crazy by manipulating their environment in little ways, especially with the gas lamps in their home. He attempted to alter her perception of reality for his benefit by making her question her own sanity and perceptions. Today, the term is defined as a form of mental abuse in which information is distorted or selectively omitted to favor the …

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BPD Voices Project: Sea of Misery

From the BPD Voices Project Sea of misery. Stare into my eyes and tell me what you see. Is it black and forlorn and distraught before me? Is your mind still shinning brightly for you? Mine is bleak and cares nothing of what I do. Your eyes are looking for distractions. So you can’t see mine and their lack of satisfaction. Please tell me why this is as it is. Why are your eyes alive and mine dead? Why do yours look to care and mine look to dread? Your world is solid like the hard wood of the trees. Mine, well mine has drifted apart with the breeze. You try to help me, even though I can’t help but to plead. Perhaps one day I shall understand and my body will cease to bleed. Patience is the key; let your mind know I care. Tell your eyes to keep looking, even into the insanity and despair. Embrace the darkness which has already come for me. But stay away and your mind shall be free. …

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Ask About BPD: Relationships

One of our page followers asks: “Is it possible for someone with BPD to have a normal relationship? If their partner can’t get what’s inside their mind…“ First of all, I have to say that “normal” is a very subjective word. I am not comfortable using the word here because there really is no such thing as a “normal relationship”. Every relationship has its strengths and weaknesses; it is how you deal with adversities when they happen that governs the health of your relationship. “Normal” vs. “not normal” can also be a judgmental way to view ourselves; the idea that we are “not normal” already plagues many of us. There are healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships and a whole spectrum of relationships in between the two extremes. Some relationships are closer to the “healthy” end and some are closer to the “unhealthy” end. Those of us experiencing BPD symptoms don’t have the market cornered on unhealthy relationships! Relationships can be very tricky to navigate, even if you don’t struggle with regulating your emotions. All any of us can do is strive …

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Ask About BPD: Blackouts

  Today’s Ask About BPD question is: My son has blackouts very frequently after he has a violent episode. He sometimes doesn’t remember it either. He tells me when he is raging he looses his eyesight and hearing too and sees only black and hears only ringing in his ears. Can you explain this? First, I would like to say thank you for asking a question about this very important, yet rarely spoken of, facet of BPD. There are a few things that occur when we have these types of episodes and your son may be experiencing one or more of the following: Flight or fight response that may be disproportionate to the situation Panic attacks/Panic disorder Episodes of dissociative amnesia. I will explain all three. The Fight or Flight Response. Most people know of this response as our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to “fight” or “flee”. This response is often caused by feelings of excessive stress either from internal or external circumstance. The fight or flight response bypasses our …

Weather

BPD Voices Project: The Difference

From the Voices Project Okay, so, obviously I haven’t explained this well enough. A lot of people have trouble understanding bipolar disorder. Even more so, a lot of people don’t even know what borderline personality disorder is. Well, I have both. And I want to take a minute to educate the people on my friends list about them and how they both affect me. The easiest analogy I can really think of is the difference between weather and climate. Bipolar is the climate (general, constant conditions aside from when I cycle through to a new mood state but that generally takes a bit of time.) Borderline is the weather, meaning that’s what’s going on day-to-day for me, or what’s the immediate mood swings or change in behavior. Bipolar disorder is not “just being moody.” Or rapid mood swings (unless you rapid cycle, which I generally don’t.) Bipolar disorder consists of clearly defined, distinctly different mood states that last for a period of time (whether it’s days, weeks, or months depends on the person.) It also …