All posts filed under: Ask About BPD

Ask about BPD: Dissociation, Derealization and Depersonalization

Does anyone else feel like life almost isn’t actually happening? Like you’re a part in a movie, playing out a role, following a script & switching to different “characters” based on your mood? To answer your question briefly, yes. In fact, many of us face these feelings at some point in our lives. The feeling that you can’t possibly be living out the current situation in ‘real life’ is actually more common than you might think. Oftentimes, this happens when the reality we’re faced with disagrees with the reality we hope for. If you’re a fan of reading subtitles for the entire duration of a movie, Guillermo del Torro wrote and directed a brilliant portrayal of this very premise with his 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth. Without giving up any spoilers, the basic premise is that a young Spanish girl named Ofelia finds herself escaping to an eerie fantasy land to play out the part of a legendary lost princess. Even though these feelings of derealization and depersonalization are often brought on in response to trauma …

Ask About BPD: Self Medication

Ask About BPD: I have a question… why is the only thing that seems to make my son seem half normal to self medicate. When he is stoned he seems to manage so well and seem so at peace and able to cope.. but as soon as his buzz wears off he is crazy angry again ;-( It’s a lose lose situation it seems ….   I’m assuming that the drug in question is marijuana, so I will base my answer on that. Self medicating is not uncommon amongst people suffering from any number of the many varieties of disorders that fall under the depression umbrella, especially those of us living with BPD. Nearly half of those diagnosed with BPD have histories of substance abuse disorder, a shockingly high number, though slightly less surprising when you consider that one of the most common characteristics of BPD is a lack of impulse control.   Why Cannabis: One would seem to be hard-pressed to find a high-strung marijuana user–not to say that they don’t exist (I work …

Ask About BPD: The Drama Triangle

Ask about BPD: Parenting Relationships I was diagnosed with BPD about a year ago. I believe my mother also has BPD, but is undiagnosed. We have a really rocky relationship, but my daughter loves her grandmother so much. Do you have any tips on how I can improve my relationship with my mother? I think this is a question we have all asked ourselves at some time or another. For some of us this question applies to our mothers, others to our fathers. I will explore what I’ve come to understand in regards to having a relationship with a parent experiencing BPD. I can list many things that play a part in the complexity of the situation: BPD Parenting Style. If you are unaware of BPD Parenting Styles here is an article that explains them. Emotional Age Maintaining Realistic Expectations Setting Boundaries The list goes on and on, but it does not get to the heart of the situation: The Drama Triangle and its role in dysfunctional families. The Drama Triangle The Drama Triangle was developed by …

Ask About BPD: Mental Illness Jokes

“I saw a post on a friend’s Facebook page. She posted a picture about OCD then ‘tagged’ a friend of hers followed by a laughing smiley emoticon. Obviously saying that her ‘friend’ was ‘so OCD!’ It infuriated me! And although I felt offended I didn’t comment. I have never seen this sort of thing actually posted by a friend of mine…but if it was related to a physical illness, surely there would be an outrage?” Mental illness as an adverb used to really infuriate me. This anger would inevitably lead me to post a verbal rant that was so strongly worded it would make anyone take notice. But when one of my outbursts led to the loss of a friend I sat myself down and asked, “Why is this such a trigger?” The answer was simple: When I see these “jokes” I feel invalidated and that others see my struggle as laughable. My struggle is not a joke. It’s real and it’s messed up! I wish we could have these people spend one day in …

Ask About BPD: BPD Types

Original Question: I’ve heard there are types of BPD, like low functioning, high functioning, and translucent. And within these types there’s the “acting out BPD” and the “quiet BPD.” Exactly how many types are there and what are they? What are the differences?   It has been said that there are 256 possible combinations of the symptoms that make up BPD. Due to the extreme variance between what causes a person’s BPD (what type of trauma/trauma duration and severity, what kind of environment the person grew up in) it’s hard to know how their experience of BPD will manifest. Individuals with BPD will fit into different subtypes, ways of functioning, schema modes, and coping styles. They may also switch between a myriad of them throughout their lives. No one will ever fall neatly into any category completely. This is partly due to stressors and the environment we’re in and it’s also due to the experience of identity ambivalence in those of us with BPD. Theodore Millon came up with the following subtypes and said that …

Ask About BPD: Suicidal Ideation

Today’s question: Hi. I’m struggling to help my partner who has a diagnosis of BPD. He’s expressing suicidal thoughts and he won’t allow me to be there for him, when that’s all I want to do. I was wondering if you could possibly give me any advice on how to help him? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your question. Perhaps one of the most confusing and frightening aspects of BPD is suicidal ideation. BPD is the only personality disorder to have suicidal ideation as a criterion for diagnosis. 70% of us will have at least one serious attempt on our live and 10% of us will be successful. It is important to take all threats seriously, but sometime talk is just talk. A lot of times we really don’t want to die. We want someone to listen and understand. You can do this by validating the pain he is in, validating his thoughts, and reminding him that although all thoughts are valid not all thoughts are real. The most common warning signs …

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 …

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 …

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 …