All posts tagged: communication skills

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 …

Living with BPD: Behind Every Excuse is the Real Reason

Today we are rebloging a post from Love on a Border by Carrissa Wright http://loveonaborder.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/behind-every-excuse-is-real-reason.html Tuesday, 5 January 2016 Behind every excuse is the real reason One of the things that I’ve recognised as a differentiator between healthy and unhealthy relationships is the presence of excuses, whether it’s yours and/or theirs. In the worst of situations where you may be denying, rationalising, and minimising, you may even be making excuses for their excuses which only goes to show how poor the original excuse was. Just like how on the other side of a jumped boundary lies disrespect, on the other side of an excuse often not only lies at least some element of disrespect but also the real reason. An excuse is a reason that is given to justify an offence or fault but its primary purpose is to lessen responsibility by getting you to overlook, excuse, or even forgive off the back of it. This of course is rather tricky because when there’s excuses it means that any commitment is being lessened, which means …

Living with BPD: Setting Personal Boundaries Part 1

Living with BPD: Setting Personal Boundaries Part 1 Setting personal boundaries can be very difficult and frightening. Our fear of abandonment makes us not want to offend anyone. Our inner voice calls us names and makes us question our motives. We can feel like setting boundaries is a symptom of the pushing and pulling that comes with experiencing BPD. Sometime it feels like it is easier to say yes than deal with the internal consequences of saying no. Or is it? Although we are often stereotyped by our outbursts, what people don’t see is what is happening inside. We want to please others. We want to feel connected, loved. In an effort to be everything others want us to be we live a life without boundaries. Weak boundaries leave us likely to be taken advantage of, and/or even damaged by others. Setting clear personal boundaries is necessary to have mutually respectful, supportive and caring relationships. They set the limits for what you deem acceptable behavior from those around you. “You change for two reasons: Either …

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 …

Schemas and Schema Therapy: The Basics

What are Schemas? A schema is a mental concept that informs a person about what to expect from a variety of experiences and situations. Schemas are developed based on information provided by life experiences and are then stored in memory. People use schemes to organize current knowledge, provide a framework for future understanding, and evaluate cause and effect. Schemas often dictate how we interact and predict social situations and interactions. They allow us to develop expectations about other people based on the social role they occupy. We develop expectations about other people’s behavior based on their personality traits and our past experience. We use schemas to develop “scripts” or ways of speaking, behaving, and responding to social interactions. Schema themselves are not bad. They are necessary to create and maintain a stable worldview. Schemas can become negative when they develop under maladaptive or negative situations. Maladaptive Schemas Early Maladaptive Schemas are our negative automatic thoughts or “life traps” we don’t consciously know exist. They are incredibly deeply rooted in us, are broad and complex, and …

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: 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 …