Discussion in 'Health, Fitness and Well Being' started by Patorick, Feb 20, 2017.
My girlfriend died of that disorder. Via anorexia. It's a very sad and disabling disease. One where the onlooker can't say or do anything to stop it. It's a persons insecurities that can't be changed by what people say to them. It's tragic in the way that it is unsuceptable to therapy.
Very sorry to hear about your girlfriend dying from this Ram Raid. You have my deepest sympathy for having to experience that.
What can you say? Nothing. In the height of the moment not matter what you say to someone with BPD will be disagreed with. No matter how much you care for someone with BPD they will focus only on the negative effect your words are having on their feelings. To avoid responsibility and blame other people for their behaviors.
What can you do? Listen. Care. Be there for them. If they need to vent, let them vent. You have to protect yourself too though and not let them manipulate you into doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe (like a 3am house call, it happens).
Disagree with you regard to BPD not being susceptible to therapy. Long term DBT treatment can be very beneficial to people with BPD if they stick to it. Sticking to medication as prescribed by your Doctor is very important too. Not self medicating with recreational drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other negative harmful behaviors. Not isolating yourself from the world as well, spending all day in front of a computer screen or locked inside your safe space.
There is a definite link with anorexia as well. People with BPD are much more likely to have an eating disorder that a person who does not have BPD. Negative self image. Worthlessness. Shame. Guilt. That sort of thing all tie into this. Saw one of my most beautiful female friends today looking scary thin and unhappy. I do not know what she is going through mentally or physically but my heart goes out to her and anyone suffering in this way.
What is the most difficult aspect of having BPD?
Answered by Lucie Schmidt (Registered Nurse) on the 29th of December 2017
Seeming on the outside like I am ok.
A few people have posted about “presenting well” and it’s very true for the poor borderline.
We are, in many many aspects.. normal. Intelligent (often quite intelligent actually), quirky in a highly engaging way, often able to take care of our basic needs and moreso a great ability to take care of others. We are understanding, empathetic, wonderful listeners and love to be there to support the people we love. At heart, we are, and present as, wonderful, fully functioning people.
Nobody can see what’s actually going on inside us. Our ability to tuck it all away for fear of judgement and rejection makes it very difficult to be understood by anyone. Whether we cancel plans so we seem ‘unreliable’ rather than ‘psychotic’, or leave to go to the bathroom so we can take a breather to push away all the bubbling emotions that threaten to destroy a perfectly happy moment. We do whatever we need to, to ensure that our deep, dark secret stays hidden. We really deserve a PhD in pushing emotional turmoil away, at least on a temporary basis (for this is always only allowing a delay- at which point all will come boiling to the surface in an exploding, catastrophic mess. But.. we successfully didn’t let you see that, so phew!)
What this does, is it creates a perception amongst everyone that there is nothing wrong. That we don’t deserve any love, care or attending to when we are in deep emotional pain.. because, according to them, it doesn’t happen. So where do we go when we trigger? Who can we turn to when the pain is threatening to swallow us up into utter despair and hopelessness? We feel entirely alone, that nobody cares, and only confirm our deepest core belief- that we are unlovable and nobody can love us the way we need to be loved.
For a borderline, this is hell. This is fear provoking, nihilistic thought inspiring hell. We don’t feel like we can share our plight with anyone, because they won’t understand us. The look of utter confusion and dismissal I’ve seen on the faces of the people I care about when trying to convey that I’m actually quite mentally unstable.. it is truly heartbreaking. I know it’s my own fault, because I’ve successfully portrayed this perfect image of myself, but it doesn’t stop the deep feelings of being misunderstood. And it’s not necessarily sentences of refute, like “no, there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with you” that hurt the most. It’s often the dismissal. The look of nonchalance, the disregard that the pain is real or affects me on any great level. Conversations keep flowing like I never said anything. I may get a pause, I may even get an eye roll like I’m being too dramatic.. and then any attempt to communicate what I need is once again lost due to lack of external evidence.
Without compassion and empathy coming from the people we know, we question who we are and what we actually mean to people. Can we ever really trust ourselves or trust others if we open up? Can we be accepted, and possibly understood? Will anyone ever know who we really are? Will we ever know who we really are? Holding our deepest selves back sets us up for feelings of depression, isolation, self hate, inadequacy, anxiety, anger, rejection and alienation, resulting in a high likelihood of triggering each and every time we feel misunderstood by someone.
There are many difficult aspects of BPD, but for me it’s the ‘seeming ok’ that causes so many of my problems. Nobody understands why I don’t work, why I’m socially erratic, why I cancel a lot. I very much doubt that they’d ever acknowledge my pain because I don’t display any ‘classic’ signs of mental illness. I’m more likely to attract a ‘lazy’, ‘unreliable’, or ‘attention-seeking’ label instead, which further invalidates my struggles and only adds to my belief that I am fundamentally flawed.
It is disturbing how you can't do anything for someone with BPD despite trying all you can to help. Why do they become so cold and cut you off abruptly without mercy?
Answered by Michelle Shaw (RN, BA Psychology & Social Work, University of Waterloo) on the 8th of January 2018.
People with borderline personality disorder see things in black and white - no shades of grey. They're sensitive to any kind of rejection, so it's either red pill, blue pill for them. They don't feel secure in most relationships and they're vigilant to any hint of deception or betrayal. This is how the sudden endings occur.
The core of the disorder is the inability of the person to really feel secure in a relationship. Everything looks good at the beginning but eventually the person almost demands reassurance most of the time. Most often caused by some kind of betrayal during childhood, it' s understandable they need to feel secure in a relationship with both partners and friends.
One way I like (professionally) is to tell them “Whatever you need, come find me. It doesn't matter if I look busy, I'll stop what I'm doing as soon as I can”. And do it. Initially there are many visits but by the second day the number of times the person approaches drop by half. Third day fewer approaches, by the fourth day on approaches are more touching base than requests for support. Not to suggest it' s necessary to listen to sometimes lengthy emotional disclosures , it' ok to set limits re: time and investment.
As the person develops trust in the relationship their feelings of security naturally improve as well. One caveat - there will be emotional storms once in a while but more readily managed since hopefully the basic trust is strong. Remember the person feels powerless/helpless. It can become tiring to try and remain in a relationship like this, so it' s important to set clear limits - “we have already talked about this, can we talk about something else?” . Even a bit more bluntly - “I'm happy to talk with you but not about that”.
It's sad that people have to go through this. There are effective therapies - cognitive and dialectical - but most people tend to suffer without seeking/gaining access to treatment programs.
How to Be Friends With Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
By Fiona Kennedy
This post has come about off the back of a conversation I had with a close friend who had been struggling to know how to react to me at times, or understand why I was behaving in certain ways. I’m so proud of her for having the strength to bring this up with me because it was never going to be an easy conversation, but it was one that had to happen sooner or later.
One of the things she mentioned was she had gone looking for information on how to be friends with someone who has borderline personality disorder (BPD) and didn’t get very far. It seems so obvious, I can’t actually believe I didn’t think to write something like this before, because there is so much I’d like people close to me to know – about the times I hide, the times I ask over and over again if everything is OK, the times I seem angry, the times I seem distant – the most important thing is it’s nothing to do with you. I (occasionally way over)react to everything, even the seemingly inconsequential things. I’m working so hard to get a handle on it all, and I’ve been making huge progress since starting with Therapist 2.0, but there are still times BPD will get the better of me.
Actually, it occurs to me as I write this that while it’s personal to me and my own family and friends, it could equally apply to anyone who is either trying to understand a friend, or trying to explain to a friend what it is they need. In no particular order of preference, here are a few bits I think might help us all:
1. Be honest with me. If I have said or done something to upset you, please let me know. The conversation might not be pleasant, but avoiding it just makes things worse
2. Sometimes I won’t be able to talk to you. It’s nothing personal. It’s just sometimes I feel so awkward and out of place I can’t actually string a sentence together
3. Similarly, sometimes you won’t be able to talk to me because I will frustrate the hell out of you. That’s OK. If you need some space, just tell me. It’s up to me to manage my response to that.
4. If I don’t make eye contact, that’s a pretty strong indicator that I’m not doing well.
5. You are not responsible for making me better. If you can, listening on a bad day would be awesome, but I understand that won’t always be possible. You’re not my therapist!
6. I want to know what’s going on with you – never, ever feel like you can’t talk to me. There are two of us in this relationship.
7. I’m really good at picking up on your moods, good, bad or otherwise. Unfortunately I also have a tendency to assume it’s my fault if there’s something wrong (I’m working on that one, honestly), so if you’re able, talk to me. Chances are I’ll understand.
8. Sometimes my reactions to seemingly minor events will be epic. Nine times out of 10, it’s nothing to do with the actual event but rather what it has triggered in me (I’m working hard on that one too).
Things are changing for me. It feels so, so good to finally be getting some control over BPD, but it’s also a little scary – I have to get used to new ways of managing my behavior, and then you have to get used to me behaving differently. I’ve discovered there are quite a few things that have to happen every day to try and keep myself on the straight and narrow, and that takes a considerable amount of time and effort, both of which leave me flattened on occasion.
You won’t always understand, you won’t always want to, but I honestly believe as long as we keep talking to each other, as long as I keep doing what I now know I have to do, it will be OK.
Radical acceptance is a big part of BPD and DBT. I accepted very early in the season that we (or should I say they) were not going to make the finals last year. We had very good players in the team (and hard working people off the field) but the attitude was not good and they weren't playing together as a team. Injuries didn't help but even with a fully fit squad we were not going to trouble the top eight teams in September last year. I'm very lucky in that I spend a lot of time playing soccer, meditating and practicing yoga on the weekend so can only watch so many games of rugby league live. I love the Manly club and the players who play for our team. But I also accept that they are flawed human beings and do not idealize them as anything beyond professional sportsmen.
Whether Manly win or not has very little effect on my level of happiness and inner peace. We could go bankrupt tomorrow and I would still watch and enjoy rugby league. Learning to let go and not live vicariously through my sports teams has been a massive part of my emotional development over the years.
It is just a game.
Do BPD’s have a hard time apologizing and if so, why?
Answered by Jason Rodgers (Married an Un-diagnosed Borderline Disordered female with Narcissistic traits) on the 2nd of February 2019.
There are those that feel regret and guilty after having an episode or an outburst and will apologize profusely.
Then you have the more resistant borderlines that in addition may also have those extra toasty narcissistic traits that will justify their shit behaviors and truly believe in the moment that you deserved their sometimes disgusting treatment and anyone who has been on the receiving end will know what I'm talking about illness or not…..literally no accountability nor apology. …(but there are occasions when you may see some kind of remorse displayed but its rare due to their stubborn and defensive nature as they resist being seen as vulnerable or weak which they actually are,those borderlines which seem cold,aggressive and spiteful are in truth soft as mush emotionally. …its just buried deep deep under those deeply entrenched defense mechanisms) .
Its simply because they are so fragile and broken inside that the mere thought they have done something wrong fills them with toxic shame and guilt and they will go to great lengths to maintain their perfect view of themselves and will literally deny,project and blame everyone else and then play the victim in every situation…..so whatever situation you find yourself in .. Its never their fault……ever.
So you will find this person doesn't apologize,the cumulative effect of this is that this person doesn't have to change.
When people apologize generally speaking their admitting fault,acknowledging a mistake and ideally looking to not do it again…relatively speaking.
However some borderlines with or without those narcissistic traits are like fuuuuuck that,I can do what i want because I don't have to play by the rules like everybody else and this is where they can display a sense of entitlement…and expect to be treated like nothing happened…..and avoid consequences.
This leads on to a subject called splicing where borderlines can create a shit storm and days later its treated like it never happened…..imagine removing a scene from a movie,you watch it a second time and its missing …you know the scene happened…but now its like it never happened,no apology,no discussing the event…nothing.
Until the next shitstorm…..and its rinse,wash and repeat.
Thanks for the request.
What screams "mentally healthy"?
Written by Elinor Greenberg (Psychologist, Author, Lecturer and Consultant on Narcissistic Disorders) on the 11th of March 2019.
When I think of the people I know who I consider mentally healthy, they tend to have many of the following traits:
- They have a sense of humor about themselves and life events.
- They can continue functioning effectively during difficult times.
- They take care of their health.
- They pay their bills on time.
- They are usually kind to people.
- They know what they like.
- They can make their own decisions.
- They complete most projects that they start.
- They are reliable.
- They have a group of friends.
- They save for the future.
- They are responsible with money.
- They can hold their temper.
Separate names with a comma.