Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder

posted by Beyond Blue

overcoming borderline personality 2.jpgThe following post is the Afterword of the newly released “Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder” by Valerie Porr. I have reprinted it here with permission of Oxford University Press. There are so many misconceptions about this disorder today. A friend of mine, recently diagnosed with BPD, has helped me to understand her illness. I hope this piece further educates people who attach stigma where there should be none.

Research shows us that 70 percent of people with Borderline Personality Disorder drop out of treatment. According to John Gunderson, medical director of the Center for the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder at McLean Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, failure to involve the family as support for treatment of BPD makes patients’ involvement in therapy superficial and is a major reason for premature dropout. Family members or partners consult clinicians for help in coping with someone with BPD because they care, and are frightened, frustrated, and feeling helpless. This is someone they love. As a clinician you have an opportunity to guide these families toward reconciliation and repair. Family members spend more time with the person with BPD than anyone else and are in a key position to provide ongoing help and guidance, prevent escalations, and motivate their loved one to participate in evidence-based treatment.

Here is a compilation of what families need from clinicians based on hundreds of TARA helpline calls, reports from family skills group participants, and from the work of John Gunderson….

Accurate information. Knowledge of the biological basis of BPD can help families reframe the behavior of their loved one in the light of current science and accept that evidence-based treatment works. Accurate information can dispel the stigma that colors attitudes toward people with BPD.

Understanding that the person with BPD is doing the best he can and does not intend to harm others or himself. Discourage viewing the person with BPD as “manipulative,” as the enemy, or as hopeless. Understanding can melt anger and cultivate compassion.

Acceptance that the person with BPD has a disability and has special needs. Help the family accept their loved one as someone with a chronic illness. They may continue to be financially and emotion- ally dependent on the family and be vocationally impaired. BPD is a deficit or handicap that can be overcome. Help families to reconcile to the long-term course of BPD and accept that progress will be slow. There are no short-term solutions.

Compassion. Do not assume that every family is a “dysfunctional family.” Emotions are contagious. Living with someone with BPD can make any family dysfunctional. Family members have been recipients of rages as well as abusive and irrational behaviors. They live in perpetual fear and feel manipulated. They often react by either protecting and rescuing or rejecting and avoiding. Reframe their points of view with compassion. Families are doing the best they can. They need support and acceptance. “Bad parents” are usually uninformed, not malevolent. They did the wrong things for the right reasons (the “allergic to milk syndrome”). Anyone can have a disturbed child. Keep reminding the family of the neurobiological dysregulations of BPD, and of the pain their loved one is coping with each day.

Collaboration for change. Accept that families can help, can learn effective skills and become therapeutic partners. They can reinforce treatment. The IQ of a family member is not reduced if a loved one has BPD. Do not patronize or fragelize family members. Family members are generally well-educated, intelligent people who are highly motivated to help. Respect their commitment. When you provide them with effective skills to help their loved one, they can become therapeutic parent or partners. You can help them.

Stay in the present. Do not focus on past painful experiences when the person with BPD cannot cope with aversive feelings and has no distress tolerance skills. Avoid shame-inducing memories. If you induce arousal and the patient cannot cope with the arousal, therapy becomes unacceptable, giving her additional pressure and stress and undermining cognitive control. This is a sure-fire way to get her to drop out of therapy.

Be nonjudgmental. Respect that families are doing the best they can, in the moment, without any understanding of the underlying disorders or the ability to translate their loved one’s behaviors. Although they may have done the wrong thing in the past, it was probably for the right reasons. Their intention was not to hurt their loved one.

Teach awareness of nonverbal communication. Teach them limbic language so they can learn to speak to the amygdala, to communicate emotionally through validation. Teach families to be aware of body language, voice tones, gestures, and facial expressions. Especially avoid neutral faces. Teach effective coping skills based on cognitive behavior therapy, DBT, and mentalization.

Corroborate allegations. Try not to assume the worst, and corroborate allegations. Remember that your perception of an event or experience may be different from what actually happened.

Remember, families have rights. When families are paying for therapy, they have rights, beyond confidentiality regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This reality must be acknowledged. Excluding parents completely jeopardizes the feasibility of continuation of therapy. They need to help decide if investment in therapy is worthwhile and have a right to know about attendance, motivation, and benefits from therapy. What is confidential in therapy is what is talked about. Let them know about the therapy, prognosis, and course of the illness.

Avoid boundaries, limits, contracts, and tough love. These methods are not effective with people with BPD. Be sure that families under- stand that boundaries are generally viewed as punishment by the person with BPD. Be sure they understand how to change behavior by explaining reinforcement, punishment, shaping, and extinction so that they do not reinforce maladaptive behaviors.

Discourage “we.” Encourage family members to nurture individual relationships with the person with BPD, not the united front of “we.” Although both parents can have the same goals for their loved one, they must express these goals in their own style, in one-on-one relationships. Focus on developing individual relationships and trust, not solving individual problems. This will discourage “splitting.”

Encourage family involvement. When a person with BPD resists family involvement, this should not be automatically accepted. Resistance is symptomatic of the person with BPD devaluing his loved ones. If you participate in devaluing the family, difficulties are intensified when treatment comes to an end, especially when the person is financially dependent on his family. Remember that the family loves this person and will be there for him when you are no longer involved.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(26)
post a comment
Stacy Anderson

posted September 17, 2010 at 11:58 am


I really like this article. It give specific things the family of borderlines can do to improve their situation.
I’ve been diagnosed with BPD traits on top of my depressive disorder and have learned that BPD is a family system illness. This artical implies that the family is healthy and the borderline is the sole ill individual.
Families of borderlines are rarely healthy. It takes both poor nature and poor nurture to produce a personality disorder like BPD. Borderlines usually come from very invalidating family systems that often involve forms of neglect and abuse. There’s often a parent with at least BPD traits or other major mental illnesses as well.
It’s not my desire here to uselessly place blame on anyone. But everyone in a borderline family needs to own their own part if they are to heal the system. That’s why I appreciate this article and think it offers great skill for borderline families. It’s just sad to see an article that places so much of the weight on the shoulders of the borderline.



report abuse
 

joan

posted September 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm


What a total load of non-sense. You are encouraging families of persons with BPD to live in intollerable, victim-based environments. This psycho-bable is a disservice to everyone who gets stuck taking care of people lacking a conscience and a basic sense of humanity. Shame on you.



report abuse
 

Joe Gonzalez

posted September 18, 2010 at 5:10 am


Therese, thank you again ! I have been diagnosed with BPD for quite some time now. But i also am bi-polar and suffer from a ( small? )case of OCD. Small if u consider Monk ( the TV character 0 as a typical OCD sufferer. Of course this is rather silly..when you have a condition, the degree of how it manifests itself may vary, but still you have the condition. And even though i’ve met people similar to Monk, you can never say ( i think anyway ) that a small degree is a small disabler, and a large degree a large disabler. TV turns to exaggerations and distortions to make the character fit the sought after mold, and hold audiences captive through – in this case – uneven results. the fact that the fictional character is hardly functional in his OCD, contrasts happily with his truly uncanny ways of solving cases in a very personally talented way, almost genial, u might say. My OCD does not manifest itself so blatantly. Still, it’s there, and it’s a disabling characteristic, whatever its degree. My bi-polar state is also not a severe one, having experienced first hand the same disabilty in others that completely impaired them. Or at least did so for periods of weeks in some cases. But i don’t know if i’m trying to defend my supposed ‘ mental health ‘ by citing these extreme cases. i probably am. Insofar as BPD is concerned, i can say that i strive for virtue ( for many of our lifestyles are related closely to our illnesses ) and have accumulated some of that integrity through sticking to its development through thick and thin, but may i add that it’s a basic component of my personal dispositions, and that whatever i may think i have achieved in that quest has had much more to do with the freely-given and totally unmerited intervention of the Grace of God rather than my strivings. Yet, this striving for virtue, and it’s practice has very often been extremely intolerant of others, either not in the same personal quest, or simply ‘ not exercising it the proper way.’ So that goes to address the difficulties i have in relating, which though, receding with therapy, are still major stumbling blocks to the realization of the One Virtue that counts for all : Love. My family situation, for the most part, with one exception, follows what you wrote above. Many mistakes during my rearing, but all exercised as a misconception of what constituted the adequate, the good. So, the intentions were good, the applications mistaken. i have come to terms with that especially with my parents, whom, through understanding their woes at the time of my upbringing ( they were immigrants come from a completely different culture and set of rules ) and understanding that their confusion and inept capacity at acculturation were much more painful than anything i was going thru. ( They were adults, i was a child, and we all know the malleability of children.) So now, at 60 years old, and with them still alive and well, i have long past forgiven their very understandable mistakes, as well as the not-so excusable ones. And we have a grand relationship, which, though we live in different regions of the same city and in different economic situations ( mine ‘ lower ‘, theirs ‘ higher ‘ ) we delight in communicating several times a day by phone and sharing weekend meals together, no recriminations remaining, only a constant and growing love and concern for the other’ increased welfare in all aspects of life. So, that to me is a tremendous success story. it is not necessarily so with other members of the family – once you’ve been branded the ‘ black-sheep ‘, it’s convenient for some to want to keep you in that role. Remember that Freud is reported to have stated that 98% of the entire human population was neurotic. but then, u learn to live with that, in the more bearable cases ( live and let live ) and in the more recalcitrant cases, you learn that things are not always what they should be and try to avoid contact with those specially uncompromising beings. So yes, therapy and the capacity to open up and dare to love are the solution to these maladies. I would like to add that, though a born Catholic, i’m constantly at odds with the Church, and i am a deep believer. This might be due to a couple of years of severe abuse at the hands of religious folk at a horror-movie style boarding school, where Jesus’ Word and Work of Love was taught by punches, extreme punishments and other paraphernilia best left uncategorized. that left me with deep scars that throbbed mightily at the sight of pusillanimous priests and sadistic, unwashed nuns. And i see, by what’s going on now, that that wasn’t a purely personal or exceptional experience. So sometimes i rail vs. the Church at the smallest provocation, and do not consider their way of running the establishment to be in much concordance with what Jesus taught and did. And then there’s the saying that goes : ” Kid that burns himself with milk, sees a cow and cries.” i can, for example, see the deep present drift in the political climate in our country, and though i have the capacity for measuring it with what my knowledge says would be a truthful rendition of what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution meant for our political system to be, i don’t take to the streets to burn in effigy politicians or media-political commentators that i extremely dislike. i do my part, in accordance with my conscience, look up to Heaven in supplication, and leave it in the Hands of Him from whom nothing is hidden or powerless to solve. So sometimes i exceed the prudent and respectful in my diatribes vs. the church, but today i’ve decided to do with her what i also mentioned i do with others : Live and let live. It’s God who’s going to sit and judge, not me. And i’m going to go so far as to publish an apology on Twitter for my excesses and imprudent statements insofar as the church is concerned. i’ll close this exceptionally extended comment by saying : God’s Grace is working in and for me ; therapy is working wonderfully, and i’m happier than i’ve ever been in my life in my 60th year of life. And, not to be left behind by any means, part of my happiness ( a big part ) comes from empathetic and selfless people, like yourself, Therese, that have out themselves at the disposal of making this a better world. Thanks !



report abuse
 

Stacy Anderson

posted September 18, 2010 at 11:23 am


I think the resonses to this article are a glaring example of what I was talking about in my first post. Here I see myself as showing appreciation for the article, trying not to place blame or shame, and seeing the possitives in your article. I also appreciate Joes attitude. On the other hand, the responder that seems to be a caretaker or is somehow involved in the care of a borderline shows great intolerance, critical attitude, and focus on blame and belittling. It’s so sad to see that but I think it’s pretty common and that sort of mentality is a huge contributor to the borderlines core issues and their disfunctional ways of coping. I truely feel for the borderline involved in that situation. Clearly the borderline is not the only one in need of help in that situation.



report abuse
 

Crystal

posted September 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm


I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder many years ago. Then a few years ago a new Psychiatrist diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder. I am a little confused about it all. My Psychologist who I have been seeing for about 10 years believes I have Bipolar with Borderline traits. Anyway I had a therapist back when I was first diagnosed with BPD who was always about setting boundaries,limits and tough love. You are right as this was not helpful at all to me. As a matter of fact it hurt me. I am glad she is no longer my therapist. I’ve heard that people with this disorder tend to improve as they age and start getting better in their thirties and forties. I don’t know if this is what is happening or if it is the meds. and all the therapy but I am very much improved. I no longer hurt myself anymore and haven’t for about 5 years. I am forty now. I don’t feel the need to go back to that anymore either. Anyway I just wanted to say thanks for the article. I found it very interesting. Please keep them coming and God Bless you.
Crystal



report abuse
 

anon

posted September 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm


Since many BPs sufferers have it in the family and were raised by BPD parent(s) it’s useful to read once a person has received this diagnosis. I think a book ‘Understanding the Borderline Mother’ is invaluable for those reading this to take a look at. It’s incredible the responses if you read amazon’s reviews. Also worth noting here: many therapists really have difficulty working with BPD patients as there is still much to learn about this disorder. In fact, sadly a lot of doctors admit to really not wanting many of these patients as they are seen as manipulative and high maintenance. Sad but yes, even the mental health professionals have attached a stigma to these folks. I’ve read this and furthermore know this from the many doctors I have spoken to. My mother was a borderline. It’s expensive to treat as well – often treatment that is suggested is intensive and involved behavioral therapy and sometimes medication as well. More than one counseling session a week for a few years I believe. Now think of the people without insurance or paltry medical coverage- often it’s just not an option. So this diagnosis leaves the patient feeling helpless and overwhelmed. The stigma attached to BPD often scares off people, many who are simply not informed and that erodes the support system needed for recovery. People with BPd are often ashamed of it as a result.



report abuse
 

Mike

posted September 19, 2010 at 10:24 am


As a clinical psychologist, I find the information contained here to be misleading and at times incorrect. The empirical evidence supporting effective BPD treatments is scant and there are no clear biological determinents as to causes. Borderlines do cut themselves, attempt suicide, say they will attempt suicide as part of their inherent manipulation strategies-borderlines do manipulate and they do it on purpose, and many are very adept at it. While having compassion is good, there is a big difference between having compassion and accepting or living with extremely dysfunctional behavior. Depending on the severity of the BPD presention (the symptoms tend to mellow with age), these behavior patterns can be extremely damaging to marriages and families. Borderlines often have poor work histories (difficulties in holding a steady job as their behavior is so disruptive), broken relationships including often a history of failed marriages, and children who may be at increased risk for a variety of psychological problems as they get older (the parent child relationship is extremely dysfunctional). While often borderlines are very bright and educated, they have significant troubles (among other things) with effective emotional regulation and their behavior can get them into trouble (BPD is related to females being perpetrators of domestic violence against men). They can also have difficulties in effective reality testing, not as severe as thought disorders such as schizophrenia, but very difficult to deal with. Most people will change their thoughts to match reality, borderlines will attempt to change reality to match their thoughts. The suggestion that there be no boundaries with a borderline is quite wrong, one of the things that seems to be effective with borderlines is strong boundaries, not allowing someone to be sucked into the borderline’s world, and not allowing the borderline or their behavior to damage someone else. Finally,they are very difficult to work with and tend to try even the most patient, compassionate, caring and skilled.



report abuse
 

Stacy Anderson

posted September 20, 2010 at 12:09 am


I’m pretty disappointed to hear Mike the “Clinical Psychologist” make this statement in his post. “Borderlines do cut themselves, attempt suicide, say they will attempt suicide as part of their inherent manipulation strategies-borderlines do manipulate and they do it on purpose, and many are very adept at it.” I know for a fact, that this is an inacurate statement. Maybe if you put the works “Some…” in front of it it would be more accurate. Because not all of those suffering from BPD do those things.
I think the idea of borderlines being manipulative is a loaded topic. I don’t believe that being manipulative is in itself unique to BPD. People in general vary in their degree of manipulativenss. Some people are very good at it and manipulate to good ends for themselves or others. Some of the most successful people I know are horribly manipulative. Therapists are some of the best manipulators out there. From what I’ve seen and experienced borderlines vary as much as the general public in how manipulative they are. Some borderlines aren’t trying to manipulate anyone, but those who are usually do it towards unhealthy immature ends which seems very glaring to others. We’re all manipulative. The difference isn’t in the manipulativeness, it’s in what the borderline is trying to attain with it.
I think Mike is right in that the article is a little soft on the borderline. But it seems like Mike is altogether wrapped up in discouragement and negativity. From the average person I’d just blow it off, but he says he’s a psychologist. It’s really disturbing that I could end up blindly starting treatment by someone with that sort of attitude. I know and have felt the bias against borderlines in the community of mental health professionals. Why did these people become therapists. It’s time for the mental health community to draw themselves above their own emotional urges and reflexes. Do your jobs. And if you can’t do it with compassion than don’t bother because you’re only further harming the patients you wanted to be trained to treat. Be a professional, or go find another job! Do you see medical doctors refusing to treat annoying patients? No, because it’s part of their jobs. And if you don’t think the negativity borderlines get from the mental health community isn’t further damaging them then you’re all fooling yourselves.
And I only have “traits” for God sake.



report abuse
 

anon

posted September 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm


Stacey Anderson- perfectly proves my assertion that yes, many mental health experts truly have a bias against treating/working with the BPD patient. Gosh, god forbid you have they actually roll up their sleeves and work hard for that pay check! (sarcasm of course). And yes, it makes it hard for a person with this diagnosis to trust a doctor knowing how many secretly dread these patients. So very sad.



report abuse
 

ejs

posted September 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm


Bingo, Stacy. I have BPD and bp/md. I once had a work “supplied” counselor tell me people at nightlife places
“would tear me apart”, glared at me, and then feigned napping. I left. The same me company availed a psychologist
who named the disorder to me. I, confused, said “borderline to what?” (schiz,etc. ???). He went silent for 5
minutes and really offered no help. EVERYONE is manipulative, the only difference is social tools employed. The
level of bluntness/clumsiness of us “disorders” is annoying, even to exasperation for others. We (I) mostly see it
as a bit more honest subconsciously. In my 50s I,m realizing that comes off like nails on a blackboard to
“normals”. But it’s also exhaustive to us to live in the “normal” world. We tiptoe around each others, it’s not one
way thataway. I tend to isolaye myself to spare others from myself actually. I’m internally aware how hard it gets
for them…



report abuse
 

rgs

posted September 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm


I am a health care professional. Also had family member with BPD. My family has been severely damaged by the person with this disorder. I will never have a healthy marriage. All family members have difficulty with relationships and broken marriages. This individual was coddled and given all the benefits listed in this article. What a disaster!
Mike is correct. Had this person gotten treatment and behavior modification, damage would be much less.



report abuse
 

Sherry Johnson

posted September 23, 2010 at 3:38 am


Wow!!! I realize now I am a BPD. What to do about it frankly escapes me, as all the comments (some by health care professionals)have completely confused me! Man someone give a non-conflicting answer on how or where to seek help on such a horrible disorder. I have lived with this all my life. My family has abandoned me, except for my patient and beloved husband. But we are alone now due to my disorder, I now believe. :(
What in the world is my next step and how do I find someone who actually wants to help me and isn’t “putting up” with me beause it’s their job!
*sigh*



report abuse
 

Virginia

posted September 30, 2010 at 3:40 am


WOW. I have been diagnosed as suffering from BPD. I am not a “borderline”, but do have most of the traits listed in the book of disorders. No matter the traits, I am still a person. The comments here show me very little progress over the last 20 years of attitudes toward mental health issues, even by the suffering people themselves. I have better control now that I’m older, but I didn’t have a name for my problems until I was in my 40s. I attended group therapy at a local university, led by a PHD that had BPD and beat it. She taught us coping skills to help ourselves, while she was researching the disorder. Those skills have helped a lot, and have helped me to recognise when my stress is exacerbating my condition. I was very fortunate in choosing my psychiatrist and worked with him for over 20 years. I owe a great deal to him for his help and friendship over the years.



report abuse
 

Paranoid Personality Disorder

posted November 15, 2010 at 1:12 am


The paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a distrust of others and a constant suspicion that people around you have sinister motives. People with paranoid personality disorder tend to have excessive trust in their own knowledge and the abilities and usually avoid close relationships. They search for hidden meanings in everything and read hostile intentions into the actions of others. They are quick to challenge the loyalties of friends and loved ones and often appear cold and distant. They usually shift blame to the other people and tend to carry long grudges.
http://www.disorderscentral.com/paranoid-personality-disorder.html



report abuse
 

kevin blumer

posted November 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm


I fond it very intresting that 70% of people drop out of tretment i have just been diagnosed at the age of 29 this is probably why it takes so long to get treatment or to be found out. I think one of the biggest reasons is probably it takes a long time to diagnose and there is no cure so what is the point of treatment.i know sometihng if i had a wish it would be that they find a cure.



report abuse
 

bw

posted December 28, 2010 at 1:17 am


I have been married to a borderline for 17 years,,, they are cunning and manipulative. they have a way of making the “other” person appear to have the faults and are being manipulative.
“god help them if someone were to see that they have flaws”…or are wrong about anything, no matter how ludicris the issue is… they make it seem like “it” is the end of the world, and it is someone elses fault..
mine does not cut,, not all do! but she does cut down everyone around her,, even her kids. they still defend her just as visiously as she defends her own beliefs about the sky being green..ha ha. it is incredibly insane. most days i really feel like i live in an insane assylum… no wait… there are no controls here though!
for instance,, my wife went out on her own and somehow got credit for a new car and furniture… brand new 2011 nissan.
I am a disabled veteran. she had been beating me down for months about how we can’t have anthing “nice”, blah blah.. telling me that i need to go to work,,, other people our age have nice things blah blah…
she has not worked in 15 years because she claims to be disabled herself.. has tried multiple “busisiness” ventures, but always costs me more money and never makes a dime.
anyway, she comes home with this new car and furniture. her and the grown kids are all excited and want to show me…. they can’t understand why i don’t want to see it and why i am not excited!
so,, now I am an ass because she just put me 300000 dollars in debt and i have no way to pay for it.
tonight, we were taking the grandkids to see xmas lights,, i am not allowed to drive “her” car… she missed the freeway exit,, since i am in the passenger seat, it was my “job” to tell her where to go. it was an all out war,, she dealt all the blows..
later, i tried to tell her which roads to take,,, OMG! another war. i guess she thought i was calling her stupid, because she “knew where she was going”…. huh???????????????????????
there is no future with a borderline, unless you like being a slave.. I will be making my “untimely” exit.. won’t she be suprised.



report abuse
 

Kevin

posted January 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm


BW: how long were you married and why did you stay married to this lady? I think my wife has BPD. We have been married 5 years and she can make life miserable on a daily basis.



report abuse
 

Carol Johnson

posted February 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm


As a mom of a 21 year old with this disorder, I have 2 choices. 1- Allow her to live back home again (she just graduated college) 2-Tough love it out so that she will be forced to get a job, go to therapy. live alone etc. If she comes home, what will happen? She will refuse to attend therapy, yell at me if I ask if she looked for a job that day, keep from asking her to help with dinner etc. How on earth will this help her? This is why I can not agree with her book. Most truly mentally ill patients can be hospitalized or take medication to help. The families aren’t told to suffer like we are. We are told to be kind and compassionate while our children are being abusive. Sorry. God helps those who help themselves. Is that cruel? If she can attend college and work, she certainly can hold a job and take care of herself. Perhaps if she has no friends or can’t hold a job, the BEST thing for us to do would be not allow the comforts of home.



report abuse
 

lusGuirediems

posted March 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm


Hello. And Bye.



report abuse
 

lusGuirediems

posted March 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm


Hello. And Bye.



report abuse
 

Olivia

posted March 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm


Carol, your daughter is hurting, and you are her mother. I am a 20 year old with BPD, and I have a very troubled relationship with my mother. My mother was like Jekyl and Hyde to me growing up and my parents didn’t let me socialize with other kids.
I never learned how to behave or how to deal with stress. But, I am an almost straight A student and involved in lots of extracurriculars. I’m good at it because I was trained to be good at school my entire life, but I was never trained on how to deal with my emotions, and my own parents confused me by yelling, changing their minds all the time, and not providing me with what I needed growing up. When my feelings were hurt or I needed to talk, I was told what I “should” feel and it was the end of the discussion.
My parents love me, and I love them. Both my parents came from troubled backgrounds.
As for your daughter, this is the family’s struggle. You can’t just kick her out. She is probably apt to hurt herself especially if she becomes jobless and has no friends.
I suspect she may harbor hurt feelings toward you or the family, the way I do. But just because I feel angry towards my parents or hurt, does not mean I do not love them.
My parents are helping me through therapy, and my father is helping a lot, but my mother still refuses to admit anything. I cut myself and abuse substances occasionally, it interferes with my school.
In any case, your daughter needs help. Yes, she can manage college, but it does not mean she can manage life. She still needs your help before leaving the nest. Just like I still need my parents help, and I am so glad I am getting it, or else all my substance abuse and self harm might have led to death.



report abuse
 

JohnM

posted April 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm


I’ve been reading this book because recently I found out that my GF has most of the traits of BPD (out-acting, highly-functional).

This book is helping me a great deal. I’ve actually been able to dismiss lots of anger, frustration, anxiety towards my GF… it’s forcing me to reframe myself (I know I’m not guilty for many arguments we have, but without knowing, I can hurt her by touching her insecurities and emotional memories).

My GF told me before, when she attacks many times what she needs is aknowledgment. Hard to be understanding and aknowledge someone when you feel attacked for something that make no sense. By understanding what goes inside or her mind, yes, it does “make sense” in her mind.

Overall, this book is helping me a lot, not to swallow anger, but in fact to make me understand better, and trully feel compasionate… and yet, if I feel I’ll be upset (people get upset even when they can understand) then I can leave for a walk. My goal is to make sure I can relate to her suffering, and don’t take it personal. I know how much she suffers by acting the way she acts (I knew that before reading any book), and I trully love her and wantto see her happy. And by reframing myself, I am happier too. So, I trully recommend the book.



report abuse
 

Cathy

posted August 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm


I would like more info on this. Have you written any other blogs on it? I have read Beyond Blue and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have not been diagnosed with bi-polar, but my husband was. I have been diagnosed with BPD and anxiety.



report abuse
 

shelly

posted September 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm


I suffer from BPDplease read my very honest blog about my daily struggles.http://bpdandanxiety.blogspot.co.uk



report abuse
 

NoWay

posted May 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm


You cannot be serious advising persons with a BPD family member to not give boundaries. That goes against every known study on BD that is available, not to mention what no boundaries on a BP’s behaviors does to the family. That should be retracted, as it sounds like someone with BD who is attempting to justify the character flaw, instead of taking responsibility to fix it.



report abuse
 

Bahwee

posted January 10, 2014 at 4:05 pm


No matter how understanding and compassionate you are, and regardless of how much patience and empathy you have, the BPD will always giver his or herself to another behind your back; emotionally or physically.

It is inevitable and part of the illness. So yeah, JohnM, stay and be the understanding man while she goes out and rides men who haven’t given the effort you have.

I’ve been there, pal. 10 years.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.