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Dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder

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Showing 1-21 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 17, 2008 2:21:28 AM PST
marky77 says:
I have Borderline Personality Disorder, but have never met anybody else who has. I was just wondering if there was anybody out there suffering with the same thing. How do you deal with it when things get difficult? What's the worst symptom for you? Do you belive it can be cured?.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2008 8:15:28 AM PST
L. Hilliard says:
My brother has this. It is difficult, because he tends to see things only from his perspective and it is hard to believe him, since subterfuge and lying is a part of the disorder. I will try to talk to him and see if I can get some advice for you, though. He is doing much better these days and we do talk frequently. The most important first step is to understand that you may have hurt people in the past and to acknowledge this without making excuses. From what I understand, it isn't curable, but it can be controlled through therapy and (sometimes) medication can make it easier to keep your worst symptoms in check.

Good luck to you!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2008 9:39:55 AM PST
marky77 says:
Thanks :)

Yes, lying to hide the disorder etc is very common. I knew there was sumthing very wrong with me from being about 11 (although I didnt know about personaltity disorders etc then) but kept it hidden for 6 years. I dont even know why.

I dont know how it was caused but I think it's because i was emotionally abused by my parents and bullied at school.

good luck with your brother :).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 2:22:46 PM PST
EmSw says:
I have some things I'd like to recommend to you if you wouldn't mind giving me your email.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 2:26:33 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 18, 2008 2:26:52 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2008 9:55:54 AM PST
Wan Quixote says:
Hi, marky77. I just learned in September that I have BPD, and I was so freaked by the diagnosis that I cried for five solid hours -- despite the fact that I've been on Zoloft for a couple of years and find it really hard to cry.

Since then, I've gotten stabilized on Lamictal, which has helped straighten out my mood swings. I still have them, but they're not so extreme. The most helpful thing, beyond the Lamictal, has been my habit of journaling. In my journal, I carry out a dialogue with another "voice." If you've read any of Dialogues of Plato, you'll be familiar with this technique. Sometimes the "voice" is just generic, for the sake of the discussion I'm having with myself, and sometimes it's that of a former therapist, who helped me very much. These dialogues help me explore my behaviors and feelings, and to see alternatives to my actions. Though I've never been violent, I have said things that have wounded other people very deeply -- things that, in some instances, they never remotely deserved. My goal is to stop doing this completely.

One behavior I HAVE gotten control over is self-cutting. Back in August and September, I cut my arms and legs and torso with knives and scissors. Some of the cuts were so deep that they still have not healed. I should probably have them treated, but I'm too ashamed. In late September, I vowed never to cut myself again, and since then, I've done it only once -- and it was a very small cut.

Another behavior I'm working on is impulsive spending, and I've made good progress, there. Still another is compulsive eating -- and I have to admit that I don't have control over that one, yet.

How is YOUR progress going?

I look on BPD as learned behavior. We learned behaviors that helped us survive when bad crap was happening to us. When I was getting the doo-doo beaten out of me as a child, I found ways to make it not so scary and painful. These behaviors worked in the short term, but they were harmful, in the long term. The beating (along with some sexual abuse) went on for 17 years, so I learned quite a lot of things that I now have to unlearn because they got all twisted around and turned into self-destruction.

Because those behaviors enabled me to survive the s*** that happened, I HAVE to give them some credit. So what I'm working on is BLESSING them and RELEASING them. They served me, they got twisted around into harmful behaviors, and they ruined two careers, cost me many relationships, and led to three stays in mental hospitals. Though I give them credit for helping me survive, I have to let them go.

Brightest blessings to you, marky. I hope you post some more about yourself soon!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 11:22:36 PM PST
marky77; there are many many many many people like you out there. You actually have met any number of people who's behaviors or symptoms would match up with your diagnosis. You just didn't know it. I believe, and it is pretty well proven, that BPD is ALWAYS about some kind of Trauma or neglect/failure in attachment as a child. You bear much in common with anyone who has been traumatized. If you have been told you "have" BPD; then your therapist or doctor or what have you, in my opinion, erred in not explaining to you that your symptoms meet the criteria for that diagnosis, but that does not mean that the diagnosis needs to be treated--you do. You are you. You are not a diagnosis. You are simply wounded and need treatment for trauma that is likely relational in nature. Please find someone quickly who really specializes in trauma and dissociation. Look up therapists specializing particularly in this. Try the following : and use the find a therapist locator and maybe spend some time browsing and learning about trauma. Blessings . . . me

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2008 9:30:55 AM PST
Cosmos says:
There are a number of types of BPD. Look at the DSMIV for more descriptions. It's more common than generally acknowledged and we all have come across people (as well as ourselves on a given day(s) ) who manifest the symptoms of BSD. Your own insight and efforts to address yourself is a big and critical step. Becoming mindful of how and why we react and what we think as well working towards harnessing the subconscious chatter in our own heads will go a long way to helping you. It can be cured and the cure is within you. Get a guide (professional with the degrees, experience and the other credentials) to help you find your way. It's all part of the journey my friend.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2008 7:57:10 AM PST
Lawa says:
My grandmother is BPD but has never been officially diagnosed. Personally I think the diagnosis is a difficult one to get for some people. Most BPD diagnosis only occur after the person is forced to see a therapist following a suicide attempt. Many persons with BPD are able to negotiate therapy and fool counselors for a period of time, but then the lack of interpersonal relationship skills create a situation in which the client stops all therapy. Therefore they don't stay in therapy long enough to actually have an accurate diagnosis. And although self-harm is a requirement for BPD, it isnt always manifested as suicide attempts. This makes it even harder for people to really accept something is wrong.

I hope you are in therapy. Dialectical Behavior Therapy was created specifically to treat BPD. There is a great deal of evidence to back this up as an effective therapy approach.

As for the worst symptom, most professionals will say that the self-injury/suicide attempts is the worst symptom. For my grandmother though, I would say that the inability to understand another persons perspective probably causes her the most difficulty. For her family, the worst part is her over-dramatizing everything but she herself seems to enjoy this and even encourage it.

Do an internet search for BPD support groups. I know you can chat with others at as well as

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2008 12:05:26 PM PST
There's some evidence that BPD can result when a person with ADHD

1) grows up without benefit of diagnosis or treatment, AND
2) grows up in an extremely unsupportive or abusive environment (often with a parent who also has undiagnosed ADHD...the heritability factor is 76 percent) in which the child's ADHD is not recognized and often punished

I've heard that the aforementioned dialectical behavior therapy can help some people with BPD, but if the person also has ADHD and it remains undiagnosed/untreated, severe problems can remain. This is a shame, because the treatments for ADHD can be very effective, but many people with BPD who also have ADHD will never learn how much better their lives can be without knowing about this BPD-ADHD connection.

If you or someone you love has BPD, it's definitely worth looking into ADHD.

Gina Pera, author
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2008 12:13:49 PM PST
Lawa wrote:
"For my grandmother though, I would say that the inability to understand another persons perspective probably causes her the most difficulty. For her family, the worst part is her over-dramatizing everything but she herself seems to enjoy this and even encourage it."
Low empathy cuts across many diagnoses; empathy, after all, is a function of the brain, just like remorse. but most people are surprised to learn that low empathy is highly associated with untreated ADHD.

Some people with ADHD are simply too distracted, impulsive, stressed, frustrated, etc. to be able to focus on someone else's distress or pain. Yet, after they start medication treatment, some are better able to tap into their empathy -- or at least be better able to express it after they start medication treatment.

Of course, low empathy has many brain-based causes, including conditions on the autistic spectrum. Humans are definitely not created equally in the empathy department. But for many, medication can help boost empathy.

As for your grandmother overdramatizing everything, some people with ADHD subsconsciously do this in order to increase stimulation to their brains. Some even pick fights or start arguments in order to do this. The increased stimulation helps to "calm the noise" in their brains, and so they might actually enjoy creating a ruckus. It's no wonder that the first-line treatment for ADHD is called stimulant medication. :-)

Gina Pera, author
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2008 9:29:57 AM PST
C. A. Ross says:
My mother has BPD with narcissistic defenses. The nacissism made it hard to see the BPD because she does not harm herself or threaten suicide. I have compassion for her today - but it took a long time for me to forgive her and move on with my life. I know she didn't ask for the trauma that caused her BPD, and that she suffers with it far more than those around her do. I love her - but I keep her at a distance for my own emotional safety.

Two books that helped a lot were "I Hate You - Don't Leave Me" (at least I think that's right) and "Stop Walking on Eggshells." They are for anyone who is in relationship with someone with BPD - but I don't know why they couldn't be helpful for BPDs in their relationship with themselves.

BTW, I want to say that your willingness to reach out to others with BPD and learn more about yourself is remarkable. I wish you good luck on your journey.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2008 9:03:37 PM PST
Even though you think you have not met anyone with BPD, I bet you probably have. If you're anything like me, it is likely you have had relationships with others with it. I haven't managed mine very well, and those I've met who were diagnosed weren't dealing with theirs either. Sometimes I feel like there is a gravitational pull bringing people into my life who have BPD and me into theirs. I could swear that most people in my life have BPD, or something else similar like manic-depression, but are undiagnosed.

My memory is like a sieve. I don't remember events the way others do, and I can't explain to my husband why I'm mad at him because I don't remember. I just let my anger build up over time, and I have a lousy time expressing it. I guess that's several things, but they're connected.

I don't think there's any cure, but I don't know if I'm right or not. I certainly have not found any psychotropic that helped me at all. A lot of people help themselves through exercise and diet and journaling and stuff like that involving introspection. I do some of this, but not in a disciplined or focused way. I am very lazy and very self-centered, and I doubt I can change.

Posted on Jul 23, 2011 7:12:36 PM PDT
In a series of dozens of pop psychology diagnosis, this is my latest! As long as the money keeps coming, i dont care, nor do I believe I suffer from whatever it is. Alot of this stuff is self-defeating. The average person has the same basic needs. I must say i prefer this one to the schizophrenia. I dont place much value in psychiatry, believe i really suffer from sluggish schizophrenia for my political views, and thats about the long and short of it. Of some interest is how we would treat other great minds. My 130+ IQ has been squandered from humanity by some bug brodder types who probably stole all their credentials! My ideas show up in the media, which is all that matters. as long as we are heard, us gnostic christian types. Ignore the machine!

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 4:57:41 PM PDT
MEddy says:
Another diagnosis that = dollars for the pharmaceutical companies. I'm guessing most of those that fall under the general category of BPD probably have physical problems caused by diet and exercise choices. Many are probably just 'jerks'. Others fall under one of the many other popular diagnosis that have already established themselves in our society...create dollars...and explain a variety of bad personality traits caused by environment and influence. Just another way to NOT be held accountable for your behavior.

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 9:18:36 PM PST
A psychiatrist colleague who specializes in BPD treatment and I just finished a book dealing with coming to terms with having had a parent (or parents) with a personality disorder: "Transcending the Personality Disordered Parent: Psychological and Spiritual Tactics."

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 9:00:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 10:01:41 AM PST
C. J. Reese says:
Marky, I was a volunteer in the mental heath system for 28 years.... and on a number of boards that researched the cause and effect of disorders.
I formed some conclusions after realizing that we need to find politically correct ways to describe the disorders and their possible causes.

In short, there are many people that can not respond to militant, strong people, that must have their way.
Some people are forced, punished and abused; but some are the product of well meaning strong willed parents or teachers, that give messages to the child that were not necessarily intended. They cause them to feel as though their reasoning is flawed, or that they are incapable of trusting themselves.........
We have a way of becoming what we think we are; or how we see ourselves. (When that picture changes, we are fully capable of doing whatever we are trained to do.)

As far as the treatment; when the person can stop looking backward to the confusion of the past, and toss of the guilt, fear, inferiority and resentment that comes from being pushed into someone else's ideas.....
amazing things happen fast.

When the defenses are formed around a wounded person, a message goes out to others that would be abusers themselves...... and it brings out the worst in them.......

When children are respected and talked TO, instead being talked AT, their personalities bloom and they want to please parents; but when they are overwhelmed, they sometimes act passive, - or they can become abusers themselves.

(This is one reason that I have spent a lot of time studying the wisdom of the ages, as in the teachings of Jesus......... because the things that worked then, are the same treatments that fill the phycology books.)

Regardless of the source, the results are the same and work well according to how well they are implemented.
Thanks for your interesting posts.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 9:42:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 10:37:54 AM PST
C. J. Reese says:
Marky, Absolutely, When you learn that you are unique, precious and that as an individual you have something to offer that no one else can do so as well as you.........then, you become YOU.

When people are tempted to fill in some facts that are not accurate; it is from needing to cause the least confusion when they feel the true facts do not work with controlling people. It causes too much pain/confusion.

The word "forgiveness" is very important; because we need to learn to forgive those around us.......... whether we are the controllers or the controlled.

Most of us are doing the best we know how, depending on the environment that taught us how to function. So it goes, generation after generation.........

Never get discouraged. I have rarely met anyone that is perfectly balanced in all the aspects of their personality. ha!
We all need to do some introspection.

I once read in the McCall's magazine that we would be better rounded if we were to examine "why" we were sharing the next statement we are about to make.

I found that I was bragging that I had travelled abroad and seen the same thing that a person was currently describing......
"Why in the world would I think that anyone needed to hear that?"
That principal spared me from telling some real boring stories.........and having some really bored friends.

Don't we all need a little help to be close to balanced.......?
Thanks for sharing
Bless us all.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 10:23:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 10:33:03 AM PST
C. J. Reese says:
Carrie, You have already started to change. You have done a good job
identifying the problems and are open to considering other's point of view.

We have taken a step when we realize that the anger was within, before the incident even happened. Forgive yourself. If you think you are self-centered .... accept yourself as you are; then, can have the power to "become". It wears us out to assume that we are wrong all the time.

You are the product of your past environment, as well as that in the present and will effect the future.
Loose/forgive everyone in your past that was wrong; they were likely doing the only thing that they learned in their past.
Let it go. They may not deserve it; but then most of us don't.

Let it go anyway. If they have messed up any of your past; you certainly don't want to turn over another hour of your life their problems.

Don't worry about, "Life is not fair"....... it never is........ just find some things that are going well and concentrate on them. They make the best stories. Everyone has their own "unfair" stories, they don't care to hear ours...... have you noticed....?

Now you are 1/2 way home. That covers the first 10 session off what most psychologist tell us; and it only works IF we do it.
Blessings to you and yours.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2013 7:39:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 1, 2013 8:01:49 AM PDT
Hi Marky

I thought that was a great post from Wan Quixote - I hope you found it helpful.

Yes there are medicinal solutions, of course, and they are a godsend if things get really bad.
The trouble is that they usually work by dulling down part of the functionality of the brain, which won't, in itself, provide a long-term solution.

If I can expand a bit on part of Wan's post, there is an exercise that can be applied where a starting point can be identified for any trauma that you believe might be (partly or fully responsible for the BPD.

1. In a quiet place where you wont be disturbed, imagine a line on the floor - this represents your entire life from birth through to a few years in the future.

2. Decide which end represents your date of birth, and pick a point on the line which represents the present (make this pretty near the other end of the line. Stand on the line at the point that represents Now.)

3. Think about the event you think may have traumatised you, WITHOUT going too deeply into it. (And only plan to deal with one event at a time or things can get very unhelpfully confused). The main thing to think about is this question: "What qualities do you have now, or would like to have now, which would have helped you to deal with that past event more effectively than retreating into yourself. These qualities can be any combination of physical, intellectual and emotional, AND REALISTIC (being Superman or Supergirl, or a short-term sex change are not viable options).

4. Look back down the line and estimate the point where (in terms of time) the problem event occurred. Once you've fixed a position on the line for the event, and have it clear in your mind what qualities you think will be helpful, step to one side of the line.

5. Now walk back BESIDE the line to a point which represents a day or so BEFORE the problem event. And as far as you can, visualise yourself as you were at that earlier time, and step back onto the line right beside the younger you.

6. At this point the most important thing is to feel/imagine that you can communicate with your younger self. Because the next step is to impart those characteristics of the older you to the younger you.

(IMPORTANT: only ADD extra characteristics to the younger you. Do NOT try to directly change what is already there. So, you can have the younger you "be more confident", but don't tell them to "stop being unsure of yourself".)

7. Now go forward with te younger you towards the time when the event happened until he event begins to happen.
"Watch" what does happen, and particularly note any area where the younger you could have been even more effective.

8. Whatever does "happen" in the new version of the event, as soon as it is over, step off the line, 3walk back to the present, and step back on again.


In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2013 7:55:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 1, 2013 8:03:11 AM PDT
Wan Quixote says:
M. Hilliard, I'd like to add a couple of things to your post about your brother's behavior.

Subterfuge and lying are behaviors common to every single person in the world. Everybody hurts other people. Christians and certain other religions regard this as sin. Nobody escapes it. Also, lots of us BPDs suffer torment because of our intense empathy with other people and the possibility that we may inadvertently hurt them with our actions or words.

BPD, like Asperger's Syndrome, is a wide-spectrum disorder. In fact, there is a good deal of cross and/or misdiagnosis between the two.

I don't mean this as an attack on your post -- or on you. Best of luck to you and to your brother. You're obviously a caring person and your brother is lucky to have you.
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Discussion in:  Self-help forum
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Initial post:  Feb 17, 2008
Latest post:  Apr 1, 2013

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