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Author Topic: Is the use of transitional objects suggestive of BPD?  (Read 2756 times)
Salesguy
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« on: January 30, 2008, 12:38:00 PM »

I posted something similar a long ways back -but wanted to bring the issue back up--

Did your BPD have anything such as a Blanket-Pillow-stuffed animal-special Pillow from their chilhood that they still were "using" ?

Mine was in her early 20's and still was using her original Baby blanket..

She slept with it -watched tv with it -studied with it (all the while when awake rubbing it furiously) she also took it on trips ..

Im gone leave a link here to better explain the behavior --

I also read in a Mental health nurses -textbook that If you see this behavior -It is most likely BPD --

Sounds like it maybe some actual physical evidence we may be able to point to-
a behavior possibly outside of an intimate relationship that may lead to a DX..


http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/154/2/250.pdf

See what you think?



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torrential rain
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 10:48:57 AM »

Yes yes.. mine did (i posted this a while back too). All these cute stuffed animals from childhood.  He hid all of them in his closet because he was a mature man in his 30's. I found it cute at the time and didnt think much about it. It's creepy how similar they are arn't they? I also feel a bit sad for them at the same time.
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nonyberg
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2008, 11:04:22 PM »

Mine had a pillow that his grandmother gave him. Now I think his grandma was the only stable thing in his childhood, and if I ever brought her up he didn't want to talk about it. I think he missed her so much it hurt him. But that Damn pillow. He is a 44 year old man. Do the math he was using the same pillow for almost 35 years. It weighed a hundred pounds, stunk and I'm sure was full of mites and their crap. Yuck yuck yuck. i bought him new pillows for health reasons mainly, and told him to just use his pillow from his grandmother for decoration. But to keep it, make it all nice and pretty on the bed. He left in a huff never to be seen again 1 week later.? maybe I shouldn't of messed with grannys pillow!
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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

This board is intended for general questions about BPD and other personality disorders, trait definitions, and related therapies and diagnostics. Topics should be formatted as a question.

Please do not host topics related to the specific pwBPD in your life - those discussions should be hosted on an appropraite [L1] - [L4] board.

You will find indepth information provided by our senior members in our workshop board discussions (click here).

GameGirl
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 05:35:32 PM »

I posted something similar a long ways back -but wanted to bring the issue back up--

Did your BPD have anything such as a Blanket-Pillow-stuffed animal-special Pillow from their chilhood that they still were "using" ?

Mine was in her early 20's and still was using her original Baby blanket..

She slept with it -watched tv with it -studied with it (all the while when awake rubbing it furiously) she also took it on trips ..

Im gone leave a link here to better explain the behavior --

I also read in a Mental health nurses -textbook that If you see this behavior -It is most likely BPD --

Sounds like it maybe some actual physical evidence we may be able to point to-
a behavior possibly outside of an intimate relationship that may lead to a DX..


http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/154/2/250.pdf

See what you think?





I'm not sure on this one.  Perhaps it relates to the extent to which the person uses it.  I have a very special Stife Bear that my grandmother gave me as a child.  My kids do not play with that bear, and when I am stressed, I do like to hold it.  I even rubbed it with some lavendar because the smell is supposed to be soothing.

I'll admit that a couple of times when I have had a really crappy day teaching, Max and I have cuddled up and watched a DVD or two.  He reminds me of my grandmother and makes me feel better.

I read the article, and the issue is not the presence of the transitional object, but the pathological inability to part with it.  This is believed to reflect the lack of object constancy in the cognitive schema of the borderline if you are approaching the disorder from the psychodynamic perspective.  This lack of object constancy is what leads to the instable interpersonal relationships that are so much fun for those of us who are involved with a BPD.

I have another friend who has her Hello Kitty doll from childhood.

However, neither of us carry it around all day or anything like that. 

But, her kids don't touch her "Hello Kitty" either.  I think she'd be crushed if anything happened to it.  It was a special gift from her grandmother too.

I am a non by the way and do not have a dx of BPD.

EDITED TO ADD:

However, I am a collector of stuffed bears in general, and have several Stifes.  I also collect antique games and other types of toys.  So, I guess Max could just reflect my hobby.

But, I think even us "normies" have things to comfort and ground us around our homes.

I felt this study was a little skewed because they only studied patients on a pscyh ward and had no control group from the general population.
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2008, 07:04:54 PM »

I slept with my baby blanket until I was about 20. I still have it in a drawer, but rarely sleep with it. I think, for me, since I never had a sense of stability coming from my family, the blanket was the next best thing. The only reason I out grew it was out of embarrassment!

Oh, but then I kept the shirt I was wearing when I met so-and-so. It was as though if I didn't have it, then that meeting never happened. I had to have something I could touch that would remind me of a person or event. If I didn't have that thing, I couldn't keep it in my head that the event or person actually existed.
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rcoaster
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2008, 08:33:05 AM »

My xbpdw had extreme issues with object constancy. She would be "fine" say, when we were at home together. Then if I left for work or went to visit a friend, she would start to call me as soon as I got where I was going. Sometimes it grew incessant, and she nearly always had a trivial reason for calling. She couldn't get herself to just admit to me that she was lonely and hated being in the house alone. She was also very tied to items from family members she had since childhood..ie: her grandma's afghan, her wooden chest her father made her, certain articles of clothing etc. Then, when she literally abandoned our home and marriage in one swift move, she methodically left behind every photo of us/me or even herself while she was with me, all of the clothes I bought her or that she bought to wear for me, shelves, furniture and Christmas decorations, her bedside lamp and clock radio, the slippers my mother gave her for Christmas (that she claimed she "loved so much!"), and every single item that held a memory of our life together. She even told me that, "All I want to take with me are the things I had when we met. I don't care what you do with the rest-burn it or give it to Goodwill for all I care".

What's crazier still is that she did take a few things that held memories for us-the new bedshts and comforter, and our new dishes/silverware we got for our wedding present. Ok, sounds not too out-of-the-norm eh? Well, what if I told you that when we moved in together, it was her bedspread and dishes that she brought to our life that remained from her first marriage and that her first marriage lasted and ended the same way ours did!

I saw this as an attempt on her part to try to "wipe the slate of all memories", and one of the overwhelmingly obvious signs that she indeed had object constancy issues and was indeed BPD. She now lives a completely new life with a man who is at the complete other end of the scale from me in every way, and it hasnt even been a year since our separation, and only 4 months since our divorce!
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182RG
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2008, 03:34:18 PM »

My xbpdw had extreme issues with object constancy.

Oh yes!  My exBPDw needed her dog.  The dog could do no wrong, and had to be with her at all times.  Our vacations were some of the worst times together, and I believe part of it was because she had to leave her dog behind.  If the dog sat on my lap, she made it get down and sit on hers.  Only she could feed it and take care of it.  She told me she loved animals, and hated humans...me included.

Posessions?  In the weeks prior to the wedding, we began to consolidate our households.  We both owned houses.  I owned the larger house on more acreage, her house was smaller and more easily rented.  Everything that she brought from her house...we used.  If I owned anything redundant, it was donated to goodwill...PERIOD.  She needed everything she owned close to her.  Within a month of being married and moving, she cried about leaving her house and needed to go back to it.  It became an obsession with her, and the subject of many rages.

She finally did leave, taking every single thing that she brought, and leaving what we accumulated in the short period of time behind.  She destroyed every picture, every letter and card, and every gift.  She took (stole?) everything that she had given me for my birthday and Christmas.  She even took my wedding band.  She completely erased our time together...and put her house back as she left it.   Of course, she doesn't mind cashing her alimony check from me every month.  She doesn't seem to need to erase that...

Greg
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rcoaster
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2008, 11:33:08 AM »

Quote
She finally did leave, taking every single thing that she brought, and leaving what we accumulated in the short period of time behind.  She destroyed every picture, every letter and card, and every gift.  She took (stole?) everything that she had given me for my birthday and Christmas.  She even took my wedding band.  She completely erased our time together...and put her house back as she left it.

You're giving me the chills! When people ask me these days what happened in our marriage, lately I've just opened it up with, "Ever seen Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind?" Yep, that's about it .                                                             
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Skip
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2008, 07:34:08 AM »

This is an interesting observation...

Transitional objects and borderline personality disorder
W Cardasis, JA Hochman and KR Silk
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109-0704, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The relationship of possession of transitional objects to the borderline personality disorder diagnosis was explored in a psychiatric inpatient setting. It was hypothesized that a greater proportion of inpatients who bring objects of special meaning with them to the hospital have borderline personality disorder.

METHOD: Psychiatric inpatients (N = 146) were administered a semistructured interview to determine the presence of special (i.e., transitional) objects in the hospital, at home, or during childhood. Borderline personality disorder was determined by criteria on a DSM-III-R borderline personality disorder checklist and by DSM-III-R discharge diagnosis.

RESULTS: Significantly more patients who endorsed having transitional objects in the hospital or at home had the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive power, and negative predictive power of the possession of the transitional object for the borderline personality disorder diagnosis were calculated. Specificity was higher than sensitivity, and negative predictive power was higher than positive predictive power in each instance. While these results suggest that absence of a transitional object is more likely to be associated with absence of borderline personality disorder than the presence of a transitional object is with the presence of borderline personality disorder, the sensitivity of a transitional object during adulthood to predict a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder was 63%, and the positive predictive power was 45%.

CONCLUSIONS: A transitional object brought to the hospital may help remind the inpatient with borderline personality disorder of home or provide soothing during separation from home. The persistence of transitional objects into adulthood may inform the therapist of possible transference paradigms that may develop in treatment.

Am J Psychiatry 1997; 154:250-255
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geroldmodel
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2008, 08:51:45 AM »

Quote
In human childhood development, a transitional object is something, usually a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond. Common examples include dolls, teddy bears or blankets.

Donald Woods Winnicott introduced the concepts of transitional objects and transitional experience in reference to a particular developmental sequence. With ‘transition’ Winnicott means an intermediate developmental phase between the psychic and external reality. In this ‘transitional space’ we can find the ‘transitional object’.

When the young child begins to separate the ‘me’ from the ‘not-me’ and evolves from complete dependence to a stage of relative independence, it uses transitional objects. An infant sees himself and the mother as a whole. In this phase the mother ‘brings the world’ to the infant without delay which gives him a ‘moment of illusion’, a belief that his own wish creates the object of his desire which brings with it a sense of satisfaction. Winnicott calls this subjective omnipotence . Alongside the subjective omnipotence of a child lies an objective reality. , which constitutes the child’s awareness of separateness between himself and desired objects.


FROM WIKI
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geroldmodel
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2008, 09:02:22 AM »

Thanx for the link Skip.

My ex surrounded herself with objects of loved-ones when she felt bad.
"Watch & wallet of her dear father, glasses of her dear grandfather."

Although they are not exactly like "the teddy bear" to replace the mother-bond,
I always saw them as the objects to replace the father-bond she never had
and as a way to recall possitive feelings from her childhood...
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elphaba
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2008, 09:59:58 AM »

Funny...the last time DB ended up in a psych ward, he called begging for someone to bring his guitar...weeping...it was his version of a security blanket...and he identifies his sense of self with it.
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JoannaK
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2008, 01:53:08 PM »

This brought up a memory for me:  When I was in the teacher training program, we spent three weeks each of three summers in a special summer session, far away from family.  The first year I went, my son was 5, and I was really sad about the three-week separation.  Right as I was packing to go, my son came into my room and brought me one of his teddy bears.. not his best teddy bear, but his best teddy's best "friend".  He packed it in my suitcase so that I wouldn't be lonely. 

So how does this relate to bpd?  Well, as an emotionally mature, healthy person, I didn't need a transitional object..  but my young son did need transitional objects, and he assumed that I needed one also.  So the need for transitional objects would make sense for those who are emotionally immature, with the emotional make-up of someone much younger.

(I did take that teddy out of my suitcase and put it on my bed when I made my bed every morning.  When I talked to my son on the phone, he wanted to know how the teddy was.)
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schwing
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2008, 02:57:06 PM »


Quote
In human childhood development, a transitional object is something, usually a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond. Common examples include dolls, teddy bears or blankets.


FROM WIKI
[/quote]

Gee, that puts into perspective my experience of having a security blanket when I was a toddler.  Momster likes to bring this up from time to time that I carried it with me "everywhere," even to the point that it was in tattered rags.  That blanket must have been my surrogate mother.  I now seriously wonder if she was jealous of it and may have facilitated its "retirement."  She almost certainly tried to shame me for relying on it (does to this day).

On the other hand, I don't recall my exuBPDgf ever carrying around ... wait a minute... I had forgotten about this up to this point...  she DID have some trinkets from different people.  I remember a small cabinet of gifts from previous boyfriends, and perhaps family members.  Gosh, I somewhat half-remember having some conversation of why she didn't keep my gifts there...

Something I do remember for certain, I now consider this a "flea," but after she dumped me,  I had some of her things in my possession (which, lol, included a blanket) which I didn't return when I had the opportunity.  I kept them around for some time until I finally "buried" them (think viking's funeral).  Since my exuBPDgf, I hadn't had the need to keep any mementos with other exgfs;  I've found my memories (and in some cases the ongoing rapport) quite sufficiently sentimental.  But with my exuBPDgf, I remember feeling like those things (transitional objects?) were the only things that I had left as evidence of my relationship with her, since she had no longer provided any kind of validation that was consistent with my memory. 

Thanks for the info Skip and Geroldmodel.

Schwing
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geroldmodel
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2008, 07:02:52 AM »

Right as I was packing to go, my son came into my room and brought me one of his teddy bears.. not his best teddy bear, but his best teddy's best "friend".  He packed it in my suitcase so that I wouldn't be lonely. 
he assumed that I needed one also...
Projection!  grin
Sweet.

Quote
Gee, that puts into perspective my experience of having a security blanket when I was a toddler.  Momster likes to bring this up from time to time that I carried it with me "everywhere," even to the point that it was in tattered rags.  That blanket must have been my surrogate mother.  I now seriously wonder if she was jealous of it and may have facilitated its "retirement."  She almost certainly tried to shame me for relying on it (does to this day).
Schwing, this sounds very NORMAL to me... how old were you when your mother "retired" your transitional object?

I still have my "transitional object" in a box on the attic somewhere... a blanket from my crib.
My mom kept it safe, when the blanket retired  smiley
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2008, 01:51:30 PM »

She must have thrown it out when I was four or five.  Certainly before I attended preschool or kindergarden.  It would have embarrassed her if I was observed by teachers with it. 
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