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Author Topic: COMPARISON: Reactive Attachment Disorder vs BPD  (Read 8226 times)
Jemima
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« on: January 25, 2010, 08:02:29 PM »

I joined bpdfamily.com and started posting because of my estranged daughter in law's behavior ... .and because I recognized that there were a lot of BPD women in my family's history. I don't know if I am now seeing BPD behind every proverbial tree or what, but has anybody ever heard of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) morphing into BPD during adolescence?

My daughter was abandoned to an Eastern European orphanage at birth, and we adopted her when she was little over a year old. She came to us with her ability to bond broken, and although I think she was bonded to us before she was able to demonstrate it, she always has had some important deficits:

1) Poor awareness of her own emotions and the way her behavior affects others

2) inappropriate affect (smirking when other people are trying to engage her with seriousness)

3) not learning from her mistakes (doing the same mistake over and over despite adverse consequences)

4) not seeing why other people react badly to her (saying hurtful or awkward things and then saying other people are "mean" or "rude" to her because they become irritated and snap back at her)

5) thinking that we are being "mean" to her by punishing her for disobedience, even when the rules were crystal clear and we explained that she had to have consequences and why until we are blue in the face

6) having to be the center of attention all the time --- no amount of attention is ever enough

7) being attracted to people who treat her badly and rejecting people who treat her well.

Even as a toddler, she would follow one brother around like a puppy (he was jealous of the new baby in the family and wasn't very nice to her) and refuse to have anything to do with the other (he was a little older than the other brother, and had looked so forward to having a baby sister).

She seems to take out a lot of rage and hatred on me, her mother. I have taken her on several special outings lately, and it seems that although she behaves well during the outing itself, all special occasions are sandwiched between periods of extreme "attitude". Right now she is giving me the silent treatment because she didn't get a say in what new house her dad and I bought, although we were careful to find a house that would appeal to our kids and have carefully explained all of the benefits. (Her little brother, the only other child still at home, quickly became enthusiastic about the new house, so that is some indication that we chose a property that would be otherwise appealing to teens). I suppose the silent treatment is also because I enforced a previously-existing rule that she cannot go on single dates with boys until she is sixteen ... .she claims "it's not a date" but she was carefully deleting the fact that the "someone" she wanted to go "somewhere" with was a boy driving his own car (she is fifteen).

I'm exhausted from this ... .if the RAD she had as a toddler/preschooler/early school-ager has now morphed into BPD, then I have been already dealing with this for years. Her logic has always been terribly impaired, and although we have been successful at getting our sons to understand our rules and ways of approaching parenting (even when they didn't like it), she acts like we are totally arbitrary about what we say "no" to.

I admit it --- my frustration and near-constant irritation with a RAD child probably caused me to act in invalidating ways (I know an "invalidating" environment is thought to be one of the prerequisites for BPD). After awhile, I got really exhausted from trying to get her to understand stuff and would just say "I don't care if you don't understand, just do it (or, you still can't do that)."

She still goes into a rage whenever her "best friend" when she was 11 years old comes up. We had to stop letting her visit this girl down the street, after my daughter was in an accident in which this older girl put her up to a dangerous stunt. We realized the girl had a lot of problems of her own and that she was manipulating my daughter ... .well, even after 4 years and countless attempts to explain why, she still goes into a rage because we "took her best friend away."

Last summer on vacation we had a huge blow-up because she has such a terrible attitude. It started when she and her younger brother were fussing, and I tried to get them both to explain what happened. She instantly went into the mode of, "I'm not explaining my side because you never listen anyway." Everybody else in the family was already sick of her constant attention-seeking ... .if everything was peaceful she had to start something.

After that argument on vacation, she went for weeks giving me the silent treatment. For the most part it didn't do much good because I didn't realize it was on purpose. However, it is cruel and horrible that she would go for weeks doing that on purpose.

The things I have written are just the tip of the iceberg. There is a sense that I don't even want to know if she has BPD because I will just scream. But on the other hand, at least opening my mind to the possibility may give me new avenues to explore in how to deal with her.
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Bijou
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010, 08:51:03 PM »

Yes, I have heard this over and over, that unhealed RAD can be considered to have BPD as an adult.  But I do wonder if that means that the child actually had BPD or some other personality

disorder all along, instead of RAD.

This very much interests me as our dd was adopted at a later age and would be considered to have RAD, but is grown and seems to have BPD/NPD/HPD, not sure which and she has been this

way all along.  (has always been totally full of herself)
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Jemima
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2010, 09:27:02 PM »

Thanks, Bijou. I would be very interested to know the other places you have found that make the connection between RAD and BPD. My daughter's psychologist considers her "recovered" from RAD (although he admits that we really don't know if "total recovery" really happens) ... .because she obviously is attached to us, she just has severe deficits that inhibit her from having a fully satisfying relationship with us or anybody else.

She recently asked to be homeschooled because she had made friends with some girls who blabbed her secrets all over Facebook. She stated that she found out after she had made friends with these girls that "everybody" knew these girls were "into drama" (the interpersonal kind) but she didn't know until they had stabbed her in the back. She didn't want to tell me what her "secrets" were so I could judge if these girls were really being malicious or if they didn't understand that she considered the information private. You never can tell with my daughter ... .sometimes she will think she has a big secret and it turns out to be a non-issue. I didn't think I should pressure her to tell me what the information was, because if it upset me I didn't think I could resist jumping on her about it, and I didn't think that would be fair to promise not to jump on her and then do it anyway.

I don't doubt her diagnosis of RAD, given her definite history of severe emotional/psychological and physical neglect. It is probably harder to tell with a child adopted domestically, who was not obviously abused or neglected in any way ... .how do you know what is RAD and what is just an inborn personality problem ... .

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lbjnltx
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2010, 11:11:11 PM »

dear jamima,

i have heard it said that "BPD is rad all grown up".  does that mean that all BPD's had rad as young children? no... .my BPD13 and i were very close until she turned 11 and had a really bad year in a private school as well as puberty setting in.  i had not ever heard of rad until last year when i was talking to a friend who is a social worker.  she told me that pdoc's are dx rad at a very high rate in her young clients. :'(

how old is your daughter now?  is she in any kind of therapy?

lbjnltx

ps. the truth is the truth whether we admit it or not... .the truth always comes out... .the truth will set you !
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 12:08:53 AM »

Jemima,

I don't know that I have anything to add about your question.  I just wanted to tell you that I too have an adopted daughter from Eastern Europe with RAD.  We adopted her at 14 months of age.  The whole experience has been full of trials.  She's had learning delays and behavior problems from the beginning.  A few years ago, she got put on an anti-psychotic which actually seems to help quite a bit with her poor decision making.  Of course, now that she's an adult (19) she goes through periods where she refuses to take it and her poor decision making gets out of hand.  We are in the midst of a huge crisis with her now.  I am actually at the point of washing my hands of her.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know I can understand much of what you are going through.  I do not know about an association between RAD and BPD, but I don't see it as a huge jump.

Secretsister
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Jemima
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 08:39:09 AM »

lbjnltx, yeah, RAD is really pretty rare, but I think even if a child does not have the genetic background to develop BPD, having RAD as an infant would set them up for developing BPD or another personality disorder.

SecretSister, We brought our daughter home at 14 months as well! My daughter is not in any therapy right now ... .she went when she was little. She dislikes her therapist now ... .mainly because after he released us from therapy when she was 5, he recommended me for a psychology program and she has heard me give him credit for getting me started in my career. It's like now she has focused intense dislike on him because she is jealous of our relationship ... .even to the point of hinting she thought I had a "thing" for him ... .despite the fact that she HAS to know what a good marriage her dad and I have. I say she HAS to know, because considering her logic, you don't really know why she comes to the conclusions she does.

I would have never guessed that an anti-psychotic med would help with the decision making. We don't have enough, or even very good, psychiatrists in our town, and it is a 3-4 hour drive to major metropolitan areas.

My daughter is 15. I usually don't discuss her problems with people that dont have special needs kids of their own, because my concerns get dismissed as, "Oh, that's just teenagers for you." But her personality has not fundamentally changed since she came home with us at 14 months.

It was just after reading on this board (If you read my first post on the new members board, you will see that at first I didn't come over here because I joined bpdfamily.com for my son's daughter's sake ... .my granddaughter is an infant) that I started thinking ... .what these parents of BPD children are going through sounds like what I am going through with my daughter.

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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 01:24:14 PM »

Jemima,

My daughter is from Romania.  She has a low IQ, ADHD and RAD.  She has been in all kinds of therapies and programs to help, some did, some did not.  She hasn't been in therapy for a few years now.  Her therapist suggested Abilify may help her.  She was already on Wellbutrin... .can't even recall why at this point.  She was only 16 and we didn't have a psychiatrist to prescribe it for her either.  I sort of battled with her primary care doc for about 4 months and finally got her to order it.  Her attitude completely changed and her rebellion all but stopped!  In fact, after she started it, she told me, "Mom, I never felt bad for anything before and now I actually feel guilty if I do something wrong.  It's weird."  Wow.

I just wish she'd keep taking it because when she isn't, she goes right back to not listening to my advice and she makes very stupid decisions.

There is some sort of relationship between her and BPD.  Many times, I've felt like my BPDh was acting like my daughter and visa versa!

Secretsister
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Jemima
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 06:47:08 PM »

HI SecretSister, You must really be my secret sister    ... .My daughter is also from Romania.
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Dessa

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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010, 09:44:30 AM »

I'm new to this board, so I hope I'm doing this right. We adopted our daughter when she was 9 yrs old from Russia ( abused by her birth mom until age of 7 when she was placed in an orphanage) and it has been a roller coaster ride from day one! We have many diagnosis including RAD and have gone through alot of medications.The BPD symptoms really make sense now. She is a cutter and has tried suicide 3 times and has been in a RTC. She has been getting progressively worse over the years. She is now 18 and we have moved her into an apartment so we have some peace at home that we haven't had for 9 years. She is in therapy but refused DBT, probably because I suggested it. We don't speak much but text ,which she can still express herself negatively and can still upset me. I 've been wondering how many other parents have adopted from this region and are having the same problems.
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2010, 10:03:26 AM »

My daughters boss has a daughter that is looking at adopting overseas. Apparently the orphanage where the child is is left unattended overnight. I have read some of these posts & I have told my daughter that although I know the kids need help some are very damaged & the bosses daughter should look into this type of stuff before going through with the adoption.
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lbjnltx
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2010, 10:07:44 AM »

hi dessa

Welcome

glad you are here.  i don't know for sure as my BPD13 is not adopted, but i don't believe it has much to do with the region from which these children came.  really from what i understand, rad is not based on adoption at all.  it can be formed from not bonding with parents/caregivers in infancy and early childhood... .

have you posted an intro on the new members board?

look forward to learning more about you and your family and how i might be able to help you on your journey.

Smiling (click to insert in post)

lbjnltx
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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.

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lbjnltx
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2010, 10:09:58 AM »

yes havana,

i just want to scream... .NO DON'T DO IT... .RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY



but it is not my place... .most won't listen anyway.  learn the hardway! :'(

lbjntlx
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Jemima
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2010, 10:47:51 AM »

I have heard more about RAD (not necessarily BPD though) with adoptees from Romania and Russia than from other parts of the globe. I don't know if that is just because there is more info on these kids or what. But it could also be that in those populations, people are genetically more predisposed to getting emotionally dysregulated. My daughter was born in a town only 20 miles from the Ukraine border, and she appears to be ethnically Russian (blue eyes etc.) . We don't know because we have been unable to locate her birth mother.

I have extended family members (women) with BPD, and if you evaluate family stories carefully, it sounds like I have female ancestors with it too (for example, neighbors all said that my great-grandmother was crazy, but my own grandmother, her daughter in law, said the only thing wrong with her was that she was mean ... .). So, I can't help but wondering, could another mother have helped my daughter get healthy by the time she turned 15? I am not BPD but the stress of dealing with my daughter drove me into a deep depression when she was very little. She was just EXHAUSTING. The whole household revolved around her behavior from the very first. I could never trust her to cooperate about ANYTHING. I had to over-punish (meaning impose more severe consequences than I would for another child) in order to teach her the most basic, foundational principles of living in a family and in society. She was never aggressive or violent, but I could never trust her to do ANYTHING she was taught to do (or not do). She would lie about stupid stuff --- just to get her own way --- and seemed to have no idea that it is not worth it to always get your way when you are tearing down the relationship with your family in the process.

[big breath] ... .she seemed to dissociate from a young age whenever she was thwarted in what she wanted (laugh hysterically in a freaky way, her eyes would roll back in her head, unresponsive to outside stimuli). she would go to strangers and ask them for stuff if we told her no. she had a virtually nonexistent attention span (they had to add a teacher's aide just for her in Mother's Day Out to keep her from trashing the room while the teacher read the other kids a story) ... .her idea of playing almost til she was kindergarten age, was going around, raking everything off a shelf or table, looking at it, throwing it down, and moving on to the next thing. As a toddler she once poured an entire can of Dr. Pepper in her own face because she could not be broken from the habit of reaching as far as she could across cabinets and counters and grabbing anything she could possibly touch. If confronted about bad behavior, she would be passive-aggressive, refusing to speak, make eye contact, or cooperate in any way.

My life got better when she went to kindergarten because I finally got a break, and because she did better in the structure of school. She could understand time better when she did the same thing every day (as opposed to twice a week like MDO, or weekly like church) and seemed to get security out of a routine. In fact she has always seemed to get more security out of routines and her "stuff" being the same, rather than from a relationship.

Basically, we deal with 1) everything emotional being messed up because she does not have a basic level of trust in anybody; she does not "rage" outwardly but if she is told no or if anything emotional comes up it seems to knock out her --- already limited --- powers of reason; extreme attention seeking because she seems to feel loved when everybody is giving her attention even if it's negative attention; if anybody else is getting attention she seems to conclude that she is not loved, attention right now in this moment is the only gauge she has of love 2) cognitive deficits --- she has low-average IQ so with extra effort she should be able to accomplish anything she wants, but her emotional problems often keep her from exerting that extra effort; she has an auditory processing disability that makes her hear things weird, and a lifetime of hearing things differently from everybody else has convinced her she's stupid ... .but really, the main place she has cognitive deficits is not in IQ but in her ability to reason about social situations. It's like she is totally unable to reason about anything having to do with people.

Today, if she is in a "normal" mode, she seems to be on the same wavelength as I (not to the point of being sappy --- we can talk about things and disagree to an extent but we both remain reasonable), she is helpful, does chores willingly and seems to understand that chores are a helpful way to be a part of the family, she will tell me things going on in her life and seems to listen to my feedback. But you can never tell when the "normal" mode will disappear and the angry, oppositional mode will show up. When she's in the AO mode, she wants what she wants when she wants it, and to heck with anybody else. The AO daughter blames me for everything (the latest example is that she came to the conclusion that I am responsible for her brother's divorce) ... .the AO daughter is sneaky, untrustworthy, taunts us that "parents cannot control their kids", thinks that our rules are because we think that they are robots and that we can just flick a switch and make them behave, sulky, overall angry without relief ... .the AO daughter provokes fights with her brother(s), thinks she is entitled to have everything her way all the time and to have everything she wants without exception, shows no empathy and will giggle/smirk/laugh in someone's face for no real reason.

She can't keep friends ... .I'm guessing because AO daughter is hostile and aggravating to other teens, and then when they react badly to her behavior, she says they are "rude and mean" to her "for no reason." Yeah, right. I don't doubt that some people are rude and mean to her (that's high school, there will always be plenty of catfights among high school girls) but she speaks rudely to me --- while she's calling me "rude"! I will correct her about something and she snaps, ":)on't be rude" in a rude manner. So it is not surprising that she continually cycles through friends.

There is some good news ... .although she is sneaky and anytime I don't VERIFY where she is and what she's doing, I can't depend totally on her being and doing what she says she's being and doing ... .so far there is no evidence of alcohol or drug use, or of sexual activity (I think she really has an aversion to intimacy, which includes sex, although she would not admit it because her generation doesn't think of sex as an intimate act anyway). Because of how difficult she always has been, I kept my hands COMPLETELY off of school and food issues ... .did not attempt to help her with her homework unless she specifically asked, made few comments about her grades, avoided having any expectations about her academically --- avoided commenting on her eating habits or even coaxing her to try new things. Since last fall, her grades have suddenly gone up to all As and Bs, totally because she suddenly decided to do her homework consistently and to ask questions in class and to study. However, while all throughout childhood she was the best eater in the whole family --- loving veggies and salads and eating a wide variety of foods offered --- i have noticed that lately she has begun to be picky about foods that in the past she liked. It's actually kind of stupid stuff --- like iced tea, rolls, stuff that a few people might not like but that the vast majority of people would find non-issues. Not stuff like cauliflower or liver.

Sorry the post is so long. I'll try to keep it shorter in the future.
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Jemima
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2010, 10:52:53 AM »

Oh, and y'all are right ... .RAD is about bonding disruptions, not about adoption per se. It's about serial caregivers, neglect/mistreatment, etc. that impair the child's ability to bond. However, reading this board makes me think that while RAD diagnosis is on the rise, we might actually be seeing early manifestations of BPD in kids that are with their birth parents and their parents are high-functioning and are not neglectful or abusive.

A lot of the impairments I see in my daughter are similar to kids on the autism spectrum. However, we know that autistic like disorders are biological in nature, whereas we are relatively certain that RAD kids impairments are due to early environment.

SO, I'm thinking that we are looking at several different types of disorders --- or a single disorder with many different possible causes and maybe many different possible outcomes. Either way, we are dealing with the same patterns of behavior and trying to figure out the most effective way of responding to those behaviors.
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lbjnltx
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2010, 11:49:39 AM »

not that long ago pro's attibuted BPD to environment solely.  now they know it is not so.  makes you wonder what they will come out with next doesn't it.

my take:

genetic predisposition

head injuries

chemical imbalances causes abnormal brain development

hormones

and a trigger to set  it all in motion:  dramatic/traumatic experience perhaps combined with hormonal changes

time will tell (at least i  hope)

lbjnltx
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Jemima
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2010, 12:32:22 PM »

I agree. My daughter also had a head injury at age 11 (remember my earlier post when I referred to her being in an accident caused by a situation set up by her "best friend"?). She cracked her skull in two places on the right side (the orbital bone over the right eye and the base of her skull) when she fell and hit her head on the pavement. Yeah, like what she needed was more injury to the right hemisphere of her brain. She had amnesia (but the head injury supposedly didn't damage the brain enough to cause the amnesia ... .likely was dissociative in nature) and still has to be told about some things that happened in her childhood prior to the injury.

But, really her behavior was fundamentally there even before the head injury. In fact, being sneaky and deliberately disobedient set her up to get hurt in the first place. But it couldn't have helped the situation to have a TBI.

Supposedly BPD is facilitated by an "invalidating environment". Well that may be true ... .and if you have a kid who is oppositional, can't reason when emotions are activated, distrustful, etc. ... .it may be well nigh impossible to adequately "validate" them. I know that I had to be dramatic just to get my daughter to "see" my feelings on my face and to "see" the gestures I made ... .normal expressiveness went right over her head, what I was trying to get across would not register. But then if I was loud, dramatic, in her face (the only way to get her to "see" what I was saying), she perceived me as being mean, hostile, insensitive, etc. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2010, 01:14:44 PM »

my BPD13 suffered 2 head traumas. one when she was 18 months old and another at  about 24 months.  both times were incidents when she hit her forehead on the concrete.  i took her to the er both times.  there was no loss of consciousness  in either incident and drs never did any xrays or mri.  just sent her home and told me to watch her for any signs of concussion.  there were non.

we had a great relationship for the most part.  we were very close.  the only abnormality i saw were anger issues.  i took  her for a dx from a therapist who believed she was suffering from some separation anxiety and he also said she appeared to have an above average iq.  he recommended play therapy for her but my dh said "oh that's not necessary, she will grow out of it".  so she didn't get any therapy.

we all went along fine until she was in the 4th grade.  i had her at a private christian school in our "new" small town.  she had attended 3rd gr. there and really loved it.  unfortunately she had a new teacher that really had no business being in the authoritative position of teacher.  the homework load was ghastly.  i talked to the principal in oct and explained this was not acceptable and we were thinking of pulling her out of the school if it didn't change.  it did change for awhile but then reverted right back to the same old thing.  BPD13 and i would go round and round about the homework being "unfair".  i agreed but we still had to get it done.  this was the first time she exhibited thoughts of suicide and saying she hated her life.  we pulled her out in late march and sent her to public school also took her to a t.  she refused to cooperate with him and he told me she didn't need to come back until she was ready to help herself.  he actually told me "there's nothing wrong with her. she has ODD". 

time went on and BPD13 and her dad and i discussed where to attend 5th grade.  we all decided since teacher was gone from the school, principal was gone from the school and most of the school board had been purged that private christian school was the best option.  she did ok but there were issues with lying and some accusations about cheating.  homework was still a nitemare because she didn't want to do it.  upon further investigation i found out the reason she had so much was because she wasn't do it in class like she was supposed to. 

at the beginning of 6th grade we started the total transformation program and things just got worse.  our counselor recommended our current t.  she has been seeing him weekly for almost 1yr.  he just recently started using the dbt skills with her but she doesn't seem to care whether she gets better or not.  as you probably know everything is my fault, she hates me, i'm ruining her life, blah blah blah.  last july she was inpatient for 2 weeks at an acute care facility.  she came out on meds and is still taking them without much opposition.  since she was put inpatient for suicidal ideation and self harm those behaviors have ceased.  she knows that the next time she will have to go to the state hospital because our insurance won't cover her inpatient care.  she knows that the next time i call 911 for help with threats against me, running away, or anything else she will either go to juvenile facility or state hospital.  love those consequences... .it's the only thing that halfway works for my BPD13.  that and the meds. 

am currently looking into other alternatives for placement outside the home.  teen challenge, cal farleys, etc... .        any suggestions?

hope that we all find the help we need, hope that our BPDs do too!

lbjnltx
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 03:48:08 PM »

I'm reading and relating.  Just not finding the emotional energy to respond... .

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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2010, 08:01:16 PM »

Wow, our stories sound very very similar, except that so far my daughter's behavior is not so volatile as to trigger inpatient treatment. She is more of a passive-aggressive person anyway ... .rather than screaming or cutting or doing anything else that someone from the outside could see as obviously disordered, she gives the cold shoulder unpredictably, gives no indication of understanding (at an emotional level) what she's being told (which means you're not sure she is going to do what is asked of her), sulks and gives the silent treatment, taunts both us her parents and her brothers that nobody has control of her, blames others for everything and never takes any responsibility for anything ... .it's crazy-making stuff for the rest of us and makes us wish WE could be inpatients to get away from her.
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2010, 12:12:10 AM »

DITTO JEMIMA     

my BPD13 does all of that as well as self harm, threats of violence and suicidal thoughts... .that is until she got on meds and knows the consequences... .now we just deal with all the other crazy making stuff. ;p


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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2010, 11:43:49 AM »

I just noticed that on her Facebook, in the info section, she stated that she was going to be famous someday, she just doesn't know for what. I guess most teens dream of being famous, but when she has a fantasy like that, she becomes convinced that it WILL happen. Plus, I can't see putting it all over Facebook anyway ... .

Have you noticed that your daughter thinks she can predict the future? In other words, instead of saying "this might not work" she will refuse to do something because she "already knows" it won't work ... .instead of saying "I hope xyz happens" she talks about it as if it has already happened and the outcome is 100% certain ... .etc. It is almost to the point of being delusional. If you corner her about the way she speaks about the future, she MIGHT reluctantly admit she doesn't know for sure what is going to happen in the future but then again she might not.

The thing about her getting a car for her 16th birthday is a case in point. She had been going around telling other people that she is getting a car for her birthday as if she had been promised a car. When my husband and I heard that, we asked her what makes her think she is getting a car. Her answer was that her brothers got one (they did NOT, we had an old truck that they were allowed to drive to school). It would not have even bothered me if she had told people she THOUGHT SHE MIGHT get a car (because she misunderstood the agreement we had had with her older brothers, and maybe she even got confused about when they got their cars ... .they each got a used car when they left home to go to college), but she was going around stating positively she WAS getting a car. She does this all the time. Then when her pipe dreams don't pan out, in her world somebody has betrayed her, let her down, lied to her.

I think some of her oppositional defiance might be related in her belief that she KNOWS the future and she REFUSES to cooperate with certain things because she thinks she absolutely knows the outcome (and that it will not be to her liking).
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2010, 06:15:48 PM »

Kids put all sorts of weird stuff on facebook. I wouldn't read too much into it. My BPDDD17 likes to go for the shock value on her facebook page.

My DD also plays the I know the future game. Sometimes she thinks we've promised her something when we haven't, much like you describe. I suspect it's just wishful thinking gone amok. She's also really good at the negative knowledge of the future, as in "I'm not going to try out for the school play because I won't get it anyway and the teacher plays favorites."
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lbjnltx
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« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2010, 08:01:20 AM »

dear jemima and mor,

this ALL sounds just like my BPD13.  ps as a reminder she has odd too!

lbjnltx
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« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2010, 07:25:40 PM »

I can't really remember if my DD has been dx with ODD or if her psychologist subsumed it under RAD. I did a paper on "contingency detection" in infants recently ... .theoretically speaking it is now thought that we all have an innate "contingency detector" --- we know the differences between our own body moving and other people touching us/moving in front of us, etc. because there is a perfect correlation between the sensation of our own bodies moving and what we see, hear, etc. Also "double touch" --- when you touch yourself you feel it at both bodily sites. So there is a contingent relationship between what you do and what happens to you. At a more sophisticated level, contingency is what we do when we apply consequences for children's behavior (bad or good) ... .the consequence is contingent upon their behavior.

All that to say, I feel confident that an early highly "noncontingent" environment produces deficits in logic, because while the brain is forming, there is no predictable response from the environment based on what the infants do. In other words, they cry and cry, nothing happens. They mess their diaper, nothing ... .they are fed and diapered etc. on the nurse's schedule in the orphanage, not based on their neediness/behavior. In neglectful homes (such as when the parents are disordered or drug addicted) the connection between cause and effect is probably damaged too. The important circuits for cause and effect thinking (the basis for logic) are damaged or not hooked up at all.

Well, I'm thinking that some sort of damaged contingency detector could be innate (in RAD kids, the CD is damaged by environment, for others living in normal nurturing homes, the CD is damaged by genetics, illness in utero, brain injury, etc.) ... .also we know that intense emotion can knock out reasoning skills in just about all of us, but it is especially problematic with some individuals whose emotions are very out of control. So, something else in the brain (like problems with self-soothing) could go wrong and knock out the CD too.

That's just my theory but it makes sense to me at least. Because although it seems to me that childhood environment obviously plays a role in many people's BPD (why else would there be such a high statistical association of BPD and some sort of abuse or neglect?), it is also obvious to me that a poor childhood environment is not required for someone to develop BPD. Like in some people the environment causes the brain damage, in other people the brain damage comes from some other source.

In my heart, I know that my daughter experienced me as harsh and invalidating at times ... .when I had just had it with the lies, manipulation, coldness, unresponsiveness to affection, social promiscuity (preferring anyone and everyone above her family), oppositional defiance, smart mouth, passive-aggression, destruction of toys and other property, etc. I used to tell my husband that my stores of patience were always running dry because she gave me no chance to refill them ... .my boys on the other hand, although they were normal kids and definitely imperfect, gave love and affection, said "sorry", showed remorse and empathy for others, told me their secrets sometimes, shared with me their joys and pains, and otherwise recharged my batteries. I got none of that from her. One of the supposed red flags Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post)  of a RAD child is "parents seem unusually angry." So, even the most saintly person has only a limited ability to suck it up and show kindness and patience 24/7 with a child that gives nothing back to help you refill your patience and recharge your batteries.

Plus, even when I WAS being patient and understanding, she always received my guidance and limit-setting as if I was being arbitrary and harsh. Still does. Still does all of the above paragraph too. But right now at least she doesn't stick herself 24/7 in my physical way, afraid to let me out of her sight and yet unwilling to cooperate even a teeny weeny little bit.

My hubby and I agreed recently that when she is being cold and withdrawn and ugly to me, I should just leave her be for as long as it takes. That feels wrong to me ... .I KNOW she needs nurturing. But, if I approach her, she seems to take it as evidence that I am wrong. And she takes the opportunity to cold-shoulder me harder than ever. Then it usually turns into a confrontation. So, when she is in a snit (call it her AO mode --- angry and oppositional), living on parallel tracks seems more peaceful than trying to reconnect with her ... .she just can't or won't reconnect except on her own terms.
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2010, 06:55:36 PM »

My hubby and I agreed recently that when she is being cold and withdrawn and ugly to me, I should just leave her be for as long as it takes. That feels wrong to me ... .I KNOW she needs nurturing. But, if I approach her, she seems to take it as evidence that I am wrong. And she takes the opportunity to cold-shoulder me harder than ever. Then it usually turns into a confrontation. So, when she is in a snit (call it her AO mode --- angry and oppositional), living on parallel tracks seems more peaceful than trying to reconnect with her ... .she just can't or won't reconnect except on her own terms.

Jemima, as i have pondered this thread today the thought that keeps popping up is trying to answer the "why is my child this way" is pretty pointless in the end, and you have so well addressed this wonderful theory of whys - it can come from many directions. The important thing is what can I do to make my life, my family's life, and as best as I can provide add to my BPD child's life the most peaceful path possible. Your hubby's suggestions leads to a more peaceful solution along the way. Ultimately you BPD child will become an adult and needs to move out on her own to find how to fit in the world. This is the most difficult step of all for everyone.

Thanks for sharing this research and your interpretation - it is extremely valuable information. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2010, 03:24:49 PM »

I am also tortured by the why's. I guess deep down I hope that if I understand why, I can fix it. But I can't fix it. I repeat to myself at least daily, "I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it".

qcarolr is right - it is what it is. Our limited amounts of time and effort are better spent on learning how to live our lives in the best possible way, in spite of how well or poorly the BPD happens to be doing at the moment.

Hugs,

momofragre
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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2010, 09:10:18 PM »

qcarolr, all i can say is I'm glad I have something positive in some domain to add ... .I feel so helpless (and more than a little out of control myself when I try to deal with my daughter). I guess I will never totally quit asking, "Could things have been different if I had been different?" but I'm arriving at a place where I know radical acceptance truly is the only answer ... now just to arrive at the radical acceptance parking lot.
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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2010, 09:11:15 PM »

Oh, and I was replying to you too MOR, got distracted while posting ... .Smiling (click to insert in post)
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momofrage
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« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2010, 09:37:13 PM »

Hey Jemima, when you pull into the radical acceptance parking lot, save me a space OK? I hope to get there someday myself! Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2010, 01:17:56 PM »

Hi All

I have twins with autism (17), a step-son with RAD - 23 (previous marriage) and now a step-daughter (15) with BPD. I can say that there are similarities but very distinct differences as well. Labels have become a part of our daily lives and one thing that I have learned is to be careful and study all you can. You never want to jump on a diagnosis without doing some research, especially when it comes to medications. I have found that talking to people that have experience helps tremendously. This support group has been a life saver for me. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you all may have.

Take care, God Bless

Holly
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