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Author Topic: COMPARISON: Reactive Attachment Disorder vs BPD  (Read 8479 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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« 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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havana
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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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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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lbjnltx
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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... .

SS
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Jemima
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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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« 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!

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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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« 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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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2010, 05:07:17 PM »

Holly,

What would you say are the biggest differences?  My daughter is grown and not diagnosed.  I believe

her to have RAD, not sure about BPD, leaning more towards NPD or HPD.

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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2010, 06:47:37 PM »

Here is a good book my GD's T suggested I read. It is a new paradigm ?, anyway it is certainly a loving way to deal with RAD type issues. I have used some of it's suggestions with my gd already.

"beyond consequences, Logic and control: a love-based approach to healping attchemtn-chanllenged children with severe behaviors" by Heather T Forbes. I got it at Amazon for $10.

gotta go -gd is yelling bath time
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2010, 12:35:53 PM »

Basically with RAD it is not so much a difference in symptoms (remember that with BPD, there are 9 possible symptoms and you only have to have 5 symptoms to be diagnosed with BPD, so that equals over 300 possible different ways of "having" BPD) ... .with RAD you have to know that in the first five years of life, the person had either severe neglect or multiple changes in caregiver that resulted in damage to the person's ability to bond. It is a diagnosis based in the root cause of the disturbing behaviors.

BPD, by contrast, is a disorder you define by the symptoms themselves. I have already read several different threads on this message board where people discuss the possible root causes of BPD --- and although the current professional belief is that you have to have both a genetic vulnerability AND an "invalidating" environment, some people on this board have said they noticed radical differences in their children almost from birth, others noticed radical and inexplicable changes starting at puberty, and still others didn't notice any real problems until their child was grown or almost grown ... .suggesting several different pathways to BPD.

Personally I don't think that knowing the differences is all that important, but that's just me. I am finding it helpful to read how people deal with BPD behaviors even if my daughter "really" qualifies for RAD rather than BPD.
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« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2010, 05:20:18 PM »

Jemima, thanks for the explanation about RAD. I am trying to focus my efforts on dealing with the behaviors I dislike, whether they stem from BPD or bipolar or alcohol/drug use. They seem to all create similar behaviors.
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« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2010, 07:07:21 PM »

Here is a good book my GD's T suggested I read. It is a new paradigm ?, anyway it is certainly a loving way to deal with RAD type issues. I have used some of it's suggestions with my gd already.

"beyond consequences, Logic and control: a love-based approach to healping attchemtn-chanllenged children with severe behaviors" by Heather T Forbes. I got it at Amazon for $10.

gotta go -gd is yelling bath time

Update on this - I finished the book last night and was puzzling all day about how it connected to something else in my experience. Tonight I read a summary article from the authors website, www.ebeyondconsequences.com, and it hit me. Her theories really are very similar to DBT for teens and adults.  Mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regualtion, distress tolerance.

So I am trying some of her ideas of how to "regulate" or use my own calmness to calm my gd, then she is better able to deal with whatever transistion or situation we are struggling with. It is so very intuitive for me at this point in my life - I was much less regulated myself when my DD was a preschooler! So how do I use this to find a pathway to reconnecting with my daughter in a healthy way. That is my big question.
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« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2010, 11:51:42 PM »

dear qcarol,

there are many books on the market i'll bet that are written from the same basic principles of dbt. i am studying a book by Rosenfeld on Non violent communication.  basically the same concepts as dbt.  i am hoping that they are going to continue to help my relationship with my BPD13.  so far so good!

lbjnltx
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« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2010, 10:31:01 AM »

Psychology, as any other science, is really an evolutionary process. And the benefits are gained from the process as our "puny human brains" will most likely never get to the "absolute answers". When a new self-help book comes out claiming to be the "new way" or "new View" as if the underlying concepts, ideas, theories have never been seen or heard before I almost want to laugh. Of course every theory has not choice but to build on everyting that has come before.

I am a knowledge seeking person. I have struggled with the purpose of my life, and for this moment, it seems to be taking in knowledge, all that I can absorb, letting it bubble around in my head a little, the putting it back out in the world in a slightly different formulation to be absorbed by someone else's knowledge seeking joruney. Then they do the same, and some of it will come back to me again later. This gift is what makes us humans so uniquie in our world, and allows us to gain ever increasing understanding of our world.

And along the way this sponge effect hopefully will increase my ability to cope with whatever challenges face me each day in my relationshipes to other people.

I have been trying to say all this for the past few days - don't know why it came together at this moment, but here it is for what it is worth to any who read it. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2010, 09:03:36 PM »

qcarolr, what you have to say is worth a lot!

I am in much the same place as you. I am trying to read and learn and synthesize and make sense of it all. I have flashes of clarity, and increasing periods of serenity and self-discovery, as I go along this path.

I can say that I have grown emotionally and spiritually as a result of the last three months spent walking through BPD hell. I would never wish BPD on anyone, but I am becoming a calmer and more serene person due to what I have endured. Today I read something to the effect of God's plan is always good, it is us who choose to put the labels "good" or "bad" on events.

Hugs,

momof(less)rage
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« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2010, 10:37:19 PM »

I can relate to what each of you is saying. Right now, I am trying to learn not to respond to my uBPD/dRAD daughter's passive aggression. She will do anything to get any kind of attention, seems to thrive on upsetting others (especially me). Then when she succeeds in getting someone upset, she disrespects them by looking/acting bored when she is confronted. You can't win in this game ... .the social interactions that should be a collaborative effort, she turns into a competition or combat. She doesn't try to get along, she tries to provoke, and if she can provoke you and fool others into thinking that you are the one with the problem, then she has really succeeded. Somebody said recently that the only way to win in a game of one-upmanship is not to play. I agree. I am trying to learn how not to play. Any suggestions on taking myself out of this absurd and draining game?
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« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2010, 11:03:01 PM »

Jemima, for me, when I see that flash of anger and panic in my BPDDD's eyes, I brace myself, take several deep breaths, and try not to say anything right away. The book "The Essential Family Guide to BPD", teaches a silly little song to remember what to do in such a situation. Sung to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat", it goes like this:

Breathe, breathe, safety first,

Acknowledge what you hear,

Don't defend, delay instead,

Distract, defuse, or DEAR

(DEAR is an acronym for another set of coping techniques that I won't go into here.)

It sounds silly and simplistic, but if you read the chapter, it makes a great deal of sense. I tend to not think well on my feet, and I panic when I am confronted or raged at, so this gives me a framework on which to focus.

After a while, I learned more about detachment with love, and now I can usually stay pretty calm, tell myself that it is the disease speaking and not my DD, not say much but mostly listen, and validate what I can.

Ironically, by doing all of this, my DD's rages have lessened, our relationship has gotten a lot better, my stress levels are way down and my serenity is way up, and my marriage is better too.

Alanon and therapy also help me a lot.

It does really all boil down to refusing to play their game. It is impossible to have an argument with just one person participating!
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« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2010, 06:37:24 PM »

Thank you! I am going to practice that little song. Songs are kinda my way of coping anyway ... .I am one of the few adults that has "Elmo's Song" and "C is for Cookie" on my ipod ... .they are cheery and make me smile. I would like to hear what DEAR stands for too.

I think now that I realize that my daughter has the BPD pattern of behavior (whether or not she would qualify for a diagnosis --- although I think she does qualify) ... .now I have been able to see the "borderline turn" that Christine Lawson wrote about in her book (Understanding the BORderline Mother). For example, about 3 weeks ago, I took my daughter on a trip with me, and we had a really nice four days. SHe had my undivided attention and I didn't really have to cross her about anything. ALmost as soon as we got home she "turned" --- I crossed her or disappointed her or said no to her about something, and she turned on me. Has spent three weeks or so giving me the cold shoulder, arguing with me, doing the eye-roll and the passive-aggressive provoking, claiming we promised her things we did not, using insanity instead of reason, etc. etc. etc. ... .then when I left Sunday afternoon to return to my training (which is 5 days a week all this month), suddenly she turned back and hugged me goodbye. So maybe my recognizing that will make a difference. I think I get sucked into thinking that she has "improved" when she is in "normal mode", and then I crash whenever she goes back into her angry/oppositional mode. If I can keep it in mind that "normal mode" is not likely an indication of a permanent change, maybe I can learn to deal with it better.

I panic too --- for example, my daughter wanted to stop by Target this Sunday afternoon. My husband and I were noncommittal --- we were both exhausted trying to get our house ready to put on the market. I am in training all week for a month, he is working AND being a single dad, and we are working weekends to try to sell the house. So we didn't say absolutely not, but kind of said "maybe, but probably not" to her request to go to Target. Later on during SUnday lunch she started talking about it as if she DEFINITELY was going to Target. I think it is a type of panic reaction I have --- I had to immediately call her on it, where did she get the idea she could promise her brother something based on her having a trip to Target? I have always had a terrible aversion to promising a child something and then not following through --- it just goes against my grain. So when she fantasizes she's been promised something that isn't true, it's like I kind of panic. I HAVE to set her straight. My husband is just philosophical: We didn't promise her, she can't make us take her, it's a non-issue. But ... .he has also been known to promise kids things and then forget to follow through ... .it's just not an issue with him.

Also, I put a great deal of stock in nonverbal communication ... .my daughter's nonverbal disrespect and insolence really hurts me and gets to me. I really have a hard time not making a big deal out of it. Yet somewhere in my brain I know that I am just playing into her need for negative attention. So, that is a kind of panic too, like if I don't TAKE CARE of this situation it will escalate (when she was little, it WOULD escalate, you could never ignore her disobedience or pretend you didn't see). Now the situation has evolved into she seems to get some kind of sick joy out of starting a fight, and somehow I have to learn to quit playing this sick game.
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« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2010, 09:10:43 PM »

I got a lot of those situations with my DD too, where she thought we had agreed to take her somewhere or promised to do something. It's like she couldn't see the ambiguity in the answer - it was either yes or no in her mind.

I found it worked better for us if I said something like, "I don't know if we're going to go today. I'll decide later and let you know."

I also discovered that I really hated shopping when I was tired or stressed, and those outings usually didn't go well for either one of us.
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« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2010, 05:18:43 PM »

That makes sense --- that an ambiguous answer has to mean either "no" or "yes" to my daughter, she can't see that it means you don't yet know or the outcome has not yet been decided. It also explains why she sometimes takes an ambiguous answer as "yes" (somewhere else I posted that she had become convinced she was getting a car for her 16th birthday and went around telling people so ... .and she is NOT and has NEVER been promised a car) ... .and sometimes she says she "knows" how something will turn out (usually but not always in a negative way --- like she refuses to try something because she "knows" it will turn out badly).

Some people might think it is just the way she choose to say things, but I know her well enough to know that she is REALLY convinced she already knows outcomes in the future. For example, when she says, "No, I won't try that because it will turn out badly," I know her well enough that to her she really already knows the outcome. Also, when she says, "I am going to be XYZ someday," I know her well enough to know that she REALLY thinks it is DEFINITELY going to happen. For example, she went around telling her grandmas that she was getting a car for her birthday, and we asked her why, and instead of her explaining it was just wishful thinking or her hope, she got mad at us because she really was expecting a car. It's like she doesn't get the difference between what you THINK might happen and KNOWING FOR SURE what WILL happen.

If she wants to do something we think is not safe, she will assure us "nothing will happen." Most kids will do that but they do get that they don't really KNOW nothing will happen. She on the other hand really thinks we are just being mean by saying no, because she thinks she actually KNOWS that nothing will happen.

I just can't bend my mind enough to understand this non-logic.
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« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2010, 07:50:37 AM »

jemima,

in the mind of a typical BPD... .they cannot hold opposing thoughts at the same time.  everything is black or white... .yes or no... .they struggle with the grey matter in the middle.  dbt stresses choosing the middle path... .looking at pros and cons... .and considering other possibilities.  they have to be taught to seek the "middle path". 

my BPD13 cannot hold the thought in her mind that when i say "no" to her and "i love you"  that i really do.  this is what she believes:  if mom says "no" to me about something i want that would make me happy then she is also saying "i don't want you to be happy" therefore she must not love me.

once us non's can grasp how their thinking processes work then we are one step closer to a better relationship with the BPDs in our lives.

it is not necessary to agree with another person to understand them.  once again this is the grey matter in the middle!  if it is difficult for us... .try to imagine how hard it is for a BPD.


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« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2010, 08:57:11 AM »

Last night during DD's rage, when she accused us of not loving her and not caring about her, all because we confronted her about sneaking a boy in overnight, I tried to reason with her. Stupid, I know, but I did it anyway. It went something like this, "Not care about you? Did we not care about you during the 6 times we took you to the ER? No wait, it was only 5 times, the other time we drove 7 hours in the middle of the night to get to the hospital where you were. Did we not care about you during the dozens of visits to the hospital and doctors and therapists? Did we not care about you while spending $40,000 in the last year on college tuition and medical bills? Did we not care about you when we were concerned about you riding in a car with a drunk driver?" Etc.

I don't know if any of it got through to her or not. Her logical brain was probably not hooked up at that moment. But it made me feel better at least.
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« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2010, 03:45:27 PM »

lbjnltx and m.o.r., it helps SO much to hear you describe your experiences (I CAN hold in my mind at the same time that it is a relief to me to hear your stories AND that I am sorry you also have to go through this ... .).  I read (on bpdfamily.com somewhere) about the "victim triangle" ... .realized that my husband, my daughter, and I have been playing that triangle scenario out for a long time. I experience myself as a victim (first of my uBPD mother and now of my uBPD daughter), and turn into a persecutor because I get so tired of being beat up that I lash out with my sarcastic mouth and with my power to say "no" to my minor child. I try to be consistent as a parent, but all too frequently find myself relenting on some punishment I have doled out because after the anger has passed I realize I was being too harsh. I don't like this waffle thing --- it's not good for our relationship or for my daughter's trust in me. But I also don't think that I should stick to punishments I stated in the heat of frustration and realized with a cooler head were over the top. I just wish I could stop getting so mad. That is my goal, to quit feeling/seeing myself as a victim so that I don't flip into persecutor mode.

I know by self-examination that I have plenty of fleas by being sandwiched between my mother and my daughter. They both can suck me into over-the-top emotional reactions, in ways nobody else can. I sometimes feel it is a just a cruel joke that my adopted-from-a-foreign-orphanage daughter has similar problems to my (bio) mother. Other times I think that the one common denominator in this situation is me ... .and those thoughts make me mad, because I spent my young life learning excruciating sensitivity to my mother's moods so that I could stay out of the line of fire, and now that excruciating sensitivity means that it is almost impossible to ignore my daughter's moods. Still other times I feel really defiant --- I defy anybody else to have mothered this child with severe attachment problems and have her come out as a decent human being (which she is to everybody else in the world except me, with the possible exceptions of her brothers).
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« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2010, 04:56:12 PM »

I've been trying to wait until I calm down to announce any punishment. It's fine to tell her that "I'll let you know your punishment after I've had some time to calm down and think about it".

I watched a show on TLC about Russian orphans with attachment disorder. It was heartbreaking. I really feel for you.
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« Reply #47 on: February 10, 2010, 05:07:05 PM »

Has she been officialy dxd with RAD?  I am wondering because if you got her before age 3 she should have still been able to bond with you, which you indicated she has to a certain extent.  The symptoms you are describing could be do to cognitive defecits in her frontal lobes that she suffered aas a result of neglect in the first year of life.  What does her doctor think?
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« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2010, 10:41:03 PM »

She has been officially diagnosed with RAD (12 years ago). But in my opinion, there is no separating out the attachment problems/emotional problems from the cognitive problems.
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« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2010, 09:03:15 AM »

gamegirl, also, the state of knowledge when we adopted DD in 1995 was that if you got them under the age of 3, they would be fine (with regards to bonding). Now we know that 6 months is the critical point for maintaining their ability to bond in a healthy way ... .and that might change too as we look at how poor maternal diet, high maternal stress, etc. in utero affects people, and how varying levels of care/neglect during those first six months changes the picture.

In my opinion, they DO bond with you, but their ability to EXPRESS their attachment to you is broken. So that it is either difficult or impossible to develop a reciprocal relationship. They take, take, take. They depend on you almost to the extreme ... .but don't "recharge your batteries" by reciprocal social behavior. This is what families go through when their child is on the autism spectrum ... .except that a RAD kid isn't obviously impaired (they usually have OK facial expressions, tone of voice; they are interested in social things; they can read people well enough to manipulate them but not well enough to empathize much). The combination of impairments on the inside while maintaining a facade of normality equals high stress for both the individual and for their family.

Even with empathy ... .I think that impaired empathy (at least in my daughter's case) is not a lack of feeling for others. If she can wrap her mind around another person's situation, she does feel empathy. But the problem is she has a hard time understanding other people's perspectives ... .when you can't put yourself in another person's shoes, you have a hard time feeling with them.
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« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2010, 09:52:23 AM »

Gee, that sounds a lot like my DD, even though no one ever mentioned RAD.
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« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2010, 01:01:41 PM »

dear jemima,

here is a brief list of some resources i found that have helped me on my journey towards inner peace and personal mental/emotional health:

Radical Acceptance  on the Articles board by Marsha Lineham

The Man on the Bridge also on the Articles board

Letting Go  on the Spiritual Aspects board  a thread started by Cindy

1st Corithians Chapter 13  (if you are a Christian)

100% fully and completely accepting this fact:  I am only responsible for what I can control which is myself.  I cannot control the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, values of anyone else.period!

I hope that you find some strength and wisdom from these resources.

x

lbjnltx
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« Reply #52 on: February 11, 2010, 03:23:58 PM »

mom of rage, I wouldn't read too much into the similarities. Remember, you can't have "reactive" attachment disorder (RAD) unless there was a very early poor environment to "react" to. It's just words, I know, and probably not much different from your experience with your BPD daughter ... .but the difference to me is --- to suggest that a child from your family has RAD is to suggest you didn't provide anywhere near proper care during the first five years of life. I suspect if you were that out of it or indifferent you would not be posting on this board now, trying to figure out how to help her.

So, the symptoms may be the same, the response to the person may be the same, but what a difference a name makes. You don't need the extra guilt that comes from the RAD label! I don't feel guilty that my daughter has a RAD label because I couldn't help that she had horrible neglect during that first year of life.

lbjnltx, thank you for listing all those resources. I am absorbing as much as possible to help get myself to a place where I can deal positively with my daughter ... .and actually, with the other females in my family (mother is difficult and possibly uBPD herself; estranged DIL and her mother are probably uBPD as well ... .etc. etc. etc.). And I have got all kinds of FLEAS from years spent rubbing elbows with these problems.

I am a Christian --- so I do appreciate resources coming from that perspective. In fact, I believe it is my faith that has kept me sane all these years, dealing with such craziness. Prayer, worship, participation in my church have all recharged my batteries when my disordered kid couldn't give anything back. Of course, some people in every church think that if you're having problems, you just aren't spiritual enough ... .but if I looked hard enough, I could always find somebody who understood. The first time I ever heard about RAD was when I was pouring my heart out to a woman in my church who was a CPS social worker. That's when I decided to get professional help. And then later, a foster mom and I commiserated, and then a mom who took in her husband's much younger brother. And I found a psychologist who was also a Christian and was able to support me in my faith ... .a tremendous help when I got to feeling hopeless.

I don't regret adopting her. I can understand why some people regret the adoption, when their kid is real fragile, brittle, out of control with drugs/alcohol/criminal behavior/having babies too early/STDs/etc. But as we know from this forum alone, there aren't even guarantees with your biological kids. And even if she does turn out to have BPD, we still made a difference in her life. It's the biggest faith commitment I ever made, to take on a baby orphan to raise as my own. But they say that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I would never have figured out  my own mother's problems if I hadn't had to dig deep to figure out my daughter's ... .I would have just gone on thinking that I was the one with the problem in our mother-daughter relationship.

I have a dear friend whose first child, a daughter, was born "floppy" --- turned out to have autism, is MR, and has some kind of physical condition that left her with poor muscle tone, crossed eyes, etc. I learned a huge lesson from her when she said, "I finally quit worrying about her diagnoses. I said oh well, no matter what she's my baby and I'll love her and that's what matters." I admit I have not gotten to that point even 15 years later with my daughter ... .I still worry and fret ... .but of course I am just now coming to the conclusion that I've done all I can and I have to leave the rest up to God. That sounds like both my friend and I are/were giving up, but I don't mean it that way. I mean it in the sense of radical acceptance ... .I don't like it but that's the way it is and the way it has to be for now.

Right now I have a little bit of objectivity because I've been away from home in training for 3 1/2 days. At the end of the weekend I could possibly be a nervous wreck again. But I am NOT giving up on this "detachment", "radical acceptance" thing. I guess I'll just have to keep on picking myself up after I give in to my anger and frustration, start over, practice harder.
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« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2010, 04:39:42 PM »

Jemima, thanks for sharing. I didn't think my DD has RAD, I was just astonished at the similarities. I think I did a good job parenting in her early years. The problems, if they had to do with me, were probably around ages 9 to 11, and largely due to my own mental and physical ailments that were totally beyond my control.
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« Reply #54 on: February 11, 2010, 09:28:30 PM »

gamegirl, also, the state of knowledge when we adopted DD in 1995 was that if you got them under the age of 3, they would be fine (with regards to bonding). Now we know that 6 months is the critical point for maintaining their ability to bond in a healthy way ... .and that might change too as we look at how poor maternal diet, high maternal stress, etc. in utero affects people, and how varying levels of care/neglect during those first six months changes the picture.

In my opinion, they DO bond with you, but their ability to EXPRESS their attachment to you is broken. So that it is either difficult or impossible to develop a reciprocal relationship. They take, take, take. They depend on you almost to the extreme ... .but don't "recharge your batteries" by reciprocal social behavior. This is what families go through when their child is on the autism spectrum ... .except that a RAD kid isn't obviously impaired (they usually have OK facial expressions, tone of voice; they are interested in social things; they can read people well enough to manipulate them but not well enough to empathize much). The combination of impairments on the inside while maintaining a facade of normality equals high stress for both the individual and for their family.

Even with empathy ... .I think that impaired empathy (at least in my daughter's case) is not a lack of feeling for others. If she can wrap her mind around another person's situation, she does feel empathy. But the problem is she has a hard time understanding other people's perspectives ... .when you can't put yourself in another person's shoes, you have a hard time feeling with them.

I am just curious as to where you are getting the six month number from.  A child has not even developed a sense of object permanence at six months.  To my understanding, the number still is 3 years.  That is not to say that a child younger than 3 can't develop RAD as a result of dusruption in the maternal bond.  However, neglect, poor prenatal care, not being picked up and cuddled etc., can definately cause brain defecits that are permanent as well.  You make a good point there. 

It sounds like your daughter got a good diagnosis and that you are doing everything you can to help her.
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« Reply #55 on: February 11, 2010, 10:30:30 PM »

I am getting it from the latest research on when children begin to develop selective attachments. I don't think there's any reason to distinguish the symptoms of reactive attachment disorder from the functional deficits that happen because of the neglect. They are all intertwined. Look at the work of Charles Zeanah and his colleagues at Tulane.
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« Reply #56 on: February 11, 2010, 10:34:47 PM »

Also, my daughter was NOT neglected after we got her at 14 months, so obviously you can develop RAD before the age of 3. She is not by a long shot the only child I know that was attachment-disordered despite being adopted well before the age of 3.
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« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2010, 10:49:07 AM »

dear jemima,

i can't help but see how God has worked through the people He has placed in your pathway.  i am always amazed at how much good can come our way when we allow Him to work through us to help others and be an answer to their prayers.

may you never run out of His servants on your journey!

x

lbjnltx
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« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2010, 11:38:21 AM »

lbjnltx, Many thanks! You are one of those helpers, you know  Smiling (click to insert in post).
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« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2010, 01:16:12 PM »

jemima,

thank you for the affirmation and validation! Smiling (click to insert in post)

lbjnltx
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« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2010, 04:32:54 PM »

I am getting it from the latest research on when children begin to develop selective attachments. I don't think there's any reason to distinguish the symptoms of reactive attachment disorder from the functional deficits that happen because of the neglect. They are all intertwined. Look at the work of Charles Zeanah and his colleagues at Tulane.

Thanks, I will.  I appreciate the information.
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« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2010, 04:34:06 PM »

Also, my daughter was NOT neglected after we got her at 14 months, so obviously you can develop RAD before the age of 3. She is not by a long shot the only child I know that was attachment-disordered despite being adopted well before the age of 3.

I agree with you most definately on that point.
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« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2010, 12:47:23 AM »

The T for my gd age 4 has recommended I read and consider the work of Heather Forbes and Bryan Post that provides a different view of dealing with RAD than some out there. I thing my DD, adopted at 3 weeks, had and has many issues similar, and we are trying to provide a different approach in raising our gd, also suffering from some trauma being in our dysfunctional household with DD.

The website is www.beyondconsequences.com. I have read their book volume 1, "Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control-A Love Based Approach to Helping Children with Sever Behaviors" and am starting Heather Forbes Volume II. I have mentioned this book before, maybe on this thread.

Some of her ideas I have been exposed to in other forms over the years, and no one method provides any "miracle cure". But new tools to try are always welcome to me. I really appreciate the mindfulness of her approach, and doing a time-in with GD when she is being really stubborn and ready to blow up, esp. when she is tired, really works many times. Like tonight, it was late. She had a babysitter while dh and I went out to dinner. She wanted her bedtime milk to be different somehow. So instead of having a "take it or leave, it is time for bed now" attitude, I tried sitting on a chair across the room and offereng for her to come sit on my lap to try the milk. She slowly circled around the kithchen and kind of slipped up to the side of my chair for me to lift her up to my lap. Drank the milk. I said nothing, looked only in her general direction without really making eye contact. It sure felt good when it worked out. Then she went to bed very peacefully and right to sleep.

My friend that was babysitting told me on the way driving her home that GD was really fearful that I would not come back home. She has such seperation anxiety since her mom left by police escort last Oct. We are not allowing any contact with DD until she ( DD) can choose to accept she needs some mental health help. GD working with the new T has helped a lot in giving me new ideas about dealing with behaviors. I am very thankful that Gd provides a much more "normal expectation" experience of parenting than her mom ever did. DD can also see this and it is a constant source of pain for DD and between us - DD's claim that we have dumped her out on the street to try again with a "normal" kid - her kid that we have stolen. So sad, as DD trully doesn't see what gd's needs are, and can barely see her own needs. have to let go of this one now - she is in Gods hands, this is all I can do for today.

don't know if this helps any here, but at least it is a positive story to share. love for you all, remember we are good people, doing the best we can under trying conditions. Our kids love us and needs us even when they cannot express this, and sometimes we have to set painful and difficult boundaries to take care of ourselves, others in our family, and to allow them to take care of themselves as much as possible.

x
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« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2010, 10:27:50 AM »

Let me say up front that I have no personal experience with this, but I do have a friend from childhood who had severe endometriosis resulting in a hysterectomy in her late 20's, which prevented her from ever conceiving.  She was able to adopt an Eastern European infant at about 3 weeks of age.  The child is now about 5 years old, and so far, no problems with RAD or other unusual behavior problems have presented.  She is just a bright, sweet little girl.  I pray that this remains so.

Also, I would think that RAD damage would begin almost immediately if a newborn is virtually isolated, cries to be fed or changed and nobody ever responds within a short time.  The infant experiences right off the bat that his/her needs are not being met.  I'd be interested in studies that document incidents of RAD that include at what age the child was adopted, from birth up to, say, age 4 (at what age the child received a primary caregiver to bond with.) 

I also wonder if any studies have been done documenting the existence of RAD in more primitive societies, in which newborn infants and babies are pretty much carried about by the mother at all times.  I would find that interesting also.  I'd be willing to bet that in societies/cultures where the newborn infant is in almost constant physical contact with the mother up until the baby can walk, and is given the breast immediately at the first sign of hunger, that the incidence of RAD is very low if it exists at all.

-LOAnnie
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« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2010, 12:27:00 PM »

Hi qcarolr and LOAnnie,

I am going to look into the resources qcarolr recommends ... .I am definitely open to new ways of doing things.

LOAnnie, it's interesting that you ask that question about more primitive societies, because Mary Ainsworth (who was the long-time research partner of John Bowlby, the originator of attachment theory) spent a lot of time in Uganda, observing the Ganda people, and came back to England to compare western-developed early attachment processes. Bowlby first started formulating attachment theory in the 40s and 50s, while working with children separated from their parents either because of WWII or because the mother was severely ill with something like TB.

I'm glad to hear that in more recent years, babies have been released for adoption so early in life. The problem when we adopted from Eastern Europe (Romania) is that it took 6 months of NO visits from the biological parent(s) to get the child put on the list for adoption. And then 6 more months at least before all the red tape between two countries was peeled through. That meant NOBODY got adopted under the age of 1 year. NOT in the best interest of the children. My daughter was even put on the list early (her mother took off without leaving a forwarding address right after she was born), and we STILL didn't get to pick her up until 14 months of age.

Here's the way I understand/conceptualize it: Brain damage to certain parts of the brain occurs for various reasons. One of those reasons might be severe neglect that deprives the child of important stimulation during a critical period of brain development. Another reason might be a genetic problem, or a virus in utero, or an injury ... .many many possibilities out there. But the brain damage is done. That brain damage results in altered behavior (including attachment behavior). It is really hard to "unlearn" pathological behavior that is a result of actual brain alterations. Possible, but really hard. We know that the brain continues to be incredibly plastic throughout the lifespan ... .but when your perceptions are altered as a result of early brain alterations, you might not be highly motivated to change. For example, if you perceive that everybody is out to get you, you behave as if everybody is out to get you. The perception drives the behavior ... .and you are not very motivated to change because you think your behavior is reasonable. It is a circular problem ... .altered perceptions drive troublesome behavior, troublesome behavior reinforces the sense that you're being persecuted, perception drives behavior, etc. etc. etc.

So the only thing I can do is step out of that nasty circle and not contribute to my daughter's perception that she is being persecuted ... .which is almost equally hard for me to do! Darn it! But possible because I am able to at least to some extent put myself in her shoes ... .which I don't think she is really able to do with me.

And qcarolr, I DO think it is helpful to hear your stories ... .very helpful. It doesn't matter so much if what the child's problems are called ... .we have to respond in the moment to behavior, which may be really similar across "labels".

My 12 year old son talked to me last night about how worried he is that his sister is going to get into serious trouble "because she has no common sense." He doesn't get why we don't just take all of her freedoms away to keep her from doing something stupid. It's really hard to explain to him ... .I don't have any evidence she is doing anything dangerous, and she's almost 16 ... .she likes to tell him wild stories (made-up mostly, I think) to get him all upset, and I know that she thrives on negative attention. The last thing I want to do is reward her for upsetting others ... .and I think in a weird way, putting more restrictions on her so that she can have a big show-down confrontation, would reward her. I am having a hard time figuring out how to explain all this to him.

This is just one example of what she told him ... .we are going to get her the cervical cancer vaccine. She is mad because she doesn't want a shot. She told her brother that if we make her get the shot, she is going to go out and have sex just to spite us.
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« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2010, 02:09:35 PM »

Jemima, I imagine it's really hard to know what to tell your son. He can see that some of your DD's behavior does look stupid.

My experience with my DD has been that many of her stories are just blowing smoke and idle threats. But she also does do some pretty self-destructive things - usually not the things she threatened - rather, she does awful things I never would have even thought of!. If we get too restrictive, she doesn't get to make mistakes and learn from them, she gets reclusive and hard to live with, and she also gets confrontational and angry. If we don't get restrictive, she makes mistakes and doesn't always seem to learn from them, and then she gets mad if we don't bail her out or that we "let" her make mistakes.

So we're pretty much screwed either way.
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« Reply #66 on: February 13, 2010, 07:06:45 PM »

So the only thing I can do is step out of that nasty circle and not contribute to my daughter's perception that she is being persecuted ... .which is almost equally hard for me to do! Darn it! But possible because I am able to at least to some extent put myself in her shoes ... .which I don't think she is really able to do with me.

So true.  Thank you for telling your story here.  I have learned a lot from it and I appreciate your candor.
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« Reply #67 on: February 13, 2010, 08:56:52 PM »

Jemima,  I really appreciate the research information. I have not read much about RAD - that dx wasn't on the radar when my DD was young. She does have some right-brain trauma that has been consistently tested since she was 4. The last testing, done just before her 23rd bday, she seemed to accept and better understand the difficulties she has faced her whole life. But then she went through the trauma of relinquishing her son, and really just gave up trying anymore. The custody case was closed, her son was on track to be adopted, her husband (though they were very violent with each other - she missed him) was deported and the final divorce papers filed. She went back to her main cocaine friend and it was all downhill after that. So I had to choose to protect her daugher, myself and my dh from her spiral out. I know letting DD go was the "right" choice, still know this, and am not in as much daily pain about it. But sometimes I do miss those right moments that we shared. I don't know if more information would have made any difference in the path of DD's life. My guess is the doc who advised when she was 6 years old that the right-brain stuff would "make life hard for her, for her whole life" was on target. I thought I could love this away, but no, that isn't so.

The other point is go ahead and do everything in your power to provide protection to your daughter health and safety from STD's and cervical cancer. DD got cervical cancer from her husband who was sleeping with the "cocaine" friend. DD had been to the doc with this "friend" to get procedures done for her cervical cancer from HPV. DD has also been treated for othe STD's - the sex seems to go with the drugs and binge drinking parties - no clear thinking here about protecting your health in any way. DD has also gotten an IUD to avoid any more risk of pregnancy - she is very fertile. All this is sad but true. I would take the heat now while you have the ability to take her for the shot.

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« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2011, 04:37:54 PM »

Hi!  Hi!

So glad we found this site!  I'm new here as our Dd16 has now had added the 'potential' for BPD diagnosis to her listing.  The psychiatrist isn't wanting to do that as he says she is still developing her sense of self and has listed her for CBT next month when everyone is back from summer holidays.  

She was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder-disinhibited type before we adopted her at the age of 6 - among many other disorders and possible disorders.

As we are very familiar with RAD/AD, I feel very much out of my element with this new diagnosis and am in the process of reading, "Stop Walking on Eggshells."  

Could someone perhaps answer this, as RAD/AD are only now getting recognized in Canada, does RAD/AD get re-labelled as BPD as children move into adulthood, is this a totally different diagnosis that's been missed?
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« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2011, 11:36:12 PM »

My sister adopted a family of 3.  They have all been diagnosed rad among several other things.  She has taken them to a clinic in colorado for therapy.  Her and her husband live in illinois.  They have made small gains and of course went backwards as well.  

One thing they found is rad at a certain age is called BPD instead.  
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« Reply #70 on: December 06, 2011, 04:25:14 PM »

I have just had a friend visit a therapist who told her her husband probably has Attachment Disorder.  Many of the things my friend told me about her husband and how he reacts and behaves sounded a lot like BPD to me (I believe my ex has BPD/NPD, undiagnosed).

I looked it up and the symptoms do read like BPD.  

www.buzzle.com/articles/attachment-disorder-in-adults.html

I just wondered if anyone else knew about Attachment Disorder or had any theories about its relation to BPD.


L
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« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2011, 04:52:51 PM »

DIFFERENCES|COMORBIDITY: Overview of Comorbidity

Additional discussions... .

Personality Disorders

Borderline and Paranoid Personality Disorder

Borderline and Schzoid/Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Borderline and Antisocial Personality Disorder

Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Avoidant Personality Disorder

Borderline and Dependent Personality Disorder

Borderline and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Depressive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Sadistic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Self Defeating Personality Disorder

Other

Borderline PD and Alcohol Dependence

Borderline PD and Aspergers

Borderline PD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Borderline PD and BiPolar Disorder

Borderline PD and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Borderline PD and P.T.S.D.

Borderline PD and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
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