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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: Did your BPD partner have huge issues with anxiety and or panic attacks?  (Read 2292 times)
blueyedguy
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« on: December 09, 2010, 03:36:53 PM »

I have been reading how frequently anxiety and or panic attacks are associated with BPD. It seems the 2 go hand in hand quite often. My ex suffered from anxiety and panic. When i met her she was taking xanax. She was and still is scared about talking on the phone. She will text 100 times a day but no phone calls. She is very anxious in large crowds, very uncomfortable talking in a group. She was very anxious about the sound of her voice. Always said the worries in her mind would never shut off.

I would think that constant stress of fear and worry on the brain would very much lead to BPD. She had it since she was very young. She said she couldn't spend the whole night at a friends house without freaking until she was like 15 yrs old.

She can't watch the news or any shows or movies with any kind of violence.

If there were people over she couldn't just sit and visit, she was always getting up and doing something.

Any similar storys?
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fogbound
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2010, 03:51:51 PM »

On several occasions during fights she would go into like a backout where she'd lie there with her eyes open and not respond to verbal commands. This would go on for maybe a half hour. I was always reluctant to call EMS which I should have just for the record. At other times she'd tell me her entire body was buzzing when she was under stress.

In a restaurant, if a baby screamed like they do, wife would get all shaky and pop a xanax. Her kids would like at her like she was nuts (no additional comment needed).

Her most common panic attack was when I went to; work, hunting, fishing, business trip, dinner with my kids etc. Instead of blackouts and shaking she would rage, accuse me of cheating, key my car, throw my cell phone, and lock me out of the house.

What are the odds of an asteroid hitting... .oh never mind.
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2010, 04:31:42 PM »

BPD and PTSD go hand in hand, but Borderline begins first. We all go through the stage that facilitates our clinging to others, but it is our parents responsibility to wean us.  That stage is Autonomy vs. doubt and shame, the basis for learning free will. Borderline babies dont get weaned and therefore, dont learn free will, because Borderline Mothers often cling to them for their own emotional support and need. Since this occurs at a pre-oedipal stage, which is around 18 months to 3 years, the child's brain is very plastic and transcribes Mother's persona, which is perceived as a powerful object of good and bad and her fears of the World. Efforts of the child to break away on her own are squashed, either through humiliation, scolding or anger which creates a bad self objectification.

The World is a dangerous place to the Borderline Mother and she triangulates her child with the rest of the World. When the child realizes that another person (Father) keeps revolving around the fused Mother/child unit, the child senses another person to cling to. Depending upon the character of the Father, that clinging can be manipulated, fostering further dependence. Both parents can battle each other for use of the child. Meanwhile, the child is growing up.  The next stage of development is "initiative vs. guilt." To a Borderline child, this outlays a sense of purpose in life. Alas, to the parents, the purpose of the child is self serving. Come time for the next stage, "industry vs. inferiority"- and you can see where this is headed. There are 8 stages of development we all go through. Each of the 8 stages is marked by a crisis. Crisis Resolution involves both positive and negative learning about events and people. Virtue emerges from successful resolution of the crises.  

By the time a Borderline baby grows up, there's many crises that have not been resolved.  And what's left for the child is to grow up and become an adult to replace these self objects and re-live the crises. This causes all sorts of hyper-vigilance. Indeed, Borderlines walk on eggshells of their own.

Borderlines look to find their place in the world according to others needs and wants (just like their early training based on parents needs and wants) and they struggle in balancing intimacy and isolation because of the stress this causes. All these secret laws are hidden from others until the Behavior comes up and out and displayed. When Borderlines cannot "read" others or they are laughed at for their behaviors, they become overwhelmed and withdraw in obsessive compulsive activity.  That activity seems senseless because it probably is to you- but not to the borderline. To the Borderline it is a battle between identity and their role confusion- and the OCD gives them a sense of purposefulness rather than stagnation.  This is an example of "generativity vs. stagnation" where they are trying to find themselves in idealized needs without hosting on to others but then panicking and hosting anyway. In the process of attaching, they lose themselves by doing behaviors that they feel are necessary to please others which begins the "forced" bondage and subsequent punishment in their mind- and that means annihilation for them.

Wanting their "own room" in a relationship, internet shopping, zoning out in fantasy, being distant -are all ways for a Borderline to feel safe from losing their identity.  Hypochondria becomes a way to continue outside interest and subsequent clinging behaviors. Eventually they may show Schizotypal traits that call for magical thinking such as astrology charts and/or psychics to organize their lives. Magical thinking gives them a layout for day to day feelings, which gives them a sense of law and order. Schizoid traits may evolve later, when they retreat and isolate and become hermit like.  They may become bitter at their perceived loss of hope and fear death.

So to answer your question: Do they have huge issues with anxiety and or panic attacks? Yes. The disordered thinking demands it.

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blueyedguy
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2010, 05:11:15 PM »

BPD and PTSD go hand in hand, but Borderline begins first. We all go through the stage that facilitates our clinging to others, but it is our parents responsibility to wean us.  That stage is Autonomy vs. doubt and shame, the basis for learning free will. Borderline babies dont get weaned and therefore, dont learn free will, because Borderline Mothers often cling to them for their own emotional support and need. Since this occurs at a pre-oedipal stage, which is around 18 months to 3 years, the child's brain is very plastic and transcribes Mother's persona, which is perceived as a powerful object of good and bad and her fears of the World. Efforts of the child to break away on her own are squashed, either through humiliation, scolding or anger which creates a bad self objectification.

The World is a dangerous place to the Borderline Mother and she triangulates her child with the rest of the World. When the child realizes that another person (Father) keeps revolving around the fused Mother/child unit, the child senses another person to cling to. Depending upon the character of the Father, that clinging can be manipulated, fostering further dependence. Both parents can battle each other for use of the child. Meanwhile, the child is growing up.  The next stage of development is "initiative vs. guilt." To a Borderline child, this outlays a sense of purpose in life. Alas, to the parents, the purpose of the child is self serving. Come time for the next stage, "industry vs. inferiority"- and you can see where this is headed. There are 8 stages of development we all go through. Each of the 8 stages is marked by a crisis. Crisis Resolution involves both positive and negative learning about events and people. Virtue emerges from successful resolution of the crises.  

By the time a Borderline baby grows up, there's many crises that have not been resolved.  And what's left for the child is to grow up and become an adult to replace these self objects and re-live the crises. This causes all sorts of hyper-vigilance. Indeed, Borderlines walk on eggshells of their own.

Borderlines look to find their place in the world according to others needs and wants (just like their early training based on parents needs and wants) and they struggle in balancing intimacy and isolation because of the stress this causes. All these secret laws are hidden from others until the Behavior comes up and out and displayed. When Borderlines cannot "read" others or they are laughed at for their behaviors, they become overwhelmed and withdraw in obsessive compulsive activity.  That activity seems senseless because it probably is to you- but not to the borderline. To the Borderline it is a battle between identity and their role confusion- and the OCD gives them a sense of purposefulness rather than stagnation.  This is an example of "generativity vs. stagnation" where they are trying to find themselves in idealized needs without hosting on to others but then panicking and hosting anyway. In the process of attaching, they lose themselves by doing behaviors that they feel are necessary to please others which begins the "forced" bondage and subsequent punishment in their mind- and that means annihilation for them.

Wanting their "own room" in a relationship, internet shopping, zoning out in fantasy, being distant -are all ways for a Borderline to feel safe from losing their identity.  Hypochondria becomes a way to continue outside interest and subsequent clinging behaviors. Eventually they may show Schizotypal traits that call for magical thinking such as astrology charts and/or psychics to organize their lives. Magical thinking gives them a layout for day to day feelings, which gives them a sense of law and order. Schizoid traits may evolve later, when they retreat and isolate and become hermit like.  They may become bitter at their perceived loss of hope and fear death.

So to answer your question: Do they have huge issues with anxiety and or panic attacks? Yes. The disordered thinking demands it.

Very insightful response 2010.

Could you answer this then. My ex was left to fend on her own at a young age. Her Mom would leave her home alone overnight to watch her younger brother while she went out with man. My ex was only 9 at the time. She would panic not knowing where mom was. Mom would also take her with her to guys houses, make her sit on the couch while she was in the bedroom having sex with these guys.

Her Mom did not cling to her she was more of a nuisance to her mom. This started happening after her bio dad and adoptive dad had both abandoned her. How does this play into the BPD? I understand how this could cause the panic and anxietys.
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gutzgutz
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2010, 05:27:30 PM »

Excerpt
Wanting their "own room" in a relationship, internet shopping, zoning out in fantasy, being distant -are all ways for a Borderline to feel safe from losing their identity.

2010, I am not sure if you are a bit too dogmatic about this. I wanted my own room in our big flat and also my own (mental) space in the relationship, because lets be real it is still a relationship between two individuals who want to care for each other, love each other and commit to each other (in the best of possible worlds, assuming non of them has a severe personality disorder) - and I am pretty damn sure that I am not borderline. I do internet shopping because it is cheaper, I am sometimes zoning out in fantasy (there are people called introverted, and I am also an artist and need fantasy besides a good portion of pragmatism) - I don't think I am distant, fine this is a no no ---- Occasionally I am interested in horoscopes, but I see them more as entertainment ---

What I wanted to say is, that some of the stuff you mentioned above, can be applied to all sorts of people without them being psychologically unhealthy. We are all different.

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2010
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 06:44:17 AM »

Excerpt
What I wanted to say is, that some of the stuff you mentioned above, can be applied to all sorts of people without them being psychologically unhealthy. We are all different.

Most of us possess the same traits but we are not compulsive about them. And it’s not the traits that are important; it’s the self-destructive sequence that begins as Borderlines seek reward.  There is a reason why Borderlines have “huge issues with anxiety and panic attacks.”  They live with two part time selves, one is good and the other is bad. The pendulum swings back and forth and although the behaviors are geared toward the search for good, they often produce bad.  This causes imbalance. Unfortunately, Borderlines fail to see that their positive intent might end up with a negative outcome. When the negative outcome occurs, it leads to the reward becoming a "lose-lose situation" for them and this causes immense mental distress. The Borderline then works frantically to contrive strategies to succeed at reward again.  These strategies are fantasy based. This leaves quite a bit of damage behind (in reality) that’s not cleaned up. This causes more anxiety to the Borderline which creates more need to seek out new reward. *It is a compulsion.*

Wanting their "own room" in a relationship, zoning out in fantasy, being distant…

Isolation is the very crucible in which the good and bad part time self are forged.  Isolation usually happens after negative outcome (the withdrawal of reward.) Isolation causes anxiety and anger and despair. It is the “I hate you, don’t leave me.” *Again, this a compulsion.*

Internet shopping

Done while in Isolation. The purpose is to seek Reward and eventual attachment to another. It is fantasy based. Reward is found in other people, but first in order to attach to them- a Borderline must create a persona that is attractive and magnetic. This false self gets it’s valuation based on attracting hosts to cling to. Borderlines can change and morph and become a chameleon based on perceptions of others needs. Successful candying of the hook serves two emotions- elation and fear. Like empty buckets with holes in the bottom, they constantly seek reward. But once they find it, they now suffer tremendous anxiety of losing that reward and feeling punished. Most of their time is spent managing that reward and they do that by morphing to other people’s fantasies, but the negative outcome of this is self persecution and perception of bondage (their closet is filled with other people’s ideas of how the Borderline should dress.)

One pair of shoes a Month can turn into three, then five… until countless hours are spent harvesting and searching for the right pair. The positive intention is to find the right pair to fit the false persona where the Borderline will be rewarded yet never abandoned nor annihilated. The negative outcome of this fantasy is that deep inside the Borderline psyche, there exists a cruel and punishing part time self who considers this desire as shameful and worthless. An extraordinary amount of time is then spent RETURNING impulsive shopping items for a refund. This, is the negative outcome-and subsequent punishment- until the cycle of positive intent begins all over again and the Internet is only a click away… Yes, it is, truly, a compulsion.

Digging deeply into a Borderline’s dysfunctional and damaging behavior will reveal that they were trying to achieve a positive intent through undesirable behavior; unconsciously, ineptly and with harm to themselves and others.

In other words, the goal or intent is said to be positively stated if it is in reference to a state of mind or thing one desires, and it is said to be negatively stated by reference to a state of mind or thing one wishes to avoid. For Borderlines, it seems the middle ground is the hardest place to be. Unfortunately, it’s a black or white compulsion and that makes them swing back and forth in instability.  This is a disorder. Yes, many traits "can be applied to all sorts of people without them being psychologically unhealthy" but with Borderline- it IS unhealthy and it is a pattern.

The desirable effect of Therapy is to show that the dysfunction can often be helped by finding other ways to honor that positive intention without suffering the subsequent negative outcomes.

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lifeisgoodx10
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 07:24:50 AM »

I didn't notice very much panic or anxiety in xh when we were together but I did see a lot of paranoia.
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claireblaire
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 07:29:54 AM »

As someone whos mother is BPD and have just realized I have many of those same traits especially after having a child of my own... .I do suffer from anxiety I dont ever tell anyone about it. Its normally at night when I try to sleep I get anxiety panic about things that are so unrealistic... .you get anxiety about everything really is the stove off, i should check on my daughter again, anything you can think of the car breaking, money... .its really overwhelming sometimes. But Im anti-anxiety depression meds ive seen what they have done to my mother and they dont help.
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odina
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 07:49:26 AM »

my exbf always told me that everything he had to do, was equally hard... .taking the bus was the hardest thing in the world to him... .going to the bank was the hardest thing in the world... .paranoia... he got sweats, and shakes when he had to do something for himself... .ordenary thing that we nons take as nothing, was always the hardest thing in the world... and that again lead to him wanting "sympathy" or "understanding" from everyone as to how hard that was to do for him... .in my ignorance i helped him with alot over the years, and figured out that MAN did i make him worse... .

i think its all to do with the illness they suffer... .anxiety and paranoia, panic attacks its all something they need it seems... .
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slipker
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 12:29:12 PM »

Oh god yes! ExBPD friend finally exposed this to me  with phone calls when he was in a panic/anxiety state. He was weird before but after two of these{ the first I forgave}, I left him to his own devices. 2010 tells it like it is. I quote from exBPD friend's "apology/attempt at reengagement letter: " I allowed myself to enter a state of indescribably intense  anxiety, mixed with a suffocating, all encompassing fear of impending disillusionment. It was a horrible state to be in, imprisoned in one's driving and driven head." This was triggered by an email joke that I had sent to him along with many of my other friends. This was a funny video- an Ikea commercial showing a fellow falling in a river, being scooped up by a logging company, going through a wood fabricator and finally ending up in an Ikea wardrobe in his skivvies. The joke was that a husband came home, saw this guy in the Ikea wardrobe and on listening to his wife's explanation as to why, nods in understanding how this was plausible. Receiving this email from me sent my friend into a state of panic and he called my home six time within two hours. I finally answered and he was demanding to know if this was some kind of " hidden' message to him! WHAT!  He had done something similar a few months earlier and I had ripped him a new one... .it made NO SENSE to me. He lived in a fanstasy world and I was very much unaware of his continued idolization of me until this second incident. That was it for me and I have been NC for over a year now. He still sends emails and I do not read them. Whatever these panic attacks or compulsions they seem to exhibit, I for one would not continue to be his "saviour" and the madonna/whore that he had built up in his mind. He was a supposed friend to myself and my husband... .but in retrospect, he had discounted my husband and set his sick and twisted sights on me. He as 75 years old for god's sake!

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grimalkin
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 01:14:40 PM »

My ex was very anxious nearly all the time.  No panic attacks that I know of.  That's why he'd smoked pot since he was 17.  He quit for a while when we were together, mostly because he had been smoking so much it made the anxiety worse, but also because I didn't like being around him when he was stoned (I don't smoke myself-- it makes me sleepy and depressed).  He should have gotten some Klonopin of Neurontin or something to help calm him down without making him loopy, but he wouldn't take anything.  At the end we agreed he could smoke again as long as he took it easy... Funny-- taking an illegal substance was just fine by him, but taking something prescribed was too scary.  Go figure.

Grim
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david
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 01:44:41 PM »

My BPDw ran away 3.5 years ago. She emptied our house of practically everything. She left a few things one of which was a journal (1990-1993) from when we first met in 1992.  She wrote that she "gets anxious when things are stable and uneventful." She always looked in charge when there was chaos all around and looking back now much of the chaos was of her own doing. She was in "control" during those times.

Her oldest son (32) used to collect pez dispensors (had maybe 50 in total) when he was a teen. They are seriously enmeshed and he has drug issues. His brothers are NC with mom and him. Right before BPDw ran away I discovered in our basement over 15,000 pez dispensors that BPDw had purchased ! She also had the displays that the stores have. When I asked her about it she exploded at me and accused me of spying on her ? I started looking around our house and found hundreds of shoes hidden throughout the house, hefty bags full of bras, boxes full of dresses. When she left she took everything and sent several nasty emails. I read them later and could see the shame she had about it but also realized she had a compulsion that she couldn't stop. I am convinced that is why she ran away. I can read all the posts and psych books and get it on a clinical level but I really don't understand it.

Today our boys (S12 and S7) will tell me how mom always takes them shopping. She will buy 5 or 6 dresses and return most of them within a week. She is renting a two bedroom condo now and has several flat panel tv's, she buys new furniture all the time and throws out her other stuff. The other stuff is from our house and we always bought very good things. It was "like new" 3.5 years ago so I don't think it needed to be replaced. We went to mc right before she left and the counselor said to her once ( I am paraphasing) you don't need to spend all that money and you are not poor. I had no idea what she was talking about back then.
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Hazelnut
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2010, 02:30:20 PM »

Had bad anxiety and unexplained chest pains... .would be fairly and relaxed and then startle as if someone had suddenly walked into the room... .also a few things, ahem, in bed, that weren't red flags but made me say "hmmm... ." and which, when I described it to a friend, sounded to her like PTSD or CSA. :'(
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gutzgutz
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2010, 04:37:00 PM »

2010, Thanks for your extensive explanation/post. I do understand.

I have a question. I saw my ex today and he told me that his affair is now his relationship. She has got Aspergers (or Borderline). Three weeks after I moved out she has got two bunk beds and transformed my room into the room for her kids, when she stays over.

She sees him every other week for a weekend.

My ex told me that their relationship is mainly via Skype, chat-rooms, text-messaging, telephoning and whatever is virtual.

He tells his mother, that he is so happy living on his own now (after I had moved out), but has moved 'fetishes' of his new woman in (her kids' beds, kids' telly, some of her clothes and cosmetics). Her fetishes are controllable while my presence was not (I mean hers are in bits, I was fully present). They both seem perfectly happy about this and the mainly virtual aspect of their togetherness. Strange is that he feels loved and appreciated when she communicates virtually from 6 in the morning until 2 after midnight. He feels loved. She does the same with about 100 other people. She is an obsessive technology user and tells everybody everything about herself. She says about herself that she lacks empathy and is interested in knowledge. She also advocates (on Second Life and in her council)  online education for kids (she talks about Asperger's but also about other neurological or personality problems) who do not want and cannot fit into a group. I thought that this is highly dangerous as this will isolate them and not help them becoming social beings.

Both of them, ex and new woman are obsessive about exercise and cleaning. They clean virtually people out of the house (ex did this with me and my clutter=my life!) and she does this with her husband. Both exercise for hours without any joy, and very repetitive exercises these are. She has met him 2 1/2 years ago and was already obsessed with him after one day. She had phoned him every day and it was like she was addicted to him. Both of them create immediate intimacy with people they do not know. This is a big red flag.

My ex has shown all the signs of BPD during our relationship. He is in person-centered therapy now.

Excerpt
Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5

A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5

Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.

Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

Chronic feelings of emptiness

Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

She shows similar signs, says about herself she has got Aspergers, but I have experienced her as the helpless waif who wants to be saved by my ex, and both have ruthlessly sacrificed their partners in this procedure. It seems that she has been sexually abused as a child. My ex also told me that he had been abused by a male relative. Both, ex and new woman are highly manipulative and lying. They both live with the motto: Everything is fair in love and war, assuming that everything is love and war.

Question is: Does a relationship like this, with constant technological presence (and no joke, I am wondering if they are going to install video surveillance in their homes - Skype is a form of video presence already) - help them with their abandonment issues, there is a regularity and a obsession about this kind of communication, which can be reassuring for a certain type of personality.

It is also about constant attention!

PS: They both have hurt me very much. I am sure that her husband is hurt, too. Both of them cannot see this. She has behaved as if I did not exist. They both seem to have problems with impulse control. If they want something they go for it without thinking about consequences or about others.

PS2: Not sure anymore why I asked the question. Maybe I would like some intelligent analysis, some intelligent re-assurance.

I am a fan of your posts and your insights, knowledge and great observation.


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gutzgutz
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2010, 04:38:13 PM »

Sorry all, did not want to hijack, maybe this should be a new topic. Would have liked some insight from 2010.

Thanks, gg
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bluelotus9
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2010, 05:01:18 PM »

I have been reading how frequently anxiety and or panic attacks are associated with BPD. It seems the 2 go hand in hand quite often. My ex suffered from anxiety and panic. When i met her she was taking xanax. She was and still is scared about talking on the phone. She will text 100 times a day but no phone calls. She is very anxious in large crowds, very uncomfortable talking in a group. She was very anxious about the sound of her voice. Always said the worries in her mind would never shut off.

I would think that constant stress of fear and worry on the brain would very much lead to BPD. She had it since she was very young. She said she couldn't spend the whole night at a friends house without freaking until she was like 15 yrs old.

She can't watch the news or any shows or movies with any kind of violence.

If there were people over she couldn't just sit and visit, she was always getting up and doing something.

Any similar storys?

Yes, my exuBPDgf was also unable to watch any films containing any violence. I inadvertently took her to see 'Antichrist' by Lars von Treir (not realising myself how disturbing it was). She spent most of the movie hiding her face, saying 'don't watch it - it will contaminate your mind' I was blamed afterward for taking her to see it & she threatened to end the r/s, and would have if I had taken her to see it deliberately... .

Also she she was beset by worries & couldn't sleep and confided in me that as soon as she was in one place, she wanted to be in another. She had allergies to eggs, bananas and wheat, suffered from headaches, neck aches.

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