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Experts share their discoveries [video]
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Caretaking - What is it all about?
Margalis Fjelstad, PhD
Blame - why we do it?
Brené Brown, PhD
Family dynamics matter.
Alan Fruzzetti, PhD
A perspective on BPD
Ivan Spielberg, PhD
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Author Topic: BPD's misery and refusal to do anything about it despite their intelligence...  (Read 11717 times)
happiness68
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« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2013, 08:52:26 AM »

Thanks Turtle.  I see what you mean. It made you appreciate the good in your life, even the small things.  I must admit I'm much calmer since my BPD relationship.  I became that way about 6 months in.  I had to be to deal with it and him.  I'm very grateful for the good things in my life.  I think I'm very lucky on the most of it.  You're right.  We should be thankful and it makes us look at things in a better way.  I think the good stuff is really what stops us nons from being bitter and resentful after a r/s with our BPD's.  I figure I have to continue to feel the way I am and things will kind of fall into place.  It takes time, I get that.  I don't have so many low moments.  I have moments of missing him and the good stuff that we had, but that's it now and I"m sure I will go on to meet someone else who will create new good memories with me.  Thanks for explaining.  It confirms I'm on the right track of healing. 

I second that - thanks Vinnie.  What you write is very interesting.  Thanks for the insight.

Turtle/Newton - I don't understand this.  Can you explain? 

Vinnie -- thank you for your post!

Newton --  yes, this makes sense!

Excerpt
I appreciate this post is a little "out there"... .  in summary I guess I'm trying to say that in my training it appears I am being taught to reverse engineer my brain, to bypass thought and utilize repeated physical behaviour.  The goal is to attempt to achieve a dissociated state where feelings express themselves in physicality without the time delay of thought... .  



I think I have experienced this with the idea of gratitude.  While that isn't a physical behavior, I do believe I have rewired my brian to be grateful FIRST -- "without the time delay of thought."  I don't do it EVERY time, but I do it ALMOST every time.  And for that... .  I am grateful.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

This one thing has changed my life immeasurably.

turtle


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« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2013, 09:27:16 AM »

Yes, I can confirm that the frontal lobe, especially the ventral medial section, reins in the amygdala like taming a wild horse.  The amygdala is like an untamed horse. Basically, the meltdowns are an uncontrolled stress response. That is, the amygdala is trigger happy and will trip of the fight or flight, which is exceedingly painful and unpleasant. This is why a person would describe them self as living in hell. Nervous wreck.

I have studied this extensively.
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« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2013, 09:33:56 AM »

Green tea, my experience was exactly the same as yours. Had a life that any man would envy, and his ~ attitude drove him to psychosis.

Now I think we need to think deeply about this. Psychosis damages the brain... .  many studies have shown this over the past 20 years. And the longer it goes on, the more damage ensues.

Understand too, that BPD is about 42% genetic. It could be that these pathways are inherently weak... .  like like someone could be born with a weak heart or weak eyesight.

Combine this with parents that cannot recognize this and help the kid deal with the runaway stress response... .  they are likely the same way... .  then you have in essence a family curse.
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« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2013, 09:36:18 AM »

I really find this stuff about the frontal lobe and the amygdala fascinating... .  I've read a bit about it. But it's really a clinical perspective that I don't fully understand but it helps me to make more sense of why they are so illogical at times! The amygdala is the part of the brain which stores all the bad subconcious memories I think I heard that.
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« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2013, 09:43:58 AM »

Oh... .  no pressure then Turtle!   ... .  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Ok my take is that we have an ability to filter what we experience from life... .  I will call that filter "interpretation"... .  

We have power over that interpretation by employing rational thought, actually utilising thought as a tool... .  

Now even if we don't necessarily initially believe the challenging sentences we use to describe our experience... .  the very fact that we have allowed ourselves to experience those sentences will alter our perception... .  and thus alter our feelings.

If we take time to create a space in our thoughts to mull over an idea... .  even that very behaviour which is a choice can influence how we feel about something... .  

It sounds like Turtle is saying... .  (and I know I'll be corrected if I'm wrong Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))... .  that "gratitude" has become the filter/interpretation of her experience of the world... .  

That means things which may previously have passed through a negative filter... .  and promoted negative feelings... .  are now greeted and embraced with a different schema... .  

In addition... .  a pwBPD is filtering the world through a much more primitive mechanism... .  emotion.  There isn't a filter in place to consider alternative possibilities... .  or consequences of their reactionary behaviour... .  it just IS in a MOMENT... .  every waking moment 

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« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2013, 09:47:27 AM »

It sounds like Turtle is saying... .  (and I know I'll be corrected if I'm wrong Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))... .  that "gratitude" has become the filter/interpretation of her experience of the world... .  

That means things which may previously have passed through a negative filter... .  and promoted negative feelings... .  are now greeted and embraced with a different schema... .  

That is exactly right. 

I'm grateful for you, Newton -- you make me laugh.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2013, 09:48:16 AM »

Vinnie-

In your comment you wrote:

The results were a diagnosis of mood disorder, depression, and pms syndrome.

These 3 things together are like pieces of a BPD puzzle. The behavioral components added in would probably be a conclusive yes to a BPD diagnosis. Especially with the scan results to back up the similar findings that they have seen in recent studies with BPDs.

I feel for you with the changes you made to try to be more understanding of your SO's illness. I did the same, not realizing that it was taking us further down the rabbit hole and making things worse, not better.

GreenTea-

You have my sympathies. The decision to leave is not easy, but you must think of your daughter's well being and your own first. I struggled with how to handle custody issues with my son, but after reading more about BPD and giving it thorough consideration I realized that there would be no bright future for my son if BPDexGF remains untreated. We are now locked in a horrible custody battle that is one of the worst experiences of my life. It may cost me everything I have, but I have to try to protect my son.
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« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2013, 10:22:27 AM »

The amygdala holds the emotional associations with thoughts... .  think pavlovs dog. Bell equalled salivating. Without modulation by the prefrontal cortex, a person is held hostage to prior conditioning. Nonstop stress response. This could be why BPDs live an average of 20 years shorter. Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined.
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« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2013, 10:24:33 AM »

Interesting the amygdala has been found to be hyperactive in BPD patients and it is also the "fear hub" of the brain.
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« Reply #69 on: January 21, 2013, 10:27:32 AM »

Yes, it is a trigger happy deeply ingrained panic attack.

Just asking the board... .  could you develop a sense of identity if you were subject to panic attacks all of the time?
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« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2013, 10:28:04 AM »

Non just the fear hub. All of the primal emotions.
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« Reply #71 on: January 21, 2013, 10:28:32 AM »

Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined.

Idea  Wow!  

That is a shocking statistic.

Thanks for sharing this maryiscontrary!

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« Reply #72 on: January 21, 2013, 10:35:16 AM »

Well, it is about the same for schizophrenia and bipolar. Along with BPD, there is about a 20 year less lifespan than those without. I am not sure of the NPD or ASPD.

I mean, this is serious risk factor. 
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« Reply #73 on: January 21, 2013, 10:45:57 AM »

This thread is making total sense to me... .  I have almost zero knowledge of brain mechanics (I will have soon as a result of the discussion here)... .  google awaits!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Referring back to my tai chi training... .  we are instructed that in it's purest most perfect experience/delivery... .  our physical responses to a perceived attack should be like sneezing, or vomiting ... .  A physical reaction to a trigger that bypasses thought or decision... .  

I am not suggesting that means pwBPD are not culpable for their shocking behaviour... .  people who exhibit behaviour deemed to be socially unaceptable should be avoided... .  or detained... .  

But it's a very interesting topic... .  and creates a lot of interesting questions... .  

My martial training seems to be developing a "controlled reactive rage"... .  

DBT seems to be teaching "rage filtered by thought... .  thus controlled"... .  



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« Reply #74 on: January 21, 2013, 11:17:18 AM »

Interesting observations here... .  the reduced life expectancy makes sense and I'm fine with it (sorry, still reeeling from it all... .  I'm sure I'll be more sensitive later)... .  

I'm curious about the Non's life expectancy from living with the BPD?

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« Reply #75 on: January 21, 2013, 11:19:57 AM »

I am going to respond back to the original topic of this post:

The simple answer is that part of the nature of BPD is that the person with BPD usually does not believe that there is anything wrong with them. It is always someone else's fault for the way that they feel and behave.

Trying to convince a BPD to seek help, is like trying to convince a person that does not even drink alcohol to seek rehab for drinking alcohol. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to them and the more you persist in trying to convince them, the more they become convinced that you are the crazy one. BPDs are not ignorant of their own behavior, they are just unable to accept and properly process facts that fail to support the way they already feel.
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« Reply #76 on: January 21, 2013, 11:24:23 AM »

Bent... .  that is the main focus of course.  It's absolutely impossible to have any kind of a relationship with someone that is never wrong.  Being asa intelligent as they usually are, they can spin, rationalize and persuade enough to get what they feel is rightfully theirs... .  regardless of the consequences or circumstances.  Double standards are a daily event and hypocrisy is their motto.

Do I sound a bit jaded?  LOL

F1
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« Reply #77 on: January 21, 2013, 11:29:02 AM »

Well as an anecdotal observation... .  my first T expressed his thoughts that choosing to experience a partner with severe mental illness could possibly promote a long term stress "flight" reaction on a physical level... .  ie US developing physical disease in a response to OUR constant emotional distress.

It makes sense to me that exposing myself to cigarettes, alcohol, fatty foods and a stressful job will reduce my life expectancy... .  significantly... .  

It's not a huge leap to understand that the same health risks are involved for choosing to expose ourselves constantly to someone who is disrupting our emotional well being... .  

As an add on though... .  learning about radical acceptance, mindfulness, boundaries etc has reduced my stressors significantly!

... .  "Is there a statistician on the plane?"... .   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #78 on: January 21, 2013, 11:34:31 AM »

Bent... .  that is the main focus of course.  It's absolutely impossible to have any kind of a relationship with someone that is never wrong.  Being asa intelligent as they usually are, they can spin, rationalize and persuade enough to get what they feel is rightfully theirs... .  regardless of the consequences or circumstances.  Double standards are a daily event and hypocrisy is their motto.

Do I sound a bit jaded?  LOL

F1

It has taken me a bit to separate the emotion from my personal experience, and I am not fully there yet. I am also just beginning to get a firm grasp on the twisted logic of my BPD ex. (ie. 1+1=Fish bicycle! You didn't do what I wanted 7 years ago, you did what I told you to do! You apologized for it at the time--which was accepted, but I am going to scream at you for an hour over it 7 years later-all because her abandonment fear was triggered and previous episodes of abandonment fear were recalled)
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« Reply #79 on: January 21, 2013, 11:44:54 AM »

how a person can be so very miserable, but refuse to do anything about it.

My ex with BPD had said it many times and I was witness too it.  It is just too much effort and too tiring to fight BPD, it is so much easier to fall back into the ways they feel comfortable.

I think a good analogy is fighting BPD is like trying not to scratch an itch.

Plus then the whole, removed from reality comes into play and it becomes much easier to avoid working hard at feeling better and just riding the BPD roller-coaster.
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« Reply #80 on: January 21, 2013, 11:54:31 AM »

He tried hard to do the work too and to understand. It was often extremely triggering for the both of us but I would leave most sessions feeling somehow better and though drained mentally also more hopeful, and I have also had to deal with some difficult personal issues. But he would always tell me he would feel at lot worse afterwards, sometimes so bad it would last days. He questioned whether it was even healthy for him to feel so bad. And in the end he couldn't deal with it any longer.

Thanks Mitti, yes this helps to explain why they don't. It hurts them. Just like Marsha Linehan says they are not like us. They have no emotional skin at all. Therapy hurts them. I can't understand that, but it does.
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« Reply #81 on: January 21, 2013, 12:09:25 PM »

The amygdala holds the emotional associations with thoughts... .  think pavlovs dog. Bell equalled salivating. Without modulation by the prefrontal cortex, a person is held hostage to prior conditioning. Nonstop stress response. This could be why BPDs live an average of 20 years shorter. Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined.

Can you share a reference for this data?  As required by HonCode, we ask members to document research findings. (see Ethics)

We are familiar with this data:

www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/219330.php

This article reports that people with severe metal illness tend to drink, smoke, and be obese, and therefore at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and die younger.  This report does not suggest that "Not regulating ones's emotions is a larger death risk factor than smoking and obesity combined." - it paint a relationship between the two.

We welcome the factoids - keep them coming!     Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Also, there was a meta analysis published that suggests that the negative emotionality may be hardwired (chemical).

"Neural Correlates of Negative Emotionality in Borderline Personality Disorder: An Activation-Likelihood-Estimation Meta-Analysis"

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« Reply #82 on: January 21, 2013, 12:39:37 PM »

Referring back to my tai chi training... .  we are instructed that in it's purest most perfect experience/delivery... .  our physical responses to a perceived attack should be like sneezing, or vomiting ... .  A physical reaction to a trigger that bypasses thought or decision... .  

This shows that by working on yourself, you can get to a state of being where you just BE. You ARE at your best. You're: YOU. When things are good, you accept them, you're calmer, your reactions just flow and you're living a natural life. When things are bad ('attacking' you) you accept them, you're calmer, your reactions just flow and you're living a natural life. Without the work to get there, though, this balance does not occur.
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« Reply #83 on: January 21, 2013, 01:19:00 PM »

myself... .  I agree... .  the very odd thing about experiencing this state is whilst I am training with the very few who can turn this on and off with a switch... .  we are acting in an incredibly dangerous way... .  but the harmony of the experience means we have huge smiles on our faces and are all laughing and joking  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I have recently realised that this combination of "feeling and action" can be expressed through sweeping a path of leaves, mowing a lawn or buttering toast!... .  the key... .  for me... .  is maintaining an overall "intention"... .  I believe that means a motivation for our actions... .  in a moment.

It's a shame this thread is nearing it's end... .  it's been great... .  thank you happiness68  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #84 on: January 21, 2013, 01:26:59 PM »

This thread has been incredibly valuable to me - I have been awake half the night having revelations & "aha" moments. Is there any way it can please not be locked even tho it is over 4 pages?

One question - I can understand how brain dysfunction could lead to the rages & loss of control, i had always understood that this was behaviour that he was simply incapable of regulating. But I struggle to deal with understanding the deliberate and calculated cruelty & the sadistic enjoyment that I sometimes felt he gained from it. It seemed to be the opposite of loss of control & to me, that seems the most "evil" aspect of his persona. 

Did he need to humiliate me in order to feel better about the rage & his own feelings of disappointment (and disgust?) in me when logically he knew I had done nothing wrong?
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« Reply #85 on: January 21, 2013, 01:33:46 PM »

Its a subconcious reaction, they don't even realize until after its done. And they don't know why they do it, but it has something to do with their subconcious memories in the amygdala!
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« Reply #86 on: January 21, 2013, 01:47:52 PM »

How could something viscous and calculated be subconscious? I assumed that subconscious behaviour was reactive & emotional whereas the behaviour I'm thinking of seemed so much the opposite?
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« Reply #87 on: January 21, 2013, 02:00:14 PM »

Wooddragon... .  I can understand your confusion... .  it is possible your SO had NPD traits (it can often be co-morbid with BPD)... .  that is a whole different ballgame

If we are talking about BPD though... .  their satisfaction from our distress is an accomplishment of projecting/transfering their pain onto us... .  their lack of self means if WE feel pain then they don't have to own it... .  our acting out behaviour in our misery distracts from them self soothing... .  

It was described simply once here as "tag... .  your IT"... .  

If I am running around with a ticking bomb... .  then I give it to you and run away fast... .  suddenly it's not my problem and my anxiety has gone (especially if I don't really care about your welfare)... .  

It's our choice to accept the ticking bomb... .  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #88 on: January 21, 2013, 02:46:12 PM »

Around 2000 I was tying up loose ends in some toxicology and immunology research and had regular access to mainstream research papers in any journal. Because I had trouble with personal relationships (what I now know as BPD and MPD people in my life, and my own uNPD parents along with my own caregiver traits), I started also collecting, reading, and trying to understand psychology papers on attachment disorders, PTSD, BPD and MPD.

Several of them were major teachers for me. Some used specialized language but I’m going to try to transmit some concepts from them that don’t seem to have been covered completely in the other thread yet.

1. Most fascinating to me: Henry’s 1997 meta review paper [1] suggesting that not only is there biological evidence that the brain develops differently in both hormone levels and specific neuron development in those with difficult childhoods (abusive, traumatic), but also that there seem to be two basic ‘programs’ that humans use to react to situations, one as ‘selfish’ and the other as ‘species’, and the second involves being able to interact empathically with others. He cited evidence these two programs are specialized in the left and right halves of the brain, and that the corpus callosum, which carries information between the two halves of the brain, does not function correctly in trauma survivors (he talked mostly about PTSD but mentions BPD at a times), so that they are essentially stuck in the selfish half. All their reactions and interpretations must come from there, without balance from the ‘species’ (‘other’) half. This paper is great and contains a lot more than I can tell here; I highly recommend it. And, Wooddragon, there is also a good paper by one of Henry’s students, Wang [2], that contains this fascinating quote: “Henry wondered whether the left hemisphere, with its emphasis on power and control, operating without the right hemispheric ‘awareness of the other’, could be a model for the physiology of evil.”

2. Also great, and perhaps just as important: some years earlier Van Der Kolk’s papers [3] [4] that describe the symptoms we all know so well, but in biological terms (his own specialty seems to be hormone levels), and making it clear that these were lasting changes. A key concept I got from him was about self-soothing; that the abuse survivor’s ability to self-soothe is not available. Thus, just being themselves, alone, means that they are likely to be in a state of anxiety and/or unhappiness. Their interactions with others are therefore based on an attempt to use others as objects to help them soothe.

To my mind, if you combine these two ideas, it’s fairly obviously a recipe for a life in hell — for us non’s as well, of course.

However, there is one point that I’m unclear on, and that is the relationship between ‘dysregulation’ and either the self/other shift or the self-soothing need. In other words, how close are the BPD people to ‘normal’ when they are not dysregulated? Do these things only come into play during dysregulation? Or are they there all the time — and normalcy is an act, a pretense?

My own answer at present is that BPD is a spectrum disorder —  it will be caused in different ways in different people, and to different degrees depending on many factors, including where a child is in a particular developmental window of brain growth when abuse occurs. So it may be that some BPDs are capable of actually being more or less normal when not dysregulated (ie, most of the problem will be concept #1, a shift to selfishness that happens during dysregulation). Whereas others, worse, will be unhappy and shifted into #1 all the time, and spend most of their effort seeking help for #2, self-soothing.

PP


[1] Henry, J. P. (1997). "Psychological and physiological responses to stress: the right hemisphere and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, an inquiry into problems of human bonding." Acta Physiol Scand Suppl 640: 10-25.  

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9401599

[2] Wang, S. (1997). "Traumatic stress and attachment." Acta Physiol Scand Suppl 640: 164-9.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9401634

[3] van der Kolk, B. A. and R. E. Fisler (1993). "The biologic basis of posttraumatic stress." Prim Care 20(2): 417-32.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8356161

[4] van der Kolk, B. A. and R. E. Fisler (1994). "Childhood abuse and neglect and loss of self-regulation." Bull Menninger Clin 58(2): 145-68.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7519094

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« Reply #89 on: January 21, 2013, 05:12:35 PM »

Here are links for lowered longevity

Mental illness in general

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22130744

Ah, this one was for PDs in general

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789412


Of course people who are stressed engage in risky behaviors. But when you add suicide to the mix, this jacks up the stats than for those just obese and/or who smoke.

Having a mental illness, including a PD, greatly increases you odds of dying in your 50s (on average).

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