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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: no cure for BPD  (Read 4397 times)
CoasterRider
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« on: January 20, 2014, 07:39:21 PM »

I had a session with my T today. Usually look forward to them as she only validats a lot of things I think of my breakup. She has told me before the best thing my ex did for me was leave. Today I mentioned to her about BPD and thinking my ex was/is borderline. She says she has some borderline clients and it usually is combined with some other mental condition. She said she could see my ex being borderline. She also explained that there is no cure for BPD not even therapy can fix the disordered thinking, it can only teach mindfulness about the symptoms and where it comes from. Ultimately the cognitive process of the borderlines thinking never changes. If in fact my ex is borderline there is no hope for a long term and happy relationship with him. You would think this affirmation makes me feel better about the situation but alas it does not. What do y'all think in your experience has someone diagnosed with BPD ever moved on to live a normal fulfilling life where they maintained normal and happy interpersonal relationships?
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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 07:46:39 PM »

The disorder is the result of trauma that happened so early in a sufferer's life that it got hardwired into their personality, unchangeable, unlike belief systems, which are like software and can be deleted or changed.

There's a gal named Tami Green on YouTube who has the disorder and says she's got a handle on it, pretty compelling, and there are other success stories, at least ones that sold book deals, and the prognosis is actually good for someone who sticks with a long term plan to learn to manage the disorder, but no, there is no cure.
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CoasterRider
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 07:51:02 PM »

She said regardless of diagnosis someone who is incapable or refuses to see and take responsibility for themselves and their actions is truly psychotic and there is no way to changes or fix it and it's someone I should want no where near me.
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 08:05:00 PM »

I think that this site is somewhat jaded. I also believe that many psychiatrists (mine included) are old school and base their opinions on history. Treatment for BPD is really still in its infancy and there are some success stories. I have not read any professional articles /studies that claim that BPD can be cured. I have read on some sites where BPD's / SO post that they or their partners have reached some type of remission. It is my belief that those that want to improve and are not totally comorbidly damaged can learn enough coping skills to live a much better life. Some may even reach a point where they are self aware and able to live a life of normalcy in regards to relationships.
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 08:11:47 PM »

I think in denial is more accurate than psychotic, but I agree: Run!

I liken it to alcoholism, another incurable disease with sufferers in total denial, until they hit bottom. A borderline will keep doing what works until it doesn't, and as long as there's a continuous supply of attachments, there's no reason to change. Plus they're in constant pain, so how much pain does it take beyond that for a borderline to hit bottom?
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Eodmava
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 08:23:30 PM »

I think that the blanket statement "there is no cure for BPD" is true when considered in the present context of psycho-therapeutic/psycho-tropic brain treatments.  However, the hopelessness of the statement belies a couple of things that I have observed during the past three year journey to understand what is going on with my soon to be ex wife.  

First off, BPD's can be the most beautiful, funny, sensuous people that you will ever meet.  There are attributes that make a person whole and the fact that they have this brain disorder doesn't necessarily exclude them from "worth."  

Now, whether or not the person with BPD can provide "you" with what "you" need... . that is something only "you" can decide.  I don't mean to sound cynical, but I went through a spiritual awakening over the past couple of years during which I learned what true agape love is... . seeing through the painful reactions to her behaviors.  I began to realize that she was simply so defended, so anxious... . that she could not help but lash out.  This requires a level of compassion and empathy that most people are unable to achieve... . not saying I have made this phase shift yet myself.

Second, the technology necessary to enable continued expansion of the neuro-scientific developments of the past several years provide much needed hope that this disorder will eventually be able to be treated using presently unseen solutions.  The neuro-pathways developing in a small child between the ages of 0-6 years old form the basis for all perceptive emotion, logic and reason.  If a child is forced to wear shoes too small, their feet become deformed and don't function ideally.  The same is true when the child is forced to endure the emotional equivalent of "tight shoes."  The neuro-pathic development is arrested or altered and while the person can think/reason/emote... . it is never as designed.  

Finally, I have met with a couple of healed BPD's.  There are several common factors I believe that occurred in all of their healing journeys.  Number 1 - the pwBPD had to hit an absolute bottom.  Number 2 - the person had to realize that there was no other way to go other than to let down their defenses.  Number 3 - they needed to have a support system in place that supported their healing without enabling them.  

If you want to get a really good look at Real Love versus other types... . please read, Real Love by Greg Baer.  Amazing book.  Changed my life.  

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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 08:37:50 PM »

I agree with everything you say Eod.  The deal breaker for me was focusing on my needs for a minute and asking are they getting met? Unequivocally No. There's a lot to be said for compassion, empathy and unconditional love, and when they aren't reciprocated, it gets very tiring, to the point of gotta go.

Yes, medical and psychiatric advances are such that we don't even know what future solutions will be available, just that there will be some. Still, most borderlines stay in denial and don't seek treatment, and cannot be forced to, so what about them? Wait for that bottom... .
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 08:43:39 PM »

Coaster Rider,

Having to accept that we fell in love with a mentally ill person is quite devastating….especially when we realize that it is not within our power to fix or rescue them.

I have to admit that my desires for my ex to get better were motivated by totally selfish reasons. Looking back I can honestly say that my desires were about getting back to that blissful period of painted white idealization before the fantasy bubble popped. I would have done anything to jar, preserve and restore the idealization I experienced with my ex…it was that beautiful.  

I don't think there's a person on here who hadn't at some point in time in this BPD experience wished for a shot, a pill, or an elixir that we could give our ex's to make them better for us. But the reality is our ex's were damaged goods way before we entered the picture and there's a likely possibility that we're quite damaged as well to be attracted to and consequently in relationship with a borderline.

There's no cure for mental illness unfortunately. On some levels mental illness can be managed if the person is insightful enough to desire help but BPD is a form of narcissism and many narcissist's are simply too mentally stunted to grasp the emotional maturity of accountability. Accountability from narcissists is EXTREMELY RARE. UNICORN RARE.

We have better chances on focusing on ourselves and what got us here in the first place.

Spell
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 08:46:47 PM »

HeeltoHeal,

I don't think anybody should judge a non's decision to stay or go.  It is completely up to the individual and we as outsiders to their relationship have to respect their decision.  As far as BPD's go... . let them go... . emotionally, physically, mentally... . just release them back to where they came from.  I know that this sounds idealistic, but I have found that prayer, mindfulness, learning and focusing on myself, my issues, my weaknesses and strengths... . has made me a stronger person throughout this horrific ordeal.  

I guess that what I am trying to say is that I empathize with all the others leaving and I appreciate the support that others here have offered to me.  However, I want to encourage all the nons here to take a good long look in the mirror and find out where you can improve, where you can get stronger, smarter, wiser, healthier, and generally better.  Focus on yourself... . its the only thing you can control.

MAVA  

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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2014, 08:52:00 PM »

HeeltoHeal,

I don't think anybody should judge a non's decision to stay or go.  It is completely up to the individual and we as outsiders to their relationship have to respect their decision.  As far as BPD's go... . let them go... . emotionally, physically, mentally... . just release them back to where they came from.  I know that this sounds idealistic, but I have found that prayer, mindfulness, learning and focusing on myself, my issues, my weaknesses and strengths... . has made me a stronger person throughout this horrific ordeal.  

I guess that what I am trying to say is that I empathize with all the others leaving and I appreciate the support that others here have offered to me.  However, I want to encourage all the nons here to take a good long look in the mirror and find out where you can improve, where you can get stronger, smarter, wiser, healthier, and generally better.  Focus on yourself... . its the only thing you can control.

MAVA  

Exactly, and thanks! I've come to see my borderline 'experience' as a gift, an education I needed and didn't know it, and the growth I've experienced motivated by pain has been profound, and I'm better for it.
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 08:59:51 PM »

If you want to get a really good look at Real Love versus other types... . please read, Real Love by Greg Baer.  Amazing book.  Changed my life.  

I am being a fly on the wall regarding this thread. Thanks for the tidbit of information. I will go buy this book pronto.
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 09:00:36 PM »

Without getting overly technical, I think this can be reduced down to everyday terms and easy to understand. Yes, I agree that personality disorders exist. I cannot deny that I lived the chaos. I think rather than ask if BPD can be "cured" a more household question would be "can people change?" The answer I agree with the most is this. We will always be who we are. We cannot change that. Even when an alcoholic stops using and begins recovery, that person is still an alcoholic. Just as an example. Same for any recovery oriented issues. It follows suit that a person with a particular set of personality traits will always posses those traits. I will always be me. I have no choice. If I'm a grumpy person I will always tend to be grumpy. If I'm pleasant and happy, that will tend to be my nature and one would expect that to be my general personality. I know that temporary shifts can occur. I know that physical illness can produce unhappiness. I know that injury can produce irritability. Temporary. I see this in the personalities of the people that I know. For the most part the personalities of the people that I know are very consistent. BPD is no exception. We are who we are.
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 09:11:17 PM »

This is a good thread.  I read somewhere that the trend now in medicine is that BPD is inherited and not necessarily due to childhood trauma.  I realized pretty early about 2 months in that my ex was BPD, the relationship lasted 4 months with seeing her less and less.  Still it was a short horrific experience that has jolted me quite a bit.  What's interesting is that as I started to grow spiritually,  we started to deteriorate.   I think she was unable to mirror the change in me so she was outed so to speak.  :)idn't take her long to find a replacement and that's the end of the story.
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 09:27:46 PM »

If you're wired to deny, wouldn't you deny you'd reached your bottom?

The bottom being where most of us bounce back, having faced it.

Is there a top?

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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 09:33:57 PM »

If you're wired to deny, wouldn't you deny you'd reached your bottom?

The bottom being where most of us bounce back, having faced it.

Is there a top?

The bottom is defined as the point where the pain is so great it breaks through the denial, and the only options appear to be a letting down of the defenses and a humility; if someone isn't there yet, it's not the bottom.

Maybe the top is the perfect human, so no, there isn't one.
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2014, 09:56:43 PM »



Up is down and down is up, but this way is that way, but down is down and up is here. Keep moving!
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2014, 10:24:41 PM »

There isn't a cure for a person's personality as of yet... . no surprise.

For those of us who had r/s with pwBPD... . some hope... but not a cure either.

Most of us are in some way insecurely attached, and the pwBPD gets past our defenses, gets super close then devastates us.

Great parenting would have prevented most the BPD and people that fall hard for them. Smiling (click to insert in post)

Not sure how to clean up the mess from the parents we all had...  

On the bright side... . I think a "We are working on a cure for your personality"... bumper sticker would go. Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2014, 10:42:43 PM »

The very existence of this forum is proof enough that there is no cure for BPD.
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2014, 11:12:27 PM »

As a man thinks in his heart... . so is he.  I think as humans (the creation) we only see with what makes logical sense to us.  There was a time when the earth being flat made logical sense to some... . and we all know how that turned out.  Was it truth? NO - it was a lack of information.

The thing that amazes me is that we see the complexities of this creation, and all that is in it - and how everything works together, and yet... . BPD = no hope.  That is such boxed thinking in my opinion.  Not truth - just truth when held to the standard of the individual who holds it.  Look at where technology and medicine has gone... . as well as all that has been discovered in psychiatry.  Look how the body heals.  Look how the earth sustains life.

I mean really.  Just because we haven't figured it all out yet we think that is the truth?  REALLY?  I'm glad not every person on the planet gave up and closed the door with such hopelessness when it came to cancer, and many other things for that matter.  

Thank God for those brave enough to look the impossible in the face and take it on, bring hope to the hopeless, and faith to the blind.  It's those gifted in this particular area who couple that wisdom & knowledge with the understanding that there is ALWAYS an answer, we just have to find it - that will sometime in the future be developing the treatment to deal with this sad disorder.

I'm not saying that we should live in a fairy tale world... . I know as well as the others here what a crazy ride it was.  I am just trying to throw in some balance to such doom & gloom.  That is black and white thinking in my opinion - and actually there is great evidence in all we have seen throughout history to support that finding a cure for this is highly PROBABLE.
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2014, 11:21:01 PM »

HeeltoHeal,

 As far as BPD's go... . let them go... . emotionally, physically, mentally... . just release them back to where they came from.  

MAVA  

"Catch and release". Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2014, 11:41:00 PM »

 

Exactly, and thanks! I've come to see my borderline 'experience' as a gift, an education I needed and didn't know it, and the growth I've experienced motivated by pain has been profound, and I'm better for it.

You shared that with me in another thread and I have taken it to heart. What's funny is the stuff my ex is angry with me about or used to "paint me black" aren't the things I'm disappointed in myself for how I acted in that relationship. I'm angry I ignored the red flags, made excuses for my own instincts, let myself get out of shape, let myself become content with the status quo of dysfunction, and things being "comfortable" and being a lazy partner. These are the things in going to fix about myself so that these things that really should have been the topic of dissatisfaction in the relationship don't follow me into the next one.
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2014, 11:49:23 PM »

You shared that with me in another thread and I have taken it to heart. What's funny is the stuff my ex is angry with me about or used to "paint me black" aren't the things I'm disappointed in myself for how I acted in that relationship. I'm angry I ignored the red flags, made excuses for my own instincts, let myself get out of shape, let myself become content with the status quo of dysfunction, and things being "comfortable" and being a lazy partner. These are the things in going to fix about myself so that these things that really should have been the topic of dissatisfaction in the relationship don't follow me into the next one.

Good for you Coaster, and we can use that anger as drive to help us grow, it's wasted anger otherwise. Take care a you!
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2014, 08:42:13 AM »

I have seen and read a lot of stuff by BPD sufferers that claim to be cured or whatever. I don't take what a BPD is saying at face value. We all learned that the hard way.

There is no cure, therapy can help extreme mood swings and their management and suicidal thoughts but a BPD is never going to have control over feelings of abandonment and intimacy.
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2014, 08:57:50 AM »

Coaster,

   I beg to differ. While there isn't an actual "cure" they can make significant progress through hard work and therapy treating their "core issues".

BPD is caused by neglect at a young age (between 1-3yrs old). That is why BPD is not a disease. It's not something they "caught" its an emotional disorder. It's like something stopped growing. You can't "regrow" it but through work they can recognize their issues and make better choices. The problem is it is hard work and persons with BPD do not like to admit they are in the wrong so imagine them working with a T that is trying to "fix them".

Many start therapy and then drop it or end up suing the therapist (they are taking everything as a personal attack).

Your therapist is right about the co-morbidity aspect though. Many have Bi-Polar, ADD amongst other afflictions. It makes it hard to diagnose and to medicate.

The whole thing is sad and we are better off moving on to a healthier person for us.
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2014, 09:20:03 AM »

This thread makes me think about how hard it is for me to change.

I've been working with a therapist since July. I see her every week. I went to an intensive outpatient program for nine days. I work every day on mindfulness. I've taken up yoga.

20 times a day I have to redirect my thoughts to the here and now.

I have been depressed since my ex husband left in May.

Now, my ex has BPD. And he has had this disorder for his entire life. If I am struggling to change my depressive thoughts, and I do not have any issues beyond my "negative" thinking, how can I expect him to change how he has coped with life over the last 45 years?

So whether or not BPD is curable is not a factor for me. The fact is that my ex does not wish to be any different that what he is right now. And he threw our marriage away because his fears overcame him. I threw our marriage away because I was afraid of what my ex could do to my life, which are my fears.

Two people, lots of fears, one with a willingness to change and the other to survive.

I think I know who will end up better off in the end, and it's me. I don't say that because I want to triumph over him, I say that because it's the truth.

I can do more than "get by" in life. I can actually live mine. He can't do that. He has too much fear and pain to truly live, love and trust.

Hugs,

L


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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2014, 10:44:10 AM »

NO CURE WHATSOEVER! They are extremely toxic, get away from them.
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2014, 11:18:16 AM »

This topic is discussed a lot on these boards, but an interesting thought occurred to me as I read this thread: I think people are curious about there being a cure for BPD for more than one reason.

There are many who seek an answer to this question in the hopes of hearing there IS a cure, so that they might fulfill their fantasy of someday working out a relationship with their BPDex.

There are others (I am lumped in here) who seek an answer to this question in the hopes of hearing there IS NOT a cure, so they (we) might feel secure in the fact that our BPDex's will continue their destructive patterns, thus validating that WE DID NOT CAUSE them to cheat, to lie, and whatever other hurtful things they have done to us.

There might be a rare third group, those who are TRULY detached, and who want the answer to this question to be "Yes", so that their BPDex's might have a hope of living a happy and fulfilled life with someone else.  I think the number of those in this group is TINY compared to the others, and I would seriously ask anyone who claims to belong here if they GENUINELY feel this way, or if saying it just makes them feel better about belonging in one of the aforementioned categories.

My ex was something of a rarity on these boards in that she was both diagnosed and had also undergone therapy, and was in therapy, when I was with her.  She was undergoing DBT, and she has at least a year of it under her belt (she is almost 23).  She still was dating 3 guys at once while with me (unbeknownst to me of course).  After me, she was dating two at once, and got engaged to one 2 months after meeting him.  They are now split and she is with someone new.

So, no, going to therapy doesn't ensure a fix.  As mentioned, the person has to really want it.  They really want it by hitting rock bottom.  My ex has hit what would be rock bottom for so many other people, and keeps trucking.  Who knows.
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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2014, 12:23:23 PM »

This topic is discussed a lot on these boards, but an interesting thought occurred to me as I read this thread: I think people are curious about there being a cure for BPD for more than one reason.

There are many who seek an answer to this question in the hopes of hearing there IS a cure, so that they might fulfill their fantasy of someday working out a relationship with their BPDex.


There are others (I am lumped in here) who seek an answer to this question in the hopes of hearing there IS NOT a cure, so they (we) might feel secure in the fact that our BPDex's will continue their destructive patterns, thus validating that WE DID NOT CAUSE them to cheat, to lie, and whatever other hurtful things they have done to us.

There might be a rare third group, those who are TRULY detached, and who want the answer to this question to be "Yes", so that their BPDex's might have a hope of living a happy and fulfilled life with someone else.  I think the number of those in this group is TINY compared to the others, and I would seriously ask anyone who claims to belong here if they GENUINELY feel this way, or if saying it just makes them feel better about belonging in one of the aforementioned categories.

My ex was something of a rarity on these boards in that she was both diagnosed and had also undergone therapy, and was in therapy, when I was with her.  She was undergoing DBT, and she has at least a year of it under her belt (she is almost 23).  She still was dating 3 guys at once while with me (unbeknownst to me of course).  After me, she was dating two at once, and got engaged to one 2 months after meeting him.  They are now split and she is with someone new.

So, no, going to therapy doesn't ensure a fix.  As mentioned, the person has to really want it.  They really want it by hitting rock bottom.  My ex has hit what would be rock bottom for so many other people, and keeps trucking.  Who knows.

I agree with this completely.  While I do not take the extreme view as many others that there is no hope for this - I proposed in another thread regarding this topic that IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER IF THERE IS A CURE OR NOT.  If the pwBPD is not actively seeking help on their OWN and truly desiring to get help and sticks with it - then it doesn't matter!  We can't make toxic choices for ourselves to be with these people because one thing is CERTAIN.  If they don't get help, THEY DEFINITELY WILL NOT GET BETTER - even if there is a cure.

I was bashed with this thinking on the other thread - one poster even said he was offended at my assumption that I thought many of us get hung up on a cure because if they can say for certain there is NOT they can move on - instead of looking at the crux of the matter which is -

IF THEY ARE NOT GETTING HELP - MOVE ON. 

I am glad you posted this - because it shows that my original belief that many seek this answer for that reason is indeed true!
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2014, 01:13:30 PM »

I honestly don't care if my ex gets 'cured' or not at this point, but the concept of a magic pill at some point in our biotechnical future is an interesting one.  What if there was some pharmaceutical that would arrest or reverse the 'BPD-ness' of someone; could we force people to take it?  What if we were subjected to psychological screening, and folks deemed to have BPD, or alcoholism, or whatever for that matter, would it be a violation of civil rights to make them take it?  Probably.  Interesting discussion, not all that far-fetched.
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Mazda
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« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2014, 01:28:47 PM »

I would just like to add... . queen BPDs, or BPDs with narc traits are pretty much resistant to therapy.  No change there.

Also, from the perspective of medication, I think a fundamental fact that is being missed out here is that BPD is a personality disorder.  It is axis 2, so it is a issue with thought process.  There is no medication for that. Axis 1, like bipolar, schizophrenia or depression are chemical imbalances, and so are therefore receptive to medication that change the chemical balance in the brain.  BPD is a hard wired problem, medication may help with some of the symptoms, but it cannot treat the cause.

Also, in terms of effectively "curing" a BPD, no.  You can teach techniques that alter the responses, but the thought processes will always be BPD.  Also, just to clarify, therapy helps in terms of alleviating suicide or self harming symptoms (but please understand that not acting on impulses is very different from not having thoughts), anger and rage outbursts and a few other symptoms.  However, the faulty thought processes, like splitting, manipulation, lying etc will always be present.

So in answer to this, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "cured".  They will never be able to be healthy adults in relationships.  They may show improvements, but they will always have some symptoms.

I personally don't think that's a "cure", nor do I think the prognosis is good, from a perspective of being able to make another person happy.  Is that sad?  I don't really think so.  They cause a lot of pain to others and I don't look at them as victims.  After all of my learning and research and conversations with specialists, they are just not nice people and thinking of them as "victims" of their illness is showing sympathy that they don't deserve.  Would you feel sympathy for a sociopath in jail for killing someone?  No.  So why feel sympathy for someone who has caused YOU obscene amounts of pain, abused you and not ever given a hoot about your pain.  Do they really feel remorse? Who cares?  They don't, because they continue to do it.  I tried to help my ex as much as I could.  Now I have radical acceptance that he is a very dangerous person who deserves no sympathy.
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