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Author Topic: BEHAVIORS: Stress triggers and negative behaviors  (Read 7508 times)
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2 months good stuff, then it was all downhill

« on: May 21, 2007, 10:19:53 AM »

A person with Borderline Personality can exhibit normal behavior for a long time before he/she loses it and the abusive side comes out.

Stress seemed to send my ex-bpgf over the edge. When I look back I can see how many times, when she did something strange, she was stressed out prior to the outburst.

So, maybe a Borderline simply has a very very low stress threshold?

Maybe this is obvious?



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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 10:33:42 AM »

Stress ALWAYS sends my husband over the edge.  He went through a period where he was really trying and WORKING with the tools given him in therapy to manage his stress.  I held out hope that this would progress and it would get easier for him to cope.  Unfortunately, he opted not to continue with the counselling, his family threw him a curve ball (they are a HUGE stress trigger for him) and it was back to the old cycles.

From what I've read and witnessed about BP traits, they certainly seem to have low to zero tolerance for stress, be it something unexpected or just the wear and tear of "life".  I know my husband hates schedule changes and would rage at me if there were additional activities or responsibilities in our lives.  
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007, 11:06:09 AM »

absolutely. Stress is a huge trigger. Transitions and change cause stress:

So holidays,travel, beginning of school, visitors, parties... change in schedule, everything about raising kids all cause stress and are triggers.

On the flip side, boredom sets in easily so he needs new. And new means change. And change means... .

Ah yes, a deadly circle...

united for now
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Talking about solutions create solutions

« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 10:29:43 PM »

Definately stress as a trigger  :P

stress due to deadlines

stress due to too much responsibility

stress due to children being children

stress due to leaving for trips

stress due to unforseen circumstances

stress from things not going their way

stress from no one understanding what they are trying to say

stress from no one anticipating their needs (mind reading abilities)

stress from being the only one   who does things "the right way"

yes, stress is definately a trigger  :Smiling (click to insert in post)


Change your perceptions and you change your life.  Nothing changes without changes
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 07:33:41 PM »

I find that acute stress (discrete, emotional events) can sometimes short-circuit the healthy coping mechanisms I've learned to use... .it takes extra effort not to let myself be triggered. But non-emotional situations like too much loud noise I can't escape can also make me feel BPD-ish.

I get stressed more easily if I don't sleep well, if I don't eat, or if I'm sick.

Chronic stressors (e.g., lonliness) obviously impact my overall functioning, too. Unfortunately, they also impact my overall health, so sometimes it's a vicious cycle.

Meditation, exercise, medication, journalling, self-comforting - all these things are valuable tools to help blunt the effect of stress. Just sometimes I'm not good at doing them 
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 01:59:14 PM »

Ocean, interesting.  I have hypoglycemia and if I don't eat at regular intervals, my blood sugar drops and my emotions go haywire: cranky, emotional (crying) and disoriented all at once.  It's not pretty. It takes me a few hours to regulate and get back in balance.  My exuBPDSO started to notice that her eating patterns impacted her emotional state, so she started to regulate the timing and quality of her meals.

In 12 steps there's a great tool called H.A.L.T. (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). The idea is that when I'm getting triggered, I need to stop (halt) and see if I'm under the "influence" of any of these 4 conditions. If so, I need to take care of it. Just having the awareness can help stop the spiral.
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 05:39:56 PM »

confused - I love H.A.L.T, we were taught that over at BPDRecovery.com and I find it really useful if I remember to use it. I also like to use my own words, like sometimes I'm just horny  or alienated or listless or teary-eyed, etc, but the main 4 really do get at something fundamental: if those are taken care of, I find I can handle other things better.
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2010, 11:56:58 PM »

All of the above refers to acute stress.  The Cleveland Clinic goes a lot further saying that stress plays a major role in triggering the development of BPD in a person - childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect, prolonged separation, or inconsistent parenting.

The exact cause of borderline personality disorder is not known, but most researchers believe that it is caused by a combination of biological and psychological factors. People with this disorder might be born with a vulnerability to the disorder, which is then triggered by stress or other factors.

For example, research suggests that a malfunction in the brain might be responsible for the impulsiveness, mood instability, anger, and negative emotions that are common in people with this disorder. Psychological "triggers" might include childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect, prolonged separation, or inconsistent parenting.

A disruptive family life and poor communication within the family also are risk factors for the development of BPD.

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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 12:47:18 PM »

In talking about stressors, it's helpful to understand the different levels of stress that a pwBPD encounters and how they might react:

1) overreactng to simple stressors;

2) getting angry or becoming depressed on moderate stressors; and

3) going into panic, rage, or deep depression on what they perceive as overwhelming stressors.

So, depending on the stress trigger, there is a range of reactions that we might witness.


“The path to heaven doesn't lie down in flat miles. It's in the imagination with which you perceive this world, and the gestures with which you honor it." ~ Mary Oliver
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 06:11:58 AM »

I've seen stress trigger my SO's uBPDxw, some of the stressors are from outside sources, friends, family etc.   But what I see the most are situations that she creates herself, renting a town house she can't afford and being evicted, sending a daughter to camp that she didn't/can't pay for, bouncing a check and having to go to court, or not paying income tax for example.  Not thinking or realizing the consequences of her actions.

Yes, her particular brand of BPD involves a lot of dysfunction around money and appearances.

I understand her reasons behind the things she is doing and can have compassion for her from that stand point, but her actions create stress for not only her but those around her.

It becomes a vicious cycle of dysfunction creating stress and stress creating elevated dysfunction. 


"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
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