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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Dissociation and Dysphoria  (Read 72794 times)
geroldmodel
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« on: March 08, 2007, 09:09:45 AM »

What is Dissociation and Dysphoria?
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 06:22:40 PM »

In the glossary of the DSM it says "A disruption in the usually integrated functions of conciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment. The disturbance may be sudden or gradual, transient or chronic."

Quote
The DSM lists borderlines as experiencing "transient stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms". The key here, I think, is transient and stress-related. I've seen this in mom, usually when she's flipping out over some perceived abandonment - like when I'm leaving on a vacation OR like now, where she's worried/stressed (and rightly so) about where she's going to be living in the near future (we are looking for some place different, and the anxiety of not knowing the final outcome is flipping her out). But it comes and goes. For example, when we visited a Personal Care Home last week and she was pretty much ok in the car on the drive there but once she got out of the car and went inside, she was so preoccupied w/her own thoughts of worry that she was a bit removed from reality - dissociated. Her focus was so narrowed on herself and her internal worries that she really didn't see the home or appropriately interact w/the people.

I can also recall many occassions, like holidays or special events, where mom has said afterwards that she doesn't really remember the details of the event. This is even when I didn't think she looked too out of it during the event.

Just now reading the definition, I see it mentions memory. I guess that explains it. At those events, she was not so dissociated as I would notice (like last week's trip to Personal Care Home) but her brain was clearly not integrating/merging her memory w/her conciousness and perceptions. Basically, the fact that she was a bit nervous, but not so wigged out that it showed, still had the effect of messing w/her memory of the event.

Another psychiatric glossary that I have calls it a kind of defense mechanism that may defer or postpone experiencing some kind of emotional impact.
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rock_scissors_paper_2
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2007, 06:40:08 PM »

I disassociated for about a year.

It's weird. It's actually really pleasant in a way.

Imagine an emotional crisis as being like the turbulence of a raging sea, and disassociating as sinking into the quiet oblivion below. You just give up the struggle and let yourself go.

When you start trying to resurface, though, it's like getting the bends if you come up too fast. Because all that trauma is still there, it didn't go away. And now you have to deal with it all at once.

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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2007, 02:56:18 AM »

My BPD ex-fiancee had classic disassociative episodes, where she would start one of her uncontrollable rages, screaming and wailing at me and then, after I fled for my safety and returned the next day, would claim not to remember anything of what happened.  Those were generally accompanied by drinking too.  On one occasion where she physically attacked me and caused my arm to bleed, she didn't even believe that the episode happened, until I showed her the marks the next day.  Scary.
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2007, 08:52:41 PM »

I believe that the difference between a disassociative episode and a psychotic break is one of degree.  Disassociative episodes are "blackout" type experiences, in general, while psychotic breaks are literally where the person is manifesting psychotic behavior and disconnection from reality and not necessarily accompanied by a blackout, although often is.  When my current g/f gets home (who ironically enough is a clinical psychologist (Ph.D) who works with many borderlines albeit in an eating disorder context) and see if she can shed more light on it.
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Alana
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2007, 09:37:15 PM »

Hi folks, I didn't see this thread til just now, and thought I'd add my perspective. From what I've read about dissociation (& derealization) there can be chronic and short term dissociation. Neither are amnesia-like usually, but the person's perspective is altered so, memories can be different than what others remember.

I have had chronic dissociation since my childhood. I remember exactly when it became permanent, but am no longer sure how old I was. Until recently, I thought I was 11 or 12, but now I think I must have been 8 or 9. I was very scared when it wouldn't go away, and told my dad, but it was never discussed again. Soon, I just accepted it as me, and didn't think about it for years (decades?) at a time. (I'm 43.) I had no idea what it was until a few months ago.

I assume that everyone who has this is slightly different. But I'll try to describe my experience. It's like living in a 3-D movie that I can interact with. It's not my senses per se, but it is more centered on my vision than hearing or touch. If I close my eyes, and concentrate I feel closer to reality. When it first began it was episodes that I could 'pop' out of. I would have to concentrate really hard on something that I could see, and 'convince' myself that it was really there in front of me. When it worked, it was like a light switch. 'Pop'. All at once, everything became more vibrant and 'closer', if that makes any sense at all. Imagine wearing tinted glasses all day long, then taking them off.

When it became permanent, I couldn't pop out. It was late in a chaotic day, and I was very tired. And I thought that maybe it would just be gone in the morning. It wasn't, and I could never get out again.

I will say that I am very emotional, even though I am chronically dissociative. It's hard to for me to imagine that this blunts my emotions, though I guess it does. (Scary thought.) Now that I know what my problem is, and that it is possible that I can break free from it, I'm trying to do that. I am also now aware of 'the veil'  most of the time. You'd think I'd have known this before, but the intensity varies quite a bit. I have come close to breaking through once, and I was suddenly terrified, and pulled back. Other times I feel that it's very 'thick', to the point that it's hard to concentrate. (It's similar to how you might feel under severe sleep deprivation.) That has happened most frequently as I read books related to BPD, sometimes when reading here, and when I'm with my T.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone understand more what chronic dissociation feels like. I feel like I've 'outed' myself. This is not something I've talked about much. My dad when I was a kid, and my H and my T just recently. I didn't go into this kind of detail though. Frankly, it so weird and hard to understand and embarrassing (?), that it's not something that most people would want to know about anyway.

Alana
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2007, 09:39:56 AM »

Technically dissociation is defined as follows:  The capability or process of separating thoughts, emotions, affects, or experiences from one another either purposely or involuntarily.

For BPD's it is usually a defense mechanism.

Allow me to copy and paste dissociation vs BPD from this French BPD site.

Turquoise


DSM / Dissociation in borderline disorder

During periods of extreme stress (e.g., perceived or actual abandonment), these individuals may experience transient paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms (e.g., depersonalization).



www-page-not-found-net


Dissociation is the state in which, on some level or another, one becomes somewhat removed from "reality," whether this be daydreaming, performing actions without being fully connected to their performance ("running on automatic"), or other, more disconnected actions. It is the opposite of "association" and involves the lack of association, usually of one's identity, with the rest of the world.

Data studies (statistics, prevalence, comorbidity, co-occurency)

"The percentage of patients with borderline personality disorder who also have dissociative identity disorder is unknown"

"It is estimated that one-third (33%) of patients with dissociative identity disorder also have borderline personality disorder"  (apa)

* van der Kolk BA, Hostetler A, Herron N, Fisler RE - Trauma Clinic, HRI Hospital, Brookline, Massachusetts

1994 Psychiatr Clin North Am - Trauma and the development of borderline personality disorder.

Dissociation have a high correlation both with the degree of borderline psychopathology and with the severity of childhood trauma

Dissociation is a way of coping with inescapably traumatic situations by allowing the person to detach from the reality of the situation. Often there is a loss of the memory and the relief of pain for the situation, the person can feel numb or spaced out. For some people this becomes a conditioned response to stress even if the situation is not inescapably stressful

* Jonas JM, Pope HG.

1984 Psychiatr Dev- Do patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) display psychotic symptoms as part of their syndrome?

Broadly defined psychotic,symptoms, such as depersonalization, are much more often reported in BPD, but many of these symptoms have also been reported frequently in patients with non-psychotic disorders and in normals. Thus, the evidence for psychotic symptoms in BPD remains equivocal.

* Zanarini MC, Ruser T, Frankenburg FR,... - Lab Study of Adult Development, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA

2000 Compr Psychiatry - The dissociative experiences of borderline patients.

290 borderline patients. Result : 42% with a moderate level of dissociation, and 26% of BPD patient have a high level similar to that reported by patients meeting criteria for dissociative disorders

When, how ?

"Cutting often occurs during periods of dissociation.

I have a personal belief that dissociation, when it occurs with BPD is actually a panic symptom" (mhsanctuary.com)

"Dissociation occurs in certain personality disorders (eg depersonalization during self-mutilation episodes in borderline personality disorders) as weel as in eating disorders (eg derealization during binging episodes) etc." (Alain brunet Ph D 2001)

"There's always hope. Sometimes the mind disconnects from the body. This is called dissociation. Those are times when the body being hurt does not look or feel to be your own. It is hard to stop. With treatment, dissociation can be relieved, especially with DBT" (Melissa Ford Thornton: Author of the book: Eclipses: Behind the Borderline Personality Disorder)

"Often when something does hurt, or frighten them they do not know why. Much of the borderline experience carries with it differing levels of dissociation. This means that borderlines often experience things in the present as if they were things in the past. A sudden loud noise outside, for example, which likely has no consequence in the borderline's life, in the present, will be perceived as a threat" (Ms aj mahari)

"In some of the more severe individuals with BPD there is a complete fragmentation.  It becomes really confusing since so many statements and behaviors appear to be contradictory" (Kathi Stringer)

"BPD - Some individuals develop psychotic-like symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, body-image distortions, ideas of reference, and hypnagogic phenomena) during times of stress" (HealthyPlace)

Aapel view of dissociation and borderline personality disorder

Here is our feelings about dissociation and BPD

For us, the BPD diagnosis does not include Dissociative Disorder

In our thought, that's mean that "only BPD" people don't have multiple personalities (each personality ignoring the other(s)

In a more clear way a BPD person is not "several persons in one body"

BPD people doesn't know who he is, he seems to have several personalities, but in fact he's looking for its personnality.

When he is docteur Jekyll he knows this and remember that when he is mr hide  (and the opposite)

It is the mood swing which create the feeling that he has both personalities, but they aren't

Dissociative episodes

In our opinion BPD people can experiment dissociative / depersonalization episodes in these circonstances

- Child trauma (empty memory. Sometimes the trauma has been "erased" from memory)

- Self-harm , self mutilation, self injury (no pain during cuting, burning, scratching...)

- Suicide attempt

- Bulimia

- Dysphoria(out of his mind)

We are also asking ourself if BPD people could have transient dissociative episode during panic attack (rage attack)

The answer seems "yes"

www.aapel.org/BPD/BLdissoUS.html

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Alana
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2007, 07:36:22 PM »

For BPD's it is usually a defense mechanism.

"It is estimated that one-third (33%) of patients with dissociative identity disorder also have borderline personality disorder"  (apa)

* van der Kolk BA, Hostetler A, Herron N, Fisler RE - Trauma Clinic, HRI Hospital, Brookline, Massachusetts

1994 Psychiatr Clin North Am - Trauma and the development of borderline personality disorder.

For anyone, dissociation is a defense (coping) mechanism.

Alana
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 01:40:22 PM »

My T is very experienced in the complex trauma (C-PTSD) disorders which can be very similar to most personality disorders.  Not the same as PTSD.  She is very familiar with dissociative symptoms and says it's very likely with people who have experienced complex trauma in their early childhood are dissociating on a high-functioning level when experiencing stress in their lives...and can account for the feeling that we nons feel we "don't exist" at times...b/c we really don't to them.  My T has mentioned this before to me while I was involved with my ex the other times I would just not hear from her for days...I used to take it very personally, but learning to just be content with the fact that it had nothing to do with ME, and everything to do with her disorder(s)...as a result of her childhood trauma (which was very disturbing).
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 08:34:57 PM »

I have pictures of my ex-husband (BP) when he is dissociating while standing next to me.  You can actually see on his face that he is just not mentally there.  I cannot imagine what the stressful part of the situation was since we were spending the 4th of July at an amusement park with my family. 

I also remember passing him in the hall of our home when I swear he did not realize I was there.
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Serenity.
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2008, 06:03:00 PM »

Quote
Another interesting thread.  I too can relate to this.  My xbf specifically told me that he cannot remember 2 years of his childhood.  He has absolutely no recollection.

This IS a very interesting topic especially since ex was diagnosed with dysphoria.

My ex said he couldn't remember many years from his childhood either. He doesn't remember anything before the age of 11 (that's the age he was when he told me his father tried killing himself).

Makes you wonder exactly what went on in that house!

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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 05:46:37 AM »

Hi, I want to know about developing alters while disassociating. I understand the spacing out and detaching thing from stressful situations. I saw and was told about that numerous times with my bp friend. That seems to be a common bp thing. Recently though she was given a diagnosis of Disassociative identity disorder as well as bp and now suddenly after that diagnosis she has alters. Separate identities inside her each with different names and slightly different personalities. It's weird. she doesn't even call herself by her own name now but has made up a new identity. Says the original person, who she actually is before all this crap developed and still is,  couldn't cope went to sleep inside her and never woke up. So now this new identity and others look after her. I'd really love some info on this or comments from anyone that has experienced something similar because at the moment I can't really find much that explains it. I don't even know if it's a real thing or something she's made up, on one level part of me thinks it's made up but I don't know enough info about this form of disassociation to know anything for sure about it.
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2008, 11:09:49 PM »

Quote
I don't even know if it's a real thing or something she's made up, on one level part of me thinks it's made up but I don't know enough info about this form of disassociation to know anything for sure about it.

No, they're in a lot of pain. It's real to them. They're confused and hurt inside. I think when they disocciate they can't deal with the hurt (perceived usually) in front of them. BPD is a serious and very real, painful illness. My heart breaks for my ex but he showed me too much hell to stick around.


Geroldmodel,

Thanks for the info on dissociation. I saw this time and time again, also my ex explained this to me. He said he went to his warehouse to drink as much as he could to deal with his pain when he would bolt out on me to stop his pain.
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geroldmodel
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2008, 03:03:58 AM »

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she doesn't even call herself by her own name now but has made up a new identity. Says the original person, who she actually is before all this crap developed and still is,  couldn't cope went to sleep inside her and never woke up. So now this new identity and others look after her. I'd really love some info on this or comments from anyone that has experienced something similar because at the moment I can't really find much that explains it. I don't even know if it's a real thing or something she's made up, on one level part of me thinks it's made up but I don't know enough info about this form of disassociation to know anything for sure about it.

That sounds like Multiple Personality Disorder, which is an extremly rare disorder... the most extreme form of dissociation disorder.
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2008, 01:38:21 AM »

hey geroldmodel - disasociative identity disorder is the new name for multiple personality. Apparently they disassociate to the extreme so much so that they need new identities or "alter's" to keep them functioning. I know a number of bp's have disasociation in terms of not feeling connected to themselves and numb but mine seems to have taken that to a whole new level. Just another thing for both of us to learn to cope with :smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2008, 06:52:12 PM »

Thanks Joanna.  I never ran into this workshop until now.

I've long thought that much of BPD can be credited with dissociation. It seems very apparent to me that our pleasant, loving BPDs have to dissociate in order to rage.  Otherwise, how could they feel ok about themselves while they're obviously causing great harm to the people around them, whom they depend on?

And once they're done raging (or having whatever kind of meltdown), on their way back from the dissociation... they end up dissociating again, because their minds can't cope with how much pain they've caused others.  So they find a way to dissociate from that t0o.  I think that's why it's such a terrible cycle...  BPD causes them pain, they dissociate which causes themselves/others more pain, so they dissociate further.  It really is a black hole that is incredibly difficult for them to climb out of; I can only imagine.

For us nons, it leads to a lot of unresolved feelings of bitterness and resentment, because our feelings never get dealt with by our BPDs.  Because it causes too much pain, and they detach.  And we keep hanging on, hoping that they'll magically take responsibility for all of the terrible treatment they give us.

When really, we need to be taking care of our feelings instead of hoping they will take care our feelings for us.  They can't...
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2009, 03:46:05 PM »



I wonder if what I was witnessing recently in my wife is dissociation, or if it just some new meds, or the only way that she can remain in control through a difficult time - by checking out?

When talking through mediation or issues with me, she appears to have on a very tranquil mask, slighly monotone, uninterested...not entirely with it.

I plan on doing some research, but just wanted to see what others know about dissociation.



  • It is a violent process, or something subtle?

  • Can it be recognized?

    • Can it be controlled by the person with BPD?

    • Does it last a long, or short time?


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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2009, 03:58:51 PM »

Peaceful; With Therapy, better coping skills and routines, some BPD's can learn to control their dissociative episodes. My husbands events were all stress induced (perceived or real). He would sort of glaze over, start to sway and slow sink to the floor. It was very frightening to witness. Before he was finally diagnosed with BPD we went through several years of medical tests, numerous medications even wearing a heart monitor...no one could find a medical explanation.

At it's worst he was hospitalized with what they diagnosed as transient amnesia. He did not know where he was, who he was or who I was for 4 days. Slowly things came back but not the memory of what happened to him.

I hope this is helpful to you. I will keep you both in my prayers.

Ruby
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2009, 08:19:58 PM »



Thank you for this workshop.

This is helping me understand much more about the things that went on and as more time goes by, and as I read these things, the hurt diminishes with more understanding and compassion takes its place.

As I read through the definitions and mechanics of these dynamics, I can get a better picture of my ex-wife, with her cutting, burning, eating/purging, distorting, etc.  I used to watch her energy shift while processing her thoughts, sometimes mid-sentence, and given that I was going to be the recipient of whatever was coming next I'd go on a kind of alert as I'd never know what "it" would be, until it came and it was pretty unnerving to observe.

This explains these things clearly for me as well as a time when she actually had a different surname for the volatile side of herself that she said, got her through traumatic events earlier in her life.  The surname wasn't tongue-in-cheek at all and was (may still be) a very literal part of her identity and perceptions and she would occasionally ask me to interact with that "other person," by taking with her.  I did lovingly talk with her "other" a couple of times but was pretty uncomfortable doing it as my instincts told me there was more to this than I was aware of nor did I want to be aware of it.  That was my shortcoming and I told her so.  I'm not qualified for this but my heart is going out for the experience and in a new and better understanding not only of my own experience, but of hers as well.

My compassion is growing and I can't thank this place enough for this. 

Again, thank you for this workshop.

UFH

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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2009, 12:04:46 PM »

my BPD/PTSD/MDDd (17) has frequent bouts of dissociation, she often says this happens this during therapy sessions and cannot remember what was discussed during that time. she also mentions not remembering her actions or what brought her to a self harm episode. it happens other times as well. this workshop gives  me some insight to what she is experiencing when she dissociates. i have been in her presence and seen her "check out", as i have started to recognize these signs, i try to bring her back to earth, "grounding" its called, by speaking to her in calm manner, to get through with request of her to be aware she is in a disociative state, having her touch something with her fingers etc - which engages tactical sensors(?) in her mind. it only helps when i am near and see what's going on though.

can anyone explain more about Dysphoria? I do not see it addressed really in this thread even though in is in the title of this Workshop.  this term is often linked with my d as well. i have also been reading some about PMDD, as we have been noticing she typically (5 times out of 7) ends up in the hospital near or during the onset of her menstrual cycle.

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« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2009, 03:12:55 PM »

Dysphoria as I experienced it: for about two years my uBPDw was not able to laugh at all - no smile - nothing. Of course she was able to laugh when with others but when alone or with me - none. It was energy draining and emptiness - void. We stopped having sex as she would just cry afterward. It slowly built up over two years from sadness then to emptiness to despair to suicidal thoughts to suicidal gestures. I'm not sure what really caused it.

Then a psychotic phase of 2 months started aided by hormones - stay away from levonorgestrel. It belongs to the class of synthetic progesterone. Progesterone itself can make depressions worse (and is naturally produced in the second half of the cycle). Levonorgestrel also binds to the androgen receptor. This can turn a normal BPD into a BPD on steroids - literally. She was hours away from a padded cell. 48 hours after removing the IUD she was back to her dysphoria normal.

The dysphoria  slowly vanished over the next year and I'm not sure what really caused that either.

Myself I'm still a bit depressed and exhausted from all these years of BPD around me and I experience joy a little bittersweet and damped. But this dysphoria of her was different and scary - somehow looking into total blackness. All light absorbed without any effect.
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2013, 03:04:40 AM »

I have been studying this condition for a while now and been perplexed by what I have read. My daughter has idicated to a therapist that she "zones out". Some , I have read suffer increasing periods with this part of their lives. I have read that this is a common occurrance with BPD. I have also rear that there are ways to ground yourself when it occurs. Some use ice cubes. Are there other ways when for instance you may be out shopping and you don't have access to ice cubes? Are there any signs to watch for? I know with the rages that sometimes follow that they can be almost instant. I know from past experiences with her mother that can be horrifying, as though you are looking into the face of someone completely different to who you have got to know. I still bare the physical scars of my ex-wifes rage. Do they really suffer from amnesia or are they trying to distance themselves from what they are capable of during these episodes? I have been brought up by parents to look for reasons not excuses. Do we sometimes distance ourselves from the sufferer to guard ourselves and in doing so validate the sufferers abandonment? I am still looking for answers, maybe there are some of you out there that can help. Thanks

Ian
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« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2013, 07:42:16 PM »

I, too, look for reasons, Soldier, and have been reading and researching our daughter's sickness for quite some time.

A therapist at the first facility our daughter was placed at in her terrible teens called me up and asked if there was anything I should mention that would help her understand our daughter. (By this time I knew what our daughter had said about us after bolting to another state: beatings, letting our youngest play with fire, sitting around all day and doing drugs, etc., etc. One of my sisters told me how believable our daughter's lies would be to people who don't know us.)

But then I thought back and recalled her 1st grade teacher calling us because our daughter didn't respond to the teacher's lunch-bell voice, again and again.  Our daughter was lost in thought while working on an art project.   

Our daughter day dreamed a lot.  But she was so creative, a straight-A student (genius IQ), and a sweet and lovely person until adolescence.  Her art work is amazing, and she can write.

The first BPD sites should disappear.  Our daughter was never abused.  She, and her three siblings, have always been adored.  I was actually grilling another child to determine whether any of our relatives or friends or daughter's fleeting boyfriends had done something wrong. But then anyone witnessing my brother's or cousin's antics, before he died, would think that they were raised by monsters.  They weren't.  Something is clearly very wrong in their wiring.

I'm wondering if the "zoning out" is some sort of epilectic seizure.  My girlfriend years ago suffered a grand mal at my house.  Upon awakening, she was exhausted.  The first thing she asked was how much time had elapsed.  BPD, as far as I'm concerned, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, major depression and ADHD, is genetic, with a constant, but low-grade storm in the brain. The rage is the seizure, the "zoning out" are the petite mals.




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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2013, 03:52:56 AM »

Just a question - are we sure that all of the people being diagnosed with BPD really have BPD?  Just as autism was an umbrella until we started seeing that it wasn't always autism, etc.  Is it possible that there are onsets of BPD that are actually something else that looks similar?  A viral infection and allergic reactions can look pretty similar at times.  There are only so many ways that the human body reacts physically, only so many symptoms.  Is that true for the emotional/mental state as well?  If you look at Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, you find black and white thinking and ambiguity, both of which show up in BPD as well.  How about Dependent Personality Disorder?  It looks really similar to BPD in many ways.  It does seem strange to have a good chunk of diagnosed people who had no known significant early childhood trauma.
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2013, 04:21:34 AM »

Just a question - are we sure that all of the people being diagnosed with BPD really have BPD?  Just as autism was an umbrella until we started seeing that it wasn't always autism, etc.  Is it possible that there are onsets of BPD that are actually something else that looks similar?  A viral infection and allergic reactions can look pretty similar at times.  There are only so many ways that the human body reacts physically, only so many symptoms.  Is that true for the emotional/mental state as well?  If you look at Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, you find black and white thinking and ambiguity, both of which show up in BPD as well.  How about Dependent Personality Disorder?  It looks really similar to BPD in many ways.  It does seem strange to have a good chunk of diagnosed people who had no known significant early childhood trauma.

I would agree with you and that is why I have been doing a lot of research. I would also say that sometimes that the "experts" can be to quick to dismiss the input from families and friends. The reason being that they do not always seem the problems during their assessments. This canbe due to only seeing the sufferer for a short period of time but families see them for much longer.

Ian
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2013, 08:39:54 AM »

Hello again OldSoldier,

Do we sometimes distance ourselves from the sufferer to guard ourselves and in doing so validate the sufferers abandonment?

One of the ways we can help our children become more grounded is to take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. How are you taking care of self?

Here are some areas to look at:

Attending therapy for yourself.

Healthy value based boundaries for self.

Having support of family and friends.

Living a balanced life.


We need to look at our role in the relationship and see where we can change to provide the best mental and emotional environment for our children. 

Here are some skills to consider:

Understanding the disorder, how it manifests and what the underlying needs are.

Communication...   validation, SET.

Keeping the problem where it belongs while being supportive (validating questions).

Learning DBT skills for nons.

These are the basics.  What areas do you see needing the most attention or understanding at this time OldSoldier?

We are here to help!

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« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2013, 08:53:30 AM »

Hi folks, I didn't see this thread til just now, and thought I'd add my perspective. From what I've read about dissociation (& derealization) there can be chronic and short term dissociation. Neither are amnesia-like usually, but the person's perspective is altered so, memories can be different than what others remember.

I have had chronic dissociation since my childhood. I remember exactly when it became permanent, but am no longer sure how old I was. Until recently, I thought I was 11 or 12, but now I think I must have been 8 or 9. I was very scared when it wouldn't go away, and told my dad, but it was never discussed again. Soon, I just accepted it as me, and didn't think about it for years (decades?) at a time. (I'm 43.) I had no idea what it was until a few months ago.

I assume that everyone who has this is slightly different. But I'll try to describe my experience. It's like living in a 3-D movie that I can interact with. It's not my senses per se, but it is more centered on my vision than hearing or touch. If I close my eyes, and concentrate I feel closer to reality. When it first began it was episodes that I could 'pop' out of. I would have to concentrate really hard on something that I could see, and 'convince' myself that it was really there in front of me. When it worked, it was like a light switch. 'Pop'. All at once, everything became more vibrant and 'closer', if that makes any sense at all. Imagine wearing tinted glasses all day long, then taking them off.

When it became permanent, I couldn't pop out. It was late in a chaotic day, and I was very tired. And I thought that maybe it would just be gone in the morning. It wasn't, and I could never get out again.

I will say that I am very emotional, even though I am chronically dissociative. It's hard to for me to imagine that this blunts my emotions, though I guess it does. (Scary thought.) Now that I know what my problem is, and that it is possible that I can break free from it, I'm trying to do that. I am also now aware of 'the veil'  most of the time. You'd think I'd have known this before, but the intensity varies quite a bit. I have come close to breaking through once, and I was suddenly terrified, and pulled back. Other times I feel that it's very 'thick', to the point that it's hard to concentrate. (It's similar to how you might feel under severe sleep deprivation.) That has happened most frequently as I read books related to BPD, sometimes when reading here, and when I'm with my T.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone understand more what chronic dissociation feels like. I feel like I've 'outed' myself. This is not something I've talked about much. My dad when I was a kid, and my H and my T just recently. I didn't go into this kind of detail though. Frankly, it so weird and hard to understand and embarrassing (?), that it's not something that most people would want to know about anyway.

Alana

Thank you Alana for your comments. I would like to say that you have been very brave to mention your experiences with this part of your condition. I have no doubt that it can be very embarrassing and I for one appreciate your input from a first person perspective. If we as parents/loved ones/or such are not aware then we can be very worried what is causing the problem. As most of us here seem to indicate that stress is the main contributor to the episode. When I have mentioned as to "experts" I don't ONLY refer to the psychologists but also to the carers and I include the sufferers. So, thank you again Alana.

Ian
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« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2013, 09:12:26 AM »

I noticed that my mom and other abusers tend to say to things their parents did to them, "I never did that."

My Mom repeated many behaviors she said her mom did to her. And then when I pointed it out after the fact she often denied she ever did anything like that...  

Is there a second trigger point I'm missing with this kind of dissociation?

Personally, on my side I tend to forget when people yell at me, which triggers an eventual puppy dog response. I can't and often forget what they did to make me upset, so then the story slowly changes that I was the one that did wrong.

I realize this is a mild form of dissociation...   but it's really slow. When I'm arguing, I feel present, but afterwards, somehow the events change in my head. For me, who has been semi-conditioned into this state it probably explains how I stayed in destructive relationship for so long.

I don't really talk about it, but I had a really severe episode. It was kinda odd because it was like watching my own body. The practical voice in my head was watching and trying to sooth the other side that couldn't move. I haven't figured that one out.

In my case, it seems dissociation has caused me a lot of personal harm. I'm struggling against myself to stay present in high stress situations and to remember what actually happened.

I understand the triggers for dissociation in that way, but I don't understand the repeating behaviors thing as well...   in another words triggering themselves...  
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« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2013, 07:17:59 AM »

I just read this article about dissociation. Very eye-opening.  Idea I never really understood what went on after or during or arguments, because in my mind the scenario was way off. I guess I understand it now - it makes half the pain go away.

Usually in any conversation, as if, who would wash the dishes type thing -I was trying to work something out that was ok for both of us. But he wouldn´t/couldn´t listen.  After a bit he would fuss, rage and get verbally abusive. Then he´d say good night and go to sleep! And he sleep so soundly he´d snore - and I´d be there right awake and smoke would be coming out of my brain! How could he sleep? Honestly! Then in the morning it would be as if nothing had ever happened. Absolutely nothing! He would sit at the breakfast table, kiss me before he goes to work, and life would keep going on - normally - ARG!  

But then to life as it is now: how the h*** do i get anything discussed? I can´t even get to an agreement over dishes, what about our relationship that is falling apart? I can´t ever get into his mind!  The last few weeks I have said that I can´t stand this relationship anymore and we need counseling. I used the "we" not to suggest that he has BPD. I have suggested that before and oddly he agreed, but no to the point of treatment. He did pick up up phone to mark a psych evaluation for me because he said I was depressed. But not for "us".  I figure the counselor will figure that out that he has BPD and he´ll get help that way.

He knows I´m dead serious about leaving- and then he lives on as if things are fine... And he isn´t calling a T or C or any type of help. When does it actually sink in: when I leave?

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« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2013, 06:56:00 PM »

Due to an over-usage of overgeneral memory, an innocent comment you make could have her link one of the words/situations you mentioned in your sentence back to a past time in her head. This memory could connect with some core wound, could trigger her and make her attack you. But because her behavior and emotions do not logically match the situation she will distort things to the point that (most) of the time she will remember things differently, that is she will be able to justify attacking you in retrospect by distorting the facts. Also she will attack you at times because she is splitting the negative side of herself off that she can't handle, by projecting it onto you.

That sound right?

Cheers.

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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2013, 03:08:54 PM »

Hi Purged,

Seems like it can be completely true to me. Nice summary.     

But for others reading this thread later, I'd like to throw in that I don't think it describes all the incidents (even though some will be just like this).

For instance, you say:

Due to an over-usage of overgeneral memory, an innocent comment you make...

But even if your comment wasn't completely innocent (like, you were trying to make a constructive criticism), then another way it could happen is that the BPD person, who has a different threshold for criticism (very low), then dysregulates, the emotion kicks in over-strong, the over-general search of the memory begins, and everything else is the same.

And heaven help you if it's actually a snide remark you've made... but let's not go there...    shocked

PP
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« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2013, 01:21:24 PM »

I think you are trying to over rationalize something that can't be neatly defined in human concepts / words.

What I mean is human behavior is so complex, human mental functioning so complex, that our reasoning (which is just one mere artifact of that complexity) is insufficient to in any way precisely define complex aspects of human behavior.

To a degree what you have said sounds reasonable, but in general, they are not always relating things to previous traumatic experience.

They are extremely sensitive to rejection, and what you say, in their mind, for complex reasons only THEY may ultimately be able to define (not just memories but defined mental concepts, and developed frameworks of understanding).

They scan everything for rejection, and when they find rejection, it invalidates their self worth and it taken as a catastrophic insult to their self image.

Their emotions may distort the situation certainly. Some of them may project their "negative self" onto you I guess.

But more the emotion you triggered in them seemed so significant and real, and painful, that they justify what they did from how extremely hurt they felt, even if it is not apparent why they were so hurt.

People with BPD respond best to people who constantly give them affection and reassurance and praise and show them positive emotion and NOT negative emotions, even irritability.
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2013, 01:22:19 PM »

If you see them as wonderful, and likable, and see them in a strongly positive way, and the these feelings beam themselves off you enough, they will thrive in that. That is what they want, to see in your eyes a good version of themselves.
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2014, 07:38:56 PM »

How about this?  I disassociated in order to deal with my ex's abuse.  I could literally hear every word he was saying (he tends to stress-talk, hours of monologue without a break insisting on my presence) repeat several lines back, but let it go in one ear and out the other so that his shame and blame and so forth didn't hurt as much.  Very much an adaptive device.  The problems of the past year have included dealing with all of the things he said and did that actually registered somewhere in my brain while I ignored them.  Amazing. 
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« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2014, 11:47:20 PM »

So, I read the website's link to what this term means, and I can't wrap my feeble brain behind the meaning. So I went to the google machine, and got this from another source:

"During periods of extreme stress, transient paranoid ideation or dissociative symptoms (e.g., depersonalization) may occur (Criterion 9), but these are generally of insufficient severity or duration to warrant an additional diagnosis. These episodes occur most frequently in response to a real or imagined abandonment. Symptoms tend to be transient, lasting minutes or hours. The real or perceived return of the caregiver’s nurturance may result in a remission of symptoms."

Other than "checking out" can anyone give clear cut EXAMPLES of how this behavior was presented in any relations with your borderline SOS?

Tired if reading words like transient, maybe What I really need is the BPD for dummies book.

Thanks,

Arn

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« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2014, 06:21:01 AM »

Dissociation comes in varying forms.  The most basic comment about being in a dissociative state is that those experiencing it feel as if they are in a fog, a dream-like state, and they feel detached from the world.

I observed this with my ex a few times...  it can seem like they are depressed and when you talk to them there is no connection.  Kind of a blank stare.  I'm not a psychologist, so this was just my impression.

In it's mildest form, it's a defense mechanism or coping skill to separate the person from stress.  I'd venture to say that many of us have felt this, at times.  In it's extreme form, it's the basis for multiple personalities.

Are you trying to understand this because you think it can be applied to a situation with your ex? 
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« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2014, 06:34:41 AM »

Think about the times when you drive somewhere in your car and when you arrive you don't remember anything about how you got there because you were daydreaming.

I remember times where I would speak to her and she would not respond. I would look at her and she would have this blank (almost distant) look on her face.

Towards the end of the relationship and even still today I find myself "disappearing" from the present reality of whatever I am doing. It usually starts with thoughts about her and evolves into whatever. It happens a lot to me at lunch with the guys. I will come to and realize I am staring off into space and am lost in the conversation going on. I don't know if anyone notices but I do.

I believe it is a coping mechanism. Example:  when a child is being sexually abused they think of fantasy or "happy" thoughts to leave their current situation.
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« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2014, 09:37:54 AM »

Dissociation comes in varying forms.  The most basic comment about being in a dissociative state is that those experiencing it feel as if they are in a fog, a dream-like state, and they feel detached from the world.

I observed this with my ex a few times...  it can seem like they are depressed and when you talk to them there is no connection.  Kind of a blank stare.  I'm not a psychologist, so this was just my impression.

I'm not a professional either Arn, this is how I interpreted it. I've witnessed this often, always after particularly bad fights. For example we would have a fight that would escalate in the home, I would find her on the couch sitting with a completely blank stare on her face. This would last for several minutes. I would be concerned, and approach her to ask what was wrong. She would usually shake her head no. It's as if she was disconnected from the environment, or situation. Like her senses were overloaded.

This was not always the case from what I recall. This was much later in the r/s, when our r/s was getting worse. I don't remember seeing this first hand before we got married, but that's irregardless.
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« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2014, 09:41:35 AM »

Arn,

A couple of other examples I can think of from my own experience being with people that had psychological issues are as follows:

One uBPDex knew that I was coming over to her house. When I got there, I rang the door bell. No answer, so I walked around the back and knocked on that door. Again, no answer. I waited a couple of minutes, spotted her car in the garage as I looked in the window, then went to the front door again and rang the bell. This time she answered as was obviously in tears. I said, "I rang the bell, knocked on the back door, etc., but you didn't answer. I was about to leave." She said, "Oh, I think I heard you, but I was daydreaming (disassociating)."

Later, same gal, we had a fight. After the fight she sat on the couch as I left the room. When I came back in, she was sitting there staring off at the wall, but her stare was far deeper than some simple day dreaming. She didn't change position, eye track me, or even acknowledge that I was there. She was completely mentally somewhere else. After a few minutes, I went over and gently sat next to her and asked if she was okay. She responded positively, but it was like watching someone come back from a deep hypnosis.

Then she had several pretty major rear-ender car wrecks when I was dating her. I asked her what happened she'd say, "Oh, I'm not sure, I didn't really see them braking...  " This was before cellphones were commonly used while driving. Again, most likely disassociative events.

When I first read about BPD and disassociation, I got a real creepy feeling in my gut, because I finally had a word/phrase to go with the behavior I'd seen on several occasions.
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« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2014, 10:10:11 AM »

Dissociation comes in varying forms.  The most basic comment about being in a dissociative state is that those experiencing it feel as if they are in a fog, a dream-like state, and they feel detached from the world.

I observed this with my ex a few times...  it can seem like they are depressed and when you talk to them there is no connection.  Kind of a blank stare.  I'm not a psychologist, so this was just my impression.

In it's mildest form, it's a defense mechanism or coping skill to separate the person from stress.  I'd venture to say that many of us have felt this, at times.  In it's extreme form, it's the basis for multiple personalities.

Are you trying to understand this because you think it can be applied to a situation with your ex? 

Yes. I can relate it to my ex now. I remember getting that blank stare from her many of times. I would try to talk to her about problems we were having and she would clam up. Her family also told me that she would do this to them as well. That blank state.

I used to take it the wrong way. Almost like she was ignoring me. So, I would get more and more pissed off about it, and turn it into a worse situation to tell you the truth. Would say things like "yeah, there you go again, clam up and don't talk about your problems like you always do"

So, I handled allot of things wrong, I know it. I wished I knew more about this kinda stuff when we were together. I think I could of handled my part better. I had no idea. And if she was sexually abused than I feel even worse about myself.

I just didn't know about this hitty disorder back then. And I feel pretty bad about the way I treated her when she was simply doing what she could to feel better. Great...  maybe I shouldn't have asked this damn question...  
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« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2014, 10:37:31 AM »

Arn,

Here is a specific example as confirmed by our MC after.  This happened in an MC session about 3 months before the end.

SB, "We have to divorce, I said no more dinners with replacement(R).   I was traveling for work this week and got a call last night say she is going to dinner with R.

XW, "you were not here and I don't want to do this anymore"

MC, " XW, do you want a divorce?"

XW, mousy and small, weak voice, "no, I want the pain to stop and I cannot trust SB, I cannot trust anyone"

MC, "SB - did you hear that?  She wants the pain to stop not a divorce.  Did she go to dinner with R?"

SB, "not that I know of"

So, the following week - XW did not remember the part of the conversation where she checked out and said she couldn't trust and wanted the pain to stop...  none of that part of the conversation happened according to her.

MC labeled it disassociation.

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« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2014, 10:52:22 AM »

I think that it's good to see where we could have miss-stepped in a relationship. It's part of the detachment stage that says "Breakdown the loss (the situation) to understand it in a clear and balanced way - your part, your partner's part; what is normal relationship "stuff", what was abnormal; what was malicious, what was weakness, or what was ignorance."

It's OK that you didn't realize what was going on with her. Even without the BPD dynamic, getting triggered and responding to your partner with ""yeah, there you go again, clam up and don't talk about your problems like you always do" is a life skill that you can work on.  

It's OK to feel a little bit guilty (or "bad" as you put it).

You don't have to fix it, you don't have to beat yourself about it, you don't need to talk yourself out of it, you don't have to justify it by thinking of all the "bad" that brought you to your frustration, you don't have to do anything with that emotion other then just sit with it.

It'll pass...  and the experience along with the lesson that you've learned about yourself (and her) is a pretty great one - and will help you in other relationships in your life. The future ones as well.  smiley

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« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2014, 11:02:58 AM »

Arn,

Here is a specific example as confirmed by our MC after.  This happened in an MC session about 3 months before the end.

SB, "We have to divorce, I said no more dinners with replacement(R).   I was traveling for work this week and got a call last night say she is going to dinner with R.

XW, "you were not here and I don't want to do this anymore"

MC, " XW, do you want a divorce?"

XW, mousy and small, weak voice, "no, I want the pain to stop and I cannot trust SB, I cannot trust anyone"

MC, "SB - did you hear that?  She wants the pain to stop not a divorce.  Did she go to dinner with R?"

SB, "not that I know of"

So, the following week - XW did not remember the part of the conversation where she checked out and said she couldn't trust and wanted the pain to stop...  none of that part of the conversation happened according to her.

MC labeled it disassociation.

Yeah, I can understand it clear as day now. I experienced this as well. It used to drive me up the f -in wall! I used to just think she was stupid at times. It's a shame, but towards the end that's what I thought. That she must be just plain stupid!

Makes me feel bad about myself
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« Reply #43 on: April 04, 2014, 05:05:29 PM »

I actually have episodes of depersonalization/dissociation myself. I don't have a PD or PTSD; mine typically come after a migraine or a panic attack, or when I'm sleep deprived (I have a sleep disorder that f###s with me constantly). My very scientific theory is that it happens when my higher levels of brain functioning need a nap. The length of these episodes varies from 15-20 minutes to days, and the intensity varies, too. Mine are usually fairly mild (by which I mean I'm aware that I'm having an episode, and mostly remember what happened during it), but occasionally I have severe episodes that result in personality changes and amnesia. The one that lasted for 2 weeks (following a TBI) made me want to kill myself.

Usually, though I think it feels neat -- but then, mine isn't trauma or self related, so that probably plays a part in why I don't find these episodes inherently disturbing. I guess I do sort of "check out" when I have one. I've also been known to spend time just slowly waving my hand back and forth in front of my face, because it feels/looks SO WEIRD to me.

But when I'm having a "bad" episode, I am absolutely worthless as a functioning human being. It's hard to explain if you've never been there -- but think of a time when you had bad jet lag, were sleep deprived, had a high fever, had a concussion, anything like that. You probably don't remember any details, but I'm sure you remember how it felt. It suuuuuuucks. And I can only imagine that it sucks far worse when it's a defense mechanism related to trauma and/or a shattered sense of self.

Regardless of the cause, there's really nothing that can bring anyone out of a depersonalized state. Unless it's a mild episode, you're not going to get through or even be remembered afterwards.

My exBPDbf couldn't believe that I had regular episodes of depersonalization without having some sort of trauma in my past (he was convinced I'd been raped or sexually abused as a child and was just not telling him). It really blew his mind that I would candidly talk about them. He said that he had them, too, but he never told me when. I suspected a few times, but I learned very quickly not to talk about anything of that nature because then I was "analyzing him" or finding fault in some way.
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2014, 08:47:34 PM »

Dissociation is a phenomenon most people have the capacity to experience.  It is a coping mechanism used to manage stressors .

As a way of coping, dissociation occurs when the brain compartmentalizes traumatic experiences to keep people from feeling too much pain, be it physical, emotional, or both.  When dissociation occurs, you experience a detachment from reality, like ‘spacing out.’  Part of you just isn’t ‘there in the moment.’

I would imagine if a person with BPD is feeling shame or triggered by something they may disassociate in that circumstance.

I found this explanation from a mental health site.  Hope it helps.
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« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2014, 04:15:30 AM »

hi people,

when I am stressed or feeling bad I tend to automutilate but in a "light" version, I do not badly hurt myself, but it's kind of embarrassing anyway.

it has aspects of compulsive behaviour combined with some kind of auto-hypnosis: I put myself in some kind of trance in which I do not feel the pain and I can go on for hours if I do not actively call myself back  rolleyes

I wonder if there's a link between this "auto-hypnosis" and dissociation ?
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« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2014, 01:22:33 PM »

I wonder if there's a link between this "auto-hypnosis" and dissociation ?

Yes, there is.  Freud studied it, and declared auto-hypnosis as a kind of dissociative state.  More recent studies describe it as a possible coping mechanism for trauma, and/or high stress levels.  

That said, we all dissociate from time to time, in different degrees.  Even runner's high can be a kind of dissociation.  smiley
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« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2014, 03:04:45 AM »

aha, then maybe we could say that auto-hypnosis is more like an "active" way to dissociate whilst with a pwBPD, it "overcomes" them...

I wonder if they are aware of being in such a state and if they can call themselves back to reality at a certain point ?
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You called me strong, you called me weak
You took for granted all the times I never let you down
You stumbled in and bumped your head, if not for me then you'd be dead
I picked you up and put you back on solid ground,
and watched the world float to the dark side of the moon...
- 3 Doors Down -
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« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2015, 05:23:18 AM »

Lemon flower- I think they can. My exBPD would 'switch off' I.e disassociate when anything hot too difficult. When I ignored the behaviour it soon wore off!
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going places
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« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2015, 08:11:46 AM »

For BPD's it is usually a defense mechanism.

"It is estimated that one-third (33%) of patients with dissociative identity disorder also have borderline personality disorder"  (apa)

* van der Kolk BA, Hostetler A, Herron N, Fisler RE - Trauma Clinic, HRI Hospital, Brookline, Massachusetts

1994 Psychiatr Clin North Am - Trauma and the development of borderline personality disorder.

For anyone, dissociation is a defense (coping) mechanism.

Alana

Sometimes the human brain cannot process the trauma, therefore to protect itself from 'perceived' danger... it has a 'disconnect'.

Ask anyone who has ptsd because of abuse/trauma.

I love information on the internet, medical books, etc. It helps SO much... so much.

But each person is wonderfully and uniquely Created, and has a unique story.

Until the whole person and the whole story is known, don't be quick to misdiagnose.
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TheRealJongoBong
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« Reply #50 on: September 03, 2015, 09:00:25 AM »

Here's my best example of dissociation. My uBPDw called the police on me and accused me of giving drugs to and having sex with the boys across the street. The police investigated and found the accusations groundless. By coincidence, at the time the police visited my mother was picking something up and witnessed the entire event. The very next day when I asked about what happened, she denied calling the police, said that they came to her after because the kid across the street was telling stories, that she didn't do anything. I got a copy of the police report just to check and it specifically stated that she was the one who initiated contact. This is also the story my mother told me. 

Now, she's either lying or she completely dissociated the whole event. My bet is on the latter. I was in no way confrontational when I asked her about it (I made an audio recording of the conversation), and I see no way how she thinks she could lie about it and get away with it considering the amount of evidence against her story. It's like she couldn't face her actions and completely blanked them. Very very curious.
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Keeping Promises


« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2015, 10:26:33 AM »

I definitely feel that I've witnessed symptoms of DID in my former SO. They are classic and common for DID and I haven't heard of them in BPD.
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« Reply #52 on: November 30, 2015, 10:32:10 AM »

I definitely feel that I've witnessed symptoms of DID in my former SO. They are classic and common for DID and I haven't heard of them in BPD.

There appears to be a high comorbidity between BPD and DID (something like 60-75%, I think.) However, I have not been able to find much information on the internet about what this means for the sufferers and those in their lives. I would very much like to learn more here, if possible.

My dBPDxgf has severe BPD, and I think she is also dx as DID as well, which is why I am particularly curious.
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« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2015, 04:10:37 AM »

I definitely feel that I've witnessed symptoms of DID in my former SO. They are classic and common for DID and I haven't heard of them in BPD.

There appears to be a high comorbidity between BPD and DID (something like 60-75%, I think.) However, I have not been able to find much information on the internet about what this means for the sufferers and those in their lives. I would very much like to learn more here, if possible.

My dBPDxgf has severe BPD, and I think she is also dx as DID as well, which is why I am particularly curious.

What I experienced with my DBPDXGF was truly scary terrifying in I feel like I truly caught far more than a glimpse into madness that has affected me in a way I may never break free from or get past...
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« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2016, 04:46:25 PM »

I have pictures of my ex-husband (BP) when he is dissociating while standing next to me.  You can actually see on his face that he is just not mentally there.  I cannot imagine what the stressful part of the situation was since we were spending the 4th of July at an amusement park with my family. 

I also remember passing him in the hall of our home when I swear he did not realize I was there.

I do not have BPD, but I dissociate a lot.

Its kind of funny, because when I was taking psychology classes and read about dissocation, I never realized that I did it. It wasn't until I had my kids that I realize just how much I space out. There are a few books in our kids library that I have read several times, but I couldn't tell you the plot. I have watched entire movies that I haven't seen. Often, I will realize that my kids have been talking to me and I didn't realize it, and just last week, I walked by my son at his school, totally not realizing that he was there.

Its totally involuntary. I never realize that I am going into it. I only realize it when it is time to come out of it. It can frustrate my husband very much..sad

Its my comfort place. I want to go there.

I have noticed that I tend to go there when there is a lot of stimulation. An amusement park could certainly provide that.
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« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2016, 04:18:16 PM »

I disassociated for about a year.

It's weird. It's actually really pleasant in a way.

Imagine an emotional crisis as being like the turbulence of a raging sea, and disassociating as sinking into the quiet oblivion below. You just give up the struggle and let yourself go.

When you start trying to resurface, though, it's like getting the bends if you come up too fast. Because all that trauma is still there, it didn't go away. And now you have to deal with it all at once.



My partner described this feeling almost to the letter when we were talking after she was discharged from a hospitalization. But the way she talked about it.. It's as if she's addicted. And long story short, after a series of events and the effects of being on methylphenodate for a time, that feeling of peace has more or less conditioned her associate death with that feeling. Is there some kind of means to minimize the desire to return to that state? Like, any way to help her stop missing the dissociative feeling? Because she talks about it like an addict lamenting being in rehab (which is fair, when something feels good and it's the first time you've really felt peace in your life), but 'getting a fix' here implies a significant potential for repeat suicide attempts.
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