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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Dissociation and Dysphoria  (Read 68815 times)
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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

~DG
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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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« 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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