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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Extinction Bursts  (Read 61562 times)
DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2013, 03:40:39 PM »

Extinction bursts can include things like turning up the projection machine.

Part of getting out of these bursts is learning more sophisticated ways to handle these things.  It is hard to deal with this day in and day out out.

Some of the ways to handle these are validation, boundaries, and reflective listening.

It's good to question why we don't start to change our approach - sometimes its fear, sometimes its exhaustion, and learning new stuff is hard at first.

I feel like I'm only barely getting to understand "extinction bursts" let alone put the "validation, boundaries, and reflective listening" into use. And I definitely don't do some things at some times because I'm so freaking tired, and I don't want to put up with what may turn into The Litany (of my wrongs.) And that makes me inconsistent which is not helpful.
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GreenMango
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« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2013, 03:08:24 AM »

If you've been together a long time and the pattern is to put the other persons needs first for whatever reason and you start to change the "unspoken" norm the other person will react.  This goes for humans in general.

With a person with BPD the emotional reaction to this change can be overreaction.  It's likely they don't have the coping skills to deal with the stress.  They've been conditioned to a response by part on our actions.  Change in this respect can be shocking to a person with BPD.  Good savvy communication skills are a must in these early stages.

Part of it is weathering the burst with new approaches that hold this boundary of taking care of yourself too.   This is where the validation and reflective listening comes in - not solving it.  If they get abusive you take a time out. It takes practice and repeats.

Likened it to when a kid a tantrums or pushes for something.  They keep trying going past their normal range they would normally get what they want.  Eventually they give up, learn to solve it, self soothe or they go find a way to get it somewhere else.

Try posting a particular event you need help on for validation on the staying board.  The seniors are really good at working through them. smiley

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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2013, 01:49:42 AM »

Thank you, GreenMango, for all your helpful suggestions!

I do remember from my earliest learning about boundaries the concept of "any time you begin to enforce a new boundary there will be resistance." That sure is true. Lately (because i'm trying to learn better how to take care of me and my fibromyalgia and myself after recent surgery) I've been consciously saying "no" to myself when I start to do one of my usual "helpful" (translate: enabling) things like see some food item in the kitchen when i'm getting a drink of water and feel like "oh I should offer some of that to my H." because while I thought I was being lovely and hostessy and thoughtful I was actually teaching him that I was his mommy and maid and he didn't learn at all to take care of his own snack needs or whatever. I actually was crippling him in a way and teaching him he didn't have to take care of himself. Der.

It's a brave new world alright. smiley
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GreenMango
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2013, 07:15:51 AM »

It's pretty amazing when you zoom out and look at the dynamic between all the people involved.  It can really give us a sense of where we can work and change our part and a little emotional distance to see it clearly.

Many times that change alone is a catalyst for other changes.  Sometimes its not always what we imagine it would be - but if you are doing healthy things for you, learning about values and fulfilling your own basic needs first, healthy limits and being mindful of compassion - we can be more resilient and better equipped to handle tough situations.

Try to be compassionate to yourself too - its a lot to learn and nobody here expects that you have a grip on this stuff overnight. 
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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2013, 01:35:48 PM »

It's pretty amazing when you zoom out and look at the dynamic between all the people involved.  It can really give us a sense of where we can work and change our part and a little emotional distance to see it clearly.

Many times that change alone is a catalyst for other changes.  Sometimes its not always what we imagine it would be - but if you are doing healthy things for you, learning about values and fulfilling your own basic needs first, healthy limits and being mindful of compassion - we can be more resilient and better equipped to handle tough situations.

Try to be compassionate to yourself too - its a lot to learn and nobody here expects that you have a grip on this stuff overnight. 

TRUTH, GreenMango, truth, there is so much to learn!

That "zooming out" thing alone is important, and something I wasn't able to do before. I so appreciate my T and her work in that regard--before I think I was just reactive to whatever was in the emotional-soup-of-the-day with my uBPDh, and couldn't step back. The past couple of years my T and I have done some seriously hard work to learn to pull back and observe. BUT I still have to remind myself! Being able to look at the bigger picture has been helpful and has taken much of the burden off of me as I learn better boundaries between my H and myself. I have been so entangled as to be incapable of seeing what is his and what is mine. Now that i'm getting better at that it's definitely time to get hold of the communication skills and other things on this site. If i'm to be in this r/s longer termed than the present 37 years, I need to learn how to not let the craziness stir up my adrenaline because I will stay healthier. At least I think i'm finally understanding what I can and cannot expect from him. It's a good step.

i'm going to go read awhile on the site and then I think i'll do what you suggested about putting a specific (and common!) situation on one of the other boards to get some input. Thanks so much for your clear-headed words. smiley
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Marcie
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« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2013, 11:28:52 PM »

this is a good reminder that yes it does work. My UBPDH had gotten better and today he slipped back into a depressed state. I think it has to do with me taking back my diet and getting healthy. Also asking for my own desk. Currently he has taken over mine.
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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2013, 03:29:40 PM »

Yep, Marcie, there's that "putting into place a new boundary" and the resistance the pwBPD will react with!

It's funny, even in the brief time since I wrote on this thread I feel different and more sure of myself. it's all a learning process with loads of practice at putting the tools into play.
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modafinilguy
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BPD young ones? Love, patience, support.


« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2013, 01:38:01 PM »

"So what do we do?  When the person with Borderline Personality Disorder becomes dysregulated or depressed. "

I disengage if they are aggressive.

I absolutely reassurance and comfort if they are distressed or depressed.

I am sorry, but I have seen great improvements in various BPD youth who have been given constant affection, reassurance, and comfort.

I believe this sort of social support, along with understanding and tolerance, in time, helps greatly heal people with BPD.

I am not saying they should be dependent on you, I am not talking about jumping in to deal with every drama for them, but they do respond in time to an intensely support and validating mindset.

They need to develop a certain consistency and level of validation and positive affirmation in their lives. Once this is achieved and persists for a while, the effects start to become permanent.

I absolutely believe than intense social support, and validation of their worth (affection, belief in them, and tolerance) and CRITICAL to long term recovery.

I know because i Have helped turn the lives around of people diagnosed with this, not cure them entirely (they come from the most severe backgrounds of abuse), but they have stopped being suicidal, and greatly improved overall.

I have calmed down the most out of control BPD teenagers most people could imagine. Seriously these teens (or when they were teens) would have smashed most people houses to pieces in minutes if they do not know how to handle them right. They were arrested many times and locked up, many overdoses, cutting, smashing of lots of windows etc, very dangerous behavior, huge dramatic scenes with knives, threatening to throw themselves off tall buildings.

The young people I met, including the various ones officially diagnosed with BPD, they need love, validation, and understanding above ANYTHING else in their lives, I can tell you that.

One of the girls, who smashed my unit to pieces (all the windows) etc when she was a teen, dramatic episodes with knives, many overdoses, cutting galore, slept with around 150 men by age 14, injected with meth at age 12, smoking pot daily at 11. She has done meth many times from a young age, was tripping on LSD at 12, drunk, stoned CONSTANTLY at that age. She would dress like a prostitute and get in ANY guys care late at night that would pull over. She had various highly trained CPS professionals in TEARS, I personally comforted them. She was detained many times in psych wards. She was OUT OF CONTROL.

She is now 21, employed, in well reasonably stable relationship, HAPPY, never self harms, she lives with me at the moment. She is clean, her room is clean, she cleans the house (I am the messy one), she is doing fantastic. She had no therapy, she has never been willing. I am her main support.

I also have another very out of control teen living with me (now 23), she was considered uncontrollable as a teen, I took them in cared for them for years personally.

Don't be bullied around by BPD emotions, but from my experience, they need strong support and reassurance.

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DreamFlyer99
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2013, 06:29:47 PM »

hi Modafinilguy--

Well, if one of the pwBPD's main beliefs is in their unworthiness (as my uBPDh believes) and so often that comes from those first formative years, then knowing someone does believe in them and their worth can make a difference. It's great to see that you are able to work with young people who are still receptive! I believe where the different wordings of how to deal with a pwBPD comes into play is that often the pwBPD has spent years and years getting more deeply entrenched in their flawed belief system, and have by that time developed their flawed coping strategies (name any one of the BPD traits.) PLUS, some of those pwBPD have had other flawed and damaged people in their lives for years, enabling their inappropriate behavior (raising my slow-to-learn hand here!) Those of us who have been codependent and enabling have so many new and more appropriate skills to learn, so for instance, ME, i'm having to learn appropriate boundaries, and less inflammatory responses to my husband's rages. It gets complicated! Some of us have been hurt so deeply by the actions of our BPD loved one that we're learning to deal with our own issues on top of theirs, yunno? Find the part where we are responsible for change?

The main thing is, our attitude as the one who loves someone with BPD can be both "I believe in you" and "I understand you're upset,  i'm not feeling safe and I need to leave the room."

I think it's so awesome that you have the opportunity and are willing to work with those kids who maybe haven't had anybody model to them "I love you and believe in you, also in your ability to make healthier choices."

There can be variations in how compassionate someone feels about a loved one with BPD depending on how much damage has been inflicted on them by the pwBPD, but most importantly WE ARE ALL IN PROCESS, we are all learning, and we are all in different places in the journey. smiley

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feelingcrazy7832
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« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2014, 07:12:14 AM »

Wow I had to reply to this old thread. Can’t be a coincidence that after I told my therapist about the interactions with my ex BPD and how crazy I felt by calling constantly and texting while he was a raging lunatic she called it the “extinction burst.” I had never heard that term before. Somehow I came up to this old thread this morning when I couldn’t sleep of course. It’s interesting as some of the people who posted here said, I was the one who did some of the behaviors that make me feel crazy when my ex gave me the silent treatments. Over the years I told him it was abusive and not a way to have a healthy relationship. The silent treatments got worse when he felt ashamed of something he did or he knew he got caught with drugs again and I called him out. He would usually rage and then give silent treatments. He KNEW that I would end up being the one to track him down, act like a lunatic myself and engage in ways that made me feel guilty for the things I said and did out of anger. What a game. A HUGE light bulb just went on for me by reading about this.

Well, I wonder what he’s feeling now? This actually makes me feel a little better today for some reason. He knew I always protected his butt. When he was on probation for a drug charge he would have been thrown in jail for a year for doing any drugs, any domestic violence, etc. I of course never told the police anything. I never involved the legal system. He in turn called the police to come to my house recently when he felt he was not in control and then would have a false claim made to CPS. He knew inside I think I would never retaliate using the legal system…….at least that’s what he thought.

After his last raging at me telling me he wants me dead because I told his mother he was still abusing drugs (which is the truth!) I ended up filing for a restraining order. I am sure he is beyond any form of coping at this point. I’m sure he has trashed me, lied about me, and wants nothing but hateful revenge. The reason I say I feel better is at least he cannot contact me. He is no longer in control of me.

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