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Author Topic: FAQ: Is a personality disorder a mental illness or a character flaw?  (Read 6663 times)
KindSoul-AA99

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« on: January 10, 2009, 01:18:35 PM »

My question is:

Is this behaviour really a Mental Illness or just character flaws, or lack of good parenting of values, or anger management issues, petty or superficial or wrong thinking, or deficiency in cognition ... are some of us (on some lists) too quick to label normal ups/downs, disagreements, or even some upsets or conflicts in a marr/rel as BPD? [small (non-physical) fights & arguments are normal, o/w it is not a normal rel]!

Mental Illness implies somewhat psychotic or non reality or simply paranoia type of mindset... too harsh a term?

...whereas - what we see in BPD is more about extreme sensitivity about rejection (aren't we all, non-BP's also, a little afraid of being rejected?) OR ...Anger Management (A/M) issues, OR few character flaws to "lie" or misrepresent, ... and we all ( non-BP's and/or "normal" perceive things differently  (basic Pysch 101 course tells us that),... so are we too eager s/t on some posts to label such thinking or behaviour as MI?
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 06:38:06 AM »

You raise some interesting questions.  The nature vs. nurture debate is as old as time.

In the midst of your ponderings, don't forget that parents are not the only influence in a child's life.  We have many sincere and good people represented on the "Raising a child with BPD" board who are bewildered as to how this happened to their family.  There's no doubt that research shows that abuse correlates with BPD.  But that can come from many directions, not just FOO.

I can relate though.  With my uBPD SIL, an unrelated adult, it's easy to think, she's not sick, she's just a selfish jerk.  It's certainly a complicated disorder.

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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 11:32:52 AM »

I believe behavioral scientists made some headway toward an answer to this question in 2008.

People with borderline personality disorder suffer from an inability to understand the actions of others. They frequently have unstable relationships, fly into rages inappropriately, or become depressed and cannot trust the actions and motives of other people.

"This may be the first time a physical signature for a personality disorder has been identified," said Dr. P. Read Montague, professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the BCM Brown Foundation Human Neuroimaging Laboratory.

"For the first time, to my knowledge, we have a specific brain association for people with a personality disorder," said Dr. Stuart Yudofsky, chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at BCM. "It's new and different because it's not a lesion (or injury to the brain) but it is a difference in perceiving information that comes from an interaction." That is the area where people with borderline personality disorder have the most problem.

"It's important that this biological signature has been identified," said King-Casas. "It's not just a matter of bad attitudes or a lack of will."


www.bcm.edu/news/packages/trust.cfm
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athena444

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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 07:48:28 PM »

I don't want to make anyone upset or angry but it seems to me a lot of the behaviors of the BP's are choices.  Could a person to some extent just decide not to act that way?
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peacebaby
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 08:33:01 PM »

I don't think any of BPD is a choice. No one would choose to be that kind of crazy.

But I believe that there *are* choices they can make that can lead away from BPD. They can choose to admit to themselves that they have a serious problem--they know it, but it can be hard for them to admit because it's so scary. Then they can make the choice that they don't want to live this way anymore, they want to try to feel better. Which is also terrifying--they are used to being as they are, they don't know another way and fear they *can't* be happy, so why bother? Then they have to move past this and choose to seek help, again terrifying because it means they have to deal with all their issues. And then they have to choose to take the help that they have sought--really work their DBT program, and that's *hard*. For all of these things they have to get past really strong defenses and tricks they play on themselves--they have to choose to be really brave and motivated and hopeful and open and introspective.

So, I don't think their behavior is a choice, nor are their feelings. But to stay there, to not seek help, that is a choice.

Peacebaby

 
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Phoenix10
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2009, 07:10:44 AM »

The therapist I am currently seeing, who has a great deal of experience with BPD and other PD's, has often said, "They do have a choice in how they behave"

Possibly what they may lack is the skills to behave in a more positive way. And that is where therapy comes in. My understanding of BPD is that their whole thinking/feeling/emotional processess are skewed, usually as a result of abuse in childhood. The styles of therapy that are known to be very beneficial to BPD sufferers such as CBT and DBT, aims to identify the skewed thoughts etc, and to try and change them to more positive and realistic ones ( this is a very simplistic explanation)

I suppose at the root of BPD is fear, and fear is an incredibly powerful thing. The choice I suppose, for any of us, is to  CHOOSE to confront and overcome our fears, whether we have BPD or not.

The BPD I had in my life, WAS very aware of her past behaviours with relationships, but CHOSE to do very little about it. She just carried on repeating the same old destructive patterns of behaviour, as in her mind, that was easier than confronting her fears and seeking long term therapy. And that was her CHOICE
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2009, 02:56:24 AM »

Does anyone know if the genetic predisposition for BPD has ever been specificially identified in those who do not go on to develop the disorder? Surely a genetic predisposition to hypersensitivity means that you will  develop the disorder regardless of a good home environment. I'm thinking here of outside factors such as a competitive/bullying, invalidating school environment (from age 4 in my part of the world). Then again does psychological theory not cite that personality disorder is irreversibly developed in infancy, by age 2 I believe. ?
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2009, 11:31:44 PM »



I don't think the genetic predisposition has been specifically identified in anyone.  I believe it's only a theory... not a biologically proven fact.

Thy say the predisposition to sensitivity need not develop into BPD if the child is properly validated... they will then be able to learn to regulate their emotions.  There is much speculation that BPD results from an inborn sensitive nature in combination with a lack of certain early developmental needs being met.  If this is the case, then outside factors, such as school, would come after the fact.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 06:49:07 AM »

In a previous study, Trull and research colleagues examined data from 5,496 twins in the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia to assess the extent of genetic influence on the manifestation of BPD features. The research team found that 42 percent of variation in BPD features was attributable to genetic influences and 58 percent was attributable to environmental influences, and this was consistent across the three countries. In addition, Trull and colleagues found that there was no significant difference in heritability rates between men and women, and that young adults displayed more BPD features then older adults.

As far as I know, genetic predisposition causes a bigger probability of BPD developing. Some pro's say that someone with the disposition doesn't necessarily have to become BP but bad circumstances (emotional or physical abuse) are a guarantee if the genetic stuff is there. And because it's there parent's or one of thme are likely to show BP or inadequate behavior of some sorts themselves, the problem is passed on. I also think that BP can develop without genetic disposition, I think as a result of severe abuse.

I tend to look at it as a mental illness but also as a way of being: they grow up in that world are or become that way and live that way, it's their universe and reality. No wonder it is so difficult for them to get out... Image you are always taught that the sky is green, are raised by people who think the sky is green and manage to always find poeple around you who will tell you and affrim you that it is so (mainly because they are not interested in you as most people aren't really inetersted in most other people and so they say "sure it's green" to get rid of the discussion" and I would tell you that it is blue, what would you do? Believe me? Critize your own world when you don't need to? and if you would then what, recreate an entire new world? So we love them. promise them to take them seriously and tell them what they can't handle: you are strange, act normal please...

I think it's blue...;-)

NMB.

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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 11:20:40 AM »



I'd think frequent hospitalizations with invasive procedures at a very early age when one is pre-verbal and incapable of forming conscious memories of the events could have quite an impact on an individual.  For instance, how does a parent validate the feelings of a child who is not yet capable of reasoning?  And how does a child incapable of conscious memory or verbal expression ever process these events?  This must also be an upsetting and highly stressful experience for the parents, as well.  For a child with the predisposition, I'd think a history of early hospitalizations and surgeries could definitely be a significant environmental trigger. 

Early separation from the caregivers is also cited frequently in the histories of those who develop BPD. 

I think some children and the situations that arise are very difficult to validate... very difficult for ANYONE to validate.  There is definitely not always abuse, or intentional neglect or invalidation.  There can be very disruptive circumstances and if the child is predisposed to the Borderline type temperament/nature,  they will develop the disorder.  Whereas, a child of a different nature would not develop the disorder.

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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 02:52:50 PM »

We adopted our d when she was a year old. She is 17 now, and began exhibiting symptoms at the onset of puberty. A couple of years ago she found her birthparents on MySpace. After talking to them, we found out d's behavior and diagnoses matched the birthmother's almost identically and at the same ages, too. Birthmother's mom and grandmother also had BPD, substance abuse issues, etc. It must be genetic in this case.
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2009, 07:12:41 PM »

Peacebaby:

My Husband Choose therapy he wants to get better.. Full time therapy that is 15 weeks long. He had made an attempt once befor but because of his work and our money was tight he couldn't finish it. He is going back next semester for it. And Hopefully by then he will be on Short term Disibility so he can do this its basically a full time job.. 15 weeks long 8 hours a day.. Its INTENSE.. I hope he gets disibility so he can FINALLY get better

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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2009, 07:27:51 PM »

Li'l Arch--That's so cool for you both! My SO went through the same thing--got accepted at this DBT program 5 years ago but couldn't get the dissability or insurance and had to work. But last year she finally got everything she needed. Her course is 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for 6 months or longer. I think these intense courses really work well for someone who's into learning and changing, but it could be stressful due to how intense it is. My SO is hanging in very well. Thanks for sharing that! So my SO is not the only BPD around here making a healthy choice all on their own for their happiness!

Peacebaby
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2009, 09:15:19 PM »

I think of it like a food addiction... they may know better... they may want to stop... but they are fighting natural instincts (esp during stress)... and there are the times a person can't stop... and there are ties when they simply indulge...

I think, in some cases, people suffering with BPD feel "out of control", and they bully to get "control" or "worth".

This is why structure works - they are very here and now - like making good meals and keeping junk food out of the house.  Food bingers can keep it together in public, too.
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2009, 11:13:20 PM »

I think BPD is like other diagnosis-people have variations across the spectrum of their behavior. I suspect their emotions are crippling, and like a drowning person they will grab whatever it takes to save themselves from drowning in their fears. However, if their behavior is not a choice, why are some successful in their work? And why do they not abuse their co-workers. My lay opinion is this, BPD will abuse those whom they realize they can manipulate and control. The best protection I have found is to have clear boundaries, and no contact.

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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2009, 05:15:42 AM »

I think of it like a food addiction... they may know better... they may want to stop... but they are fighting natural instincts (esp during stress)... and there are the times a person can't stop... and there are ties when they simply indulge...

I think, in some cases, people suffering with BPD feel "out of control", and they bully to get "control" or "worth".

This is why structure works - they are very here and now - like making good meals and keeping junk food out of the house.  Food bingers can keep it together in public, too.

It's the best analogy I've heard.

"But she never binges on broccoli ... doesn't that prove she could simply choose not to binge on donuts?"
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2009, 07:55:11 PM »

I have heard said that the person in the relationship who cares the least has the most power.  That is the truth.  Yes, there is certainly co dependency in our relationships.  And I think that they have an intuitive way of knowing who will be soft and pliable and that is who they go after.  Well, I am soft and pliable and fairly easy going.  I don't want to have to change that - I would rather be with someone who will not take advantage of it.  But I'm fairly certain after the agony of my BPD relationship, I will not give someone a second opportunity to be abusive to me.  I'm pretty sure I'm done with that.

I believe BPD is not a choice.  The prevailing thinking is that there is a sociobiological causation - some genetic inclination combined with a tough environmental background.  I read studies that said that the amagdyla (did I spell that right?) of the brain, the portion of the brain that controls emotions, is shaped differently, or smaller in someone with BPD.  Perhaps their brain develops in conjunction with their thought patterns and not the other way around.

I cannot believe that my ex wanted our relationship to end - I know he didn't.  I don't think he wanted his previous relationships to end either.  I just do not think he can control his behavior.  I have chosen to give him a pass and just get away.  That was the best way I could handle it.  Carol
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2009, 08:07:58 PM »

Excerpt
I have heard said that the person in the relationship who cares the least has the most power.  That is the truth.  Yes, there is certainly co dependency in our relationships.  And I think that they have an intuitive way of knowing who will be soft and pliable and that is who they go after.  Well, I am soft and pliable and fairly easy going.  I don't want to have to change that - I would rather be with someone who will not take advantage of it.  But I'm fairly certain after the agony of my BPD relationship, I will not give someone a second opportunity to be abusive to me.  I'm pretty sure I'm done with that.

Thanks to you Gertrude, and to BugsBunny, for responding to my question about caring.  I am so stuck with this because I feel as if I hardened up - become not so "soft and pliable," then I will be no better than the BPD in my life.  My uBPDmom is the epitome what is considered callous and mean, yet it is the very thing she accuses me of being.  So, if I harden - or "grow a thicker skin" as my hubby says, I fear I will morph into some sort of BPD concoction like her.  I don't know how to resolve this.

Gertrude...I have also heard that the person in the relationship who cares the least has the most power.  But, what if you aren't after power, but authentic relationships with people?  Maybe there is no such thing with a BPD. 

Bugs...I like your theory on self-preservation.  That makes sense to me.  I just feel like I have been almost brainwashed to care so that my momster would have her needs met.  To not care means bad things will happen and I will be a bad person - like her.  Hence, I continually get sacrificed and hurt because of it.  Is this codependency?  Or am I just afraid to stand up for myself, create my own space and say no?  How can a person choose to care in the right ways?

Ugh.   
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2009, 05:59:29 AM »

I have also heard that the person in the relationship who cares the least has the most power.  But, what if you aren't after power, but authentic relationships with people?  Maybe there is no such thing with a BPD.  

That's why on the Staying board we talk about various tools to stay, such as emotional validation and boundaries.

You develop a kind of jujutsu ... when the BPD makes the mistake of trying to make it be about power, you choose not to play. You aren't there when their blows land.

You protect yourself with boundaries, and you connect with emotional validation.
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2009, 01:13:27 PM »

Great question!

I like what one person said: Having it is no choice, but dealing with it is a choice...or something like that.

My feeling is as long as they have someone enmeshed with them, "validating" them, or a victim to torment, no they see no reason to deal with it.
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2009, 01:18:16 PM »

My feeling is as long as they have someone enmeshed with them, "validating" them, or a victim to torment, no they see no reason to deal with it.

I agree that having an enabler makes it less likely that they will seek help.

However, I need to point out that the validation that we talk about on this site is the opposite of enmeshment and being a victim.
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« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2009, 04:17:01 PM »

I thought that a mental illness was to do with problems with the brain like a chemical imbalance whereas a personality disorder has nothing to do with any problems with the brain, it is just how their personality has formed due to whatever reasons. 
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2009, 04:45:30 PM »

Lots of things fall under the Mental Disorder group, such as BPD and even eating disorders.  A personality disorder is just one of many mental illnesses.  Mental illness is just a broad term and category.   Whether a person is "mentally incompetent" is a completely different issue.    Majority of people with mental disorders know the difference between right and wrong and could never pass the mental incompetency test required to absolve one from the consequences of their bad behavior/poor choices, etc. and be considered "mentally incompetent".  

I haven't heard of a BPD being considered mentally incompetent.  The few cases I'm familiar with involve severe Schizos.   Hope this helps...

 

 
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2009, 01:02:54 PM »

Maybe some of the confusion comes from the term "mental illness".  I don't think most mental health professionals would use that term over "psychological condition".  The DSM IV is a manual of psychological conditions.  And a personality disorder is a psychological condition inasmuch as it's a cluster of psychological traits, but is controversial as a "mental illness" because THAT'S THEIR PERSONALITY.  If it doesn't affect their lives negatively to them, there's nothing saying that it's illness to have that personality.  You COULD look at it as just a personality type.

Borderline is a little controversial too, because the brain function studies have found where there are parts of the brain smaller or not functioning as actively as in normal brains.  I don't think anyone has processed exactly how to work with this--it's NOT just a set of thoughts going through a normal-looking brain.  Another thing that makes mental health professionals have to sit up and take more notice is the suicide rate.  It's harder to argue that you can leave someone to just have their personality like it is when 10% of those people are going to kill themselves.  Narcissistic personality disorder on the other hand--also very annoying to others.  But they're not likely to commit suicide or physically harm others.  So psychologists help them if they ask for it, and basically leave them alone if they don't. 

I'm sure there is work being done in this area.  ADHD patients also have areas of their brain that are often smaller or less functional, and drugs have been developed to help them.  BPD is just a harder nut to crack with pharmacology--gotta find the right drug AND get it to work in the right part of the brain.  Harder than you'd think.

Anyway, my $.02.  Pschologists and psychiatrists and the DSM IV are just holding on and classifying things as best they can in a messy situation. 

OO
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2009, 02:54:42 PM »

I thought that a mental illness was to do with problems with the brain like a chemical imbalance whereas a personality disorder has nothing to do with any problems with the brain, it is just how their personality has formed due to whatever reasons. 

When a child is traumatised growing up (which the majority of BPD individuals have been) the brain can form differently than someone who is not traumatised, leading to an imablance of certain chemicals.  Plus, there is no absolute evidence that borderline is not controlled by chemical imbalance in the brain.  When someone feels angry, overly sad or upset, it's the chemicals in the brain that more or less rule the roost with your ability to stay calm and your inability...it's also a case of learning to ignore what your body is telling you and remaining calm or calming down quicker, for someone with BPD, this must be tremendously difficult to do.

www.psychcentral.com/news/2009/09/04/brain-scans-clarify-borderline-personality-disorder/8184.html
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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2009, 07:37:27 AM »

Have there been any studies that confirm the trauma as a child that many BP's claim? Could the claims of childhood trauma be just as much a fabrication as the claims of abuse they claim against us as adults? The only reason i ask this is because my stbx claimed to not really have any memories of her childhood and could not really point to a specific trauma or event. I know blocked memories are also not unusual in chidhood trauma cases,but considering the BPD grasp of truth and reality I think in depth studies of BP's childhoods need to be done to verify if the trauma and abuse actually occurred.

During my university years, i came across numerous studies of childhood abuse victims and it may surprise you to know that many, many many victims of childhood abuse, do not say they were abused.  A lot of people who were abused: borderline, co-dependant nons, schizophrenic, bipolar, depressed, seemingly societally normal and so on...deny they were abused or keep quiet about being abused and it is mainly their everyday interaction with people, their reactions to situations, stressful or otherwise, coping mechanisms to life, that give the game away.  I think you will find that it is extremely rare that someone claims they were abused when they were not, yes people do it, but bear in mind that what may not be abuse to you, may be abuse to the next man.  Victims of childhood abuse can also have selective memory and become so good at locking away painful memories during their childhood, that they do it unwittingly throughout their lives...this is very common.  So, the fact that your ex cannot point to a specific fact, does not mean the claim that he/she was abused, is a lie.

The claims they make against us as adults may not be a fabrication or lie to them, they may truly believe they are being abused by us.  I did not abuse my ex in any way, but i have to accept that his mind does not work in the same way mine does and if he thinks i was abusive because of my tone, my facial expression, me ignoring his calls etc, then in his mind, somewhere, this is probably abuse to him.  He just does not have the mental capacity to realise that it was all reactive to what i was experiencing from him/  I think someone with BPD feels abused by us because, as has been written, they have the emotional capacity analogous of a 3rd degree burns victim...not because they are telling lies deliberately.  My ex used to say to my face that i was abusing him, even though i had just encountered hours of it from him and simply reacted by arguing back with him once in a blue moon, i could see by his reaction that he truly felt attacked.
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2009, 07:43:01 PM »

Thoughts and feelings are embodied in the brain's electro-chemistry. Chemicals can affect thoughts. Thoughts can affect chemicals.

Brain scans look different after traumatic experiences, and they also look different after months of therapy.

The current consensus appears to be that you can't treat bipolar with just therapy; you need meds. And you can't treat BPD with just meds; you need therapy.

But both are mental illnesses.
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« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2009, 12:29:48 AM »

BPD is very much recognized as a legitimate mental illness. The DSM classifies mental illnesses according to an Axis system.  For example, mood disorders such as Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, etc. are Axis I illnesses.  Basically, these disorders can be treated with medication, preferably along with psychotherapy.  Personality disorders, however, are classified as Axis II, and can further be broken down according to "cluster", such as Axis II, Cluster A,B, or C.  Examples of Axis II, Cluster B would be BPD, NPD, Hystrionic PD, and Anti-Social PD.  These disorders do not really respond to medication, as they are "hard-wired" into the individual's brain.  Nearly everything I've read and heard does suggest that most BPDs did have something traumatic happen to them in early childhood, to varying degrees.  Anyway, personality disorders are not easily fixed, and it seems that they can be improved, somewhat, ONLY if the person with a PD accepts that they have a problem and wants to try to fix it.  This is what makes it so difficult for the PD's family and friends!
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« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2009, 04:56:20 AM »

Marsha Linahan, the founder of DBT, has worked for over 30 years with this population.  She purports a genetic predisposistion that is turned on or exacerbated by either classic trauma eg., physical or sexual abuse, or a more subtle form of trauma that occurs over a long period time that is often described as an ongoing perceived invalidating environment...meaning years of a child saying for example... 'I feel hungry' and those who care for him saying 'no you're not'...or 'you shouldn't feel that way'...and it's this combination, a genetic sensitivity or predisposition combined with what is perceived as an invalidating/traumatizing environment, that leads to BPD.

The only reason i ask this is because my stbx claimed to not really have any memories of her childhood and could not really point to a specific trauma or event.

Not really having any memories of childhood is odd in an off itself, as a therapist, I would immediately be thinking...trauma, either emotional or physical.  My BPDbf never could really conjur up much memory of childhood either...that is slowly changing with therapy.  His mother would hit him with a belt...but nothing that would probably qualify for a CPS report.  'You shouldn't feel that way' was like a mantra in his home. His mother is most likely NPD...she is completely self absorbed and self directed.  She is looking for mirroring constantly...she does not have the capacity to mirror or lend her ego strength to a child.  Children need this to develop normally in an emotional way...I cannot even imagine what it was like for him as a child to be seeking connection with this woman.  He was fed, and schooled, he's smart...but not about what goes on between two people in an emotional way or his own emotions.  He craves love and affection and before DBT, would try to illicit love and affection in some very self sabatoging ways...big surprise.  When he feels abandonment or love/connection does not seem to be working out...he panics, and again,  he cannot use the smart part of his brain that was schooled in math and science to handle the panic, he has to use the part that regulates emotion, and that was never tought in his home, indeed, in his home, what was modeled was either no emotion at all, out of control emotion, or manipulative mind games.  Even if he were never hit...that is not an optimal environment for a child to develop any form of emotinal intelligence, and he is no doubt senstive and predisposed as I see that this appears to run in the family. 

Another kid in the same family, might not exhibit BPD...maybe they did not carry the same genetic predisposition, maybe they had a few more social or environmental factors that made them more resilient such they could ignore or shake off or better cope with an invalidating environment.  We are all endlessly unique.     

It is rare to see BPD without it co-occuring with other Axis I disorders like depression and anxiety...many do respond well to drugs because of this and some drugs are even helpful with the imlpulsive component, so while no drug cures BPD...it is not accurate to say drugs can't help...because for many they help tremendously.  For some, without drugs...it would be difficult to sit and gain anything from therapy.

And yes, the environment, stress, what is going on around you...can have an impact on your brain function and over time can acutally change the structure and the complex exchange of chemicals that inform our emotions and consequent behavior.

There is talk of moving BPD from Axis II to Axis I because there is empirically beneficial treatments now.  There has been talk for a while of renaming it Emotional Dysregulation Disorder becasue it is a more apt description and it's a step away from the years of negative stigma before it was better understood.  In one of the last lectures I attended this year, there was apparently talk of the possibility of viewing BPD as a sub type of bi polar disorder.  Well see what happens.   
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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2009, 05:01:57 AM »

I believe I read that the name comes from the idea that in the old Freudian system, they were thought to be on the "borderline" between "neurosis" and "psychosis".

If you tried to treat them as "merely" neurotic ... well, no, they are more than that. But they aren't psychotically arguing with the sky or anything either ... most of the time, anyway. So the thought was that they are on the "borderline" between the two, or frequently crossing back and forth.

Precisely why they are so confusing and hard to deal with for everyone around them, including treatment providers.
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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2009, 08:37:49 AM »

In terms of the discussion on whether abuse must be present to have BPD or diagnosed with BPD, the answer is no.I think the anti-Axis ll people are out in full force as they write the latest incarnation of the DSM. The NEA-BPD has been lobbying, I bet--I KNOW TARA-APD has been lobbing since I wrote SWOE in 1997. I wouldn't be surprised if it changes, but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't. I not sure if emotional dysregulation disorder is the substitute, but knowing the influence that DBT and Marsha Linehan, has I wouldn't be surprised.What would shock me is if they put it under an Axis 1 diagnosis, bipolar. In terms of is BPD a mental illness, I don't think there's any question here. The American Psychiatric Association says so; unless you're a person who think the DSM is a lot of hooey (and they have a sizable contingent since it's written by consensus, not science, really) you have to go with that. Some insurance pays for it. NAMI advocates for it. The NIMH funds a ton of research (search for BPD in PubMed and you'll get a zillion results). If it's not a metal illness, then I'm a bowl of spaghetti. And I don't like Italian food. Randi Kreger Author, "The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder "
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« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2009, 08:51:37 PM »

Even as a psychotherapist, I was not aware of that research. That makes so much sense!

Yes BPD is a mental illness. It is in the DSM IV (the "Bible" of mental disorders for us therapists). BPDs do not have the same ability to emotionally regulate that non BPs do. My fiance is a BP and he tells me during his "normal" states that he does not understand why, when he becomes triggered, he literally can not control his rage. You are right. There is no rationalizing with them at that point. It is just impossible. They have to deescalate in whatever way works for them in order to get to a point where rational thought replaces "fight or flight" instincts. Only at that point can they learn healthy coping skills for those times when they are triggered. BPD is biological and environmental and is usually triggered by trauma.
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« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2010, 10:35:50 AM »

Quote from: sosadandone
Well guess what BPD is real, its organic and more importantly it is not their fault. My ex doesnt want to be crazy. He doesnt want to need meds or alcohol or another woman to make him feel good enough to just get thru the day

I don't want to be crazy, so I've spent the past five years since my breakdown and diagnosis of BPD changing the way I was taught - from a difficult childhood and from an inborn sensitivity - to respond to the world. Since puberty I've known something was "wrong" with me, I just didn't know what.

BPD is not my fault.

but, . . .

Excerpt
We are not responsible for how we came to be who we are as adults.

But as adults we are responsible for whom we have become and for everything we say and do.

Do nurturing, re-parenting, supportive relationships help a person with BPD get better? My belief is yes, because I've had that personal experience. My grandmother, my two older male best friends, and my dog all helped me become human. Really.

But I must qualify that I believe an intimate relationship with a sexual partner is not conducive to growth for someone with BPD. Partly because so many pwBPD have sexual abuse histories, partly because BPD is an attachment disorder and normal intimacy is disturbed, partly because the "non" is way too close and most likely have their own unhealthy issues, to a degree. All those things create a barrier to helping, which is why people with BPD need a competent Therapist, medication to help regulate the underlying mood disturbances, supportive and platonic friendships, an ability to break through denial, and a strong desire to get better.

Our intimate partners do us no good in sticking around putting up with our abuse. Healing comes when we learn that despite the hell we may be going through, we have no right to bring our loved ones down into that hell with us. It isn't abandonment to leave someone with BPD - it's loving them and letting them go and being good to oneself and refusing to be a martyr and letting the person get the help they need on their own, which I believe is the only way they'll be able to affect a real, lasting change.

But that's just imo  Smiling (click to insert in post) 

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« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2010, 06:58:02 AM »

Our intimate partners do us no good in sticking around putting up with our abuse. Healing comes when we learn that despite the hell we may be going through, we have no right to bring our loved ones down into that hell with us. It isn't abandonment to leave someone with BPD - it's loving them and letting them go and being good to oneself and refusing to be a martyr and letting the person get the help they need on their own, which I believe is the only way they'll be able to affect a real, lasting change.

Thank you for writing this. I think a lot of us need to hear it.
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« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2010, 11:41:07 AM »

Feel the need to give a bit of a disclaimer here  Smiling (click to insert in post) There are many "flavors" of BPD and I happen to be more of the "in-acting, quiet" type. My point is that I certainly can't speak for everyone with BPD - poster child I ain't! - and there are many folks on this board whose SO/loved one has narcissistic/antisocial PD traits, which makes it waaaaaay different (the lack of true empathy being key). So take my opinion with salt-flavored grains, certainly!

Even given that, tho, I do believe and have witnessed healing and change in other pwBPD, but I can't speak for them and can only speak for myself. It is one of my core beliefs that just like folks with substance abuse issues, the pwBPD has to WANT to change and perhaps "hit bottom" just like an alcoholic/drug user must, to get help. That's what helped snap me out of my ingrained patterns, including some denial of my problems.

The thing I see in sosadandone and other non's posts that I can understand on an emotional level (remember, I've been a non, too), but which I think speaks of perhaps an unhealthy dynamic is viewing the pwBPD as a child. Emotionally are we? Hell ya. But we are adults and the only way to "get to normal" is to require of us to start acting that way. We do a disservice to those we love when we don't let them reap the consequences of their actions. How many of us ever change unless some big consequence happens? That's just human nature to a degree. And pwBPD have a higher degree of growing-up and falling-down and getting-back-up to do than others, since we weren't taught certain skills in childhood, or we're so obsessed with getting fundamental needs met that were never, sadly, met that we excuse our childish behavior because of it. Spoiling a dog does it no good. Spoiling a child does it no good. Spoiling an emotional child does it no good...

sorry for the rant . . . just wanted to be clear on some things, because these are important issues, these are people's lives and happiness and real pain. It is possible, useful, and supportive to detach, with love. Taking care of yourself and your emotions and your health really is one of the most helpful and loving things you can do for someone in your life who has BPD. Yes, it hurts so bad to see them hurting. Yes, we want to help. No, we can't really help them as much as we want. Help yourself first, for yourself.
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« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2010, 10:47:27 AM »

Overcoming the need to fix

Eliminating caretaker behavior

Eliminating overdependence

Letting go of the "uncontrollables and unchangables"

Developing Detachment

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« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2010, 03:49:48 AM »

I would like to interject that even if someone IS mentally ill, they still have the right to end a relationship. To not be right for you.

To act as if the illness is the only problem in a relationship that ended...is dangerously like denial of that.
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« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2010, 10:14:24 AM »

This is an interesting topic, and the diversity of it allows us to really learn a lot about dynamics of these relationships, and most importantly, about ourselves.

In the relationship I had, and the aftermath, I remember having these same thoughts that Sosadandone has here. I struggled between what I saw in her behavior, and what I deemed as personally right, in my own mind. I also loved her enough to want to be the savior, and rectify things so that the opportunity came that we all could live in peace, harmony, love, and happiness. It is a fine and noble goal indeed.

Humanity has many truths. The very first truth is that from the day we are born, we all are entitled to free will. Society and culture has brought upon us laws that govern what consequences are to be held for those who flex their free will to the point of effecting others lives. These laws are known as consequences for actions. Some are actually governed, and upheld by municipalities, some are state, some are federal. Some are are more spiritual in nature, and are left to higher powers to sort out, after our lives have been lost. Some are moral in nature, and leave it to others that are in our lives to be the judge and jury. These situations being dealt with in this thread are in that morality context.

In most situations dealing with a love bond between a disordered person, and the ones that love them, (nons) there aren't any laws broken. There are no immediate consequences for the actions taken out of one's own free will. The "abuse" and "injustice" of these situations are completely left up to the people in the dynamics of the relationship. We tend to be our own bailiff's, judges, juries, and wardens.

The problem that arises, is that because of free will, the trials are being held in two totally separate courts. One trial is held in the disordered court, and the other is being held in the nons court. Both of those courts are being represented in this thread. Both are right in, and of, themselves, due to the laws of free will.

The disordered person has the right to live, love, and persue life the way they see fit, unless breaking the laws of the land, written by their corresponding municipalities. Although it may be deemed immoral by those surrounding them, the choice is still their own. The consequences are different, because the actions interfere with others free will.

The non has the same rights. The problem occurs when the non tries to alter the thoughts and actions of the disordered person, based on the nons desire to have something changed. We each have our own journey in life, dependant only on what we can do, have, understand, and accomplish. Our own desires should not override some elses desires. We cant want something for someone that doesn't want the same thing. It goes hand in hand with the saying, we cant change someone, only they can.

Where we get into trouble is when we think that we have the right to alter someone elses free will. If we believe they should change, and they dont feel the need, we are left with two options. Abandon the situation, and leave the other person to live their life as they see fit, or stay and try to alter them, to fit our desires for them. Most, if not all of us, have chosen the latter and have learned that it is the art on enabling. Simply by staying, and continuing to support the person in the dysfuntion, is nothing short of condoning it, and thus, giving the signal that the treatment is ok. Further trying to control the situation is viewed as dysfunctional and manipulative, giving off the perception of disrespect, and non-acceptance. This deepens the dysfunction, and the fight for what each believes is an acceptable life to lead, based upon our own free will.

There is another saying that has offered a new meaning to me post relationship. The saying is "If you love somebody, set them free." What it means to me now is, if I love someone, and I believe their free will is immoral, I set them free, because only in the loss of someone important, can lessons be learned, and the chance of change happen. It isn't a sure bet, but if everyone dropped my ex at the first sign of dysfunction, her desire to be loved would over take her desire to manipulate, and control, and she would change her ways. There would be a priority shift, and only in that, would the light be seen. I stayed and tried to change her for 13 years, but I never took myself from her. I allowed her to concrete herself in her own ways, because there were no consequences for her actions. Sure, I complained and wanted different, but I never showed her that people cannot be treated like that, and stick around. I showed her the exact oppostite. I taught her to treat me any way she saw fit, and that I would still be there. Hardly fodder for changing someone.


Sosadandone, I know where you are at, and I know that you are still in the grieving process. It is ok to want a happy life for yourself, and your loved one. You will eventually turn your focus within, and try to control only what you can, and have the ultimate free will to control. It will be then, that the healing will begin. I hope it comes quickly for you.

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« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2010, 10:59:52 AM »

PDQ, I thought your view was particularly well articulated. I wonder, though, about your theory that if a BP is left enough times for dysfunctional behavior he or she would choose love over manipulation and use free will to change. I think somehow the hardwiring of the BP acquired during childhood makes it virtually impossible for them to exercise healthy free will for any significant length of time.

It also gets into metaphysical debates about free will across the course of a lifetime vs. fated events. Is it the BP's destiny in life to be disordered? As nons with different brain wiring, do we have a better chance to change and start exercising free will when we "see the light?" Can a BP ever really see the light? Would that paradigm shift have to have occurred during childhood for them?

Of course, no one really has any answers for these questions--I'm just musing about something that loops around in my brain a lot. I think one's spiritual and religious beliefs come into play here, too. If we believe we only have one life on this earth, there may be more pressure to see change as a possibility during that one lifetime. If we believe that we reincarnate and have many lives on earth, there may be a tendency to think of BPD as a karmic destiny or life lesson only for this lifetime, and once the lesson is learned, the soul returns to learn new lessons. I fall into the latter camp, but maybe that's just because it makes it easier to accept any number of tough life lessons, knowing that we all get another chance to do it better some other time.
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« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2010, 10:41:51 PM »

I think a lack of good parenting skills definitely plays a part. I think the inablity or refusal of the parents to communicate with each other and the kids in a kind and loving way is enough to mess with any kids mind in such a fashion that damages them for life. Verbal abuse is a horrible thing, especially when it is a small child who is receiving the verbal abuse!

When parents lack character and their kids do not learn character, it is not a good situation. This only adds to the complication if the parents are verbal abusive as well as lack character, work ethic, or hygene.

Poor communication skills can cause many angery moments.

I think these things (poor parenting skills, lack of character, and poor communication skills) all play a part in a person becoming a "borderline".
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2010, 04:41:33 PM »

Personality disorder is not an easy concept to grasp.

I saw an FBI behavioral analyst speaking about ASPD.  He said that they are not without knowledge of what is right or wrong - it's that the don't possess the ability to care or fully feel the ramifications.  And ASPD kills someone, they know it is wrong, but they feel not a whole lot different than we do if we run a red light at 3 AM.

Do all of the "BPD's" referred to on this site have BPD.  No, not by a long shot.  Many have BPD traits or are temporarily acting BPD (situational) or are just just people from a world with poor role models and poor treatment.

I think the most important point about labeling someone as pwBPD or uBPD is that it gives us an understand of what is going on - and it gives us tools for managing the relationship and for making decisions.

Without the "BPD" label, many of us would just believe that the criticism and bad behavior toward us is justified. If we are able to see BPD, or BPD traits, it's starts to suggest that we not take everything so literally or personally.  This is really huge step toward dealing with our own struggles and hurts.

We are also able to start to understand the prognosis.  Without the BPD label, many of use mike think the situation is justified by some circumstances - and removing the circumstances would solve or reduce the problem.

And lastly, with the BPD label, we learn that there are certain ways to communicate that are more effective or that defuse the day to day exchanges with the difficult person.



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« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2010, 07:41:00 PM »

 There have been studies that show, physically, that people with BPD process emotions from an atypical spot of the brain..they simply process them differently and they lack the ability to not feel them severely.

Yep, its a mental illness and classified as an axis 2 in the mental helth profession. Its not a charactor flaw, or a weakness or lack of mothering..tho a nasty childhood can turn the switch that will get it fired up.

It also has treatment available, as well, which helps retrain the brain to process emotions in healthy ways. It can take years,and it works.
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« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2010, 01:39:17 AM »

I don't see any difference between a person admitting they have a diagnosis of BPD and admitting that they have a diagnosis of myopia, or of bipolar disorder, or of dyslexia, or of depression.   Its something you're saddled with, whether you are born with it or acquire it, makes no difference to me.   Its dealing with it and accepting it and managing it in real time, in the present, that is the issue.

The FBI guy you watched in the documentary was probably referring to the fact that those with personality disorder are considered to be "legally sane," and responsible for their behaviors, so those with pd can be convicted of crimes and go to prison for it.  Its those who do not know the difference between right and wrong (those who are having a break with reality, like schizophrenics) who are considered "legally insane" and are not sent to prison but are sent to mental institutions instead if they are convicted of crimes or are diagnosed as being a danger to themselves or to others.  

But I see no problem, or, I see no bad thing about "labeling" a person with a mental disorder.  A true mental disorder like schizophrenia is not a "character flaw", its a mental illness and the individual who has it was born that way, its not their fault.  Personalty Disorder is, at the moment, a gray area.  It is considered to be a mental illness, yet at the same time the individual who has a personalty disorder is also considered to be connected with reality and considered to have control over his or her behaviors, so the law considers those with pd to be "legally sane" and responsible for their behaviors and able to be tried in open court and held accountable for their actions.

Me personally, I'm not sure that personality disordered individuals should be considered '"legally sane."  I think that those with BPD are all too frequently not connected with reality at all, and I believe that during these psychotic episodes the person with BPD inflicts profound and long-term damage on their children.

So, I'm in the camp that believes that Personality Disorder needs to be reclassified as a more severe mental illness due to organic brain dysfunction so that those who have it can receive very intense drug treatment and talk therapy for it, and so that their children can be removed from their care for the children's safety.   That part is very important.  Children are not left in the care of paranoid schizophrenics, and I think that children should not be left in the care of those with personality disorder for the same reason.  

The safety of children should take precedence over the rights of their adult parents or caregivers, in my opinion. Children's needs and safety should always come first.

-LOAnnie




Personality disorder is not an easy concept to grasp.

I saw an FBI behavioral analyst speaking about ASPD.  He said that they are not without knowledge of what is right or wrong - it's that the don't possess the ability to care or fully feel the ramifications.  And ASPD kills someone, they know it is wrong, but they feel not a whole lot different than we do if we run a red light at 3 AM.

Do all of the "BPD's" referred to on this site have BPD.  No, not by a long shot.  Many have BPD traits or are temporarily acting BPD (situational) or are just just people from a world with poor role models and poor treatment.

I think the most important point about labeling someone as pwBPD or uBPD is that it gives us an understand of what is going on - and it gives us tools for managing the relationship and for making decisions.

Without the "BPD" label, many of us would just believe that the criticism and bad behavior toward us is justified. If we are able to see BPD, or BPD traits, it's starts to suggest that we not take everything so literally or personally.  This is really huge step toward dealing with our own struggles and hurts.

We are also able to start to understand the prognosis.  Without the BPD label, many of use mike think the situation is justified by some circumstances - and removing the circumstances would solve or reduce the problem.

And lastly, with the BPD label, we learn that there are certain ways to communicate that are more effective or that defuse the day to day exchanges with the difficult person.


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« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2010, 07:31:47 AM »

So, I'm in the camp that believes that Personality Disorder needs to be reclassified as a more severe mental illness due to organic brain dysfunction so that those who have it can receive very intense drug treatment and talk therapy for it, and so that their children can be removed from their care for the children's safety.  

Maybe you can share more details about this camp or advocacy?  There DSM 5 proposals are currently being discussed and I have not yet seen any recommendations along the lines of what you mention.

I believe that there are 4 issues in your recommendation and it may help to separate them.

Legal insanity is not a medical term, it's a legal term. Since the 1980's the requirements for legal insanity have become more limiting (fewer people qualify).  The M'Naghten Rule basically say a person was not legally insane unless he is "incapable of appreciating his surroundings" because of a powerful mental delusion.

Insanity doesn’t imply anything about the nature of the underlying disorder or treatment. Just about any major psychiatric disorder—a psychotic disorder (e.g., schizophrenia), a mood disorder (e.g., major depression), an anxiety disorder (e.g., PTSD), or a dissociative disorder (e.g., DID)—could be used as the basis for an insanity defense.

Custody Currently, a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other mental illness do not result in automatic loss of child custody.  The major reason states take away custody from parents with mental illness is the severity of the symptoms and the absence of other competent adults in the home.  Mental disability alone is insufficient to establish parental unfitness, it's the manifestations  in a particular person, such as disorientation, hallucinations, psychosis that are necessary to demonstrate parental unfitness.  A controlled schizophrenic in a stable home setting would not likely lose their children.

Statistics show that custody is being taken away from an unfit parents with greater frequency. Some feel it needs to happen even more.

Treatment mental illnesses  are not classified on a scale of "severe and non severe".  Within a mental illness, there are often a spectrum of the severity.  And moving the disorder from one place in the DSM to another wouldn't change treatment or access to treatment "so that those who have it can receive very intense drug treatment and talk therapy for it.  

Do you have any references about work being done with BPD and  "intensive drug therapy" - which refers to significantly higher than the normal dose levels.  I'm sure many would be interested in reading about this.

Civil Liberties  You've suggested in other threads that you would like the States to take children away from BPD parents... and your feelings based on your experience are understandable.  But current civil liberty laws and practices would prevent such a sweeping initiative (taking children away from + 6% of all mothers) from happening.  Having BPD or BiPolar disorder or being suspected of having these disorder does not result in the automatic forfeiture of parental rights.



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« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2010, 10:50:48 AM »

My question is:IS this behaviour really a Mental Illness or just character flaws, or lack of good parenting of values, or anger management issues, petty or superficial or wrong thinking, or deficiency in cognition ... are some of us (on some lists) too quick to label normal ups/downs, disagreements, or even some upsets or conflicts in a marr/rel as BPD...? [small (non-physical) fights & arguments are normal, o/w it is not a normal rel]! Mental Illness implies somewhat psychotic or non reality or simply paranoia type of mindset... too harsh a term?...whereas - what we see in BPD is more about extreme sensitivity about rejection (aren't we all, non-BP's also, a little afraid of being rejected?) OR ...Anger Management (A/M) issues, OR few character flaws to "lie" or misrepresent, ... and we all ( non-BP's and/or "normal" perceive things differently  (basic Pysch 101 course tells us that),... so are we too eager s/t on some posts to label such thinking or behaviour as MI?

The issue here is, I think, the definition of mental illness. It is a stigmatized term and does not necessarily have anything to do with a break from reality. It includes depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, etc. etc. etc. Yes, PDs are a mental illness. The "character flaw" thing was thrown out decades ago. Randi KregerAuthor, The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder
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« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2010, 11:37:37 PM »

Maybe there's a difference in the level of suffering between BPDs who mostly act in with self-destructive behaviors, and BPDs who have a lot of narcissistic traits and act out toward other people?

Do people with strong narcissistic traits, or with NPD/ASPD suffer in the same way "normal" people suffer? NPD seems to include some dysfunction of the physical emotional system. For example, this abstract about an article on predatory agression:

Excerpt
In the study of aggression, psychopathy represents a disorder that is of particular interest because it often involves aggression which is premeditated, emotionless, and instrumental in nature; this is especially true for more serious types of offenses. Such instrumental aggression is aimed at achieving a goal (e.g., to obtain resources such as money, or to gain status).

Unlike the primarily reactive aggression observed in other disorders, psychopaths appear to engage in aggressive acts for the purpose of benefiting themselves. This is especially interesting in light of arguments that psychopathy may represent an alternative life-history strategy that is evolutionarily adaptive; behaviors such as aggression, risk-taking, manipulation, and promiscuous sexual behavior observed in psychopathy may be means by which psychopaths gain advantage over others.

Recent neurobiological research supports the idea that abnormalities in brain regions key to emotion and morality may allow psychopaths to pursue such a strategy—psychopaths may not experience the social emotions such as empathy, guilt, and remorse that typically discourage instrumentally aggressive acts, and may even experience pleasure when committing these acts.

Findings from brain imaging studies of psychopaths may have important implications for the law.

I can't of course say your mother had sociopathy or whatever. But from the little I've read, she was exceedingly cruel, and she sounds very NPD-ish. On a personal level, I saw a big difference in the suffering between a bf of mine who I believed had BPD and one who I believed was very narcissistic - the former was like a wounded bear, lashing out because it was in pain and the latter was like a crocodile, cold and calculating. The difference in their ability to feel empathy and compassion for other people was marked, the bf with NPD being one of the most vicious people I've ever met - towards everyone. He thought girls who got raped on dates in college deserved it (and didn't deserve therapy) because they put themselves in that position in the first place, they shouldn't have been so dumb...

The bf with NPD was always in control: he responded to events in ways that would benefit himself, the bf with BPD was never in control: he reacted and often caused worse problems for himself. I think there is a big difference between the "black holes" at the center of the BPD universe vs NPD universe...
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« Reply #46 on: May 12, 2010, 07:20:55 PM »

Currently the website of NIMH says, "Although the cause of BPD is unknown, both environmental and genetic factors are thought to play a role in predisposing patients to BPD symptoms and traits. "  

Your situation echos my mother's: she is the only individual in her entire family of origin with personality disorder.   However, neither my sister nor I wound up with BPD, although we were psychologically injured by her out of control mood swings, abusive rages, unrealistic expectations and perfectionism.

So, IF BPD is genetically linked, then possibly the genes that convey it are recessive genes, and it takes the right (or wrong) spin of the genetic roulette wheel to turn up those particular sets of recessive gene pairs.  A very simplified example:  two brown-eyed parents have a one in four chance at each conception of producing a blue-eyed child if each parent carries the recessive blue-eyed gene.  That would explain how two parents who do not have personality disorder themselves could produce a child with personality disorder IF (LOTS OF IFS) they both carry the recessive gene(s) for it.  Theoretically.  

That is so very encouraging that you have self-awareness and can control your behaviors, and you have the empathy to realize that extreme reactions and behaviors on your part would not be healthy for your child to experience.  You are taking personal responsibility for your behaviors.   See, to me, that would seem to indicate that you do not actually have borderline pd.  Instead, perhaps you only have somehow acquired BPD "flea" behaviors.  Or perhaps you have a few of the BPD diagnostic criteria traits but not enough of them to be full-blown BPD... sort of "BPD lite."

In any case, as far as your little boy is concerned, perhaps the section of this forum for the parents of children with BPD would have some more knowledgeable help and advice for you.

I've read that dialectical behavioral therapy really helps with BPD behaviors; maybe you can look into db therapy for him.

best of luck with that, you sound like a good and caring mom.

-LOAnnie



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« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2010, 08:35:03 AM »

It's not a "behaviour" though, it's a whole slew of behaviours and traits that keep recurring...that they can't escape in spite of the destruction and havoc they cause.

You point out that all people suffer "a little" from rejection anxiety. That's the point. The anxieties that BPDs suffer from are shared by most of us...the difference is that in BPDs their emotions and anxieties are inflated beyond our imagination.

Have you ever known someone with BPD? Don't mean to sound flippant, but having known someone there's really no question in my mind that it's a real mental illness, and a very serious one.
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« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2010, 07:08:28 AM »

I believe behavioral scientists made some headway toward an answer to this question in 2008.

People with borderline personality disorder suffer from an inability to understand the actions of others. They frequently have unstable relationships, fly into rages inappropriately, or become depressed and cannot trust the actions and motives of other people.

"This may be the first time a physical signature for a personality disorder has been identified," said Dr. P. Read Montague, professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the BCM Brown Foundation Human Neuroimaging Laboratory.

"For the first time, to my knowledge, we have a specific brain association for people with a personality disorder," said Dr. Stuart Yudofsky, chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at BCM. "It's new and different because it's not a lesion (or injury to the brain) but it is a difference in perceiving information that comes from an interaction." That is the area where people with borderline personality disorder have the most problem.

"It's important that this biological signature has been identified," said King-Casas. "It's not just a matter of bad attitudes or a lack of will."


www.bcm.edu/news/packages/trust.cfm

This post is very interesting, as it clarifies that it is the way that people with BPD perceive as the issue, I have found this to be true in my relationshp with my husband, however, as he experienced a trauma in his childhood, and by his own admittance cannot trust anyone and constantly struggles with his identity, almost as though he does not have one and does things that he percieves will be accepting to me. It is possible that his perception is now 'perceived' through the previous trauma, maybe the trauma is what triggered this?

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« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2010, 02:29:03 PM »

Coming from a staNPDoint of recovery from BPD . . . I'm starting to believe it's both. If it didn't have anything to do with "character" (although that's judgmental and I prefer "personality", then how could I have changed so much from 5 years ago when I got my diagnosis and decided to better my life?

But perhaps I was one of the lucky ones in that my underlying mental illness wasn't as severe as others', and neither was my childhood homelife.

I know much of my recovery has been finding ways to modulate/moderate a seemingly inborn sensitive temperament. I'm wired differently than most people I know and I still suffer from bouts of depression. I handle the symptoms differently now than I did when I was "full-blown" BPD, but the intensity of the emotions has lessened. Whether that's just a natural maturing process or what, I don't know. I think part of it is that I've re-trained my brain somewhat. I'm not always successful (I started smoking again to help with a recent stressful period), but I have more options and coping mechanisms that help me be the real me, sans BPD.
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« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2010, 09:36:38 AM »

Excerpt
It is a completely rational choice on their parts to not go to therapy, for the cost of exposure is far greater than the cost of just discarding  their loving and devoted abusee of the moment and just finding another hostage

Although I understand  your point..the use of the word rational is questionable. A person suffering from a disorder hasn't the ability of rationality. Is it rational to continue to sabatoge those around you..or yourself?
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« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2010, 07:07:12 AM »

It's possible for perceptions to be distorted, so that the actions taking in response to those perceptions are, in a sense, "rational", given the distorted perceptions.
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« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2013, 12:36:56 PM »

This is not an illness like schizophrenia - neither extreme genetic sensitivity nor being invalidated as a child adds up to cognitive impairment in a medical sense.  It's a toxic brew, to be sure, but this is a psychological condition, not a brain impairment.  

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« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2013, 01:20:43 PM »

Tuli,

You might find these helpful:

www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2008/borderline-personality-disorder-brain-differences-related-to-disruptions-in-cooperation-in-relationships.shtml

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032798001049

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006322301010757

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071221094757.htm

Any long-term emotional dysfunction creates changes in the brain.Also, according to Wikipedia, 25% of people with BPD don't have a history of abuse or neglect and because someone with a BPD parent is six times more likely to have BPD, it is thought to have a strong genetic link.  Of course there is the nature vs. nurture argument, but what about families with multiply siblings and only one develops BPD?  Again, very suggestive of genetics.

Unfortunately, even with all the tons of research out there indicating that BPD is a more severe, biologically rooted psychiatric d/o like schizophrenia, the powers that be let it stay a personality d/o in the upcoming DSM-V.

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« Reply #54 on: February 19, 2013, 01:58:08 PM »

This is not an illness like schizophrenia - neither extreme genetic sensitivity nor being invalidated as a child adds up to cognitive impairment in a medical sense.  It's a toxic brew, to be sure, but this is a psychological condition, not a brain impairment.   

Whatever you choose to call it, there is a great deal of impaired, distorted thinking involved. Emotional reasoning, black and white thinking, periods of dissociation (for some). Unrealistic idealization, unrealistic devaluation.

I think it is actually helpful to use some analogies to schizophrenia, because of how illustrative it is.

For example, it is just as pointless and inflammatory to try to argue someone with BPD out of their distorted thinking, as it is to try to argue someone with schizophrenia out of their hallucinations or delusions. It's just not as blatantly obvious how pointless it is, since the nature of the distortions is different.
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« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2013, 10:04:55 PM »


Thank you for these links.

I agree completely that genetic is an integral part of borderline and without it you don't have borderline.  A lot of the borderline condition cannot be fixed.  They can never live a normal life.  But the parts that can be changed relatively quickly with either behavior modification (like DBT) or neurolinguistic programming (PTSD work) would not be considered genetic.  Emotional dysregulation is genetic to some extent, but more as a predisposition to or a tendency or a weakness.

This is easy to prove anecdotally.  Many nons experience the borderline in highly dysregulated rage in the home, but when the phone rings or the doorbell rings, the borderline can transition instantaneously to calm and loving emotional states and transition back into the rage as soon as the door closes.  Also many recovering low-functioning borderlines in the recovery forums will admit to being able to plan their rage attacks or ride them consciously to their advantage.  

Much of what is reported firsthand from borderlines contradicts the present understanding by the medical community.  

This is very understandable as it as a very rapidly changing field, and really amazing progress is being made in what borderline is about at a very fast rate.  But I feel it is important for nons to remember that the borderline can heal the parts that hurt their partners the most.
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« Reply #56 on: February 20, 2013, 12:40:04 AM »

There's a quite a variety of research areas in respect to BPD.  There are several facets to the disorder including mood lability/affect and behavior in addition to cognitive functioning.  Cognitive functioning is one facet of the disorder where members see a marked difference in thinking patterns.  The other areas of mood/affect and behavior are not to be discounted as major contributing factors in the expression of the disorder.  Research in impaired cognitive functioning is fairly young and could vary by test sample size and other factors including severity of  the illness among participants

Some clinical info on cognitive impairments include the following:

The Psychiatric Clinics of North America2004 Mar;27(1):67-82, viii-ix.

Neuropsychological impairment in borderline personality disorder.

Monarch ES, Saykin AJ, Flashman LA.

Source

The Virtual Reality Treatment Center, 154 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02906, USA. elenamonarch@yahoo.com

Abstract

In spite of accumulating evidence from neurological, neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and, more recently, developmental studies, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is not considered routinely a neurocognitive disorder. A review of the neuropsychological literature shows that the preponderance of BPD studies failed to examine a broad range of cognitive domains and, in particular, have not adequately evaluated attention. Nevertheless, most neuropsychological studies suggest that these patients' cognitive skills are compromised. The authors administered a neuropsychological battery designed to evaluate nine cognitive domains in twelve female inpatients diagnosed with BPD. Relative to a healthy normative group, inpatients with BPD were impaired in seven cognitive domains, with attention-vigilance and verbal learning and memory most pronounced. Neuropsychological performance was significantly related to degree of psychopathology. The authors recommend that clinicians routinely screen BPD patients for cognitive dysfunction and highlight the roles that this important knowledge can have in treatment.

PMID: 15062631 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Development and Psychopathology. 2005 Fall;17(4):1173-96.

Neurocognitive impairment as a moderator in the development of borderline personality disorder.

Judd PH.

Source

University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, Outpatient Psychiatric Services, 92103, USA. pjudd@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by a pervasive instability of interpersonal relationships, affects, self-image, marked impulsivity, dissociation, and paranoia. The cognitive dimension of the disorder has received relatively little attention and is poorly understood. This paper proposes that neurocognitive impairment is a key moderator in the development of BPD and elaborates a possible pathway for the expression of the cognitive domain. Neurocognitive impairment is hypothesized to moderate the relationship between caretaking and insecure disorganized attachment and pathological dissociation in the formation of the disorder contributing to impaired metacognition and a range of cognitive difficulties. The empirical evidence from studies of cognitive processes, brain function, attachment, and dissociation that support this theory are reviewed and discussed. Areas for future research that might verify or refute this theory are suggested.

PMID: 16613436 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Quote from: idea.library.drexel.edu/bitstream/1860/2618/1/2006175355.pdf


Psychiatry Research. 2005 Dec 15;137(3):191-202. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

The neuropsychology of borderline personality disorder: a meta-analysis and review.

Ruocco AC.

Source: Department of Psychology, Drexel University, 245 N. 15th Street, Mail Stop 626, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192, USA. acr32@drexel.edu

Abstract

The neuropsychological profile of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unclear.  Past investigations have produced seemingly inconsistent results of precisely what neuropsychological deficits characterize the patient with BPD.  A meta-analysis of 10 studies was conducted comparing BPD and healthy comparison groups on select neuropsychological measures comprising six domains of functioning: attention, cognitive flexibility, learning and memory, planning, speeded processing, and visuospatial abilities.  BPD participants performed more poorly than controls across all neuropsychological domains, with mean effect sizes (Cohen’s d) ranging from -.29 for cognitive flexibility to -1.43 for planning.  The results suggest that persons with BPD perform more poorly than healthy comparison groups in multiple neurocognitive domains and that these deficits may be more strongly lateralized to the right hemisphere.  Although neuropsychological testing appears to be sensitive to the neurocognitive deficits of BPD, the clinical utility of these results is limited.  Implications of these findings for future neurocognitive investigations of BPD are discussed.



Development and Psychopathology 20 (2008), 341–368, Copyright 2008 Cambridge University Press

A neurocognitive model of borderline personality disorder: Effects of childhood sexual abuse and relationship to adult social attachment disturbance

MICHAEL J. MINZENBERG, JOHN H. POOLE, AND SOPHIA VINOGRADOV

University of California, Sacramento;

University of California, San Francisco; and

San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a paradigmatic disorder of adult attachment, with high rates of antecedent

childhood maltreatment. The neurocognitive correlates of both attachment disturbance and maltreatment are both

presently unknown in BPD. This study evaluated whether dimensional adult attachment disturbance in BPD is related to

specific neurocognitive deficits, and whether childhood maltreatment is related to these dysfunctions. An outpatient BPD

group (n ¼ 43) performed nearly 1 SD below a control group (n ¼ 26) on short-term recall, executive, and intelligence

functions. These deficits were not affected by emotionally charged stimuli. In the BPD group, impaired recall was related

to attachment–anxiety, whereas executive dysfunction was related to attachment–avoidance. Abuse history was correlated

significantly with executive dysfunction and at a trend level with impaired recall. Neurocognitive deficits and abuse

history exhibited both independent and interactive effects on adult attachment disturbance. These results suggest that

(a) BPD patients’ reactivity in attachment relationships is related to temporal–limbic dysfunction, irrespective of the

emotional content of stimuli, (b) BPD patients’ avoidance within attachment relationships may be a relational strategy to

compensate for the emotional consequences of frontal-executive dysregulation, and (c) childhood abuse may contribute to

these neurocognitive deficits but may also exert effects on adult attachment disturbance that is both independent and

interacting with neurocognitive dysfunction.

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« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2013, 05:31:14 PM »

Here is an article from January 2013:

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115101427.htm

The most hopeful thing for me is the reference to the goal of all this research - to find better treatments for the ones we love that so struggle with BPD. Plus ways that I can develop my own knowledge to be in a more therapeutic relationship with my BPDDD26 hoping to trigger her ability to become more and more reflective and more open to doing therapy.

The hardest part for me is the economics of treatment - lots of money. lots of time (1-3 years investment in regularly participated in  treatment), and enough well-trained professionals and supervisors/support peers to meet the needs of this 1% - 2% of our population suffering with BPD.

It will take a community effort to see large scale change in all mental illness -- reduction of stigma and discriminatoin, shifting of funding for research and treatment, support for the caregivers willing to continue being invovled with their family and friends with BPD.

I have been struggling (big words, lots of distractions citing references, lots of information to absorb) to read a recently published book that focuses on the 'lack of sense of self' criteria in BPD as primary - the emotinal dysregulation as secondary - and all from a CNS point of view. (Central Nervous System). ":)issociation Model of BPD" by Russell Meares. He also offers a new protocal for therapy that focuses on  restoring 'self' in his book "BPD and the Conversation Model".  His work really parallels the skills that are working in my home to make things better (and my D26 refuses therapy - it is too unsafe yet for her, IMHO). These include Validation, values-based boundaries that take care of my and my home, Radical Acceptance, mindfulness...     By living these principles to the best of my ability I am seeing imporvements in all my relatiionships, even with my DD.

I am very passinate about the validity of the brain based research and look forward to changes in treatments. Now to find the resources to make them availavble to the broader population - patients, family/friend, community (neighborhood, schools,...   )

qcr  

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« Reply #58 on: April 27, 2013, 12:27:05 AM »

I used to think it was a controlled thing, but I am no longer clear on who is controlling the controls.  In our house the switches are harsh enough to have names (the kids and I named them) for the persona(s).  Mrs. Somewhere's voice, affect, stance, and even clothes change to match them.  She even has blanks about what she has said between them.

There is some excellent "wetware" brain research cited in this outstanding thread.  We (Mrs. Somewhere, that is) has an open offer for "free" (research) fMRI Brain Scans due to her eating disorder(s) and history of other related behaviors.

After the University figured out we have some knowledge of the topic, they have agreed to do wider area scans and adjust the protocols to catch more areas and behaviors.  Basically anything we ask for.  Mrs. Somewhere is none-too-happy about any of it.

I am reluctant to get involved due to boundary and family issues, but at this point I mostly want to help our 8 year old son, who has some early markers of BPD.  Great kid, kind, very (very, very) smart -- but has total dyregulation from time-to-time.  So I am looking at getting back into this field (EE, used to do Neural Implant studies), just to try to make help available for him, when and if the time comes.

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« Reply #59 on: April 27, 2013, 12:39:48 AM »

Here is an article from January 2013:

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115101427.htm

The most hopeful thing for me is the reference to the goal of all this research - to find better treatments for the ones we love that so struggle with BPD. Plus ways that I can develop my own knowledge to be in a more therapeutic relationship with my BPDDD26 hoping to trigger her ability to become more and more reflective and more open to doing therapy.

The hardest part for me is the economics of treatment - lots of money. lots of time (1-3 years investment in regularly participated in  treatment), and enough well-trained professionals and supervisors/support peers to meet the needs of this 1% - 2% of our population suffering with BPD.

It will take a community effort to see large scale change in all mental illness -- reduction of stigma and discriminatoin, shifting of funding for research and treatment, support for the caregivers willing to continue being invovled with their family and friends with BPD.

I have been struggling (big words, lots of distractions citing references, lots of information to absorb) to read a recently published book that focuses on the 'lack of sense of self' criteria in BPD as primary - the emotinal dysregulation as secondary - and all from a CNS point of view. (Central Nervous System). ":)issociation Model of BPD" by Russell Meares. He also offers a new protocal for therapy that focuses on  restoring 'self' in his book "BPD and the Conversation Model".  His work really parallels the skills that are working in my home to make things better (and my D26 refuses therapy - it is too unsafe yet for her, IMHO). These include Validation, values-based boundaries that take care of my and my home, Radical Acceptance, mindfulness...       By living these principles to the best of my ability I am seeing imporvements in all my relatiionships, even with my DD.

I am very passinate about the validity of the brain based research and look forward to changes in treatments. Now to find the resources to make them availavble to the broader population - patients, family/friend, community (neighborhood, schools,...     )

qcr  

You are quite a Mom.  Super Job.

Agree on the wetware research and you seem to have a Very Good Understanding.  From some other end with Autism Study, I am almost expecting to see this become the other end of the same problem.  (Autism being hypo-connected, hypo-activity and BPD being hyper-connected, hyper-activity).

Unfortunately, you are also about a decade (or more) ahead of much of the would-be treatment community.  Or I guess I should say treatment industry.

There is a lot of stopped-learning-once-started practice folks who have absolutely no knowledge of these aspects of the topics, but continue to hack along on what they "learned" 20 or 30 years ago in school.
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« Reply #60 on: April 27, 2013, 12:54:34 PM »

You are quite a Mom.  Super Job.

Thanks - do not feel so successful the past couple weeks - lost contact with my mindfulness skills . Appreciate all the validation I get.
Excerpt
Agree on the wetware research and you seem to have a Very Good Understanding.  From some other end with Autism Study, I am almost expecting to see this become the other end of the same problem.  (Autism being hypo-connected, hypo-activity and BPD being hyper-connected, hyper-activity).

Unfortunately, you are also about a decade (or more) ahead of much of the would-be treatment community.  Or I guess I should say treatment industry.

There is a lot of stopped-learning-once-started practice folks who have absolutely no knowledge of these aspects of the topics, but continue to hack along on what they "learned" 20 or 30 years ago in school.

Maybe the changes have to come from a grass-roots community effort of caregivers that are now educating themselves, and you and I are. We have to be willing to become vulnerable and demand the services that our individual struggling loved ones need to find a fit into this community. The technology shift from agriculture and industrial has left so many outside the community they require to exist. So I sadly agree - it is probably going to take years - a decade - to see these efforts evolve.

The more we demand training and supervisory support of the professionals working with mental illness, the faster this will unfold. If we refuse to access and pay inadequately trained and supported therapists or clinics, their funding will dry up and they will disappear or change. This information is readily becoming accessible online, at conferences, at continuing education in the licensing process. I guess some political action on the licensing side would be helpful too.

Where do you all see this happening? How can we find our niche to help it along -- and have enough energy left to cope with our families? We need supervisory support too Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

qcr
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« Reply #61 on: April 27, 2013, 12:58:46 PM »

I think I need to get more involved with NES-BPD in some way in my community. Not sure where to find what I can do, here is the website.

www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/

Lots of info here to checkout.

qcr
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« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2013, 01:06:39 PM »

I am now best guessing that any practical solution(s) will come from outside the "helping" industries.

Stuff like this >>

www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2013/04/02.aspx
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« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2013, 09:07:01 PM »

Somewhere - the research data from all sources is important to meet many different needs. My peek at this web article is their research aims are very broad. It will take some focus from researchers in the interpersonal/psychological fields to apply the research to treatments for individuals.

My comments are most pointed toward encouraging those in the field for many years to stay current with new knowledge -- keep their treatment plans on best available paths.

Example: a professional making a blanket statement that all PD's come from childhood abuse or that it is all the parents fault.

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« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2013, 08:49:01 PM »

Looking at the criteria for BPD would help answer your question yes.

This may help The Symptoms and Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder [NEW]

Understanding a person with BPD is disordered, with the emotional maturity of a 4 year old roughly. Imagine a 4 year old not comprehending  more mature situations and you can easily see how difficult this disorder could possibly be for them. Then you add in our misunderstandings of the disorder and not knowing how to communicate with a person with BPD and you have a recipe for a lot of hurt, on both sides.

For more in depth detail:

How a Borderline Personality Disorder Love Relationship Evolves
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« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2013, 08:14:03 PM »

In my very honest opinion, labels can be as useless as they can be useful.

It all boils down to, ":)ifferent people behave differently, 'clinically disordered' or not, and different people get along differently with different people."

Even if someone DOESN'T have the BPD tag, they can still be a 'BACON' and they can still keep showing that 'BACON' self and they can still keep displaying certain behavioral traits that are incompatible with you.

Voluntarily behaving in a disordered way or not, the fact remains that communication (and lifestyle, and whatever) wise, there is incompatibility.  Period.  And it is up to you to make a choice as to how to deal with it.

Without labels, if someone is displaying certain behaviors and keeps on lashing out inappropriately and with no self-awareness and a certain level of accountability (like, getting help or being open to getting help) and refuses to reach out towards self-awareness and a certain level of accountability (agreeing to do counseling), I will not tolerate it past a certain point.

Even if they got a 'clean bill of health' from a therapist that said, 'they do not have any PDs!' I still would not tolerate it past a certain point.

Why?

Because boundaries are boundaries and mutual respect is mutual respect and EITHER a consistent and aware breaking of either OR a consistent and un-aware breaking of either with no hope of awareness and healthy communication ARE deal-breakers.

They could be a 'BACON', they could be a 'HAM', they could be a 'BROCCOLI' or a 'BRUSSEL SPROUT'...   but if they are displaying certain behaviors that would otherwise be considered disordered if not for the labels of bacon, ham, or what-have-you...  

They simply ARE displaying certain behaviors.
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GreenMango
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« Reply #66 on: May 14, 2013, 01:38:14 AM »

BPD is a longstanding and pervasive pattern of instability in thoughts, behavior and emotions that affects a persons interpersonal relationships and general ability to cope and function in a pro-social way.  The degree depends on the individual.

Here's a little bit on BPD: What is it? How can I tell?
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« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2013, 08:18:48 AM »

Alot of people can check of on BPD trait categories and not be considered personsality disordered. The two categories that most non personality disordered individuals would not would not be able to check off on are either IDENTITY DISTURBANCE (a feeling of not knowing who you are) OR INSTABILITY WITH SELF DIRECTION ( goals, career plans, and values). This is according to the DSM IV revised 2011. Not just any old jerk, or emotionally reactive person has an personality disorder. 

But, really in my opinion, I agree with the previous poster, there are other things that show clear indicators of a personality disorder which aren't even on the list! Those things being, remarkable projection, splitting (one day they love you, the next your evil) pulling and pushing, high sensitivity to rejection, intimacy fears, all very indicative of a BPD in my opinion. I also believe the lack of identity is a big one. I don't necessarily percieve an instability with self direction alone to be indicative of a personality disordered person as there are lots of people who have difficulty with self direction who are not personality disordered.
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« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2013, 03:56:42 PM »

Poor coping skills are not indicative to BPD alone.  Things like projection, splitting, etc aren't specific to people with BPD.  They can present on occasion in almost anyone.  Coping skills come in different forms appraisal focused, problem solving, or emotion focused. (Wikipedia has a pretty good synopsis of the them here www.en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coping_(psychology) ). When people talk about BPD behavior and the more defensive coping skills, it's when it's the standard life skill set not necessarily the exception.  So partners, parents, children see it repeatedly. 

People that struggle with BPD or traits its longstanding pattern of those criteria with deficits (a 2 or above impairment on the scale pretty consistently) in at least one of the self - self direction and identity - and at least one in interpersonal - empathy and intimacy - along with the other parts of the criteria like mood lability, hostility, etc.  And it's the severity of how these present.  The scale is 0 for healthy to 4 for severely impaired.   

It is combination of factors.   It can't just be lack of self direction alone, that doesn't make for a person meeting BPD criteria.  It's a difficult thing for professionals to diagnose, it takes time to see these things and rule out other things.

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« Reply #69 on: May 25, 2013, 10:50:36 AM »

Wouldn't it be great if we could get a 'picture' of the status at birth of each child's temperament and then tuck a little manual about best practices for providind a validating, loving environment for each one? With a page about their match to each caregiver/parents develpmental place? This would be magical thinking of course.

There is an abundance of information - how to get it to those least likely to have access, to those least likely to have acceptance of being told what to do.

It is a very complex developmental story for each of us. Those of us here are willing to do the work to improve ourselves and learn new ways to connect with difficult people. What are some ideas about how we can model this for others we touch with our lives?

qcr
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« Reply #70 on: May 25, 2013, 07:04:52 PM »

Who would Choose to act Crazy? BPD Is Not Choosen Its a horrible Mental Illness that People develop from Horrible Up bringings and being mis treated when they are younger...   I know its not a choice if it was then I don't think my DBPDH would continue to cry for help and try as hard as he does to be normal for once...  He hates that he deals with this every day...  It kills him inside. It SUCKS. And often people with BPD are just thrown on the back burner...  To difficult to treat many say...  Or made out to be monsters...  I honestly think they need a Solid support system behind them. Not people who back their thoughts up by basically running from them or saying they are horrible, When in my husbands case he has not one good thing to say about himself...  Why add to the negitive thoughts? Continue the positive I find it helps to reasure him that he does have some good about him and hes not useless and hopeless.

Just my opinion...  

My daughter had neither a horrible upbringing nor was she ever mistreated as a child, so I struggle even more to understand why she has this illness. 

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« Reply #71 on: May 26, 2013, 01:09:22 PM »

My daughter had neither a horrible upbringing nor was she ever mistreated as a child, so I struggle even more to understand why she has this illness.  

Science is still struggling to figure out the etiology. I believe the current theory is that it is a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

If so, that would likely mean that any number of possible percentages could occur ...  1%/99%, 40%/50%, who knows?

In his book about depression - another mental illness where they are trying to figure out the etiology - Perter Kramer talks about resilience. Someone with a high intrinsic (i.e. genetic) resilience can bounce back from X amount of stress. Someone with low resilience can't. So "is it the stress, or the genetics?" isn't a yes/no question.

Nobody has zero stress in their upbringing (or adult life). Everyone experiences some invalidation, disappointment, loss, separation, pain. It's unavoidable. How we react to it - how we even can react to it - is largely affected by our genetics.
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« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2013, 06:19:42 AM »

In his book about depression - another mental illness where they are trying to figure out the etiology - Perter Kramer talks about resilience. Someone with a high intrinsic (i.e. genetic) resilience can bounce back from X amount of stress. Someone with low resilience can't. So "is it the stress, or the genetics?" isn't a yes/no question.

Sorry, that's Peter Kramer - not "Perter" Kramer 
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« Reply #73 on: September 08, 2014, 09:03:13 PM »

It's a mental illness. 

//Mental Illness implies somewhat psychotic or non reality or simply paranoia type of mindset... too harsh a term?//

No, that's not what mental illness means.  That's the incorrect social stigma.  Depression is a mental illness.  You do NOT have to be psychotic ("crazy" to have a mental illness.
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« Reply #74 on: September 08, 2014, 09:05:26 PM »

My daughter had neither a horrible upbringing nor was she ever mistreated as a child, so I struggle even more to understand why she has this illness.  

I don't think BPD comes from life experiences.  I think it because of the brain not being "wired correctly".  Just as mood disorders are from the same thing or an imbalance of neurotransmitters. Now, your life experiences can certainly make things better or worse, but I don't think they are the underlying cause.
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« Reply #75 on: September 09, 2014, 11:19:24 AM »

This is similar to experiencing that some kids are more resilient than others, really from birth. Snuggle, get on routine better, have similar experiences-process them with 'regular' parenting responses-move on. Less resilient kids seem to have a built in resistance to comfort. They perceive things at a higher emotional level and need a much deeper calming response from their caregivers to process the perceived 'trauma', integrate it into their life story and move on. Sometimes no matter how good the caregiver is with these loving skills, the 'normal' experiences can be processed in an out-of-balance brain as trauma.

There is so much new info from neuroscience research being published in the past few years. It is now being integrated into other publications in fields like education and psychology. It verifies the positive results of some existing theories and methods; it invalidates others. It is a very exciting time of hope for our kids and for our families. The other hopeful thing is the brain has flexibility to change (plasticity).

The tools and skills on bpdfamily.com fit in the 'verified' side of neuroscience from what I have studied. The hope I have is very real, even though my DD is 28 and currently in jail. As I let go of my judging attitudes and practice validation and unconditional love for her our relationship has improved. She is beginning to accept her part in where she is in her life - accepting responsibility gives her the power to change from the inside out.

qcr
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