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Monday, April 8, 2019

Borderline Personality Disorder w/ video: Impulsive Behavior, Intense Anger, Emotional Swings

Borderline personality disorder- Understanding yourself or a BPD

I love talking about personality disorders because by talking and researching we can bring more awareness to them and allow people to live happier lives. So many people, unfortunately, have them, and if they were aware they may have better control and avoid triggers. I say that it's unfortunate because they are definitely no walk in the park for the person who has one, or for someone on the receiving end of their emotional rollercoaster. I am going to continue on with  Cluster B Personality Disorders- Borderline Personality Disorder.

**Cluster B =  antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Many times this disorder is mistaken or confused with Bipolar or even Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But they are oh! so different!

                                                      ( I do not own any of these photos)

Do you relate to these symptoms? Or do they sound like someone you know? If so, read on:

1. Explosive Anger
2. Emotional Swings
3. Black and White thinking ( All good or all bad)
4. Fear of abandonment or being left alone
5. Impulsive Behavior
6.  Feelings of emptiness or being lonely
7. Unstable relationships 
8. Unclear or Unstable self-image
9. Under intense stress - May hear voices, have paranoia, delusional.

Here is also an example from our Borderline Personality Community to better help us understand.

Story Example
For instance, someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder sends you a text message while you are at work. You see the message (or not) and decide to text them back later; no big deal. Wrong! 

For the person with BPD, they are already overthinking this. (Self-loathing, poor self-image, and different emotions are already swirling.) 

Now, don't get me wrong, we all wonder why a person hasn't gotten back to us right away from time to time. But, these feelings are much more intense and very different. The BPD has already come up with scenarios in their mind on what is happening. The underlying problem stems from the "perceived" fear of abandonment. 

Let's move forward to later in the day when you decide to text or call them back. If you are in a relationship with this person or if they are a family member you may end up seeing more of the behavior. 

You call them back and they are upset with you for not responding right away. You explain that you were at work and apologize. At this point, the BPD has already made up their mind about you and thought about everything they "think" has happened. You are no longer good, but bad. (Black and white thinking).  

If you are on the receiving end of this you feel perplexed. You are thinking what just happened here? The BPD hangs up on you and says they don't want to speak to you anymore. You think about how you were so close with this person just this morning, before the text message, and wonder how it went from love to extreme hate. You aren't even sure what you did wrong. They offer no real explanation. This emotional rollercoaster is just the beginning if this is a new friendship or relationship. 

What the Borderline is thinking

If you are the BPD you are thinking about the perceived threat of abandonment and how the person didn't want to talk to you. You may also be thinking about the "little" things they have done in the past, that you perceived as bad or neglectful, and now you hate them for what they are doing to you. And you really hate them. It doesn't matter to you that they are always good to you and how you were getting along really great before this text message fiasco. 

In fact, if you are the BPD it's almost like all that good stuff never happened at all... any of it. Your intense hate for this person has overtaken you. You also feel very low and that may be the reason you are feeling like you hate this person so bad. You don't understand what you have done to them that is so bad that this person is doing this to you.

So, as you can see this situation is bad for both people involved. This rollercoaster can go on and on; especially if the one with BPD doesn't acknowledge they have this problem. To the one on the receiving end, it can be very traumatic, too. Identifying this disorder is the first step to recovery for the person and for the loved ones that are along for the ride. 

Days go by and you finally hear back from BPD friend. They are acting as if nothing has ever happened and they want to make sure you guys are still going to the movies on Friday. 

This is typical behavior of the Borderline- Good- Bad - Love- Hate.

When the Borderline is in an episode, such as the one listed above, they may also feel nothing is going right in their life, everyone hates them, or people are out to get them. It's very individualistic and varies from person to person.

You may or may not realize that the person with BPD has a fear of abandonment. But, if you pay attention and think about it, you will see that this is their biggest fear and the basis of their personality disorder, skewed way of thinking, incorrect perceptions, outbursts, anxiety, depression, and problems in relationships. It is actually very sad. It is also sad for the person/people that are dealing with a friend/spouse/family member with this disorder. Treatment is needed for everyone involved.

Let's talk about the why
Science tells us there is a genetic component, but there is a huge environmental influence on whether or not someone gets Borderline Personality Disorder. Most people who get BPD have probably had a rough childhood.  Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse is the reason for most with BPD.  Also, neglectful parent/parents and parent(s) who only show love under certain circumstances seem to be at the forefront of this disorder.  If your parent or caregiver was very critical this can also contribute to the development of this personality disorder. 
If you have a genetic predisposition for this disorder and you have/had parents or caregivers that were neglectful, ambivalent, had certain mental illnesses, or just had a very traumatic childhood, your odds of developing this disorder are much stronger. 
This is where the abandonment fear comes from. 

** An invalidating environment is bad for any child and is abuse**

What do you do if this is you or you are dealing with BPD?

First, recognize there is not one thing that works for everyone. There is no exact medication to treat this; although there are medications to treat some of the symptoms (anxiety, depression).  This is a way of thinking that must be changed.
 Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)+ CBT offers hope for those with BPD.

Here is a video with a great explanation:
Dr. Ramani Durvasula
Credit: MedCircle

Possible Prevention
1. Give children a loving environment
2. Remember it is not your child's job to make you, the parent, feel emotionally whole. Do not use children as emotional or health support.
3.Love your child without constant critique
4. Do not physically or verbally abuse
5. Speak to your child and listen when they speak
6. If you have mental health problems seek treatment

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