Defeated. Self-Sabotage. 

In my reflections post about everything that’s been going on with me recently regarding personal and school.  

I feel so defeated…  

Was there a point in writing a letter to the dean or the chair of my concerns? Was there a point in trying to be heard? They talk about the rights of those with disabilities, but are those for the obvious?  

I have several mental illnesses. One of them is Borderline Personality Disorder, which I want to educate you on what that is. I shared my poem, but there’s more to it than that. So much more. There’s a reason I want to be around people who are not judgmental about it. The criticism a person receives from having a mental illness is intense. Don’t sit here and tell me it’s not unless you have a mental illness yourself. If you’ve been open about it without being blamed for just seeking attention or being psycho; Then kudos to you. I applaud you and envy you. Most don’t get that, especially from people outside their family—those who don’t know them.  

Now here’s an introductory on what Borderline Personality is:

 

I have my work cited at the end of this.  

Now that’s the basics of it, and before I bombard you with information on what this disorder is. I want you to understand something; I’m not crazy! 

I feel things more intensely than other people, and people don’t realize that. I can feel things so intensely that I want to feel physical pain to relieve the emotional pain. It distracts me from the emotional pain. I struggle to handle emotional pain. When I feel rejected, shame is invalidated. It’s as though someone is slapping me across the face tenfold but emotionally. It feels like my head is splitting in two at times. It has gotten so intense that I have started hitting my head just to stop the pain. That’s how intense that gets for me.  

I got on medication in 2014, but I was still highly emotionally dysregulated. It wasn’t until I went into IOP DBT that I started to change my actions. That I stopped self-harming all the time when I was emotionally dysregulated, people don’t realize how much I have hurt myself. I will eat and eat until I feel sick or I throw up. I don’t purposely make myself throw up; I just eat until it happens, or I eat until it comes close to happening. That’s why I have a binge eating disorder.  When I don’t take part in that, I starve myself. In high school, I would only eat one meal a day at times. I barely drank water. I have body dysmorphia. I hate the way I look. I think I’m the most hideous thing around. I’m trying to learn to love myself in therapy.  

People don’t realize we don’t do this by choice. Our brain is screaming at us to do it. For me, it becomes a compulsion. That’s why self-harm is considered compulsive. It’s what our brains turn to because that’s what it’s always known to ease the pain when there wasn’t anything else. It’s a security blanket, in a way. Well, that’s how it has been for me.  

So many people make assumptions about a disorder they don’t know anything about. They don’t know what it’s like to be in my head. What it’s like to not have memories of your life because you dissociated so much everything is blank. This isn’t something I choose. This isn’t something I want. If I could stop it, I would, but I can’t. I’m just going through therapy and trying to cope. I’m working, so it doesn’t control my life.  

I don’t mind talking about my mental illnesses, so long as I speak to people who have empathy and compassion. Not sympathy.  

You don’t know the difference between the two, do you? Here is a quote from a character in my fantasy world that I created. But this is the difference between them.  

I wanted to do this post to educate people about this. I want people to understand it’s okay to ask questions on this. Just don’t make assumptions that I’m lazy or a complete bitch because I lash out. I own up to my lashing out. I always have. I know when I’m in the wrong. I just need people around me who are understanding and companionate about this.  

 

Now, if you want a PDF for it in the professional setting to understand what this is. Go here: 

PROFESSIONALS | National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder 

Now I’m going to include a video I did for Communications 101. My final was a speech I did about BPD, its treatments, and what causes it. Here’s that: 

Here’s my poem again: 

Here’s the video again.

Here’s an essay I wrote on BPD when in English 99: 

English 99 

13 August 2019  

Borderline Personality Disorder Can Be Managed 

Borderline personality disorder, also known as BPD, is a mental disorder stemming from childhood trauma. People with BPD have a fear of abandonment, impulsiveness, self-harm, and either trying to commit suicide or considering it. “Suicide attempts are common, and one in ten patients eventually kills himself or herself” (Talan 2). People should always take it seriously when someone talks or even considers the idea of suicide. BPD is an emotional dysregulation disorder, in other words people with BPD have a very hard time regulating their emotions. Especially when they grow up in an invalidating environment. They don’t learn what emotions they’re feeling, so they end up disassociating mentally. Which means they basically check out mentally and aren’t aware of their situations or surroundings. People with BPD can also be impulsive in turn will cause them to act on things without thinking. That includes acting out illicit activities with random people. People with BPD can be found in risky situations without regard of their own safety. People with borderline personality disorder would benefit with psychotherapy and medications.  

BPD is a psychological disorder that can be chaotic if not properly treated or properly diagnosed. It was considered untreatable for a long time and mental health professionals would withhold the diagnosis, believing the patients were better off (Steiner 1). But it has been found people fare better after they receive a proper diagnosis. “…In men, it is often misdiagnosed as depression or PTSD” (Avramchuk 2). “BPD has a high comorbidity…” which means that other mental illnesses can coincide with BPD making it very difficult to diagnose (Avramchuk 5). Clinicians should remember that BPD “…is equally prevalent in men and women, and is heritable” (Nelson 1). Also, with the comorbidity “…complicates medical care compared to other individuals” (Kulacaoglu 1). Clinicians have to take other mental illnesses into consideration when planning treatments.  

Psychotherapy wasn’t found to be able to treat BPD until recently. It wasn’t until the last decade that it has been found to be treatable with dialectical behavior therapy or DBT (Steiner 1).  Marsha Linehan and her colleagues created DBT to help with suicidal patients so they’re able to slow down or stop impulsive behavior (Talan 3). It was through treating these patients they were able to see improvement with patients with BPD. BPD is usually misdiagnosed causing symptoms to appear as other illnesses. It’s only when all the symptoms are pooled together when it is finally seen as BPD. It wasn’t till it was published in the DSM-III that there was a set criteria for what was BPD (Schulz 1). “The new diagnostic strategies were helpful…” (Schulz 1). People were treated with antipsychotics before they were treated with therapy. Medications developed for BPD have been slow (Schulz 1). It wasn’t till recently that people were being treated with psychotherapy. DBT is the most common form of psychotherapy patients are treated with, and that usually lasts twelve months (Steiner 2).  

The main type of psychotherapy used to treat people with BPD is DBT. DBT usually consist of individual therapy, and group meetings where people are taught new skills to better regulate emotions (Arlo 4). It’s in the group meeting that skills are taught the most. The skills taught are put in four categories: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance (Arlo 4). The skills are tracked on a paper known as a diary card that has different skills typed up on to it. The other things tacked on the diary card is if there has been an attempt for someone to commit suicide (diary card). If someone has hurt themselves, used illegal drugs, taken medications as prescribed, and lastly the ups and downs of one’s emotions throughout the day (diary card). What has been tracked on the diary card is shared with a counselor privately, and the skills used throughout the week is shared in group sessions. During which the person is validated for their feelings but also helped with finding solutions to problems (Arlo 3). “Mindfulness practice helps to increase awareness and participation in the here and now and to identify areas of struggle that include tendencies to ruminate, dissociate…” (Arlo 5 & 6). “Patients are accepted as they are while also encouraged to make changes” (Arlo 6). The groups are a place where someone knows they’re not alone in the diagnosis. It helps that “therapists are trained to approach patients nonjudgmentally” (Nelson 3). Therapy is a good way to find a road to recovery, and to help someone educate themselves on the illness.  

Another thing that can help someone with BPD is medications. Though, as stated before it can be difficult to treat especially with the comorbidity of other illnesses clinicians tend to treat the symptoms that the person is feeling. Some of the medications that were used to treat BPD was traditional antipsychotic’s that is used for people with schizophrenia but after so long it became clear that people with BPD couldn’t tolerate even small doses of these medications (Schulz 2). One of the other ones was an antipsychotic quetiapine or known as seroquel (Schulz 3). “…A report the quetuapine reduced symptoms and also improved cognitive measures…” (Schulz 3). In another trial lamotigine an anticonvulsant has also been successful (Schulz 3). Prozac and xanax have been shown to be successful with people who have BPD (Schulz 4). They help to treat the persons depression as well as their anxiety. So, there is no one medication that is specifically for BPD but it has been found medications that target symptoms can be beneficial (Kulacaoglu 5). Having medications can help a mental illness, and it’s no different than taking a medication for the flu. The medications treat the sickness of the mind just like flu medications treat symptoms of the body.   

So, in all treatment can be very beneficial to those suffering with borderline personality disorder. “When an individual understands where their behavior comes from, it can be the key to recovery” (Steiner 4). It helps when the family also learns about the illness so the person with BPD doesn’t feel so alone. Having a network of friends and family that support and try to understand what is going on with that person mentally can be very beneficial. Taking medications can help to ease symptoms to help with the quality of life.  

_____________________________________________________________________________ 

Works Cited 

Arlo, Claudia, MSW, LCSW,I.C.A.D.C., C.G.P. “Group Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy: An Integrative Response to a Clinical Case.” International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, vol. 67, 2017, pp. S13-S23. ProQuesthttps://search.proquest.com/docview/2007102979?accountid=1169, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207284.2016.1218773. 

Avramchuk, Oleksandr, and Oksana Hlyvanska. “Comparative Analysis of Modern Methods of Psychotherapy for Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder.” European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, 2018, pp. 50-61. ProQuesthttps://search.proquest.com/docview/2157782830?accountid=1169, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.24818/ejis.2018.04. 

Kulacaoglu, Filiz, and Samet Kose. “Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): In the Midst of Vulnerability, Chaos, and Awe.” Brain Sciences, vol. 8, no. 11, 2018. ProQuesthttps://search.proquest.com/docview/2231523137?accountid=1169, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8110201. 

Nea.bpd. “BPD OVERVIEW.” National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, 1 Feb. 2014, www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org/what-is-bpd/bpd-overview/

Nelson, Katharine J., M.D., and S. C. Schulz. “Treatment Advances in Borderline Personality Disorder.” Psychiatric Annals, vol. 42, no. 2, 2012, pp. 59-64. ProQuesthttps://search.proquest.com/docview/920382322?accountid=1169, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/00485713-20120124-06. 

Schulz, S. C. “Psychiatric Medication and Borderline Personality Disorder.” Psychiatric Times, vol. 22, no. 8, 2005, pp. 10-13. ProQuesthttps://search.proquest.com/docview/204558764?accountid=1169

Steiner, Andy. “With Her New Nonprofit, Laurice Reed is Taking on Borderline Personality Disorder.” MinnPost.com, Jun 03, 2019ProQuesthttps://search.proquest.com/docview/2234807236?accountid=1169

Talan, Jamie. “People with Borderline Personality Disorder are Finding Help in various Therapies, Brain Research.” McClatchy – Tribune Business News, Mar 06, 2007, pp. 1. ProQuesthttps://search.proquest.com/docview/462643028?accountid=1169

1 Comment

  • mckaylasd0079dea2a
    mckaylasd0079dea2a says:

    I appreciate you shedding light on your experience with BPD and how/what we should try to learn about it. My sister has BPD and it was a not identified until after her suicide attempt because her therapist and medical team did not have enough understanding of the illness.

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