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CB and perspectives on BPD


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Nature BPD (as vs. nurture BPD) does not go away, but DBT treatment helps hugely in teaching tools for how you respond to the feelings BPD intensifies. It takes a lot of work, but the time and effort lifelong are worth it. It has been said that if people with BPD love the people around them enough, they will have enough motivation to really do the work to try to monitor and adjust behavior impulses. I do not know if that is an accurate statement, but those I know with BPD are able to instantly be on great behavior if the police or someone whose opinion they care about are around, so it seems a reasonable statement.

It may help to know that everyone does DBT work lifelong ... BPD just makes one have to do it more intensively.

Nothing is hopeless - BPD is manageable, and maybe you have the nurture kind (where you act like you have BPD because you learned it from someone else's poor treatment of you in your environment), which may be able to be fully overcome through DBT.

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Nature BPD (as vs. nurture BPD) does not go away, but DBT treatment helps hugely in teaching tools for how you respond to the feelings BPD intensifies. It takes a lot of work, but the time and effort lifelong are worth it. It has been said that if people with BPD love the people around them enough, they will have enough motivation to really do the work to try to monitor and adjust behavior impulses. I do not know if that is an accurate statement, but those I know with BPD are able to instantly be on great behavior if the police or someone whose opinion they care about are around, so it seems a reasonable statement.

It may help to know that everyone does DBT work lifelong ... BPD just makes one have to do it more intensively.

Nothing is hopeless - BPD is manageable, and maybe you have the nurture kind (where you act like you have BPD because you learned it from someone else's poor treatment of you in your environment), which may be able to be fully overcome through DBT.

Hi, do you have any sources for this idea that there are two kinds of BPD, nature and nurture kinds? Marsha Linehan's pioneering work suggests that both brain chemicals and environment interplay. I've got BPD, and am fairly well read about it, I have never come across that idea.

I'd also like to challenge the idea that people with BPD can switch of intense feelings and dysfunctional behaviours when in the presence of someone they love, this has not been true of me at all. People who love someone with BPD may like to assume this would be true, but most BPD behaviours are so entrenched and linked to fear of abandonment, they manifest more, not less, in close relationships. If BPD was something someone could control at whim, then years of therapy wouldn't be needed, surely?

If you can tell me where you got your ideas from, it might help me understand them.

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Nature BPD (as vs. nurture BPD) does not go away, but DBT treatment helps hugely in teaching tools for how you respond to the feelings BPD intensifies. It takes a lot of work, but the time and effort lifelong are worth it. It has been said that if people with BPD love the people around them enough, they will have enough motivation to really do the work to try to monitor and adjust behavior impulses. I do not know if that is an accurate statement, but those I know with BPD are able to instantly be on great behavior if the police or someone whose opinion they care about are around, so it seems a reasonable statement.

It may help to know that everyone does DBT work lifelong ... BPD just makes one have to do it more intensively.

Nothing is hopeless - BPD is manageable, and maybe you have the nurture kind (where you act like you have BPD because you learned it from someone else's poor treatment of you in your environment), which may be able to be fully overcome through DBT.

Hi, do you have any sources for this idea that there are two kinds of BPD, nature and nurture kinds? Marsha Linehan's pioneering work suggests that both brain chemicals and environment interplay. I've got BPD, and am fairly well read about it, I have never come across that idea.

I'd also like to challenge the idea that people with BPD can switch of intense feelings and dysfunctional behaviours when in the presence of someone they love, this has not been true of me at all. People who love someone with BPD may like to assume this would be true, but most BPD behaviours are so entrenched and linked to fear of abandonment, they manifest more, not less, in close relationships. If BPD was something someone could control at whim, then years of therapy wouldn't be needed, surely?

If you can tell me where you got your ideas from, it might help me understand them.

Hi Titiana.

Someone with BPD choosing practice and "self-discipline" is difficult (as it is for most people on the planet!). Loved ones can give someone the reason to do the work. This is written of in some degree in a lot of books on BPD. Understanding the Borderline Mother is a worthwhile, albeit difficult, read - and gives insight into how the person with BPD affects those around him or her. Those with BPD should be wary of picking and choosing what they want to see in texts - this a big problem as well (and increases the severity of the destructive behavior).

There are two primary 'real person' (not book) sources of expert opinion that have stated the 'loved ones as motivation' - the first, a center in Houston, Texas that has a noteworthy program for BPD; the second, a counselor in Seattle, WA who specializes in BPD, as well as PTSD/EMDR. The counselor's quote stuck in memory the most, which was "If borderlines love their children enough, they will do the work and control their behavior." That love of something outside of oneself was, in her experience, the only thing that could give someone with BPD enough motivation to do the inner work. BPD was separated from bipolar in the DSM for a reason - bipolar needs medication, and often people with bipolar also have BPD, but medication does not do anything for the BPD. DBT behavior work (self-awareness, self-checking, self-control, etc.) helps BPD.

The problem that a lot of people with BPD have is that they pick and choose what they want to see in books - and many self-help books cater to this. Focus has to be on continual self-monitoring and working on behavior - "it decreases with age" and "if only I can find the right medication" pull people out of doing the work.

In my experience, and that of the few dozen people I know who deal with someone with BPD, BPD does not get better with age. It gets worse, increasingly so beginning around age 34. The perception that it it improves with age is usually from those with BPD, or is misunderstood by 'experts' doing the evaluating. BPD is really tough, because people with it do not have a sense of their own behavior, and those around them create coping mechanism and find a way to just exit rather than pointlessly engage. Loved ones just get tired of the argument, fill their emotional needs elsewhere, bite their tongues ... or leave, either for short periods or permanently. I would list lots of books, but the general ones listed here support this, as do most available on the subject. There are lots of books and movies available to understand BPD's affect on loved ones - A Child Called It qualifies (though rarely comes up in BPD discussion for some reason), as do movies like Frances (Jessica Lange), Mommie Dearest and Drop Dead Fred (Phoebe Cates).

Regarding 'nurture BPD' (my term) - that is "learned behavior" in a clinical sense. It can be unlearned, if caught early enough. BPD can be passed forward through learned behavior and become hard-wired. So many, who could be helped if someone was aware of the environment they endure, could be worked with earlier - instead, often the BPD parent has a child as "scapegoat" and messages unwellness to counselors and others, so the child is put on medication and demeaned in various ways unnecessarily. I am dealing with that in my niece now - got her out of unhealthy environments, off of unnecessary medication, and in with a healthy counselor who states emphatically that she does not have ADHD, bipolar, or anything more than severe depression due to abusive homes. Even at age 14, it is tough to work that learned behavior out of her, but she is doing so much better every month, healthier and happier. I can only imagine how difficult such work would be for someone of older age undoing learned behavior ... or with BPD, or bipolar ... but difficult is not impossible, and difficult can be done if the work is valued.

I liked tryp's post above a lot. :-)

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msm, I think that your ideas are very interesting, but I think it's also important to remember that as someone who lived through a tough family situation with someone with BPD, and as someone who does not themselves have BPD, you are also, to some extent, in a very biased position about BPD, and you're making a lot of generalizations about what people with BPD think, and why we do the things we do that may not be true.

From the outside, it looks like we're manipulative and lashing out and totally giving our bad behavior free reign. From the inside, it tends to be something different. Often, people with BPD are in horrible emotional pain and literally have no other behaviors to manage it. The people around us are collateral damage, and it's horrible, but it's not as intentional as some people think. The reason DBT works isn't because it convinces us to manage our behavior, it's because it teaches us other things to do to manage the terrible pain inside.

The books that you mention are all also written based on that third party point of view. Have you read any of the books that discuss BPD from the perspective of the person with the illness?

Here's the thing - living with an MI parent who isn't controlling their illness is going to be hell for a kid, no matter what that illness is. It's not unique to BPD. My father has some serious untreated shit, and so did my stepfather. Neither of them had BPD, but they still managed to make my life a special kind of hell for 18 years.

This is a first person site and while that means that we usually ask people without any MI to find somewhere else, it also means that those of us with any particular MI have to tread carefully when we hang out on boards relating to MIs that we don't have, especially those MIs that we have third party experience with. It's easy to let our own pain become a generalization about a whole group, and frankly, I come here to escape the idea that my BPD is somehow more noxious to the people around me than it is to me.

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The books that you mention are all also written based on that third party point of view. Have you read any of the books that discuss BPD from the perspective of the person with the illness?

Hi tryp.

Yes, I have read lots of books and websites written from the BPD perspective. I think it is important to work to see as many perspectives on an issue as one can.

The reading has helped me continue to interact with really damaging family members, in a healthy boundaries way, because I deeply value family. Family is not about "deserving" to be interacted with, and fully walking away is just not right (except in some extreme cases). The reading, family counseling, and whatever all else does not have great impact on those with BPD in my family, but pushing the conversations is deeply helping the children understand their environments and find ways to love the healthier aspects of their parents and family members. Ideally, they will be able to call their BPD and bipolar parents on their stuff, while owning and working on their own stuff, and emerge with healthier boundaries and sense of self than they would without the knowledge and commitment. So, when it comes to being biased, not really - it more like having a balanced view of reality. It would be easier maybe to be biased and leave ... but I am not built that way.

You also wrote this, which I liked a lot:

"The reason DBT works isn't because it convinces us to manage our behavior, it's because it teaches us other things to do to manage the terrible pain inside."

I can say that that describes most people on the planet ... which is why DBT is practiced by 'everyone,' but BPD, for varying reasons, creates a need for more intensive and focused work.

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Well, I have to give you points for doing your research.

Hopefully as more therapies for BPD gain ground, more and more people will get the right treatment and get better. I consider myself lucky to be born in a time when I have treatment options.

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Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I acknowledge the real person quotes as insightful. I'd be wary of presenting it as fact that people with BPD are primarily or only successfully motivated by others to get better. I am mostly recovered, and had to do for me, not anyone else. It's possible to make change for yourself, in fact, I'd argue that change for someone elses sake is never going to last. Love for someone else is a great kickstart, but it's more solid to make changes for yourself, would you not agree? I'm not underestimating the power of the love I have received, but I also think it's possible and every common for people to recover for themselves.

I've never found medication to be a get out clause, it has helped me a lot, though I have bipolar too. I take the approach of combining meds and therapy to help me function better. I think I always knew that a great degree of work would be involved in DBT, I never assumed I would grow out of it. I feel it's a generalisation to assume that people with BPD are looking for a get out clause. The OP, and most of our OP's, seem to be asking for advice on how to work their way out of BPD.

I respect and appreciate your words as a carer (and if I'm reading right, maybe the child of someone with BPD?) but I want to just reiterate that this board is a first person board, it's for people with BPD primarily. I don't want to discourage you from offering your obvious insight and reading to members, but I'm wary of someone new to a diagnosis asking for advice being offered advice by someone who cares for someone BPD. This is just because the experience f a carer (a frustrating and difficult one) can create a bias that I personally feel is unhelpful to OP's with BPD. We try to keep this site first person as much as possible, having people caring for depressives or schizophrenics weighing in on those boards could be similarly destructive.

We are trying to create an environment where people can seek advice about BPD without shame and condemnation. It's hard as someone with BPD to read some of the comments you make about people with BPD (which probably do apply to sufferers some of the time, but not everyone.) The last thing a newly diagnosed person wants is to know how disliked and difficult they are to their loved ones. There is plenty online to that effect, CB is more about helping people access the facts about BPD criteria and treatment. I think it's great that you raised the point on DBT and hard work, which is absolutely right. I just question how helpful or necessary it is to weigh in on what BPD is like for carers when answering first person questions.

I hope I have been able to communicate adequately what I hoped, we value your input but please recognize that as a carer, you have perspectives that are your own experiences and not clinical fact, and that a carers perspective might not always be helpful to these issues.

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I hope I have been able to communicate adequately what I hoped, we value your input but please recognize that as a carer, you have perspectives that are your own experiences and not clinical fact, and that a carers perspective might not always be helpful to these issues.

Thank you Titania.

I think that a carer who communicates with love and commitment is different from what many with BPD experience, and that that has value to those who suffer BPD. A BPD should not be blamed for every problem in a household and should no more stay in an abusive environment than anyone else. I will share that I am one who, starting at a very very young age (thanks to God, and positive family and friend influences), did the hard work to fully flush out learned BPD behavior. First person. That can give tremendous hope to those for whom BPD is not hard wired. I work hard to supply only experiences that are backed by clinical fact, as having solid information is critical for recovery. Balance is the goal - a lot of information out there enables self loathing and/or poor behavior.

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I will share that I am one who, starting at a very very young age (thanks to God, and positive family and friend influences), did the hard work to fully flush out learned BPD behavior. First person. That can give tremendous hope to those for whom BPD is not hard wired.

I don't know your story or what your deal is, but were you ever actually diagnosed with BPD? Because I would argue that if you managed to get rid of it on your own as a child, and if what it consisted of for you was purely a set of behaviors, it was a qualitatively different experience from what most of us would identify as BPD. BPD is way more than behavior. The behavior is only the very surface of what it means to have BPD. BPD is an internal experience, a constellation of symptoms, not an outward pattern, except insofar as the outward pattern is an expression of the inside disturbance. Furthermore, it is not generally diagnosable in children. My pdoc was reluctant to diagnose me at 20. It is also different from PTSD and C-PTSD and other reactions to a traumatic childhood, though it is certainly related.

I know you're trying to help, but I think you need to look at your tone again and really ask yourself if this is relevant to what the OP is going through. Let me tell you, I've heard from a LOT of carers and family and friends and partners about my BPD. We all do. But that's not what CB is. We don't need keepers.

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This is a first person site and while that means that we usually ask people without any MI to find somewhere else, it also means that those of us with any particular MI have to tread carefully when we hang out on boards relating to MIs that we don't have, especially those MIs that we have third party experience with. It's easy to let our own pain become a generalization about a whole group, and frankly, I come here to escape the idea that my BPD is somehow more noxious to the people around me than it is to me.

Yes, as Tryp said, this is a first person site. It is one specifically for the mentally ill, hosted by the mentally ill.

People the world over have words to give the mentally ill, some of them wise, some evil. I don't think anything terrible has gone on this thread, but a main focus has shifted to the opinions of someone without an MI. That is not the purpose of this site.

msm, I appreciate that you have views, but since you do not have a medically recognized mental illness, I respectfully request that you seek out another slice of cyberspace, one for caregivers, one that better suites your needs. Thank you for your consideration and understanding regarding the need for the mentally ill to have our own space.

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Wow, this is a lot of information, I am just trying to sponge it all in. Thanks everyone.

Hi Lilstronger15

Here are the previous posts from various people that you also said thank you to (the CB mods broke it off on their own agenda):

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/44960-cb-and-perspectives-on-bpd/page__p__468744__fromsearch__1#entry468744

Glad everyone's feedback and support are helping!

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