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militant baker: the truth behind borderline personality disorder


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blog excerpt:
"Common misconceptions are as follows: 1.) BPD is rare. It's not. It has been diagnosed in one person out of every 50. I believe it's more than that, but until we take the "scary" out of mental illness, people can't seek the help they need. But that's another diatribe for another day. 2.) There is a myth that it's "un-curable". That is also false. I stay away from the concept of "curing" anything because it doesn't really ever apply... ever, but I suppose it should be noted that there are a lot of really successful solutions that improve and help heal the lives of those who experience these symptoms. 3.) Common thought is that those with BPD are attention seeking, relationship destroying, manipulative assholes. Yeah, no. We struggle with emotional regulation more than others but if you take the simplistic approach that we are just trying to ruin everyone's life, I'll slap you. And not because of my issues, but because you deserve it. 4.) Those who are unfamiliar with BPD tend to confuse it with "Multiple Personality Disorder" (which is now called Disassociative Identity Disorder) but those are nothing alike. And 5.) people believe that only women develop this, when in actuality it comes down to the simple fact that men are socially pressured to refuse help when it comes to emotional imbalance. BPD is grossly under-diagnosed, and sadly the consequences of this mean that many are not getting the support they need. Legitimate sad face."

 

whole blog post here.

 

what do you think? did you find it helpful?

 

i'm with jess (the militant baker) in regards to the suicidal part - hells knows i've been there, and i just hate it, and find it incredibly hard to just "sit with it".

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Now, feel free to take what I have to say with a grain of salt, but from my DID'd perspective, this explains why sometimes people think that I'd be manipulative, attention seeking, and destructive. I am none of those things. I didn't know that I was so lumped in with this, though. It makes me sad.

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I would add the word 'intentionally' to number 3. You might not want to be those things. However, that doesn't mean that some of you don't do those things, or that your behavior doesn't have that effect on others. For instance, I don't want my depression to drive others to despair, and I don't want to be self-centered (I'm bipolar 2). But if I'm being honest with myself, my illness has that effect on others. 

 

We could say the same thing about sociopaths (they probably don't realize that their manipulative, shitty behavior ruins others' trust in humanity at large, but it does), anorexics (I doubt they want to destroy the relationship otherwise healthy people might have with food and their bodies, but they do), or even narcissists (it's unlikely that they want other people to feel like cardboard cutouts who feel ignored and develop a diminished sense of self-esteem, but they do).

 

The problem with mental illness isn't just that it locks you in a room where you can't find the door (or in the case with many personality disorders, you're not even aware that you're in a room; you fool yourself into thinking that you're outside). The problem is, you don't see how your illness feeds itself by taking others hostage and trying to lock them in with you, until they finally escape with mild to critical festering bite marks from when your illness tried to eat them alive.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One other thing. I sincerely doubt that most people with BPD are evil bastards. That's just silly.  And I think all mild - intermediate on the spectrum mental illnesses will eventually be curable, whatever that means. But it does take a lot of work, and a lot of workarounds. While I think personality disorders can be especially tenacious, that doesn't mean there's no hope or that people with them should be written off. But I'm also reminded of a friend in college who was blind, and who frequently took advantage of sighted people's patronizing naiveté regarding her supposed helplessness. It's easy to want to get away with abominable behavior when people expect you to behave abominably, and I think that's why there are people with diagnosed personality disorders who act certain ways (ditto for mood disorders such as my own).

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It makes me sad how much time still has to be spent on the whole 'people with BPD aren't evil' thing.

Sometimes I feel like focusing the debate on it keeps public opinion with the feeling that we might be. I would like to get past the myth busting and into campaigning for better care and talking about how good the prognosis for recovery is. It is not that stigma busting isn't important, just that hearing the 'people with BPD aren't really evil!' repeated so much kinda makes me feel like that shouldn't amaze people like it does.

For the record, I haven't acted in abominable ways. I have made mistakes driven by my intense emotions and I have hurt people. But I am surrounded by family and long term friends. I have always got on with people. I had to learn to communicate, having a way to label and feel my emotions helped. If anything, BPD has made me too loyal in the face of abuse, people pleasing, conflict avoidant, struggle to say no, very critical of my ethics, perfectionistic. I don't know why people with BPD are portrayed as machivellian attention seekers, the blog isn't saying anything revolutionary by saying that.

Most of all, while appreciating the support, I would like people to stop trying to comfort me by explaining or making assumptions about how BPD makes me behave. It is as ignorant as assuming all people with bipolar are geniuses or all schizophrenics are violent. It is a subtler form of stigma. Every person with BPD is a unique person, if you want to stand with us, come ask is why we do what we do. The answer may surprise you.

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And I was all to painfully aware of the suffering my BPD caused others. I was working in therapy to change it. But having BPD means more empathy (agonizing empathy) and a tendency to being over sensitive and assume too much responsibility for others. It is an intense swamp of emotions, but with a horrible insight.

I think making up theories about other people when you have no personal experience is unhelpful. You want to help? Close your mouth and open your ears to what we have to say.

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Generally, when I'm trying to listen to and understand someone's point of view and then they threaten to hit me, its then that I either discount their point of view or I start to see them as a physical threat.

 

It's called hyperbole.  This being the internet, it's a small place so you've probably not run into the word before.

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Generally, when I'm trying to listen to and understand someone's point of view and then they threaten to hit me, its then that I either discount their point of view or I start to see them as a physical threat.

 

It's called hyperbole.  This being the internet, it's a small place so you've probably not run into the word before.

 

 

 

So if I was in a heated, emotional, thread trying to explain myself and someone said something I didn't like and I told them that if they said it again I would hit them and how I would be right in doing so because they deserved it because of what they said, the staff here at CB would be cool with that?

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Generally, when I'm trying to listen to and understand someone's point of view and then they threaten to hit me, its then that I either discount their point of view or I start to see them as a physical threat.

It's called hyperbole.  This being the internet, it's a small place so you've probably not run into the word before.

 

So if I was in a heated, emotional, thread trying to explain myself and someone said something I didn't like and I told them that if they said it again I would hit them and how I would be right in doing so because they deserved it because of what they said, the staff here at CB would be cool with that?

 

The original sentence you're referring to is a quote. It was excerpted off a blog post about a specific subject that's relevant to the boards.  It wasn't written by cipher; they linked to it and explicitly noted that they had quoted it. 

Any threat that was made within the quote was indirect specifically because of a) the nature of the blog format and b) the fact that there were no names named, no exact parties addressed other than a general you; therefore it's meant facetiously towards the general audience of a blog. A blog post in many respects is like a speech, or a newspaper column: one to many communication.

As opposed to your hypothetical : making a threat against a specific user in a direct back-and-forth here on the boards would be a one-to-one communication in which you would definitely be acting like a bigger asshole than the mods.

 

No, I don't think we'd be cool with it, because you're conflating two entirely different situations.  But then again, what do I know.  You're welcome to try it and find out!

Edited by saveyoursanity
I de-nested the quotes because I'm a giver.
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I don't understand why you won't come out openly and say that espousing violence against people who disagree with you is a bad thing.  There is nothing complicated about it, no need to qualify it, put it in perspective, or try to explain it. Just say it with me, "threatening bodily harm against those who oppose or don't agree with you is not a good thing.  Also, people do not deserve to be threatened physically for not agreeing with other people."

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Really?  We're here now, where you're claiming that I endorse violence.  I'll go on the record as saying: Yes, violence is bad, mmkay.  Don't slap people you disagree with, kiddies!

 

Since we're discussing this ONLINE, and there was NO ACTUAL WAY the person quoted could have slapped you, I think the bigger bad is the idea of being silenced, of being censored, of being forced to hide what you feel because you can't come up with a way to describe your pain in nice terms or politely.

 

How about you just say it with me:  "It's true that there's a big difference between my saying 'Oh man, I'd just like to slap everyone who disagrees with me' and my saying to a specific person standing in front of me, 'I'm going to slap you right here and right now.'  Context is important,  and it's ridiculous to try to argue that a blog post which was not directed AT anyone was actually seriously threatening violence towards anyone."

 

Have you been diagnosed with a personality disorder, eldorado?  Or did you just come here to pick out the one sentence you found you could disagree with and make a straw man argument?

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BPD is probably the personality disorder that I least understand and unfortunately the whole attention seeking, relationship destroying, manipulative, "psycho bitch" does seem to be the common view. I'm sure I've read about BPD being some sort of feminine form of Psychopathy, but if I remember rightly there are also high rates of self harm and suicide among those with BPD, which doesn't make you sound like psychopaths. So I don't really know and I suppose that all I can do is to take you as you are and to not judge you by some fucking label.

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I have got to jump in here and say that BPD is not necessarily about attention seeking, being a psycho bitch, etc.  I am not attention seeking (really I'm not) and I just want to survive in life; my fucked up head makes life difficult for me though.  I am the sort of BPD person that feels guilty and would often put others' needs before my own because I thought I wasn't important.  I learnt quickly after a few knocks and getting ripped off financially though! BPD is VERY much like bipolar disorder.  I just finished reading an excellent article online about this and how the lines are very blurry and it is hard to separate the two.  So, think of bipolar and compare it a bit to that.  Also, we all have different personalities/characters, so no two people with one disorder are exactly the same or necessarily exhibit all the same characteristics of said disorders/MIs.  I am not reacting in an offended way here but it has taken me a LONG time to open my mind to what BPD is and realise that those of us with it don't deserve to be made the baddies and we are not necessarily baddies at all - plus often we were basically taught that we were not important and that our feelings were not real or were not acceptable.  If I can find that link comparing BPD to BP I will post it - unless I actually found the link in this site! :) Peace.

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