Borderline Personality Disorder Source:PubMed Health
People with borderline personality disorder often have difficulties controlling their emotions and impulses, and find it hard to keep relationships. They can experience feelings of emptiness, suffer quick changes in mood and they may harm themselves. Problems coping with abandonment and a rapidly changing view of other people can form part of their difficulties. All of these things make it hard for them to engage with any treatment they may be offered. Those who are able to engage often find it hard to stick with the treatment and leave before the end.
People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity. As a result, their interests and values may change rapidly.
People with BPD also tend to see things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. Their views of other people may change quickly. A person who is looked up to one day may be looked down on the next day. These suddenly shifting feelings often lead to intense and unstable relationships.
Other symptoms of BPD include:
• Fear of being abandoned
• Feelings of emptiness and boredom
• Frequent displays of inappropriate anger
• Impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting
• Intolerance of being alone
• Repeated crises and acts of self-injury, such as wrist cutting or overdosing
Women who present with these symptoms are often referred to and characterized as crazy b****es. Men get characterized as abusive stalkers. All get treated as if they are social lepers and personas non grata. I know this because this is what living with Jerry has been like for the majority of the past 17 years.
I’m a crazy woman of the cyclical depressive, self-sabotaging, co-dependent, crisis junkie variety, who has brief and usually very minor manic peaks. The perfect life mate to a man with undiagnosed and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder. We are a match made in the DSM IV.
It makes a whole lot of sense that someone who is dissociated and disconnected with difficultly forming healthy attachments and bonding would be attracted to someone who is unnaturally clingy with abandonment issues and zero tolerance for being alone.
It meant he was the one doing all the emotional work in our relationship and the one with the overt behavior issues. I could be the heroic single-mom “making good” being victimized and dragged down by the big, bad, DV abuser. We were both just replaying the adult versions of our childhood roles.
PubMed Health: Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unknown. Genetic, family, and social factors are thought to play roles.
Risk factors for BPD include:
• Abandonment in childhood or adolescence
• Disrupted family life
• Poor communication in the family
• Sexual abuse
Based on that list and some of my own personal history, I probably fall somewhere on the BPD spectrum myself.
Many people consider risk factors for people diagnosed with behavior and personality disorders to be mere excuses for people who don’t care about anyone other than themselves. So they turn away from them, ostracize and vilify them. All very easy things to do if you’ve been flattened by their personality tornado or psychologically and emotionally gutted by desperate grasping interspersed with their porcupine offensiveness.
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to distance yourself and those in your care from someone like this. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your loved ones, but, please try to do it with compassion, understanding, and forgiveness because more than likely the one who harmed you is hurting tremendously living with the knowledge he or she caused you pain and pushed you away, against his or her own inclination and will.
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