I imagine your feelings must be confusing to him, if you’ve expressed the anger, even if he knows you have BPD. It’s still confusing on an emotional level. I would recommend that you two talk and tell him about the jealousy and explain how this relates to BPD if he is unaware.
It sounds like the current definition of your relationship isn’t working out too well. You need to get a clear idea of (and agree on together) what your relationship is and where boundaries lie. Are you a couple or aren’t you? What does he really think/want? Are you exclusive? Are you friends now, but more later when X happens? Kissing and cuddling as “just friends” may be too difficult to keep you from sliding into wanting a lot more, so there may need to be a stronger limit there if you want to keep it as a strict friendship. But I know how hard it can be to set boundaries when you don’t really want to, so that doesn’t make this easy. Sometimes it takes doing difficult things in order to save an important relationship.
…things (people tell me I’m way too sensitive and I overreact). I found out about BPD over a year ago and tried to ask my doctor at the time about it, but he brushed it off staright away and effectively told be all of my symptoms were due to aspergers (I’m not aspergic, my current doctor has confirmed this) so now I’m terrified of asking my doctor about it when I go back to see her :(
Thanks for this question. There are so many difficulties with being diagnosed with BPD, and dealing with telling your doctor symptoms or having a doctor not believe you is unfortunately all too common.
I’m not 100% clear about what happened with these doctors — you told your previous doctor all those symptoms and he dismissed it as Asperger’s? But you haven’t yet told your current doctor some of the symptoms?
I have to assume that it’s your past experience with telling your doctor that is causing you to be terrified. I think it’s very important that you do tell your doctor about these symptoms, particularly the suicidal ideation and volatile emotions. Do you have a friend or family member you could bring with you for support?
I might suggest that you write down a list of the symptoms, just as you have here, so it’s not quite so daunting for you when you visit the doctor. I actually wrote another post recently that has a lot of tips for what to do when seeing a doctor about a BPD diagnosis. These symptoms all fit with BPD, and your current doctor already dismissed Asperger’s, so that’s a very good sign.
It’s going to take some courage to jump in there again, but many of us have been there with misdiagnoses. There is still a stigma against BPD, and many doctors don’t like to diagnose it. Keep at it!
Best of luck,
Side note: before my BPD diagnosis, for a couple of years I was also thought to have Asperger’s, because I suppressed my emotions, was so physically triggered, seemed to lack empathy, and was distressed at small changes, among other things.
It doesn’t sound like the emotion suppression and lack of empathy are at all the case for you, but it’s a case in point about how confusing mental conditions are and can present themselves with overlapping symptoms, even with conditions that seem like the opposite of BPD. I wonder if this misdiagnosis is at all common among those with BPD?#bpd #borderline personality disorder #diagnosis
Yes, this is something I’ve experienced, and I know it is common in those with Borderline Personality Disorder. It is exactly what can lead to impulsive behaviours, and learning how to deal with those feelings of emptiness and boredom will help you to avoid the impulsiveness.
With BPD, everything is a series of ups and downs, and when things are “in the middle”, they can feel utterly boring. I have both BPD and Bipolar I, and when I started stabilizing on medication I thought I was going to go nuts (ha) because things felt so empty and flat, and I wanted to act out even more.
It’s easy to feel so empty, low, and understimulated that you completely lack the desire to do anything to improve yourself, so you just succumb to going back to bed or an impulsive behaviour. That emptiness is typical for BPD sufferers and still gets me in its grip occasionally. Then I’m facing wasted hours or days or weeks, low mood, and vulnerability to negative emotions.
It’s not like I don’t know there are a million different things I could do with my day: clean up, go for a walk, go to the gym, watch a movie, do work. But instead I just reload Tumblr or get myself emotionally dysregulated.
Are you in therapy, or DBT? Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an extremely valuable toolbox of skills for learning how to:
I find the best thing to do is a small task, a very small task even, especially that will help you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Wipe the counter. Do 10 minutes of homework. Draw a picture. Put clothes in the washer. Don’t worry about the next thing, just do that one thing for a few minutes and see how you feel.
I also found this other great blog post on dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder and boredom that you might find useful.
I understand how much boredom sucks. I hope this helps and I wish you luck on avoiding those impulsive behaviours.
~ Stephanie#bpd #borderline personality disorder #borderline #impulsivity #dbt #dbt skills
This is a controversial question. It’s impossible to speak for all of those with Borderline Personality Disorder, but it’s safe to say that infidelity falls under the impulsivity DSM criterion #4 in particular, and two others:
Anecdotally, you’ll find a lot of people talking on forums and such about those with BPD cheating on their partners. So yes, it’s likely that BPD sufferers do cheat more than the general population. That doesn’t mean everyone with BPD cheats. There is no hard evidence of this either way, so am just making a casual observation.
People with BPD often have an intense need to feel loved and accepted, along with a lot of ups and downs in their relationships. And, when they are feeling abandoned or rejected, they may engage in impulsive or risky behaviors. This means that they might do things without considering the consequences of their actions, just to “feel better” in the short term. Certainly, infidelity could fall into this category.
I can speak to my own situation — I am a serial cheater. I’ve even thought about going to S.L.A.A. meetings (Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous) because the impulsive urge is so strong at times and I’ve had myself wrapped up in external relationships that felt like an addiction. In my previous seven and a half year relationship, I cheated probably ten times… got caught a couple of those times and it was horrible. It does feel embarrassing to admit such an impulsive and damaging behaviour, and I’ve only recently come to terms with it. I also have Bipolar disorder, which makes things complicated since I get hypersexual when I am trending towards mania.
Try not to think of it as manipulation for attention, even though it is easy for us and others to see it that way. We have a mental illness. There is a desperate need to fill that empty void, and cheating can be triggered by the slightest feelings of abandonment. It’s also a distraction from emotional pain. Also the intense feelings we get from new relationships acts exactly like a drug, making it a habit that’s hard to break. The lying is just a consequence of the cheating, but it makes things worse.
Are you in therapy of some kind? Your therapist will have heard it all, and I hope you can find the courage (or maybe already have!) to discuss this with him/her. The cheating won’t go away on its own. It takes hard work to recover, and you need to deal with the root cause of BPD in general in order to address the cheating.
Relationships are probably difficult for you right now and I hope that you can find some peace with this issue in the meantime. Just try to be as honest as you can with your partner in the early stages of flirtation (or whatever it is that starts things rolling). That’s the only thing that’s helped me stay true — being able to say “hey, I flirted a bit too much with so and so and things started heading in that direction, but I did/would like to stop”. That may sound difficult but if your partner knows you struggle with this, the communication is going to be better all around.
~ Stephanie#bpd #borderline personality disorder #borderline #mental illness #relationships #impulsivity
Hi there, and welcome to Tumblr!
Certainly! I’m glad you like ours so much :)
Here are some other excellent Tumblr blogs you might want to follow:
In case that’s not enough, I’ll also throw out another couple of non-Tumblr blogs that are dedicated to Borderline Personality Disorder:
Happy reading, and best wishes to you!
~ Stephanie#bpd #borderline personality disorder #resources
The fact that you are ready to learn tools to handle overwhelming emotions such as sadness is already the first step to mindfulness. Being aware that you are separate from these emotions and not letting them become one with you is very important. Mindfulness doesn’t always just make them “go away”, but more so it allows you to recognize them, and allow them to pass without overly indulging in them, allowing them to spiral, or allowing yourself to act on them in a dangerous or unstable manner. There are a lot of online resources for mindfulness, simply googling “mindfulness techniques” will bring you to a plethora of websites with lots of different tips, techniques and activities.
Sadness can be one of the most powerful emotions, in that in the moment it can feel as if you will feel that way forever and that there is no way out. Isn’t it funny how we can recognize that happiness or excitement is temporary, but its so much harder to recognize the impermanence of negative emotions such as sadness, fear and anger? Understanding that ALL human emotions are temporary, whether it be for a minute, hour or month, is very important in terms of allowing yourself to recognize them but not be overcome by them.
I am someone who analyzes everything and everyone, so for me what works the best is to analyze the root of my sadness and figure out the distortions i am having in my thinking patterns that are leading me to feel the way i am feeling (i explain more about this technique in this post). In doing this I am essentially busting up the thoughts that are feeding my sadness.
Another thing i like to do is get out of the space I’m in. Places like our bed and our room although at times very comforting can also be a bad headspace when feeling overcome by emotion, pushing yourself to take a long walk and not return to your room until you feel more in control of yourself can be a great way to let strong feelings dissolve without an immense amount of effort.
Here are some basic techniques on mindfulness from elsewhere on the internet
In his blog “Difficult Emotions: One Approach You’ll Want to Try,” Dr. Goldstein writes:
In the mindfulness circles the acronym R.A.I.N has floated around to support people in dealing with difficult emotions. It has been found in Tara Brach’s book Radical Acceptance, Jack Kornfield has said it, and you will find it the upcoming Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook that I have co-authored with Bob Stahl, Ph.D (February, 2010). Here is a sneak peek:
“R” is to recognize when a strong emotion is present. “A” is to allow or acknowledge that it is indeed there. “I” is to investigate and bring self-inquiry to the body, feelings, and mind, and “N” is to non-identify with what’s there. This non-identification is very useful in that it helps to deflate the story and cultivates wise understanding in the recognition that the emotion is just another passing mind state and not a definition of who you are. Just like seeing a movie, standing back and watching the actors play out their dramas, by non-identifying with your story and seeing it as impermanent, this will help assist in loosening your own tight grip of identification. Utilizing R.A.I. N. as a practice can help you bring space to be with things as they are and grow in deeper understanding of what drives, underlies or fuels our fears, anger, and sadness.
Turning into our emotions can feel a bit foreign since most of us live in such a pain denying culture. Isn’t it time to begin acknowledging stress, anxiety or pain rather than suppressing, repressing, or all-too-quickly medicating it? Can we learn to view these challenges as a rite of passage instead of running away from them?
Another tip to weave mindfulness into your daily schedule: before work, during lunch, before you walk into your home in the evening, or after you get the kids to bed at night. Writes Goldstein in his post“Stress Got You Down?”:
Creating space to come down from the worried mind and back into the present moment has been shown to be enormously helpful to people. When we are present we have a firmer grasp of all our options and resources which often make us feel better. Next time you find your mind racing with stress, try the acronymS.T.O.P.:
S -Stop what you are doing, put things down for a minute.
T -Take a breath. Breathe normally and naturally and follow your breath coming in and of your nose. You can even say to yourself “in” as you’re breathing in and “out” as you’re breathing out if that helps with concentration.
O -Observe your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You can reflect about what is on your mind and also notice that thoughts are not facts and they are not permanent. If the thought arises that you are inadequate, just notice the thought, let it be, and continue on. Notice any emotions that are there and just name them. Recent research out of UCLA says that just naming your emotions can have a calming effect. Then notice your body. Are you standing or sitting? How is your posture? Any aches and pains.
P - Proceed with something that will support you in the moment. Whether that is talking to a friend or just rubbing your shoulders.
Hope this helps!
<3 Sophia#bpd #borderline personality disorder #mindfulness
I’m glad you’ve got a diagnosis and are coming to terms with what that means for you. I’m sorry there’s such a wait for your DBT program — a year is a long time away!
There is plenty you can do in the meantime, mainly to start working on DBT as a self-study and practice principles of mindfulness in everyday life. On the Resources page, you’ll find several books linked, and self help sites. I would recommend that you pick up one general book on BPD (a “guide”, or a memoir, if that’s more your style), and the official DBT handbook.
The general book will give you a deeper understanding of BPD and may answer some more questions that you have. Are you in individual therapy now? That would also help greatly for understanding your behaviours and remap an understanding of your life. It’s quite daunting to realize that the way you’ve lived life up until now has substantially been driven by a personality disorder, and integrate that into your identity.
The DBT manual contains explanations of the skills and actual homework assignments you can work on now, to the best of your abilities. You can also give yourself homework, like “practice one of each of X skills every day for a week and write them down”. It’s important to write things down to reinforce your learning! It will make you feel like you’re making so much more progress than if you just leave it to your memory. DBTSelfHelp.com is another fantastic resource, although a little hard to navigate… keep poking at it and you’ll find gems, or do a google search to find the skill you’re looking for.
You may also want a book (can you tell I like books?) on mindfulness. If you search on Amazon, you’ll find many. I need to put some of these on the resources page, but I would recommend anything by Jon Kabat-Zinn or Pema Chodron.
Keep reading the support communities, like this one and others on tumblr or wherever you spend your time.
I hope that gives you some resources to draw on, and best of luck to you!
~ Stephanie#bpd #borderline personality disorder #diagnosis #resources #dbt
Thank YOU for existing.
Aw thank you so much! I can’t speak for the other mods, but I do it because it helps my own recovery to help others. I hope we both make a difference and occasionally entertain. xoxo