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Borderline Personality Disorder

I ended up quitting another job, but this time I have no regrets. This is the third job that I have had in 4 years... :-( I am tired of such rude and disrespectful people. Everyone is out for themselves and in this last job, I was constantly treated like crap on a daily basis. When I had my psych appointment a few months ago (when I switched jobs initially) I told her that nothing seems to be working anymore. I asked her if she thinks that I have bipolar disorder. She told me that she doesn't think so, because she said that she couldn't see signs of mania in me. Then my psychiatrist said that she thinks I might have signs of Borderline Personality Disorder and she said that I have been through a lot. My psychiatrist put me on Quetiapine and asked me to come back in a month. I was also diagnosed with Unspecified Mood Affective Disorder. I had no clue what that meant, so I researched this. Basically, I have symptoms of mood disorders, but not a specific one that would be a clear cut diagnosis. I was very confused on this. A few months later, after canceling and rescheduling my appointments because of work, I finally left a message for my psych saying that I needed her help due to an unbearable amount of stress and anxiety from work. She called me right away and we talked for a while. My psych said that she really wanted to hep me in any way that she could. A week later, I saw her finally. It was a very bad appointment.

It usually takes my psych a while to get things out of me when I meet with her. It's like pulling teeth. Many times I don't say anything, but she could read me based on my actions. I was so... depressed during the appointment because of that damn job, that I really didn't know what to do. My psychuatrist picked up on it right away and she wanted to make sure that I was safe. Shs kept asking me questions that quite frankly I didn't know how to answer out of fear of being put in the hospital. I was so down in the dumps. I kept saying that I'll be okay even though I wasn't. My psychiatrist said to let her help me and that I have been her patient for 3 years. She also said that I have to be honest with her and to trust her. I kept telling my psychiatrist that she has other patients and is a very busy lady, she said, " I know, but I don't want you going home yet until I know that you are safe." My psychiatrist also put me on Lamotrigine and wanted to admit me to the hospital until the meds kicked in. I kept telling her no and that I will be fine. I am so grateful that she cared about me to leave voicemails on my husband's phone and asking me to even stay in a quiet area by her office while she saw other patients, she even notified the office manager where I was. When my psychiatrist couldn't get a hold of my husband and I promised that I would go straight home and not to take anything (AKA not drink) and to check in when I got home, she was hesitant to let me leave.

My psychiatrist left a voicemail when I got home and she got a hold of my husband later that night. She also wanted to speak to me. I was in bed sulking since I got home from seeing her that day. I was supposed to go to work after my appointment earlier that day, but I really couldn't face it. My psychiatrist wanted to see me in another 3 weeks and she also wanted my husband to come too. 3 weeks later (which happened to be last week), when I told her that I quit my job, my psychiatrist was very concerned about me and the relationship with my husband. My psychiatrist asked me about my husband and his reaction to that news (he was supposed to come with me to this appointment, but couldn't because of the demands from his job). She said that it might be a good idea for him to come in next time and she wants to make sure that I don't spiral downward (like I did before when I left my case management position after working there for 17 months). My psych raised the Lamotrigine and asked me when she will see me next. I said that I would call her. Then, she said that she really would like to see me soon.... how about 3 weeks and I agreed.

I still have been feeling under the weather since then. I applied to another job and went on the interview, however when I called them for an update on Tuesday, they said that they were very interested in me, but they needed to figure some things out first. I really do want this job and hope that they could hire me soon.

After all of this, I started doing research on what my psychiatrist said about me possibly having Borderline Personality Disorder and judging from the criteria, I most likely do... I have been living like this for so long and now it all makes sense.... My next step is figuring out what to do about this... has anyone been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder that has any advice about how to deal with the disorder? Much help would be appreciated.

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I saw a post earlier about BPD but I think it was on the Anxiety and Depression site. I've wondered if I have it as my emotions are so affected by others -- when someone is suffering I feel so much it's like it's my suffering. I take everything personally when it's not meant that way! I am very impulsive and my family say I'm self destructive which I certainly am. I've always been that way I think. I'm not fond of myself either. I also do well in a job for so long and then I lose the plot and resign without another job. I'm sure lots of people on here have BPD and will help. Good luck

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Thank you for your reply to my post. This sounds like me too. It's nice to know that I am not alone in this. Unfortunately, BPD is still undergoing a lot of research and it is still very much a misunderstood diagnosis. Hopefully, we will both find some answers. Take care of yourself, Crazylazy.

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You too - I've never been diagnosed but I've had so much anx and depression in my life over the years I don't think the gp can diagnose such stuff!!! Do you go into great detail about unimportant things? Blame other people for things when you're low? I sound horrible!

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Yes, I do the same thing. I first blame others. I feel horrible about it and then I blame myself. :-( I think we both do have the same thing. I, like you have been like this for years and since I have started seeing the psychiatrist four years ago, I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me, because nothing seems to be helping.

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Are you quite young? I'm 62 now and I've always had this -- my sisters have always thought so. my exhusband said I never learnt my lessons and cared too much about others!!

I don't see a psychiatrist but my cousin thinks I should (she's a psychiatrist in the US) I'm in UK. Did you get meds for the BPD?

I am hopeless with money as I can't plan knowing I'll leave jobs after a time and then I'll make big impulsive purchases. I also yoyo weight wise and always have!! Aaaggghh!!! Take good care

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I am 34. I've always had difficulty controlling my emotions and grew up in a dysfunctional family. My dad died at a young age leaving my mom to raise 5 young children with different personalities. Seeing a psychiatrist has helped me, especially because she seems to know a lot about what I am going through and she truly cares. She tried a bunch of medications with me since I started seeing her (antidepressants). She recently put me on two mood stabilizers and they seem to be helping me relax. I am on Lamotrigine 50 mg and Quetiapine 100 mg. I am also taking Duloxetine 60 mg for depression/anxiety. I definitely recommend seeing a psychiatrist. Especially, since you have been going through this for years. You are definitely not alone. *hugs

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Thank you for your reply. It sounds like you had a tough time and I'm sorry you lost your dad at such a young age. Your psychiatrist is very concerned for you and your safety and that is comforting to hear. I hope the new meds help you -- it sounds like the side effects take some getting used to. I feel quite apprehensive about new meds because of the side effects. Thank you for sharing and I hope this is a good week for you and us all

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Hi Kakee83 I have Borderline personality disorder, along with anxiety and depression. I've been on this site a little bit for the anxiety and depression, but tonight i found your post, when i searched if healthunlocked had a category for Borderline Personality disorder, but they don't, and when i typed it in search, your post came up. I've done years of therapy for it, the specific therapy for BPD is Dialectical Behavior therapy (DBT), and i have improved thru the skills i learned in DBT, , but sometimes i still get so overwhelmed with the intensity of my emotions. right now i'm looking for people who have this, who can relate to what i'm going thru right now, which is, everyone annoys me. i wasn't sure if this is a symptom of BPD so i will ask my counselor when i see her next. i dislike everyone right now, including close friends, i just can't stand anyone. There is a reason why i resent each person - too tired to get into it now. i feel guilty bc i am a Christian and i am supposed to love everyone but right now i feel a lot of what is possibly almost hate, towards them all. i shouldn't resent others so much for their flaws since i am flawed myself, yet here i am just pissed off at everyone. yet i'm lonely -Borderlines can't tolerate being alone and thats part of my problem - i don't have a husband, i live alone and hate it. anyway just wondered if other borderlines find themselves angry at everyone sometimes. hope you're doing better these days and found a good job? did anyone tell you about DBT and do you do it (The therapy for borderlines) ?

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Thanks for writing reinagrace. I have looked through posts relating to BPD too. Unfortunately, not many are out there. I am glad that you found mine. I have heard of DBT, but I am not sure if I have done exercises relating to that. I have done CBT exercises though. My therapist is currently working with me on the root causes of negative behaviors and core beliefs. She wants me to go back to when I was a child, seeing me back then - what did I need? What is going on with me? What am I trying to figure out on my own? What didn't I achieve on my own? She stated that the more I push to do that, the more healing I will have.

I could definitely relate to what you are going thru. Yeah, I have distanced myself from all of my friends and family members. I do go through periods where I am so angry at them. I feel that if they haven't contacted me, they weren't true friends and didn't care about me to begin with. I even distance myself from my husband. I have issues with intimacy with everyone and my husband unfortunately is being affected by this too. I am doing better, thanks. I found another job, which has its ups and downs, but so far it is a much better fit for me. Can you tell me some more about DBT and the skills that you have used involving this therapy that have helped you? Thanks again for writing and I hope that things get better with you also. Take care. :-)

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Hi Kakee83 i was going to refer you to this DBT online group in yahoo that i was with- but i just saw they seemed to have discontinued. it wasn't really like this site, where you could post stuff; it was a group where the moderators sent lessons every week with homework , and no one was obligated to do it-- but if people chose to, they would do the homework, which was practice the skill in that week's lesson in real life, and write about it and it was sent to all of us. You'd basically get an email every week with the lesson, and people's homework answers. i was active a couple years ago, but hadn't looked at the emails in a while ( i had them filtered going to a special folder in my email), and now when i looked i saw that unfortunately they have stopped the "class" . it was the same 30+ lessons, they'd just rotate, so if you happened to join the group when they were for example on lesson 15, you could jump right in and eventually they'd get back to # 1 again. i saved all the actual lessons though- so if you want i can send them to you somehow. I'll just copy and paste the first one as an example-hopefully it's not too long to fit here. Then maybe i can private msg or email you the others, as documents, if you want -let me know.

New Member’s Introduction to DBT

References:

Personal DBT Skills Group notes 11/25/08, 12/2/08

David Burns, M.D., Adapted from “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy”

Skills Training Manual page 107

Alec L. Miller, Jill H, Rathus, Marsha M. Linehan, “Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with Suicidal Adolescents”, pages 311 and 312

As many of you know, DBT was originally developed for the treatment of people who experience emotion dysregulation. This (emotion dysregulation) entails being highly sensitive (which can be a gift if you know how to channel it!), highly reactive and slow return to baseline. DBT is based on a Bio-social model. Individuals have a biological predisposition to emotional dysregulation. Then, socially there is a poor fit between the family environment and the emotionally dysregulated individual. This “poor fit” is evidenced by an invalidating

/inconsistent environment. This leads us to having difficulty tolerating stress, poor communication skills, etc. We don’t trust our own judgment, have low self-esteem, identity crisis and don’t know how to self-sooth. Everything is mood driven – the moment is what counts, NOT the overall goal. We never learned that “Thoughts are not facts, emotions are not facts”.

Some characteristics of an invalidating environment include:

Not taken as accurate when describing their private experiences

Not taken as valid response to events

Punished, trivialized, dismissed, disregarded

Erratic, inconsistent, inappropriate responses.

The child is told s/he is over- reacting. The child goes from inhibiting to exploding; from stuffing to being out there and getting angry.

In failing to validate private experiences, the environment does not teach the child to:

Label private experiences (including emotions) in a manner normative in large social communities for the same or similar experiences.

Effectively regulate emotions.

Trust emotional and cognitive experiences as valid response to events. Instead the child learns to actively invalidate experiences and search social environments for clues as to how to feel, think and act, in a given situation.

DISTORTED THINKING

All or nothing thinking: You look at things in absolute, black-and–white categories.

Overgeneralization: You view a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

Mental Filter: You dwell on the negatives and ignore the positives.

Discounting the positives: you insist that your accomplishments or positive qualities don’t count.

Jumping to conclusion: You conclude things are bad with out any definitive

evidence.

Mind reading: You assume that people are reacting negatively to you.

Fortune telling: You predict that things will turn out badly.

Magnification or minimization: You blow things way out of proportion or you shrink their importance.

Emotional reasoning: You reason from how you feel: “I feel like an idiot, so I must be one.”

“Should” statements: You criticize your self or other people with “shoulds” “shouldn’ts,” “musts,” “oughts,” and “have-tos.”

Labeling: Instead of saying, “I made a mistake,” you tell yourself, “I’m a jerk” or “a loser.”

Blame: You blame yourself for something you weren’t entirely responsible for, or you blame other people and overlook ways that you contributed to a problem.

The Goals of Skills Training.

General Goal: To learn and refine skills in changing behavioral, emotional and thinking patterns associated with problems in living, those causing misery and distress. In summary, to develop a life worth living.

Specific Goals

Behaviors to decrease

Interpersonal chaos

Labile emotions, moods

Impulsiveness

Confusion about self, cognitive dysregulation

Behaviors to Increase

Interpersonal Effectiveness skills

Emotion regulation skills

Distress tolerance skills

Core Mindfulness skills

Dialectics: What is it?

Dialectics teach us that:

There is always more than one-way to see a situation, and more than one way to solve a problem.

All people have unique qualities and different points of view.

It is important not to see the world in “black–and-white,” “all-or-nothing” ways.

Two things that seem like (or are) opposites can both be true.

Change is the only constant.

Meaning and truth evolve over time.

Change is transactional.

Acceptance

AND

Acceptance --(Change = (--Change

Middle path

Examples:

You are doing the best you can, and you need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change.

You are tough and you are gentle.

Balancing reward with punishment.

This perspective helps pave the way toward the middle path by helping you:

Expand your thoughts and ways or considering life situations

“Unstick” standoffs and conflicts.

Be more flexible and approachable.

Avoid assumptions and blaming.

Validation: What is it?

Validation communicates to another person that his or her feelings, thoughts and actions make sense and are understandable to you in a particular situation.

Self-validation involves perceiving your own feelings, thoughts and actions as accurate and acceptable in a particular situation.

Remember: Validation does not = Agreement

Validation does not necessarily mean that you like or agree with what the other person is doing, saying, or feeling. It means you understand where the other person is coming from.

WHAT should we validate?

Feelings, thoughts and behaviors in:

ourselves

other people

WHY should we validate?

It improves relationships!

Validation can show that:

We are listening.

We understand.

We are being nonjudgmental.

We care about the relationship.

Conflict is possible with decreased intensity.

Validation

A “How To” Guide to verbal and Nonverbal Validation

How can we validate others?

Actively Listen. Make eye contact and stay focused.

Be mindful of both nonverbal and verbal reactions in order to avoid invalidation (e.g., rolling eyes; sucking teeth; walking away; saying, “That’s stupid,” “Don’t be sad,” or “I don’t care what you say”).

Observe what the other person is feeling in the moment. Look for a word that describes the feeling.

Reflect the feeling back without judgment. The goal is to communicate that you under-stand how the other person feels (e.g., “It makes sense that you’re angry,” “I Understand that you are having a rough time right now”) (for self, “I have the right to feel sad”).

Show tolerance! Look for how the feelings, thoughts and actions make sense, given the other person’s (or your) history and current situation, even if you don’t approve of the behaviors, emotions, or actions themselves.

Respond in a way that shows you are taking the other person seriously (with or without words). If someone is crying, give a tissue or a hug. If someone is presenting a problem, start problem solving immediately (unless the person wishes merely to be heard).

Homework:

Take a few minutes and read/absorb the above.

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Thank you very much for the information on DBT techniques, reinagrace. :-)

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let me know if/when you want the rest of the lessons Kakee83 , that was just an intro.

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could you please send the lessons to vio4ski@gmail.com?

Thank you!

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Yes I'm going to email you both together, i will title email DBT Lessons

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The lessons would be great, thanks! You could email them to kkrivick@gmail.com. :-)

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hi Kakee83 i just saw this now when i had an email that someone else wanted the lessons too- today- or at least i don't remember seeing this before so forgive me if i have not emailed these to you yet. I will email you both together , title the email DBT Lessons

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No worries, Reinagrace. Thank you. :-)

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