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A BPD Recovery Success Story

by Holly Marie

I always knew there was something different about me.

I loved deeply, got attached quickly, and suffered greatly at the slightest rejection. I had suicidal ideation at least once and month, and cut myself on a daily basis. My friends were concerned. My family was distraught. No one knew what was going on with me.

It was about 6 years ago, when I was first diagnosed. It was right after the most traumatic thing, which could happen to a first year special education teacher, happened. I’m not going to get into that now, but know that it played a role in my final diagnosis. “You have borderline personality disorder.” Those were the words of my therapist of one year, Sarah.

I felt quick relief, and sudden despair. Thoughts of, “Oh, what a relief! There is really something wrong with me”, changed to, “you mean this is something that has no easy fix like medication?”

Borderline personality disorder, or BPD as it is known for short, is...

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Beginner's Guide To Mindfulness

A beginner’s guide to mindfulness couldn’t possibly teach you everything you need to know in order to master the art. Yet even a very basic understanding can give you amazing insight into your thoughts and emotions. Here are a few quick steps to get you started.

 

What is mindfulness?

 

Mindfulness is waking up from the distracting influences of life in order to experience it in full. For example, distractions can include things like overwhelming emotions, addictive urges, negative thoughts, and even physical pain. We gain freedom by living in the present moment without judging ourselves or our experiences, and without pushing emotions away by numbing or suppressing them.

 

Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness

How do I begin doing this?

 

Thankfully, the process is quite simple. The hard part is practicing often enough that the habit of controlling attention becomes second-nature. There are three basic steps:

  • Bring all of your attention to focus on one thing. Notice...
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The #1 Tip To Stop Self-Injuring

bpd dbt skills Aug 03, 2020

It’s not easy to stop self-injuring on your own, but there are a few quick tricks you can use to catch those urges before acting on them. All emotional responses can motivate us to do things, but sometimes these things aren’t great for us in the long-run. So how do we stop ourselves from acting on these urges when they are SO STRONG? Here’s my #1 tip to stop self-injuring before it happens.

Change Your Body Temperature to Stop Self-Injuring

It sounds too simple to be true, but simply by changing your body temperature you can have a significant impact on your mood, thoughts, and urges. To stop self-injuring, we start with the body.

Emotions have a physical response that comes with them. By changing the physical response in your body, you can actually produce a change in the thoughts and emotions! Changing a physical response in your body is quite easy, in fact.

All it takes is a quick shower, a dive in a pool, or a few jumping jacks to not only change your...

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Why BPD Makes It Hard For Me To Accept Help

bpd Aug 03, 2020

When loved ones intervened in my self-harm attempts, dysphoria made it hard for me to see or accept the help for what it was.  As they tried to remove the sharp object or called emergency services, I would scream and fight like a wild animal. At that moment I  truly believed they weren’t there to help. My brain and body were flooded with the message that I was under attack.

 

Overwhelming fear says “this person is threatening me”

 

The Borderline Personality Disorder brain has trouble with overwhelming emotions that can hijack information-processing and behavior.  Overwhelming fear says “this person is threatening me!” Whether it is a real or imagined threat of abandonment, the threat of being rejected, the terror of being out of control…the fear response takes over.  

 

 

Overwhelming anger says “this person is attacking me”

 

Overwhelming fear leads to anger as a...

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When BPD Leads to Rejection and Abandonment

bpd Aug 03, 2020

THE BRUTAL TRUTH

When BPD leads to abandonment and rejection, you learn quickly. Soon, you fear abandonment by all the people you love, and you start to see abandonment everywhere. To avoid being rejected, you push them away before they can hurt you. The result? No one can abandon you, because there IS no one.

Then the loneliness hits. You may or may not realize what just happened. But the end is the same. They leave and your worst fears are realized. Abandonment. Rejection.

BUT WAIT…

Borderline Personality Disorder can make relationships confusing.

I’ll be the first one to admit dropping someone like a hot potato at the first sign of potential rejection. Before mastering the DBT skills, I saw everyone as a threat to my fragile heart. If I cared about them in the slightest, they had the power to hurt me and I simply could not afford that most of the time.

Sometimes I actually managed to convince myself I didn’t need anyone. HA!

That wasn’t me...

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The Brain Activity Behind Borderline Personality Disorder

bpd Aug 03, 2020

In this post, we will look into a brief overview of the brain activity behind Borderline Personality Disorder.  In addition, we will look at how these processes affect our behavior in ways that require more than self-control to change.

The Limbic System

The limbic system is a set of brain structures including the amygdala and the hippocampus, among others.  It is one of the oldest parts of the brain.  If you can imagine the idea of the caveman, you can imagine the importance of functions like survival instincts.  Also, the fight-or-flight response to predators or danger, memory, and a reward system for learning new behaviors.  The limbic system uses an tricky balance of brain chemicals to perform these functions,

Amygdala and Hippocampus

The amygdala and hippocampus have been shown to be smaller in people with Borderline Personality Disorder, using imaging like fMRI scans.  These brain structures are related to memory recall and learning. ...

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Finding Treatment That Works For BPD

bpd Jul 28, 2020

Before addressing the obstacles we may face DURING the treatment process, we must take a hard look at the difficulties of even finding treatment options.  Those of you who have been through multiple therapeutic attempts will know firsthand the devastating lack of valid treatment options for Borderline Personality Disorder.

If you are versed in the world of BPD, you know most suggestions include Dialectical Behavior Therapy, antidepressant medications, antipsychotics, talk therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, etc.  Often, studies suggest a combination of two or more of these treatments.  If you research the treatment choices online, you can usually find an abundance of doctors, therapists, counselors, social workers, and behavioral analysts who can provide you with “answers.”  You’ve probably heard most of them.  How do we sift through them all?

Planning for the Long-Term

People with BPD struggle to remain with one therapist...

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Understanding the Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

bpd Jul 23, 2020

The symptoms of Borderline Personality are so much more painful than mere words can describe.  The symptoms of anger, despair, and emotional pain in the sick person are unbearable, and the pain of watching a loved one suffer with the illness is equally as devastating.  It can be tough finding a professional that will acknowledge a diagnosis.  Doing your own research is essential these days if you want to find out what’s really happening in a person who has this disorder.

The Symptoms

The first place most people look when they hear “Borderline Personality” is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM).  This is the “bible” of psychiatry, and contains a list of 9 symptoms, 5 of which are required for someone to qualify for an official diagnosis.

For reasons we will explore further in another post, the DSM is sadly short of really describing what BPD looks like on an everyday basis.  For instance, fear of...

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