I think there is a tremendous need for those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder to re-think BPD. I think also that those who are family members, friends, relationship or ex-relationship partners – non borderlines – also need to re-think BPD.
What do I mean by re-think BPD? Well, of course, this can only become clearer to you as you first really think about what you actually think right now and believe right now about BPD. Do you think it is a life-long permanent "Brain Disorder" as some professionals would have us believe? Do you think that if you have BPD, you are doomed to always have BPD? Do you believe a professional who tells you there is no such thing as recovery? Do you feel hopeless when you think about getting better – about recovering from BPD?
For those who are non borderlines, on the other side of someone with BPD, it is important to first understand BPD and to get as much information about it as you can. You need then to also examine what do you really actually think about BPD?
One of the great traps for the non borderline trying to relate to someone with BPD lies in the belief that somehow you can help or you can cajole or coach your borderline to the kind of therapy that can help them recover or that you can rescue them into change. This just isn’t possible. Borderlines can change but they have to change themselves (with the help of a therapist) and they have to take personal responsibility for doing the work that is required to create that change in their own lives.
Those who have BPD can really benefit from re-thinking about BPD when it comes to the question of can one get better or not. If you do not have any hope that you can get better, you will block all the possibility that you can get better.
So much of what is thought about BPD may just have its roots in older information, older ways of thinking about BPD. Could it be that science is letting us down when it comes to trying to pin everything on some biological cause that requires a magical "cure-all" pill? I don’t just think so, I know so.
I have recovered from BPD. I am not the only one. Re-thinking BPD means that those with BPD need to find a way to actually believe they can recover too. Re-thinking BPD for the non borderline means that they have to let go of trying to rescue or control what the borderline will or won’t do in terms of creating change in his or her life or not.
The need to re-think so much about Borderline Personality Disorder on both sides, for those with BPD and those who are non borderline really stems from the very polarized ways that so much that is thought about and applied to BPD continues to be adhered to in patterned ways by both the borderline and the non borderline.
If the human traits that in their more intense and frequent display are used to define BPD in the DSM-IV indicate a brain disorder, what does that say about the humanity of these traits? Is life a brain disorder? When a non borderline feels intensely angry about something are they displaying a human emotion or are could it be said that they are now moving into the territory of a brain disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder is a relational disorder. It is largely about emotions run re-playing themselves out from the past in the here and now. It is about emotional dysregulation that is triggered in the borderline by unresolved abandonment issues.
In re-thinking Borderline Personality Disorder you may just come to know, as I do, that it is a more extreme, intense, and often polarized black and white way of experiencing emotions that those with BPD do not have the interpersonal skills (yet) to cope effectively with.
Therapy can and does create change from a psychological level all the way down to the level of one’s biology which is the anatomy of borderline thinking. Borderline thinking can be changed. Borderline experience can be changed. Borderline patterned ways of being self-destructive and/or other destructive can be changed. Borderline adherence to the schemas of unresolved abandonment trauma and its binding shame can be undone.
Re-think what you think about Borderline Personality Disorder – what do you have to lose?
© Ms. A.J. Mahari June 21, 2008 – All rights reserved.
Life Coaching for those with BPD and for non borderlines is available with A.J. Mahari.