Tag Archives: What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder – 3 Infographics to Help Explain It.

borderline-personality-disorder

causes of bpd

The link between the experience of childhood trauma and the later development of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is well established by numerous research studies (click here to read my article on this). The infographic below shows how BPD can affect our behaviour.

The term  AFFECTIVE DYSREGULATION in the table below refers to the great difficulty BPD sufferers have in controlling (or regulating) their emotions (‘affect’ being a word used by psychologists to mean emotions). To read my article on this, click here.

Finally, the word ‘cognitive’ used in the third category of the table below is simply a word used by psychologists to refer to ‘thinking.’

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE :

behavioural symptoms of borderline personality disorder

behavioural symptoms of borderline personality disorder

The infographic below gives details of what BPD is, its symptoms, its causes, how it is diagnosed and how it is treated. Click here to view an excellent documentary on BPD.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE :

diagram explaining borderline personality disorder

diagram explaining borderline personality disorder

The infographic below shows the chances during their lifetime of a BPD sufferer developing ‘comorbidities’. A comorbidity is a medical condition associated with another condition. For example, the table shows that of those who suffer BPD, 88% will also suffer from anxiety disorder (one of the comorbidities of BPD) during their lifetime.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE :

comorbidities of borderline personality disorder

comorbidities of borderline personality disorder

 

emotional_abuse

 

AboveeBook available for immediate download on Amazon. $4.99 each. CLICK HERE

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Highly Dysfunctional Families and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

borderline personality disorder and dysfunctional families

Those who go on to develop borderline personality disorder (BPD) almost invariably grew up as children in highly dysfunctional families in which the parent/s was/were emotionally unstable.

dysfunctional families and borderline personality disorder

I have written about BPD extensively in other articles on this site (to access them, simply type ‘BPD’ into the site’s search box) so I will only briefly recap upon some of the main symptoms from which the individual with BPD suffers :

– inability to control powerful emotions

– extremely chaotic interpersonal relationships

– extremely poor impulse control

– very poor sense of own identity (also sometimes referred to as ‘identity confusion’)

– sees others in terms of being either ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’ with no middle ground (this is also sometimes referred to as ‘black and white’ thinking or ‘dichotomous thinking)

– hypersensitivity, especiallly a tendency to interpret neutral, innocuous comments of others as personal slights

Overwhelmingly, the most important risk factors leading the child to go on to develop BPD are child abuse and child neglect. Indeed, these two risk factors easily outweigh the influence of biological and social factors.

DOUBLE MESSAGES

The child who goes on to develop BPD as an adult is very likely to have grown up in a household in which he received ‘double messages’ from his/her parent/s – in other words, the child’s parent/s are very likely to have both felt and expressed EXTREME AMBIVALENCE towards the child. I describe how this ambivalence towards the child generally manifests itself below :

THE FORM PARENTAL AMBIVALENCE TOWARDS THE CHILD TAKES :

It is theorized that the parent holds, simultaneously, 2 attitudes towards being a parent which are contradictory and in direct opposition to each other. It is thought the 2 conflicting attitudes are :

ATTITUDE 1 : the parent/s believe their role as a parent is of great importance and central to their lives

ATTITUDE 2 (in direct opposition to the above but simultaneously held) the parent/s deeply resent having to fulfill a parental role and regard the child as an IRRITATING OBSTACLE PREVENTING THEM FROM PURSUING THINGS THAT WOULD LEAD TO THEIR PERSONAL FULFILLMENT.

Not infrequently, such ambivalent feelings will focus upon just one child, leaving his/her siblings relatively emotionally undamaged.

HOW DOES THE CHILD RESPOND TO SUCH AMBIVALENCE?

Unconsciously, the child has a deep need to keep the ambivalent parent/s as emotionally stable as possible (in Darwinian terms, this is clearly in the interests of his/her survival). The dilemma is, therefore, as follows :

On the one hand, s/he needs to remain of great importance to the ambivalent parent/s (in order to support attitude 1 (above)). On the other hand, however, s/he needs to allow them to justify, in their own minds, their hostility, anger and resentment towards him/her (in order to support attitude 2 (above)).

But how can this possibly be achieved?

Building upon an original idea of Melanie Kline, it has been theorized that, in order to maintain his/her parent’s/parents’ psychological equilibrium, the child must adopt what has been termed spoiler behaviour (this is NOT a conscious decision of the child’s – it is driven by unconscious forces).

‘Spoilier behaviour’ involves :

– in effect, refusing to grow up

– remaining dependent on the parent/s (as not able to function competently as an adult)

– rebelling against and severely denigrating the parent/s

Without therapy, such ‘spoiler behaviour’ may be maintained deep into the formerly abused child’s adulthood. Such behaviour is a way of INVALIDATING THE PARENT/S IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY AS THEY INVALIDATED HIM/HER AS A CHILD. In essence, s/he is ‘giving back as good as s/he got.’

The now adult child will continue to try to keep his parent/s emotionally stable by (and I repeat, unconsciously) desperately trying to regulate their ambivalent emotions towards him/her :

– if they begin to feel too guilty (due to attitude 1, above), he will make them angry. However :

– if they become too angry (due to attitude 2, above) s/he will make them feel guilty

This is, I think, a very ingenious theory; however, it is very difficult to prove theories which are based in part upon ideas relating to unconscious mental processes.

If I could briefly indulge myself by suggesting a theory of my own : IF A CHILD KNOWS S/HE IS ESSENTIALLY DISLIKED BY HIS/HER PARENTS, IS IT NOT EASIER TO TOLERATE IF S/HE ACTS IN SUCH A WAY THAT HELPS THE PARENTS, IN THEIR OWN MINDS, TO JUSIFY THEIR DISLIKE, RATHER THAN TO TRY HARD TO GET ON WITH THE PARENTS, AND OBTAIN THEIR ADMIRATION, AND YET STILL BE DISLIKED? In the former case, the child can almost convince him/herself s/he wants to be disliked, and is only disliked due to his/her behaviour. Whereas, to be disliked whilst trying desperately to be liked by one’s parents could, potentially,  be psychologically catastrophic.

 

RESOURCES

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY – further information about dysfunctional families (CLICK HERE).

 

EBOOKS :

bpd ebook

 

Above  eBook available for immediate download on Amazon. $4.99 . CLICK HERE.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

Possible Damaging Behaviors Of The Borderline Personality Disordered Parent

childhood-trauma-fact-sheet

In order to write the articles on this site, which now number nearly 200, I have spent a considerable amount of time researching how borderline personality disordered parents can adversely affect the psychological development of their children. For this post, therefore, I thought it might be interesting to simply list some of the descriptions of how the borderline parent thinks, feels and acts that I have come across during my research.

It should be borne in mind, of course, that people with borderline personality disorder will not necessarily have all the symptoms listed, and, likewise, people without borderline personality disorder may have some of the characteristics I list.

However, the more of the following characteristics a parent has, the more likely it is that he or she suffers from borderline personality disorder.

BPD Behaviors That Can Be Damaging :

– deep need to exercise control over others

– prone to always blame others rather than take responsibility

– prone to explosions of intense rage, hostility and anger

– ignores the boundaries of others

– deep need for attention

– very accusing towards others

– emotions easily get out of control

– prone to extreme over-reactions

– projects own faults onto others

– billitles and derides others

– hugely self-destructive

– exclusively focuses on self and own problems

– deep sense of inferiority

– frightens and intimidates others

– holds inconsistent opinions

– uses threatening behaviour

– very quick to judge others, often on the basis of flimsy evidence

– issues ultimatums

– has rapid mood swings

– life tends to be a never ending series of crises

– very demanding

– prone to irrational thinking and behaviour

– sees things in ‘black or white’ (ie sees things as either ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’)

– fluctuates between idealizing and devaluing/demonizing others (this is related to ‘black or white’ thinking, above)

– in constant denial in relation to own faults, but sees faults in others everywhere

– extremely intense

– prone to highly inconsistent behaviour

– impulsive/indulges in high risk behaviours

– distrustful

– oscillates between intensely clinging to others and then angrily pushing them away

– displays extreme emotions  / often has dramatic outbursts

– emotionally exhausts others, especially those close to

– insatiable need for love, respect and admiration

– inconsistent and changeable behaviour confuses others / others do not know ‘where they stand’

– unbalanced

– has  highly volatile and unstable relationships

– verbally abusive/hostile

– very weak sense of own identity

Of course, people with borderline personality disorder, or BPD (click here to read one of my posts on this very serious condition), have their good points too! However, the above list has been compiled to focus on the damaging effects their behaviour may have on others.

Unfortunately, if we have been brought up by a parent with BPD, we are prone to develop some of the above characteristics ourselves, or even develop BPD ourselves. The first step to overcoming BPD is to accept one may be suffering from it. One of the most promising treatments for BPD is dialectical behavior therapy (click here to read my post on this).

PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BLAME THEMSELVES FOR HAVING BPD

BPD IS AN EXCRUCIATINGLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY PAINFUL CONDITION WHICH, NOT INFREQUENTLY, ENDS IN SUICIDE. THEREFORE, HOWEVER DIFFICULT IT MAY SEEM AT TIMES, THOSE SUFFERING FROM IT SHOULD BE TREATED WITH COMPASSION. ALSO, THERAPY FOR THE DISORDER, BY THE PERSON WHO HAS IT, SHOULD, IN MY VIEW, BE URGENTLY SOUGHT. AS UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONDITION INCREASES, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE FULLY RECOVERING FROM IT. THERE MOST DEFINITELY IS HOPE!

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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