Can BPD make you a better person in the future?

As someone who is recovering from BPD and has come a long way, I have to tell you that not everything about BPD is negative.

I believe that going through it, enduring the symptoms and the consequences of your actions, can make you a better person.

It definitely feels like it for several reasons that I will explain in the coming section.

This isn’t a generalization of all people with BPD, it’s just my experience and some people relate to it, while others don’t.

Romantic relationships

Relationships are hard for everyone: being vulnerable, sharing everything, disagreements, etc. Before I started recovering it was a complete and utter chaos. Toxic relationships, sudden breakups for petty reasons, conflict, etc. I had almost no sense of commitment and I would get into relationships too quick, without analyzing the person first. Impulsivity was something that interfered with my relationships. Little thing you told me that I didn’t like? Might break up with you tomorrow. Terrible thing you did to me but you’re my FP? I’ll stick around and add fire to the flame.

As I started healing, I noticed that I had a sense of commitment. I communicated better and didn’t get angry. There was so much abuse and drama in my past that I did my best not to live through the same thing. Started fighting more for relationships, even a little too much but I believe that I will attain balance. I had very little arguments and lots of harmony. Never cheated on him, as I know how it hurts (not by experience because I never found out that a boyfriend was cheating on me), how disrespectful it is and how bad I feel after cheating. It’s one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. There are many steps before you cheat. Ultimately, going down that road is up to you and you only. You can stop at any time.

The “I hate you/ Don’t leave me” relationships started disappearing from my life. I don’t go back and forth with someone, with arguments and animosity, drama. I cut or dramatically reduce contact. Can’t stand it. It feels good in a twisted way but it also feels like a prison where I’ve been before. I just don’t want to stay in toxic relationships, because of how traumatic they were in the past. Even after 15 years of dating a narcissist and especially because I recently dated another briefly, it was like my heart was burned. It is burnt flesh that hurts like hell when people do and say certain things. Which in turn made me more mindful of what I say to people, I don’t want to hurt anyone.

Friendship

The “I hate you/Don’t leave me” model of relationship also refers to friendship. It was frequent for me to have toxic friendships. It could happen that someone was my FP and I would take turns in loving and hating them. One day, they were my whole life, the other day they were terrible and would abandon me, so I better abandon them first. It hurts less that way, not that it doesn’t hurt a lot because it does. An FP is like a drug to us. It’s a kind of passion.

Sometimes, I wasn’t the most loyal because I was a people pleaser. As I started growing older and healing, I learned how to say no and say things people might not like to hear (without being rude, of course). Learning to say no is a fundamental skill for someone with BPD, as our boundaries are so poorly defined in the beginning of our struggle. We learn by reading, DBT and watching others.

Friendships are also less tense and dramatic when you are recovering. I would have fits and do huge scenes, in my worst times. I must’ve embarrassed quite a few people with my anger and impulsivity. It was probably one of the factors that contributed to being abandoned by several people. Today, I get it. On one hand, I was severely sick. On the other, people were entitled not to feel embarrassed by friends, not to want to deal with certain situations. There were a few serious situations that could’ve ended badly but luckily nothing happened. I think I scared people with my instability.

We learn that lots of people can’t deal with us but some can. I learned to cherish those people. Help them in any way I can. Now, I can love them to death and that is a somewhat stable feeling. Minor things don’t influence my opinion of the person. With time, DBT, medication and observation, we learn about nuance: how someone can be simultaneously flawed and lovable. We are the first ones to recognize that people are flawed, as we are, but we can deal with certain flaws and character defects.

To grow, we need to surround ourselves mostly with people who are kind and validating but are not enablers. We live in a world of our own, like everyone else, but in our case it can be a quite distorted world, due to our poor coping mechanisms. It’s important to have friends that remind us of what’s right or wrong and help us make better decisions.

Boundaries

Oh, boundaries. How we need them. Boundaries fail us when we are experiencing more symptoms. We let people walk over us, we let people do things to us that we don’t want, we do what we can to keep certain relationships, be it romantic or friendships. We also tend to not respect other people’s boundaries, as we don’t have strong ones. We need to have boundaries in order to understand and respect other people’s boundaries. We have our own reality tunnels, shaped by our experience, personality and BPD. If our “walls” are weak and too flexible, we will think that others are like us. At least, that’s what happens in the beginning. If we grow and change, every time we cross the line is a lesson learned.

Family

I can only speak about my parents and other relatives. I’m not a mother,so that won’t be included in my story.

My relationship with my family changed a lot over time and became stronger.

My psychiatrist once told me that it was easier for me to change than my parents. That I should adapt and tanke charge of my choices. At the time, I was already taking a good combo of medication so it was easier to have self-control. That gradually changed the dynamics of the relationship. We had reached a breaking point many years before that and they didn’t know how to act around me. They have strong personalities so they simultaneously walked on eggshells and went off on me. To be honest, I wouldn’t wish this on any parent and neither do I wish that they suffer from BPD. Because I felt miserable. I needed my parents’ love and attention. But I also pushed them away. There were reasons for me to react the way I did but there was a lot of overreacting going on.

I still briefly bicker with my father on a regular basis but it never escalates. Retreat is a good option for me. Return to headquarters haha. My relationship with my mother is much better and we rarely fight. I think she’s happier now that I’m better. She just wished that I could have a better life, while she helps me get there.

Never forget, if your parents raised you with love, they probably still love you now and are on your side. A psychologist can help you immensely (and maybe medication but that is your call) to help you see from your parents’ point of view. It’s easy to get caught up in feelings and overanalyzing and not see obvious things, though we pay attention to everything. It can also help you learn how to communicate better with the people in your life. I’ve learned so much about myself and others with my psychologists. It’s really eye-opening and helpful. If you are curious about yourself and want to evolve in a healthy way, it’s one of the bets things to do. However, not everyone can do it and I respect that. Trauma is a like a thorn in your soul. It’s not palpable but it stings and sometimes therapy is the only way to deal with it. Doing trauma work is very hard but it’s worth it. Understanding how we can find new and better coping mechanisms, that are constructive and healthy. Find ways to soothe ourselves that won’t hurt us in the long run.

There are other aspects but these were the ones who stood out to me. Everyone grows in a different way and maybe your experience wasn’t quite like mine. There isn’t a fixed road for someone with BPD, nor is there for anyone. If you would like to add something that you think BPD helped you with, feel free to comment below.

Conclusion

Can you imagine what it’s like to have a somewhat normal childhood and troubled teens but your mental health was okay. You start to have these symptoms when you’re a young adult (at least that’s what happened to me). Everything changes. You are overwhelmed and hurting. Things are going downhill and you don’t even know how to explain to your doctor how you feel. Most people never go through this. They have their own aches but such a shift in your personality is not very common. Your personality is a mask that you wear and your identity. Everyone has an idea of who they are (an idea only because no one knows that for sure, if you go to the root of it) but you don’t. And you have this chronic feeling of emptiness that you desperately want to fill. People seem to know what they’re doing and you are just trying to survive. Trying to feel okay, try to not feel so much, trying not to see so much, not to catch all those details that you later overanalyze.

With age, you also learn that things aren’t always what they seem. The face that your friend made, what he said. It can be a misunderstanding. Overreacting is only going to blow things out of proportion and create problems. But it’s a fairly normal response for someone with BPD. We are scared, confused, we need some control over things, since we lost control.

If you have BPD, believe me, wanting to change is the first step in an incredible journey of growth. A journey that only you can make. You’ll be wiser, stronger. DBT or therapy will help you cope better and re-learn how to live in a healthy way.

Maybe today you had a terrible day, full of emotions and anger and whatever else you’re dealing with but a better tomorrow is possible.

Much love to you all.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Advertisements

Why Language Matters When We Talk About Mental Health

 

humanoid figure with a speech balloon above his head

 

You should never be defined by your condition. You have some symptoms but you are much, much more than that. It happens that sometimes people with mental health conditions are seen like that label by others. You are identified by your condition: the schizophrenic guy, the bipolar girl, etc. It’s easy to confuse the condition with the person but we should never forget that behind that label is a very complex person that deserves respect.

Details matter and the fact that we say “Joan is Bipolar” instead of “Joan has Bipolar Disorder”. You are not your condition. You are still an individual, with its idiosyncrasies. Language matters a lot because it shapes our perception or is it the other way around? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that language stigmatizes people and that has real effects like refusal to seek treatment and anxiety when interacting with people.

People with mental health conditions expect to be stigmatized and discriminated against. The media is responsible in part for the bad reputation of mental illness. When violence occurs and there is no obvious cause, it is immediately speculated that the perpetrator has some sort of mental condition. On the other hand, there is no real effort to talk openly about mental health conditions, see real people that are still successful despite the diagnostic. When it comes to violence, the truth is that people suffering from mental disorders are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of violence.

skull opened at the top, showing the brain. Brain has a band-aid,

Mental illness becomes a diagnosis that people try to hide due to its negative labels, stigmatization and possible discrimination. We still have a backward mentality when it comes to mental health conditions. People always saw the insane, the unstable ones as weak or deficient. It’s pretty much like that now, though people are raising awareness more and more. It’s not faceless conditions anymore: people talk about mental health, expose their identities (or not) but we are out there, spreading the word.

woman-565127_1280

We should advocate for language that reduces stigma, using empathy to choose our words. Understanding the power of negative labels and names is very important. We could use language that doesn’t enforce negative stereotypes and never name or label someone for his/her condition.

“In the context of mental illness, mental health, and wellbeing, negative words can be experienced as condescending, isolating, and stigmatizing, whereas positive words can convey dignity, empathy, and hope.”

-Veryan Richards

 

“In 2017, The Royal College of Psychiatrists outlined eight core attributes of good psychiatrists, which include communication, humility, respect, and trust. According to Richards, this “reinforces a stronger, values-based climate which should influence the principles that shape the language and terminology used in person-centered mental health care.” Richards is a proponent of first-person language, which first acknowledges a person and then identifies a condition (e.g., ‘a person with psychosis’ versus ‘a psychotic person’).

Richards argues that the phrase ‘mental health problems’ is often too vague. She suggests this phrase could be problematic when used for common experiences, stating “we should remain alert to overmedicalizing experiences and challenges that would be better understood as a response to social or economic factors and normal human experiences.”

At the same time, she proposes that using ‘mental health problems’ as a euphemism for more serious illness or crisis is also unhelpful. She writes, “some current terminology should be adjusted if parity is to be achieved within the language used in health care.” Richards gives the example of times when ‘patient’ may be the preferred language over ‘service user’ in medical settings.

Richards believes that a language shift can improve shared decision making. She states, “the quality of communication can facilitate a ‘doing with, not doing to’ clinical approach.” She also cites the 2015 UK Supreme Court judgment, Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board, which “raises the status of shared decision making from guidance to a legal requirement and concludes that all doctors need the communication skills required to support this process.” Therefore, she recommends medical schools require students to be trained in communication skills.”

Source:https://www.madinamerica.com/2018/03/words-matter-importance-language-choice-mental-health-care/

Psychiatrists and mental professionals are very important for this fight. They must use more empathetic language. That can educate both the patient and his/her family. Most people have some unlearning to do.

It’s much better now, though it’s still not enough. More and more people are seeking mental health treatment and more people talk about it, be it in social media or real life. That is progress and I see that millennials are much more open about it.

This needs to be spread and taught. It’s in our hands to change what we think is wrong with the language about mental health.

I have to be clear on something: I don’t support censorship of any kind and I believe that the change should be natural because it is a cycle: society’s view of mental health conditions change, people become more aware of them and language naturally changes. But changing our language is also a good way to help achieve the goal of people having more mental health awareness.

“Policing language is never popular and rarely easy. But it is perfectly possible to be both frank and polite. Words around mental health are not so much being banned as recommendations made so we can be sensitive. With that in mind, chatting to friends and colleagues, will I have another “manic” day at work? In all honestly, probably. But it’s hardly a chore for me to replace that with “super busy”.”

Source:https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2014/feb/28/mind-your-language-mental-health

If we are non-judgemental, use more neutral or positive language, as opposed as words with negative conotation; we can make our friends and family more comfortable in sharing their struggles with mental illness. You can provide incentive for their treatment, be a shoulder to cry on and whatever you can do to help that person. If you have the ability that is. I don’t think I could help or take care of anyone right now. I’m only capable of listening and giving advice. I commend the people that have the ability to help others in many ways. Hopefully, I can do that one day to someone. Paying forward what was done to us is a very altruistic gesture. I don’t want to do it because it looks nice and then I’ll post a picture on Facebook. On the contrary, I want to help without any kind of publicity.

I don’t like the terms “mental illness”, “mental disorder”, and so on. Normally, I say “mental health condition”. I think it’s a much softer way to say it. Try no to use the word crazy, insane, psycho, etc, as they are very negative and very stigmatizing.

“Mad Pride, held each year on Bastille Day (because the people released from the Bastille were deemed “insane”) seeks to “reclaim terms like ‘mad’, ‘nutter’, and ‘psycho’ from misuse, such as in tabloid newspapers, celebrate mental health survivor culture and explore the positives of madness”. Susannah Wilson is keen to highlight the positives: “My illness has taught me compassion and empathy for others who are suffering in ways I wouldn’t perhaps have achieved. It has also tested my strength and courage allowed me to make peace with the parts of myself I’ve disliked.”

Source:https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2014/feb/28/mind-your-language-mental-health

twitter-292994_640

About the media and mental health coverage:

 “The media is extremely powerful and is consumed by millions of people every day. Therefore, we would encourage journalists to recognise the influence they have when reporting on mental health so as not to reinforce damaging stereotypes or create sensationalist articles which can cause huge distress and offence to the one in four people who will experience mental health problems.”

-Kate Nightingale

The media must be more responsible in the way they write their stories and present mental illness. For example, if they said that a certain individual was psychotic and killed someone, they should also say that most people who are psychotic are not aggressive, can lead normal lives with medication and are more prone to suffer from violence than to perpretate. Both sides of the issue should be covered.

headache-1540220_1280

Another thing that is also sensitive in the media, is the coverage of suicides. “Committing suicide” is loaded with archaic and criminal baggage. It doesn’t have a good conotation. “Sucessful suicide” is also not very accurate, as it should be an oxymoron. Sometimes the media doesn’t mention suicides at all, in order not to encourage other people to do the same thing. However, there should be a debate about this issue. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that one of my best friends died by suicide last June. He was depressed but refused to take medication. It was the stigma, plain and simple. He was also stubborn and didn’t like medication. It isn’t the end of the world to take one or two pills. If it helps you, go for it. No need to feel bad about it or thinking that it will ruin your health. Just avoid drinking alcohol, so you don’t overwhelm your liver. Alcohol is terrible for you anyway so you might as well stop drinking or just drink on special occasions.

All in all, all we ask is for you to be mindful of your words and the effect that they have on others. It’s not hard to avoid some words and phrases. It creates a more harmonious communication between people, without dehumanization or stigma.

 

 

 

What is Mental Health Literacy?

 

This concept is a product of the development of health literacy. Health literacy is something that helps with longevity and quality of life. As a branch of medicine, psychiatry also needed to have specific information about its conditions, in order to lower suicides and other injuries, and overall, provide a better quality of life for people with mental health conditions.

mental health

Mental health literacy means:

“More recently, informed by previous definitions of MHL and current definitions of HL, MHL has been defined as: understanding how to obtain and maintain positive mental health; understanding mental disorders and their treatments; decreasing stigma related to mental disorders; and, enhancing help-seeking efficacy (knowing when and where to seek help and developing competencies designed to improve one’s mental health care and self-management capabilities).”

Source: Jorm, A.F.; Korten, A.E.; Jacomb, P.A.; Christensen, H.; Rodgers, B.; Pollitt, P. (1997). “Mental health literacy”: a survey of the public’s ability to recognize mental disorders and their beliefs about the effectiveness of treatment”. Medical Journal of Australia166: 182–186.

“More recently, understanding of HL has evolved into a broader construct that is considered fundamental to improving a person’s health outcome, decreasing health inequities in populations, and enhancing the operation of health systems and the development of health policy. Thus it is now recognized as necessary to improve health outcomes at both the individual and population levels.”

Source:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4813415/

As you can see, it’s something that is very important and that concerns everyone, especially those of us with mental health conditions but not only us. People with no mental health problems should be aware of mental illness, in a natural and informed way.

Mental health literacy is composed of knowledge, recognition, and attitudes.

Knowledge is the largest part of mental health literacy. It is divided into 4 subtypes:

-Risk factors;

-Where and how to get information:  the networks and support systems people use to obtain information about mental health conditions. Friends, family, educators, entertainment or social media, among others;

-Causes of mental health conditions;

-Professional help: knowing how to get professional help and what type of help is available.

-Self-help: what one can do to get better without professional help, using self-help books and media, for example. It’s not advisable sometimes because of the severity of the conditions and its symptoms.

Recognition refers to the recognition of symptoms or conditions. Specific illness recognition refers to the ability to notice that someone has a mental health condition and which one. Symptom recognition is to determine by the behaviors, beliefs, and other manifestations of mental conditions, that someone has a condition; without knowing in specific which one.

Some efforts have been made on promoting knowledge but other researchers argue that changing attitudes by reducing stigma is a more effective way of creating real change in mental health discourse. Ultimately, both contribute to ending the stigma.

Attitudes are researched in two subtypes:

-Attitudes about mental health conditions and people that suffer from them;

-Attitudes about seeking professional health.

Attitudes are various and are often difficult to analyze or target with intervention.

survey-1594962_640

Surveys

There have been made surveys about mental health literacy, in several countries, and the results are not the best. People are very uninformed about it, mistrust medications and psychiatrists. They even state that only people with weak character have mental health conditions. This is what we face and why we have to keep quiet about mental illness most of the time.

knowledge-1052010_640

Ways to improve this

-Community campaigns;

-Individual training programs;

-School-based interventions;

-Sites and books aimed at the general public.

I wish I had the courage to share my blog with family, friends, and acquaintances but I fear being judged. There’s a possibility that I have said this before but I feel like I can only do it once I have success in life. When I have things to show for and achievements. The label of the aimless, mentally ill woman is not what I want. My blog will continue to talk about mental health, BPD and stigma. That’s my contribution to the word, right now. Though I would like to do more. Maybe do public speaking when I’m recovered. Do a Ted Talk. Haha. Something that pushes things forward, into the 21st century.

Let’s continue to write on our blogs about our lives with mental health conditions, our struggles, our victories. People will eventually see that we are not to be feared or mocked; medication and psychiatrists can be helpful; having a mental illness doesn’t mean that you’re weak, you’re just wired differently and you can have a normal life.

We are not inferior or defected or broken or whatever people want to call us. Information is key so I’ll try to provide more resources for people who seek to know about mental health conditions and those who have them.

Let’s show people that we have limitations, like everyone else but we still succeed. I see so many big and small victories on WordPress. People are evolving and growing. Becoming self-aware. Becoming more familiar with their symptoms and how to deal with them. Mental Health Literacy is key. We will do this endeavor and educate as many people as possible. It’s important that we share each other’s posts on social media, the best posts, the ones that really tackle the issue.

What bothers me is that some people seem to not be permeable to these ideas and concepts. They don’t know and they don’t want to know. I have no idea how to reach those types. The ones that will rant about Big Pharma and that all psychiatrists are quacks. The ones that tell you to stop taking your meds and just change your diet. Those people will be our biggest challenge but I believe we can do it anyway.

How is your mental health literacy? What are you doing to reduce stigma?

 

Images courtesy of Pixabay.

 

 

 

10 Benefits Of Gratitude and 6 Ways To Cultivate It

509500_s26054336.jpg

This is a friendly reminder that it would be great if you were grateful for what you have. Maybe you had a bad day and things don’t look so good. Everybody has problems, that’s a known fact. In spite of that, we should be grateful for what we have, even if we want more (which most people do). If you have food, shelter, enough money, internet, family, or other things/people, be grateful. We always want more and more; that’s what keeps us moving. That’s how we’re wired but we can keep in mind what we have. It’s an excellent way to put things in perspective.

3978193_s1816867170.jpg

I know many people are struggling right now, you should know that it’s temporary. I believe that things can get better and opportunities may appear. Be grateful for the little things you have or experience. Experiences enrich our lives and we should be grateful for them. Some are good, others are bad but nevertheless, we grow. It’s incredibly helpful for people with mental health conditions. It can be hard to cope and thankfulness can contribute to a more positive outlook of life.

Once we master a skill, we may be grateful for the time we chose to spend learning it, grateful for the fact that we persevered and grew as a person. That we now have the ability to do something very well.

2184682_s1723330827.jpg

We can be grateful for our pets. They offer unconditional love. Pets are precious and we definitely don’t deserve them. At least, some of us don’t. If you adopted your pet, be grateful that you found such a wonderful animal. Be grateful for the time you spend with your pet and all the good feelings he/she elicits.

Never forget to be grateful for your abilities, like walking, talking, writing, reading, etc. You are someone who is able to do great things. Limitations brought on by mental health conditions, sometimes make our lives hell. Only each one of us knows what he goes through, how we push through.

1935938_s1686842519.jpg

Be grateful for your strength and resilience. For having things/people that keep you here, even when things get rough. I know what it feels like to be suicidal and how many times I have had to tell myself that I want to live and think about all the people I love. I’ve thought about ending it a million times, I truly did. All these years, every year, sometimes every day, I thought about it. I like living. There are too many people that I love and things I like to do. I still have a chance in life. Being grateful is also a way to keep me grounded and see things in a more realistic way.

Benefits of Gratitude

Benefits-of-Gratitude5

Source: https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

1- Being grateful makes us feel good. When we count our blessings and see how fortunate we are, we experience a good feeling. It’s a kind of happiness or it can be happiness itself. It’s easy to forget the good things we have and take them for granted. Taking time to be grateful is a great way to improve your mood and feel more grounded, as you put things in perspective. Yet, only 20% of Americans think gratitude is positive and constructive emotion (as opposed to 50% of Europeans).

2- Gratitude has been proven to improve your mental health. There are so many negative feelings and negative experiences, so being grateful is a way to counter or fight that. It is a way to be happier and combat depression. When we are depressed, our thoughts are so dark and negative, especially towards ourselves. When you think about a defect or flaw that you have, think about 2 things you have that are good. Be grateful for those qualities, for those gifts that you have.

3- Gratitude helps you to sleep better. Take your time before sleep to be thankful for what you have. It will help you unwind before bed. Gratitude increases sleep quality, reduces the time you need to fall asleep, and increases how much you sleep.

“The key is what’s on our minds as we’re trying to fall asleep. If it’s worries about the kids, or anxiety about work, the level of stress in our body will increase, reducing sleep quality, keeping us awake, and cutting our sleep short.

If it’s thinking about a few things we have to be grateful for today, it will induce the relaxation response, knock us out, and keep us that way.

Yes – gratitude is a (safe and free) sleep aid.”

Source:https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/#c11

4- It’s also good for physical health. According to reports, grateful people feel healthier and have fewer aches. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, people who are grateful tend to go to the doctor and work out more often, hence being healthier.

5- Aggression is reduced and empathy is increased when people practice gratitude. According to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky, grateful people tend to be less aggressive and more aware of others feelings, acting in a kind way even when people are unkind to them. They also tend to not seek revenge.

6- Studies have shown that gratitude also promotes good self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology concluded that the gratitude of athletes contributed to their good self-esteem; which in turn was beneficial to their performance.

  1. Gratitude has been shown in multiple studies to make people kinder and more friendly, and that because of that, grateful people have more social capital. This means that grateful people are actually more likely to receive help from others for no reason other than that they are liked and appreciated.
  2. Gratitude increases your recognition of benevolence. For example, a person with low self-esteem may view an act of kindness with a skeptical eye, thinking that the benefactor is trying to get something from them. A grateful person would take the kindness at face value, believing themselves to be a person worthy of receiving no-strings-attached kindness.

Source:https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/#c11

8- It helps heal trauma and increases mental strength. After all, we are grateful for everything that keeps us going and sustains us. Life doesn’t seem so dark and existential dread is diminished. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans who were more grateful had lower rates of PTSD. Life doesn’t seem so bad when you’re thankful for what you’ve got. According to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, gratitude contributed to the resilience shown by people after the 9/11 attacks. When we are thankful for things, even at the worst time of our lives, that creates resilience. Gratitude greatly reduces feelings of envy, makes us see our memories in a more positive light, elicits good feelings, and helps us de-stress.

8- Gratitude is also beneficial to your social and love life. It makes you nicer, more social, more trusting, and more appreciative. So it helps us make more friends, create closer bonds and improve our relationships. This creates new opportunities for friendship and love. Other people will normally be more inclined to pursue a relationship with others that show those qualities.

9- We are less materialistic and less self-centered when we’re grateful. By acknowledging and being thankful for what you have, it’s easier to put things in perspective; understand that most material things are not essential and that we can be perfectly happy with what we already have. We are less self-centered because we acknowledge who is important to us. We feel more connected. Gratitude is about focusing on others (on their good deeds) and not on yourself. To focus on what and who you have.

10- It reduces feelings of envy. In this day in age, with all the social media sites and the vanity fair that it is, it’s easy to feel envious of others. If you reduce social media use and focus on gratitude, even if it’s 5 minutes a day, you’ll feel better. We are more envious when we are not content with what we have. When we focus on what we don’t have instead of focusing on what we have.

In conclusion, it’s not only good for our mental health but also for our physical health. It affects several aspects of our life. A shift in perspective is sometimes what we need to move forward with a better quality of life.

Gratitude is something that you should cultivate and I will show you how.

885206_s1850546500.jpg

How to cultivate gratitude

There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person.”
-Joyce Meyer

1- Start a gratitude journal

Take 5-10 minutes out of your day or do it weekly; write down what you are grateful for. Try to remember little things as well as big things. Everything matters, even sensory experiences like seeing, eating, smelling, etc.

“According to psychologists such as Sonja Lyubomirsky at the University of California-Riverside, keeping a gratitude journal —where you record once a week all the things you have to be grateful for — and other gratitude exercises can increase your energy, and relieve pain and fatigue.”

Source:https://psychcentral.com/blog/6-ways-to-cultivate-gratitude/

This trains your brain to be aware of all the good things in life, things that you may be taking for granted and not noticing how good they are. You can also use an app, instead of a notebook or a Word document. I just downloaded several apps and I’ll be choosing one to review soon. I like to use apps because they have reminders, I’m a very forgetful person and this is really helpful.

2- Give back and pay it forward

Doing volunteer work, helping a stranger, aiding someone you know. There are many ways to give back. If someone is nice to you, be nice to someone else. Someone must have helped you in the past or helps you right now. Pay it forward and help someone else. Maybe the person in front of you on the supermarket line is missing a few dollars, offer to pay for it. Ask a homeless person if they would like to eat something and buy them something to eat. There are many things you can do, just be mindful of others needs.

3- Use your memory

Take some time to think about everyone that went through your life and helped/influenced you in a positive way. Keep them in mind often. Think about all that those people did for you, how you learned from them and evolved. Never forget where you came from and who helped you along the way.

4- Do a gratitude visit

“Try to think of someone who had a significant positive impact on you whom you haven’t properly thanked. It should be someone who lives nearby, so it’s feasible for you to see them in person (hence the “Visit” part).

Sit down and write them a thank-you letter, about 300 words describing how they helped you, how it made you feel, what you’re up to now, and what it means to you. Then, set up a meeting but don’t tell them why. We have stronger emotional reactions to surprises, particularly such a kind and moving surprise as this.

When you visit them, read the whole letter. Don’t rush, and take time to savor their reactions to it. You’ll both find yourselves reliving the positive emotions of the past and strengthening your relationship in the present.”

Source:https://positivepsychlopedia.com/year-of-happy/how-to-cultivate-gratitude/

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, consider telling your friends and family how much you love and appreciate them more often. This is a good way to strengthen bonds and deepen relationships and you will also be making someone feel good and appreciated. Remember that not everyone is appreciated properly in their lives and a compliment or good memory can go a long way.

5- Write thank you letters.

Even if you never mail them or read it out loud to someone in a gratitude visit. It’s a way to keep in mind what people did to aid you. It’s something that you are adding to your conscious and perspective. You are shifting your reality to one of thankfulness and love. It’s also very humbling and a way to keep our egos in check.

6- Meditate or listen to affirmations for gratitude

Meditating or listening to affirmations are good ways to cultivate gratitude. You can do Metta meditation (loving-kindness meditation), guided meditations for gratitude, affirmations for gratitude (sometimes it’s affirmations for gratitude and something else, like self-love, which is even better). Even if you don’t have much time, you can do them before bed, or take 5 minutes to meditate on the good things that happened that day. I can assure you that it’s a great way to fall asleep.

I use Insight Timer to do this. It has many guided meditations, binaural beats tracks, affirmations, etc. It’s a free app. You can also use YouTube or other apps.

In conclusion, there are many things you can do to cultivate gratitude. Don’t take what you have in your life for granted. There are always good events, things and people in our lives and we should focus on those (while working on fixing our issues). Shift your perspective and enjoy a better quality of life.

What do you think about gratitude? What are you grateful for today?

Images are courtesy of Pixabay.

How to deal with impulsiveness when you have BPD

Today I messed up. I’m feeling remorse and guilt. Someone felt bad because of me. It is what it is. Sometimes I can be garbage. When things of this nature happen, I take a good hard look at myself. It hurts and you feel bad but it’s important to do it. Understand that you should never act that way again. That there is a consequence to every action. When you have BPD, impulsivity can be an issue. Sometimes you do things that you regret later. It’s never too late to learn.

I wrote an article on How to improve your self-control but I would like to talk further about this.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), impulsive behaviors are a hallmark of BPD. Impulsivity is broadly defined as actions without foresight that are poorly conceived, prematurely expressed, unnecessarily risky, and inappropriate to the situation. Impulsivity is associated with undesirable, rather than desirable, outcomes.

Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/impulsive-behavior-and-bpd-425483

Everything and everyone is telling you not to do it but you still do it. It’s like an urge that you have. It happens less and less these days. I feel very disappointed in myself when it happens. So I searched for ways to be less impulsive and this is what I found:

red-3449490_640

New research shows that people can train their brains to become less impulsive, which could pave the way for new treatments for addictions to gambling, drugs or alcohol, as well as impulse-control disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The study from researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff assessed whether asking people to stop making simple movements while in a simulated gambling situation affected how risky or cautious they were when betting.

Source:https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/06/16/brain-can-be-trained-to-be-less-impulsive/40192.html

They found that avoiding certain actions can lessen our impulse to do them. This is very important for addiction and, as the article mentions, impulse disorders. Easier said than done, right? It works to a degree but I believe that it would work with addiction. If you are a cigarette smoker and you avoid smoking for a while and then a little more afterward and gradually increase the amount of time that you’re not smoking, that the way to go. Some people can just say “I’ve had enough of this” and just quit in one day. They probably get in that mindset of quitting that it’s sometimes so hard to achieve. For some people, that day never comes.

fire-8837_640

I often tell other people who are suffering with intense, extreme emotions and urges that no matter how intense, extreme, or strong it is, it will pass. Not only will it pass, but you also do NOT have to follow through on any impulse to act during that time.

Often when we are in a heightened state (especially when we are emotionally sensitive), the actions we feel like taking – those immediate fixes to quell the pain and calm our nerves in that moment – end up being things that hurts us – either physically or by sabotaging our relationships and life circumstances.

Source:https://www.my-borderline-personality-disorder.com/2012/04/emotional-sensitivity-impulsiveness-and-bpd.html

I think these two paragraphs are very enlightening and they come from someone who actually has BPD. The urge will pass and we will be rewarded by our behavior, maybe not in money or anything but in our conscience. That alone is something that contributes to the well-being of a person.

beauty-1845520_640

Learn more about mindfulness practices. Becoming aware of your feelings, and learning to connect your impulsiveness to your thoughts, emotions and urges will help you better control your actions. Mindfulness helps by allowing you some distance from your impulses, offering you the opportunity to choose to act upon your impulses or not. When you notice an urge, articulate that urge mentally to yourself before acting on it. For example, “I am angry that my partner just said that, and I want to criticize her.” Follow this with a more constructive response, such as, “I can try to calm down.”

Mindfulness means to focus on what’s going on inside yourself, and it may take time to notice what’s going on in your body before you act impulsively rather than afterwards.

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

Yoga or daily exercise also helps. I find that when I was doing meditation every day, impulsive acts weren’t happening so often. I guess I have to go back to meditating every day. I notice that I am more irritable and that I have less patience which is somewhat good, in one or two senses. Having less patience is negative overall.

Understand how impulsivity functions in your life. Sometimes being impulsive can have positive as well as negative effects. For example, if you have a hard time making decisions, you may find yourself making last minute decisions as a means of avoiding the anxiety you feel when trying to make a thoughtful decision.

  • If you’re experiencing benefits from acting impulsively, try to find more effective ways of achieving this benefit.
  • Remember that you can still be spontaneous even if you’re less impulsive. Being less impulsive doesn’t mean your life will be dull and conventional. It just means that you’ll be more in control of what you choose to spend your money, time, and attention on.

Source:https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

Dissecting our problems, alone or with a therapist, is always a good idea. We need to understand how impulsivity functions in our lives. And that last part is very important. I notice that some people with BPD like having BPD. I’m not judging, it’s that I’ve always wanted to not have it and so do other people. You would still be a wonderful person without BPD. Same goes for impulsiveness. Even if it has positive effects on your life, try to avoid it. There are better ways to things.

sri-lanka-1024347_640

Engage in activities that will calm you down. Calming activities vary person to person, but might include listening to guided meditations, calming music, or doing deep breathing exercises. Getting more relaxed can help you avoid acting impulsively..

Source:https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

This is an excellent idea and I will definitely do this. Guided meditations are so helpful for so many different goals and situations. You just need headphones and your phone, tablet or pc. Find a quiet place, dim the lights or turn them off, get a cozy blanket and lay down on the floor, or a sofa or bed. Alternatively, you can sit down on a chair or sit on the lotus position on the floor, with your back straight. Deep breathing exercises are very good as well, though I don’t it often. Mindfulness or breathing meditations are my go-to ones.

mental-health-2313428_640

Consider cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, helps a person focus on connecting their thoughts and feelings with their behaviors. CBT is a common treatment for anxiety and impulse disorders, among others. The goal of CBT is to identify the thoughts that often result in impulsive activity.

  • Impulsive behavior is often the result of automatic thoughts, which are the thoughts that your mind produces as an immediate reaction to certain situations. These thoughts can be negative and may lead you to make poor decisions. CBT helps you to identify these automatic thought patterns and reframe them in new ways.
  • A therapist or behavioral specialist can help you explore the ways that CBT might work in your life!

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Impulsive

CBT for some cases, DBT (which was based on CBT) for people with BPD. I found that DBT was very helpful and I was less impulsive at the time. If you don’t have the money to do DBT but you have enough for a regular therapist, you can ask your therapist to do exercises with you, by using a DBT book of your choice.  If you can’t really pay for sessions, try the book. There are used ones on Amazon that are cheaper and ebooks are even cheaper. If there’s a will, there’s a way. There are other options but you don’t need me to tell you, do you?

In the end, my advice is all of the above and an emphasis on meditation. There are many types of meditation so you should be able to find one that suits you best.

Are you impulsive? How do you deal with it? Share your tips in the comment section.

I hope you are all okay.

How common is BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)?

Sometimes, we feel like we are alone. No one feels like us or struggles like us. There are many blogs about BPD and that suggests that it is not that uncommon.

A recent study on the prevalence of mental health disorders in the U.S. found that about 1.6 percent of the population has BPD. While that number may sound small, that means that there are more than four million people with BPD in the U.S. alone. Although many people have never heard of BPD, it is actually more common than many well-known disorders, such as schizophrenia.

So, you see, you are not alone and it is relatively common. Millions of people have it, all around the world. Furthermore, it seems that there are more women diagnosed with BPD than men. Correlation doesn’t always imply causation, so it unclear whether women are more prone to have BPD or if it has anything to do with the fact that it’s considered a women’s condition. Some men have BPD and are misdiagnosed as having depression or PTSD.

That 1.6 percent statistic may not be accurate because many people with BPD have not yet been diagnosed or they have been misdiagnosed. In one study from Brown University, more than forty percent of those with BPD had originally been misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder. One hypothesis for this issue is that bipolar disorder is more easily treated through medication, so it is more commonly diagnosed so that symptoms can be quickly managed with a prescription.

Maybe you think you don’t know no one with BPD in the real world but you probably do.

 

The image is courtesy of Pixabay.

 

Social media, mental health, and strategies to avoid overusing it

This is probably one of the most talked about issues right now. Most people love social media. Sharing pictures, liking, commenting. It feels like socializing. You get in touch with people that are far away or close by. It’s fun and a time waster. It’s addictive. Every notification is a dopamine spike. We get hooked and spend more and more time on it. Too tired to do something productive, it’s easy to just scroll through Facebook or Instagram.

It’s an artificial world, where everyone is happy and on their best behavior. Or not but we are always in PR mode. “Look at this beautiful place”, “Look at this wonderful food”. If you’re not in the best place right now, it’s better not to be on Facebook or other toxic social media sites.

woman

At least here on WordPress, people get vulnerable. They talk about their victories, their defeats and everything in between. You are not bombarded by selfies or animal abuse videos or all that other crap you see on Facebook. This is a social platform for readers, writers, and curious people.

I definitely feel much better since I stopped using Facebook so much but let’s see what science says about it:

According to a recent study by UK disability charity Scope, of 1500 Facebook and Twitter users surveyed, 62 percent reported feeling inadequate and 60 percent reported feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to other users.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nurturing-self-compassion/201703/mental-health-and-the-effects-social-media

Social media can cause depression, according to this recent study.  If you feel jealous or envious of your Facebook friends, it’s better not to have an account. As I’ve said before, it’s addictive, so it’s easy to keep going despite the fact that it’s making you miserable. It causes more sadness and less joy. It’s only natural for us to compare ourselves to others and on Facebook that is inevitable.

depressed woman

Human beings are always looking for satisfaction. Most people aren’t satisfied with their lives and virtual socializing seems safer. But it’s not. It can be in a sense but we need to feel a real connection. To be with people in real life, create bonds, etc. We weren’t made to be alone all the time. Humans are social species.

In fact, another study found that social media use is linked to greater feelings of social isolation. The team looked at how much people used 11 social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat and Reddit, and correlated this with their “perceived social isolation.” Not surprisingly, it turned out that the more time people spent on these sites, the more socially isolated they perceivedthemselves to be. And perceived social isolation is one of the worst things for us, mentally and physically.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/#721f75612e5a

You’re shaping your reality and isolating yourself, under the false pretense of effortless socializing. You will perceive yourself to be more alone and that also contributes to depression or sadness.

Meanwhile another survey of 1,000 British women by Forza Supplements found that 82% of respondents “edit” their holiday photographs before posting them online in order to ensure that they are shown to the greatest advantage; 34% use filters on Instagram to finesse their appearance. Additionally 76% of respondents said they have felt embarrassed by photos posted by friends or family members that included them, and 57% have actually asked these friends or family members to take a photo down because they considered it so unflattering.

Source: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/230900/social-media-makes-users-feel-ugly-inadequate.html

So, people are altering themselves to fit in, to have more likes and receive compliments. We have to be flawless at all times. This isn’t healthy, it’s shaping our perception and putting pressure on us. It’s unrealistic and harmful. Artificial is the new natural. I fear the impact of this on society.

Everything that exists, in this life, is connected to something else. We are all connected and the internet connected us even more (even if in an illusory way). A comparison is inevitable in this environment. We see other people’s lives and automatically compare it to ours. This is very toxic and can lead to depression. It also leads to jealousy.

 (…) it can become a vicious cycle: feeling jealous can make a person want to make his or her own life look better, and post jealousy-inducing posts of their own, in an endless circle of one-upping and feeling jealous.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/#720d85352e5a

We should always look at things this way: this person looks like she has a perfect life but everyone has trials and tribulations. They don’t show you when they cry, when they scream, when they are angry and frustrated. No one is perfect or has a perfect life. If you feel like you’re in this infinite loop of jealousy, avoid Facebook or unfollow your most successful Facebook friends or the ones that like to brag about their lives.

Part of the unhealthy cycle is that we keep coming back to social media, even though it doesn’t make us feel very good. This is probably because of what’s known as a forecasting error: Like a drug, we think getting a fix will help, but it actually makes us feel worse, which comes down to an error in our ability to predict our own response. One study looked at how people feel after using Facebook and how they think they’ll feel going in. Like other studies suggested, the participants in this one almost always felt worse after using it, compared to people engaging in other activities. But a follow-up experiment showed that people generally believed that they’d feel better after using, not worse. Which of course turns out not to be the case at all, and sounds a lot like the pattern in other types of addiction.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/#720d85352e5a

I remember one day, I was particularly sensitive and I came across a video of animal abuse. Distressed and uneasy, I logged off and swore I would never log in again. One hour later, I was back. Just like an addict who is caught by the police, while buying drugs and buys drugs the day after that, most of us return to Facebook after seeing something distressing or disturbing. It’s important to break this cycle.

man thinking forest

Strategies to avoid Facebook and other social media sites

Evaluate your relationship with Facebook, how it affects you and make a conscious choice. There are strategies to avoid Facebook or other social media sites. If you have a pc and a cellphone, try to make it a habit not to use Facebook on your computer, just on your phone. Spend time doing other things on your computer, like watching movies, series, doing a course, watching interesting YouTube videos or documentaries. Even better is to see your friends in real life, take a walk, enjoy nature, read a book, meditate. There is a number of great things you can do in real life.

Set a time to check Facebook or just go with the flow and you may forget it exists for a few hours. Then, check your notifications and scroll for a few minutes, ideally less than five. Don’t get sucked into the rabbit hole, there’s a world outside. A palpable, more real world.

As you detox from it, you’ll start to notice that you spend less and less time there. You will start to value your other activities and understand that Facebook and other social media sites are a trap.

Conclusion

Facebook and other sites were created and designed to keep us hooked, in order to sell things to us. Gather our information and sell it to God-knows-who. It knows almost everything about us, based on our likes. It’s also an echo-chamber, somewhere where we just see what the algorithm thinks we want to see. This is also harmful, as we should be informed about various points of view., in order to not have a very biased opinion.

It’s also important to think that our time is finite and that wasting it on toxic platforms is not the best way to live. There are other activities that are more constructive and positive.

 

 

 

The importance of personal boundaries and how to establish them

What are personal boundaries

I made a poem that talked about boundaries some months ago (the poem is called People Pleasing). It was a habit I had, something that I developed and that somehow reassured me, while I wasn’t genuine. I couldn’t be genuine, I was so afraid of being rejected. Of being alone and lonely. So I wasn’t always honest and agreed with things I didn’t agree with. I wasn’t being myself. It was a pattern that I knew two things about:

The first thing was that I knew why I had that defense mechanism;

The second thing was that it could change.

private-1665019_640

According to Wikipedia:

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. They are built out of a mix of conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning. This concept or life skill has been widely referenced in self-help books and used in the counseling profession since the mid-1980s.

According to some counselors, personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes, and setting the distances one allows others to approach. They include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries, involving beliefs, emotions, intuitions and self-esteem. Jacques Lacan considered such boundaries to be layered in a hierarchy, reflecting “all the successive envelopes of the biological and social status of the person”. Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people. These are sometimes referred to as the “protection” and “containment” functions.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_boundaries

The way we create boundaries is by asserting ourselves and communicating to others our rules, values, likes or dislikes. The other person can then understand our limits in order to respect them. Communication is key. It allows us to have deeper and harmonious relationships.

Personal boundaries can also be important for understanding who should and should not be in your life. Some people understand boundaries very well and things go very smoothly. Others don’t. They may hurt you, take advantage of you, etc.

Boundaries are there to protect you. They define you, like an outline. They can change over time but they are our sensibilities, traumas, scars, etc.

Learning to set healthy personal boundaries is necessary for maintaining a positive self-concept, or self-image.

It is our way of communicating to others that we have self-respect, self-worth, and will not allow others to define us.

Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They allow us to separate who we are, and what we think and feel, from the thoughts and feelings of others. Their presence helps us express ourselves as the unique individuals we are, while we acknowledge the same in others.

It would not be possible to enjoy healthy relationships without the existence of personal boundaries, or without our willingness to communicate them directly and honestly with others. We must recognize that each of us is a unique individual with distinct emotions, needs and preferences. This is equally true for our spouses, children and friends.

Source: https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/personalboundaries.html

Depending on who pushes your boundaries, there are different ways to react and defuse the situation. If it’s an older relative, you can ignore it and avoid them. But if it’s someone close to you, it’s really hurtful but you still have to react. Don’t overreact but be assertive.

iron-gate-21038_640

Deciding “I want this and that” and “I don’t want that and this”. Taking charge of your choices means taking charge of your life. It’s one of the most empowering things you can do.

Before, I feared to say “no” to some people and the consequences were not pleasant. When I started saying “no” to people, things started to change. I lost the fear of saying “no”. The fear of losing someone over a disagreement. It wasn’t meant to be, as many people say. You can believe whatever you want, just keep in mind that having boundaries is a natural and important part of life.

You start to understand that you were the source of the problem. Some of your choices weren’t the best and you chose the wrong inner circle. Being with people that drugs,  sadistic, unstable, almost psychopathic (or full-blown psychopath, who knows?), antisocial, narcissistic, dangerous, toxic and other types of people you want to share your life with. Choose your company wisely.

Afraid or unafraid, go for it. Say “no”. You may lose the person. Keep track of the pros and cons of having that person in your life. If it’s manageable or not. Say “no” and see how the other person reacts. “I don’t want to talk about this” should be enough for someone to understand that you’re not enjoying the conversation, for example.

When you have boundaries, you start to not fear invalidation as much. You just react to injustice or something else that bothers you.

 

Types of boundaries

There are three types of boundaries: rigid, porous and healthy.

Screenshot_4.png

Source: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/relationships_personal_boundaries.pdf

We usually have different boundaries for different settings. It can be porous at home and rigid at work, for example. There can be a mix of characteristics of the three types.

barbwire-1765900_640

Important facts about personal boundaries and how to establish them

-Everyone has the right to personal boundaries. You should take responsibility for how you let others treat you. Boundaries are like filters allowing what is acceptable in your life and what is not. Without boundaries, our self-worth comes from others. In order not to be in that situation, it’s important to define strong and clear limits so that others will respect them and stick by them. Another fact related to this is that, usually, people with weak boundaries have a tendency to violate the boundaries of others.

-You should believe and trust in yourself. Deep down inside, we always know what’s best for us but sometimes we just do what feels better, without really thinking in our self-interest. Or to please others. You are a specialist in yourself. No one knows you better than you do. You always know what you want, appreciate and need. Taking responsibility for your boundaries means taking care of yourself and others. Once we understand what personal boundaries are, we are more likely to respect the ones others have.

-Define what is unacceptable for you. Communicate with other people when they disrespect you or act inappropriately. Never be afraid to tell others when you need space. We all need space to recharge, from time to time. Be unapologetic about who you are. Define what actions you must take when people cross the line and use those strategies, whenever you need.

-And, most importantly, learn how to say no. As I said before, this is sometimes a challenge but once you understand the advantages, it’s really a life saver. Be assertive and stick by what you believe. We need to be selfish to a degree and put our needs first. As a former people pleaser, I tell you, it’s not the best way to live. We do things that are not good for us, for the sake of others. We let others control and manipulate us. Saying no can be liberating and save us a lot of trouble. Don’t be afraid to try it. It’s empowering.

 

How strong are your boundaries? How do you deal with your boundaries and other people’s boundaries? What is the importance of boundaries?

Much love to you all and I hope it helps someone. If it helped you, let me know.

When people with NPD and people with BPD are in a relationship

I have dated at least one person with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) and it was a fatal attraction. It made me wonder if there is a reason behind that. It was the relationship that most impacted my life. So, I did a google search and it turns out that there is, in fact, a reason for that.

NPD is characterized by:

-Arrogance and being domineering

-Grandiosity

-Preoccupation with success and power

-Lack of empathy

-The belief of being unique

-Sense of entitlement

-Needs excessive admiration

-Exploitative

-Envious of others

https://howcanweknowus.weebly.com/the-9-characteristics-of-npd.html

Most people choose romantic partners who are their approximate equals with regard to understanding how to sustain intimacy.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understanding-narcissism/201711/why-do-narcissists-and-borderlines-fall-in-love

It feels addictive to date someone with NPD. There is an unusual bond and attraction.

We have the BPD woman, for example, who is emotionally volatile and has a fragmented sense of self. The NPD man, on the other hand, is emotionally numb.

It does not feel good for the person with NPD to be numb inside, so all that feeling the person with BPD provides is like nourishment for the person with NPD—it allows him (or her) to feel “something”—someone else’s intense affect. And the NPD provides safety and stability for the BPD.

If the person with BPD is a woman, she can’t blow her NPD man away or flood him the way she has all the more “sensitive” men in her life. He allows her to feel more secure and contained. BP Disordered people are often desperately dependent and their dependency can make NP Disordered people feel very important, which is necessary to them.

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2014/03/narcissistic-and-borderline-attraction/

The woman with BPD is attracted by the grandiosity and larger than life personality of the man with NPD. He seems cool and calm, it gives her security and stability. The adoration and charm of the woman with BPD are highly attractive to these individuals because of their need to be the center of the world.

It’s often an explosive combination: rapidly falling in love with each other only to find themselves trapped in an highly conflicted and ultimately disappointing relationship.

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-borderlines-attract-sociopaths-narcissists

My experience

Dating a narcissist is very challenging. The idealization phase of the relationship is very rewarding. We are showered with attention and gifts. The man is kind and flatters us. It’s all fake. Most people have a strong PR sense and narcissists excel at this. So, the person with BPD opens up and vents. This information starts to corrode the idealization. Then start the unkind comments and mocking, which are very invalidating. This invalidation leads the person with BPD to crave it more and more, always hoping that the person with NPD delivers. They tell you the sweetest things and then put you down as if you were the worst person in the world. This creates the type of “I hate you, don’t leave me” relationship, that people with BPD know so well. This conflict can be addictive and rewarding, in a twisted way.

It’s a destructive type of relationship and you know that people with BPD can have self-destructive tendencies so it can last for a while. In my case, it lasted almost 1 year and a half. I broke up with him twice. I was tired of being let down, of believing when he said he would change. He would cry and make promises like some abusers do.

Living with him was a nightmare. Arguing, bickering, the whole nine yards. An experience that hurt me and affected me for many years. Maybe still a bit today but nothing compared with the past.

I still seek his validation but not as much. We share songs and talk once in a while. We may see each other soon, have a cup of coffee somewhere and talk. It would be good.

Don’t hate the narcissist. He has his own limitations and reality tunnel. He is doing the best he can with the tools he was provided. But don’t forgive him so much that you go back to him unless you are aware of what you will deal with. Some people do it. I don’t know if they turn out fine or if the relationships last but I’d love to know.