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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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 saying “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.

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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.

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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 to 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 to other people when they disrespected you or acted 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(narcissistic personality disorder) and people with BPD(borderline personality disorder) 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

-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’s 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 is 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.

Outside ( observation, modularity of the mind and personality)

I’m outside now. There’s a wonderful breeze, something I never feel at home. The sun is shining, lots of people our out. Patios with many people having a beer or a soda and enjoying the sun. It’s a pleasure to be out. I want to capture this moment and keep it in mind next time I don’t feel like going out. That’s one of the ways of being more in control of my fear. I feel secure and protected with my boyfriend.

The second thing that helps me go outside, when he’s not around, is music. If I take my headphones and listen to music, I feel more calm and walking doesn’t feel like a challenge. I let music take me places and indeed it does. It’s great company when you are alone. A friend of mine suggested this to me and I’m glad she did, as it is very useful.

Now we are going to watch a movie at my boyfriend’s place. I’m not a fan of action movies so I will just listen to it and keep writing.

We have arrived. I like to watch him watch movies. He looks so calm and attentive. I love feeling his presence, even if we don’t talk. It’s like being with my best friend, a best friend that I love romantically. Someone I respect and that treats me right. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I found someone like him. He has helped me heal, with love and compassion. He is very empathetic and kind. Most men are afraid of their emotional side but, not only is he not afraid, he is in touch with his feeling. Intuition is a trait he also has. He can guess things and make choices based on it. It has happened many times, he guessed outcomes of situations. At first, I would be apprehensive but then I would see he was right. In my opinion, being in touch with your intuition is a gift.

I had a cold apple cider outside. It tasted like heaven. I really like how it has some alcohol but it tastes like juice. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, I could never drink whisky or gin or other strong drinks. I don’t even like beer, unless it’s mixed with plenty of Sprite. It’s a good thing that I don’t like it, otherwise it could become a problem now that I stopped smoking. Drunk people annoy me a lot. Most drunk people become very irrational and hard to deal. I have absolutely no patience for that. As I’m always sober, they are in a completely different wavelength than me. People become stubborn and impulsive, total loose cannons. That scares me very much. I’m afraid of tough situations, fights, misunderstandings and awkward situations. I have humiliated myself many times, too many to count, so now I keep it low-key.

When you have untreated BPD, unless it’s quiet, you act out. There is chaos inside of you, that overflows and you do irrational things. I wish I had been diagnosed sooner but what has passed is past. I’ve come to terms with it. I know I’m not the person I was 5 years ago and I feel good about that. I’m not crystallized and I continue to evolve. That is very important to me, feeling like I’m growing. Knowing that I still have a lot to learn and not settling for less. Some people don’t have that awareness but I don’t blame them. There are so many mainstream myths about personality, people see it like something that is fixed when it’s not. The brain may be hard-wired to work in some ways but there is always room for change. You just need to acknowledge what you want to change and make an effort to re-wire your brain. The Buddha stated that there was no self and the modular theory of the mind come to that conclusion. It hasn’t been proven but it’s very interesting.

“Modularity of the mind is the notion that a mind may, at least in part, be composed of innate neural structures or modules which have distinct established evolutionary developed sources.

Source: Wikipedia “Modularity of the mind” article.

Every situation “activates” a certain module, they are sensitive to stimuli and they are meant to keep us safe, in order for us to pass our genes to the next generation. But now we live in a completely different time and our society is rapidly changing. For example, we crave sweets because they meant fruit and that was good for us. But now there are many processed snacks, which are not beneficial to us and that can make us obese. Another example of displaced instincts is road rage. Rage and anger used to be used to make a point in our tribe, when our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. We wanted to set an example and it was a way to warn others not to mess with us. Road rage is displaced energy. You are probably never going to see that person again and you still feel like you have to make a point. It’s completely useless and people still do it. People do irrational things because of it. We are yet to completely adapt to our new circumstances and I don’t know if we ever will, since society is ever-changing.

When I was about 20 years old, I started to notice how annoying and downright stupid some of my traits were. I came to that conclusion by observing others. People are like mirrors. You look at certain people and you see some traits you share with them. It is also useful to look at people, really look closely and understand what traits you would like to have yourself. I noticed that people who talked too much and monopolized conversations were too much to handle. Now I can have balanced conversations where everyone has a chance to talk and interesting ideas can be shared and thought about collectively. To me, those are the best conversations. People want to socialize but are not eager to talk, interrupting others and sharing too much. I value people like that and I surround myself with them. I feel so bored when people talk too much. There is no space for sharing knowledge and interesting ideas. I remember justifying myself a lot, I desperately wanted people to understand me and not judge me. But they would, ultimately. Then I would justify myself more and overshare, I would be even more judged. You don’t need to justify yourself to be understood and not everyone should know details about your life. You will find people in your life that won’t judge you and will listen when you need to vent. They will keep your secrets safe (but don’t tell them all your secrets, unless it’s your therapist, he/she can keep your secrets safe).

These are things I’ve learned in my 30 something years of life. I will share more of my thoughts of life spontaneously and I hope they can be of use to my readers.

The movie has ended, it’s now time to spend time with my boyfriend.

Can you share things you have learned so far about life and people? What are your views on personality?

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Fear

Fear is definitely the main thing holding me back. I have this feeling that I have failed so many times and I’m so scared of failing again. It’s definitely a paralyzing fear that encompasses my life. It’s so overwhelming. I wish my loved ones would know how hard it is for me to cope with this fear.Sometimes I feel they don’t really understand what I go through. I hope mindfulness meditation can help me with this. I feel calmer and more stable, with less unpleasant thoughts.

I found this article . It has some powerful tips. This is also helpful.

I found that I have a generalized fear of life, fear of living. Living has caused me so much distress and pain. I know I’ve had a lot of happiness in my life, too but the negative experiences have been branded in my mind. I have some agoraphobia ( I haven’t experienced panic attacks in a long time) and social anxiety. For me, agoraphobia is the worst. I’m completely dependent on others and I can’t bring myself to go outside. It’s like outside is so far away and it’s so hard for me to bring myself to go outside. Does anyone else experience this? I would love to hear your input.

Thank you for reading this.

Image by Free-Photos, courtesy of Pixabay.

I created a Discord server for this blog

Today was a good day. I was very active on Deviantart and discord-. I created a server for this blog. Just go here and check out Discord if you haven’t. I talk about Discord a lot because it’s been an alternative to Facebook and we all know by now how negative Facebook can be. On discord, a server is a place with text and voice channels for like-minded individuals, gamers, and friends. It’s a good place to meet people and socialize. There are many different servers, with different themes and different purposes. My server is aimed at mental health. I’m open to suggestions when it comes to channels, it’s a very new server so I could use some ideas. Do you know Discord? Here is their site. For me, Discord is IRC 2.0. Those of you old enough to have been on IRC will love Discord and if you’re younger, you will love to be involved in the different communities. Join me and many other users on Discord!

These days

I have mixed feelings about Christmas and the end of the year.I like all the food, presents and holiday spirit (at least, the one in my house). My Mother gets very happy and excited for Christmas, I love to see her like that. My Father also gets into the holiday spirit but he is still his judgemental self. I’m getting used to it, he won’t change now or ever. It’s in his nature and I respect that, though it still hurts me a lot. I understand his side and the generational gap doesn’t help. He was always very respectful to his parents, like most people in his generation. He was appalled by my disrespect, he started to think there was something wrong with me. He never realized that he was very critical and invalidating. Right at the time when I needed him the most. I can’t blame him, he didn’t know better. Understanding what we couldn’t understand is a part of growing up. Accepting and tolerating, too. We now have a civilized relationship, though we exchange harsh words a few times a week. It never escalates. I don’t allow it. We have many similarities when it comes to personality and that is why clash. Maybe one day, we’ll get along better. Or not. Who knows?

When it comes to the end of the year, I’m having a deja-vu. I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. I immediately started to criticize myself and hate myself. Sometimes it’s necessary, you can’t be too complacent with yourself. There must be some accountability. But I was overwhelmed. I relived how I felt this whole year. Like a failure, worthless and hopeless. I have 300 days to make a change. This year has to be different. I know it’s going to be different because I have started to take steps in the right direction, I have plans and ideas. I want to continue working on my blog, consistently. I want to continue to create art. I want to get a job. I want to start exercising.

The first decision, the one that will enable me to do all of this and more, is quitting weed. It takes away all of my will and energy. Addiction is so complicated. As Wikipedia states, “Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences”. So, I’m basically, in auto-destruction mode, if I don’t do anything about it. It’s extra-hard to do it on your own but I know I can do it.

I’ve been using a four-week plan hypnosis and positive affirmations to help me with this task and it’s helping.

An affirmation is really anything you say or think. A lot of what we normally say and think is quite negative and doesn’t create good experiences for us. We have to retrain our thinking and speaking into positive patterns if we want to change our lives.”- Louise Hay

This article is very enlightening and it shows how anyone can benefit from positive affirmations. A way to transform our reality is changing our perception of it. Words can really change the way we think and react.

Tell me what you think about this in the comment section, I would love to hear our thoughts on what I talked about.

Happy holidays and thank you for reading this.

Image by congerdesign, courtesy of Pixabay.

The Diagnosis

Being diagnosed was very important to me, people need to belong and to know more about who we are and what caused us to be this way.

The first person to diagnose me, well before the psychiatrists was my best-friend. She is a psychologist and the first to notice it. I supose spending lots of time with me helped. 🙂

Never let the diagnosis define you completely, you are much more than a label. There is much more complexity to a person than a diagnosis ad that diagnosis can change over time. My psychiatrist argues that the diagnosis is not important but it was to me though I understand where she is coming from: we shouldn’t settle for a diagnosis, conditions can change, evolve and some, like BPD (borderline personality disorder) can be in remission. I think she focuses in treating the symptoms than relying on the diagnosis.

Nevertheless, it was important for me to find and connect with people that had share traits with me. I learned and still learn so much about bpd with other bpd paatients. It’s one of the things that motivate me to share my experiences and helpful tips for dealing with this condition. As you may or may not know, sharing is caring and I would love for more people to share and exchange useful advice.

BPD (borderline personality disorder) symptoms include:

º unstable relationships with other people

ºunstable sensee of self

ºunstable emotions

ºfrequent dangerous behavior

ºfeeling of emptiness

ºself-harm

ºextreme fear of abandondment

ºprone to addiction

If you think you might have BPD, my advice is to contact a therapist or a psychiatrist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Yours,

Scarlett

Introductory Post

Hello everyone. My name is Scarlett and I’m 33 years old. I live in Portugal and I’ve been a writer ever since I can remember.

I’ve been a psychiatric patient since 2000, which implies that I have a mental condition and that I take medicine. Medication affected my creativity. In some ways, it’s my fault and my addiction’s fault. If I had stopped smoking weed many years ago, I would probably be medication free by now. 2 out of 3 BPD (borderline personality disorder)patients have an addiction, it’s part of the condition: risky behavior, self-destructive behavior and lack of impulse control. 2 out of 3 means there is a chance, it is possible to stay clean. That’s what I want and I will be documenting my journey with addiction, BPD, depression and all that comes with it.

All of this has definitely affected my writing skills and my ability to express myself that’s why I thought that starting a blog would be a good idea. A way to start writing regularly again, having a writing routine and creating a new habit, so I can construct a healthy routine to keep me occupied at this time. It’s a time where I’m still pretty much deciding what I am going to with my life at this point. I guess I’m a late bloomer but I shall bloom nonetheless. 🙂

I will tell you about my past and what I’ve been through and I would love you to comment and tell me your thoughts.

1999 was the year I started smoking joints. At first, it was an occasional thing but it became a habit. I was the only addict in my group of friends and all of them tried it like me. I guess I won the lottery of addiction and, boy, what a prize that is.

As a toddler, I had meningitis and people who have meningitis as children are more prone to have a psychotic episode. I had my first one at 21. Entered a cycle, psychosis, recovery, relapse, psychosis… and psychotic episodes impair one’s judgment a lot, even after it is gone. Its after-effects are devastating and it can take a couple of years to fully recover. I had my last psychotic episode in 2016 and I can still feel low on empathy, flattened emotions, not many things are pleasurable to me, etc. I’m also dealing with depression since 2001, it’s also a struggle.

I try to look at the silver-lining and I have to say that all these experiences, emotions, all I’ve dealt with made me emotionally stronger and more grounded.When I’m not feeling ok, I always tell myself that I’ve been worse and that it’s not so bad. Pain and suffering are a part of life, it’s important to accept it. One my interests is mindfulness meditation and it’s a way to learn to accept what you can’t change.

One thing that helps me to relax is drawing and creating digital art. I will post my art here, probably accompanying my texts. I draw line after line, with gradients of color. I edit images to create new images, very different from the original. Creating art from art. It feels very satisfying to me and I love to see the finished product. Hobbies are very important for us, BPD patients. Our mind is our greatest enemy and we definitely need to keep it occupied and happy.

In this blog, I will recommend apps I use related to BPD, mental health, healthy living, etc. Apps are very interactive, fun and useful. They can help us cope and many other things. As an android user, I will be recommending apps for android but many apps are available for both Android and iOS. I will be recommending as many things as I can that have helped me in my journey. I would also love to see your tips in the comment section.

Thank you so much for reading. I will be adding more content soon.

Yours,

Scarlett