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Understanding Mental Health Pt. 1

Updated on September 18, 2012

BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

BPD persons are very often misunderstood.

They are described as deliberately manipulative or being difficult, but analysis and findings generally trace behaviors to be the result of emotional pain and turmoil. Due to the inability to cop with past trauma; especially when the onset is during childhood. Most of the time, sufferers succeed to repress painful memory but the struggle to forget is extremely difficult. And often than not, they resort to substance abuse in order for them to cop with it. BPD individuals has difficulties handling inner pain; they would choose to be in denial or avoid the trigger of their pain and sometimes both; in an attempt to survive. They tend to feel hurt easier than others and in an attempt to disguise their true emotions, they show others that they are not affected or react in physical or/and verbal agression.

Most BPD individuals have other disorder combined with their personality disorder. The most common are Depression, Anxiety and usually accompanied with inferiority complex. Depends to the severity of the stage of their illnesses; BPD being a (emotional) repressed illness may cause the individual to contract 'Heart Disease', 'Migraine', 'Gastrointestinal' related disease and a few others.

When faced with hardships simultaneously; they would become depressed and break down. Sometimes they go through a phase of agressiveness, and dissociation which happened at least once. They are also known to make 'spur of the moment' decisions and act on impulse, thus gain them the image of irresponsible individual. Individual with BPD are often stuck in an abusive relationships and to the extent of disgust towards their partner, they are unable to find the courage to leave due to their attachment problems.

If a person shows sign of abandoning them, they would try to revive the relationship, whether it is a family member, a close friend or a lover. BPD fears abandonment. There is a popular term describing the conflicting emotions inside a persons with this illness, "I Hate You! Don't Leave Me..." Their emotional dependancy surpasses their sense of worth. They will alternate between their yearnings to belong and accepted with a moment of clarity where they feel self pity; for how they see themselves. Because of their inability to face rejection (even imagined one's) during their worse stage; they resolve to the act of demeaning themselves to gain some sort of answer and conformation to their identity. They move smoothly from (idealization) adoring to (devaluation) dismissive thoughts of the person they became emotionally vulnerable to.

Symptoms typically shows during adolescence or young adulthood. It may persist for several years, but the majority of symptoms lessen in severity over time, normally in their mid thirties, with some individuals fully recovered some don't. Other approaches in medication and therapy may also improve symptoms. There are also a small percentage of individual who deteriorate to worse condition due to lack of support combined with other elements that adds to the weigh of their illness. They are usually those who are not aware of their illnesses or/and chose self-medication, delay in seeking treatment or totally ignore it. Sometimes the cause is shame or their believe that they are able to handle it on their own, or both.

Example, a BPD who lost all his wealth, family, and if guilt is present, the individual might resort to suicide as a way of escape from mental torture. Person with this illness normally succeed in attempting suicide, 1 out of 11 cases, that is probably why BPD patients are expected to get more medical help than other mental illness like it. While borderline personality disorder can vary in extremeties; the importance of early treatment not only lessen the sufferer's pain and help them deal better with their lives but enable them to keep the illness from worsening compared to those who did not seek treatment.

People with BPD reaches out for help; but their contradicting way of showing it often fail to produce the results they seek and the negative reaction they receive from others, triggers even more self destructive behaviors, such as cutting or other form of self abuse. In a way, they are unconsciously punishing themselves. They tend to sabotage themselves without being conscious of it. Their need to identify themselves normally confuses not only others but themselves. The question they always ask themselves is, "Who Am I?"

Even though they are known to feel deep empathy for others and have a need to be related; they do relate well with what others are feeling (sometimes more than the person themselves); strangely, they do not deal well with their own failures. BPD individuals evoke intense emotions in those around them, they are known to engage in Projective Identification an 'ego defense mechanism projection'. They also have difficulties concentrating for a long period, their focus are short lived and swings from one idea to another. Despite their emotional vulnerabilities, the majority individuals with the illness are highly intelligent and talented. 


Classic BPD


I had to write about my feelings somewhere, there's some material that i wrote years back about how i see everything. It wasn't so much about literature but the need to reach out and an outlet to drain the negativity. When it's bad.. I'm sure some of you know how it is.

When (low) depression sets in, you just don't want to move from wherever you are. You feel so cold from the inside and you would just die if you try. other times, breathing becomes shallow. you don't realize that you are rocking back and forth. if only you can fill that big hollow thing in your chest. Then you pull your knees up as close to your body. You want to scream but you know it's hopeless. You just feel like you're so alone and tiny.

when you met someone, a normal friend, you get attach easily and when they're lacking you got disappointed and hurt. You hide that aching and let yourself feel it over and over again in your head until one day you think it over, 'why was i hurting so much over that person?

You move from one person to another, seeking for a sense of security that never comes. Once, you transfer that attachment to someone or something" alas most of the time, a person, you quickly, forgets the attachment that you once had with the one before. The pain doesn't get a lot less with repetition, only the hole in your chest gets bigger, with every single person that leaves you. You despise them, yet you can't bear to live without them.

The cycle continues on and on until you got tired..or someone cares enough to go out of their way to help you..or you just woke up and decide with determination that you're going to survive it and you will fight it with positivity, and faith.


She despises Michael, her regular client at the beauty salon where she works. He was always making passes at her and calls her at her work place. She had managed to control his pestering by being outright rude to him, one day. Following the incident Michael had stopped coming to the salon for his regular manicure and pedicures. It hadn't bothered her, she thought it was good riddance.

One night when she was out alone, during one of her regular drinking sessions at a bar; there she bumped into Michael. She had been drinking too much for her own good in an attempt to drown her sorrows. Michael hadn't made an effort to get her laid, she was a long way from sober and willing.

She went home feeling dirty.

The next day, Michael had started to call her again and this time had many text messages suggesting that they were lovers how he enjoyed her body. Feeling insulted, she didn't take it well, until the messages came on a regular basis. She started to take it as a means to entertain herself. In the mean time, she was also getting mixed signals that Michael might want her and for the first time she might try being with a married man. She desperately need someone to end her suffering. An anchor: she thought, until she finds herself. Everyone leaves in the end; so, it would be easier to just make a play with someone's husband and leave before it gets any serious. She never wants to be in the shoe of a husband snatcher, she thought she was up to it.

Another night, she got pretty drunk again and started to have text chat with Michael through her mobile. This time, Michael had told her to get ready because he was coming for her. Michael got his way with her at the back seat of his car. In between her drunken state and consciousness; she felt used and humiliated. Without hesitation, she act on impulse over the thought that has been playing in her mind since the day Michael had made made use of her, "Pay me."

Several hours later, she had sent a message to Michael saying that 'It was over between them'. Michael had replied immediately, with a note of surprise. Later, when she woke up from sleep, she felt 'cheap' and 'worthless'. She sent yet another message saying that she preferred to be a paid prostitute than his free whore. The only way to have some kind of control over it is not to be the thrash she was sure she is becoming.

Less than 24 hours later, she send another message explaining herself. The whole thing with Michael keeping silent doesn't feel good to her. The next morning Michael accused her of making their relationship 'cheap'.

Reading it, she was torn between a need to justify her actions and saying 'sorry'. She had replied curtly, in the hopes that she may still be in control of the situation. Michael didn't bite. Unable to control herself, she had send another message asking if she can still be with him, stating that she is willing for him to use her. Michael did not reply.

Almost two weeks later, after reliving the situation over and over and had come to the conclusion that she had sabotage her chance to have someone care about her, she had sent another message to Michael, telling him to contact her when he is done being angry because she is waiting for him.

A few days has passed, Michael had not contacted her. Strange as it is, she didn't feel too bad and didn't remember missing him but the few times when she needed to identify herself.

People that suffers this type of BPD, has reached a point where 'sex' is a tool for them to use;to be able to be wanted. With sex, just as it is the hardest to give away especially to someone they do not know; they have past that moral sense (No matter how tough a BPD used to be), they lost to their yearning for acceptance that has become a sole purpose, an addiction. Without understandings, they might lose it all together; when the reality of what they've gone through and what they have done to destroy themselves come crashing down. BPD, like most other disorders like it, finds forgiving themselves to be the hardest task of all. In some cases where the individual has substantial belief, and a habit of meditating, it can be helpful alongside regular therapy with an understanding Therapst.

No Discrimination

One cannot say that they understand a person with BPD after knowing or living with someone who suffers from it. Just as it is when another race, religion or country judge another from their own ugly experience with a person or group of people no matter how many times you are convinced of it. Give it more chances.

Just as people who (No offense intended. What I meant is for some who doesn't really know regarding the star signs but likes to categorize everyone they know in general) reads horoscopes and believe what they think they read about other star sign's character; it is stereotypical. Everyone who shares the same horoscope cannot be the same in moral, beliefs, will to act, and emotional tendencies due to personal experiences, backgrounds and genes; even if it is proven that they have certain similar characters.

The point is, not every illnesses is the same in degree and the patients reactions may differ as individual. It is a mental, emotional illnesses. An illness that they don't ask upon themselves and most never wish it on others, even those who ridicules them.

The Mental and Emotional illnesses is not who they are. Inside they are just as everyone else. Think of other sicknesses and separate it from the person who suffers it. What do you find? Another soul with feelings and memories, just like everyone else.


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