Happy Thanksgiving Day (hopefully)

Happy Thanksgiving Day (hopefully)

Thanksgiving Day (in the U.S.) has once again arrived; evoking warm memories of past gatherings with family and friends feasting on bountiful amounts of good food and experiencing deep feelings of gratitude. Sometimes however, that idealized version of Thanksgiving Day can devolve into debacle and communal feelings of joy into hurt and anger. For families that include persons who have Borderline Personality Disorder that outcome can be a worrisome and, sadly, an all too familiar event. Having some strategies in hand to help you and your loved ones get through the day unscathed might be useful. Here’s a piece we wrote a few years ago with useful survival tips that are still relevant:...
Exploring Space: Outer and Inner

Exploring Space: Outer and Inner

In 1997 the spacecraft Cassini was launched by NASA from the United States. Cassini’s mission was to travel to Saturn and record as much information as possible about that distant planet. The campaign to explore the vast outer solar system was underway. Seven years earlier, in 1990, the US National Institutes of Health declared that the remaining 10 years of the 20th century would be known as the “Decade of the Brain”. The goal of that research initiative was to explore the inner universe of human behavior. To a great extent this mission was made possible by two developments: new imaging devices such as CatScans, PetScans and MRI’s that revealed the inner structures and workings of the human brain in a level of detail never before possible and the development of sophisticated new pharmaceutical compounds that targeted difficult to treat mental conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and learning disorders. As the Cassini mission came to its fiery conclusion recently I was struck by the similarity between these two endeavors that capped the end of the last millennium. Each represents the innate human desire to explore: one was searching for clues as to the origin of our universe; the other was looking to unravel the complex inner workings of our brains. Cassini documented the rich and vibrant world on and around Saturn, photographing giant storms on the planet surface, unraveling the mysteries of the orbiting rings, and discovering lakes of liquid methane and hidden oceans where cascading plumes of hot water, some containing elements essential to creating primitive forms of life. The hopes for the Decade of the Brain...
BPD Treatment: Hard to Find?

BPD Treatment: Hard to Find?

It is not an simple task for a person or a family to get an accurate diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. The range of co-existing disorders in BPD – depression, anxiety, impulsivity and others, can often lead to a missed diagnosis of the underlying disorder that is fueling those problems. Unless a therapist is well versed in the nuances of BPD, a person can spend years going from one therapist to another, undertaking different treatment approaches and still find themselves pretty much in the same state of mind as when they began. Fortunately, more mental health providers are learning more about BPD, are more interested in working with people who have BPD, and – importantly – are willing to make the diagnosis when appropriate. But diagnosis only half the story. The next hurdle is to actually find one of those therapists qualified to treat BPD.  There are several resources that can help you do that and, hopefully, get you started on the road to recovery. You can find a number of these treatment resources on the BPDVideo website....
Treating BPD: Do It Yourself?

Treating BPD: Do It Yourself?

There is an inverse relationship between the number of people who are living with mental illness and the availability of resources with which to treat them. In other words, as more people need support for mental illness, there is insufficient help available to them- fewer therapists, community services, psychiatric hospitals, clinics, etc. And that trend does not look like it is going to be reversed any time soon. This is certainly the case with Borderline Personality Disorder. As BPD becomes better understood, more people are being diagnosed. While there are clinical treatments available and providers interested in treating BPD, there are still barriers that make it hard for people to access these resources in their communities. The obstacles include economic, social and geographic barriers such as lack of insurance, widespread stigma and living outside a major population area. And if you live in a country that offers national health services, you can add long waiting time to the list. What options are there for people in these circumstances? One approach with potential might be self-help, a growing trend in mental health care that blends peer support with a DIY attitude. This is not a recommendation to avoid seeking professional help. That should always be your first step. Remember, there is nothing that can substitute for professional intervention, but if you’re one of those people who can’t access or afford services, you might be able to bridge that gap a little on your own. If you’re interested in exploring this option, you should carefully research potential services to decide if any particular one fits your needs, budget and personal style....
Why Do They Do That? Could Be BPD.

Why Do They Do That? Could Be BPD.

   Is there a person in your life who‘s behavior is baffling? Are that person’s emotions volatile and unpredictable? Do they do things impulsively, flit from one bad relationship to another or have problems with alcohol or drugs? Do they get depressed or anxious? Do they self injure or threaten to kill themselves? If this sounds like someone in your life – your child, parent, spouse, close friend or romantic partner, you may often ask yourself this question, “Why do they do that?” It’s possible that your loved one may be experiencing borderline personality disorder. Which may prompt another question: “What is that?”. The answers to both of these questions are simultaneously both simple and yet complicated.  The first thing to know is that no one is born with borderline personality disorder. BPD in fact, develops over a number of years. Secondly, people most at risk for BPD share two things: they have a genetic makeup that results in being a highly sensitive person; and they were likely exposed to a highly traumatic event or an ongoing series of traumatic events early in their lives. This could have been the death of a parent, or sibling, divorce or parental abandonment, physical, sexual or emotional abuse at home, school, church or other social environment. Young people with these genetic factors and social experiences are at greater risk for developing BPD behaviors as they mature into adolescence and can reach full blown BPD in their adulthood. When someone who is highly sensitive feels verbally ‘attacked’ by someone, and especially someone close such as a parent or a spouse, they typically will...