If you've been involved in a high-conflict relationship, you're probably familiar with feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame. Perhaps you're ruminating about the relationship and feel hopeless and despair. You may even be suicidal. Read More
When dealing with a high conflict personality--especially during divorce--nasty emails from both directions are common. For best results, never send one. And use the B.I.F.F. technique, developed by attorney Bill Eddy, to respond to them. Keep your responses brief, informative, friendly, and firm. Read More
While you can take narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the clinician "bible" published by the American Psychiatric Association), you can't take NPD out of those who have the entrenched disorder. Read More
Someone asked me, "My wife acts very abusively toward me. On the one hand, you're saying I should hold her responsible for their actions. But on the other hand, she has a real mental disorder. So which one is it? Does she suffer from a disorder she didn't deserve, or should I hold her accountable for her hurtful behavior?" The answer is, "both."
It's been tough. After many months or years, you see no alternative but to separate from your high conflict partner (HCP). The process of leaving an HCP is tougher than you may be used to. These guidelines, developed over the years by people who have separated, will help. Read More
You've tried to make your relationship with a borderline or narcissistic person work. But it's become clear to you that leaving is your only choice. Following is the second half of my article on why breaking up is so hard to do, and how you can make it easier on yourself. Read More
You're hurt, disbelieving, and angry. At first, you loved the way your borderline and/or narcissistic partner looked at you with admiring eyes and filled that empty void within you. Their insecurity and neediness inspired your determination to be that one special person who was going to fix them for good.
Now you feel tortured and empty.
Today, I'm going to review the new BPD memoir The Buddha and the Borderline : My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism and Online Dating by Kiera Van Gelder. Read More
Being featured in a recent article in Scientific American wasn't easy for Amanda Wang, recovering BPD sufferer and owner of RethinkBPD. The article began with a description of an incident of self-harm in Amanda's past: at a rehearsal dinner for a close friend she was struck by "a tidal wave" of negative emotions, including self-loathing and worry about her own marriage. Read More
When I cowrote Stop Walking on Eggshells in 1997, most people were unaware of what borderline personality disorder was. Now, I get a Google alert almost daily for mentions in one media outlet or another. Here are some recent ones: Read More
I am putting together a pilot workshop called Beyond Blame: a Five Step System to Reclaiming Yourself and Skillfully Handling the Relationship. I am looking for people to participate. Could you be part of it? Read on. Read More
Are people with BPD better lovers? In "The Daily Beast," Gina Piccalo writes about the mental illness that can lead to "wild sex" (at least in the beginning of the relationship). This intense sexuality can fill what's empty in the lives of those who get involved in BPD relationships.
Also, Molly Knight Raskin discusses the science of BPD in "Scientific American Mind." Raskin says that the more audacious symptoms of BPD--such as angry outbursts or experiments with self-harm--used to be seen as willful efforts to manipulate others or attract attention. But in recent years biologists have been looking deeper at the psychological and neurological causes of BPD and have sketched a radically different picture of the ailment. Read More
Did Star Wars supervilian and deadbeat dad Darth Vader have borderline personality disorder? Eric Bui, a psychiatrist at Toulouse University Hospital in France thinks so, along with this colleagues. But it's not true: Vader is no more a borderline than he is a ballerina. Read More
For decades, experts have believed that borderline personality disorder could occur only in adults. Now, that's changing. Recognizing the symptoms by just a few years is critical in getting a jump start on treatment. The stakes are high. If these adolescents get diagnosed and into the right treatment program right away, they will have a better chance to have a life worth living. If not, they could bounce around in the mental health system for years at great emotional and financial cost. Read More
Narcissists seem driven to invite criticism. They are insulting, demanding, arrogant, self-absorbed, and lack empathy. It is natural to feel like putting them down as strongly as you can. However, this will backfire. Managing high conflict people usually involves using skills that are the opposite of what one feels like doing. Learning these skills takes time and practice, but can make an amazing difference in resolving, managing, and containing high conflict disputes. Read More
Parenting is a daunting task at the best of times for the wisest and most stable among us. But it presents special challenges to people with borderline personality disorder. In some developmental ways, they are like children themselves. However, with education and support, the BPD parenting experience can be a much more positive and constructive one for all concerned. Read More
Let's face it, Borderline Personality Disorder isn't sexy and there's no glamorous face to put on the issue. A big issue for Florida Borderline Personality Disorder Association has been the challenge of nominal fundraising. They have no soft, warm kittens or puppies to showcase. There are no visible deformities that might garner some sympathy. The BPD movement has no corporate sponsored pink ribbons on soup cans, yogurt, or breakfast cereal to remind grocery shoppers on a daily basis that BPD is, in fact, highly treatable and that there is hope. Read More
April showers bring May flowers and May brings....Borderline Personality Disorder Month. BPD has come a long way, baby from complete indifference in the mid 1990's (my web site www.BPDCentral, launched in 1995, was one of the first on the topic) to (finally) a flowering of studies, books, blogs, websites, non-profit organizations, treatment centers, and even (after years of advocacy) acceptance into the umbrella of disorders within NAMI's educational efforts. Read More
Finding a therapist experienced in treating borderline patients is about as difficult as finding a job in a bad economy. Therapists have a negative mind-set for two general reasons: first, people with BPD are one of the most challenging types of patients to treat--if not THE most challenging. Second, treating borderline patients can be emotionally draining for the therapist. To find the right therapist, you need a lot of what it takes to find the right job: research, the willinessness to talk to strangers on the phone, and a little luck.
So you just found out someone you care about may have borderline personality disorder (BPD). Now what? In the past 15 years I've seen thousands of people have these "light bulb moments." Here are my top five tips and some of the best resources for this troubled, but often hopeful time:
When we read about communicating with someone with borderline personality disorder, we lean what we're supposed to say and not supposed to say. As it turns out, all the techniques we memorize may matter less than our body language, which communicates a whopping 93% of our attitudes and beliefs about something. Read More
Two recent studies of patients with severe borderline personality disorder DO get better with time. But they don't get ALL better, and not every patient gets better. Still, these studies offer hope and refute the myth that borderline disorder is incurable. Read More
Psychiatrist John V. Wylie, M.D says, "Psychiatry's struggle to define borderline personality disorder is similar to that of the Supreme Court justice with the definition of pornography: ‘I know it when I see it.'" Today, though, there's a much better way to define this heterogeneous group: the "conventionals," the "invisibles," and those with the characteristics of both. Read More
People with NPD lack empathy for anyone else but themselves. They have a constant need for narcissistic supply: admiration, praise, and, at the very least, attention from others. (This is why they sometimes go into professions like politics, acting, and the helping professions.) But when they don't get what they need, they can erupt in rages. Read More
This scenario of a perpetually late friend is a great one when it comes to discussing how to set boundaries (or "limits with love," as I call them in my new book The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tips and Tools to Stop Walking on Eggshells. The term "boundaries" is threatening to some people). Read More
It's the ultimate no-win situation. How do you respond when someone says, "I'll kill myself if you leave me?" The key is to express support and concern while putting the choice of life or death back where it belongs.
No matter how healthy you are, having a relationship with someone who has a personality disorder will cause you to feel like there must be something wrong with you. If you are by nature a rescuer--especially one with low self esteem--better watch out. Read More