When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart

Behind nearly every adult who is accused of a crime, becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, or who is severely mentally ill and acting out in public, there is usually at least one extremely stressed-out parent. This parent may initially react with the bad news of their adult child behaving badly with, "Oh no!" followed by, "How can I help to fix this?"

Can Prayer Cure Mental Illness?

The megachurch pastor Rick Warren addressed the issue earlier this week, the first time he has done so since his son Matthew committed suicide in April. Warren, who founded Saddleback Church with his wife in 1980, a group that now boasts 20,000 weekly worshippers, told CNN that he hoped to reduce stigma about mental illness. His son had borderline personality disorder.

Do People with Borderline Disorder Have Empathy?

As someone with BPD says, those with BPD are nearly always in emotional overload, encumbered by negative painful feelings constantly begging for attention. So when there seems to lack empathy, it's not a deficit so much as a complication of trying to pay attention to your feelings and desires when, like a small child, they're so consumed by their own.

The Invisible Power of Childhood Emotional Neglect

A child whose feelings are too often unnoticed, ignored, or misinterpreted by her parents receives a powerful, even if unintended, message from them: “Your feelings don’t matter," or “Your feelings are wrong," When a child goes through enough of these types of messages, she will experience tremendous effects in adulthood.

The Little Kid Inside the Adult Borderline/Narcissist

The aggressive behavior of some people diagnosed with borderline and narcissistic personality disorders makes it difficult for us to understand that they may be profoundly needy, anxious, easily wounded, and chronically fearful of acknowledging weakness. While they masquerade as a giant, they feel like a kid living in a world of Goliaths.

Couples Counseling With High Conflict People

"Be prepared for your partner to try to use the sessions as a forum for blaming you, just as she does at home. A good therapist will stop this behavior, and will instead focus on getting couples out of the blame game and into taking responsibility for their own part of the problems in the relationship."

Validating Children Helps Prevent Personality Disorders

"Validating" means recognizing and accepting another person's internal experiences and feelings, even if you disagree with them. It's the opposite of rejecting, ignoring, or judging someone else's feelings. It shows that you heard them and they are more likely to listen to your experiences and feelings, even if they're different.

Living In the Moment Decreases Suffering

Mindfulness asks family members to observe what is actually going on by simply noticing the events unfolding; to describe these events by putting words to what they notice; and to fully participate in the moment by acting with full awareness in the moment. Our lives are so busy that it is easy to get distracted.

When the Borderline Patient Becomes the Therapist

Gerri Luce knows what it's like from both sides of the couch. Suffering from the borderline personality disorder lead her to want to help others with the condition. But first she had to work on her own recovery.

Magical Thinking is a Refuge for Child of Borderline Mother

As a child, I coped with magical thinking, As an adult today, I can permit myself to do what I need to do for an emotionally healthy life, even if that means becoming the adult to our mom’s "child" and setting boundaries and consequences.

"How I Got My Wife Into Treatment for Borderline Disorder"

"It has been five years since my wife completed treatment for BPD, and I must say life has been steadily improving for both of us. It has been like a big old freight train; it takes a lot to get it started, but then it slowly and steadily builds up momentum."

Secrets of S.E.T. (Support/Empathy/Truth) Statements

"Like a lot of high-functioning people with BPD, my mother's intelligent and perceptive. She can tell when she's being handled, and she's more than capable of counter-handling right back. The net result is that using SET to sooth and progress the situation simply turns an issue into a meta-issue, and the conflict becomes between my mother and whoever's trying to use SET."

"My Mother Has Borderline Personality Disorder" (Part 2)

In the second of a two-part post, "Dan" explains how he started coming to terms with the way his mother's disorder affected his life. Included is an update with how he's doing now.

How to Be a Guest Blogger for "Stop Walking on Eggshells"

I am looking for guest bloggers to provide all different points of views and subjects. It should be about a topic you know a lot about or feel strongly about. People with BPD and their family members generally write about their personal experiences, and professionals write about topics within their expertise.

"I Just Learned My Mom Has Borderline Personality Disorder"

"I had gone 'no contact' with my family--especially my mother--and I badly needed to talk to someone. I called my aunt. When she told me my mom has borderline personality disorder, it was the most significant thing anyone said to me in my whole life."

Peace for Family Members of Borderlines and Narcissists

Marsha Linehan says that the term radical is a “complete and total…[accepting] of something from the depths of your soul.” It’s not a behavior. It’s an interior shift. It’s all about finding peace in “what is” the reality of the situation right now. Acceptance is the opposite of denial.

What To Do About Fear, Obligation and Guilt

FOG (fear, obligation, and guilt) can keep you stuck and unhappy in a relationship. In this post, I'll list several exercises that can help you deFOG your life.

Fear, Obligation, and Guilt (FOG) in Relationships

Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten, directly or indirectly, to punish us if we don’t do what they want. The main tool of the trade is FOG: fear, obligation, and guilt.

Enmeshment in Family Relationships: 1+1=1

People are “enmeshed” when their personal boundaries are permeable and unclear. Enmeshment becomes a problem because the people involved start to lose their own emotional identity. They lack the level of autonomy they need to grow.

Are You an Emotional Caretaker?

While emotional caretakers take pride in their self-sacrifice, it is a double edged sword. Partners who are emotional caretakers usually come from a family in which some of their basic emotional needs were unmet.

Heal By Writing About Your Trauma

Many psychological and medical studies have shown that writing about difficulties and dreams helps people experience increased happiness, health, and productivity.

How Today's Politics is Like High-Conflict Divorce

Today's politicians act like divorcing spouses who can't see anything good about the other person. They "split," or see things in black and white, just like people with borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

Can Narcissists and Borderlines Have Healthy Relationships

A list of what makes for a good relationship could be quite lengthy and might differ from couple to couple. But here are some characteristics mentioned over and over by marital therapists. Ask yourself if you think it's possible for your borderline or narcissistic partner to have a healthy relationship.

When Has Your Anger Gone Too Far?

According to Mark Sichel, L.C.S.W., holding resentments is a choice. Ask yourself, are you making the healthy choice? If you are angry, is it healthy anger or unhealthy anger?

Five Steps to Coping with Borderline Behavior

By using five steps, in certain instances, you can greatly improve the relationship and create an environment more conducive to your borderline loved one's recovery.

Borderline/Narcissistic Behavior Is Not About You

"Detaching with Love" is your own version of that saying. It does the same thing: keep your own life from becoming a series of BPD-related crises. In this case it means, "I care about you, but I recognize that you must make your own choices in life. I can love you, but I can't live your life for you.

Will Narcissists Seek Therapy?

Few narcissists seek therapy. And unfortunately, even if they do, the right therapist is hard to find.

The Assertive Approach in High Conflict Divorce

The assertive approach doesn’t have to be hard to understand and practice. An easy way to think about it is to focus on KEEP, an acronym that stands for Knowledge and Energy to Explain Patterns.

"High Conflict People" Drive Disputes at Home, School, Work

Some people make life miserable for others. They blame you for their own problems, have no empathy, and always seem to be conjuring up trouble. A subset of them are called "high conflict people," and they often have some kind of personality disorder--usually borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.

Don't be Passive When Divorcing High Conflict Partners

Like monkeys, people have little insight into themselves and the "bananas" they're holding onto. This can get them into big trouble. Especially when they're in a high conflict relationship.