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Recovery and relationships

Do people without bpd seriously think that those with bpd will never get better and never be able to have a healthy relationship?

Just wondering because when life is as hard as it is to have others allude to there never being any chance of recovery.  Kind of makes me wonder why we even bother.  Are we really that worthless and destructive?
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I am a non BPD, but my daughter in law has it. I know the disorder quite well and I guess I can give you a thoughtful answer. I personally DON'T think that those with BPD will never get better and never be able to have a healthy relationship.

BPD is wrongly classified in the DSM-IV, reason why insurance companies do not cover many of the BPD patients needs. BPD has been wrongly named since the very beginning as it was called "manic depressive" later the name  was coined with the term "borderline" by early psychiatrists to described the patients to be on the "borderline" of psychosis and schizophrenia, these names were proved wrong so they gave it a fancy name like BPD which does not describe the disorder and further pushing the stigma.

This is why most people and related serious medical institutions are now asking for an urgent name change and reclassification but there are things to be taken into consideration. 1] If the name would be "Bipolar III" then the insurance companies would have to cover all the patients needs but again stigma would be brought back to the name. 2] If it were called something like Emotional Unhappiness Disorder,  Emotional Dysregulation Disorder,  Emotional Intensity Disorder, Impulsive Personality Disorder or Impulsive-Emotional Dysregulation Disorder then the insurance companies would cover less than they do today which is almost nothing. So which would be your name choice? I have made mine and have send in a petition for the name change. You can find the petition form for the name change in About.com.

Perhaps you have noticed that BPD has no specific medications, the patients  are provided with whatever the Therapist  thinks is right and in many cases those meds don't help at all but make the patients worse. No two "BPD" patients need the same meds, thus there is a doctor who is the only one who has had success in treating and curing these patients because the medicine cocktail is tailor made for each individual and accompanied by three therapies one after the other. In too many cases "BPD" is wrongly diagnosed and there is an underlying disorder which is not related to BPD and is the dominant one.

Now regarding my daughter in law, she has been in therapy for 8 years and on going, she is doing very well and is getting better by the day. She is a normal house wife, just had a baby girl and is a loving and caring mother, her marriage with my son is a healthy and loving relationship.    

Regarding what others may think or say, don't forget there is too much ignorance out there, many families try to hide the reason for the disorder and simply call them BPD when they could be diagnosed with something else usually quite serious thus not allowing the patient to be cured and helping the stigma to continue.

I hope you agree with me.

Best regards.
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Avatar_f_tn
I hate the majority of those labels.  I think for me personally I prefer the complex-ptsd label.  I prefer that the label refers back to earlier trauma (and therefore doesn't attribute blame to the patient) and doesn't judge or label current behavior.

In my opinion too many people, not just those with bpd, are naive and too readily accept medications without understanding its true function.  Mental health professionals are most likely to push meds on patients so that they will be more pliant and easier to deal with.  Many think they are doing what they believe is in the best interest of the patient.  Most psych meds only manage symptoms (which can be advantageous at times) but for the most part don't help to address the underlying issues causing the dysfunction.

I expect bpd is both under- and over- diagnosed (depending on practitioners, etc).

Many people with bpd have it because of their invalidating home environments.  It doesn't really follow that these families can then provide the necessary nurturing and validation.  Without intervention I don't see others becoming more insightful.  It is often these people who have issues that they defend deeply against (even at the expense of hurting those with the diagnosed issues).
I think in many instances the pathology extends beyond the individual with bpd.

BPD is serious.  I sometimes think it is worse than many other illnesses.

I guess that is the answer there and that is that people are ignorant.  It can be difficult hearing others say not to engage with those with bpd or that there is no chance of recovery.  As an individual with bpd, that makes me feel intrinsically flawed, alienated, helpless and hopeless.  

Maybe I am too sensitive to the criticisms and rejections of others.
It was depressing hearing that we're just a waste of time and space.

Thank you for sharing your story about your daughter-in-law.  It is encouraging to know that there are things that we can aspire too and achieve.

Thanks!!
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Avatar_f_tn
No, no, no, no, no, no, NO and NO!

I have been dealing with BPD technically since I was about 3, and only was diagnosed with it about 2 years ago.

Mind you, before I started DBT and therapy like that, I was one sensitive - sensitive skittish person. I did not notice it until it was brought out to me, but thats besides the point. Point is, I had full on BPD. I have been through intense therapy, and it has gotten me farther in feeling better, thinking clearly, and being more secure with myself.

I now, after about 4 rocky relationships, have found a wonderful, wonderful person who accepts me. Beyond accepts me, loves me for me. [NOT my diagnosis] Sometimes, actually most of the time, he sees me for who I am and loves me far more often than I do. [I have this way to many dx complex it goes on and on] He sees the person behind the personality disorder, and accepts and loves that person.

Biggest points though, I have found in being a BPD in a steady relationship with a Non-BPD. The best thing you can do is:

1. Know as much about your illness as you possibly can. Research it, seek help from forums to hear others opinions, go to a consistant therapist [who is comfortable treating BPD, unfortunately many arent. Ask and make that a priority number 1] Self awareness is the foundation for any sort of awareness, or stability in your life.

2. Work at getting better. Some people are stuck with this "BPD is uncurable" nonsense but truth be told most people who say those things have no true experience with what goes into BPD. BPD is curable, and although I know I am not fully cured I have gotten to a midway point and that shows that it must be possible if I can get rid of a number of my 9 basic diagnostic symptoms.

3. Its hard, especially as a BPD because we fear the slight thought of being rejected, but try your best to look forward with calmness and motivation. If you are [even] working at yourself to make yourself do better. No one has the right to look down on that, [if they do they dont deserve you anyway] And generally people will respect it. Also I have found that while making a point to be sure it is acknowledged as an important part in how you function, if you dont freak out by the thought of it and make it the end of the world, the people around you will be calmer and have less trouble accepting you because they wont be blinded by shock.

4. Communication. I know as a BPD emotions can be blinding and when I dont think Im being heard I get very, very frusterated. But with the people close to me, especially my boyfriend it has become VERY clear that if I take a second to breathe and then calmly explain what is upsetting me and why, it is respected, heard and remembered. Lashing out people will get pushed away. Be calm and explain, they will put it into perspective.

These are some ways you can begin to take control of this illness. Dont let it take over your life. Remember, you are you. You are a person. A human being. With basic human functions, emotions, desires just like anyone else. And you are perfectly valid in how you feel. No matter what. Dont let anyone try to make you think otherwise.

Theres a lot of horrible, horrible stigma out there. From doctors who dont like BPD to the people that have had bad relationships with BPD. It gets taken as a "one answer" cure for anything we may do wrong. Like, yes, some people with BPD are abusive. But no, that is not part of the criteria for being BPD. It is completely unrelated. But people love to feel like they are better than other people, and one of the really low ways they go about it is by making other people out to be "broken." A lot of haters are out there, and truth be told they just see actions and assume its all BPD.

If you find someone you really want to take an honest chance with, just be aware that there are a LOT of horrible "awareness relationship books" out there. Many of them are not written by someone with BPD. Which doesnt lend themselves to be very compassionate. So I would look at and heavily research what reading material you give to your potential love to help him understand. They wont know what is right or false, you need to send them in the right direction.

A book series I recommend and use in my relationship is "Stop Walking On Eggshells" it has a paperbound book as well as a workbook. Pick up both. It is understanding of what the Non-BPD goes through yet is compassionate and validates what the BPD's feelings are. And what is best about it - unlike other books that tend to get you to sway to leaving or staying, this one keeps it very open. Gives you information, explaination, skills to handle them, and lets you decide if you want to stay or go. Its probobly the only book I know of right now that I would recommend.

I hope this helps,

TS
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks!  I too have come a long way in my recovery but still have a long road ahead.  For me, I think that my journey is still largely focused around bpd symptoms and how they affect me.  Hopefully one day my energy will solely be invested in living.

I am waiting to be independently assessed before I find out what therapy is likely to look like and with whom.  It has been a long, tedious process.

I like your comment about therapy and I too believe it is critical to our well-being.

I guess if we are considered 'broken' (and of course many of us feel like we are) then that would give others a sense of control.  It can be easier to deny issues or attribute blame to others.  I guess being broken we look for a compatible amount of nurturing and in most cases it just never materializes.  Therefore we are left feeling worthless and bad (due to our lack of perfection or wholeness) and rejected.  It's not a nice feeling being rejected or abandoned for being yourself.  It's nice to feel accepted though.  It's nice not to feel ashamed of who we are.

For research purposes and learning about the disorder I like the more clinical texts.

Thank you for your response.  I guess when one becomes vulnerable it is all too easy to believe others negative opinions as being gospel.  I guess it also highlights wounds which I still need to work on.

Thanks for your feedback.
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I am a non BPD but my 22 yr old daughter is and I never say never BUT it is very very very difficult for a Borderline to have healthy relationships.
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Hi.  I responded to your response yesterday but in the end it didn't successfully submit.

Basically I just said that the most important aspect is the relationship we have with ourselves.
And also that my original question was asked in defense to the negative perspective and prognosis portrayed by some non bpd members (which I feel can be quite soul destroying sometimes).

There was other stuff as well.  A post is rarely as effective second time round.

Thanks for your comment.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your post..........my wife has bpd......the raging, sometimes 3 days on end, are hard to work with.......to avoid the yelling in front of our 2 young kids, I often just leave the house......when I do this I am not there to supoort our kids but also there is no verbal abuse going on.......anyway, I would love to hear my wife say someday that she thinks she may have an issue with the raging and get some help and maybe allow me to help too......instead, the self-righteous raging runs our lives together......she is sick, needs help.....I don't really give a damn what is said about bpd being treatable or not - I would just love for her to have any sort of self-admission about it - to say like, "I don't know why I scream like that for no apparent reason - I don't get it."
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Avatar_f_tn
I find it hard to imagine anyone raging for three days but maybe i am wrong, i have BPD and would never rage for three days and another thing we usually only rage when provoked i have never lost my temper without being provoked by someone else. Some people make it sound like we just walk around acting like someone possessed all the time. Online i have talked to alot of people with BPD and they are far more caring and understanding people who don't have BPD. It just makes me so angry.
I admit i am not perfect i get angry i lose my temper i throw things and shout but after i know i am wrong i was provoked but shouldn't have reacted the way i did, maybe if you changed your reaction and behaviour to her she would changer her's.
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Avatar_m_tn
are there any other books you would suggest for people with bpd as well as those in relationships with them?
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Avatar_m_tn
"i have never lost my temper without being provoked by someone else."

Well, that's what my BPD wife would say as well. Just that her idea of being "provoked" is by me cooking the wrong shaped pasta with dinner, or some other such triviality.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think at the end of the day we all need to take responsibility for our own actions.

I think that often we feel victimised and so any slight (wrong shaped pasta, etc) can trigger feelings of ... inadequacy and/ or worthlessness.  Maybe if people got us enough or loved us enough then they would know that that is how we like our pasta cooked.  Ultimately it's about our own insecurities and vulnerabilities.

Being confronted by something different to how we expect it or would like it can also contribute to us feeling out of control.  Controlling something helps us to control our anxiety and inner turmoil.

Books?
I like works by Otto Kernberg.  The dbt skills training manual is quite good.  Is also perhaps something that couples can work on/ through together.
There are an increasing number of books out there on bpd and on others experiences of bpd or of someone with bpd.  Different books appeal to different people.  Some books promote cbt which for me with my experiences is extremely invalidating and traumatising.  Some find cbt incredibly helpful.

Rather than books I would suggest seeking professional support/ advice.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been with my husband for over 7 years and married 5. We have an amazing life and a son. We have had our issues. He cheated in the first year of marriage when he was living in another country. I did not find out til later and we sought counseling. We made it through. Words do not describe how much we love each other. This may sound stupid to some, but I believe that God intended us for each other. My husband has issues with his past (he has blocked most of his childhood), easily angered, extreme fear of abandonment ( I'm the only one who hasn't left), feelings of being undeserving (he never felt like he deserved me), etc. I asked him to seek help. He spends tons of time on the road. I'm loving and supportive, but he is stressed from work. I noticed a change in him. He has sought out help, but I found out it was because he slipped up again. They think he has borderline personality disorder. I cried when I read the symptoms to a T! He wants to fix the cycle because he wants only me and to have a long life with me. I love him unconditionally, but I'm scared. I'm looking for stories of encouragement and how we can survive. Can he learn to handle this? I'm also fearful that he was abused as a child and that is what he has blocked and what has caused it. I'm trying to deal, but it is so hard. It has helped knowing that he has some disorder and isn't this horrible person.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there jaquata and in reply to your comment ''can people WITHOUT BPD think folk WITH can never  improve or get better''.  Well, now I have found and Psych Dr. and a Psycholigist plus a DBT specilist, Yes they DO think, infact they KNOW we can recover.  I am a 54 year old sufferer of the last 31 years and until very recently I was left on the wayside, a no hoper and apparently, in the UK, nothing anyone could do.  The situation changed greatly when funding became available and now the local dept. of Psych does indeed treat BPD.  All of the qulified people I work with are very hopeful of recovery but it does intail a great deal of work/input from both myself and the theripists, this is ongoing for a long time on the best part.  So, as a sufferer this is my point of view.  Hugs to you all.  xxx
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Avatar_n_tn
1. Yes there is hope for healthy relationships.
2. They do recover (if they are in the right therapy, right therapist and committed to their therapy).
3. People have to understand that alot of studies have shown that despite stigma from health professionnals and others they do get better with time and therapy.  (again compilations of studies).  
4. NO drugs and no alchool (otherwise oh my godness you know how people without that disorder can get with too much of it in their system and I have heard stories about one to many beers. + if they take meds it going to mess them up so much more...)
5. Of course they can have family I am in a support groups in many support grp for pple with bordeline and their families and most of them have families (kids and all) but they need structure and bounderies.  
6. If you want a relationship with someone with BPD (unless recovered) because my fiancee is not totally there yet so I would not advise what I don't know). get couple counselling something I find that the difficulty in which they express their needs and points of views and other things makes the communication a little tidious at times.  So yeah I do think that is MUST.  
7. VERY IMPORTANT EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE DISORDER. PLEASE GET PEER REVIEWED LITTERATURE and RESEARCH and research recovery like for bordeline.
8. Keep note alot of pple out there are complaining so much about pple with Bpd it disharning and quite frankly sometime I find a little insulting for those in the relationship with them.  They tell there stories and I can't judge but honestly if it was that bad (in my case anyway) I would of run or kill my boyfriend.  Honestly, it not that horrible.  What heart wrenching is the point at wich they hate themselves but I found that the devaluation moments are not that bad (again maybe my bf is not terribly BPD I don't know) It not like he curse his way unto you (at least mine does not because I would of slap and leave him) and the rage if often brought unto themselves not others.  

9. what works wonders for me is telling him when he gets angry (feels like he's gonna) loose himself into a rage to stop and hold himself back for a few minutes and than come and talk to me.  Unfortunately, at the place he was they totally bashed him and discouraged him (hence why he switch to private one on one therapy)

Everytime this happens the (anger) and he did what I told him (by himself) he told me that it had been hard but he did act out like he use to.  He is now at the point of naming his emotions and reacting much less impulsively.  I am hoping that with this private therapist things are just going to improve. But of course recovery without significant relapse (if at all) is 85% from what I researched possible.  And there are sucess stories but pple don't post them up often enough I find.
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st. louis, MO