My boyfriend suffers from multiple health issues causing severe chronic pain to include migraines from multiple concussions to stomach pain relating to c. diff and ibs. He is limited in treatment options as he is very susceptible to side effects. In addition he is suffering from extreme borderline personality disorder symptoms from recent multiple concussions as he is extremely paranoid self destructive emotionally unstable and has suicidal thoughts. He is still young but now feels there is no reason to live as he lives a life of extreme pain and emotional suffering and I dont know what to do and am scared as I have no one to turn to for support.
Being BPD alone is extremely difficult. It can distort his thinking and behavior in so many ways which also makes life difficult for you. I know since I grew up with a BPD mom. Add his health problems and constant pain and I'm not surprised he's stressed to the max.
Has he been diagnosed with BPD? Is he compliant with his doctor's instructions on dealing with the migraines and IBS? My mom complains constantly about her health but is very uncooperative on taking her medication. It becomes a vicious cycle of pain, complaints, refusing treatment and more pain.
Have you considered talking to a professional about all of this? Unfortunately you cannot fix his problems. You can care about him, love him but you can't fix him. For your own health it will help to talk to someone who can help you deal with this situation, teach you how to care but still keep some boundaries in place. It was only recently that I realized I couldn't deal with what was happening with my mom and I spoke to a counselor. What a huge help. My mom will never change but I feel healthier and better able to do what I can for her. I can't do it all but I can give her some encouragement and support without giving up my whole life.
A book that's excellent to help you understand BPD is Stop Walking on Eggshells. It was the first book I read about this and it was so helpful.
Thank you for your reply. My boyfriend also has tendencies to be uncooperative in taking meds and refuses to go to the hospital because he "wants to remain in pain" despite complaining of being in pain, which is very conflicting. "chooses to remain in pain". It is concerning to me that your mom has not been able to treat it, is there no treatment for it? I heard that fish oil and dalectic behavior therapy helps but am aware of limited options. this is no longer the person he once was and it is concerning to be if he is unable to heal from it. He is very controlling and demanding to me which is not healthy for him nor fair for me but I often appease to him for sake of keeping him from getting riled up and destructive. This is enabling him at my expense but I dont know what else I can do to help the situation while keeping it stabilized.
My mom, like most BPD people, doesn't believe she has a problem. She thinks everyone else is crazy, evil, rude, on and on. An example: while my Dad was laying there in a hospice bed at their home dying from cancer, she would stomp around complaining about how she had to do everything, that he just sat there waiting for her to wait on him like he was a king. See the distorted thinking? Now years later she will say, "If I had known he was so sick, I would have been nicer to him." Really? I doubt it.
Treatment for BPD is very difficult since it's hard to convince the person that they even have a problem. It seems most people with mental or personality problems also have some trouble taking medication. Either they take it and feel better (that's why they need it) then decide they're fine, don't need medications any more. Of course they spiral down again. Or like your boyfriend, they seem so comfortable in their misery they are afraid to change.
I know you want to support your boyfriend, help him, encourage him. But this is way beyond your ability to fix. You can love him without enabling him. There is a difference. But again, I recommend you speak to someone who can teach you how to set boundaries for your sake and what works, what doesn't when communicating with a BPD person.
Some people have to break away completely, go NC, non-com. Others like myself, feel a need to be there for that person. Taking care of my elderly BPD mom is not easy. I struggle all the time to keep myself emotionally healthy so I can assist her without being "hoovered", sucked into, her anger and drama. It's tough.
So first help yourself. You have to be prepared and strong if you want to be there for him.
I think his symptoms maybe be beyond bpd into brain injury as his condition is much more extreme than your mothers. he was codependent but now he has become extremely possessive and obsessed with me. He is extremely paranoid haunted by childhood pain and relationship deception and harping on even trivial lies in addition to distorted thoughts and recently he has been experiencing auditory hallucinations. He is self destructive and suicidal and cannot handle demands and stress as it has resulted in new self inflicted concussions. whatever the case is that he needs desperate medical attention. In addition already lives a life of chronic physical pain. Publically he can appear normal emotionally stable and cognitively functional but internally I fear he may be listing his mind. there is so much darkness inside him that he fears he may be spiritually attacked.
That's tough when they have the emotional strength to act normal in a social setting but you know at home, they are far from normal. You could try keeping a journal of sorts: dates and notes on his behavior. Not just that he got angry but details that show his paranoia, confusion, anything way outside the norm. I've been doing that in the case of my mom. At the doctor's office she can be talkative and smile. That's easy to do for 15 minutes. It's harder to keep up that pretense for hours. So she's isolated herself from everyone.
At some point, you may want to give the notes to his doctor, express your concern about what you're seeing. Then the doctor can decide what kind of testing should be done. They can't fix what they don't know.
My boyfriend is very reluctant about going to therapy and I think this is a symptom of bpd so it makes it very challenging. Is your mom seeing a therapist or on any kind of treatment? Has her condition ever improved? How do you handle her when she throws a fit about something that you refuse to appease to. Are they capable of learning from actions and taking responsibility? My bf also seems to be in denial or have an inability to deal with guilt and instead gets mad at the victim which is also very concerning. Is your mom extremely emotionally volatile, paranoid, unable to be alone, easily stress and irritable, destructive, self destructive, suicidal? I have read that these are symptoms of bpd as exhibited in my bf and is what makes my situation so much more dangerous and this is what makes my situation incredibly challenging.
Getting him to agree to therapy is going to be next to impossible. A BPD person either feels they don't need therapy or they enjoy going in and charming the therapist, doing all they can to convince the T that they are a victim of others.
My mom has always been volatile, not physically violent but verbally and emotionally abusive. Ah, the stories I could tell. . . . but this isn't about me. Yes, when she makes a mistake, she insists it's someone else's fault. She's convinced someone is coming into the house and moving things around or taking them even though she has an alarm system and a barky dog. It goes on and on.
The key is knowing that I can't make things better. I've tried my whole life to be good enough, to do things the way she wanted, to make her happy but it never works. Her anger was always there. I was afraid of her, felt that there was something wrong with me because it seemed everything I did was wrong. You can see that a lifetime of that is not healthy. So I had to find ways to detach myself from her manipulations and control. I still help her with things that she needs done. I do let her complain about how her life is worse than anyone else's. It does no good to point out the good parts of her life. But if she gets angry with me, I ignore it. I may even tell her that her anger disturbs me because I haven't done anything wrong.
Please, learn coping tools for yourself. I know you care and want to help him. That's very kind of you. But unless he's willing to recognize his distorted thinking, he's not going to be helped.
I just read your comments regarding dealing with a loved one with bp, thank god! I have a gf who has pretty much drove me away with all her abuse. I don't know if i can stand anymore of it. She lost her career because she stopped her bp meds, began self medicating with narcotics, and diverted narcs while at work. She was a nurse like myself. Believe me she was a better nurse than i will ever be, but she believes her bs can get her by and that she is the victim! It's terrible. She lost her license 2 mths ago. Asked me to help her with her car payment while she tries to get a job as a pharmacy rep! I have not had the heart to tell her that this will probably never happen no matter how smart or crafty she! She started 3 weeks ago texting me that she would kill herself if i don't keep supporting her! I feel like i am the victim here. I loved her but l don't think anytime she tells me she loves me that it is real! She could just be saying this to pull me back in and use me? I don't initiate conversation with her anymore as i am worried as to what is real here, what is a delusion, and what is manipulation? I do care and don't look at her threats as total bs but i am floundering her on the edge. Do u know of any support groups that could help me or else i may have to go NC as u say. That would be hard to do because i do love her but in the end i must take care of myself. Any advise would be much appreciated. Thanks Nurse Chuck
One thing to know, you can legally call 9-1-1 if a person claims they're going to kill themself. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, then call her bluff.Tell her you're worried about her when she talks that way. If she continues you will call 9-1-1 because you don't want to see her hurt.
BPD folks are quite good at "hoovering." That is, they will push you away then say and do things to draw you back to them. My "nada", as a non-mother is called, is doing that to me right now. The past 4 days have been difficult with her making accusations against me. Now she wants to just drop it, pretend nothing happened. Nope. Long story.
There is an excellent support group online that I visit. It's for non-BPD people that need to vent, share their stories, what's worked for them and what hasn't. And really, only someone who knows or lives with a BPD person really understands what you're going through. It's quite a supportive group.
I can't give out the web address here because it's not allowed. Perhaps you might find one online yourself. Mine is WTO which stands for Welcome to Oz. LOL Obviously we know we're not in Kansas anymore when we're with them. It feels like a different reality. I do hope you can connect with a support group. And do read books on the subject.
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