Originally Posted by Wookey
I'm 40 and I was diagnosed with clinical depression 19 years ago. 2 1/2 years ago I met someone with BPD and 8 months ago we began a serious relationship. We are so alike in our moods and behaviour it is uncanny sometimes.
I was wondering 2 things (well actually it's many, many things - part of my problem is having so many hundreds of things going round and round in my head at once that I can barely think sometimes, but that's another issue altogether).
1) How do I best support someone with BPD? I believe there are different types of BPD? A type 1 and a type 2? I don't have enough understanding of BPD yet to have got a handle on which is which so can't tell you which my girlfriend has. I know it's abuse-triggered rather than born-with. She puts on a very good front to most people and holds down a full-time job in a managerial position. It's usually only me that sees her crumble, or who can see through the front.
2) If we're so, so similar, is it possible that I have BPD myself? We are both very different from our friends in how we react and interact in society.
Thank you in advance to anyone who has any ideas, tips, info or just take the time to read this.
The switch to BPD is something we all have, but it isn't always "shifted" on, & it can be switched at usually a very young age, even a possibility that it is switched over in the womb. Doctor's at the time this had been explained to me ( a decade ago), were still unsure of how the change occurs.
On average, most are not diagnosed with it until late teens, & early twenties when cycles become more evident. Usually pertaining to interpersonal relations, & our personal journey's ( maybe the illness gets in the way of having a life worth living )
Not everyone has the same "triggers"
& depending what the causes were, the effects may bring about other Mental Health Illness's. For example: A personal experience: I used dissociation to disengage from my body, when in a situation I could do little about. I would just tap out of my system. I was there in body, but not in mind. I thought this was something I could control, however, into my young adult stage often people, usually employers would say things like; what color is the sky today in your World? ( I thought it rude, because I didn't understand what they meant ) but later found out, that I got to a point where I couldn't focus when anyone would say anything to me - I no longer had control over it. That was scary. Some people may develop DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) - not everyone, & some may have different degree's of DID.
I have met others that have BPD & more often than not deal with other ailments, mentally.
From what I've seen, with personal experience, & studying of others, to me BPD is caused by on going trauma at a young age. It tends to happen at home, with one or both parent's. & or other family influences over YEARS. BPD children grow into adults that are not equipped to deal with interpersonal skills & many other area's may be flawed, because the children were learning other methods of how to "just. survive". Often being engaged in threatening situations. Physically, Emotionally, & some, ignored - no love given or received. Painful torturing environments. They learn defense mechanisms that later on in life get in the way of having healthy interpersonal relationships.
A quick example of myself: I didn't learn Love. I learned abandonment, I learned isolation, I didn't build self esteem/self worth/& I couldn't project the confidence that was needed.
BPD: the dis-ease of extremes "I hate you, don't leave me", (fear of abandonment) high sensitivity, Dissociation, & Anger which is fear internalized. People with BPD, tend to often have a great attachment to one parent or the parent has a great attachment to them ( that is unhealthy) & provokes the BPD adult to stay as a BPD child that needs them- never growing up. ( like an ongoing abusive relationship without knowing it) Self Infliction. Impulsive ways to numb out.
The process to find if one has BPD, is done through a series of tests. Many people can have signs of BPD, but not have ( I think you -general terms- must have 8 to 10 BPD "Traits" to have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder) With that said, you may very well have 2-5 traits. Some of the very same one's that your partner has. With this, I find very intriguing as I love to learn about myself through other people. Maybe it is an area, that could be worked on together.
& on top of that, usually 1 or both parent's of the child that has BPD, is also undiagnosed with Borderline or has many of the same traits as well.
I also have racing thoughts - I was told a year ago - please take this as a grain of salt
- that when dealing with states of Depression, I tend to become very anxious, with racing thoughts. I than turn to taking on too much to try to tire those thoughts & feeling's, (feels like ADHD) which in turn worsens the Depression & becomes an on going cycle.
Having BPD & being emotionally unstable most of the time, is a HUGE reason, I steer clear of relationships. Than again, I have also found that most of us have battles within, & those that we keep close can & do see what others cannot.
Try to be supportive, research the dis-ease, possibly find a counselor for yourself & maybe down the line for each other if there is a common interest (whatever it is YOU choose to learn, try to not push those idea's on to her, maybe she's not ready for them)- & if she's not - & you want to stay together, you may have to find your own coping mechanisms -just understand why she may do what she does, where it is coming from, so that you may have a better reaction - if you have more questions - look into CBT & DBT therapies. Be open. Not intrusive. Remember to look after you.
Mediation - Mindfulness skills - Yoga - other healing energies with the notion that pain will surface. I guess it all depends on what you'd both like from this relationship, & what one or the other is willing to build upon.
I guess being very open, lots of communication at the right times, & not changing who you are or her in the process. Just loving what you have.
Hopefully I didn't go too off tangent, & was able to give some insight.