Borderline Personality Articles

Introducing the Blog, Being Borderline

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Introducing the Blog, Being BorderlineBorderline personality disorder (BPD) is probably one of the most misunderstood and most stigmatized of mental disorders. Even mental health professionals sometimes have a hard time hiding their disdain for people who have this disorder. Discrimination against people with BPD is rampant.

That’s why I’m pleased to introduce, Being Borderline with Sonia Neale, a long-time Psych Central blogger who approached me about starting this blog.

The Process of Love Addiction Withdrawal

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

love-scienceIt is well established that when a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they can experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Less is documented about the reality of physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms from love and sex addiction, yet they are no less real.

I see clients who are in withdrawal from love addiction and are struggling with symptoms indicative of a very real physical and emotional experience.

Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderAnger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
~Mark Twain

We are a psychologically sophisticated society. Emotional difficulties are now shared openly — not only by celebrities but by your average person. It’s not unusual for people to tell friends that they have an anxiety disorder, anger management problem, depression, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorder, substance abuse problem, OCD or ADD.

Yet, there is a widespread psychological disorder that most people know little or nothing about. Why? Because its symptoms are largely interpersonal, causing many to view it as a relationship issue, not a mental health one. Also, people shy away from the term because of its unflattering name: Borderline Personality Disorder.

Brandon Marshall Fined for Speaking in Support of Mental Health

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Brandon Marshall Fined for Speaking in Support of Mental HealthThe National Football League recently fined Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall $10,500 for a uniform violation.

Marshall’s sin? He broke the league-sanctioned dress code for October — pink, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He did this by wearing green cleats in honor of Mental Health Awareness Week (which was Oct. 6-12 this year).

It’s not a big deal unless you know that Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011 and thought mental health deserved as much recognition as cancer.

Borderline: Understanding the Patients that Psychologists Fear

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Borderline: Understanding the Patients that Psychologists FearBorderline personality disorder (BPD) affects twice the amount of people who suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

At least 20 percent of psychiatric inpatients are eventually diagnosed with the disorder. It is a persistent and exhausting illness characterized by deep emotional pain and instability in many areas of the sufferer’s life.

Ten percent of BPD sufferers succumb to suicide, a higher rate than any other mental illness. Those with BPD are often thought to be “chronically suicidal.”

Despite the seriousness of the disorder, or maybe because of it, borderline personality disorder remains greatly misunderstood.

A Play: The Turned Leaf

Friday, May 10th, 2013

A Play: The Turned LeafElizabeth Christine Tanner wrote a play, The Turned Leaf, about her troublesome relationship with her mentally ill mother.

“A young girl’s traumatic event may have triggered her inherited undiagnosed mental illness. The Turned Leaf follows one woman’s struggle with a mental illness, the effect it has on her and her loved ones. This drama is infused with modern dance , video elements, modern song and digs deep into the heart of the illness. “

Below is a brief synopsis of how she came to write the play and what she hopes to accomplish with it.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Not Just for Mental Illness

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Not Just for Mental IllnessWhen I was studying psychology in college, I remember having a particular distaste for the behavioral approaches of B.F. Skinner. Defining the sacred depths of being human by behavioral impulses akin to a mouse motivated by cheese was not for me. I was much more into psychoanalytic therapy and Jung.

How then later did I come to embrace cognitive behavioral and related therapies that spell out that we are, essentially, just a mess of behaviors (good and bad)?

If you dig into your family dynamic, and maybe establishing relationships with others from equally dysfunctional backgrounds, you are bound to have a change of heart about old Skinner. Maybe there is something to behaviorism after all, and it can jibe with the deeper therapies that ask you to reflect on early places of pain and identity-molding.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is particularly of interest not just to me, but folks trying to come to grasp with certain subsets of mental illness — borderline personality disorder, bipolar and other depressive disorders. But its principles can be significantly farther-reaching than mental illness circles alone.

Strategies to Help Bear Our Anguish

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Strategies to Help Bear Our AnguishAfter the tragic shooting in Newtown Connecticut last Friday, many have good reason to feel anguish, despair and misery.

These events touched many families personally. For those of us not directly affected, they can still leave us with feelings of horror and wanting to hold our loved ones near.

As a nation and as individuals, we could not possibly have anticipated or planned to have to deal with the emotional consequences of such an event. And yet here we are… many of us saddened, enraged and overwhelmed.

Demi Lovato: A New Kind of Hollywood Role Model

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Demi Lovato: A New Kind of Hollywood Role ModelWho inspires you? Who do you admire as a role model? I’m sure a lot of those answers can be found within your close circle of friends and family, but of course, there are also those who can lift you up from afar.

It’s been hard in recent years to ignore young entertainers’ breakdowns, drug habits, and bad behavior. Demi Lovato, a 20-year-old singer/songwriter, actress, and newly appointed judge on the talent show “The X Factor,” has endured much internal struggle.

But she has courageously sought mental health assistance and boldly documented her journey to share with others for inspiration. Along with her “stay strong” motto, she’s demonstrated that obstacles can be overcome, which is what ultimately highlights her as a different type of role model.

Introducing The Emotionally Sensitive Person

Friday, January 6th, 2012

The Emotionally Sensitive Person There’s a very powerful form of psychotherapy called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) that’s been around now for a couple of decades. While many people have heard about it, not everyone understands how its principles can be applied to a lot more than the specific disorder it was designed to treat originally (borderline personality disorder).

That’s why I’m pleased to introduce our newest blog, The Emotionally Sensitive Person with Dr. Karyn Hall. This blog will be focused on topics that would benefit anyone who’s “emotionally sensitive” — you know, people who react emotionally to things in life that are usually a little out of proportion to the actual event or problem. Some might say “over emotionally,” but it’s all a matter of subjectivity.

The blog will tackle topics of how to put DBT practices into every day use, providing many of the tips and techniques of this powerful form of psychotherapy.

The Mental Health Hope Symposium: Do Not Cut Mental Health Care

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The Mental Health Hope Symposium: Do Not Cut Mental Health CareConsider these alarming statistics:

* By 2020, behavioral health disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.

* Of the more than 6 million people served by state mental health authorities across the nation, only 21 percent are employed.

* More than half of adolescents in the United States who fail to complete high school have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.

* Between 2009 and 2011 states cumulatively cut more than $1.8 billion from their budgets for services for children and adults living with mental illness.

* In 2009, there were an estimated 45.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with any mental illness in the past year. This represents 19.9 percent of all adults in the U.S.

*Serious mental illnesses cost society $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

* The annual total estimated societal cost of substance abuse in the U.S. is $510 billion.

* In 2008, an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 and older in the U.S. has a serious mental illness.

With our economy still in the toilet, states and federal government threaten to cut even more dollars in mental health funding, which would result in less or no access to mental health treatment and services for countless Americans. Ultimately the cuts steal the one thing that keeps those of us struggling with chronic mood disorders alive: hope.

A Day in the Life of a Mental Hospital Patient

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Mental Hospital Patient6:05 am: You lie awake in your tiny bed, underneath the salmon covers, your neck sore from sleeping on one pillow (you asked for another but you’ll need a doctor’s order to have more than one.) Your sleep medicine has worn off and you are now once again a prisoner to your insomnia.

All there is to do now is listen to your roommate snore and mutter to herself in her sleep and the sounds of the nurses talking and phones ringing at the nurses station. You remember a Seroquel-induced nightmare you had previously in the night in which you were trapped in a house that was filling with water, drowning and gasping for air. You make a mental note to mention the dream to your doctor later on.

7:00 am: Morning checks. A tech bangs on your door just as you have started to drift off into a sweet sleep again and informs you that you must be up for breakfast in thirty minutes. You incoherently moan something that resembles an “OK,” roll over and close your eyes again.

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