Borderline Personality

Identifying Borderline Personality Disorder in a Friend or Loved One

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most misunderstood, wrongly-diagnosed mental illnesses. It affects an estimated 14 million Americans, or 5.9 percent of all adults. That means more people suffer from BPD than Alzheimer’s. One out of five psychiatric hospital patients has BPD, as do 10 percent of people in outpatient mental health treatment centers.

Despite all of this, BPD is rarely discussed in public forums. This is in part due to the fact that very few people know what it is or how to identify it.
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My Mental Health Journey in Surviving Cancer

I live with bipolar disorder, OCD, and migraines, and have recovered from complex PTSD, an eating disorder, and other difficult illnesses. I've survived homelessness, domestic violence, and other traumas. Still, when my doctor gave me a cancer diagnosis last winter, it was the hardest shock yet.

First I had to wait a few weeks to see my oncologists and get a treatment plan: six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. The wait was gloomy, filled with dread and fear. I told only close family, not wanting to spread bad news.
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Borderline Personality

7 Myths about Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other mental illness is highly stigmatized, overlooked and looked down upon by society. BPD is characterized by poorly regulated emotional responses to events or feelings, possible urges to self-harm or commit suicide, and unstable relationships with others.

Here are 7 popular myths about borderline personality disorder:

1. Only women or mostly women have BPD.

This myth is a particularly harmful because it can work toward preventing an accurate diagnosis of BPD in men, as well as stigmatizing women and mental illnesses. While BPD is more common in women it is also fairly common in men.
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Borderline Personality

Introducing the Blog, Being Borderline

Borderline 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.

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The Process of Love Addiction Withdrawal

It 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.
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Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Anger 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.

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Borderline Personality

Brandon Marshall Fined for Speaking in Support of Mental Health

The 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.

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Borderline Personality

Borderline: Understanding the Patients that Psychologists Fear

Borderline 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.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Not Just for Mental Illness

When 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.

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Strategies to Help Bear Our Anguish

After 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.

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Demi Lovato: A New Kind of Hollywood Role Model

Who 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.

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