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Therapy/Borderline Personality Disorder psychological disorders, therapy
Old 01-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #1
inadequatealexi
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So, I've seen a couple of threads about people who have had to deal with friends/family with BPD, and I was reading them and decided (despite only being new) to get some advice or experiences some of you might have had with either dealing with BPD yourself or dealing with a therapist.

The reason I ask is that I've been diagnosed a while back with BPD and comorbid Major Depression. The depression I dealt with, and it's all good. What I've been struggling with is the BPD.

I know I should take the medication, and I do sometimes (when my best friend makes me), but I tend to hate being dependant on things or people.

My biggest problem is in the Therapists. I've been to see a few, but they all tend to think that the things I do and the way I behave are related to my "feelings". Trying to explain to them that most of the time what I do is not related to pure "feelings" at all, but what seems to me to be the logical response to a situation is incredibly difficult. Furthermore, trying to explain to them that the reason I don't have many friends is because they want things of me that I can't or don't want to give is incredibly difficult. Then explaining that it doesn't bother me is even harder.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? How do you get around a stupid therapist who seems to think that everyone needs social interaction to get by?
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:41 AM   #2
larkin
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  Originally Posted by inadequatealexi
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I know I should take the medication, and I do sometimes (when my best friend makes me), but I tend to hate being dependant on things or people. [...] My biggest problem is in the Therapists. I've been to see a few, but they all tend to think that the things I do and the way I behave are related to my "feelings". Trying to explain to them that most of the time what I do is not related to pure "feelings" at all, but what seems to me to be the logical response to a situation is incredibly difficult. Furthermore, trying to explain to them that the reason I don't have many friends is because they want things of me that I can't or don't want to give is incredibly difficult. Then explaining that it doesn't bother me is even harder.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? How do you get around a stupid therapist who seems to think that everyone needs social interaction to get by?

A couple of questions, not to be nosy - how old are you? BPD is a difficult diagnosis to make, especially for teens or those in their early 20s who are still forming identity anyway.

Two, the diagnosis of BPD requires the presentation of a couple of easily observable issues: impulsive/reckless behavior (spending, sex, substance abuse, eating disorders) and recurrent suicidal behavior. Do you feel this is an accurate reflection of your behavior, or at least your past behavior?

Because the two paragraphs I quoted don't sound like a description someone with BPD would offer. But it could be that you're unwilling to admit some of the motivations of your own behavior, always a possibility, or possibly that you're modeling a friend's behavior. (i.e. your best friend is an INTJ, so now you act significantly more like an INTJ as well.) Given the lack of context we're unprepared to make any judgment. But of course also always a possibility is that the therapists are wrong.

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #3
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I'm 22. I know it's a difficult diagnosis to make, as soon as I had them "diagnose" me, I did my research.

It's difficult to make myself say anything to your second paragraph aside from "Yes". My instinct is to just say that. Spending, Sex, Eating, Driving. Impulsively or Recklessly. And yes, recurrent suicidal behaviour. Also self harming, which I think falls into that category.

I've had a friend say that since my best friend, my ex husband and most of my family are excessive "F" types, it's quite possible that I took to INTJ type behaviour as a coping mechanism. That being said, I've been INTJ since I was in High School, and I feel quite comfortable and happy in my type. I have heard it said that only the person in question can really know which type they are, and I feel I'm an INTJ.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:43 PM   #4
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Depressed people sometimes do not know their own feelings.

Depression can be anger turned inwards.

You do need to dig a bit and get to the basic feelings that make you behave the way you do. Yes, the stereotypical 'why do you want to self-harm?' 'How does that make you feel?'

Depression squashes our feelings. INTJ's are great at not being in touch with deep down feelings (sometimes we don't know we have them), add them together and you can have problems. You have given some big red flags that say something is not right, something needs to be fixed. I went into therapy to deal with a major, sudden problem in my life - I expected to get help coping with one issue, I spent 2 years in therapy and am MUCH MUCH MUCH happier, calmer, comfortable with myself and I understand myself better than I ever had before. In fact, I had never even tried to understand myself. didn't know that such a thing existed. I now make better decisions, enjoy other humans more, feel more relaxed, etc. EVERYTHING is better now.

Yes, I take a pill everyday. If that is what it takes for me to be normal and happy, then I will take a pill. Depression is no different than diabetes - it is an imbalance in your system that needs to be dealt with. My doctor said that it is a lousy name for a very real problem.

You can be better. You can feel better. Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:48 PM   #5
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by bpd do you mean bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder?
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:26 AM   #6
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Sorry, by BPD I mean Borderline Personality Disorder. It didn't occur to me that Bipolar Disorder could be referred to as BPD also.

And thanks for the insight, Mader, it makes sense.

If I could get to a point in therapy where I can address the things that actually bother me, then I'd consider it useful. My problem is that I can't get past the initial meeting or two with each one before I lose all respect for them and I find their attitude annoying.
It seems to me that (having been to 6 so far), all but one of them focused entirely on the fact that I have few friends and no real desire to see any of them outside of work or rare social gatherings. Of the 5 that focused on this, 4 recommended joining groups for 30-40 year old women, who would apparently have a lot in common with me (I guess looking at the piece of paper where I had clearly written 22 was exceptionally difficult for them), and all of them asked "Why do you spend all your money? What do you spend it on? Why do you feel like having sex all the time? Why do you eat without realising you're eating?" I'm pretty sure that if I knew the answers to that, I wouldn't have a problem changing my behaviour.
The odd one out said he didn't want to talk about my past, or feelings at all. I liked him. And then he said "If you're depressed, why don't you stop feeling depressed?" The guy's a genius, he must have cured depression. Just stop being sad!
Wow, that comes across as incredibly bitter. I just don't understand how I can be expected to stomach more therapy with these same people who I can't even respect.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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  Originally Posted by inadequatealexi
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I just don't understand how I can be expected to stomach more therapy with these same people who I can't even respect.

Just throwing this out there - it's not uncommon for BPD patients to have difficulty establishing and/or maintaining a therapeutic alliance. Since people with BPD tend to see things as "all white or all black" it's sometimes difficult for them to view the therapist in a positive light. Any one thing that they don't like about the therapist causes them to perceive the therapist as "all bad" and therefore unworthy of a collaborative effort. Thus, the BPD patient ends up shortchanging him or herself.

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Old 02-05-2010, 01:52 PM   #8
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  Originally Posted by inadequatealexi
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The reason I ask is that I've been diagnosed a while back with BPD and comorbid Major Depression. The depression I dealt with, and it's all good. What I've been struggling with is the BPD.

I know I should take the medication, and I do sometimes (when my best friend makes me), but I tend to hate being dependant on things or people.

Do you have a noticed improvement when you are on your medication?


 
My biggest problem is in the Therapists. I've been to see a few, but they all tend to think that the things I do and the way I behave are related to my "feelings". Trying to explain to them that most of the time what I do is not related to pure "feelings" at all, but what seems to me to be the logical response to a situation is incredibly difficult. Furthermore, trying to explain to them that the reason I don't have many friends is because they want things of me that I can't or don't want to give is incredibly difficult. Then explaining that it doesn't bother me is even harder.

To a greater or lesser extent BPD is about emotional interplay. Emotions are not a an irrational function but an assistant to rational decision making that responds faster, and so it is completely in keeping to be working with decisions that are--from the perspective at the time--rational, while at the same time discussing your feelings and how they interplay.

That said, it sounds like you haven't found the right therapeutic modality. From what you have described here, you might try and find a schema therapist or someone working with DBT.

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Old 02-05-2010, 05:08 PM   #9
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I agree about the DBT. Helpful for almost anyone really.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:53 AM   #10
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I was diagnosed with depression by a doctor when I was 12. My teacher first noticed my personality had changed and I seemed constantly sad. I told him about my feelings without really thinking about it and then regretted it later when I realised it would mean constantly seeing welfare workers, social services, doctors and counsellors. I had one session with a welfare worker although I have no idea what good that was supposed to do, several sessions with social services which was awful and made the depression worse, saw a doctor once although I have no idea what for because by that point I started to tell people that it was getting better when really I felt suicidal and then a few months later saw a counsellour but by that time I had mangaged to convince everyone I was better so I didn't have to have any more counselling sessions. I have still suffered from depression for years later although I have learnt to hide it and keep it to myself. It hasn't cured me and I wouldn't advise it for everyone but it certainly solves the problem with counsellors and social services.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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I was a also diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder with a comorbidity of major/severe depression. I was 21 years old. I have been severely depressed since i was 12 but never got help for it until i was around 19 or 20 and by help, I mean just plain ol regular counseling.

I have had many suicidal thoughts but have never actually tried to commit suicide but I have been close many many times.

I have been hospitalized two times. Both self-admitted.

Just like you I did my research once I had been diagnosed with BPD and my behavior matched the symptoms perfectly.

I am now 22 and I haven't gotten help since. How did I do it? Well one day I woke up and I decided to stop beating myself down and start living life. It is a hard process because you have to change the way you think and the way you see life. It's all a matter of perspectives. Think positively and you will attract positive things in your life.

It's also about finding yourself and pursuing your goals. I see it like this. You only have one life, start living it. I know it's a hard process and it's also good if you have at least one person that you trust. For me it was my fiance who's been there for me since the first time we met. He knows about my disorder and understands when I act up at times. Nevertheless, since I have been with him, I haven't been acting up as much.

Anyway, I am not telling you not to continue with therapy because therapy, especially DBT, is very helpful for this disorder. If I could afford it I would have gotten therapy as well. Irrespective of the facts, the cure for this difficult disorder in my opinion lies within yourself.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:58 AM   #12
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This is a story written by someone healed from BPD:

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:50 AM   #13
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Well, I kind of wanted to jump in and add my own opinion, but one thing that has interested me for a long time has been INTJ and borderline personality disorder (for a variety of reasons).

I think there are actually different kinds of borderline personality disorder based on the extraverted and introverted functions of an individual. In popular culture, it tends to be the classic 'infj'ish or at least extroverted feeling person who is seen as the borderline type. In reality, sometimes people with strong feeling mechanisms can cope better than people with the extroverted reason functions. Ironically, this almost exacerbates the emotional unrest for someone with a strong reasoning function. The lack of intellectual clarity, or--perhaps worse--the inability to intellectually accept certain traumatic triggers and so on can make emotional problems quite unbearable, and yes, therapists can become quite annoying because, to a paradoxical degree, sometimes a person is trying to intellectually come to terms with something, and the process of 'feelings' being questioned only moves one farther away from that goal. I don't mean that feelings are not important. Both feelings and reasoning are important, but I think for someone with extroverted 'T' the need to intellectually understand and come to terms with the triggers is far better than being forced to recount events that only discount that reasoning, because these events /memories / perceptions, at least on the surface, were either far too unreasonable or had an intellectual answer that is still difficult to come to terms with.

As a 23-year-old female who has never been able to test out of being an INTJ, I understand how frustrating also being borderline can be, especially when it seems like it is so incompatible with how I think / reason. However, these are loose descriptions, and I also believe personality disorders of this kind are more common among 'T' functioning people than openly spoken about simple because I am not sure a 'T' type would necessarily care to be too open about such things. All this is just speculation though.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:55 PM   #14
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  Originally Posted by elizaholt
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I think there are actually different kinds of borderline personality disorder based on the extraverted and introverted functions of an individual.

Let me stop you right here.

BPD has well known distinctions between outward-focused and inward-focused behavior. It has nothing to do with E/I functions and everything to do with the details of their condition (as an anecdote: I dated an ISTJ individual with BPD, consistently I, and her behaviors were almost entirely outward-directed despite being an introvert, she also had a strongly developed Te and an Fi function, yet she was still prone to extreme emotional lability).

 
As a 23-year-old female who has never been able to test out of being an INTJ, I understand how frustrating also being borderline can be, especially when it seems like it is so incompatible with how I think / reason. However, these are loose descriptions, and I also believe personality disorders of this kind are more common among 'T' functioning people than openly spoken about simple because I am not sure a 'T' type would necessarily care to be too open about such things. All this is just speculation though.

Just because you are a T-type doesn't mean that you don't extrovert feelings, let alone what happens when we get into shadow functions. INTPs are infamous for it since they have an inferior Fe combined with an Ne. Meanwhile, an INFP is Fi (Dominant Function), and several people here have commented in the past that they view INFP as the "borderline type."

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:52 PM   #15
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Well, with several caveats once again to be reiterated, I would restate my central speculation, which is that personality disorders can be related to central emotional and cognitive functions that vary based on the T or F preference. This is the idea I have noticed based on those I have worked with who have personality disorders. However, once again, the entire notion of personality and personality disorders are not as well understood as we may at times reduce them to. And I believe anyone can develop personality disorders (although, once again, depending on how it is psychologically affecting and individuals or their perception, maybe it is or is not a real ‘disorder.’ I have often speculated that NPD may be a more T functioning way of dealing with a fluctuating or absent sense of self.)
I am well aware that people with T or F functions express both reason and emotion. My central point is that these preferences, along with the other preferences, may mean that disorders are more or less visible, or that it affects people’s sense of self, or fluctuating sense of self, in different ways.
For example, I highly doubt that the ratio of women to men with so-called BPD is all that accurate. On the other hand, I am not a psychologist and would also be very hesitate in offering advice to anyone who is struggling with difficult times in their life, personality etc.,
A final note, I have also noticed that my coping skills were far better when I was in a career where I was researching and working with introverts. Working in a constantly extroverted environment does seem to trigger shadow behaviors for me personally and maladaptive coping mechanisms (self-harm, alcoholism etc.) Ironically, then leading straight into the borderline territory. Once again, people are different and adjust differently so I am not in any way defining this as classic ‘INTJ’ behavior.
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