Recovery is Possible.

There are so many stories of the pain and suffering of Borderline Personality Disorder.  Unfortunately, we rarely hear stories about people who have taken their control and their lives back from this illness.

But this documentary is different, and when it first aired on YouTube it was an eye-opening picture for many others like me: people with BPD who kept seeing all the articles of hopeless prognoses for their illness.

 

To reduce the stigma around Borderline Personality, and to spread the story of survivors, it was refreshing to see women come forward and be vulnerable and share their struggles and their pasts and their progress with the online community.  And each story was unique, reflecting the variety of contributing factors, medication approaches, and recovery journeys that you hear about in all BPD communities.

Each person with BPD looks different, with an individual and often painful history behind their illness.  This documentary united all of them with the common thread of healing and hope.  By presenting the true, caring nature of people with BPD and the message that recovery IS possible, I believe it spoke both to the mental health community and the general population

I have one thing I do want to mention, however…

It’s true that people with BPD are often perceived as manipulative.  After polling people in the BPD community, I found the great majority of them also consider themselves to be manipulative and hate themselves for it.

This concept is addressed by Marsha Linehan,  the creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy which is the recommended treatment for Borderline Personality mentioned in this video.  To be manipulative, one must maneuver situations and people skillfully and cleverly.  You will find instead that people with BPD often fail completely to skillfully maneuver anything at all.  They frequently describe their actions as sabotage of their goals, wants, and needs.

Marsha Linehan describes this apparent manipulation as an actual breakdown of skills in their ability to get people to respond in the way they would like.  There is a lack of ability to manipulate, and they are often left feeling misunderstood, misheard, and rejected when they try to maneuver a relationship or conversation.

It’s important to distinguish this, I believe, because of the shame, guilt, and self-hatred people with BPD can feel when they are called “manipulative” or when they consider themselves to be manipulative people.  It goes against their true nature of empathetic, sensitive human beings and portrays them instead as slightly malicious, contributing to the stigma and to their own confusion about their self-identity.  As this documentary shows, they are often kind, giving, intelligent and passionate people who can make a huge difference in this world.  Part of removing stigma is getting others to see these as the primary qualities of the majority of those with Borderline Personality.

All in all, I recommend this video to open up your view to the wide range of personalities that have the diagnosis of BPD, and the real possibility that there is recovery.  There are people who have found healing, improved relationships, purpose and meaning in their lives…and you can too.

 

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