When BPD Leads to Rejection and Abandonment

How we push people away when we have BPD

THE BRUTAL TRUTH

When BPD leads to abandonment and rejection, you learn quickly. Soon, you fear abandonment by all the people you love, and you start to see abandonment everywhere. To avoid being rejected, you push them away before they can hurt you. The result? No one can abandon you, because there IS no one.

Then the loneliness hits. You may or may not realize what just happened. But the end is the same. They leave and your worst fears are realized. Abandonment. Rejection.

BUT WAIT…

Borderline Personality Disorder can make relationships confusing.

I’ll be the first one to admit dropping someone like a hot potato at the first sign of potential rejection. Before mastering the DBT skills, I saw everyone as a threat to my fragile heart. If I cared about them in the slightest, they had the power to hurt me and I simply could not afford that most of the time.

Sometimes I actually managed to convince myself I didn’t need anyone. HA!

That wasn’t me talking. That was the BPD.

THE REAL ME WAS YEARNING FOR CONNECTION!!!

The real me loved people. Inside I cared about everyone; I was desperate for friends and relationships.

Furthermore, the real me knew I couldn’t survive for long like this. I needed people but I watched myself pushing them further and further away each day. Maybe they were rejecting me, abandoning me…maybe they weren’t. Maybe it was just me. Who could I trust? I couldn’t even trust myself.

HOW I STOPPED THE REJECTION CYCLE:

One of the things DBT skills taught me is that if I had thoughts telling me “no one cares” and “they’ll just leave you anyways,” there was a good chance my brain wasn’t telling me everything.

After I had that down, I started learning how to look at the facts to tell if abandonment or rejection was actually happening to me, so I wouldn’t leave good relationships based on an assumption. I learned how to tell the difference between feeling rejected and being rejected.

Ultimately, the skills taught me how to deal with actual rejection AND to heal from it. And they helped me make lasting relationships and deep connections with others, as well as myself.

THE CONCLUSION

Rejection, abandonment, and loneliness may be a way of life for you if you have Borderline Personality. And it may feel safer that way, from your experience. But that way of life will also keep you imprisoned and cut off from the true desires within you for connection.

When BPD leads to rejection and abandonment, and you don’t know where to start, that’s ok! I didn’t either. That’s what this page is for. Learn more about the DBT skills, recovery, and resources to help you break free. Surviving alone doesn’t need to be your only option.



Borderline Personality Survivor Stories

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.

 

(more…)

When You Have More Than One Diagnosis

Often mental illness is accompanied by one or more additional diagnoses.  When you have more than one diagnosis, these underlying issues may go undetected.

Some examples comorbid diagnoses

My own doctor specifies some of these comorbid disorders in his teachings/literature about BPD.  He has focused on Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder among others, but I would also like to add some extra conditions I have found to be common.  The importance of explaining these hidden disorders is to make people aware that even when they are treating the prevailing illness they struggle with, it is also necessary to treat underlying problems as well.  By underlying problems, I don’t mean just talk therapy or addressing past traumas.  I want to stress the need for medical attention to all of the illnesses that can plague one’s mental health.

Because the main disorder is so hideous to deal with, the accompanying disorders are often forgotten in the treatment process.  The disorders listed above are common with Borderline, but the tendency is the same in many cases.  Once you think of the effects of having Borderline, it seems natural that they would accompany our illness.

Although there is a multitude of studies, information, and treatment processes, I’ve only provided my own personal example.  I encourage you to look up some of the research.  Check out the video below for other examples.  Most importantly, though, when you have more than one diagnosis I encourage you to address ALL of your body’s issues.  You don’t want a portion of mental health, you want it all!!!  And you can have it when you are willing to acknowledge and seek treatment.  It’s a long, hard fight, but I assure you, it is worth it!

What kind of combinations of illnesses are you experiencing?

 

How to Let Go of Last Year to Start the New

The New Year was originally dedicated to an ancient Roman god of gateways by the name of Janus (think of the word “January”… see the connection?).  Janus had two faces, as a gate faces in and out, one looking backwards to the past and one looking forwards to the future.  Hence he was also the god of new beginnings! 
Greek and Roman mythology are one of my favorite study topics, but as you all know my TRUE passion is discussing mood disorders with my mental health tribe.  So, naturally, when I think of Janus and how his two-faced self applies to our journey to recovery, I think about the  importance of not just looking towards the future of 2018 but of reflecting on the previous year as well and the weights we are holding onto that could keep us living in 2017 longer than we need to.

  1. Intrusive thoughts and memories of the past, including abuse; trauma; neglect; heartbreak; rejection; and failure.

  2. Guilt over mistakes made, broken promises, and disappointing ourselves or other people.

  3. Regretting decisions that led to upheaval, missed opportunities, and time wasted.

  4. Blame towards ourselves and others, and the anger that comes with it.

These burdens are heavy; so heavy that they can become all we see.  We lose sight of the light and the hope of today and tomorrow because we are so weighed down with the hurt and pain of yesterday.  Getting control back over our future means looking towards our past first to deal with its demons, not ignoring the past and hoping it goes away eventually.  That may work for a while, but it can be exhausting and ultimately lead to a blow-up.  Spending some time to reflect on the past, the feelings and thoughts it brings up and the effects it has had on you is the first step, but it can’t be done alone or it will leave you feeling empty and depressed about the future.
You MUST combine your reflections with a soulful search for the meaning behind your life story.  What priceless lessons have you learned from past experiences?  How have they made YOU a better person?  Mistreatment is never condonable, and suffering is never pleasant.  But did you become a person who contributes to the world BECAUSE and DESPITE of it?  Or has been holding you back from the true person you want to be? For those of us who are being held back by pasts of trauma or abuse, has that been robbing you of any joy for tomorrow?  Are you missing something that you want back?

We can’t change the past.  We can only accept that it happened, and we arrived through it to THIS moment.  We have power over THIS moment.  What will we do with it?  We can hide from our pasts or we can use them to mold and shape a better future for ourselves and for other people in this world who need and want a better future with us.  Just as we can’t shy away from the things of our past, we can’t shy away from the future.  Approach today, and each day, with determination.  With hope and faith that life throws us both good and bad things, but we persevere to hold the hands of our brothers and sisters and move forward into tomorrow knowing that WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Brain Activity Behind Borderline Personality Disorder

In this post, we will look into a brief overview of the brain activity behind Borderline Personality Disorder.  In addition, we will look at how these processes affect our behavior in ways that require more than self-control to change.

The Limbic System

The limbic system is a set of brain structures including the amygdala and the hippocampus, among others.  It is one of the oldest parts of the brain.  If you can imagine the idea of the caveman, you can imagine the importance of functions like survival instincts.  Also, the fight-or-flight response to predators or danger, memory, and a reward system for learning new behaviors.  The limbic system uses an tricky balance of brain chemicals to perform these functions,

Amygdala and Hippocampus

The amygdala and hippocampus have been shown to be smaller in people with Borderline Personality Disorder, using imaging like fMRI scans.  These brain structures are related to memory recall and learning.  They involve attention, response mechanisms, emotional functioning.  They even play a part in understanding social information like interpreting emotions from other people’s faces.  As you’ve probably noticed, these are some of the main symptoms we struggle with as BPD survivors.  It’s no wonder we have difficulties with interpersonal relationships and unprovoked mood swings!

Prefrontal Cortex

Also connected with the functioning of the limbic system is the activity of the prefrontal cortex.  This area shows itself in fMRI scans to be underactive in the BPD brain.  The prefrontal cortex affects personality, planning, decision-making, and short-term memory.  It also influences the amount of self-control we have when we are emotional.  Unfortunately, low activity in the prefrontal cortex can include symptoms like impulsivity and self-destructive behaviors.  So besides being emotionally and physically overwhelmed, we are logically impaired.

In other words, the brain activity behind Borderline Personality Disorder indicates we have a medical problem.  A problem that requires medical treatment if we are to stand our best chances at lasting recovery.  Medicine alone won’t cure us.  We need to build new habits and new ways of thinking for healthy lifestyles and relationships.  But therapy may not be enough, without the proper medical attention.

The mind and body are intricately combined.  Therefore, treating one will help the other.  In the same way, neglecting one will harm the other.

Understanding the Symptoms of Borderline Personality

Th symptoms of Borderline Personality are so much more than the words in the DSM.  The symptoms of anger, despair, and emotional pain in the sick person are unbearable, and the pain of watching a loved one suffer is equally devastating.  The fact that you are here means you have an idea of what’s going on, but it can be tough finding a professional that will acknowledge a diagnosis.  Doing your own research is essential these days if you want to find out what’s really happening in a person who has this disorder.

9 Symptoms of Borderline Personality

(more…)