Awareness of the Unspoken Rules

Of particular relevance are any suicidal thoughts a patient may have experienced, along with thoughts of self-harm, or doing harm to others. An assessment may also include physical tests to rule out other triggers of these symptoms, such as thyroid conditions or drug and alcohol abuse. As previously mentioned, BPD can sometimes be misdiagnosed, thanks to its similarities to other mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result, mental health professionals might experiment with a range of treatments and therapies in order to identify the most suitable path towards recovery. So what if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder? What does this mean for your relationships, and your life in general? There is no doubt that BPD presents an enormous array of challenges to both the sufferer and those around them. For the first half of my life, the tenets of Christian Science were my only form of health care. I didn’t visit a doctor’s office until I was 18. Instead of popping pills or swallowing spoonfuls of bitter tonics, I used the Bible, the writings of Christian Science, and my own mind to heal myself. Christian Science is an American religion founded in 1866. Its charismatic founder, Mary Baker Eddy, claimed to have discovered the true meaning of Scripture: that all Christians have the ability to heal, just as Jesus did. Roughly speaking, Christian Scientists believe that all matter–your car, this article, or a shot of antibiotic–is superseded by a deeper reality reflecting the mind of God. In that reality, everyone and everything is perfect. Thus a healing comes not by changing the body but through glimpsing a more perfect, truer version of yourself. There are only a few hundred thousand Christian Scientists today, and very little research exists on their practices. One limited study from 1989 produced by the church’s home office in Boston attempted to quantify the healings that had taken place over the preceding 20-plus years. But all is not lost. In the following sections, we will take a look at how to cope if borderline personality disorder has become a part of your life. How To Cope If You Suffer From Bpd

What to Expect if You Have Been Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder So you have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Perhaps this has come as a cruel shock. Or perhaps you may even welcome the diagnosis as an explanation to your previously unexplainable emotional outbursts and mood swings. It feel like a relief to know that this behavior is the cause of an illness, rather than another part of yourself. Regardless of how you feel about your diagnosis, there is no doubt that living with borderline personality disorder can be a hellish experience, both for you and your loved ones. In that (admittedly not objective) paper, more than 2,000 Christian Scientists claim to have been spontaneously healed of medically diagnosed conditions across the spectrum: polio, bone cancer, ruptured appendixes, goiter, crossed eyes. There is even a 1966 story from South Africa in which a broken bone bulging out from under the skin was healed over the course of a single day; You name it, and Christian Scientists claim to have healed it. And they have a lot of company. The Internet is packed with cases of tumors eradicated by juice infusions, paralysis healed by the Holy Ghost, warts removed through hypnosis, and crippling pain erased in a single acupuncture session. Whether it’s a revival meeting in the Florida Panhandle or a witch doctor in the jungles of eastern Mexico or some guy in Beijing who knows just the right way to rub your feet in order to relieve an upset stomach, mystical healing is all around us. When confronted with healings like this that we don’t understand, most of us seem to respond with one of two reactions: There must be forces out there beyond our comprehension or the equally vague, but slightly more scientific The mind is a powerful thing. Both these statements are true. But neither is good enough for me, and shouldn’t be for you either. In an era when we can beam real-time images of a working brain across the world–where a man missing his arm can use his mind to operate mechanical fingers to grip and even feel a plastic cup–it’s time to expect a better answer. BPD can affect every part of your life, from your relationship to yourself and others, to your education, career and recreational life. Your tendencies to act out and behave in violent and aggressive mean that both you and your loved ones are prone to being hurt, both physically and mentally. Learning to manage the disorder begins with understanding.

By knowing exactly what to expect, you can prepare and develop coping skills to help you weather the emotional storm. Having a deep understanding of your illness and its traits will also help you communicate better with your loved ones about BPD, making it easier for them to assist you with the struggles you will face. We will address this more in article Twelve, but for now, let’s take a look at exactly what you can expect if you have been diagnosed with BPD: How You May Feel Towards Yourself If you have been diagnosed with BPD, you can expect to feel the following ways about yourself: Overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings and rapid mood swings As though you are inherently flawed All around us, permeating almost every aspect of our lives, is a profound mystery just waiting to be solved. It lives in daytime-TV stars hawking miracle vitamin pills; From homeopathy to shamanism, acupuncture to bizarre fad diets, people seem to have an innate ability to release pain, lose weight, and improve their lives by methods that just don’t square with modern reason. Or at least that’s what I used to think. In fact, there is a burgeoning field of science populated by an eclectic community of cutting-edge thinkers willing to look critically at what we loosely call mind/body healing. After spending the past few years immersed in their work, I have finally started to understand the healing practices I witnessed during my childhood. These scientists are casting light on the brain’s unique power–for good or ill–to essentially trick itself. These tricks can soothe us, make us sick, make us better, even save our lives. It’s not a complete picture by any means. But it’s the first we’ve had, and it offers a tempting opportunity to reshape 21st-century medicine as we know it. As though you are to blame for everything bad that happens to you As though you have a hard time deciding what you want in life, or even what you like or dislike. As though you are a bad person

As though you are not a real person As though you are a child forced to live in an adult’s world A though you don’t know who you really are As though something you are unable to identify is missing from inside you These negative feelings towards yourself can cause you to act out in the following ways: Keeping very busy so you are never alone with your thoughts Regularly changing plans, hobbies or even jobs as you struggle to identify who you really are. But before I get into that, you might be wondering how a suburban faith healer ends up becoming a science writer. For the first half of my life, I never questioned the power of God to heal me. I could hear about someone who grew back a severed toe or spontaneously freed himself of AIDS and simply accept it. I believed that I had even heard the voice of God and that the entire world could heal itself with a single shift in thought. What happened? What could so shake a young man’s certainty in his religion that he would leave it behind? Rock climbing. We all rebel a little when we hit puberty. But I didn’t have the talent to join a rock band, the constitution for hard drugs, or the charm to sleep with girls. So I got into extreme sports. Overspending and/or binge eating Using recreational drugs and/or smoking Excessive use of alcohol to help dampen your emotions.

Avoiding seeing things through Refusing to attempt activities you think you might fail or might otherwise cause you to feel disappointed. How You May Feel Towards Others Of course, borderline personality disorder also plays a huge role in the way you relate to the people around you. BPD can cause you to act with aggression and hostility towards those you love, causing them both physical and emotional pain. But again, understanding exactly how BPD can make you act and think can help you manage these outbursts and limit the damage to those you care about. Here are some of the ways BPD can cause you to think or behave around others: Pretty soon my Sunday mornings revolved less around church and more around adventures on the sides of cliffs. When I was 18, two friends and I decided to climb Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite Valley. Imagine a sheer cliff, 2,000 feet high, with one of the world’s tallest waterfalls on the left and nothing but empty space on the right. Now imagine a massive finger of granite leaning off the wall like a giant aggrieved splinter. That’s Lost Arrow. The plan was to hike to the top of the cliff, rappel into the notch where the finger splits from the wall, climb the finger, and then cross back to where we started via a rope spanning the 140-foot gap. It’s not a terribly difficult day’s work for experienced climbers, and we figured we’d be done by mid-afternoon. What we did not figure was that a thunderstorm would roll in as we hung half a mile above the valley floor. I’d like to say it caught us off guard, but we knew one had been predicted for that afternoon. We just thought we were too fast to get caught in it. You may feel as though no one understands you and what you are going through You may inherently different from everyone around you You may believe that the world is a dangerous place that you want only to run away from

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