Monday, March 31, 2014

The End

For the past day I have not been able to stop thinking about getting older and dying. I keep having panic and anxiety attacks. I've tried so hard to get through it using DBT skills, but nothing seems to be working. Maybe writing things out will help? I think I will write out what my emotion is thinking, and then try to respond in wise mind.


  1. What if I am alone for the rest of my life? Even if I never get married I won't be alone. I have my sister, my brothers, and any kids they may have. Franny never got married or had kids, but she was never alone.
  2. What if it comes to quickly? It may seem quick, but just enjoy life day by day and as it's passing it won't seem so fast.
  3. I don't want to deal with people around me dying: It happens, suck it up sister. No really, you've gotten through it before, haven't you?
  4. I'm scared of aging: I won't do it alone. I'll have people around me growing old with me.
  5. I don't want to be 70 and living some place alone: Ask to be put in a nursing home.
I know there is so much more for me to experience, and I'll feel much more fulfilled when I'm old. Plus people are living longer and longer. Maybe when I'm old it will get to the point where I'm like 120 and saying, "OMG CAN I JUST DIIIIIE ALREADY?!"

I don't know why I'm so preoccupied with this, and once I think I'm done dwelling, it comes up again. I guess it's a good thing. I mean I deal with suicidal ideation, and here I am worrying about my life ending.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reasons I Can't Sleep

I'm lying awake because I can't stop thinking about death. No, I'm not suicidal. I mean death, as in the end. I was at my sink, washing dishes, and suddenly I just started thinking about way into the future. About how I'm going to die someday and it really freaked me out. Worse than it ever had before. There was no trigger or anything, it just happened. I tried my best to use DBT skills: I continued to wash dishes, had a cup of tea, took a shower, and watched some Glee episodes.

It helped a little, but I still couldn't get the thoughts out of my head. I hadn't talked to him since Friday, so I figured texting Pete would be okay. We ended up texting back and forth, but I was still feeling panicky. So, I asked him to call and sing to me. When he did, it was like the whole world shut off and it was just him. I got so emotional and started crying.

It also confirmed something for me. I just don't know if I'm ready to tell him yet.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Validation

Despite the fact I am still sick I went out to Impulse tonight. I only stayed for about 45 minutes because I started to feel dizzy and like I was going to vomit. However, I am proud that I went out on my own. Plus, for the short time I was there I saw and talked to several really cool people. I like Impulse/Rez cause it's not huge and there's none of the Boston club drama. I feel accepted there.

I was having some image problems earlier. I have, what I think, are huge bags under my eyes. People tell me they aren't that bad and it just seems that way cause I haven't been getting a lot of sleep. I tried to take some selfies, but every time I looked at the pic something was wrong. It looked different than what I saw in the mirror. When I did the #nomakeupselfies photo I just couldn't understand how Pete could think I was the most beautiful girl he's ever been with. I think that most beautiful to him must be ugliest to everyone else, because there's no way anyone would ever think I'm that beautiful.

I managed to get myself out of it. Going out helped. It made me feel confident. When I got home I watched videos from when I was in a shadow cast production of Grease, and that cheered me up a lot.

Recently I talked to someone about what happened with my step mother when I was younger. I won't say who, but it's someone who's opinion carries a lot of weight to me. This person completely validated me, and it meant so much. They told me that, yes, it would be considered child abuse and if it were today Child Protective Services would have come for her. They also told me it's perfectly understandable that I now have C-PTSD. That whole conversation meant so much to me.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Musings of a Star Sapphire

All relationships have a starting point.

Some nights I'm scared you'll forget me again. My feelings for Pete are getting stronger. I notice myself feeling really proud of him when he tells me certain things, and I feel really overwhelmed sometimes when I'm around him. He's sexy, smart, funny, talented, sweet, caring, and he makes me so happy. The only reason I'm ever unhappy around him is because of my damn borderline logic. I'm working on that harder than I ever have. Not for him, but for myself, and because I've spent so long screwing good things up, and he's a good thing. Maybe it's because I'm sick and possibly delirious, but I think I love him. At the very least I keep falling for him.

I guess I'm just a fool who's willing, to sit around and wait for you. I have never stuck with a guy this long without things being official. As it stands right now, he hasn't even confirmed we're dating again. I admit, it's really confusing. Especially when he makes jokes where he refers to me as his girlfriend, tells me I'm the "perfect woman", tells me I'm beautiful all the time, does things with/for me he's never done with a girl before (I don't mean that in a sexual way), asks to spend extra time with me on his own free will, says he misses me, and so many other things that tell me he sees me as more than a friend. It's not even that, he's told me he has feelings for me.

I won't give up on us, even when the skies get rough. I don't want to push him, and I'm trying so hard to be patient. I know he's scared, but I am too. I'm so used to getting hurt, that I'm programmed to assume any relationship I have will end. I want to get married someday, I want to have kids, I want to grow old with someone, and I don't want to be like my parents and have forever end with a divorce, but forever is a long time. It scares me, to the point I have nightmares. I know I'm suppose to be taking things one day at a time, but when I close my eyes my life always fast forwards. I try to picture all the stuff in between now and the end, but it's hard. I can't picture my self in a long term relationship. Not because I don't want one, but because I've never really had one.

Can anybody find me, somebody to love? I always try to rush things, and I told him that I am willing to go as slow as he wants. I would rather do slow and hard with him than fast and easy with someone else. I hope he sees that even though it's been a short amount of time, I have stuck by him. No matter what.  And you know what? 3+ months may not seem like a long time, but for me it is. We're talking about the girl who has gone a month tops (and that was just once) before making things official with someone. If he didn't like me, if he didn't still kiss me, if it wasn't obvious that he has feelings for me I wouldn't wait for him, but he does.

Something 'bout the chase. I have never devoted myself so much to a guy who hasn't even told me if we're dating. I'm a hopeless romantic (forever a Star Sapphire), and maybe that's my downfall. Sometimes I think that maybe I need to be more cynical, play hard to get, but that's not me. I believe in love. He could decide at any moment he just wants to be platonic friends, he could run away across the country, we could be together 10 years and break up. But as much as I know that any of that would hurt, it still doesn't stop me from wanting to be with him.

I said' 'scuse  me, you're a hell of a guy. I don't care if it takes me another 6 months just for him to ask me to be his girlfriend. I've never been like this with someone. It's scary, but I'd rather be unlabeled and with him than labeled and with someone else.  I just wish he'd at least confirm if we're dating/mono. I'm trying very hard to do things differently this time. Maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve. Hell, maybe this is just another BPD obsession, but I don't think it is. I think the fact that I have not walked away to look for something that doesn't require as much patience says a lot.

Mama mia, here I go again. My, my how can I resist ya? I don't want to rush into a relationship, and I don't want to spend my time wondering if it's another BPD obsession. People tell me I should walk away, find someone that doesn't require as much work. I think the fact I am sticking by him shows that what I am feeling is real. I know I say that about pretty much every guy I date, and that has been true twice. J and T. I was in love with them, and despite past history and even current I still care for them very much (especially T, who was really my first real true love). The way I feel about Pete is the same way I felt about them, then add on the fact that I'm still waiting and being patient. Well, I think my heart knows what it wants.

You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. I love the time we spend together, I love being with him, and yes I get scared that he's going to come home from work and tell me he's taking off to another country or that he just wants to be platonic friends. But, if I have to explain why I don't care, then you haven't been reading this post. The reason it's so hard for me when I dream about getting older is that while I'm toward the end of my life, I still have my brain as it is right now. I know there is so much more in between now and then and when you build, cherish and reflect on every moment, forever and the future doesn't seem as scary. If he doesn't want to label things yet that's fine. I'm not about to ask him to go riding off into the sunset with me to make babies on a white sandy beach.

I just want to know if we're dating, if we're mono. Last I checked he told me we were "friends", but I know he'd be jealous if I was with another guy, and I would feel terrible. I don't feel like he's stringing me along, I never have. I just need some sense of foundation. I don't want to feel like I'm floating in limbo. If he's not ready to call me his girlfriend then I will understand, and if all I get for now is, "I want to date you/be monogamous with you" then that is more than enough for me. It will help me understand better, and have better clarity. I'm scared though, I'm scared to ask him again because I'm scared of what he'll say. He doesn't know when or if he'll be ready to take the next step, but he needs to understand that he is so worth the wait. Maybe we'll fizzle out after a few months, maybe we'll be together until we are old. Either way, I just want to know that we have a starting point.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Things Are Looking Up

Things are starting to come together. I start a new job on Moday, and I just financed a car. I also did my budget and I'll be able to afford all my bills. I'm kind of bummed I didn't get a call back about a certain job, but at least I have one. I am also volunteering as an active listener on 7CupsofTea.com. I really helped someone out the other night and it made me feel good. I helped this one girls out who has BPD, and she was really appreciative. Sometimes all it takes is talking to someone who deals with the sames things you do. Things keep improving with Pete and I, and he said he's proud of me.

Still, I've been feeling kind of blah lately. My therapist says it's common this time of season. As we get more sunlight, people become more irritable. I just want things to not fall apart. I'm so used to having everything, and then nothing. This time around things were a bit different, though. I found a job in less than a month, patched things up with Pete (we're technically not dating, but I'm just being patient). I think it's an testament to how much I've grown and changed.

 I am making this a short post, but my next one I am going to post all the things I want to work on.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

BPD Awareness and Understanding











It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn

I'm in a weird mood today. I'm angry, but also confident. I guess I'm just done putting up with people's ignorance and BS.

It's funny that I'm the one who has a tough time with the grey areas, yet some people don't see that someone can vent but still be happy.

1. Just because I miss my old job does not mean I do not appreciate having a new one. It's really gross of you to say something like that.

2. I struggle, but I always come out stronger than before.

3. I have a successful podcast that I am very proud of.

4. I have my own apartment.

5. I have friends who care an accept me for me.

6. Even though it may be slow at times I am changing and getting better every day.

7. I have a book coming out soon that I worked really hard on, and am proud of. It's my first chapter book!

I decided I'm going to get the IUD. I talked to my Doctor and the percentage of people who gain weight on it is really low. Much lower than other birth control methods, and if it does happen it's five pounds at the most. This is due to the fact so little of the hormones go into the blood stream (and it decreases every year).

Things with Pete are going okay. I'm trying to get better at not getting upset when he tells me, "no." We're trying to work on communication and I think that will help a lot.

I'm really hoping to get the job I want while working and saving money. I have always been hesitant about working nights or weekends, but I really don't go out much. Plus if I want to go up to the lake they do the schedule 4-6 weeks in advance so I can just ask for it off. I really hope it all works out. Getting this other job will be a big step up for me, and I'll be able to make a good transition if I'm working another job in the field.

I'm confident things will work out. It got dark for a while, but as usual I made it through.

If all goes well I plan on getting a cat soon. I just have to work out my budget.

Venting vs Complaining: Learn The Difference.

Things are starting to come together. Got a job offer, and might even have an interview for a better one.

I was thinking that I find it interesting that people spend their time trying to bring others down on their own pages and blogs, yet accuse us of "complaining." Soooo, I'm venting (different than complaining) on my own space, and your going on to other people's spaces to spread your ignorance and hate? Yet I'm the one who is, "complaining"?

This is the problem with mental illness stigma. People do not take the time to understand, to learn, to educate themselves. They only read what they want to read, see what they want to see.

The people who present themselves as happy all the time? The people who take joy in bringing others down? Not worth my time. It's funny that people spend their time COMPLAINING about what others say and do. Yet, I am the one who is "complaining". Hmm, maybe these people have never heard of "venting"? Just because someone vents frustrations does not mean they are complaining or even unhappy.

The point is, I am open about my disorder and those who accuse me of "complaining" present themselves as ignorant stigma spreaders who don't bother taking the time to learn about something before making assumptions.

News flash: People are allowed to vent! Sorry, but I'm not fake! I don't put on this front and pretend to be happy all the time.

People are full of ignorance and hate. Have some compassion. It's clear a lot of people do not understand or are willing to understand BPD. This blog is for me to VENT my frustrations! I'm sorry if that is not "allowed" in your world. I'm sorry if you live in a fake world where everything is rainbows and sunshine. That's not the world I live in. I'm not fake, I have real feelings and emotions.

How DARE you come on here with your high and mighty comments, thinking you are better than me. All some of you want to do is pick out what you want, twist things around. Sorry you don't "approve" of what I write in MY journal!!

Complaining: To express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault: "He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor."

Venting: To relieve by giving expression to something: "He vented his disappointment by criticizing his successor."

LEARN THE DIFFERENCE PEOPLE!!!!!

BPD is one of the most difficult mental disorders to live with and treat, oh but I'm sorry it must not be "real" and all I do is "complain". Sorry, I wasn't aware you knew me or my life or even took the time to get to know me. I forgot, because I vent and deal with  mental illness I must not be a real person. I must just be a pathetic loser who needs to grow up. Oh wait, sorry, that's you. Take your stigma and shove it up your ass.

Cowards

People are fucking pathetic. I had to change who can comment on this blog to registered users only. Apparently I can't even vent on my own blog without idiot accusing me of "complaining."

It's funny, because it seems like people like this are not happy unless they are tearing others down. It also shows me that these pathetic idiots don't take the time to understand the point of this blog or BPD. This blog is a place for me to vent, and get out what's in my head.

So hey, fuck you dumb, ignorant, insensitive pieces of shit. Don't fucking sit here all high and mighty thinking you're better than me. You're not. The mere fact you need to hide behind an Anon label proves you're a pathetic coward.

Venting is not "complaining" and you need to seriously shut the fuck up. It's hilarious that you spend your time trolling people's blogs, not bothering to read the descriptions. Maybe you should stop "complaining" about what people post on their blogs, hmm?

Seriously, your lack of compassion proves you're just an ignorant moron.

Maybe try learning some empathy? Try understanding BPD.

Oh and then shove your opinion up your ass.

Piece of shit.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Funk

I'm in a weird funk right now. Things seem to be looking up. I have a potential job offer that seems fun and has good hours and pays well; for the time being I have foodstamps, unemployment, and fuel assistance; Pete is coming over for dinner soon, but still I feel find of meh.

I've been listening to music, but I just feel irritable.

Hopefully this ends soon.

New Job (?), Trouble Coping

Really wish I could be happy about the job offer, but I'm not. I won't ever be happy at a job again.

I miss my kids so damn much.

It sucks and it isn't fair.

I'm never going to be okay with this.

I'm not okay working some place else. I don't want to. I certainly don't want to work with the demographic I'm going to be working with.

It's depressing, sucks, and I hate it.

Only reason I'm taking the job is because it pays well and I need to save up for a car so I can give my friend's back.

I'm basically there to collect a pay check.

I don't want a new job. I want my old one.

I'm so fucking depressed and I am never going to be able to cope.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Radical Acceptance

I've decided that whatever happens between Pete and me I will accept. I'm sick of worrying and fretting over it. Even if we don't date I know we'll still be able to be intimate. And above all, at least he'll be in my life.

I'd rather have some than nothing. The way I see it, I enjoy being close to him and I'm fairly confident we'll still be able to have that even if we're not dating. I figure if I try to pressure him into something then everything could get taken from me.

If I try to force something then he might not be in my life at all. I don't want that. Also, I need good transitions. I have a hard time just severing ties with someone. I want to be with him, and if that means it's as friends, intimate friends, or whatever....at least he'll be in my life.

Maybe the next guy I date (if not him) will be poly and I'll be able to be with both of them. Maybe I'll find someone and it will be a bit easier saying goodbye to "that" part of our relationship. Or maybe he'll find someone else or move away, and it will hurt, but I'm not going to spend my time wondering about the future.

Dark Thoughts [TW-Suicide]

Meh. I'm in a down mood right now. I know when I'm like this I should probably avoid people since I'm bound to take everything the wrong way. I am just feeling kind of, "meh" right now and I'm not sure why.

I went to get an IUD put in, but I was told I had to wait (I don't want to discuss why here). I was all set to make my appointment when the doctor told me that one of the side effects was weight gain. I got really upset because I was told by my PCP that was not a side effect (in fact I was told by her and another person at Planned Parenthood that it Mirena IUD had little to no side effects). I'm not going to lie, while they have improved a lot, I still have terrible body image issues. I have come out and said that I would rather be dead than fat. I hate that people accuse me of body shaming for this. I am talking about myself. Just because I am terrified of gaining weight does not mean I am saying that anyone who is heavy is gross or whatever. I am terrified because I've been thin my whole life, and sometimes (though I'm working on it) I feel it's all I have to offer. I know that if I gained noticeable weight the smirks would happen, the teasing, the whispers behind my back, the "look who's fat now" comments. I'd be endlessly defending myself saying things like, "No! I'm not a lazy bum. I used to be thin...see!" I can't deal with that. I won't deal with that. Don't even tell me people wouldn't do that. My own Mother has made judgement about people's weight. I can't even talk about it for a long period of time because just thinking about people's comments (and there would be comments, cause that's just how people are) is enough to make me want to scream and punch things. I can't deal with it, I can't even risk it. I know it's a horrible way to think, but trust me when I say it used to be a lot worse.

I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. The weight gain side effect seems to be a small percentage, and people who have one that I've spoken to have said they didn't experience that side effect. Of course it also depends on what causes the weight gain. Is it because it increases appetite? Okay, then I'd just watch what I eat and work out (something I already do). Or does it cause weight gain no matter what you do?

I talked to my Mom. She says I have my Father's genes and my metabolism has always been good. She told me not to worry because if I haven't gained weight my whole life, then I probably won't. Again, her side of the family has the "weight gain genes" and I'm more my Dad's side. I guess I'll do it. I'm just nervous. Nervous about what I might do if I gain weight. Will I rip it out? Become suicidal? Get really depressed? I mean, I guess my Mom makes a good point. I've been on different meds and I've never gained weight. I have a good metabolism and I'm active.

In other areas, I have had two really promising job interviews. The problem is, I still can't seem to get excited about them. I'm still having a really hard time dealing with losing my job. I'm going to be talking to someone about it soon. I guess just to get off what's on my mind. I am having a hard time getting excited about a new job. I will for a bit, then I'll think of the ES kids and just get sort of depressed about it.

Maybe once I start working it will change. I just miss those kids so much.

I did get approved for fuel assistance, which means I can use some rent money towards gas. This is good since I will need it to get back and forth to a new job once I have one. Still waiting on unemployment and foodstamps.

I'm just really down right now. I'm irritable and paranoid (why isn't he texting me back?! Kind of paranoid). Hopefully things will get better.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Virtual DBT

I decided to make a folder in my bookmarks of websites I can go to when I want some virtual distress tolerance/emotion regulation. These are sites/songs/things/etc that help calm me down or help me sleep better. So far I have:

  • My Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/littlemel4/)
  • Calming Manatee (http://calmingmanatee.com/)
  • Google image search for pink things
  • Google image search for cupcakes
  • Google image search for Rainbow things
  • Tumblr Rainbow things (http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/rainbow-things)
  • Link to the song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"-Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole version 
  • Link to the song, "Let it Be"
  • Link to the song, "Smile, Smile, Smile" (MLP)
  • Rainy Mood (http://www.rainymood.com/)
  • NPR live stream (http://www.npr.org/templates/listen/)
  • The nicest place on the Internet (http://thenicestplaceontheinter.net/)
  • Cute Overload (http://cuteoverload.com/)
I'm sure I will add more as I think of things.

I'm sorta proud of this idea!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Over It

You know what? I am so over judgmental people. My friend Dannie is right. I shouldn't have to explain myself to people, I shouldn't have to justify myself. I find it funny that people like to criticize me for venting on my FaceBook. They call it, "attention seeking." Well, I think going on other people's pages and putting in your unsolicited/judgmental/unhelpful advice is "attention seeking." Seriously, these are people that barely interact with me except to judge and criticize. I'm so over it.

I realize that no matter what, with some people, I won't be able to win. If I vent then I am "seeking attention." If I post that I did something/bought something then I am criticized for that, because poor people clearly cannot have nice things. So, I just say fuck it. I don't have to interact with these people in real life.

I know how far I've come. The only person who has the right to judge my progress is me. I compare me to me. Meaning, I compare how I am now to the old me. I know how far I've come. I see the little things no one else does. I see the struggled and the triumphs no one else does.

Judging a person based on what they post on FB is lazy and shows a complete lack of compassion. The excuse is, "well you put it out there." Yes, but that doesn't mean you have to comment. That's like butting into someone's conversation you happen to overhear, giving really shitty advice, and then claiming it's okay because you could hear them.

I'm standing tall from now on, and I'm not explaining myself to anyone!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Make it Stop

Sad
Worried
Depressed
Panicky
Paranoid

Ugh, I just want it to stop. I hate feeling this way. I hate trying to make myself feel better, but only feeling worse. I hate being in this frame of mind.  I can't stop dwelling on things, and every time I try to get my mind off of it, it just gets worse. This whole acting opposite thing is difficult. It's even worse that Pete is in a crabby mood. Because then I feed off of that, and it makes my bad mood worse.

I hate this time of year. I'm trying to be positive, I really am. But, I just feel like I'm in a cycle and it won't stop. Everything he says I'll probably take the wrong way, I'll worry about what I say, I'll worry about how he says things, how I say things.

Stop it, brain, just stop it.

:(

Getting Back to Baseline

Ugh, things are so much easier in theory than in practice. I was with Pete last night (that is how I shall refer to him from now on). I surprised him by going to his place while he was at work and cleaning. I was in his bed waiting for him when he got home. He was really happy I was there, and things were great. Until he started talking about work. Hearing him talk about the kids and other stuff sort of triggered me. The fact the today and tomorrow are my least favorite days of the year didn't help either. I tried to hide the fact I was upset, but Pete said, "You're getting emotional and I know why and it's okay."After he said that, I couldn't hold it in anymore. I started bawling, and telling him how it was hard not to get jealous. He was understanding, and comforted me.

After a while, he had to go in the living room to re-wind down. I got worried that I upset him, but he told me he loves when he comes in and I'm sleepy. I know that it's normal to want to take a breather after someone is super intense and emotional, but my brain wants to beat me up. The rest of the night was fine, and we fell asleep and cuddled.

The next morning I woke up really said and anxious and worried. I apologized again, and basically couldn't get my brain to stop telling me I'd fucked up. "Great, he's never going to want to be with you. You just messed it up," it told me. Now for every time he doesn't text me back I have to send another, then I send one apologizing for the one I just sent. Then I freak cause he's not responding or his responses seem "short."

I'm trying not to panic. I'm trying not to think that because of this he's going to decide that he doesn't want to be with me. I know he's at work, but I just picture him getting more and more annoyed and upset and thinking, "fuck this, I can't handle her." Everything is catastrophe for me. Now I'm worrying and fretting, and struggling to get back to base line.

I'm trying to hold on to the positive. I'm trying to tell myself he's probably just busy at work. I'm trying to tell myself that unlike me he's probably not dwelling on it. I'm trying to tell myself that I wouldn't want to be with someone who expects me to be perfect all the time.

I'm trying, but it's so fucking hard.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Struggles and Second Chances

I'm having a hard time letting go of my job. I keep hearing that students are asking for me, and my 1:1 misses me a lot. It breaks my heart because she thinks I left because of her. I hate that she didn't get any closure, that I just disappeared. I saw an old student, and I broke down and cried.

I struggled yesterday. I hadn't talked to Pete since the night before and he wasn't responding to my texts all day. I kept trying to tell myself that he was probably just busy at work, and not to text him. I told myself to wait until at least a little after 3:00 when he got out. But the more I tried to push it out of my head, the more my head fought back. "He's mad at you," "he's getting ready to give you bad news," "it was something you said, how could you be so stupid?" I fought so hard against it, but eventually I gave in and texted him. Then I panicked, and apologized for texting him. Then I got upset, and texted again. I was driving and basically having a panic attack. Surely now I was making him even angrier. I tried to calm myself down, and tell myself he might have called out of work and been sleeping (he was in a lot of pain the night before). My heart was racing, I couldn't breath, and I was doing my best to calm myself down. I was supposed to see him that night, but now I was wondering if that would happen.

Despite the feeling of panic and dread, I managed to ignore it. After all, it was only about an hour until 3 O'clock. Then, while I was on my way to an appointment, he sent me a text asking if I was still coming over and that he couldn't wait to see me. I immediately calmed down, and was happy he seemed perfectly fine. Oh, and it turns out I was right. He had called out that day and was sleeping.

Later that night I went over to his place, and we ended up talking about things. He still likes me and has feelings for me, and he said  hit on a lot things about him (I basically wrote out my feelings and read them to him). He told me to give him another week of isolation to think about things and figure out if he's up for dating. He admitted he'd be jealous if I was with another guy, and he likes be monogamous with me. He just has a lot going on in his head, and I can understand that. On the plus side the next morning when I said, "see you next week," he seemed upset he'd have to wait that long and said he'd like to see me sooner.

So, now I'm trying my best not to dwell on it or what his response will be. I know if I do that I will end up hounding and nagging, and that will hurt my chances.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An Open Letter

Dear Emotion Mind,

Stop it. Just stop it, okay? Why do you do this to me? Why do you have to battle me every day? Can't you just give it a rest? Can't you see I'm trying? Can't you see that I'm trying to change the way you make me think? Why can't you just cooperate? You were doing just fine. Minding your own business,  not analyzing everything, not making me go crazy with worry. Why is it when someone doesn't reply to me you have to go into overdrive? He's in pain and he's probably sleeping. Why does everything have to be something? Why do you need to make me think there is something underlying? Why do you suddenly make me forget the positive? Just because he doesn't reply it does not mean he's getting ready to tell me he never wants to see me again. No you're making me want to call, text, until I get a response. Guess what? You're not going to win. If I do that then you're going to make me judge myself. So, I'm just going to ignore you until the feeling goes away. I'm also not going to judge myself for letting you get to me. I'm really trying here, can't you for once cut me a break?
 
                                                                                                                  Sincerely,
                                                                                                                  You-Know-Who

Stigma, Judgement, Welfare Jokes, and Frustration

I am feeling a certain level of frustration now. It astounds me how judgmental people can be.

I have a friend who was asking people for money for doctor's bills
I have a friend who was asking people for money to get to appointments
I have a friend who was asking people for money to help fix his teeth
I have have many other friends who have asked for money through donation sites.

Now, this is not to say I am against that. I fully support it. However, when I make a Go Fund Me account asking for help because I am in a bad situation then it's seen as, "attention whoring". Never mind the fact that I am doing this so I am able to have gas money to get to job interviews, looking for working every day, and doing other things to make sure I make ends meet.

I feel I deal with double stigma. Stigma from being poor and stigma from being mentally ill. The first comes from the thought process that if you're poor you deserve to be poor, and you only deserve to have misery. You're not allowed nice things (even if those things were gifts or you got them when you had income). People judge everything. For example, I was judged for "all the tattoos I'm getting and shows I'm going too." I got a tattoo about a month ago while I was working full time, and the only show I'm going to is one where the tickets were free and a friend is paying for transportation.

Then there is the mental illness side of stigma. A friend said in a comment, "I think also that a lot of folks don't truly get that someone with BPD should be given criticism in helpful and non-confronting ways," Which is exactly on point. Unfortunately a lot of people believe that mental illness is a excuse or a crutch, that we can simply pull ourselves up by our boot straps or make it go away over night. It's especially hard having a personality disorder because then people think it should be easy to change, they don't realize how hard it is.

People like to judge others and their situations. I've had a few people judge me for "complaining about everything." That's another problem. Unless you're posting 100% happy positive things all the time then you're "complaining." It's like it's not okay to vent anymore. Honestly who has no problems ever? I feel like posting about when things are not going so well makes me human.

Also, even though I vent, I'm still getting things done. I'm job searching, going to therapy, working on getting assistance for the time being, going to interviews, etc. But all people want to focus on is the one "negative" post in a sea of all the positive ones. I've been doing really well not posting negative stuff all the time, but it doesn't matter to some people. Venting is seen as weakness, people do not look past what's in front of their noses.

I'm not sitting around refusing to better myself. This is why one of my 2014 life lessons is, "The only person who has the right to judge my progress is me." Because everyone else can only compare me from the moment they met me. No one knows how far I've come, but me.

I'm also annoyed that people take my welfare jokes so seriously. Honestly, in bleak times I feel it's important to have a sense of humor. I've never bought steak or lobster with food stamps, I don't drink, and I don't plan on buying an Obamacopter or whatever. It's just a bit of harmless joking, and honestly it's poking fun at the people who lack insight and compassion.

I look at where I was in 2008 and where I am now. I've had a lot of ups and downs, losses and gains, but overall I am a much better person and a much stronger person. Unfortunately people are still going to judge.
As far as using my illness as an "excuse": I am going to therapy, job searching, getting things done, improving every day. How is that using my mental illness as an "excuse"? Also, I don't believe mentioned anything about my illness in my gofundme info. But, here's the thing. That's the stigma. If I were to say, "I can't work or need help because I have cancer/a broken leg/the flu" then that would be ok. But, saying you are struggling because of mental illness, it's seen as "an excuse".

Am I sitting around not bothering to send out resumes? Am I not going to interviews? Not trying to get assistance so I'm able to continue to do the former. No. So how is it using it as an excuse? Is it because I understand my disorder, I can recognize the traits, I learn from them. Is it because I go to therapy?

The thing is, I battle against my own head every day and I'm still standing strong. Sorry, but that's no "excuse"

Guess what? I'm so over it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Emergency Distress Tolerance Kit

In one of my DBT groups we made emergency distress tolerance kits. We put different coping skills on slips of paper, and if I'm feeling distress, then I can use this to remind myself of things to do. Mine is hanging on my wall behind my bed. Some of these include coping skills I didn't list the other day. I actually have a coping skills list posted on my wall, but the other day I did it off the top of my head. One thing I like doing is writing myself a nice note and putting it in my pocket. Anyway, without further ado.

Rainbow, always rainbow. 

Sealed With A Hug.

Put music on and hoop.
Breathe (4-7-8, to music, nostril).
Look at Pinterest.
Take a nap.

Make Kandi or color.
Compare me to me.
Look at gratitude list.
Read comics.

Listen to the Smile Song.
Text a friend.
Get offline.

Self-Sooth Kit



I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to post my self sooth kit. Here is a pic, and a list of what's in it.


  • Coloring book (right now it's Strawberry Shortcake, but it changes)
  • Sketch pad (behind the coloring book)
  • Collage book (I cut out pictures and other stuff from magazines and paste them in)
  • Buddha board
  • Peppermint tea
  • Nail Polish
  • Eeos
  • Sand (from Brookstone. Love the stuff)
  • Cherry almond lotion
  • Lavender chamomile lotion
  • Norman Rockwell book
  • Colored pencils (in the MLP tin)
  • Crayons
  • Silly puddy (it's hidden)
  • Menthol crystals
I pretty much have something that hits all my senses (with the exception of hearing, but I have that stuff on my computer). Do you have a self-sooth kit? What's in it? if not, what would you put in one?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Positivety and Good Decisions

I have a job interview on Monday and I'm seeing Pete on Wednesday. I've been doing really well not contacting him, and giving him space. After all, people can't miss me if I'm constantly up their ass. I also have an interview for fuel assistance and I'm waiting to hear back on unemployment and food stamps. I'm hoping I won't have to be on assistance long, and I'll have a job soon, but it will be nice in the meantime.  I'm trying to be positive about the interview, which is a foreign concept since "hope" is not a natural thing for me.

I've been trying to fill up my free time doing stuff for me. I've been working on editing my book, listening to a lot of NPR,updating my website, cleaning, and getting a lot of rest. I need to be more independent and not always rely on one person to be my life line. That's one of the reasons D broke up with me, he became too much of my foundation and it was like I couldn't function on my own. I was demanding of him, even when he needed his own space.

I blocked her on Facebook. Not because I don't like her, but because I know that if I don't I will continue to stalk her online and just make myself upset. Don't worry about who she is, just know it was a good decision.

I'm being optimistic, which I'm usually not. But, like I've been saying I am trying to be the opposite of what I usually am.

The Hat: A Poem

Gray feelings arise
Because of an object once blue
Worn and ratty
Now old and brown
It brings new hope
To a girl in a black and white world
A symbol of friendship
A golden reminder
That brings a silver lining


30 Coping Skills

Right now in DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) we are focusing on, "distress tolerance". Two of my favorite skills from this section are distraction and self-sooth using the senses (when I have a chance I will post a photo of my self-sooth kit). For now, I thought I would put 30 of my favorite distress tolerance coping skills. Maybe someone reading this will get ideas, or if you want to comment your favorites and possibly give me ideas, that would be great! Note: these are in no sort of order.
  1. Hula-hooping
  2. Dancing
  3. Coloring
  4. Painting my nails
  5. Using lotion
  6. Taking a hot shower
  7. Cleaning
  8. Reading
  9. Writing
  10. Painting/drawing
  11. Taking a drive
  12. Going on Pinterest
  13. Calling a friend
  14. Drinking mint tea or other hot beverage
  15. Listening to NPR
  16. Taking a nap
  17. Going for a photography walk
  18. Going to a book store or coffee shop
  19. Listening to rainymoods.com
  20. Listening to certain songs
  21. Watching funny youtube videos
  22. Sex (yes, this is actually listed on the DBT big list of pleasurable activities)
  23. Going to the gym
  24. Blogging
  25. Trying on dresses at the mall/stores
  26. Fro-yo
  27. Scented candles or incense
  28. Taking online quizzes
  29. Watching episodes of shows I follow
  30. Writing down my thoughts then burning them


Friday, March 7, 2014

The Battle Against Stigma

I posted this as an article, but I want to re-post it here because it's important.


If I could offer one piece of advice to someone with mental illness it would be this; do not let stigma rule you.
I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder sometime in my twenties. Of course I had been living with the disorder for many years prior; I just didn’t know what it was called. Since then I have faced many struggles, not the least of which have been the close minded and ignorant views of others. Stigma comes in all forms, some less subtle than others. Here is what I have come to learn about people who do not understand mental illness and how I handle it.
Do not to talk about it because mental illness makes people feel uncomfortable:
Many people are not comfortable talking about what they do not understand. I am very open about my illness and I am not afraid to talk about it. Of course there is nothing wrong if it is your personal choice to be private about your issues, but make sure it is your choice and you are not letting someone else silence you.
Overcoming mental illness as simple as just smiling or toughening up and pulling yourself up by your boot straps:
Stigma teaches that mental illness isn’t that big of a deal and people can easily overcome it by simply ceasing to be mentally ill. You will hear people tell you things like, “I was depressed once! I just went out for a few drinks and I was fine!” Unfortunately a lot of people don’t understand the mental and physical crippling anguish that depression truly is. I have tried explaining BPD to people and I get told it’s not that big of a deal and, “I have that too!” It’s very frustrating to explain to someone that just because they may worry or get emotional that does not mean they have BPD, just as it’s frustrating when someone downplays depression as something that happens when their favorite sports team loses the big game. I see this as the equivalent of telling a person in a wheel chair you know what it’s like because you broke your leg last summer, then telling them to toughen up and just try walking. Long story short, it’s okay if you struggle, it’s okay if you take two steps forward and one step back, and it’s certainly okay if you don’t wake up tomorrow and cure yourself of your illness.
Being aware of things caused by your illness means you’re using it as a crutch:
Having a personality disorder is difficult to explain to people. They assume avoiding the traits of my disorder is as simple as changing my personality. In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) we are taught that BPD is a combination of a bio/psycho/social model and in fact goes much deeper than what is on the surface, but because they don’t look past the surface people assume I am just being a drama queen or I am self-obsessed. It should be a simple matter of cause and effect. If a person says, “I can’t go to work because I have the flu,” no one accuses them of using their ailment as an excuse or a crutch. However, if I say something like, “I went from putting someone on a pedestal to treating them like dirt in the span of an hour because of my BPD,” then people accuse me of using my disorder as a crutch (despite the fact extreme idealization and devaluation is one of the first traits listed for BPD). Now, let me be clear, the people who recognize the cause of their issues, but refuse to do anything about it or use at as a reason to get away with anything (think of the flu sufferer who is still using a barely there cough weeks later to get time off of work) are using it as a crutch. However by educating yourself, talking openly , recognizing your triggers, and then figuring out what you can do next time you are actually taking huge steps forward in treatment and recovery (even if you make the same mistake twice).
The sad truth is some people will just never understand. No matter how much you talk to people, send them information, or try to reason with them there are just some who will remain close minded. Ignore them. The only person, who has the right to judge you, is you. No one knows how much of a struggle it is living with mental illness, they only see the surface of the complex set of thoughts, emotions, fear, etc. that goes on inside the brain of someone who deals with a mental disorder. Do not let anyone tell you how you should deal with your disorder (whether it be talking openly about it or keeping it to yourself), you are not wrong. Also remember not to judge the way anyone else deals with their disorder. As long as you are not harming yourself or others then it’s not anyone’s right to judge your path or your progress.
Having a mental illness does not make you weak or a lesser person, if anything it allows you to understand emotions that many others can’t. Because I am a highly emotional person I am also highly empathetic and because of mental illness I have chosen to pursue a career as a therapist so I am able to give young people the help I never got. Above all else remember, you may have a mental illness but it does not define who you are and neither does the stigma that goes along with it.

Why I Do This

Recently someone basically told me that instead of this blog I should just write in a private journal. So, let me share with you why I started this blog (maybe it will give those who have the same thoughts a better idea).
  • My private journal is for stuff I talk about in therapy
  • In DBT one of the things on the list of "pleasurable activities" is, "start your own online blog"
  • It helps me connect to other people with BPD, and it's nice to know I'm not alone
  • It's to raise awareness, and help end mental illness stigma
  • I want to help others with BPD. Recently a friend said she'd been reading my posts and it helped her understand her BPD a bit better.That makes it so worth it.

Girl Interrupted: Examining Borderline Personality Disorder and Treatment

This was the final paper for my final class of my Master's degree. I was happy that it worked out that the assignment was to write about a mental disorder, and of course I chose the one I know the best. Please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors.

Abstract
This paper looks into the mental disorder of Borderline Personality Disorder, and three different types of treatments used to help those with the disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental disorder, and there are many approaches to treating it. This paper explores a cognitive approach, a pharmacological approach, and an alternative approach. This paper will also look into the personal account of its author, and how Borderline Personality Disorder has affected her.
Borderline Personality Disorder
I was trying to explain my situation to myself. My situation was that I was in pain and nobody knew it, even I had trouble knowing it.” (Kaysen, 1994). This is a quote from the book, “Girl Interrupted.” The story follows Susana Kaysen and her year-long stay at a mental hospital for treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.
I started experiencing mental issues at an early age. However, it was not until early adulthood that the onset of the symptoms became prevalent and detrimental to her life. I experienced severe mood swings, one relationship after another, promiscuous sex, poor spending habits, and perhaps the most frightening; hospitalization for attempted suicide and recurring suicidal thoughts.
After a traumatic and psychotic breakdown in 2008, I went back to therapy and finally got the proper diagnoses. I was told I have Borderline Personality Disorder. The following analysis provides and in-depth look at Borderline Personality Disorder and current ways psychologists are treating it. The first part of this analysis will discuss the onset and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. Next three different methods of treatment will be described: cognitive, pharmacological, and an alternative method. Finally this author will look at the changing attitudes on borderline and how modern day society’s view differs in both definition and treatment.
The Borderline Personality: Onset, Symptoms, and Description
If there is one word to describe the world of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) it would be, chaos. The American Psychiatric Association (2000), defines BPD as mainly a pattern of intense emotions, poor self-image, unstable interpersonal relationships, and impulsivity. A person with BPD perceives even the smallest slight as earth shattering and will go to extreme lengths to avoid abandonment that is either real or perceived.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), a person who suffers from BPD interprets even realistic separation as earth shattering and will experience intense fear and anger. For example, a friend who does not return a text message may find him or herself with an abundance of irate replies as well as angry voicemails. People with BPD cannot stand to be alone, and thus will stop at nothing to avoid it. In their mind any sort of separation implies they are bad or have done something wrong.
The American Psychiatric Association (2010) explains that people suffering from BPD also have a pattern of intense and unstable relationships. The core of these relationships stems from a very polarized view of people. The world view of someone with BPD sees people as either on pedestals (idealization) or in the dirt (devaluation). This type of thinking is known as black and white thinking or splitting. A person with BPD has a very difficult time seeing the gray areas of life. According to Gunderson (2011), a person with BPD has both internal and external splitting. Externally they perceive any type of criticism as rejection or proof that they are not worthy of love. A person with BPD needs to have a connection to believe her or she has self-worth. However, the BPD patient frequently defines that connection by unrealistic expectations of availability. The internal struggle comes from when the BPD patient gets any sort of negative reaction. Even something as simple as a friend being annoyed could be interpreted by the BPD patient as them being unworthy of love.
According to Gunderson (2011), the all or nothing thinking of the BPD patient makes it extremely difficult to remain in a relationship. As mentioned previously, their incapability to see the grey greatly affects their outlook on life. BPD patients also have a high frequency of suicidal threats in behaviors. Often they will use such behaviors as a means to avoid abandonment. According to Gunderson (2011), a person with BPD may feel intense anger over the smallest thing. Later the anger turns into guilt. Because of the splitting someone with BPD cannot see the situation as a mind bump in the road and something to learn from. Instead they see it as complete hyperbole.
According to Gunderson (2011), the majority of BPD patients (75%) are female. The onset of symptoms is a combination of nature and nurture. Studies have shown that the major traits of BPD (hypersensitivity, impulsivity, etc) are traceable in families. Environmental factors such as neglect, family issues, trauma, and abuse also play a role in the onset of BPD. Outside heritable and nurture factors, BPD also has biological factors. According to Gunderson (2011), scans have shown that patients with BPD have a hyper responsive amygdala and an impaired prefrontal cortex.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), BPD usually starts in early adulthood.
Cognitive Treatment: Dialectical Behavior Therapy
According to O’Connor (2003), “Generally speaking, dialectic is a mode of thought, or a philosophic medium, through which contradiction becomes a starting point (rather than a dead end) for contemplation.” (para 1). Bohus, Haff, et. al. (2002) explains that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a form of therapy created for those who meet the criteria of BPD. Marsha Linehan invented DBT in the early 90’s. Over the course of a year Linehan conducted a controlled treatment study of patients meeting the criteria for BPD. The outpatient DBT that was assigned to them had more effective and positive outcomes than other forms of psychotherapy of mental health treatment (Bohus, Haff, et. al.).
The name Dialectical Behavioral Therapy derives from the use of dialectics applied to behavior therapy. The term “dialectics” applies to the basis of DBT as well as the dialogue and relationship used by therapist to have an effective treatment approach (Linehan, 1993). DBT is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in that it targets specific problem areas, engages in ongoing assessment, and is a collaborative work between patient and therapist. When Linehan developed DBT she took CBT and put more emphasis on specific areas such as the therapeutic relationship, the dialectic process, and the process of accepting and validating behaviors (Linehan, 1993).
According to Linehan (1993), DBT is best used through both group and individual therapies. The group portion of DBT is conducted over the course of a year and is split into four modules: Mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. In the following sections each of the modules will be discussed in length.
Mindfulness
According to Linehan (1993), the core of DBT is mindfulness. The mindfulness skills derive from central Buddhist and Zen practices. The basis of mindfulness teaches of the three states of mind; reasonable mind, emotion mind, and wise mind. According to Linehan (1993), reasonable and emotion mind work as polar opposites in that the reasonable mind takes a cool, intellectual approach to problems whereas the emotion mind takes a knee jerk reaction approached based on the current emotional state. The goal of mindfulness according to Linehan (1993) is to combine the two states of mind to make wise mind. The wise mind aspects brings together the emotional experience and the logical analysis to take better approaches to problems.
According to Linehan (1993), mindfulness is split into “what” and “how” skills. The “what” skills aim to help the BPD patient become more aware through observing and describing. An example of observing is noticing what is coming through the senses or riding the experience like a wave. Letting the emotions wash over, not clinging on. Putting words on the experience or putting the experience into words are examples of describe. According to Linehan (1993), another aspect of the “what” skills is to participate. Participating teaches BPD patients to become one with their experience, to practice skills until they are second nature. Most important it teaches not to be too eager and willful but also not too hesitant when dealing with problematic experiences.
According to Linehan (1993), the “how” skills consist of non-judgmentally, one-mindfully, and effectively. Part of what is so difficult for BPD patience is their inability not to judge their judging. They tend to evaluate and analyze every choice, opinion, and argument made. According to Linehan (1993), mindfulness teaches BPD patients to separate opinions from facts and not to evaluate situations. The emphasis on just sticking to the facts helps BPD not to judge their judging. A way that mindfulness teaches BPD patients to focus better is by doing things one-mindfully. According to Linehan (1993), Mindfulness expresses the importance of doing one thing at a time and focusing on the moment.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), BPD patients have a marked reactivity of mood. Because of this they experience intense emotion such as anger, panic, anxiety, and even dysphoric episodes. Mindfulness seeks to lessen the intense feelings as well as the inappropriate ways BPD patients express that anger.
Interpersonal Effectiveness
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), BPD patients have a difficult time maintaining interpersonal relationships. They experience difficulty in properly and appropriately approach relationships and relationship problems. According to Linehan (1993), focuses on helping the BPD patient acquire changes needed, but still keeping their self-respect and the relationship. Perhaps, more important, it teaches acceptance of other people’s feelings and dealing with being told no. According to Linehan (1993), interpersonal effectiveness breaks down into the following segments and subcategories: Situations for interpersonal effectiveness (attending to relationships, balancing priorities and demands, balancing the wants to should, and building mastery and self-respect), goals of interpersonal effectiveness (getting objectives or goals in a situation met, getting or keeping a good relationship, and keeping or improving self-respect), and factors reducing interpersonal skills (lack of skill, worry thoughts, emotions, indecision, and environment).
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), the DSM-IV-TR sites for following two traits as diagnostic criteria for BPD; “Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagines abandonment,” and, “a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation” (p. 710). According to Linehan (1993), the BPD patient’s world is split in black and white. Either they engage is avoidance of confrontational situation or the confrontation is extremely intense. The skills taught during the interpersonal effectiveness module help to find a balance between the two extremes. Interpersonal effectiveness will help someone with BPD work on building and keeping relationships.
Emotion Regulation
BPD patients are extremely emotional people. Their intensity paired with their penchant for extremes (such as either being in emotion or reasonable mind) makes it difficult for them to regulate any sort of intense or negative emotion (Linehan, 1993). According to the American Psychiatric Association (2000), BPD patients suffer from constant feelings of emptiness as well as low self-worth or self-esteem. Part of the reason for this is their battle with extreme emotions. According to Linehan (1993), emotion regulation incorporates mindfulness skills (as do the other modules because mindfulness is the center of DBT) to help the BPD patient effectively recognize and label emotions.
Emotion regulation trains the BPD patient to be more in tune with his or her emotion, while reducing how vulnerable he or she is to those emotions (Linehan, 1993). Emotion regulation helps BPD patients accept their emotions while not letting them get to an extreme. Often a BPD patient sees any sort of negative emotion (such as anger) as bad and will have a difficult time and become increasingly more intense. According to Linehan (1993), emotions can be self-validating, motivate action, and influence others. With BPD the issue is not developing emotions; it is having no way to organize them.
According to Linehan (1993), a core concept of emotion regulation is the acronym (Marsha Linehan loves her acronyms, which can easily be seen if someone reads more indepth about DBT) PLEASE MASTER. “Treat PhysicaL illness, balance Eating, avoid mood-Altering drugs, balance Sleep, get Exercise, build MASTERy” (Linehan, 1993, p. 125).
Distress Tolerance
The final module of DBT is distress tolerance. Part of what BPD patients have a difficult time with is not so much avoiding stress, but rather being accepting of it. According to Linehan (1993), distress tolerance aims to help BPD patients accept the stressful parts of life and manage them skillfully. To do this DBT teaches a variety of coping skills that either help distract from or understand situations that may cause stress.
According to Linehan (1993), DBT teaches that, “Wise Mind Accepts.” These are skills and tools used to tolerate difficult emotions. “Wise Mind Accepts” skills include activities, contributing, comparisons, emotions, pushing away, thoughts, and sensations (Linehan, 1993, p. 165). Other ways that DBT teaches distress tolerance skills is by using the five senses to self-sooth (for example squeezing a stress ball, smelling lotion, looking at colorful photos), improving the moment (through things such as imagery, encouragement, and prayer), and weighing the pros and cons of the situation (Linehan, 1993).
According to Bohus, Haaf, et. al. (2002), DBT is widely accepted as perhaps the most effective treatment for people living with Borderline Personality Disorder. Originally developed as an outpatient treatment, studies on inpatient treatments have been done and are becoming easier (albeit more expensive) to access.
Pharmacological Treatment: Haloperidol and Valproic Acid
According to Lieb, Zanarini, et. al (2004), one drawbacks to treating BPD is that there is yet to be a medication made specifically for the disorder. Many patients who take medication take it to reduce specific symptoms. According to Lieb, Zanarini, et. al (2004), two of the drugs given to patients with BPD is Haloperidol and Valproic acid. The use of Haloperidol treats symptoms of anxiety, anger, paranoia, and depression. Valproic acid tackles interpersonal sensitivity, aggression, and hostility.
According to Lieb, Zanarini, et. al (2004), placebo controlled studies are done to test the effects on various medications over the course of a series of weeks. While there is a great benefit to treating BPD with medication (such as reducing the high risk of suicide in BPD patients), the drawback once again is that there is no specific medication for the disorder. Patients are better off engaging to the more cognitive and environmental approach of the dialectical behavioral therapy. A mood stabilizer or anti-psychotic will help the BPD patient focus and cope better, but medication cannot stand along concerning this disorder.
According to Medline Plus (2013), haloperidol treats psychotic disorders as well as disorders that have severe behavioral problems (such as Borderline Personality Disorder). Haloperidol is a conventional antipsychotic that works to decrease abnormal excitement in the brain. Some of the side effects of Haloperidol include: dry mouth, constipation, heartburn, drowsiness, and loss of appetite (Medline Plus, 2013).
According to Medline Plus (2013), Valproic acid is a medication used to treat the manic side of bipolar disorder (common misdiagnoses). The drug is also used to treat the aggressiveness in ADHD patients. The drug works by increasing the natural substances in the brain. According to Medline Plus (2013), common side effects of Valproic acid are mood swings, abnormal thinking, blurred vision, agitation, and ringing in the ears.
The side effects mentioned are just some of the side effects that come with the two aforementioned medications. A person has to wonder if it is even worth it to try to target BPD with a pharmacological approach.
Alternative Treatment: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to the University of Maryland (2011), Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that can be found in various types of fish such as salmon, tuna, and halibut. The role of Omega-3 Fatty acids is essential to both the function of the brain and heart.
According to Zanarini and Frankenberg (n.d.), studies are conducted on the use of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce aggression and mood symptoms in BPD patients. One particular study included 30 women who met the criteria in the DSM-IV for Borderline Personality Disorder. According to Zanarini and Frankenberg (n.d.), 1000mg of an omega-3 fatty acid or a mineral oil placebo was given to subjects daily over the course of eight weeks. Results reflected that 90% of the patients favored the omega-3 over the placebo.
According to Zanarini and Frankenberg (n.d.), data collected in the study shows a vast effect on the aggressive and depressive traits of Borderline Personality Disorder. The plus side of this particular method of treatment is that they are both readily available and provide no serious toxins. The downside is that the study only included female patients who were moderately ill. According to Zanarini and Frankenberg (n.d.), further progress needs to be made linking the use of omega-3 fatty acids to those with more severe forms of BPD.
Contemporary Attitudes
Attitudes toward treatment for BPD greatly favor the use of dialectical behavioral therapy. According to the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (2009), explains that DBT has been a proven effective treatment for both adults and adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder. Studies are conducted to collect evidence on the effectiveness of various treatments. According to the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (2009), the treatment with the most reasonable amount of evidence is dialectical behavior therapy.
The role of medication in treating BPD is small and should not be a primary method of treatment. The risk of side effects paired with there not being a specific medication for BPD, but rather specific symptoms, makes it the least effective method (National Youth Mental Health Foundation, 2009).
The world view of Borderline Personality Disorder has changed since its inclusion in the DSM-III. Originally thought to be on the border of psychotic and neurotic during a time when people were put into either those two categories or a “normal” category. The borderline was seen not as severe as psychotic patients but also did not respond as well to the therapies given to neurotic patients Hoadley (2001). During the time the term “border line” was first used (1938), it was meant for patients who did not fit a certain criteria. As time went on specific criteria to describe the borderline personality was developed, thus leading to the study of more effective and focused treatments Hoadley (2001). BPD patients have come a long way from simply being thrown in ineffective psychoanalysis to a therapy designed specifically for them (DBT).
Conclusion
In conclusion, the world of the BPD patient is an intense and chaotic one. The disorder is possibly one of the most difficult to treat because therapists often find themselves in the whirlwind of emotional outbursts, splitting, and fear of rejection that comes with having Borderline Personality Disorder (National Youth Mental Health Foundation, 2009).
This paper has been a discussion on the patient with Borderline Personality Disorder. The first part of this analysis on BPD was a description of the disorder, including symptoms and onset during the first part of this paper. Next there was an examination of the various treatments for BPD. These treatments included a cognitive and pharmacological one as well as an alternative treatment. Finally, in the last part of this paper contemporary views on BPD and treatment were described.

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What Caused My BPD?

I've been talking to my therapist a lot about what caused my BPD, Experts/researchers believe it's a combination of biological, environmental, and hereditary.

Biological: People with BPD are said to have an enlarged and overactive Limbic system, especially Amygdala. The Limbic system supports a variety of function including emotion, behavior, motivation, and long-term memory. It's primary function is emotional life (are you seeing how this relates to people with BPD?). According to wiki, " the amygdalae perform primary roles in the formation and storage of memories associated with emotional events. The amygdala, especially the basolateral nuclei, are involved in mediating the effects of emotional arousal on the strength of the memory for the event." People who are exposed to trauma in childhood are unable to tell a linear history of that time. There are parts of my childhood I only know exist through pictures, and while I can remember certain events in details the details of when and where are often foggy. Often I'll remember different events as happening within a short time frame of each other, when in reality they may have happened years apart.

Hereditary: Research show that the temperament a someone inherits can contribute to the onset of BPD. I inherited my Dad's, very sensitive, This combined with my biological factors played a big role in developing my disorder. As a child I was super sensitive, very stubborn, cried at the drop of a hat, and I hated being punished.


Environment: This aspect played a huge role in the onset of my disorder. I was emotionally and psychologically abused by my step mother, I dealt with a lot of loss in a short time frame (parents divorcing, grandmother dying, moving, Dad moving out) which my brain didn't respond to like others, and unfortunately neglected in some way by both my parents. Unfortunately neglect isn't always obvious and does not always come in the form of not feeding your kids or leaving them alone for hours. When my parents divorced and my Father re-married he continuously chose his wife over his kids, and I sadly was not as close to him. Living with my Mother was hard because he and my sister were much closer and I often felt like an outcast. When I was a little older (late teens) I got in really bad fights with my Mom, and I often felt like she favored my sister over me (sometimes she'd get away with stuff I got in trouble for). I am certain my parents weren't neglectful on purpose, but because of my head, because of my temperament I didn't get the amount of attention I needed.


It's hard to talk about this stuff out loud. I feel like I'm blaming people for my problems. But, I've never talked about like I have been. I guess it feels good to get it out.