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Understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence... it is the unique intersection of both.
-David Caruso

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Estranged Daughter Writes of Mother’s BPD

When I found out, in 2006, that she’d drained my trust fund, I was horrified. But on some level, I was also relieved: so much of the nightmare of my relationship with my mother had happened in secret that I struggled to know if it was even real. But now I knew it was. Now, I had proof, and I could finally leave her, with a clean conscience.

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE ESTRANGED FROM YOUR MOTHER WHEN SHE HAS BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
GABRIELLE MOSS

The last time I spoke to my mother was this past January. We had a mediated meeting with her psychiatrist, the three of us together in a conference room with a soothing New Age fountain burbling in the corner. It didn’t go well. In fact, it went so not well, that I was crying into a grilled cheese sandwich, alone, an hour later, coping with the idea that I’d probably never talk to her again.

We’d gotten to that conference room and that psychiatrist and that fountain the hard way, after years of hurt feelings and bad feelings and weird, indescribable feelings that made every interaction between us escalate within minutes into a vicious screaming match, the kind that left me broken for days. We do not get along. Or, maybe I should amend that: I do not get along with her.

So what’s the story here? We should be best friends, boon companions, Gilmore Girls: I grew up an only child in Connecticut, with just my mom in the house for the most part. I always had nice clothes, enough to eat, educational opportunities, and everything else that you’re supposed to be grateful for.

READ THE ARTICLE

Overactive Midbrain and Stress Tolerance

From Nora Gedgaudas’s latest book “Rethinking Fatigue”:

CHRONIC MIDBRAIN OVERACTIVATION

When the reticular activating system is stimulated, it fires off in different directions, and at times particularly strong emotional reactions to events can become stuck in a self-perpetuating feedback loop. In other words, particularly pronounced reactions to traumatic or stressful events can cause the brain to become hardwired for stress. This can also lead to long-term anxiety-related issues. The overactivation of this area of the brain, say by a particularly upsetting, traumatizing event, can lead to a chronically exaggerated stress response. A person may become hypervigilant and have an exaggerated startle response or possibly other symptoms similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He or she may have an overactive mind that won’t shut off and this may even lead to what are called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

The midbrain’s immediate response to what it perceives as a life-threatening circumstance is to release your brain’s version of adrenaline, or norepinephrine. The residual hypervigilant effect from a traumatic event following the initial stressor can also be a result of chronically excess cortisol. Some people may see something that is upsetting to them and let go of that concern quickly once the threat has passed. Those with an overactivated midbrain, however, may hang on to this residual perceived stress for days or much longer.




Adrenal-related issues are seemingly epidemic today—many people complain of some degree of “adrenal fatigue” or “burnout.” This is hardly surprising given the incredibly stressful world we live in today.

The unfortunate truth is adrenal-related issues are poorly understood by nearly everyone. Also, most natural health care providers still practice using outdated theoretical models from the 1950s, which fail to hold up in the face of modern stress physiology. In fact, the vast majority of so-called “adrenal issues” have nothing whatsoever to do with the adrenal glands themselves!

In this book Nora Gedgaudas offers you a cutting-edge paradigm that will not only help modernize adrenal concepts, but also will help you better identify what type of “adrenal dysregulation” you have and what you can do about it. You will be surprised at what you discover in these pages and thrilled by what you’ll learn!
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Release date July 1, 2014.

Mother chronicles daughter’s tragic struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder

Not long after she drew the gruesome accident picture at the age of nine, Colleen told her parents that she wanted to die. Many suicide attempts followed.

Calgary mother chronicles daughter’s tragic struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder

BY ERIC VOLMERS, CALGARY HERALD OCTOBER 3, 2014

When Colleen Porter was nine years old, her parents were summoned to school because of a picture she had drawn with crayons.

Students had been asked to create something that pleased them, an exercise that usually produced predictable and mundane results. Not for Colleen.

“It was a drawing of a car accident,” says Fran L. Porter, Colleen’s mother and author of the book When the Ship Has No Stabilizers: Our Daughter’s Tempestuous Voyage Through Borderline Personality Disorder (Crossfield Publishing, 274 Pages, $30).

“She had these bodies all over the road. She had red crayon all over the page and she had written at the bottom of the page: ‘This is a bad accident. Bodies are lying all over the road. There is blood everywhere.’ So we could see that her mind was not working properly.”

It was not the first indication that something was wrong. By that point, Colleen’s assistant principal had already raised alarm about her behaviour. She was running with a troublemaking crowd and seemed unusually obsessed, especially for a nine year old, over the dark work of Edgar Allan Poe.

Even as a baby, Colleen showed troubling signs. In the crib, she would become violently startled whenever she was touched. Throughout her young childhood, she would be overly clingy one minute and resistant to touch the next.

Recent research has pinpointed these two extremes as being characteristic of borderline personality disorder.

Read the entire article




“Colleen crashed into my orbit like a meteorite,” writes Rev. Gordon Hunter in the opening sentence of his contribution to this book’s Foreword. Indeed, Colleen had that effect on most people she encountered, including her own parents and sister. Bright, articulate, and utterly charming at times, she could also be bewilderingly sinister, manipulative, and downright vindictive. Says her mother Fran, there is so much about the human brain that still remains to be understood. But if we are to help those like Colleen—possibly greater in number than our society yet realizes or is ready to admit—we must make it our quest to find out. Knowledge is the greatest battering ram we have against the social stigma surrounding mental illness that still prevails. Comprehending the medical realities that made Colleen who she was is the subject of this book as well as the road that may ultimately lead us to a cure. If increasing this comprehension sparks a drive toward that end, then Colleen’s all-too-short life will not have been lived in vain.
List Price: $30.00 USD
New From: $22.81 USD In Stock
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Borderline Personality Disorder in Strippers/Exotic Dancers?

A study by the director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology program at the University of Pennsylvania found 55 percent of strippers are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and 60 percent experience depression.

Bon: The above quote is from an article about strippers/exotic dancers…

BEYOND THE POLE: The hidden world of exotic dancers
Andrew Paxton | Oct 02, 2014

By JAMIE VERWYS

“Looking to round up the finest 18 and over girls in Tucson, cash nightly.”

Advertisements promising college women wads of cash for flashing serious skin aren’t hard to find. The call for exotic dancers can be found by picking up a copy of Tucson Weekly or Pima Community College’s own student publication, the Aztec Press.

Since January, issues of Aztec Press featured an advertisement for a local “gentlemen’s club,” Eden Cabaret. The ad spurred negative response from Pima students and faculty.

Social service student Sandra Fisher wrote, “It is extremely unlikely that a bright, educated future for young women will begin with selling their bodies.”

She asks, “Did anyone at the Aztec Press consider the impact of such a sleazy suggestion in a campus publication to our student body (pun intended)?”

Bob Shoun, director of PCC’s Office of Dispute Resolution, received a complaint that the “advertisement was not in line with the college philosophy and concerns related to sexual harassment.”

Read the entire article

Interesting Study on Self-Injury and Borderline Personality Disorder

Among the BPD factors, emotion dysregulation and disturbed relatedness were both associated with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) history, but only disturbed relatedness was associated with NSSI frequency. 

The relationship between non-suicidal self-injury and borderline personality disorder symptoms in a college sample

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a major concern in both clinical and non-clinical populations. It has been approximated that 65-80% of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) engage in some form of NSSI.

Despite such high co-morbidity, much still remains unknown about the relationship between NSSI and BPD symptomatology. The goal of the current study was to identify individual BPD symptoms and higher order BPD factors that increase one’s vulnerability of NSSI engagement among a college sample.

It was hypothesized that the BPD factor of emotion dysregulation and the BPD symptoms of affect instability and intense anger/aggression would be associated with the presence and frequency of NSSI.

Method: Seven hundred twenty four undergraduates (61.2% female) completed self-report measures of BPD symptomology and NSSI history. 

Read the Entire Study

 

Be mindful of transitions with BPD

Transitions, especially as they relate to identity, can wreck havoc in a relationship with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

The last few months have been very difficult in my household with my wife with BPD. Over the weekend, she engaged in self-injury for the first time in eight years.

Why?

Because my household is going through a very significant transition. My girls have applied to and gone to college, leaving only my wife, my last child (a middle schooler) and myself in the house.

My wife identifies herself as primarily a mother. She is greatly attached to our girls and now that they have “left the nest,” my wife’s role as a guiding mother to them has been greatly diminished. At some level, she’s lost her purpose and it threatens her identity.

I have been blogging on the subject of being a supporter/family member of someone with BPD for almost 10 years now. Except at the very beginning, when I was still learning about the dynamics of BPD and the tools/skills to make things easier, this time in our lives has been the most difficult, as manifested by the self-harm.

I have a few suggestions regarding impending transitions in your life, as a loved one of a person with BPD:

  1. Be mindful of such transitions before they occur. Large life transitions, particularly those that involve identity, can wreck havoc on the emotions of someone with BPD. If you’re going to be in the “blast radius” be ready and aware.
  2. Show compassion for the person with BPD. While it can be very difficult when your emotions are involved, or when they attack you for seemingly no reason, the person with BPD is suffering greatly as his/her identity is threatened.
  3. Use validation and emotional skills to deal with the emotions as they arise. These are not intended to solve anything. They merely help cool the emotional temperature and can help build a sense that the person with BPD is heard.
  4. If needed, step back from or out of the situation for a short time, particularly if the other person is abusing substances or is in a rage. That said, make sure children are safe. Don’t allow “adult” decisions of an emotionally dysregulated (and therefore irrational) person put children at risk.
  5. Use mentalization skills to reframe the issues, yet do so when the emotional dysregulation is gone. “Strike while the iron is cool.”

Like kids at bedtime or going to school or getting up or whatever, transitions can be difficult for those with BPD.