Borderline Personality Disorder,  Parenting,  Treatment

Blaming the parents

One of the big problems I have seen in meeting people with BPD children is that often the mental health professionals believe that the ONLY cause of BPD is childhood abuse. While 75% of adult female borderlines report childhood abuse (and many sexual abuse), what if those are the only ones that seek treatment? And what of the other 25%? In other words, parents of borderlines – who are confused, angry and scared about the welfare of their children – are often the ones blamed for the disorder by mental health professionals. A good corollary is the reactions of health care workers when someone appears at the hospital with a self-inflicted wound. I have heard reports that the patients are “looked down on” and their treatment is delayed so that “real” cases can be attended to. Rather than dealing with the pain and injury whatever the cause, the self-injured are treated as “head cases” rather than given the care and attention they deserve. The same is true with suicidal people. A person I know was yelled at by the doctors and their family members when the suicide attempt was “over.” Why would one think that a suicide attempt is not serious or, worse, can be dealt with by discipline? Not all suicide attempts are a “cry for help” or a means of getting attention. Sometimes suicide seems like the only way to squelch the pain. The parents of these children (particularly ones that exhibit SIB) are generally confused and saddened. They don’t need the mental health professionals to examine the family situation to find signs of childhood abuse and neglect or to (worse) send in poorly-trained and overworked department of family services workers. Treat the actual disease, not the supposed “root” cause. That doesn’t help the borderline at all.