August 1, 2012

Borderline Personality Disorder

 A person with this disorder will also often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  • Identity disturbance, such as a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  • Emotional instability due to significant reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms
Borderline personality disorder is more prevalent in females (75 percent of diagnoses made are in females). It is thought that borderline personality disorder affects approximately 2 percent of the general population.

Behaviors of BPD Mothers

The Witch

Typical Thoughts
Unconsciously, Witches hate themselves because they grew up in an environment that "required complete submission to a hostile or sadistic caregiver" (2000). They continue the cycle by acting cruelly to others, especially those who are too weak, young, or powerless to help themselves.

Typical Emotions
They feel no remorse for nightmarish acts, showing more interest in their own well-being than concern over the way they've hurt others. The Witch's triggers include jealousy, criticism, betrayal, abandonment, feeling left out, and being ignored.

Typical Actions and Central Dilemma
Most BP parents do not physically abuse their children. Those who do probably fall into this category. However, the abuse usually occurs when other competent adults are not present. Thus, family members can live in fear while all seems well to the outside world.
Witches want power and control over others so that others do not abandon them. When someone or something triggers the Witches' abandonment fear, these BPs can become brutal and full of rage, even punishing or hurting family members who stand in their way (2000). These types of BPs are most resistant to treatment: they will not allow others to help and the source of self-loathing is very deep.

 Typical Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions of Family Members
  • "I will comply with what she wants. Resistance is futile. I will be assimilated."
  • Fear in victims.
  • Denial on the part of those who could protect the victims.
  • Tries not to trigger the witch. But her behavior is not really about the non-BP, so this strategy doesn't work.
 The Effect of the Witch's Behavior in Children
  • Children live in terror of Witches' capricious moods; they are the "collateral damage" of a secret war they did not start, do not understand, and cannot control.
  • Attacks are random, intense, and cruel. Children automatically think they're at fault and can become shamed, depressed, insecure, dissociative, and hypervigilant.
  • As adults they may have multiple difficulties with self, relationships, physical illness, and even post traumatic stress disorder.

The Queen

Typical Thoughts
"I want more attention. I deserve more attention. And, by the way, what have you done for me lately?" Also, "My children should fulfill my needs, not the other way around. They don't love or respect me if they disagree with me, go against my wishes, or have needs of their own."

Typical Feelings
These include entitlement, deprivation, emptiness, anger, frustration, or loneliness from the deprivation they felt as children. Queens are impatient and have a low tolerance for frustration. They also push others' boundaries without regret or recognition.

Typical Actions and Central Dilemma
Driven by feelings of emptiness and unable to soothe themselves, Queens do what it takes to get what they feel they so richly deserve--including vindictive acts like blackmail. Initially they may impress others with their social graces. But when "friends" can no longer deliver, the Queen cuts them off without a thought. Queens are capable of real manipulation (vs. more primitive BP defenses) to get what they desire.

Typical Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions of Family Members
  • "I can't meet this person's needs; my best isn't enough."
  • "Don't I ever get to have any needs? (Better not say that or the Queen will leave me.)"
  • "Why is everything always about her?"
  • "If people only knew what an act the Queen puts on, they'd sure be shocked."
  • Family members who the Queen shames, ignores, or gives superficial attention learn that their worth depends on external things (cars, important titles).
  • Non-BPs' self-esteem also suffers--especially among those who become isolated or who had a Queen parent.
  • Over time, non-BPs feel used, manipulated and angry--anger at the BP and at themselves for capitulating so much they no longer recognize themselves.
  • Non-BPs give in to her wishes because it's easier than maintaining personal limits.
  • Less assertive non-BPs are vulnerable to distortion campaigns, unwilling or unable to protect themselves or their children.
 Consequences to Children with a Queen Parent 
  • To the Queen, children are a built-in audience expected to give love, attention and support when the Queen needs it. Children feel confused and betrayed when their normal behavior is sometimes punished (according to the Queen's needs of the moment). Since Queens don't allow or help children become individuals (autonomy is discouraged--even punished) kids mimic the behavior they do see: the Queens'. Thus, a new generation of BPs is born.
  • As kids grow, conflict with the Queen increases. Underneath, these kids long for approval, recognition, consistency, and to be loved unconditionally for who they are, not what they achieve.

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