Borderline Personality Disorder – Practicing Non-Judgement & Finding Synthesis Between Opposites

Introduction to This Blog Series

I was 27 years old when I entered into the realization that there was something wrong with me and one of the original diagnosis was Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD. 

But, not a lot was known about this horribly stigmatized disorder because BPD patients were considered impossible to treat or wrongly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. 

Along with BPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS) were also added to my diagnostic mix.

ADHD was quickly debunked and over the past two decades most professionals leaned towards my having PTSD or a Dissociative Disorder – but something about these disorders never seemed to fit.

Add menopause to the mix and the confusion became even more confusing.

Anxiety

Here are past blogs I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and what felt like PTSD or DDNOS:

Alcohol Addiction

As well, I have a history of alcohol addiction.

On February 17th, 2022 I celebrate my second year living an alcohol-free life.

My Struggles With Alcohol Can be Read in These Blogs:

Present Day

And now, at 52 years old, and after a thorough assessment by a seasoned psychiatrist – I am finally properly diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

This blog series called Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder is my way of processing and understanding these complex personality disorders and how they manifest, interfere with and enhance my life.

And, as it has been said to me from friends who have family members with Borderline Personality Disorder, perhaps I can help dispel misconceptions and stigmas associated with these mental illnesses.

As well, perhaps I can shed some light and more personal information on what living with Histrionic Personality Disorder is like, for those who are also walking this path.

With hope,

Stephanie, 💛

December 21st, 2015 - Giza, Egypt - Kissing the Great Sphinx of Egypt
December 21st, 2015 – Giza, Egypt – Kissing the Great Sphinx of Egypt

Idea for Practicing Effectiveness – With Anger & Hostility

Ideas for practicing effectiveness is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) mindfulness technique from DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan.

There is a step-by-step process outlined in the above mentioned worksheets that, as I applied it, truly helped me begin to observe my intense anger and hostility – as I asked myself – Is this effective?

It is so simple, it can be a truly effective life skill for anyone!

  1. Observe when you begin to get angry or hostile with someone. Ask yourself, “Is this effective?”
  2. Observe yourself when you start wanting to be “right”instead of effective. Give up being “right” and switch to being effective.
  3. Notice willfulness in yourself. Ask yourself, “Is this effective?” (according to Dictionary.com – willful is defined as unreasonably stubborn or headstrong)
  4. Drop willfulness, and practice acting effectively instead. Notice the difference.
  5. When feeling angry or hostile or like you are going to do something ineffective, practice Willing Hands.
  6. Other – My therapist added this suggestion – highlight for myself the difference it makes for me to be in the moment (mindfulness) and how it increases my effectiveness.

Willing Hands & Half Smiling – Practicing Non-Judgement

Half Smile
Photo Credit – northmemorial.com

Just try this – sit with your hands turned up and bring a half-smile to your face when you are feeling emotionally distressed and judging yourself and/or others…

It works, ‘eh!

This strategy is an intentional shift – to recognizing what is happening in the moment – to calm you down.

You are “faking non-judgement and effectiveness” until you can actually make it.

Walking the Middle Path – Finding the Synthesis Between Opposites

This is a brand new concept for me.

My therapist spoke about how family and friends can be both loved and feared.

How family and friends can be both fun and mean.

My brain struggles with this, as trust is an issue.

Walking the middle path – finding the synthesis between opposites is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) mindfulness technique from DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan.

The examples given are:

  • Reasonable Mind – Emotion MindBoth regulate actions and make decisions based on reason, AND take into account values and experience even strong emotions as they come up.
  • Doing Mind – Nothing-To-Do MindBoth do what is needed in the moment (including reviewing the past or planning for the future), AND experience fully the uniqueness of each moment in the moment.
  • Intense Desire For Change Of The Moment – Radical Acceptance Of The MomentBoth allow yourself to have an intense desire to have something else than what is now AND be willing to radically accept what you have in your life in the present moment.
  • Self-Denial – Self-IndulgenceBoth practice moderation AND satisfy the senses.

As mentioned, this is a brand new concept for me – one I look forward to learning more about.

However, I think I’ve listened to this philosophy from Calm’s meditation teacher, Jeff Warren.

That said, I still have a lot more to learn here.

Think that is it for now.

Rereading this blog will help this information sink in for me.

S, 🌼

Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder

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