Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Inner Critic

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. 

I say something wrong with me because I was just not able to manage my life on my own and somehow knew there was something wrong with my mind.

Back then, 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.

My Struggles With Alcohol Can be Read in These Blogs:

Present Day

When I was 52 years old I had a thorough psychological assessment by a seasoned psychiatrist. At long last, I was 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, 💛

April 4th, 2017 - Phuket, Thailand - Hanging with rhesus macaque monkeys
April 4th, 2017 – Phuket, Thailand – Hanging with rhesus macaque monkeys

Whose Voice?

The inner critic is not just for those with BPD and HPD.

Everyone has them.

What does one of my inner critics say?

She says things like:

People are mad at you.

People do not like you.

I am in trouble.

I have done something wrong.

Other people are right and I am wrong – I must defer.

I must defer to those who have more power than me.

Everyone has more power than me.

Whose voice is saying this to me?

My scared little inner child, terrified of authority figures and doing whatever she can so she doesn’t upset them so they won’t abandon her or hurt her.

Dr. Jennifer May

I am a huge fan of Dr. Jennifer May.

Her YouTube channel, in my humble opinion, is free therapy for anyone on a healing path. However, for those with BPD her channel specifically offers everything DBT – Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

The below is from Dr. May’s About:

Jennifer May, Ph.D., is a NY state licensed clinical psychologist who has been practicing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) since 2001. She is currently the DBT Coordinator at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in West Brentwood, NY where she provides DBT treatment to inpatient adults and trains and supervises psychology interns in DBT. She also has past experience providing DBT to adults and adolescents in outpatient clinics and private practice settings. Dr. May considers herself an eclectic and integrative therapist, using techniques not only from DBT but from CBT, Radically Open DBT, attachment theory, internal family systems, sensorimotor psychotherapy, and spirituality. She is passionate about offering quality information on YouTube to people who are working on their recovery and to therapists looking to expand their skill set. Contact her to book Zoom presentations, podcasts, or YouTube interviews/collaborations.

Everything You Need To Know On How To Cope With Your Inner Critic

I’ve watched this video numerous times and will continue to do so as I get a bit stronger with navigating my inner critics by using the coping skills offered here.

Comforting My Scared Inner Child

One of the skills I am focusing on, in DBT terms, is using mindfulness to bring myself to my wise mind to then be able to comfort my terrified inner child who has flooded me with fear (emotional mind).

How do I do this?

With mindfulness, I recognize I am in emotional mind because I am flooded with fear.

I then give myself space around these thoughts by “popping out” of them and observe them.

I notice the age of the voice and why she is flooding me with fear.

I ask this part of me what they need.

It is typically to feel safe.

It is then in my wise mind that I act in an empowered way to care for my scared inner child.

Easier said than done and takes so much practice.

So much awareness and practice…

The workplace is one the most difficult arenas for me because I am surrounded by so many people.

So many women – who are the most challenging for me.

I am triggered on a daily basis. Sometimes I notice and can catch it. Sometimes not.

One day at a time.

And as best as I can… be gentle with myself when I tell myself I have failed.

And the cycle begins again… whose voice is telling me I have failed?

What age…

But, sometimes that is too much as I just need to comfort myself and let it go.

One inner critic at a time.

S, 💛

Feature Image – pixabay.com

Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wanda says:

    All said and done you are a beautiful sole inside and out 💞

    Miss you goil!

    1. Is this Wanda – Joe Howe – Wanda? If so, miss you and your fun sweaters!! 💕💕💕 Be great to connect on Facebook! Is your last name Carter? I think so?

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