Over the years, I have worked in many roles, in many capacities and with many populations. Not only has this made me well rounded as a therapist with a wide range of experience but it has helped me become familiar with borderline personality disorder. I have dedicated a single page to address Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and the impact it has on the world around us. I consider BPD to be a severe and challenging mental illness that greatly effects not only with those that have it but those who are close to them. In my experience, it is quite easy to diagnose BPD but exceptionally difficult to treat. Those with BPD are in need of many of the same basic needs of everyone else, especially in their need of love, companionship, acceptance and belonging. And just like everyone else, they need and deserve patience and compassion as they struggle with their mental illness. Unfortunately, their efforts to meet these needs results in severely dysfunctional behaviors. Those with BPD struggle to properly regulate their emotions, day in and day out their emotions take them for a roller coaster ride and their efforts to regulate this problem results in behaviors that are often risky, chaotic and abusive to those around them.
There are a couple of ways that I believe help us understand this mental illness. If you were to imagine some of your most emotional and distressing times; moments when your anger, anxiety and depression were extremely overwhelming. I can say without a doubt, these were moments in my life when I made some of my worst decisions. Now imagine that this how you felt everyday. Overwhelmed with emotions of the moment, not thinking about past mistakes or future consequences; acting only to manage the current emotion. I believe this is the daily reality of someone with BPD. This type of emotional roller coaster creates an extreme sense of vulnerability that is coupled with an intense fear of being hurt by others which is why they lash out in abusive ways. I believe this is the equation that creates the abusive and chaotic behaviors of BPD; they are overcome by the intense fear of being abandoned.
Walking on eggshells
I have also found, that the behaviors of those with BPD have a profound negative effect on others, especially those who are married or in a romantic relationship with them. Because BPD occurs mostly with women, the men who are in relationships with them often suffer greatly. I have specifically worked one on one with men who are in or have been in relationships with women diagnosed with BPD. As I have sat with these men, looked in their eyes and talked to them, I can sense their overwhelming desperation. They have given everything and then given even more that they didn’t even know they had to try to help her, appease her and keep her happy. They are overwhelmed by confusion, anxiety, depression, and utter exhaustion. They usually describe their situation as “walking on eggshells” and are often in need of just as much help and support as their partner with BPD.
I have teamed up with a family lawyer to offer a revolutionary and ground breaking intensive therapy support group for these men. This group is designed to empower men to take their lives back by addressing their codependent and care taking tendencies. The group also provides help and support to help him effectively manage the problems and issues that come with being involved with someone who has BPD. We discuss effective boundary setting, taking better care of yourself, effective and assertive communication skills while also providing a safe place to process emotions and shame. It is a safe place where you can get exactly the help and support you need to get your life and sanity back and a place where men need to heal, in the presence of other men.
This group also provides a peer support group component designed to increase your personal support system; people you can reach out to during a crisis. I have teamed up with a family lawyer who will also be present for part of the group to provide legal consultation. For those going through divorces, this is an invaluable resource. If you are going through a divorce, if this is the road you have chosen to take, this group will help you come out in one piece.
If all of this sounds familiar and you are feeling like you are at the end of your rope, I need you to know that you’re not alone and that you’re stronger than you think you are. Hope is not gone; this group will give you exactly the support you need to get your life and sanity back.
Contact me today to get more information about joining the group.
Here is a brochure about BPD and about the group: BPD group brochure
I was on the Paul Duane show talking about all of this, you can check out the podcast on his page here. http://www.paulduane.net/2015/03/scott-carter-on-borderline-personality-disorder/
*In the future I hope to offer a similar group to women who have similar issues and needs. I believe this group needs to be facilitated by a female therapist to ensure the highest level of emotional safety.
*For more information on BPD, visit my articles section or click on this link to view my free report on BPD