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Borderline Personality Disorder in the News

In the news (and movies): Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) doesn’t get a lot of “press” or screen time.

We have all seen movies and news stories about people with bipolar disorder. (Girl Interrupted, Mad Love, Borderline Personality Disorder Newsand the unforgettable Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, drug addiction) (Chris Farley, Philip Seymore Hoffman, and Anna Nicole Smith), and major depression (Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and Princess Diana).  Many of these movies or real-life examples also show how mental disorders are intertwined.

Depression comes with alcoholism, bipolar disorder comes with drug addiction, bipolar disorder comes with a lot of issues – but not much attention gets paid to Borderline Personality Disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder has a few issues:

  1. It is a personality disorder and not a psychiatric disorder that can be treated with medication
  2. It is hard to diagnose and can often be confused with other disorders
  3. Borderline patients may misrepresent their behavior to medical professionals
  4. Borderline patients are often “difficult” to be around
  5. Borderline personality disorder is not well known – make it not well known… and, for this reason, there is no reason to write a news story or make a movie about it.

“Good news”;

I put that in parentheses because the diagnosis is not great – but it is good that BPD is getting a bit of attention.  Two notable examples – one not so great and one which may or may not be great.

Not So Great;

The trial of Jodi Arias.  In 2008, Travis Alexander was brutally murdered.  He was stabbed over 20 times, shot, and photographed after his death.  The alleged perpetrator: his girlfriend, Jodi Arias.

The case has been pending for many years – one of the reasons may be the development of a clear understanding of why Arias acted the way that she did after the murder.  Reportedly, Arias was witnessed immediately after Alexander’s memorial (including explicit text messages sent for “flirting”), and she has been pegged as a possible borderline patient.  This is in addition to Alexander’s former friends that reported her stalking behavior, and her statements that the boyfriend was a pedophile and a domestic abuser.

Arias’ own friends and a court psychologist have reported erratic behavior, similar to that of BPD.  No verdict has been issued as of yet, and we may never know, but it does bring BPD into the news (not in a nice way but into the light, however).

In fact, some mental health professionals have expressed the belief that BPD patients may be more dangerous – both emotionally and physically – than most other mental disorders, some likening it to a form of sociopathy.

Possibly good news;

Borderline Personality Disorder in the NewsOn the movie front, Kristen Wiig (of Bridesmaids –and the new, all-female Ghostbusters) has starred in a”dramedy”. Dramedy is  a combination of a comedy and drama that is centered around a woman with BPD.   In Welcome to Me, the character, portrayed by Wiig, wins the lottery and uses part of the money to start a talk show.

Along the way, she skips out on treatment, quits taking her meds and ends up living in a casino.  No word on reviews for the show, but it has some big names including Joan Cusack and Tim Robbins. It is produced in part by Will Farrell, and even though it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, theater showings have not been announced.

If you know a BPD patient – imagine what he or she might do after winning the lottery.  BPD is hard to diagnose, hard to predict and even tougher to be around.

Whether the movie is any good, whether the trial comes to a just end…

Melissa Lind

Borderline Personality Disorder has gotten some attention!

Vitamins for Your Mental Health

Vitamins help you body in a number of different ways.

First published on http://bipolarmentalhealth.com

Many people do not realize that vitamins are also crucial for helping the health of your mind. Depression is one of the many mental illnesses that can really help to ruin a person’s life if left untreated. If you are hoping to deal with your depression in a way that is healthy to your body but does not include the use of drugs, you might want to gain a better understand of just how vitamins can work for your depression.

Vitamin supplements can help you fight your depression.

Norwegian Salmon - Vitamin B12 FoodFirst and foremost, study the B vitamins.

B-complex vitamins are essential to your well-being, including your mental and emotional health. They are water-soluble, which means that they cannot be stored in the body over time to be used at a later date, and so you must eat foods rich in B vitamins every day or take vitamin supplements.

B-vitamins that could cause or add to your depression, include thiamin, which provides energy to your brain, and pantothenic acid, which is crucial in the formation of certain hormones that suppress depression.

Most other B vitamins affect your mental and emotional state as well, and because they are broken down in the body by alcohol and sugar, many people find it a struggle to eat enough food rich in the B vitamins. You should talk to your doctor about vitamin supplements in these areas in order to treat your depression.

Vitamin C is also extremely important in the fight against depression.

Normal levels are usually easy to achieve in the body, but you might find that you need a boost from vitamin supplements if you have recently had surgery or an inflammatory illness. Lack of vitamin C is common if you are stressed or pregnant, so be particularly observant of your depression during these times of life.

A variety of minerals, like magnesium, calcium, and zinc can also help you to fight your depression. The bottom line is that it is important for you to talk to a doctor if you believe that you are depressed.

Vitamin supplements and medical care can help you to fight depression in many cases. You doctor will be able to recommend brands that are of high quality and instruct you on how to take the vitamin supplements so that your body can get all of the nutrients it needs to stay happy and healthy, both physically and mentally.

The Anxiety Attack

Anxiety attacks come quite quickly, with little or no warning.

What is the physical aspects of an anxiety attack, you may ask?

An anxiety attack, which is also referred to as a panic attack, is not the same thing as “feeling anxious.” We all feel anxious from time to time, and many people even feel anxious all of the time — because they suffer from an anxiety disorder. However, anxiety attack — which is, of course, brought on by extreme anxiety — is just a side effect of anxiety.

Anxiety AttackAn anxiety attack comes on fairly fast, with little or no warning. They last as long as 10 minutes, but the average attack lasts between one and five minutes. After one has suffered one or several anxiety attacks, they accept it for what it is. First-time sufferers often think that they have a heart attack, or even a nervous breakdown. They may even think that they are dying — even though they aren’t.

While many people may think that anxiety attacks are brought on by mental issues, this isn’t quite true. We all have a fight or flight response. Sometimes, when one suffers from anxiety disorders, the fight or flight response goes into “overdrive.” This causes the body to be flooded with hormones, including adrenalin, which causes the other symptoms of a panic attack.

An anxiety attack can be quite overwhelming and scary. Several things occur at once — physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Physically, people may start profusely sweating. They may become short of breath, have a pounding heart, experience chest pain, become dizzy and/or lightheaded, feel nauseous, and even hyperventilate. They may feel as they are being choked or smothered, and there are numerous other physical aspects of an anxiety attack.

Mentally, the person will feel complete out of control, experience as they are going crazy, may hear things louder than they actually are have racing thoughts, and have impaired vision. They may seem like life has either slowed down or sped up. They may feel as they are in a dream (or nightmare) state. Tunnel vision is also common during a panic attack.

Emotionally, they will feel terror. They may fear that they are dying, and they may experience flashbacks to either earlier anxiety attacks or other traumatic events in their lives.

As you can see, anxiety attack is no joking matter for the person experiencing it. Luckily, there are medications that can be prescribed to minimize the appearance of panic attacks, as well as the symptoms experienced during such attacks.

Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder

Physically and emotional sides of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Well, kids.  It happened.  I pushed too hard, wanted too much, and was too needy.  And now the woman that I love more than anyone I’ve ever met, the woman who still wanted to be my friend, has vowed to never speak to me again… for my own good.

Physically and emotional ides about Borderline Personality DisorderHer therapist said that even continuing to speak with me was “cruel,” as I was still trying to get our relationship back and “would never stop.”  And her therapist was right.  And I’m still not stopping, but neither am I speaking.  I’m giving her the space I should have given her almost two months ago.

As of this writing, it’s been five days since I’ve had any communication with “Justine.”  My therapist said it would benefit me to “become fascinated” with the feeling and really analyze it.  That way, I’m not just passively feeling things, but getting my brain involved, too.  So here goes.

Physically, not talking to her feels like:

1.  An itch that is unscratchable.  An itch on the inside of my skin.  Mostly in my arms and chest.

2.  A python wrapped around my chest and slowly squeezing the breath from me.  Taking deep breaths results in my lungs “shuddering.”

3.  My guts are trying to digest themselves.  Everything inside of me squishes and sloshes like I’m nothing more than a thin plastic coating around a cold liquid.

4.  An icepick buried into my heart.  Not metaphorically speaking, but literally.  During the worst of it, I feel like I’ve been stabbed about eleven times.  The only thing that’s missing is the mess.

5.  Partial paralysis.  My hands and feet are so heavy I have to drag them wherever I go.

6.  Chugging about a dozen energy drinks.  I shake.  I twitch.  And I most certainly can’t sleep.

Now let’s examine the emotional side of things.  Emotionally, not talking to her feels like:

1.  Living death—I breathe.  I eat (a little). I wake up in the morning.  But why?  What’s the point of it all?

2.  Happiness is gone forever—I’ve had some good moments these last few days.  For example, I just got the coolest new apartment ever in the coolest town ever.  The first person I want to tell is Justine.  But I can’t tell Justine.  So there goes that happiness.  Also, I just got my script back from the director.  With a little polish from me, it’s going to five different producers, and I mean BIG producers, so my little movie that was originally written to be shot for around fifty thousand MIGHT get a budget between 10 and 20 million.  Guess who I want to tell about that?  Guess who I can’t.  So again… what’s the point of it all?  Money really CAN’T buy happiness.

3.  No matter how bad it is, it will continue to get worse—once I’m back in the day to day grind without all of these amazing things happening, I won’t even get my little bursts of happiness.  So again… what’s the damned point?

And that’s where I am now, oh my brothers and sisters in arms.  Now that she’s gone, what is the point?

The point is that time heals all wounds.  Today was a little better than yesterday, which was a little better than the day before, which was infinitely better than last Wednesday when I said my final goodbye to her.

But I have to wonder if it is indeed final.  Is it REALLY forever, or just forever for now?

I believe I suffer from a much worse disease than Borderline Personality Disorder, my friends.  I suffer from one of the worst diseases of them all.

I suffer from Hope.

Your brother in arms,

-Bruce

Read more from Bruce Anderson here: How I Became the Freak in the Corner

(A page that tells his story from the beginning and has links to several of his articles – Starting with bipolarity and ending with borderline personality disorder)

Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder: How it Feels

Recovery and Roadblocks with Borderline Personality Disorder

The healing process isn’t like it is for Bipolar Disorder

I promised shocking news in my last article, so here it comes. Guess what?

You’re not a child anymore.  You’re all grown up.  Chances are that if you’re reading this, you aren’t dead.  If you are dead, well, say hi to Jimi Hendrix for me.  And chances are you’re not still living with Mama.  You can take care of yourself.  You made it.  You’re healed, right?

Healing from BPDNot quite.  It takes years to undo the damage our childhoods caused us, but in order to start the process, you’ve gotta be committed.  And the scariest part of all is that the healing process isn’t like it is for Bipolar Disorder.  There’s no little pill you can take to make things better.  In fact, if you’re like me, the pills just make things worse.  The pills dull the pain.  To heal from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), you gotta feel it.  It hurts to heal.

And I promise you that right now, I am hurting very, very deeply.  Up until a month ago, everything was going right for me.  I had just landed my first teaching job.  My prizewinning screenplay had just entered into the development stage with an actual Hollywood director. Sometime within the next year, I’m gonna get a paycheck of anywhere between $50,000 and $500,000 bucks.

Now ask me if I care.  Nope.  Life is shit.  And all because my girlfriend dumped me.

But I’m slowly coming back from it.  And this time, I’m doing things differently, because this woman really was special.  And she still loves me.  And she’s trying to be my friend.  And she’ll continue to be my friend if I can just stop freaking out.  And she didn’t leave me for another man or because of anything I’d done.  I was the best boyfriend she ever had.  That’s what she said, and I believe her.  She just can’t be in a relationship right now.  She’s got her own issues to sort out.

Remember that, if nothing else.  Like attracts like.

And you know what?  I can’t be in a relationship, either.  Not if I want to get better.  It’s not like I don’t have the option to date someone.  I signed up for one of those dating sites immediately after she left me, which is a big clue right there.  Within a week, I had four gorgeous women wanting to meet me.   I also had a friend wanting to set me up with their (also gorgeous) young friend… who’s ten years younger than me.
And check this out.  I went to a topless club with a friend two weeks ago.  I started talking to one of the dancers (they’re people, too, ya know) and we had a lot in common.  Similar musical tastes.  Both avid readers.  Both physically attractive, emotionally damaged people.  The big difference is that she’s twenty-three, and I’m… um… not.

Anyway, I was feeling all confident and full of myself, so I poured on the old Anderson charm.  I asked for her phone number.  I got it.  And it WORKS.

Ready for some more shocking news? I tell ya, boys and girls, this shocks even me.  But you’re gonna have to wait until next time to read it. If nothing else, maybe the sheer morbid curiosity will keep you going until next time.

It’s the littlest things that often do.

Your brother in arms,

Bruce

Read more from Bruce Anderson here: How I Became the Freak in the Corner

(A page that tells his story from the beginning and have links to several of his mental health related articles)

Dealing with Stress and Coping in the 21st Century

Modern day life is so fast paced that it leads to increasing episodes of stress.

It is quite common for each one of us to experience stress, be it the workplace or at home. While it is not possible to eliminate stress altogether, we can survive by changing our response to stressing and how we deal with it.

Nervous and StressedWhen you are constantly under pressure, not only are you facing mental strain, but your body also become dysfunctional and suffer physically. Stress might have antagonistic effects on your health and your general health might go south. You might be easily affected by hypertension, heart ailments and problems like diabetes, eating disorders, etc.

For this reason, it is essential to get pressure head on and deal with it and head to reduce stress levels. Let us now learn a few steps to help control and cope with stress.

Understand the Cause for Stress

Many people worry for anything and everything. Sometimes they do not even realize they are worrying and are getting stressed out. If you are feeling stressed, understand why you are feeling stressed. Sometimes the cause is so trivial that you will understand that you need not be stressed for that cause. So, by understanding the cause for stress, you may be able to eliminate the stress altogether.

Forget Your Worries

Sometimes it is essential to let go of everything and forget your worries. Find something else to do so that you are not worrying. Find time to pursue a hobby, go on a vacation, play a sport, sing if you can, etc are some of the ways that people try to eliminate stress and cope with it.

Do not fret about Things you have any Control Over

Some people are stressed because of some general occurrence such as a calamity, the traffic situation while driving, how your local team performed in the annual meet, etc. Understand that this is a situation where you have no say and avoid getting stressed due to such reasons.

Healthy Food Can Reduce StressEat Right

Stress can cause severe disturbances to eating habits. While some might skip meals altogether, others might tend to overeat. Eat right! This is essential to help you cope up with stress and be able to deal with it.

Exercise will help you relieve stress as this is a major stress buster. Not only will it help eliminate stress, it will also help you overcome problems associated with stress like hypertension, heart ailments, diabetes, etc.

In the course of our everyday life stress is a serious problem that each and everyone. It is possible to alter the way we react to stress and thus not get into many health problems that are associated with increased stress, although we cannot eliminate stress from our lives.