Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.
Getting a mentally troubled person through the door to be evaluated properly is sometimes the biggest challenge. If you have a relative who won't get help, consider attending a two-hour webinar by Mark Komrad M.D., the author of "You Need Help: A Step-By Step-Plan to Convince a Loved One to Get Counseling," sponsored by the Personality Disorders Awareness Network.
This fable is about knowing when to let go. It could apply to many things.
A new study says that people who live with borderline personality disorder exprience physical and mental difficulties that rival those associated with the more prevalent and better-known bipolar disorder. Is this shocking? While I find it laughable that this needs to be studied, it's very sad we need this kind of research to prove to clinicians they should take BPD seriously.
Have you ever read an article that said a good way to deal with your anger is to punch a pillow or scream in your car? I have done it once or twice.
But there's another side to getting rid of rage that doesn't serve a purpose anymore. Relatives nurse grudges for 25 years about matters they barely remember. Countries hate each other for centuries over old feuds that predate the printing press. Here is what the research says about how venting affects anger.
If you have children with a borderline or narcissistic person, the conflict isn't going to end at least until they are 18. And you'll both be there for weddings and graduations. Bill Eddy, an attorney and expert in high conflict people, will show you how to respond more effectively to your ex (or soon to be ex) in person, exmail, texts, and social media in ways that maximize the chance for a good outcome.
OK, so this is my blog and I'll digress if I want to. A Facebook friend who writes a colum about technology for seniors (oh my God I now fit into that category) asked, "I'm writing a column about smartphones and why everyone should have them. Tell me why you don't juse them and I will conveince you that you should." I justify writing a blog about this because I am a lonely author who works out of my home.
Support systems are vitial to help people facing mental illness in the family. That goes for kids and teens just like everyone else. Now, after 15 years, we finally have found a place on Facebook where teens and tweens can fine friends. It's hosted the Personality Disorder Awareness Network (PDAN.org)
Just about all children lie. But those with borderline personality disorder seem to lie more than kids without the disorder. One mother successfully used an "amnesty approach" to encourage her child to stop lying. She discussed with her daughter the problems that her lies had caused in their family and made a deal that if she told her parents about a lie they would not punish her for it.
No relationship is perfect. There are some days, weeks, and even months when one person gives more than the other. To be truly happy, though, most couples will want to have several of these traits of a healthy relationship. The fewer you check, the more you might want to think about what is really important to you.
"Having BPD pretty much guarantees you a rough time in maintaining healthy, stable relationships, regulating your emotions, reacting to stress, subduing your impulsive whims, and remembering who you are and what you value at all times. It's a hard disorder to live with. But it gets easier with the more awareness you have about yourself and the more willing you are to act in healthy ways, despite how it goes against everything that comes naturally to you."
When you think of bullies, you often think of children terrorizing other children. However, it is important to note that even parents can be bullies. Bullying parents exist, and they can cause real problems in children's lives. Recently, there have been cases of adults bullying teenagers online. Additionally, some parenting styles can lend themselves to bullying. It is important to carefully consider your behavior with children, since it is possible that you are or could become a bullying parent.
When you think about bullying, what comes to mind is school children. But bullying is an equal opportunity issue. Parents bully children and vice versa. This article is about adult children who bully parents. For more information, see the websites listed. I have not investigated the materials listed, so please consult a mental health professional. Also, these are not specific to bullies with personality disorders.
"There is no settling down without some settling for. There is no long-term relationship without... not just putting up with your partner's flaws, but accepting them and then pretending they aren't there. And we like to call it in my house, paying the price of admission."
Millions of people with borderline disorder ask for help. This blog is about resources for recovery.
November seminar will teach you:
- Limit setting
- The art of empathic confrontation
- The proper use of leverage
- How to identify & heal your life and change self-defeating patterns in relationships
Blogs are great places to find information and sometimes chat with other people who make comments. But if you're looking for ongoing support from a lot more people, you need a place online BPDFamily.com and Welcome to Oz are a message board and email listserv, respectively, that offer a wide array of places to go for validation, support, and advice for free.They are not professionally supervised and they do not substitute for professional care.
We all hear abiout women wih BPD. However, the male gender has been seriously short changed. Well, men too can suffer from low self-esteem, insecurity, and enormous self doubt that can compromise the stability of their intimate relationships. Because we've tended to stereotype men as the 'tough ones,' we've missed the boat on understanding the complexity of their inner world.
Narcissistic mothers act like they possess their children. Because they may be envious of, and threatened by, their child's growing independence, they may give their child a stream of constant criticism. Narcissistics feel the need to control how others look at them: those with low self esteem (sometimes covered up by grandiosity) are self absorbed and preoccupied with protecting their self image. They usually lack the empathy and self-sacrifice necessary for raising children.
Remind yourself that their behavior is miserable and mean, but it's due to their overwhelming anxiety and fragility. That way you can manage the wild mood swings and attacks as you'd manage a small child, not a frightening powerful bully.
A child whose feelings are too often unnoticed, ignored, or misinterpreted by her parents receives a powerful, even if unintended, message from them: "Your feelings don't matter," "Your feelings are wrong," or even "Your feelings are unacceptable."
A new book helps parents of borderline children. Many of the people interviewed were members of my WTOParentsofOffspring group (see "community on this site).
Have you tried prayer to not only cope with your situation, but to effect a cure for borderline personality disorder? Does it seem more likely for religious people to seek medical attention for diabetes or a broken leg, but use prayer for mental health? If so, why is that?
Many years ago I cofounded the Personality Disorders Awareness Network. It has a new president and board now, and I would like to introduce you to the organization.
An area of the brain that has to do with empathy and compassion seems to be smaller in people with narcissistic personality disorder.
"At first living together seemed like a good idea. But after a while, warning bells started to go off in my head. Like the time she 'joked' she hoped I wouldn't meet a new man too soon because then I would leave her again and she liked having me around."
The dichotomy of living with hope when your partner is in and out of counseling.
It's difficult for people with BPD to find any therapist, let alone just the right one.
People woth borderline personality disorder often need medication. So do their family members. I need several, and I deliberately refuse to find out how much I am paying per month for all my meds. Then times it by two (my husband) and together we are making the drug companies even richer. I can only hope that a TV show I saw is right and the Big Pharma saves the rain forest because you never know what drug you might find there.
As you go through your day, don't multitask. Do one thing at a time and really focus in on what you are doing. This reduces stress and increases effectiveness and efficiency (really!).
Do you constantly make judgments? Most people think they don't. To see if you do, spend thirty minutes to an hour watching a news station or reading a newspaper that holds a very different political view than you do. See if you can transform some of these thoughts into nonjudgmental descriptions.
When mindfulness takes hold, suffering begins to melt. Learning to take control of your mind, to live in the present moment and chose to visit the past and the future without getting caught up and lost in your thoughts and feelings offers tremendous freedom.
Non-BP's, being human, want the BP to understand them, validate their experiences, apologize, empathize, and stop borderline behaviors that threaten the relationship. This may happen or it may not. The first step though, is to acknowledge the reality of th4 disorder instead of being constantly surprised when you are let down once again.
"Before pursuing publication, consider whether you want to share the gory details of your life with neighbors and strangers. When you tell your story on a blog or in a book—even if you control what and how the story is shared—you open yourself to criticism, challenge, and even ridicule. Are you ready for that? Is your life grounded enough to withstand the praise and critique that come with success?"
"It has been five years since my wife completed treatment and I must say life has been steadily improving for both of us. It has been like a big old freight train; it takes a lot to get it started, but then it slowly and steadily builds up momentum. It was a tough battle for both of us. We now both agree that it was well worth it, and it was too bad we could not have been in position to have started years earlier."
I've never felt so alone and empty. The only thing I wanted in that moment of darkness and vulnerability was love. I also wanted to take a knife and stab myself. I never ended up following through with the latter and looking back on that night, I should have never left my friends and gone home alone.
Unless you're a sibling or an adult child of someone with BPD or NPD, there was a time when you did not live with your borderline or narcissistic loved one. Think about what has changed--and what has changed you.
Does the person in your life with borderline personality disorder have these distorted beliefs and attitudes? Rate these on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high). This will give you a chance to see where on the continuum your family member lies.
Many people don't know that some clinicians have had their own mental health struggles. This is the story of one of them who had borderline personality disorder and who blogs at Psychology Today.
Do you have an opinion or story about borderline or narcissistic personality disorders? Are you a clinician with something to offer my readers? Consider writing a guest blog. Email me with your idea Randi at BPDCentral dot com.
A guest blog from a woman with a borderline mother and narcissistic father.
If you have BPD, Amanda Wang wants to interview you about recovery for her new book. Here is the link.
This is part two of my post on emotional blackmail.
People with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder may use emotional blackmail because it's the best or the only way they know to get what they want or need. Unwilling or unable to make a direct request, FOG becomes the lever of choice to those who suffer from low self-esteem and have difficulty setting personal limits and stating what they want. Victims capitulate because they often possess these same qualities. And perpetrators use whatever works again and again.
If you don't know where you end and your family member begins, you may be enmeshed. This article will explain what that is and how to get in balance.
To become an emotional caretaker, you need to be highly intuitive of the needs of the BP/NP, intelligent enough to learn the distorted and contradictory rules the BP/NP needs to function, observant enough to keep track of all the nuances of the fast changing emotional family environment, creative enough to find ways to calm and appease the BP/NP, and have a low enough self-esteem to not think that you deserve better treatment, more consideration or equal caring in return.
Studies show that writing is a form of inexpensive therapy that can help you truly understand yourself. Here are some tips.
In today's politics, there is the fantasy of victory for those who believe they are the sole owners of the truth and own the one right way to the future. This is a narcissistic view of the world that is not real and does not work, and is much the way that divorcing spouses treat each other.
Read this list of healthy relationships. Does your partnership meet these standards?
Resentment and ignorance often mark breakups with borderline partners. It's normal to be angry and resentful, but when it goes too far it doesn't do you any good and can even be harmful.
You do not want to be held hostage to your borderline family member's capabilities or desire to change. That means accepting the fact that seeking treatment is entirely her decision. You can tell her how your actions and words make you feel and suggest solutions. But what she does with that information is out of your hands.
The number one thing family members want to know about their narcissistic relative is, will they seek therapy? The next question should be, even if they do, will they be able to find the right therapist?
Do you have a borderline partner? If so, take this survey.
People with borderline and personality disorder (but not all of them) lie for different reasons.
The late Mary Kennedy is revealed to have borderline personality disorder.
The "vulnerable" type of narcissist has much in common with people who have borderline personality disorder.
Some people make life miserable for others. They blame you for their own problems, have no empathy, and always seem to be conjuring up trouble. A subset of them are called "high conflict people" and have borderline or narcissistic disorder.
Being passive could cost you a lot in many different ways.
"We may cultivate guilt to blot out the awareness of our own anger."
Harriet Goldhor Lerner
Your chance to hear to see the Chicago Bears football player and BPD spokesperson.
Here, a member of BPDFamily wants to know the difference between supporting someone and being codependent.
The Christian tradition is that the marriage covenant is broken by adultery or sexual unfaithfulness in marriage. But there are other kinds of unfaithfulness, including abuse.
Are you distraught every time your family member acts borderline or narcissistic? Are you surprised that once again, this person is self-absorbed/over-emotional/etc.? Radical acceptance can't prevent pain, but it can make suffering optional.
If you are in a romantic relationship with a high conflict partner with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder, you may be confused about where to start when setting limits. In this article, therapist and author Dr. Susan Heitler and I suggest 10 essential limits you might want to set.
Do you care for or support a relative or significant other who has borderline personality disorder or another personality disorder? If so, you are invited to participate in an online survey from researchers at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
People with borderline and narcissistic personality often try to isolate their partners for many reasons. BPs and NPs can be exceedingly jealous, and often they don't want their partner's family and friends to know what's going on in the relationship. Take this quiz to see if you're becoming an island in the middle of the sea.
According to this article, people who are more narcissistic (but may not have narcissistic personality disorder) may be more socially agressive.
Many relationships with people with high conflict personalities end in divorce. The better educated you are, the less likely it will all blow up in your face. Here is a quick-start guide from the book Splitting by Bill Eddy.
First of all, remember to breathe deeply. Don't feel pressured to answer right away. Delay and distract, and empathize with the feelings (but not necessarily the facts).
Some family members of people with borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder have embraced detaching with love, a concept promoted by Al Anon, an organization for people whose lives are affected by someone who abuses alcohol.
New resource for people living "down under."
Acceptance is the place to start.
I've redesigned BPDCentral to update it with new information and make it easier for you to find the information you need to interact with someone who has borderline or narcissistic disorder.
Welcome to BPDCentral and this blog! Here are some of the basics about borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.
New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells
Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder
Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
The Basics of Borderline Personality Disorder for Beginners
Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Conversations with William A. Eddy
Featuring Ken Lewis and James Paul Shirley
Protecting Your Mental Health When Your Partner has Borderline Personality Disorder