TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Neurology of Love and Loss in Borderline Personalities
BY SHARI SCHREIBER, M.A.
This article is for survivors of a relationship that's had toxic consequences for them. It is not intended for anyone with BPD traits! If you suspect you have borderline personality features, what follows could feel injurious to you! Please leave this site immediately and seek alternative web content that may be more congruent with your personal views and needs.
At the baseline of Borderline Personality Disorder is an extremely complex set of psychic/emotional issues, which baffle laymen and psychotherapeutic professionals alike. We tend to label these people as "crazy," because their behaviors are so unlike anything we've been exposed to--and they drive us nuts, just trying to make sense of them.
In my view, BPD is due to acute attachment difficulties with one's mother that begin in the first weeks of life outside her womb. Inadequate bonding with Mom starts this ball rolling, and any/all painful deficits in nurturant care and attention throughout childhood, perpetuate and reinforce this original trauma.
In addition, it's not at all unusual for various clinical (or Axis I) issues to be present among individuals who've developed borderline personality features, which can exacerbate their inner chaos and drama, and trigger much of their destructive acting-out defenses.
I have worked with a variety of clients who've had multiple diagnoses. They struggled with Bipolar Disorder, ADD/ADHD and Borderline Disorder features. Two out of three co-existing disorders is not uncommon, and our treatment options must be comprehensive enough, to address BPD issues on a number of different fronts; not just behavioral, not just neuro-chemical, and not just in reference to long-held core trauma that's psychic/emotional. I've always felt that a three-pronged approach should be implemented to facilitate BPD recovery.
Sadly, psychotherapeutic and medical professionals may be poorly equipped to recognize/treat personality disorders, or assess for bipolar and attention deficit issues. Hopefully, this blind-spot will one day be altered, by educating students about these topics in graduate and post-graduate course work.
As stated in many of my articles, the paradoxical nature of the Borderline is the most confusing and confounding aspect of being involved with one of these people. In short, as you love them (or their kids) more, they love you less, and push you away. Their words and actions are completely incongruent and contrary--so you end up scratching your head, trying to discern which is real and what you can trust to be true, concerning their feelings for you!
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