**The ideas contained in this post are the opinions of the writer and communicated without reference to supporting documentation. The writer also recognizes that BPD is a disorder that affects both males and females, and uses of “she” or “he” in the communication of ideas are not intended to covey sexual bias. Breakaway MHE Disclaimer
Can you imagine being locked in a negative pattern of thinking, or not even having a reference point for what a healthy thought sounds like? What if nearly every uncertain or stressful life situation you found yourself in, your mind automatically created the most cynical, defeatist, pessimistic, or fear-oriented way to think about it? Then as a consequence of these thinking issues, your everyday life experience included emotional (and sometimes physical) pain not evident to others in your midst.
The recurring pain might then lead to complaining behaviours and blaming others or avoiding people, places and things that SEEM responsible for the constant sense of suffering and turmoil. If a person can’t see what’s happening and doesn’t know any better, what else is he supposed to do? The angry, sarcastic, or indifferent reactions of those targeted for blame then increases the ongoing pain experience of the struggling individual. Back and forth, back and forth. There is no being ok. There is no feeling better. Eventually, when it starts to feel like too much to handle and no end in sight, the only thing left to do might be to numb the pain by any means necessary and available (overeating, oversleeping, partying to excess, overworking, etc.).
The above description of thought and emotion disruption is very common among individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. Anxiety and depression disorders and disorders of the personality often occur together, acting as co-conspirators in the production of unhealthy thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that keep the individual trapped in unhealthy, unproductive, and painful life experiences.
It is a most common and tragic reality that interactions with loved ones and significant others can stimulate the vicious cycle of unhealthy thoughts and painful emotions, and all of which contributes to poor choices, poor problem-solving, reactivity, conflict and drama. It all combines into a dysfunctional pattern of functioning that adds to unwanted outcomes over and over (problems not getting solved, not understanding what is wanted, people giving up on each other, violence, abuse, etc.). After a series of upsets, a struggling person might proclaim… “no matter what I do, nothing ever works out for me”?
An unfortunate reality that seems to perpetuate the sad and unhealthy types of experiences noted above is the INVISIBILITY of it all… to everyone… including those directly afflicted with mental health difficulty, as well as those more often on the receiving end. Where there is no understanding of what is happening or how things can go wrong, assumptions and judgments are made, such as “nothing is wrong,” “people just like to be difficult,” “people have attitude problems,” “people are stupid,” “people are lazy,” etc.
These kinds of assumptions and judgments do not solve problems, do not keep people connected, and quite often result in cruel and insensitive responses to genuinely afflicted beings. On the other hand, when the time is taken to SEE how things break down, why things don’t work, and how dysfunctional and disordered functioning develops, there is a space for compassion and understanding that becomes available. Inappropriate and misinformed judgments get released.
As a therapist exposed to repeat instances of a similar disorder in patients, it becomes a wonder that learning about anxiety disorders, depression disorders, and personality disorders, is not a universal cultural expectation, the acquiring a same as obtaining a high school diploma. Anxiety, depression, and personality disorders are so commonplace in the world we occupy; we make the diseases together (in large part) through our interactions and lifestyle, about as often as we make babies.
Perhaps if the INVISIBILITY factor of mental health difficulty were more prominently acknowledged and appreciated in the world, then things would eventually improve, and lives and families wouldn’t be needlessly ruined, broken, and lost. The need to take responsibility to learn is paramount. Every person that lives in a family, and particularly those that bear children (having responsibility for developing minds) can make a difference for generations to come, if only they recognize the importance of gaining this knowledge.