*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
To understand where I’m coming from with this article, it would be best to attempt to put yourself in my shoes: the shoes of a person who has suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and who works as a registered psychologist. I have had to do the work of learning what was wrong with me and taking every possible step to make adjustments, plus also supporting many others suffering from a variety of conditions, up to and including BPD.
At this point, I have observed and analyzed patterns of illness so many times with so many people that I believe I could make a diagnosis in one sitting with just about anyone seeking out mental health services. It’s not bragging, it’s just this… When you practice a skill like counselling again and again (and again…) just like anything else, it becomes like second nature.
The problem with gaining so much competence and confidence in something like counselling, however, is that your worldview starts to shift, meaning that all the patterns you observe in your patients can now be observed in people wherever you go. But even more expansive than this, the patterns of illness become observable in the entire cultural context that surrounds you.
So, what are the patterns I see all around me you might ask? I see many things, including more and more preoccupation with material things, particularly more and more preoccupation with electronic things, and endless fixation on the pursuit of financial security and upward mobility (the apparent need to continue upgrading possessions and home environments).
Conversely, I see less and less depth in human interaction, including less and less human capacity for meaningful conversation and time allotment to mutual understanding between people. We are a culture obsessed with our toys and our media, meaning much (or most) of our time gets devoted to these items. You have to seriously ask yourself: How much depth between humans can be achieved when our interactions are so often limited to texts, memes, and video clips?
Being obsessed as we are with producing and consuming, and likewise, with upgrading our lifestyles as much as possible to match the latest marketing trends and material environments of our peers, we have little time left over to even consider the consequences.
Balance, between work activities and health activities (especially mental health activities) in many ways, has been lost, particularly since our modern living arrangements continually influence our actions to the point of unbalance. We are brainwashed and conditioned (through our movies, other media, and peer interactions) to believe that we need things that we don’t, all for the sake of everyone everywhere needing (or wanting) to make more money. Is it ever enough? No.
And while it is obviously true that not everyone living in our modern set of living arrangements develops Borderline Personality Disorder (and other mental health conditions) it is also true that the modern environment plays a big role for people who do. The conditions, in fact, appear ever more ripe for people with genetic vulnerabilities and predispositions to developing mental health issues to indeed become very unwell as they live out their lives. To learn more about what these vulnerabilities and predispositions are, please refer to 9-Steps to Mastering Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
I came to my place of mental illness throughout my development due to a combination of nature and nature, or in other words, a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. It is the same for anyone who is facing any kind of mental health issue.
In cases of BPD, my view is that it is very much about individuals, couples, and families remaining mostly ignorant about their cultural context strongly influencing a lack of personal balance and mental health “know-how.” The priorities for living in a capitalistic culture were set long ago, and the risks of participation (lack of balance, lack of knowledge in vital areas, etc.) are not plainly communicated anywhere in the cultural program.
As much as the whole world wants to become “Americanized” or “Westernized”, the risk of millions of others falling into the same mental health traps that I and many others fell into only increases. It is much easier to exploit people when they grow up unaware of the potential consequences and side-effects of their culture. By design perhaps? Indeed, how would these people ever find out what was at the root of their mental health issues if their culture continually refused to honestly point it out?
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