Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Child of a borderline

Today is not a very happy topic. Do you have someone in your family who makes you feel like you are walking on eggshells to not have them explode or get their feelings hurt? Is one of these your parents? I think anytime we think about family, we have to consider a family member who may not be the healthiest mentally. We have to consider those family members who struggle with depression, anxiety, and many other serious mental illnesses. One of the hardest disorders to be in relationship with is

Borderline Personality Disorder..

I will first of all cover a multitude of symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) so that you may be able to figure out if someone that you love is struggling with this disorder.

Symptoms of BPD:

  • Relationships with others are intense or unstable
  • May swing wildly from love to hate and back again
  • Frantically try to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • Uncertain about their identity or self-image
  • Tend to see things in terms of extremes (all good or all bad)
  • Typically view themselves as victims
  • Take little responsibility for themselves or behaviors/problems
  • Feelings of emptiness and boredom
  • Frequent displays of inappropriate anger
  • Impulsiveness with money, Substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting
  • Intolerance of being alone
  • Recurrent acts of crises such as wrist cutting, overdosing, or self-injury
  • Frequent threats of suicide or attempts

It is estimated that 4-6 million people in America suffer from BPD and that means that a lot of those people are parents.

Borderline parents cannot separate their needs from the needs of others, therefore they want their children to meet their needs and when the children do not, they are explosive, withhold affection, manipulate, and are downright mean. Children of Borderline parents will most likely get told they are the most amazing child in the world one minute and that the parent is sorry they had them at another minute. Children in these families may be teased, confided in (with adult issues), have their feelings discounted or criticized, not be allowed to express emotion, denied physical and emotional affection, held to extremely high standards, and have their privacy violated.

Being raised by a parent who has BPD may leave a teenager feeling low self-esteem, a lack of trust, a tendency toward perfectionism, and hypersensitivity and all of these things usually follow in adulthood. Take heart though if you have just figured out that you are a child of a BPD parent, there is hope. Therapy can really help to sort out healthy ways to cope with your parent's diagnosis as well as learning how to have strong boundaries, learn what is appropriate in parenting and in life, and move on from the abuse that was in your childhood.

If you think you or someone you love may be a child of a Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder check out the following...

Some great resources:

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