Thanks Thanks:  1
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    35,049
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Strengths and Resilience, Not Flaws and Damage

    Strengths and Resilience, Not Flaws and Damage
    August 5, 2010

    The label "borderline personality," like all personality disorder diagnoses, can be powerfully disheartening when you are on the receiving end. It seems like an all-encompassing marker for a deeply flawed person. I felt embarrassed by the term at first and was so relieved when a colleague of mine at another school suggested I research the "strengths and resilience" school of thought in Psychology (in place of the focus on assessing damage) and urged me to reframe borderline personality in terms of the gifts of empathy and other emotional strongsuits that come along with this personality organization.

    Resilience-6domains.jpg

    In Jenne' Andrews' recent blog post on Loquaciously Yours - Don't Call Me Borderline - she writes about the destructive power of the term borderline personality disorder in her mother's life and in her own, and about the ways she and her mother both experienced a kind of eclipse of their creative strengths in the face of heavy pressure from the world of psychiatry to accept a view of themselves as terribly sick.
    Please don?t get me wrong, I?m not saying I?ve never worked with people whose inner systems fit the criteria for the DSM categories of Borderline, Narcissism, and others. The difference is that I don?t use the categorical and shaming word ?Personality Disorder? to describe a person?s experience and I don?t view people as fundamentally flawed. Deeply wounded, yes, powerfully protected, yes, but fundamentally and irreparably flawed, no.
    I am especially drawn to the implication in her statement above that the "ugly" or "difficult" parts of borderline personality disorder are indicators of a very powerful and, I would add, often self-defeating system of defense mechanisms. I think of borderline personality disorder (or its less intense form, borderline personality organization) as a set of defense mechanisms gone haywire. Little bombs and tripwires and short fiery fuses set up in a circle around us and inside us. I definitely agree with the move to foreground trauma survival, trauma reenactment, and post-traumatic stress syndrome as the emotional musculoskeletal structure of borderline personality disorder. The idea of borderline personality as, also, a set of emotional strengths, resilience, and gifts is the very important other half of the new-and-improved story so many of us are now trying to tell about life with borderline personality organization.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    94
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: Strengths and Resilience, Not Flaws and Damage

    As one who was labeled as having a borderline personality disorder for many years, and who has managed to move away from the psychiatric system and its labeling, I can reflect back and say that strength and resilience is an excellent way to describe it.

    Borderline personality disorder is a throwaway label - one where many believe that the person is permanently damaged.

    Speaking from my own experience, I thrive on the positives; the can do attitude. I don't cope well with rejection, or at least I didn't.

    For reasons I cannot explain, every time I applied for a rehabilitation program or for funding to take a course so I could move ahead in a positive fashion, my applications were rejected. Their rationale was that I had been in the psychiatric system for too long, so it was obvious I wasn't committed to get better. I was supposedly only paying them lip service by making the application.

    This rationale finally made me get mad. I couldn't believe that they were judging me like that, but I also realized that there was absolutely nothing I could do to control their actions, opinions, and assessment of me. All I could control was how I think about myself.

    I learned how to look at a situation, where I was rejected because of someone else's opinion, and ask myself, is there anything I could have done to control how the other person thinks and feels? The answer is almost invariably no. I then ask myself the next question. Did I do everything I was supposed to do when I applied for whatever it was I was applying to (usually schooling, funding, or a rehab program)? If the answer I give myself is yes, then I put the problem in its place and forget it. If the answer is no, then I take note of what I can do better the next time so I can learn from my mistake, and then I stop thinking about it. I can't undo what has past. All I can do is learn from my mistakes and move on.

    Once I learned to think of things in this way, the sleepless nights and self-blame suddenly stopped. From that point on, it was growth. I broke free of the "system" about 12 years ago and I have never looked back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    13,021
    Mentioned
    49 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: Strengths and Resilience, Not Flaws and Damage

    BTW:

    As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder are complex. The name arose because of theories in the 1940s and 1950s that the disorder was on the border between neurosis and psychosis. But that view doesn't reflect current thinking. In fact, some advocacy groups have pressed for changing the name, such as calling it emotional regulation disorder.

    http://forum.psychlinks.ca/borderlin...yo-clinic.html
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    35,049
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: Strengths and Resilience, Not Flaws and Damage

    Or Emotional Dysregulation Disorder, I believe.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Disclaimer: PsychLinks is not responsible for the content of posts or comments by forum members.

Additional Forum Web Design by PsychLinks
© All rights reserved.