BPD Blog Article Archive

1.

First and foremost you have to understand that BPD is a medical condition and you can’t make anyone happy, much less someone with BPD. They have to make an active effort to make themselves happy, or they are actively choosing to live in misery. This doesn’t mean you can’t aid them though. Just know it’s up to them and the effort they are willing to contribute.

2.

This isn’t a perfect process. I challenge you to find me one person in the word that doesn’t have a collection of good and bad days. Everyone poops; everyone has bad days. We may have more than our fair share, sure, but it’s a part of life. As long as you don’t expect perfection, even a slight increase in the number of good days can be considered a win.

3.

Validate them. Really, you need to be validating everyone in your life. Even strangers if you can. We all hear what we are doing wrong and what we’re bad at. How often do you take the time to tell a loved one or coworker what they are really good at. When was the last time you told a stranger you like their shirt? Sound creepy? Then the problem is you. But we can fix that! Take time out of your day to reflect on who is doing what well and what people are good at, then take a little extra time to tell them! Here is a secret: chances are the person with BPD in your life suffered a severe lack of validating while growing up. Want to make both of you happier? Make up for it now.

4.

Make sure their medication is right. Ok. This is a tricky one as you have to be really close to the person. However, if you are and you think they could use an increase in, oh, their antidepressant, validate the progress they’ve made and then approach the conversation about their meds. Please don’t flat out tell them the change needed unless you are REALLY close to them. Instead ask them how they are feeling in general and how they feel about their current cocktail. Chances are they might bring it up themselves, or you’ll find a way to mention the suggestion. Either way please understand that perfecting the medication combo can take years and a lot of trial and error.

5.

Be willing to do what it takes to help them remember to take their meds. It they struggle to remember, but want to remember, they may seek you out to be part of the process. So, be part of the process. If they don’t seek you out but are talking about trouble remembering, offer to be part of the process, in a validating way.

6.

Help them increase their quality of life. This can mean anything and the burden isn’t yours alone. Remember, they have to want this too. However, taking them to the museum, zoo, or out to dinner can be a huge step. But don’t forget the little things that show you care, yet don’t require them to leave their blanket/pillow fort just yet. DO they read everything in sight? Show up with a new book for them. I know there is no better way to woo me, unless is comes with a bag of nothing but blue M&M’s that is. It’s the little things that show you are with them when the going gets tough, that helps pull them out of the funk. If they are rejecting everything, then they don’t want it and you need to go back to step 1.

7.

Finally, know when you cut loose. Look some of you may be stuck either by choice, family, or marriage. If that’s the case I’m sorry but times will get better. But if the relationship isn’t too serious and you have the option to leave… As much as I hate saying this as the biggest fear of someone with BPD is abandonment, it might be time to go ahead and let go. Look, there is only so much you as a fellow human can take and you can’t let one person sink the ship if they aren’t even willing to bail with you. Just give a fair chance, Ok?

8.

Know when it’s time to end a marriage and or distance yourself from family. This is very similar to step 7, but involves a bigger relationship. Bottom line, sometimes you have to put yourself first. This isn’t going to make the person with Borderline happy, but you have to know when to cut ties, no matter how badly they fear abandonment. You have got to be able to look out for your own health too. I suggest therapy for yourself and talking it out. And when you need to end the relationship, do it no matter if it’s a marriage, or immediate family. It’s not always about making someone with BPD happy. I can’t stress this enough.

Be the first to comment

Executive Dysfunction

Posted March 7, 2019 By kmarrs

This will be a short note but I want to address a common misconception about Executive Dysfunction verses laziness.

You’re probably not lazy. Especially if you’re not neurotypical.

Executive Dysfunction is so common. A lot… A LOT of people have it.

Do you want to start the thing but are almost afraid of it?

Do you want to start the thing but you know you can’t do it perfectly so you think why bother?

Do you want to start the thing but your mind is telling you it is going to take more spoons than you have?

Do you want to start the thing but have trouble initiating?

Congratulations, it’s Executive Dysfunction.

You’re not at all even a little but just lazy.

And berating yourself for being lazy is doing the opposite of solving the problem.

Cut yourself some slack, and now that you know what it is, reread this past Monday’s post.

Also:

Be the first to comment

Do What You Can

Posted March 4, 2019 By kmarrs

This started as a Twitter thread, so you might have seen it there, but I want to expand upon it, and I want to do that here, in long form.

Sambam is at that age where it’s fun to do chores that aren’t her own.
Ask her to clean her room? It’s the end of the world. Try to do dishes (my chore) without her help? Also the end of the world. I let her help until (if) she gets bored then I let her move on. And when it comes to her room (her chore), once a day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and tell her to do what she can but once the timer rings, she can be done.

In reality, all her room ever really needs is that 10 minutes a day, and usually, it’s done in 5. But instead of overwhelming her by the limitless “clean your room”, I redirect it into a clear time frame with a set beginning and end. And reframe the word “spotless” into “do what you can”. This allows an overwhelming task to feel manageable. Possible. And I get a much better end result. In 10 (5) minutes, instead of the 10 days, it used to take.


Now she is happy to do her chores. Is excited (bossy) to help me with mine. And our relationship has a lot less stress in it. She is my heart and is growing into a functional and happy and beautiful young lady!


(Also, her hands are seeing work for the first time and she earned a tiny blister she’s very proud of. She worked herself on the dishes far harder than I would have worked her. But she was having fun.)


Do what you can.

That is just such an important concept!

So many of us are sick in one way or another. Mental health, chronic physical health. So many of us are spoonies. And when you are a spoonie, being given an open ended task like, “clean your room” or “vacuum the carpets” can seem so overwhelming.

I’ve seen this concept stated in many ways by many people, but I’m going to work it my way and see what happens.

Your bathroom is a mess? Start with the clutter around the sink. Put everything on the counter in its place. Now wipe it down. Out of spoons or otherwise need to move on? You did what you can. You’re free to go. But be proud of what you did! Tomorrow you can tackle the toilet.

Not out of spoons and the counter looks great but you want to do a little more? Go for it! Nothing is stopping you. Do what you can for 10 minutes. 15 minutes. Stop when you need to stop. Continue on when you have the spoons and will.

Vacuum one room a day. Look. I get it. Pushing the vacuum around takes a lot of spoons. So just get your living room. Or your office. Or the one room that needs it the most. Do what you can.

Writing a paper for class and it needs to be 6 pages and that feels overwhelming? Well, unless it’s due in like an hour, write the introduction and walk away from it for awhile. Go do the dishes. Get a snack. Just walk away. But while you do so, work the paper around in your head. After 15 minutes, come back to the computer and get down what your brain tossed around. Polish it. Add a little more. Just until it starts to get a little overwhelming again, or right before, then walk away again for awhile. No one said you have to write the entire paper in one day, unless you procrastinated. Take your time with it. Take little bites as you can. Bit by bit those 6, 10, 20 pages will form.

Do what you can.

Don’t ever berate yourself for not having what it takes to <insert task here> in one go. But don’t just do nothing either. Idleness won’t help. It’ll only make you overwhelmed with the task in general.

Back to Sammy.

We used to just tell her to clean her room spotless and, especially to a young child, that was the single most horrible thing we could have done (aside from actual child abuse, I acknowledge). To her little mind, it was the end of the world because it was so overwhelming. So one day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and told her to do what she could. As long as she actually worked for the full 10 minutes, just putting away what caught her eye, or whatever was closest, or no method to the madness, just honest cleaning… whatever the end result was, she just needed to work for 10 minutes. I figured 10 minutes a day for a week, and we might have a spotless room.

But she bloomed. Suddenly she didn’t have to clean indefinitely. She had a clear and solid end insight. So instead of letting it build up in her mind into this huge overwhelming task, and accomplishing nothing at all (or worse… continuing to play and letting it get messier)…

The entire room took her about 5 minutes and she bragged about it. It wasn’t an ordeal. It wasn’t overwhelming. It was 10 (5) minutes worth of honest effort, end results be damned, and the end results were amazing. Better than what usually resulted in 10 days worth of tears and frustration, and mostly procrastinating.

I have executive dysfunction. It’s paired with my ADHD and depression. Tasks can seem so overwhelming and impossible to start. My head paints this big picture that <insert task here> is going to take a million hours of exhausting, mission impossible work. As a result, I’m afraid to even start. It’s just built up and overwhelming and I can’t seem to make myself start.

When I do eventually start the task, more often than not, it takes a hell of a lot less time than I feared, and not nearly as much effort as I assumed. It seemed endless and impossible, but in reality it was manageable and not that big of a deal. Certainly not what I built it up to be.

Getting started is the hard part. With me. With Sammy. And possibly (probably) with you.

So buy a little egg timer. Set it for 10 minutes. Now, not forever from now. (Or if you’re like me, give yourself a little more leeway and start at exactly x:00 or x:15 or x:30 or x:45… it just feels more solid and definite.) Set that timer and just start. See what happens.

And do what you can.

Oh! And one last thing! Don’t set yourself up for expecting perfection in the results. No one ever needs that. Your honest best is your honest best and don’t let anyone, including yourself, expect anything more from you.

Be the first to comment

Jennifer Scott has been experiencing anxiety and depression since she was a teen. She shares her journey toward improved mental health on her website, SpiritFinder.org. When she isn’t blogging, Jennifer loves to travel, volunteers at her local animal shelter, and rock climbs.

We’re obsessed with tech. The collective obsession with technology is so immersed in our culture that memes circulate the Internet poking fun at families who are enjoying a meal together or spending time in the family room – every member staring at his or her smartphone. The proliferation of technology is often criticized for reducing person-to-person interaction. In spite of this criticism, tech actually holds tremendous promise for people with mental health conditions. Here’s why:

Mobile Apps Offer Mental Health Support and Educationgirl on phone

An April 2015 report from Pew Research reveals that nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults own a smartphone. What’s more, “[nineteen percent (19%)] of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them,” making mobile apps an effective means for providing information to a large portion of the population. Among teens, these figures are even higher.

That’s why apps like Ginger.io are proving a viable means for offering support and tools to smartphone users who suffer from mental illness. The app offers users access to licensed therapists through video visits, tools and health tips, personal coaches and care plans, and even medication support by connecting a user’s Ginger.io care team to their physician to share information and determine medication needs. Ginger.io is not alone; Healthline identifies other apps that offer support for various mental illnesses or tools for relaxation, connections to communities of supportive peers, and more.

Even the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Promotes Technology

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) “is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.” The organization’s AIR (Anonymous. Inspiring. Relatable) app is a free, mobile-based social network aimed at supporting those with mental illness and their families and caregivers.

AIR encourages anonymous sharing of stories for support and encouragement, providing information, and making connections between those with similar conditions or who have experienced similar struggles.

Mental Health Tracking is Becoming a Reality

We rely on technology to track our heart rate during exercise, the number of steps we take each day, and even our sleep patterns. Why not track mental health, too? While this is a more challenging feat, researchers and data scientists are running myriad studies and analyses to develop effective mental health tracking solutions by identifying linguistic clues that reveal insight into an individual’s mental health.

While apps like Ginger.io are already making use of such technology to some extent, the goal is to ultimately create a highly effective tracking application that would enable providers to proactively treat patients experiencing a change in mental health status with the hope of reducing negative outcomes such as overdoses or suicide. At the very least, it provides mental health providers with additional tools to better manage patient treatment plans, understanding triggers, and pinpointing key changes that indicate a need for medication changes or intervention.

Online Communities Help Eradicate Stigma and Provide Lifelines

You don’t have to be using a smartphone to take advantage of the mental health benefits of technology. Anyone suffering from or caring for a loved one with a mental illness won’t have to look far to find online communities and support groups for people who share similar experiences.

For those who need a bit of optimism, communities like Post It Forward on Tumblr are home to a plethora of uplifting images, inspirational messages, and positive encouragement from others who have suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Love is Louder, “a project of The Jed Foundation created with actress Brittany Snow to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone,” is an online and offline initiative with a similar focus.

These resources, in addition to the instant connection to loved ones through family conference calls, text messages, and emails, makes technology a valuable tool in the battle against mental illness. Whether an individual suffering from mental illness is feeling isolated or does not feel like leaving home to socialize, those all-important social connections and critical emotional support is at their fingertips thanks to technology.

Image via Pixabay

Be the first to comment

no
So.  Someone found my blog via the search term “The BPD Fuckbuddy” and my first response was “No.  Just… no.”  Then I thought on it more, and while my answer is still no, there is a wee bit more to it.

First off, using us because we can sometimes be easy lays, is just not nice.  It’s also unethical if you are conscience of what we’re doing.

Second off, may any god you believe in, be on your side when you try to end that relationship, because that won’t be fun for anyone involved.  I’m telling you now, we take the ending of any relationship rough.  And by rough I mean fire and brimstone upon your house.  And if there is awareness that you were simply using us?  You’re going to need a higher power to intervene on your behalf.

Even if we knew going in that their were no strings attached and it was only fuckbuddies with no future, there will still be hell come the end of things.

So no.  Just no.

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

No one has said anything, but in some cases I can imagine the thoughts on my lizard and being broke.  However, instead of doing an individualized guilt complex for my lizard, I would like to look at the broader scope and not just offer up my validation for my pet, but maybe also some validation for all of us.  Us being defined in this case as those on a limited budget due to disability or limited due to limited real career options, but whom still have pets we technically can’t comfortably afford.

  1. This is ultra wide-spread – It is actually a documented fact that pets help calm the anxious, and add quality of life for those who are struggling to find any real quality.  This is so well documented, in fact, that doctors can legally prescribe mental health patients companion animals of most any, realistic kind, and these mental health companions are afforded all the same legal rights as, say, a seeing eye dog.
  2. In the event of families, pets are a way of feeling normal when funds are tight, in such a way that won’t cause bankruptcy.  In a world of poverty, there are so many things you can’t have or have to say no to, but a small pet doesn’t have to rack up the cost of living bill.  In the case of a cat or dog, you can adopt them free or cheap at the beginning, but if you have to pay extra on your lease, plus food, it can add about 300$ to the bills, even after a cheap start.  Some can be qualified as being in poverty and still handle that 300$ a month.  There are different degrees of poverty.  And we are all experts at cutting corners to afford what we really need and really want.  Then of course comes something like a snake, a lizard, a frog, fish, or hamsters.  After the cost of the animal plus the set up, you might be paying almost a grand out-of-pocket at the start (but hey, we get great tax returns), however, the month-to-month upkeep can be well under 100$ and most can work that in.  The impact of the quality of life, when you have a warm kitty purring in your lap, typically can help tip the scale in you pet owner’s favor as the cost versus benefit gets weighed out.

Mental Health Companion

 

As for my family: The lizard is my mental health companion, but she’s made Pat her human.  So my heart swells with love when I watch them together and he fusses over her.

Be the first to comment