Depression Articles

Borderline Personality Disorder: Final Email to My Therapist

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

computerDear XXXXX,

I thought it was safe to let you know how I was doing. I thought it was safe to email you about what my thoughts were regarding brief psychosis –v- depression (which is something I have finally made sense of and wanted your opinion on because I trusted you). I told you what my current working life was like and I felt as though I got a rubber stamp response because nothing in your email referred specifically to what I had actually said or achieved.

In therapy once, you asked me to always let you know how I was doing because you didn’t want me to move on and disappear out of your therapy life. You also once told me you loved me and trusted me deeply and that you would never abandon me.

With those bold statements comes a considerable amount of post-therapy responsibility to clients, even to the most adjusted but vulnerable client who has left your therapy and your rooms. With that comes a duty of care to accept that sometimes the client who wants to move on feels much dissonance, ambivalence and an overwhelmingly disproportionate sense of obligation and responsibility to her former therapist to keep her informed lest she feels abandoned by her.


Borderline Personality Disorder: Getting Fired From Many Jobs

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Over the years, I’ve been fired, resigned or walked out (before I was pushed) on more jobs than there are symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.  I never understood why this was happening to me and I always thought it was the company’s fault, the other employees fault or that the Universe hated me.

There was always a honeymoon period where I fitted in for a couple of months, then came unstuck when the first small drama occurred.  This was always followed by a huge behavioural reaction from me.  I had not learned how to accept the vagaries of how companies operated, the diverse range of personalities concerned and my own borderline reaction to real or perceived workplace situations.  I reacted before I reasoned.


Mental Influenza: Borderline Personality Disorder with Acceptance and Mindfulness

Friday, August 5th, 2011

For someone was has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, it can take a long time to recover from the anaphylactic shock of raging, damaging emotions that are coursing through our blood when we experience an attack on ourselves.  During this time many physical symptoms of post-rage illness are experienced and this I like to call “mental influenza.”

Even though one can have much insight into the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of the scope, breadth and dimension of these rageful feelings and/or attacks you can still be left with the shocking after effects of the toxic flooding of your system; the blackness and physical feelings that leave you with a sense of vertigo, numbness, breathlessness and weakness, the sensation of lightheadedness and giddiness where you think you are going to pass out.  These feelings simply don’t diminish as quickly as they should and days later they can still be hanging around at the same intensity level as when they first happened. 


Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

At last, someone who is giving Borderline Personality Disorder a new image, a new spin, a positive focus and dispelling all of the myths surrounding this socially constructed disorder.  Thank you, Marsha Linehan, for coming out of the closet.  What a breath of fresh air you are!

I have read Marsha’s book on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and since then I have been recommending this type of one on one therapy, based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, radical acceptance, Buddhist meditative practice and mindfulness with the adjunct of group therapy and inter-session therapist phone-calls, to many people.  It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is life beyond this subjective, patronizing, ineffective, degrading and destructive diagnosis, generally given out by the psychiatric industry. 


Wallow, Reflect, Transcend

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

There’s nothing like a good wallow in the confluence of the sticky mud and muck of our past history and current circumstances.  It’s familiar territory for me whenever personal emotional disaster strikes and I dive head-first and bury myself in the warm, dark underbelly of self-hatred, self-sabotage and sometimes self-destruction.  I slither and slide, turning cartwheels and backflips until I am so immersed in the experience there is almost nothing that can draw me back up to the surface again.

At this point I need instant validation of my pain and suffering.  I think we all do.  The reason for the suffering, whether self-inflicted or inflicted by others is immaterial.  For me to be told my suffering is valid and reasonable gives me the invigorating courage to draw myself up out of the murky depths to my full height and start to soldier on.  When someone witnesses my story of pain, abandonment and rejection, the underworld does not feel as enticing as it did beforehand and I start to reflect from an observing ego level or a perspective of emotional distance, that this is old familiar stuff.  I’ve been here before and I’ve let go and moved on many times.  In fact I’ve even managed to transcend the situation several times before descending back into chaos again when life goes pear-shaped.

Reflection, meditation and sometimes just mere background pondering leads me to being able to rise above the situation and see it for what it is; something that happened in the past when significant others let me down.  Nothing on earth, not even Superman can turn back the world and change what happened back in 1975.  I have to live with that history, incorporate and integrate it permanently into my being.  I am not the sum total of what happened to me.  No-one is ever that.  What happened is a mere small part of who I am.  It does not reflect my strengths or my achievements.  It does not define who I am.  It does not make me a victim.  It is simply a minor part of my lived experience.

My therapist …


Coming out of the Borderline Personality Disorder Closet (Without Hitting my Head on the Door Jamb)

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Six years ago I was officially diagnosed by a psychiatrist in a psychiatric hospital as having…drum roll please…BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.  He said it to me in the same way he would announce he had a plague of rats infest his kitchen, discovered I had a sexually transmitted disease or that he had just found out I supported Tea Party candidate Sarah Palin.  It was delivered with revulsion, disgust and contempt.

Today I proudly come out of the BPD closet and out myself as having one of the most reviled and hated personality disorders ever constructed by the most esteemed and eminent fundamentalist gentlemen writers of the Psychiatric Bible the DSM – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.


Why Exercise is Better than Sex

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Ever since I can remember I have had major issues with food.  This was not a problem till I was ten and my mother told me I was going on a diet.  I promptly went to the shops and bought a bag of lollies.

By the time I was fifteen I was medically obese, then I discovered bulimia for a short while.  At 22 I revisited bulimia with its partner in crime laxatives, lost and regained half my body weight within two years.  I went up and down for the next twelve years and developed type 2 diabetes.  Then the lap band was invented and over the next ten years had two lap bands installed, followed by numerous cosmetic surgeries, and two lap bands removed due to slippage and erosion.

This was followed by several hospital stays for abdominal pain resulting in a small bowel obstruction operation.  My pancreas died completely and I was now insulin dependent and whenever I moved my insides swirled around like a sack of goldfish and I regained back half my body weight.


Turning Shit into Gold

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Recently I had to rearrange my headspace and lifestyle because I was getting bent out of shape because of what someone else was doing.  I wasn’t happy with the information I was receiving and it was causing untold grief and obsession within my life.  Luckily for me I was reading “Destructive Emotions,” a dialogue with the Dalai Llama narrated by Daniel Goleman, one of my three favourite Daniels (Stern and Siegel being the other two).

According to the book, when you have had enough of the shit in your life you can do one of three things: 


I Survived Christmas Without Ending up in a Psych Ward

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

It took a lot of mindfulness and mental strength to get through December 2010.  Christmas and the New Year are incredibly stressful times for some.  In Australia it is hot, so we have the heat to contend with, but cooking all day in a stifling kitchen with inadequate air conditioning is not part of my challenge of the season.

Organizing who goes where on what day, getting the tree up, buying the presents, posting the cards, making the Christmas cake, food shopping, wrapping the presents and decking the halls with boughs of holly is the easiest part in the world.

What is not so simple is coming to terms with the fact that we do not see certain family members because of a major fallout fifteen years ago.  One could very easily blame my mental health issues for this and sometimes when I feel kicked and down I do blame myself.  But relationships are never quite that black and white. 


Therapists Retraumatizing the Client by NOT Hugging on Request

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

polar bears hugging by Victoria.cats on flickr.com

Newsflash for all therapists of all orientations:  Your clients are generally not stalkers, serial killers or axe-murderers disguised as the depressed, the anxious, the bipolar or the schizophrenic, they are mostly desperately lonely and needy people with compromised interpersonal skills and mostly require a bit of common-sense TLC along with their chosen therapy.

A warm hug can imbibe and instill in your clients a much-needed sense of relief, attachment, security and belonging to a newer and better role-model.  Refusing a hug can so easily retraumatise and regress a depressed, mentally ill client and has a potential and tendency to remind them of the lack of love and affection from their family of origin.


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