Suicide Articles

Borderline Personality Disorder: Self-esteem vs Self Destruction

Monday, July 30th, 2012

BPD and self esteemThere is a saying in a self-help group I used to be in back in the eighties. When a “normal” person gets a flat tire, they call the Automobile Association. When someone with (what’s now known as BPD) gets a flat tire, they call the suicide hotline. There’s an awful lot of truth in that.

My goal recently has been to respond rather than react to what I perceive are excruciatingly provocative circumstances and situations. I want to think and act with grace and dignity, to deep breathe, turn around, walk away, move on, learn the lesson and get a life. This attitude has, in the past, kept me in relationships, out of the law courts, out of jail, out of psychiatric hospitals, in employment and in therapy (or life coaching as we are now doing).

No longer is my therapist my nurturing supporter, smothering me endlessly with loving/kindness, reassurances of never abandoning me and justifying my bad behaviour and lack of social skills as a result of my environment. We have a more pragmatic egalitarian relationship where I feel mentored, rather than mental.


When Borderlines and Narcissists Collide

Friday, March 30th, 2012

When Borderlines and Narcissists clash, it makes When Worlds Collide look like two butterflies locking wings together in a mid-air prang. As someone diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder I had the misfortune to run up against a Narcissistic Personality Disorder and I would describe the experience like running full speed, head first into a brick wall without a helmet.

For me, it is exceedingly rare to come under the microscopic scrutiny of a dangerous and mentally unhinged person who appears to be made out of concrete in such a manner that a nuclear bomb would be unable to dislodge their black and white thinking. For this person it was either night or day, there was no pearly pink twilight or early misty mornings.

This person was highly and appropriately right and I was incredibly stupid and wrong. I know this because it was hammered into my skull at every given opportunity.


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. 


Borderline Emotional Anaphylactic Reaction: Mindfulness and Acceptance

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Sometimes, the smallest things in life can cause the greatest pain and physical reaction.  A bee’s sting is almost invisible to the naked eye and yet can easily kill someone when they have an allergic reaction.  A mere critical stinging comment can just as easily send a person suffering Borderline Personality Disorder into “emotional anaphylactic shock.”

When a person has a life-threatening reaction to the poison from a bee sting, an ambulance is called and the person is taken to hospital where they receive treatment for their illness as well as respect and dignity but when someone suffering an emotional reaction to life circumstances presents at emergency, they are sometimes treated with rejection, intolerance and disdain.  People can die from a bee sting and Borderlines can “die” from their own personal rage and self-hatred.  If you present at emergency with a swollen face and throat unable to breathe with all your body organs shutting down, is some doctor or nurse going to say, “OMG, it’s a tiny bee sting, how bad can that be, look at you, get over yourself,” like they sometimes do when Borderlines present at hospital with similar symptoms.

Yet both types of people are in much pain and danger. 


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. 


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.


The End of Therapy and the Beginning of Life

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Letting go of the fantasy of a post-therapy relationship with your beloved therapist means you are ready to move on from the transference.  When your mind starts to shift from an enmeshed relationship with another to a singular meaningful relationship with yourself where the focus is now “me” and not “we” it signals a profound shift in cognitive thinking.

There is much self-examination and reflection and untold pain that comes with this.  Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living and I have explored every possible nook and cranny of my inner life.  Letting go of someone you love is the hardest part and this creates a vacuum which needs to be filled with something that is just as meaningful.  Never take a crippled person’s crutch away from them unless you have a replacement that is equally as effective.  But before you do that, you need to reach into all corners of transference options and the therapist who is willing to explore every aspect of your attachment to him/her and their own considerable counter-transference issues and/or attachment to you is doing themselves and their client a huge favour. 


When Life Feels Like a Near Death Experience

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

I was in session last week with my emotionally and socially intelligent therapist learning important role-modelling and personal negotiation skills when my mobile phone started to ring.  I swore loudly, threw my arms in the air, jumped up, and raced out the door and into the courtyard.  I was expecting a phone call to tell me whether or not I had a much-wanted part-time job.

Only for me it wasn’t someone giving me potential employment – it was a life or death experience.  If I got the job I would be ecstatic and if I didn’t get the job I was going to throw myself under a train.  One would make me feel very important and the other would annihilate me.  If I didn’t get the job, I would just keep walking to my car, without explanation because the alternative was to tell my beloved therapist I had failed – yet again.   I just could not face that.  Ever.

Not that I overreact or anything.


Suicide is NOT Painless

Monday, November 1st, 2010

In Greek mythology, there is a story of the Sirens who lured sailors to their death with a bewitching song.  The Sirens lived on an island surrounded by large, sharp and dangerous rocks. They sang so mellifluously and in such an enchanting manner that sailors were drawn to the island where their ships were dashed against the rocks and they all drowned.

Jason and the Argonauts were saved from them by the music of Orpheus, whose songs were lovelier.  Odysseus and his men escaped by tying themselves to masts and placing wax in their ears so they could pass through unscathed.  It is said that the Sirens themselves committed suicide after failing to attract and entice the men to kill themselves.

In the past I have been tempted and drawn by the seductive siren call of suicide.  I now realize it is more of an attempt to relieve myself of the excruciating pain of mental anguish rather than a wanting to end my existence.  Life has always been precious to me, but this siren call to suicide happens every time the pain of life is greater than my perceived ability to cope with it.


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