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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder: Social Survival Skills

Borderline Personality Disorder is not just about mental illness and emotional distress, it is also about social skills (or lack of them), empathy, manners, conflict resolution and self-care. Most children learn these vital social skills early on at pre and primary school where they observe other children’s behaviour, learn a “theory of mind” or how other children think and feel (mentalising) and experience compassion and empathy for others. These things come naturally...
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Borderline Personality Disorder: Is Your Therapist Dogged by a Dark Side?


At my last therapy session my therapist turned into a savage rottweiler; baring her sharp teeth at me, picking me up by the scruff of my neck and shaking the living daylights out of me. The doggone woman deliberately picked a fight about nothing, provoked me into a snarling row, called me a liar and then threatened to sue me for slander.

Interpretation of unfolding events is always a personal perception. I have been seeing...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder – Accepting Criticism Mindfully


Learning how to accept criticism graciously is a form of art, but for me it is a work of art in progress. This is because I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and part of that syndrome is being unable to tolerate critical comments, no matter how well-meaning.

So what happens when I get criticized? No matter how mindful my brain wants to be, my body has an anaphylactic reaction. I feel as though...
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Borderline Personality Disorder: Terminations, Funerals, Ceremonies and Party Harty

Does a proper termination procedure lead to cleaner closure and the getting of wisdom with a brave new life? After umpteen years of therapy, do you just say goodbye, pay your last bill, move on and live well? What if the Olympic Games had no opening and closing ceremony, would it feel disjointed, incomplete and impermanent? Would you have really believed it was over unless you had the colourful, spectacular dancing and acrobatics? Would...
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Borderline Personality Disorder, David Cassidy and Letting Go


Ten years ago, I went to a David Cassidy concert in Perth and pressed myself up against the stage for him to come down and hold my hand, which he did.  But apparently I held on for so long he had to scream in my face, “LET GO!”

That was the best advice I have ever received.  I have finally taken David up on his offer and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his insight and wisdom. ...
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Do You Have a Photo of Your Therapist?

Eight years ago, after many months of frantic searching, I finally found a photo of my therapist with her family on the internet.  I cut her face out and stuck it on her business card and carried it in my handbag.  Every so often, when I was feeling insecurely dependent, I would take it out and look at it until it became rather worn around the edges.  It was a great source of comfort to me and...
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Depression

I Survived Christmas Without Ending up in a Psych Ward

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...
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How to Make a Therapy Quilt


My therapist sent me a text message a few weeks ago on the morning of my therapy.  Would I like to go for a walk with her?  Instead of sitting in her office and trying to find a logical, rational solution to my problems, would I like to go for a walk around the local park?  She had been trying to get me to exercise for many years...
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General

Five Things I Have Learned From My Therapist


There are some things I need to be taught, that I cannot learn for myself.  If I had my way, I would mire myself in binge-eating, TV marathons, smoking, drinking and drug-taking all enveloped in a toxic bubble of anxiety and depression.  It’s an easy, seductive path I get lured down occasionally.  But with help and inspiration from others, especially my therapist, I can pull myself out of that hole and into...
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