10 things you discover about yourself when you have BPD.


The linked article is so true it hurts. I’m experiencing a lot of this right now, in thinking about this disorder so much and the ways I have harmed and hurt people in my past and the little ways it still tries to sneak out.

I’m also reading James Masterson’s “The Search for the Real Self,” which I’ll review when I finish it. This book is like looking into a mirror at the way others have seen me all these years.

I feel like I’ve been given a new set of eyes and an entirely new perspective on myself.
I wonder how common it is for a BPD person to reach this point of self-awareness. I guess I must have been ready.

If you have BPD or know someone with BPD, please read this very important article.


5 thoughts on “10 things you discover about yourself when you have BPD.

  1. Did I tell you I met Masterson in person 4 times before he died in 2010? He was an interesting guy. A kind person, but I think his thinking about personality disorders was rigid; he was very into understanding people as categories. But he did have categories of higher, middle, and lower-functioning for each personality disorder, so in practice he understood things in a spectrum. He was very anti-medication. He also saw BPD as fully curable and he had helped many people become totally free of it and have normal lives, especially many teens and young adults. I’m sure you’re reading about a few of these cases now in The Search for the Real Self.

    Regarding the picture in your article, which says “borderlines” want their families to be “educated on the condition”… I think that is problematic, as it may not lead to good outcomes for families to accept that someone has BPD. My concern is that new research by John Read, Sami Timimi and others is showing that the more that people accept having or identify as having “mental illnesses” (including BPD), the worse they tend to do on various outcome measures (e.g. proportion of time working, symptom reduction, rehospitalizations, well-being rating scales etc).

    Yeah, you just read that right… It’s a pretty shocking thing… counterintuitive. But these studies are showing that the more that a person accepts having a mental illness (which often, not always correlates with believing that the mental illness if lifelong and may be biologically based)…. the more someone accepts having mental illness, the worse they tend to do on long-term outcomes, compared to people starting with a similar baseline level of functioning but who reject the medical model of mental illness (i.e. the DSM description of “having BPD”). Rejecting “having BPD” and “being mentally ill” also tends to correlate with rejecting long-term use of medication, which was interesting to me.

    You might like Sami Timimi’s talk on this, here:

    I think Sami is way ahead of a lot of people in his field of psychiatry, and he is very humble.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is really interesting. You should check out Plain Ol’ Vic’s new article about mental illness and stigmatization:
      I think you will find some food for thought there.

      I really like Masterson’s “The Search for the Real Self” but dammit, it’s making me cry…a lot…because it’s like a mirror has been held up to me.
      Anyway, that’s cool you got to meet him. 🙂

      I tend to agree about the family thing you mentioned, but I didn’t make that graphic. I think it’s problematic because our families in most cases are a big part of why we’re borderlines in the first place! As for my family, forget it. They have no interest in my disorders at all.


  2. This info just reinforced my daughter’s BPD diagnosis of her aunt, my sister. Sis believes more in drugs than therapy so I’m not sure how much improvement we’ll ever see in how she treats us, her family. Recently, she is talking more like a “normal” person, but I have been so burned and hurt by her past behavior that I’m not sure I’ll ever really believe anything she says. Maybe, as they say, actions speak louder than words. I have made myself feel better in this regard by saying that I don’t think I (can) really love her anymore, since I think that’s pretty much an unconditional state, but I care about her.
    Having been through therapy myself, I know it involves a lot of work, pain, tears, etc. but, if successful, it’s all worth it and results in more self-acceptance. Hang in there, Otter, and continue to work through it. I think you already know it will be worth it for your life.


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