“If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline”


People with BPD, like all the Cluster B disorders, can at times seem demonic, especially when raging. I used to have these episodes of uncontrolled rage, in which I’d dissociate pretty severely. It was as if an actual demon inside me was unleashed and I couldn’t control my actions or my words, even though I knew I’d wind up regretting it and apologizing profusely hours later, hanging my head in shame. I think these rage episodes scared me as much as they scared everyone else, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about them. They were far too big for me to handle. Although no one ever told me I looked “evil,” I probably did during these episodes.

DBT and mindfulness tricks helped me get things under control, but I do seem to have mellowed in general with age. That seems to happen with some BPD women (some even become spontaneously “cured” after their childbearing years end), which makes me wonder if BPD is really a personality disorder at all, or something more biochemical. Since abuse or neglect in childhood is almost always present in Borderlines, maybe abuse causes brain chemistry to change for people who develop it, and this affects the female hormones in some way.

The emotional numbness is still there, but that’s nothing new–and it could be my PTSD rather than BPD. “Zombie” used to be my default setting in between rages so severe I seemed possessed. With increasing self awareness I’m becoming more able to access real emotions without losing control. The emotional numbness is lessening but the rages of my younger years have not returned. I’m not sure which emotions are still under wraps but I think it’s closer to sadness over some undefinable loss than rage.

This article accurately describes the Borderline’s ever-shifting emotional extremes and just how black their dark moods really can be.

If Looks Could Kill: Anatomy of a Borderline

By Shari Schreiber, M.A.

There was once a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good–but when she was bad, she was horrid.

My other articles on Borderline Personality Disorder speak to elements in the Borderline that seduce you and keep you enraptured, despite their push-pull emotional gymnastics, disruptive come here/go away cycles, and confusing, crazy-making behaviors. This piece exposes the volatile, frightening dark side of this individual who has gotten you under their spell and won’t let you go, but also uncovers the root cause of these issues. There’s a comprehensive list of features/traits at the bottom, which can help you determine if you’re involved with someone who has BPD–or it may serve as a self-diagnostic tool.

While many BPD people have killer looks, not all Borderlines are beautiful or handsome–but that doesn’t make them any less seductive or diabolical. It’s much easier for a great looking man or woman to find continuous streams of narcissistic supply via adulation and romantic pursuit from others, and until this ego fuel isn’t obtainable, they won’t consider therapy. Why should they? Humans don’t change, until what they’ve been doing doesn’t work for them anymore–or they’re in enough pain, to re-direct their energies and efforts toward seeking the help they need to get truly well.

Read the rest of this article here.

Are you alexithymic?


Here’s an interesting quiz to find out how in touch you are with your own or other’s emotions.
Alexithymia is a Greek term meaning emotional blindness (a–without; lex–word; thymia–feeling). A person with alexithymia has problems understanding their own emotional state or those of other people. They may feel emotionally numb or even have a flat affect. They could be extremely reserved or shy, or just seem aloof or cold to others. They could come across as “mysterious” or inaccessible.

Low levels of alexithymia are correlated with high empathy, ability to engage emotionally in relationships, and having an active imagination. A very low score would indicate neediness and high emotional lability (common in most people with BPD, Histrionic PD, or Dependent PD).

Personality disorders associated with alexithymia are Schizoid, Antisocial, Avoidant, Narcissistic, Obsessive Compulsive, and sometimes Schizotypal. PTSD can also be associated with alexithymia.

Here is the test:

My results:

My total score was 108 (possible alexithymic).

Category: Difficulty Identifying Feelings: 17 Points
In this category you show some alexithymic traits.

Category: Difficulty Describing Feelings: 10 Points
In this category you show no alexithymic traits.

Category: Vicarious Interpretation of Feelings: 11 Points
In this category you show high alexithymic traits.

Category: Externally-Oriented Thinking: 17 Points
In this category you show no alexithymic traits.

Category: Restricted Imaginative Processes: 18 Points
In this category you show some alexithymic traits.

Category: Problematic Interpersonal Relationships: 20 Points
In this category you show high alexithymic traits.

Category: Sexual Difficulties and Disinterest: 15 Points
In this category you show high alexithymic traits.

This seems to describe me well.