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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2011/12/22

BPD (sorry for my ramblings)

Hi Prof
I require your honesty. I keep on reading that therapists'' " hate"  treating those with borderline personality disorders as we are difficult to treat. I hate lables but I am a borderline and am in therapy for almost 5yrs now. Why is it that the older I become (i''m 41 now) and the harder I work in therapy, the more out of control I am behaving? It is very frustrating because I know I am pushing my therapist''s buttons and am struggling to control my impulsiveness. I don''t want to " lose"  him, yet I know my behaviour is not appropriate as I struggle with boundaries. I have never been dependent on anyone but now my behaviour is childish i.e my sms''s are excessive as I " talk"  better this way. I want to prove my commitment to therapy as well as respecting the therapeutic boundaries and mostly showing my respect towards him as he has always remained constant &  professional. However, my behaviour is getting worse. I banned myself from sessions and no sms contact until January when I will resume therapy again as I want to prove to him and myself that I can respect boundaries but I have overstepped my own rules. Why are borderlines so difficult to treat especially when the person is wanting to change? What do you as a professional as well as in your personal capacity think? Are you wary of us? Would you rather not have us as a patient? Do we drain/anger you? And my last one...
How can I stop behaving like a borderline?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Rather than SMSing, why not jot down those thoughts, type and print them, and give them to your therapist at the start of a session, as an agenda to get the discussion going ?
Nobody remains in therapy for 5 years without being committed to it. Your description of how things have been going illustrates why borderlines are difficult to handle in treatment.
Yes, I guess a professional who recognizes the potential problems would be wary of someone recognizeable as Borderline, which i probably to the benefit of both of them. Its far more scary for both where the therapist doesn't know what they're getting into or how to handle it.
Personally, I often treated people with Borderline Syndrome ( which the Amerifcans recognized long before the British and SA's did ) ; but its wise to get involved one at a time. Too many norderlines in one's basket can be overwhelming.
I think there is a good chance of changing how you behave ; being borderline is a package of potentials, and where therapy focusses at least in part on recognizing potentially unhelpful behaviours, and practising better alternatives, this can be useful.
And try to recognize he is there even when you're not in contact, just as Hong Kong is there even when you're not visiting it.
As you recognize what is unhelpful behaviour and that it needs to change, you have an advantage over many others who haven't yet achieved that insight

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Our users say:
Posted by: Heather | 2011/12/23

To answer your question about why is it the older you become the harder it is to control yourself, apparently the chemicals in your brain that make your normal deplete over the years, deplete quicker from stress and the likes and that is what makes harder. That''s what my therapist told me.

Reply to Heather
Posted by: Maria | 2011/12/23

Anon, I do understand about really wanting to change behaviour and finding yourself repeating it again and again despite your best intentions. All we can do is keep on trying, and doing our best to find new or different ways of doing things. All the best.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/12/23

Rather than SMSing, why not jot down those thoughts, type and print them, and give them to your therapist at the start of a session, as an agenda to get the discussion going ?
Nobody remains in therapy for 5 years without being committed to it. Your description of how things have been going illustrates why borderlines are difficult to handle in treatment.
Yes, I guess a professional who recognizes the potential problems would be wary of someone recognizeable as Borderline, which i probably to the benefit of both of them. Its far more scary for both where the therapist doesn't know what they're getting into or how to handle it.
Personally, I often treated people with Borderline Syndrome ( which the Amerifcans recognized long before the British and SA's did ) ; but its wise to get involved one at a time. Too many norderlines in one's basket can be overwhelming.
I think there is a good chance of changing how you behave ; being borderline is a package of potentials, and where therapy focusses at least in part on recognizing potentially unhelpful behaviours, and practising better alternatives, this can be useful.
And try to recognize he is there even when you're not in contact, just as Hong Kong is there even when you're not visiting it.
As you recognize what is unhelpful behaviour and that it needs to change, you have an advantage over many others who haven't yet achieved that insight

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Anon | 2011/12/22

Hi Maria

Thank you for your input as well as understanding.

My therapist has explained the need for boundaries. He does allow me to sms him but has told me to not expect a reply as he does not do therapy via smsing. But this is my weak point. I feel I am more productive in an sms than in a session where I sometimes clam up for half an hour and this is when my smsing gets out of hand. I have to be in contact with him (it''s like being addicted). I need to know he is there. This neediness is what is driving me nuts as I become angry/upset if he won''t respond to certain sms''s then afterwards I would feel guilty and would apologise and make " sincere"  promises which I will eventually break. He says he tolerates my behaviour (to a point) as he knows my history and understands my struggles and has warned me that other therapists will not tolerate my behaviour. Maria, I know I am in the wrong but I can''t seem to control my impulsiveness. I see him weekly and have missed 4 sessions as our last session was way too hectic. He confronted me about my borderline behaviour. He said it''s not his job to be my friend or collude with me. I understand this and I agree but yet I slip back into my behaviour and this frustrates and angers me!! I am so angry for being weak, needy &  pathetic!!!!!

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Maria | 2011/12/22

Anon, you show good insight into yourself, which is already a big win as many Borderlines just have no idea. What are your therapist''s thoughts on the boundaries issue?

" You want 2 prove commitment" ... you are missing the point. There is a difference between committing to going to therapy, and committing to change.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: You want 2 prove commitment???????? | 2011/12/22

How can anyone who has been in therapy for 5 years need to prove commitment............thats a lot of time and bucks!

Reply to You want 2 prove commitment????????

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