Borderline Personality Disorder Questions

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by exhausted, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I know some of you have experience with this and hope you can you help. What does a borderline episode look like (as in a meltdown-even to suicide threats). It usually goes undiagnosed in children, have your kids been diagnosed or how did you learn they had the traits, who told you? How are these meltdowns to be handled by parents? I would really appreciated your input.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My daughter Nichole was diagnosed with borderline at 15 or 16.

    I'm not sure what you mean about a borderline episode per se, but there is a distinct pattern of behavior and a warped view of reality or way of thinking, perceiving the world around them and relationships with others.

    For my daughter, it's a I love you, but I have to push you away before you can hurt me, because something is wrong with me so you can't possibly really love me view. And yes, looking at it that way it can cause some severe depression. Also anger issues and meltdowns. Lord knows we had all 3 to deal with for many years. But I'm not sure what you mean by an episode because Nichole would be fine one minute and be enraged the next with no reason that we could see. We had more issue with the "meltdown" part than the depressed part as it was more in your face and much more oh maybe a zillion times a day on bad days. This child could flip a mood faster than I've ever seen anyone else do in my entire life, and I come from a family riddled with mental illness.

    How I dealt with it? Treatment was not a choice, she went willingly or she'd be dragged there kicking and screaming. Medication, she'd take it willingly or I'd give it to her, and trust me she did NOT want me to give it to her. House rules with consistent consequences. And I did an awful lot of focusing on the child she'd been before the symptoms of Borderline (BPD) began to appear. The drama, I ignored as much as possible. It only leads to more drama. So as long as she was just ranting and raving, I ignored it. Destruction of property or something like that would be dealt with according to house rules.

    I learned to remain calm in the face of the storm, at least on the outside, because she fed off whatever emotion she saw. When she'd rage (and trust me it often got ugly) it was like a 2 yr old who works themselves up into such a tantrum they don't know how to stop, so there were times I'd have to talk her down......and that meant fighting the circular logic and helping her to see that she was viewing things the wrong way. Sometimes I'd have to wait to do this until after the rage. She had a good therapist and psychiatrist who would also do this with her, which was wonderful in my opinion.

    Finding the right medication combination to help keep her moods from constantly shifting helped a ton. But to me, the long talks we had where I and her docs helped her un skew her version of what was going on, is what helped her to get better. The whole I'm not worthy of being loved thing was the hardest thing to help her move past though.

    The whole behaviors of I'm going to do these terrible things and say these horrid words to push you away so you'll "prove" your love to them because they can't quite believe it no matter how hard they want to. It's not a conscious thought, but it's what they're actually doing. Nichole tried very hard to drive everyone she cared about away from her. It wasn't easy to watch the meltdowns ect. But during those moments I reminded myself that she did not really want to act like that, it was a warped coping mechanism.....and she did not even know why she did the things she did. So while she'd be raving, I'd just never for a moment think she meant a word of what she said. (which usually she didn't)

    It was a rough and rocky several years. But now she's stable and doing wonderfully, off medications.

    A really good book for you to read is Walking on Eggshells. Awesome book.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member nailed it.

    Exhausted, I dont know if you read the poem that I posted to Daisy Face a month or two ago but you can go back and look for it and see if that strikes any chords...but I guess that isnt really what you are asking. You are asking how to handle things. Well, I dont have to handle me do I? LOL.

    I do realize now that I have pushed people away for a long long time. I still dont trust anyone completely. I have a huge issue with the word love. I cant believe anyone can really love me or that they will really stay with me because they want to be there. I honestly thought that Tony (my youngest two kids father) was going to hit the door the day Cory hit 18 and I was the most surprised person on the face of this earth when he didnt. He never knew I thought he was going to leave. It never crossed his mind. It was all in my mind. See...I dont feel that I am worth loving so I am determined to force him to leave me so I am mean as a rattlesnake in order to push him away first. But thankfully he is stubborn as a mule...28 years now! and he wont leave.

    I can be ugly, mean, snippy, rage, omg...its bad. But I have learned now with some therapy and medications...and Im better...still not good or great...but better.

    With teens, its hard because so many of them are somewhat push me pull me as teens anyway. I think you just need to keep calm and not take things personally.
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you both so much. It has been a horrid week. Our daughter, who has been in a DBT Residential Treatment Center (RTC), lost it last Tuesday. The" wheels came right off the bus" 2 weeks before she was to come home! She had done so well. She was backed into a corner, things were not handled well (can't say more until legal things are worked out), and ended up in ICU, we almost lost her. She has these episodes where she is so hopeless and threatens suicide (thus 3 hospitalizations, now 4) and she finially tried. It took her 2 days to even know what she had done and 5 to fully remember the events of the full day of horror that preceded her suicide attempt in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Though no official diagnosis, we have been told she most likely has it since she was 14. With her abuse history and PTSD, and the trouble she has had making any progress in therapy-we believe it is full on Borderline (BPD).Janet, she believes the same as you. I always see the great advise and the wonderful support you give people on the site-I think you are a lovely human just by your posting. You deserve like all of us, to be loved and happy. Our daughter pushes away love and other times she runs after male attention just to have it in any form. She told us about 2 month ago she did not deserve such good parents! OMG we love her and have stood by her and advocated and done all we could because she deserve it, she is part of our family! I think her issues are at the more severe end. She gets out of the psychiatric hospital today and because we had her in JJS temp. custody to get this help, she will be going to detention to await a hearing later this week. We are praying that with the help of JJS worker and Lawyer she will get to come home with the support of mental health court, a tracker and home support. This judge is tough and does not get mental illness at all. He believes it is all willful intent. Wish us luck.
  5. seriously

    seriously New Member

  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I did my utter best not to ever back Nichole into a corner. That is downright dangerous with a person with Borderline, not to mention most other psychiatric dxes as well. Backing her into a corner would cause her to act on impulses she normally would only have threatened. Instead I tried to untangle the warped thinking patterns and view of reality. It's not easy, you've got to be stubborn, not take things personal, and stay calm as possible. I wasn't perfect at it, but I did my best and most of the time I could stay calm an emotionally uninvolved at least for appearance sake.

    One of the largest lessons she had to learn was you can treat people, even family who loves you. like total crud one minute and expect them to do for you the next. We dealt with this a lot due to the constant mood shifts. She was ok, so everyone else should be ok. But real life doesn't work that way. So even though we understood, we still had to show her that her behavior triggers emotions in other people as well and they can't always turn it off and on like she can. You can't tell someone you hate them and then go on to describe in detail everything you supposedly hate about the person and expect the same person to take you to the store 10 mins later when your rage is over and you're fine with the world again. She had to learn that her words and actions affect other people. It was one of the hardest lessons. And although family understood what was going on, we had to be careful and not just be as ok with it as she was once those type rages were over. After a full apology and having to explain that she didn't mean what she said ect.....along with how she really felt and what she had wanted to express was required. Learning this skill helped defuse the rages.

    I hope difficult child is ok. I'm sorry staff backed her into a corner. Bad practice, staff should've been more educated and experienced than to do that.

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Exhausted..Im sorry if I am not completely remembering your daughters history. It doesnt say in your signature but is she adopted? Is there another reason that she would have developed borderline? I still buy into the theory that most people who go onto develop borderline do so because of some sort of trauma or environment that was invalidating to them as a very young child. Now before everyone throws tomatoes at me, some kids inner personalities can just not mesh with the best of parents and the best of homes so that makes them be the invalidating product..or it could happen in a day care or hospital or preschool or such.

    If your daughter had some form of trauma in her past then I am so not surprised at this behavior. Obviously something has given her the ptsd diagnosis. Does she have any close friends that she relates to well? Something has to give this child something to hope for. Something to look to the future for. Life isnt just the teen years....they are some of the hardest years even though now that I look back I remember some of the stuff with fond memories, they were really tough to go through.

    As a mom this has to be extremely hard to go through. I know that I have said and done some really horrible stuff. Its the old push me pull me thing. You feel so horribly unworthy of any love. You cannot ever believe anyone will love you and really the more anyone says they do, the more you dont believe them and the more you distrust them. You feel like they are lying to you. Its like you want to keep testing them. Oh if I do this will you hate me? or this? or this?
  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Janet, she was repeatedly molested when she was 4 and 5 by her cousin who was 14 and 15 then. She did not disclose this until the first residential placement at age 14 when we could no longer keep her safe. She was also gang raped by 3 males and they stuffed shirts down her throat to silence her. She is lucky to be alive. On top of that, i was so friustrated and worried about her behavior, I just kept tightning the reins and was not mindful of praise at all. I was worried she was going to get herself killed. She has been through pure hell and the system just makes it worse. We are hoping for some real help soon. It is a nighmare now and we are on our way to see her now. Thank you for your support and knowledge, it means so much and gives me hope!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh my gosh! I am so very incredibly sorry for your daughter. I am near tears for her. One thing that I would advise is to not only try for a therapist who works with borderline but find someone who works with trauma and sexual abuse victims. Honestly I dont know if she gets all her ptsd stuff under control if the borderline traits wont tamp down too. Right now she is an extremely hurt little girl trapped inside a 16 year olds body. In my opinion, if she wasnt acting out there would be something wrong.

    If I can help you in any way, just PM me. Anytime.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I second that recommendation. Strongly. And like Janet, I think you might see some of the Borderline behavior disappear once you can get the PTSD under control.

    Feel free to PM me too, if you think I can help.

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sending hugs and I second that suggestion for the book Walking on Eggshells, saved my life in regards to dealing with my loco sister. BUY IT - I have read it twice already.