I have been a longtime admirer of the scant handful of mental health professionals that have chosen to deal in the truth, rather than just peddle whatever is sellable to women in the misandric zeitgeist.
Staying on an honest road is tough in any arena. In the feminist dominated realm of mental “health,” it is brutal. I know, I lived that life for a couple of decades. I can tell you from personal experience that the greatest amount of flak I got from other professionals was for failing to follow the party line on any given matter.
My first serious conflict was over alcoholism, which I was supposed to view as a disease. That complicated things for me, mainly because alcoholism is not a disease. I don’t speculate on that, or assert it as my “perspective.” I claim it as the irrefutable truth. There is no evidence at all, none, that alcoholism is a disease, except that it was recognized as one in the year of my birth, 1957, by the AMA, with absolutely no scientific evidence to back it up.
It was purely a political and financial decision that enabled doctors to start charging alcoholics to “treat” them, and allowed active, drinking alcoholics to do what they do best…point at something other them themselves as the culprit in their lives. It was a win-win, kind of.
Another significant area of conflict I experienced in the mental health field was in respect to the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), or, the more accurately labeled, “dangerous asshole that should be avoided like the plague.”
Please bear with me while I cover some basics here. In dealing with mental health issues, we are dealing with a spectacularly wide and diverse array of problems and their causes. There are disorders that a purely physiological in origin, like Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS) where medical disease (or injury) results in impaired mental functioning. OBS is a somewhat antiquated term, and has been removed from classification from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) because of a growing number of discoveries that point to organic (physiological) causes for many psychiatric disorders.
But of importance here is that what we find with many victims of brain injury or disease is that they have severely diminished control over their thoughts, and often their actions. That capability has been taken from them due to the effects of brain trauma or disease.
Schizophrenia, a devastating condition which causes all manner of neurocognitive impairment, is also thought to be at least partially physiological in nature. As with other organic brain problems, the victim is completely powerless over their symptoms and sometimes their behavior. It is a crushing disease that literally terrorizes its victims. Imagine actually seeing demons come out of the wall to tear you to pieces, or your mind telling you that God is speaking through your dog, telling you to kill someone.
Schizophrenics do not choose these hallucinations and bizarre thoughts and without medical or even legal intervention, they sometimes have little to no control over how they respond to them. Similarly, bi-polar disorder can result in acute psychosis rendering an individuals ability to control their actions questionable at best.
There are other examples of when physiological causes are at the root of severe psychological and behavioral problems. Depression is a good example. It can be traced to a myriad of physical causes and result in some very dangerous physical symptoms, including alcoholism, drug abuse, violence and suicide.
But depression is a disorder, despite having some possible physical causes, that demands to be differentiated in approach from diseases like schizophrenia.
An individual, no matter how depressed, is capable of making an informed, rational choice about their actions.
In that light, they are fully responsible for whether or not they drink alcohol, take recreational drugs, become violent or even kill themselves. We can give them medication and psychotherapy, as well as provide other support services, but in the end they are fully and completely responsible for every choice they make in their lives. While their thinking can be clouded by their problem, they are fully capable of determining the difference between right and wrong as well as understanding the consequences of their actions.
That brings us to the BPD. This individual, typically a female (yes, that is documented) is one whose mental state renders her a significant emotional, psychological and often physical danger to anyone in her life, and in particular men with whom she becomes involved romantically.
BPD is the indicated diagnosis when some or all of the following are present:
- A long-term pattern of unstable or turbulent emotions, including frequent displays of inappropriate anger.
- A pattern of impulsive actions and chaotic relationships, including, but not limited to impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, and shoplifting.
- Intolerant, often hostile reaction to being alone.
- Repeated crises and acts of self-injury, such as wrist cutting or overdosing.
There is a more thorough examination of behaviors common to BPD, but you won’t likely find them detailed in diagnostic literature. The following are traits I have drawn from personal experience observing borderline women in clinical and real life settings.
- A remarkable facility for lying and manipulation, particularly for sympathy and adulation, but also to enlist action from others that will further their personal objectives for revenge or retaliation.
- A propensity to make false allegations of rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.
- A near bottomless capacity for vengeance over the least, or even imagined, slights.
- A sadistic pleasure in causing unwarranted harm to others who are perceived to be enemies, or even those determined to not love them “enough.”
- The capacity to justify and rationalize any abusive behavior, no matter how extreme or how innocent the victim. No moral compass.
- The repetitive demand that others sympathize with them, even as they cause destruction in the lives of innocents.
- The distorted mindset that the abuse they inflict is not abuse, but that objecting to it or fighting back is abusive to them.
And one other thing must be incorporated into your understanding of the BPD. They are in total control of what they are doing. There is no organic factor or deficit in self control that causes what they do. Their acts are willful and premeditated. They comprehend the difference between right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate, truth and lies, reality and fantasy.
They frequently hold jobs and involve themselves in social situations where their destructive behaviors would quickly work against them. They often perform admirably and demonstrate a respectable capacity for self control and appropriate behavior. Any notion that they cannot help their actions, which you will most frequently hear from BPD’s or the unscrupulous clinicians who profit from their condition by helping them rationalize their behavior, is completely fraudulent.
They know what they are doing and often enjoy it.
Do they suffer tremendously from internal chaos and unstable emotions? Certainly. So do the depressed, and alcoholics and those with anxiety disorders and other maladies. We just don’t offer any of them as pass on hurting themselves and others. Nor should we.
Given the absolute potential for devastation that the BPD brings into the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be in their path, it is pretty important to understand the prognosis for their condition.
There is no psychotropic medication that treats BPD and there is no known cognitive therapy that works with them. In short, they have an intractable condition that is impervious to treatment of any kind. They cannot be helped near as much as they can be avoided for the sake of helping others.
There is a running joke among psychiatric professionals about BPD’s. And yes, we told jokes about serious problems. It is one of the ways clinicians deal with the stress of working with them. Anyway, it’s a simple one-liner.
You don’t treat borderlines, you ignore them.
And that, in the broader sense, is also indirect professional advice when it comes to anyone with the misfortune to find themselves locked in the sights of a BPD.
Get away from them.
Go directly in the other direction. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.00. Just get thee…away; chalk whatever losses you suffer up to experience and be grateful about what you could have lost.
Families of alcoholics are told to cut them off (and the enabling) as long as they are drinking. It is good advice that helps the alcoholic face their problem and often saves the family a lot of misery. But dealing with a borderline is not near as simple or easy as going to an Alanon meeting and learning better boundaries. Their pathology is far too serious and dangerous for that.
Hear this, and hear it clearly. They are not going to get better. Ever. There is nothing you can do, no kindness you can extend, no sympathy you can embrace, no psychological slight-of-hand, nor the culmination of wisdom from your entire life’s experience that you can bring to bear to make a BPD anything other than a major, life draining pain in the ass and a potential nightmare waiting to destroy everything you have, inside and out.
In fact, should you find yourself engaging in endless internal debate about whether you should stay or leave a relationship with a BPD, I suggest you get help for yourself. Unlike them, there may be a chance to reach you and help you identify what causes you to stay attached to a lifestyle of abuse, chaos and danger.
Then again, there is always the red pill.
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- Interdisciplinary Shaming Dept. Part II – Stacy Keltner, garbologist - January 19, 2015
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- Interdisciplinary Shaming Dept. Part I – Introduction - January 16, 2015