I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). AMA, please.

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My name is Patrick Flynn.

I am 33 years old.

I have borderline personality disorder (BPD).

And depression.

And lupus, but that is another story.

I work at a law firm.

I also sell lego and transformers on ebay (under the name patorick).

Having BPD is tough. There is lots of internal fear, obligation and guilt associated with what you do, what you say and what you think.

Relationships are very complicated especially with people you are very close to. The validation people with BPD get from partners, friends and family is like the greatest. Until they go away and we feel their rejection.

I am not perfect, I have manipulated, emotionally taken advantage of people, and said terrible things to people that I cannot ever take back. I cannot excuse my bad behaviors because of BPD but I can be mindful of the hurt that I caused and the emotional misregulation that went into it.

I was diagnosed with depression in 2003 and borderline personality disorder in 2007. I have learned to manage my condition (somewhat reasonably well) and now want to be as much of a mental health advocate as I can be and and help other people with mental health issues.

I think about suicide a lot, have threatened friends and family with it and have indeed tried a few times. What keeps me alive is my mother, my sister and my extended family. They all care very much no matter what I put them through.

My aim right now is to share my experiences positive and negative as much as possible, to raise awareness about BPD in my community aswell as mental health issues in general. By encouraging others to be open and honest about BPD, I would like to help misunderstood people get the help and support that they need, I hope to facilitate a better understanding of people with BPD and to make it easier for those diagnosed with it to cope with it as quickly and effectively as possible. I have more to learn, I've been reading about it for years and am still learning how to deal with emotions, feelings, dramas and conflicts more effectively. I just want to do what I can to help, if you have BPD or know someone who does, please ask me anything. I will do my best to answer whatever questions or comments you have as quickly and mindfully as possible. I very much doubt I'm the only person on here with this, but you never know. I will respect your privacy if you wish to contact me privately.



[email protected]


Helpful links:





https://www.mifa.org.au/images/Documents/Wellways/164942 Borderline Personality Disorder.pdf



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Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
And maybe you should edit your post to remove your email address, people can easily contact you privately here by starting a conversation (click on the users icon, select start conversation)
And maybe you should edit your post to remove your email address, people can easily contact you privately here by starting a conversation (click on the users icon, select start conversation)
I'm happy for my email to be public, it may be easier for someone to get in contact with me that way.
For those of us who don't have it, is there anything we could learn about BPD that might make interactions easier?
Good Tips for Communicating with Someone With Borderline Disorder

1. Be realistic.

2. Leave if necessary, You do not have to tolerate physical threats or emotional or verbal abuse.

3. Simplify.

4. Separate the person from the behavior.

5. Address feelings before facts.

6. Keep focusing on your message. Ignore the BP's attacks or threats or attempts to change the subject.

7. Ask questions. Turn the problem over to the other person.

8. Remember the importance of timing.

9. In the midst of an intense conversation that is escalating and unproductive, practice Delay, Distract, Depersonalize, and Detach.



Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Good tips thanks. I haven't followed the link yet but might later, in my job it's not uncommon to be dealing with people with mental conditions, including BPD, but never really been given proper training about it!

Tips for Loved Ones of People With BPD


Recognize the truth in this statement: Feelings are not facts. Your BPD loved one likely has a range of intense emotions which compel them to say things that feel unkind, unfair and even cruel at times.

Recognize your BPD loved one’s reality: they have a mental disorder and their extreme feelings are highly changeable, as you have seen over and over.

They are so changeable because your loved one has BPD, and because they are feelings, not truths.

Try your best to keep this in perspective no matter how emotionally volatile your BPD loved one may become.


Recognize your part in disputes.


Have a self-check in place for the potential feelings of fear, obligation, and guilt (FOG) in response to your BPD loved one, and a plan for handling these ungrounded responses.


Recognize, always, the degree of reaction your BPD loved one is likely to have in response to perceived or imagined abandonment.

Because this is the deepest fear of someone with BPD, be careful and wise with potentially abandoning or rejecting words or phrases.


Encourage your BPD loved one to learn distress tolerance, mindfulness, and other ways of handling unwanted emotions by taking part in these therapies yourself.

BPD is called “the Good Prognosis Diagnosis” because although it is one of the more difficult mental health diagnoses to contend with, many people have a high chance of getting better or recovering entirely. If you believe in your loved one and choose to stick by him during treatment, you may see real rewards. Many, many people who once experienced pervasive difficulty in interpersonal relationships as a result of BPD are now healthy and fully functioning after treatment and a lot of self-work. Keeping an open mind, working on some of your own responses and reactions, and being honest with yourself about the realities of BPD may just bring you to a fuller sense of self and happiness in time.

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Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
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My wife also has BPD. It's an interesting ride for both of us, especially trying to manage it in a country so far away from support and from a medical system that has a better tolerance and understanding of such conditions
Published on January 14, 2016

Living with BPD: Behind Every Excuse is the Real Reason


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

One of the things that I’ve recognised as a differentiator between healthy and unhealthy relationships is the presence of excuses, whether it’s yours and/or theirs. In the worst of situations where you may be denying, rationalising, and minimising, you may even be making excuses for their excuses which only goes to show how poor the original excuse was.

Just like how on the other side of a jumped boundary lies disrespect, on the other side of an excuse often not only lies at least some element of disrespect but also the real reason.

An excuse is a reason that is given to justify an offence or fault but its primary purpose is to lessen responsibility by getting you to overlook, excuse, or even forgive off the back of it. This of course is rather tricky because when there’s excuses it means that any commitment is being lessened, which means everything else tied to it becomes pretty flimsy. You may also be overlooking things that are busting up your boundaries.

People often get ‘reasons’ and ‘excuses’ mixed up because there appears to be some crossover. Excuses allow people to remain in their uncomfortable comfort zone, dodge conflict by avoiding honesty both with others and themselves, dodge accountability, and cast themselves in a better light.


Sometimes it simply boils down to “I don’t want to try” and what’s really important is that you don’t clog up your life with excuses whether it’s yours or theirs because you’ll become a person of inaction that doesn’t make decisions. Excuses, especially when we buy into them make things appear more complicated than they are.

The next time you’re presented with an excuse, it’s time to ask “So what does this mean?” or “So what happens next?”

Trust me when I say that when someone is looking to maintain the status quo and keep palming you off with excuses, no solutions are on the horizon, after all, if they’re the one making the excuses, they have to be a part of the solution, which means they have to be responsible in the relationship, which means that excuses become redundant.

You’ll know you’re in a healthy relationship when you don’t have to listen to excuses or make excuses. Instead of accepting excuses, start accepting the reasons.

Assuming a person has BPD, is it possible that they themselves use their diagnosis as a way to excuse “bad behavior”?

This question finds deep roots in the disorder itself.

A good therapist helps a client develop a realistic view of their symptoms. This includes helping a patient develop an understanding of their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and when they need to take responsibility for their actions.

Of course, responsibility is different than blame. Responsibility and blame may be indistinguishable to the person with BPD and one of the reasons they suffer. Helping a person with BPD understand the difference between threat and discomfort is also important.

Most people with BPD generally view themselves as inherently no-good, and feel such a deep sense of blame and shame that it becomes easier to avoid all responsibility for behavior by letting it remain unexamined. This is one of the results of the “black and white” thinking that is a hallmark of BPD.

When patients engage in behaviors such as blaming others for all their problems, abusing/condemning people relentlessly, acting out in anger or hysteria, and so on, they are projecting their shame and blame outwards. The other person becomes irrevocably evil in their eyes.

Or they self-harm, because they cannot tolerate their view of self.

Some people with BPD may in fact, find it easier not to control themselves, and then do indeed “let themselves off the hook” by saying, “I have BPD and this is just a symptom. I can’t help myself.”

A skilled therapist can gently help the patient to understand the complexity behind these issues, and can help them develop meaningful definitions which illustrate the differences between unhealthy blame and healthy responsibility.


If you feel locked in a box, or cannot see your way out, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. MensLine Australia is on 1300 78 99 78. If you sense that someone needs help, tell them you'll be there for them. Let them talk. Look for any sign of light getting into their box, and focus on that. Encourage them to seek professional help. And if you'd like to learn more about how to identify the signs that someone needs support and how to help them, consider becoming a Lifeline volunteer or doing a four-hour accidental counsellor course. You can make a real difference.

[email protected]

Chip and Chase

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Genuine question - why do they call it "borderline" personality disorder, is it because it is very close to a more serious personality disorder or is there some other relevance to the name ?
Genuine question - why do they call it "borderline" personality disorder, is it because it is very close to a more serious personality disorder or is there some other relevance to the name ?
Why is BPD called “borderline”?

Because some people with severe BPD have brief psychotic episodes, experts originally considered this illness to be “borderline” versions of other mental illnesses.

Today BPD is a recognized mental illness in and of itself.

However, experts have yet to call it by a more accurate term.


It is called borderline because it was originally thought that people were on the 'border' of psychosis and neurosis.

BPD is also sometimes called Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (Borderline type).

Diagnostic Criteria

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects and marked impulsivity beginning in early adulthood and presenting in a variety of contexts as indicated by five or more of the following:

1) frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment;

2) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships;

3) identity disturbance;

4) impulsivity in at least two areas that are self–damaging;

5) recurrent suicidal behavior, suicidal gestures, threats or self-mutilating behavior;

6) affective [mood] instability;

7) chronic feelings of emptiness;

8) inappropriate, intense anger; and

9) transient stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.


If you only ever listen to one podcast about borderline personality disorder, I would suggest this one.


Transcript: https://www.australiacounselling.co...ds/2014/12/Interview-with-Sonia-Neale-BPD.pdf

December 16, 2014

Australia Counseling Podcast 064: The Lived Experience of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex disorder experienced by 2-6% of the population. BPD is often misunderstood by the public and many mental health professionals.

People with Borderline have ongoing difficulty relating to other people and to the world around them. This can be very distressing for the person and for those who care for them.

Symptoms often include deep feelings of insecurity, constantly changing emotions, ruptured relationships, impulsiveness and sometimes self-harm. In it’s most serious form some people can experience psychotic episodes.

Sonia Neale is a motivational speaker who speaks on the topic of living with Borderline Personality Disorder. In this interview Sonia gives us a unique insight into the challenges and struggles of living with BPD.

Most importantly, Sonia shares a message of hope for people suffering from Borderline and is living proof that recovery from BPD is possible.

In this interview Sonia shares:
- What the lived experience of Borderline Personality Disorder is like.
- What is happening on a biological level for people with BPD.
- The causes of BPD.
- The importance of neuroplasticity and empathy when it comes to managing Borderline Personality.
- What she has found most helpful in her journey with BPD.
- The value of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).
- Advice for family and friends of people with Borderline.
- What mistakes she has seen professionals making when working with BPD.
- Advice for practitioners who work with (or would like to work with) this population.



Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
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If you only ever listen to one podcast about borderline personality disorder, I would suggest this one.

I don't have time to read a lot of stuff on this forum but glad I took the time to listen to that. My experience is largely through the criminal court system and I am not surprised that some people with BPD end up in that system. I can confirm that our courts (ie especially local court magistrates) have gravely insufficient understanding of BPD. As do I, but I have a better idea after listening to that.


01100111 01100101
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Hi Pat,

I commend your efforts in attempting to raise the level of our education on this issue and thank you for it.

I've been reading your thread with interest.


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