She Love Me – She Loves Me Not

Due to the high positive correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder, we are attempting to get a better understanding of the impairments listed in the DSM 5. 

Impairment 9 – Significant impairments in interpersonal functioning – Intimacy: intense, unstable, and conflicted close relationships.

In a review of thirteen empirical studies, Agrawal et al (2009) found that every study concluded that there is a strong association between BPD and insecure, unresolved, preoccupied, and fearful attachments. These studies indicate that there is a longing for intimacy that is troubled by concerns about dependency and rejection. Barone (2010) using the Adult Attachment Interview with forty BPD patients and forty controls, discovered that the two strongest types of attachment problems were entangled/preoccupied (20%) and traumatic experiences (50%).

To read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/she-love-me-she-loves-me-not/

My Lover’s Eyes – Part 2

 Due to the high positive correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder, we are attempting to get a better understanding of the impairments listed in the DSM 5. 

DSM  5: Impairment 7 – Interpersonal hypersensitivity (i.e., prone to feel slighted or insulted)

  After living for twelve years on my own after my divorce (except for a few misguided relationships), I finally met a woman that I could trust and love unconditionally. For the first few months, I was blissfully happy but then things started to fall apart. To read more go to: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/my-lovers-eyes-part-2/

Why is She Mad at Me – Part 2

Due to the high positive correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder, we are attempting to get a better understanding of the impairments listed in the DSM 5. 

Today we  will look at Impairment 6 – Compromised ability to recognize the feelings and needs of others.

Why is She Mad at Me – Part 2

The fact that we have a difficult time recognizing the feelings and needs of others at the unconscious level simply means we will have to train ourselves to do it consciously. We train ourselves to watch for tone and body language and respond accordingly. To read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/why-is-she-mad-at-me-part-2/

Why is She Mad at Me

Because we are so concerned with our own safety, we fail to see the feelings being expressed by others, especially those nearest to us, who have the potential to inflict the greatest emotional pain. We fail to meet their needs because we are obsessed with our own need to be accepted and loved.

Read more at: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/why-is-she-mad-at-m/

I Guess I’ll Be a Doctor – Part 2

My Sad Story

BPD Impairment 5 – Instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans

 

Up until the summer after my grade twelve graduation, I had planned to be a priest. Part of this was, of course, to please my mother who was convinced that I was special because I was the seventh son, and being special, of course, meant the highest calling, the priesthood. I also attended an all-boys Catholic high school where I was taught by priests (with the exception of my Physics teacher who was a lay person). About twice a year, Father Gocarths would come around and interview and counsel and encourage the boys who had hopes of becoming priests. Because of my near perfect grades he informed me that I would spend one year in a novitiate in Ottawa and then move on to studies in Rome. However, it was during my Grade Twelve year that I discovered women.

Read More at: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-guess-ill-be-a-doctor-part-2/

I Guess I Will Be a Doctor

We move on to the second section on impaired personality functioning –  on the DSM 5 – Self-direction. The description is, “instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans”. We are really stuck on this one so we will just wing it. I have no experience with it as it is one of the few descriptors that I did not check off in my survey. I had a one, no problem. In addition, I could not find any research studies on the topic. Let’s take it one step at a time and hope it adds up to something that we can hang our hats on.

Read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-guess-ill-be-a-doctor/

– Dissociative states under stress – Part 2

This is the part two on the fourth impairment for Borderline Personality Disorder as noted in the DSM5. As previously noted there is a strong correlation between bisexuality and BPD.

Another Sad Story

In January, right in the middle of my depression, my mother died. She was ninety-two. Somewhere along the way I had lost touch with her. Yes, I visited her once or twice a year, but we never hugged or kissed. When she died, I did not feel anything: no longing, no regret, no love. We were a very large, five-generation, French Catholic family. During my eulogy, tears erupted from all corners of the packed church. These moments require tears to wash away the pain of separation, the pain of lost opportunity to somehow fix something that had been broken. My voice broke, but I could not cry.

To read more:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/dissociative-states-under-stress-part-2/

Impairment – Chronic Feelings of Emptiness – Part 2

Back to my case study of my “self”. I had continuous feelings of emptiness as far back as I can remember into childhood. I remember as an eight-year-old one day stopping at the Catholic Church (where I was an altar boy) and just sitting in the pew staring at the flame that indicated that Christ was present just so I would not feel alone. However, I was different than most people with feelings of emptiness; I was also able to feel extreme anxiety and anger. It would switch from one to the other, feelings of emptiness followed by feelings of anxiety. Therefore I had one foot on the path of anxiety and suicidal thoughts but the other on the path of hopelessness. Read more at:
https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/impairment-chronic-feelings-of-emptiness-part-2/

Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD

shirt-tie-w-out-white-background-final-3As we have worked our way through the nine symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) on the DSM IV and the personality traits of the DSM 5, we have encountered a major section, and perhaps the core issue, on symptom six, namely anxiety. Deeper investigation into the relationship between anxiety disorders and BPD led us to the discovery that 90% of people with BPD suffer from one or more anxiety disorders.  In past blogs, we have looked at the impact of Generalized Anxiety, Anxiety Attacks, and Social Adjustment Disorder (SAD).    Today we want to take a look at the link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and BPD.

PTSD is receiving a lot of attention in the media especially in connection to military experiences. The second and perhaps more common cause of trauma involves long-term physical, and/or sexual abuse. Recent work in this area  has led some psychologists to create a subcategory called Complex PTSD (CPTSD). These intense experiences of fear create a powerful link to the Sympathetic System and to feelings of helplessness so that the traumas are difficult to resolve. In addition, the reticular system is activated putting the individual on constant high alert thereby picking out and reacting to seemingly harmless triggers from the environment.

But what about other causes of CPTSD?  Jane Leonard[1] lists the following:

  • experiencing childhood neglect
  • experiencing other types of abuse early in life
  • experiencing domestic abuse

Do these emotional experiences constitute a major insult to the body as well as the mind?

According to Leonard, People with CPTSD may exhibit these behaviors, all of which are also shared with people with BPD:

  • abusing alcohol or drugs
  • avoiding unpleasant situations by becoming “people-pleasers”
  • lashing out at minor criticisms
  • self-harm

We can see that emotional, cognitive, and behavioral similarities come into play with BPD and CPTSD, but what is the relationship if any between the causes of the two disorders? I once read in an article that bisexuals have suffered from PTSD because of the emotional and mental wounds from a thousand cuts due to their life style.  But does that really constitute CPTSD? In my opinion, PTSD and CPSTD have to include major insult to the body as well as the mind; whereas, BPD is a disorder exclusively of the mind.

Cloitre et al[2] in a study involving over three hundred subjects with complete measures of PTSD, BPD, general psychopathology, and functional impairment, concluded that four BPD symptoms separated BPD patients from PTSD, namely:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment,
  • Unstable sense of self,
  • Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships,
  • And impulsiveness.

Both groups experienced chronic feelings of emptiness. I would suggest that these symptoms have more to do with neglect and unstable home environment than actual physical or sexual injury. We would also have to consider that there may be a genetic predisposition involved in BPD, including hyper sensitivity and a need for soothing and acceptance that was denied them in childhood.

I think it is safe to say that BPD and CPTSD are different disorders; however,  we have to consider that some people may be suffering from a  combination of both, thus compounding the problem. As noted in an earlier blog, this is literally a deadly combination resulting in suicidal thoughts and an alarming number of suicide attempts.

Here are my five suggestions for Bisexuals with BPD and CPTSD:

  1. If you are one of the few who are coping with this combination of disorders, then you are a remarkable human being. Rejoice in the amazing powers of your mind and soul.
  2. If you are struggling with flashbacks from physical and sexual abuse, feelings of emptiness, and any of the above four symptoms or above four behaviors, you are in danger of an emotional crisis and you need to put supports in place.
  3. Seek professional counselling and medical treatment. There is no shame. There is no blame. According to research, begin with CPTSD therapy as these symptoms seem to be easier to deal with than BPD.
  4. Create a support group of people who love you. Do not be afraid to call upon them whenever you are experiencing emptiness and self-doubt. It’s surprising how powerful and effective a ten minute conversation can be in reestablishing our sense of self-control.
  5. If our feelings reach a crisis level , we seek physical contact with one of our support people or with a professional counselor. There is something powerful about physical and emotional connection with another human being who loves us  and understands our struggles.

[1] Leonard, Jane.  What to know about complex PTSD.  Medical News Today.  August 2018.      https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322886.php

[2] Cloitre, Marylene; Garvert, Donn W; Weiss, Brandon; Carlson, Eve B; and Bryant, Richard A. Distinguishing PTSD, Complex PTSD, and Borderline Personality Disorder: A latent class analysis. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2014.

Bisexuality and the Power of Belief

 

SHIRT & TIE w.out white background (final)You gotta believe. Oh so true. But what is belief? Another word for belief is “faith”, but I am reluctant to use that word because of its religious connotations; however, belief is the same principle that is behind faith and the creation of miracles. The question is, how do we develop the kind of belief needed to live the kind of life we want to live?

According to Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich, “Faith is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind”[1] “which proceeds to translate that impulse into its physical equivalent by the most practical procedure available.”[2] According to Hill, when faith or belief are fueled by emotion they create a feeling which in turn brings the thoughts behind the belief into life and action. In other words, it is more than intellectual belief; true belief has to be fueled by the emotions and feelings of love for oneself and for others.

In our Western world, our view of sexuality has become warped and twisted. Our core values as a society are the cause of such things as voyeurism, pornography, objectifying women and men, rape and violence against women and gay men, and the list goes on and on. Nor do I agree with religious fundamentalists who would cover a woman from head to foot to avoid “impure thoughts” or return to Victorian mentality that sex is only for procreation and homosexuality is a mental illness and criminal activity. Is it any wonder that our own core values have also become tainted by the society in which we live?

This leads us to the need to consider beliefs on sexuality that focus on a healthy and pleasure filled experience. This requires an honest look at our own individual set of core values on sex. We have to take a look at the flaws of our rational mind and its thought patterns because our mind will only draw conclusion that are in harmony the core values we have developed under the influence of our parents, the church, the education system, and society.

We have to rely on our higher self to guide us based on the two basic principles which are: love for self and love for others. The higher self will bring these flaws to our attention and then suggest a path to a more wholesome and healthy set of core values. Once we adopt these values into our daily lives we can begin to change our behavior patterns and begin to live the life that we truly would love to live.

When I went through this process I came up with the following.

Flawed Value – I am a Bisexual and I have the right to live with a bisexual lifestyle.

Flawed Value – My bisexuality is a burden that has caused me to loathe myself and the things I have done.

Flawed Value – My bisexual impulses cannot be controlled so I should ignore my conscience and just indulge.

Flawed Value – My bisexuality was the cause of my divorce.

 

Wholesome Value – I am a person with sexual attraction for men and women and I can choose whom to love based on the love I can give and receive.

Wholesome Value – By bisexuality is a gift that lets me see life in a new and beautiful way influenced by my masculine strength and my sacred feminine.

Wholesome Value – I am in complete control of my sexual impulses and I can make a heart decision on when, where, and with whom I will have sex,

Wholesome Value – My bisexuality was not the cause of my divorce. The cause was our inability to love unconditionally and my divorce has led to new opportunities to seek and find unconditional love with another.

My five suggestion for Bisexuals:

Step 1: We can learn to trust our gut. The gut is simply the intuitive voice of the higher self. It will guide and direct our thoughts, help us make the right decision, and direct us in locating and accessing the things we will need to achieve our desires.

Step 2: We use the emotion of love. It is the power or the energy of love that provides the power to attract what we desire and believe. This is the love for the higher self which desires to obtain the desires of our hearts and to form bonds with others.

Step 3:  We can make sure that our thoughts are in line with the universe by simply evaluating whether or not what we desire will be truly good for ourselves and whether there is some good that will come out of it that may benefit others.

Step 4: Put our thoughts into action.

Step 5: Keep a daily inventory. Persist in the belief until it becomes a reality. We have to daily repeat the five step process. We reaffirm the power of the higher self; we check with our higher self to be sure we are on the right track; we employ the power of love from the higher self to connect with the universal intelligence and with others; and we wait for daily instructions on what needs to be done to realize our desires. Then we act upon those instructions.

[1] Hill, 1945 (page,36)

[2] Hill, 1945 (page 37)