Living with our Emotions

Due to the high correlation between bisexuality and borderline personality disorder we will be focusing on the pathological personality traits listed in the DSM5 and how they affect our state of well-being as bisexuals.

DSM5 – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity

Emotional liability: Emotions that are easily aroused, intense, and/or out of proportion to events and circumstances.

One of the traits of Borderline Personality Disorder is emotional sensitivity. This super sensitivity is thought to have biological origins and to be present from early life.  It consists of a heightened emotional reaction to environmental stimuli, including emotions of others.

Along these lines, Carlson, Egeland, and Sroufe[1] conducted a longitudinal study of 162 individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. They discovered that negative emotionality influenced by emotional sensitivity in early childhood and adolescence predicted later BPD symptoms. This included self-injurious behavior, dissociative symptoms, drug use, and violence in our intimate relationships. They also discovered that we people with BPD did not receive appropriate (and oft time even harmful) treatment.  They also found correlations with negative temperament and attachment disorganization. In other words, it appears we people with BPD are wired with a brain that is very sensitive to sensations from the environment, therefore, a genetic predisposition for BPD, we tend to be influenced more than others by our environmental experiences, and tend to have unstable relationships.

This leads us to a study by Greenough and others[2] on the role of the environment. They concluded that studies in neurology consistently confirm that there is a neural basis of experience-dependent learning. During childhood, as super sensitive children, we are very vulnerable to what’s happening around us. We are very aware of all negative stimulus surrounding us and we create thousands of synaptic connections each day in response to these events, thus storing the information in our expanding neural mind states as thinking and behavior patterns. In other words, this is a critical” or “sensitive period.” These mind states then become our thinking and behavior patterns that will guide us for the rest of our lives. These experiences form our implicit memories and thought patterns.

So what does this mean for us bisexuals? First of all, we bisexuals tend to be super sensitive with strong emotional feelings about what is happening around us. That’s why we are often poets, artists and dancers.  In this way we are like most people with BPD,  with one exception.  These feelings are also connected to our feelings about our sexuality. We super sensitive boys seem to experience a different comfort level with our sexuality and bisexuality than do our female counterparts. Somewhere between age two and three we all establish our gender roles.  For example, boys or girls tend to identify themselves as boys or girls as separate from those of the opposite gender.  However, there are exceptions. If dad wanted to have a son, he may treat his daughter like a boy and encourage her to act like a boy.   In our society, it’s okay to be a tom boy but not a sissy or a fairy.  Boys in a female dominated relationship are often confused. They know they are a boy and should act like a boy but want to be subconsciously like the female members of the family. As we advance into our teenage years, these gender issues become sexual issues. As young men we feel attractions to women like all the other boys, but as with our gender confusion, we also feel attraction to men, usually older men. Girls are comfortable with this. Bisexual women, in general, have no difficulty shifting from male to female attraction and back again. They seem to be comfortable with their sexuality. We men are not. This leads to emotional difficulties as we try to adjust to our sexuality. We cannot seem to do both. It is one or the other and we shift back and forth often with feeling of guilt and shame.

However, the good news is that the human brain also has a great deal of plasticity. We can refire and rewire our brain patterns, our thought patterns, and our behavior patterns. The old patterns are loaded with a lot of negative energy from the amygdala that is buried in our subconscious mind. However, we do not have to continue to live by these beliefs.  We can simply rewire them. We can do this by taking the buried feelings attached to the present incident and rewiring those feelings through the nucleus acumen’s and the other areas of the frontal cortex what we know as the pleasure center of the brain. We can access these through positive patterns like appreciation and gratitude. If we learn to appreciate and be thankful for our bisexual nature, we will begin to see all the wonderful possibilities of living a bisexual life.

 

 

[1]  Carlson, EA; Egeland, B.; and Sroufe LA. A prospective investigation of the development of borderline personality symptoms. Dev Psychopathology, 2009.

[2]  Greenough, WT; Black, JE; and Wallace CS.  Experience and brain development. Child Dev. 1987

 

 

Bisexuality and Loneliness

Finally some scientific evidence to support what I have known since my first teenage orgasm. My bisexual life was one of a deep sense of aloneness. There was no one I dared talk to, no one who would truly understand my deepest thoughts and feelings. I was very popular on the outside, but no one knew how lonely I was on the inside.

A recent study by Mereish etal. (2017)[1], indicates that loneliness is a contributing factor in a bisexual individual’s poor mental health leading to a possible greater risk of suicide. As expected, this study confirmed previous research that bisexuals were more likely to experience prejudice from heterosexuals and other members of the LGBQT communities. This can lead to feelings of isolation that contribute to loneliness.

Of special interest are the findings that bisexuals with internal stressors, such as desires for heterosexuality and orientation concealment, were also more likely to report loneliness. The amount of spare time to ruminate and possibly engage in self-loathing mental gymnastics was also a factor. Being a student or unemployed or part–time employed contributed to a feeling of loneliness. Individuals who were single were also more likely to conceal their orientation which is another contributing factor to loneliness. And the catch twenty-two, bisexuals with post graduate degrees were less likely to conceal. and therefore more likely to come out, and therefore more likely to experience prejudice and subsequent professional isolation and loneliness.  There is no correlation between the internal and external stressors; in other words experiencing prejudice is not necessarily related to internal struggles for bisexuals (although such is not the case for other members of the LGBQT community). We can experience both but one does not necessarily lead to the other; yet, both can lead to a feeling of loneliness and therefore mental anxiety and suicide.

Feelings of experiencing external and internal prejudice and loneliness are compounded by the lack of resources that are designed for bisexual individuals. Our needs are often overlooked, possibly because of external factors like prejudice but more likely due to the fact that we do not express our needs and are often unwilling to have our needs made public.  We are reluctant to join support groups or enter mentorship programs because of our needs for privacy. What is needed is an on-line program that protects anonymity while being able to share and experience connection with another individual or group of individuals. We need to be heard and understood before we will begin to listen to and understand ourselves.

(Please note: my on-line program will be up and running in a few months so stay tuned.)

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. If we are experiencing internal stressors and cannot seem to escape them – we should get help. I strongly suggest you try my on line program that will be up in a few months. It is designed to build up our self-image and self-concept as bisexuals. It centers on the belief that we have a higher self with an unlimited source of power to live amazing and satisfying life. It focuses not on our problems but on our resources in the form of twenty virtues that we can develop to bring unending joy into our lives.
  2. It would appear that internal stressors may be equal to or an even greater source of anxiety and depression than experiencing prejudice. It would appear that it is worth the possible sorrows that may come from coming out than suffering through the loneliness of concealment. We should consider accepting, acknowledging, and telling significant others about our orientation and believing in them and our relationship. It may take time but we will be better off in the long run.
  3. If we have not done so already, we can admit to ourselves that we are bisexual with desires for sexual relationships with both women and men. We are not heterosexual but we can engage in heterosexual relationships. Likewise, we are not lesbian or gay but we can also engage in lesbian or gay relationships. We have a choice. If we are single we can indulge but we should be seeking love as well as sex.
  4. If we are in a relationship, and we are struggling with desires and occasional encounters, this concealment can be a major source of mental anxiety and can lead to a complete collapse. If we share our desires, hopes and failures with our partner, we can convey to them that we love them and are sharing this information in the hope that we can have a more honest and satisfying relationship. If they choose to leave, we have to be prepared to let them go.
  5. Above all else, we have to be true to ourselves. Once we learn to love and care for ourselves, we can begin to enjoy ourselves regardless of prejudice and what others think of us. We are worth it.

[1] Mereish, E., Kzrz-Wise,S, and Woulf3,J..Bisexual-Specific Stressors, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in Bisexual Individuals: the Mediating Role of Loneliness. Crossmark. 2017.

( https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s11121-017-0804-2?author_access_token=HmXzCxYOGPXlpyLFkEh2Sfe4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY69fGsGy82K2FqKswjcCp_4lquu_M_wYRCb68kZNDamLFIvZBapABKj2WauzK0QwYj51DicENdDF4V1osJGNKNJ7f4EV4qD7AeKrzNK6d3Ww==).

Building a New Life

We continue to explore the correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder. We now understand our orientation and all the turmoil we create through our BPD disposition. in. We are now  embarking on building a new life. We can start by believing in ourselves and believing we have the power to create a life that we will truly love to live.

 

To Read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/hi/

Bisexuality, BPD, and Constructive Psychology

We continue to explore the correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disordfer. W e have pretty well come to the end of the road regarding the DSM5 as the impairments and traits seem to be a rehash of the same old, same old.  So let’s leave that behind for a while and look at our situation more constructively.  Instead of examining our pathological tendencies let’s focus on building a life that we would truly love to live.

To read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/borderline-personality-disorder-and-constructive-psychology/

 

 

I Choose to Ignore That

 

Due to the high positive correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder, we are attempting to get a better understanding of this relationship so that we can learn to survive and thrive with our bisexuality. 

DSM 5 – Pathological personality traits in: negative affectivity – Anxiousness::Intense feelings of nervousness, tenseness, or panic, often in reaction to interpersonal stresses;

We now move into the field of anxiety and how it relates to BPD traits. The first concern in this area is related to how we react to interpersonal stresses. The dominant factor here is our response to perceptions of rejection.to read more:

I Choose to Ignore That

When I Get Angry, I Get Really Angry – Part 2

Due to the high positive correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder, we are attempting to get a better understanding

DXM5 – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity – Emotional liability  – Emotions that are easily aroused, intense, and/or out of proportion to events and circumstances.

So a trait does not have to develop into pathological thought and behavioral patterns. We can control it. The key then is to focus our powers of belief to take steps to create these new neural circuitries. To read more:

When I Get Angry, I Get Really Angry – Part 2

 

 

Yesterday I Was Angry, Today I am Sad – Part 2

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

DSM 5 – BPD – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity – Emotional liability –  Unstable emotional experiences and frequent mood changes.

The common emotional yoyo effect for those of us with BPD is between anger and regret. There is a tendency to lose control and blurt out extreme reactions in perceived verbal conflicts (we may be the only one that perceives it as a conflict) with loved ones. This is usually followed by shame and regret leading to sulking and moping that sometimes can last for days. However….  (read more at:)

Yesterday I Was Angry, Today I am Sad – Part 2

Yes I Would Love To, No I Won’t – 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. 

Borderline Personality Disorder  Impairment 13 – Alternating between over involvement and withdrawal.

My Sad Story

I will,  of course, because it only seems natural to do so, refer to my past love affairs when thinking of involvement and withdrawal. When I attended college, I had two love affairs. They both started and ended the same way. To read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/yes-i-will-no-i-wont-part-2/

I Love You, I Hate You – 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.

Impairment 12 – Significant impairments in interpersonal functioning b. Intimacy: Close relationships often viewed in extremes of idealization and devaluation.

 

My Sad Story

When I look at idealization, I can see that it was important for the women in my life to be perfect. I remember when my psychiatrist hit me with the bombshell that my mother might be partially to blame for my BPD and subsequent breakdown. I reacted with anger and disgust. How could he dare blame my mother, she was perfect. To read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/i-love-you-i-hate-you-part-2/

Why Doesn’t Anyone Hear Me?

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. 

 

In conclusion, both distrust and neediness are calls for help. Even though distrust and anger are hard to live with, they are better characteristics than neediness. These people with BPD are still fighting it. It is the ones with excessive neediness that I am most concerned about. They are just one step away from hopelessness which is one step away form suicidal behavior.

To read more: https://lawrencejwcooper.ca/why-doesnt-anyone-hear-me/