Borderline Personality Disorder, Disinhibition, and Suicidal Behavior

img_1394-1(This is the third in the series linking Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) with Suicidal Behavior. In the first blog, we established the link between BPD and suicidal behavior in general, and in the second blog we looked at the correlation with childhood sexual abuse.)

A study conducted by Brodsky et al [1] involving 214 inpatients diagnosed with BPD, concluded that Impulsivity was the only characteristic of borderline personality disorder that was associated with a higher number of previous suicide attempts. Could it be that impulsivity by itself, leading to risk taking, is the leading cause of suicidal behavior among those diagnosed with BPD? I think not, at least not in isolation.

So why are we splitting hairs when it comes to the causes of suicidal behavior and BPD? We know there is a link with BPD and suicide, and we know there is a link with suicide, impulsivity, and risk taking. Whether or not suicidal thoughts and behaviors are a symptom of BPD or not is not the issue. The issue is that people with BPD  are dying because of their risk taking. This is especially evident in the case of the flirtation with death through street drugs. Why are we doing that? Why are we taking risks with drugs we know are, or may be, laced with fentanyl? Why have we gay and bisexual men engaged in unsafe gay sex when it may have led to AIDS? Why such a disregard for our own lives?

Speaking from personal experience, impulsivity was not my major cause of suicidal thoughts. It was my sense of failure and hopelessness. I never made an attempt on my life but I certainly took risks that I hoped might end it for me. Perhaps, it is the combination of other affects in conjunction with impulsivity, in other words,  a kind of global personality disorder, including impulsivity, that puts us at risk not just for suicidal thoughts but for actual suicidal attempts. Perhaps it is merely not wanting to live our lives anymore because there is too much pain coupled with a desperate sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

So what can we do about it? Therapy should begin not with what has happened in the past, and not the sense of hopelessness in the present.  We have to start with finding something to be thankful for, and what a better place to start than with life itself. We have to stop viewing life through the eyes of our damaged egos and begin to see the possibilities of a life we would love to live that is being offered by our higher self. We have to close our eyes and ears to the message of hopelessness and helplessness and open ourselves up to the message of hope and love from our higher self. We should be focusing on what life can be, not what it was not. We have to learn to dream again and see the possibilities of a life of peace and contentment, a life that we would truly love to live. There is a light at the end of the tunnel; we just have to open the eyes of our higher self to see it.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals with BPD:

  1. We can look deep inside ourselves and find that sweet spot at the center of our being, the home of our higher self. We can do this through meditation where we seek out that especial place that is within all of us.
  2. During the day, we just stop the madness for a few minutes and enter into a state of short meditation where we seek the presence of our higher self. It will give us a moment of peace.
  3. If we stay in the moment, our higher self will begin to heal our wounds and dissolve our sorrows. It may be just a quiet knowing, or it may be an emotional charge as old feelings come to the surface and are let go. We do not try to analyse where the feeling comes from; we just acknowledge it and let it go. It’s okay for us men to cry.
  4. We begin to search for and recognize our inner voice. We choose to silence the voice of our mind and welcome the voice of our spirit. It will always say I love you in a thousand different ways.
  5. We recognize that we are in essence love and that love starts with love for our self. We tell ourselves that we are proud that we have survived the pain and we give our self a hug.

[1] Brodsky, Beth S.; Malone, Kevin M.; Ellis, Steven P.; Dulit, Rebecca A.; and Mann, Hohn J..

Characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder Associated With Suicidal Behavior. Am J Psychiatry 1997; 154:1715–1719)

 

 

Creative Imagination and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the sixth in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

According to Napoleon Hill, there are two types of imagination – synthetic and creative.[1] Synthetic imagination involves the arranging of old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations. To use this form of imagination, we have to rely on the words and actions of others combined with our own past experiences. This is what the brain typically does best. It takes in new information and uses synthetic imagination to build on past experiences to make moderate changes to enhance life. This works well if we love the life we are living; however, if we feel a deep discontent with our past and present, we will need to make a paradigm shift. This requires creative imagination which inevitably will bring us into conflict with our ego mind which wants to maintain the status quo with only moderate changes.

This yearning and discontent can then be transformed into desire and become a powerful energy source for change. This activates our higher self which will always operate for our higher purpose. It then sets to work using creative imaginations to create new ideas.  Eventually, these ideas can come together to formulate specific goals and plans. Hill suggests that when we put our plans into detailed writing with a specific time frame, the higher self then connects with the infinite intelligence causing our minds to vibrate at higher frequencies. The universe or infinite intelligence then seems to give life and guidance to our ideas that can help us transform our plans into reality.

So how does one then apply creative imagination to our sex life? As bisexuals, we often feel strong discontent with ourselves and the lives we are living.  We often feel powerless in making the changes we will need to make in order to bring about the necessary changes. In fact, it is change that we fear most. This is where we have to allow our discontent to transform into a desire for change. Once this desire is strong enough, our higher self will get engaged to bring us back to our life purpose which is to grow and expand through love for self and love for life. Once this desire grows in vibration, the higher self will begin to call in direction and knowledge from the infinite intelligence. The higher self then employs creative imagination to turn these vibrations into ideas. From these ideas we can begin to make plans to change our lives and create the kind of life that we would truly love to live.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We can allow our discontent to surface until it becomes a desire for change. We allow our higher self to take control and employ creative imagination to formulate plans for change.
  2. We put them in writing and set a timeline for change.
  3. We put these words someplace where we will remember to read them just before going to bed so that the higher self can work with the infinite intelligence to bring this plans into reality even while we sleep.
  4. We review the plan again in the morning and wait upon the higher self to give direction through hunches and insights. We can act upon these insights and keep doing this until the plans have all been brought into the physical world.
  5. We celebrate our victories and make new goals and plans. We are now in the process of creating the life we would truly love to live.

 

 

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications INC.. New York. 2015

 

Auto-Suggestion and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the fourth in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

According to Napoleon Hill, auto-suggestion is “the agency of communication between the part of the mind where conscious thought takes place, and that which serves as the seat of action for the subconscious mind (higher self).” [1]

Most of us live continuously within our conscious mind. Biologically, it is the constant process of sensing, turning senses into perceptions, and then processing the new information in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The OFC does this by referring to past mind sets involving memories and emotion. It then sets plans of action and carries them out. Once we have completed the task, the new information is connected through creating neural pathways to past mind sets. Thus we continue to experience and grow. But is that all there is?

Hill suggests that there is another part of us that functions apart from the conscious mind. He refers to it as the subconscious. However, we now know that the subconscious is merely mind sets, or neural pathways, involving implicit and explicit memories attached to strong emotions. Frequently these emotions are based on negative experiences and fears that serve as guides or blocks to taking actions into the unknown. However, we do not grow unless we are willing to take some risks. This leads to my thesis that we have a higher power that drives us on to become better and better human beings. It operates in the realm of imagination and by taking steps into the unknown. It wants to experience and grow.

We can perceive life then as a battle between our conscious mind with its subconscious fears and our higher self with its desire to grow. According to Hill, the way to move from the conscious mind to the higher self is through the power of Auto-Suggestion.  Hill states that we do this by forming a plan under the intuitive guidance of the higher self and developing a procedure to bypass the fears of the conscious mind. He suggests that we put this plan into writing, and repeat it over and over again until a clear picture of the plan is formed in our conscious mind, thereby removing the fear of the unknown. This includes the pleasure feeling of what it would be like to obtain our desires. Instead of fear of failure or the unknown, the conscious mind now has a desire and an expectation for the hoped for outcome. But we still have to battle against the old paragigms of the subconscious mind.

Hill suggests that our ability to use the principle of auto-suggestion will depend upon our ability to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession. Once that obsession is in place we can expect the higher self to connect with the Infinite Intelligence to intuitively provide the conscious mind with a step by step plan. The law of Attraction will then come into effect whereby The Universe will provide everything that is necessary to bring our desires into material reality.

According to Hill we employ the following three-step process for auto-suggestion:

  1. Make a plan including the goal, time limit, and what you will give in return
  2. Create a written copy and post it where you can see it and read it just before retiring and upon arising, until it is memorized.
  3. Repeat this plan vocally day and night until you can see in your imagination the money (desire) you intend to accumulate.

For example, here is the plan on which I am now working:

By June 30, 2019, I will have sold 1000 copies of my latest book, The Room, which is about the emotions and feelings associated with depression. In return I will give readings, book launches, and whatever service needed to market my book. I will then submit my book for provincial and national contests and receive the Governor General’s Award and the twenty-five thousand dollars that goes with it. 

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We call up our higher self by getting into a state of mindfulness and dreaming up what it would be like to live the life of our dreams. We stay in a state of mindfulness allowing our higher self to formulate a step by step plan  to achieve our dream.
  2. We write and post that plan where we can see it and recite it day and night until it is memorized.
  3. We continue reciting this plan until we can feel what it is like to have the desires fulfilled.
  4. We will begin to receive hunches on what we have to do to achieve our desires, and we immediately act upon them.
  5. We follow these intuitive suggestions step by step until our desires and dreams become a reality.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications Inc..2015. (page 57)

Bisexuality and Belief In Ourselves

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

(This is the third in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

How do we build belief in ourselves? Napoleon Hill seems to have the answer. He calls it auto-suggestion, which is essentially the power of positive thinking, with the emphasis on thinking. Thoughts are bursts of mind energy and therefore powerful tools in building the life we would love to live. Hill suggests that we can change our present reality through repetition of positive thoughts. He instructs us to formulate a positive thought related to a specific goal and “repeat it in audible words, day after day, until these vibrations of sound have reached our subconscious mind.” He further advocates that we make “a simple arrangement of positive thought impulses stated in writing, memorized, and repeated, until they become the working equipment of the subconscious faculty of our mind.”[1]

There are three aspects to this formula that I believe we should underline and note. The first is the faculty of our subconscious mind. Hill was no doubt influenced by the works of Sigmund Freud, a psychologist who believed all the ills of a troubled mind were located in the subconscious. Of course, he was dealing with mental illness, but what about the rest of us that are only half insane? We now know that the subconscious mind is a collection of mind states that involve complex neural pathways based on past implicit and explicit memories that are linked to powerful emotions. Whenever the orbitofrontal cortex is evaluating a potentially threatening situation, it will juggle negative and positive mind sets looking for a possible solution. Because the negative neural pathways are loaded with negative emotion, they will frequently override our positive feelings and desires. As a result, we will be reluctant to pursue a path that could lead to positive outcomes because of the fear that is embedded in our neural pathways.

In order to move forward with our lives, we have to find a way of subduing these powerful mindsets with positive feelings. One of the ways of doing this is through creation of positive thoughts, but these thoughts have to be loaded with the energy of positive feelings. Hill suggests that one way of doing this is to view the desired outcome as though it is already being experienced.

Which brings us to the second point of note which is Hill’s referral to vibrations. In order to make the positive thoughts vibrate at a high enough frequency to overcome the energy supplied by the fear mechanism from the  amygdala, we have to really feel the energy coming from the nucleus accumbens in the pleasure center of the brain.  In other words we have to magnify this vibration by really feeling and experiencing the hoped for pleasurable experience.

I would suggest that we have yet another source of positive energy that is from the higher self,  is spiritual in nature,  and is connected to the ultimate source of positive power that comes from the universal intelligence. This vibration is slower and deeper and can be accessed through mindfulness where we shut down the main function of the orbitofrontal cortex and just experience the feelings of success and well-being which will automatically engage the pleasure center of the brain. While in this mindful state we can engage in positive thoughts about the wonderful person we already are and we can call upon the powers of the universe to bring into physical reality the object of our desires.

The third factor centers around repetition. By repeating these pleasant thoughts and feeling several times a day, the neural pathways are reinforced and become stronger. By constant repetition of thought and feeling, the subconscious mind will automatically access the more powerful pleasure vibration rather than the lesser fear vibration whenever the environment sends us a new problem connected to these thought patterns. We can now employ our subconscious mind to work for us instead of against us.

 

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals; again we will rely on the suggestions given by Napoleon Hill,[2] but we will adapt them to successful living rather that monetary success.

  1. Through mindful connection with our higher self, we realize that we have the ability to achieve whatever our heart desires. We can now engage our thought energy to accomplish our goals.
  2. Hill suggests that we commit ourselves to spending 30 minutes a day to thinking and feeling what it would feel like to be the person we want to be. I have not been able to sustain 30 minutes, but fifteen works really well for me.
  3. We spend ten minutes a day developing our self-confidence by repeating over and over again that through the power of our higher self we have the ability and the power to do whatever it is we have to do.
  4. We do this day after day until we become the person we want to be, achieve the goal we wish to achieve, and live the life we want to live.
  5. We make a commitment to do no harm to anyone else. We will cooperate with others in reaching their goals. They will believe in us because we will believe in them.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications. 2015.  (page 41)

[2] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications. 2015. (Page 42)

Bisexuality and Desire

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” [1]

(This is the second in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

I remember our basketball coach saying, “ya gotta wanna to be a winna”. So true. Desire is the life force of the human mind and soul. Desire is the drive to get or do something or to be someone. Desire is the emotional electrical charge from the amygdala that empowers our thoughts and provides the motivation to take action. There are two basic emotions that we can experience as human beings – desire and fear – and all the other emotions are somehow related to these two. Desire is our life force that  propels us forward to a hoped for pleasure, and fear is our safeguard that limits the extent of our desires and keeps the pursuit of pleasure within the boundaries of what is perceived as safe by the ego. Our goal should be to be creatures of desire rather than victims of fear, creatures who live by the desires of the soul rather than the fears of the ego.

Napoleon Hill lists six definite and practical steps by which our desires can be transmuted into the ability to achieve what we are striving for. The first step is to fix clear in our minds the exact form of what it is that we desire. If we could step into the perfect life right here and now, what would it look like? What would it feel like? In other words, what is the dream life that we would love to live? The second step is to decide what we would give in order to achieve that desire. This might mean a heart to heart discussion with a partner or perhaps a move to a new location to be with someone we love. It can be big changes or small changes. The third step is to establish a date by which we will obtain whatever it is that we desire. The fourth is to create a plan to achieve our desire. Step five is to write out a statement that includes the desire, what we will give, the date, and the plan. The sixth and final step is to read this statement every morning and every evening and visualize and feel what it would be like to live this new life.  We repeat this every day until it becomes a reality.

This six step process is known as the law of attraction. If we desire something and can imagine and visualize it with emotion and feeling, the life-force of this universe will begin to shape our reality according to our dreams and feelings. In other words, by the power of organized and persistent desire, we can create the kind of life we would truly love to live.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals; in this instance we will simply go with Napoleon hill:

  1. We develop a clear picture in our mind of the kind of life we would love to live. This can be a new relationship or changes to one we have now, or it can be a life with many relationships. We make it as clear as possible. What do we do in our shared time? What is the sex life like? Where do we live? What pleasures can we add?
  2. In order to receive what we desire we clearly list what we will give in return.
  3. We set a date in which we will have the life we want to live.
  4. We make a plan to achieve this life.
  5. We write out our plan and read it each morning and each evening before we go to bed. We visualize what it looks like, and we feel what it feels like. We firmly believe that we are worthy of this dream, and we firmly believe that we will make this dream come true.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications Inc. 2015.