Borderline Personality Disorder – Fear of Dependency

              In this article we will continue to explore the relationship between borderline personality disorder and bisexuality. As mentioned in a previous article, about one third of patients with BPD are bisexual. We do not have the data on the reverse of that; we do no know how many of us bisexuals also have BPD, but I guess it would be much higher. Today we will look at fears of dependency and loss of autonomy.

Trait Eight – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity – Separation insecurity: Fears of excessive dependency and complete loss of autonomy. (DSM5)

            In my search of the literature, I found one article that indirectly dealt with fear of dependency and loss of autonomy by alluding to it as part a subtype associated with dependent personality disorder[1]. According to this article, discouraged borderline is marked by noticeable clinginess and a passive follower type of mentality. While on the outside this person might just seem indecisive or weak-willed; they normally experience internal turmoil about their lack of leadership and bitterness toward those whom they feel are controlling them. This type of borderline disorder in a person often leads to self-harm in the form of self-mutilation or even suicide.

            This diagnosis is seen more in women than in men, perhaps due to possible disturbed estrogen levels or part of systematic sexism. However, some research suggests that this tendency affects men and women equally, but women are more likely to seek treatment or to be officially diagnosed as BPD.        

            Descriptors of discouraged borderline includes excessive dependence upon others. They are often compliant and easily swayed by others, even when it goes against their own desires. They have low self-esteem, feel continuously insecurity, and appear to be vulnerable. They may feel hopeless, helpless, powerless, and depressed. There may be a reliance on fantasy or substance abuse as a means to escape.

            The cause is thought to involve many different life factors. These include PTSD, childhood trauma or neglect, a smaller hippocampus or amygdala, genetic predispositions involving genes DRD4 and DAT and chromosome 9, neurobiological factors like estrogen levels, family and social stability levels, and negative social experiences as a child. People with the disorder often have other illnesses including major depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, or antisocial personality disorder. People suffering from this BPD trait make up a large chunk of suicides on an annual basis. So if you or someone you know is at risk for suicide because of this trait, it is important that you get help as soon as possible.

            Psychotherapy is the primary method used for managing and treating discouragement BPD. Depression and anxiety are among the two most common conditions that can be treated with medicine while the patient is treated for general BPD with psychotherapy. Antipsychotics might be used to reduce anger or suicidal tendencies as well as impulsivity, psychotic paranoid symptoms, anxiety, and depression. It is important to understand that these medications cannot treat BPD, but that the treatment of concurring conditions can help clear the way for a more successful treatment of BPD through psychotherapy.

            So how does this apply to those of us who are also bisexuals? I do not see it as a direct correlation; however, we can make some interesting comparisons. We usually do not fear losing our autonomy in our heterosexual relationship; in fact, we want to wallow in it. We often depend on them for our sense of security and sanity. In fact, we are afraid of losing it. On the other hand, when it comes to our same-sex relationships, we mostly avoid dependency at all cost. We do not want to become dependent and do not want anyone to become dependent on us. We prefer casual. We mainly want to relate just for the physical pleasures we can get. In other words we seek dependency with our life partner and avoid dependency with same sex friends. What we do fear is dependency of the fix and we fight it because we fear it will ruin our lives.

MY Suggestions

1. Come to terms with your sexuality. It is what it is so you may as well relax and enjoy it. You can realize that your impulses are natural urges of your body and your mind. You are not sick because of your bisexuality. You do not need therapy for your sexual impulses but you may need therapy for your BPD.

2. Be honest with yourself and deal with your fears. Discover the worst case scenario and come to terms with it.

3. If your love relationship with our life-partner is essential to your sense of well-being, try to develop the will and power to do without your same sex experiences (this may be near impossible to some of us).

4. If you wish to continue with a secret life, accept it as it is and go on with our secret life,  but you need to be able to do this without anxiety or fear. You have to be willing to accept and live with the consequences.

5. Most of us cannot live with the stress that comes from feeling that we are being dishonest with our life-partner. If that is the case, we have to be honest with them and tell them about our bisexual desires and needs. Once again, we have to be willing to accept the consequences. If our fears and shame are causing us anxiety and pain, we have to be willing to give up our life-partner in order to live lives free of shame, regret and chronic anxiety. If we continue living with these stresses, they will eventually kill us.


[1] Discouraged Borderline Personality Disorder, Optimum Performance Institute. https://www.optimumperformanceinstitute.com/

Fears of Falling Apart

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 and how they affect our lives as bisexuals.

DSM5 – Trait Seven – Fears of falling apart or losing control

What We Know

I haven’t been able to find any research data on this trait so I am just going to wing it using the case study of one – myself. Losing control can mean many things to people with BPD. The obvious one for those of us who have anger issues is, of course, losing control of our anger and hurting someone. To others, it may be going over the edge of sanity and never coming back.  Mine is much simpler than that. It was fear of losing control of my life.

In order to survive in this world, I had to cross all the ‘t’s and dot all the ‘i’s. As a child, I had no father and my mother was emotionally absent. That meant I had to nurture and take care of myself. I was a perfectionist, not so others would admire and love me, but so that I could have a plan and work to the plan. I was taking care of myself. During childhood, I compartmentalized myself. In my sports activities the goal was to be better than everyone else. Same applied to academics. Same applied to love. Whatever I did I had to master it, to control it.

The fear behind it was not specifically losing control, it was falling apart. Because I did not have a firm foundation of being loved and therefore loving myself, I was always on shaky ground. That meant conforming to not only the expectations of others but also to the god I had created.  There was no room for error. I not only could not commit adultery but I could not even think about committing adultery. I could not just get a 90% on a paper; it had to be 100 %. If I could not live up to my own impossible expectations then that meant I had failed, and failure meant I was no longer in control. Not being in control meant my world would fall apart.

And what does falling apart exactly MEAN. It meant never being able to complete those circuits in my brain. Never feeling the serotonin soothing after the dopamine rush. It meant never being able to experience the feeling of my accomplishments, activities, and relationships going through the pleasure center of my brain. No endorphins, no healing from that pain that was deep inside my soul. Falling apart meant giving up. It meant that suicide was always there as a possibility. It was the ultimate solution if I could not eventually break through to the other side.

So how did this affect my bisexuality? Well that’s a long sad story.  Because of my feeling that the person I had created needed to survive, that meant I could not risk exposing my sexuality to the people in my life. That meant I had to keep it all secret. If anyone found out, then my whole world would fall apart, the world that I had built as a straight successful human being. That meant that I had to hide in a heterosexual world with a heterosexual wife and heterosexual children. This life was the only life I knew. I felt it was the closest I would ever get to that place of contentment and safety. I had determined in my mind that if this secret would ever come out, that would be the end of life as I knew it, that I would end the miserable life once and for all.

The good news is that when my life did crash, I did not have the courage to kill myself. That meant my old life was dead but I was still alive and free to build a new one, the one I have now. Yes, there is a good life just waiting to be discovered after this old life comes to an end. When we become conscious healthy human beings, sexuality is just there for pleasure. Coming out or being thrown out is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of truly being alive. It is the end of the fears of falling apart.

 

Stay tuned to the next blog for lessons I have learned and my suggestions to cope with this pathological trait.

Why Do Things Always Go Wrong – 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 and how they affect our lives as bisexuals. 

Last week we looked at the pathological personality traits in negative affectivity related to  anxiousness, specifically  worry about the negative effects of past unpleasant experiences and future negative possibilities. it was a pretty bleak picture but it does not have to end there. Today we will look how to beat this thing.

  1. First, we have to deal with the anxiousness.  We seem to be doomed to have a never ending procession of anxiety disorders because we cannot stop thinking about all the negative things that have happened to us in the past, and worrying about what might happen in the future. . So how do we fix that? Quite simple, we stop focusing on all the negative thoughts from the past. When they occur we stop the cycle in our mind and say, “No, I am better than that. That is in the past. There is no past. There is only my thoughts about the past and I will control my thoughts. I will refocus on the present and find something positive to view today.”
  2. We often view our bisexual experiences as failure to control our impulses.  We have to come to the point where we accept our bisexuality. This was not a failure and let’s not even consider it as an impulse. It is a decision we made to seek and enjoy sex. Period. No judgement necessary. We simply give our bodies permission to enjoy something beautiful and let it enrich our minds and souls. This is who we are. This is a gift from the universe to be enjoyed. It is a precious opportunity to have physical and emotional contact with another human being.
  3. However, even though casual same-sex sex has its place, let’s not stop there. Let’s find gay or bisexual people that we can relate to on a human level, as fellow human beings. Let’s enjoy the whole person and take our focus off their sexual organs.
  4. We tend to try to suppress our desires because we either do not want to face them or the consequences, or we are afraid we will be exposed leaving us to deal with shame and guilt. If that’s the case, it’s time to face the reality of our situation. We can not keep suppressing our natural wants and desires. That may mean seeking an agreement with our life-partner about our needs for same-sex relationships within the partnership or we may have to face the fact that we have perhaps changed and our needs are now different. We may have to consider leaving the partnership.
  5. The third alternative is to go on expressing and enjoying our sexual needs but keeping them separate form out partners. The truth is not always the best solution; often it just leads to really hurting someone else. However, we can’t let “the  secret” destroy us. We have to come to terms with when and how we enjoy this part of our lives, give ourselves a conscious permission to have these experiences,  and still meet the wants and needs of our partners for love and companionship. Again, the guilt and the shame are all in our minds. We can control our minds. We simply tell our mind that we will not feel shame or guilt. We reject it.

Highs and Lows

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. 

DSM5 – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity  – Anxiousness: worry about the negative effects of past unpleasant experiences and future negative possibilities;

A study by Coffman and others[1],  examined  within –person reports from BPD individuals and controls over a twenty-one day period using multilevel modeling techniques. People with BPD had significantly greater polarity heightened by interpersonal stress. They also noted that this polarity led to impulsive behaviors such as self-injury and substance abuse.

When we look deeper into the concept of polarity, it simply means going to extremes from everything is great, to everything sucks. But this is not like bipolar where depression is followed by a manic state. There is no chemical component leading to depression with a yoyo effect to manic; it is a constant state of mind where the two extremes co-exist and surface based on the circumstances. There is always the underlying fear that the situation or relationship will turn from positive to negative.

When we look closer, this may be due to a mind set that is always present in the back of the mind so to speak that says this is too good to be true. So we enjoy, squeezing as much pleasure as we can out of the situation before it crumbles on us. This is a kind of predisposition that always prevents us from any lasting feelings of joy and acceptance. Again, these are usually based on past experiences, usually from early childhood. This is what leads to impulsive and at risk behavior. Enjoy it while you can and to hell with tomorrow.

So how does this apply to us bisexuals. It would appear that we tend to soothe our anxieties through same sex encounters. This tends to send our circuits through the pleasure centers of our brain. This is a great motivation; and it seems that once we engage in the fantasies, they trigger our drive system almost like an addiction. This brings on the high risk behavior knowing that this tryst could bring an end to our other relationships, the ones we depend on for nurturing, friendship, and love. It seems that we are willing to sacrifice these relationships for the sake of the pleasure with a feeling that we may as well get it over with because they will find out sooner or later and leave us anyway.

My suggestions

  1. We make a conscious decision on what life style we really want. It can be either gay or heterosexual or perhaps even have an open relationships where same sex encounters are permitted by our life partner.We want to take the high risk sensations and the subsequent addictions out of the equation.
  2. If we choose a gay life style, there is more likelihood that our partner will see it as normal if we wish to seek other encounters.
  3. If we wish to maintain our present relationship, we have some choices, all of them potentially disastrous.
  4. If we are choosing to try to live a straight life, we do not have to divulge. Sometimes the truth does more harm than good. We simply decide to live a straight life. However. we have probably been trying to do this and have probably failed miserably.
  5. That means we have to be honest with our partner and explain the nature of our bisexuality and see if they can live with an occasional encounter. Most likely they will not. In that case we have to let them go. We can then seek a new partner who may be okay with our dual sexuality.

 

 

[1] Coffman, karen K.G.; Berenson, K. R.; Rafaeli, E.; and Downey, G.. From negative to positive and back again: Polarized affective and relational experience in borderline personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 2012. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0028502

 

Please Don’t Look at Me that Way

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. 

 

Trait 1: Pathological personality traits in: negative affectivity –

Anxiousness: Intense feelings of nervousness, tenseness, or panic, often in reaction to interpersonal stresses;   

The key here is that we are wired this way. Rather than rewiring and refiring and rewiring as a cognitive process, which seems to be a dead end issue for us, we should look more towards just taking in the information and accepting it, thereby blocking or not allowing the information to proceed on to the amygdala and the activation of the sympathetic system. To Read More:

Please Don’t Look at Me that Way

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 and Mental Wellness

As Bisexuals we spend way to much time labeling ourselves and trying to forge a scientific and sociological explanation for our sexual preferences. What really matters is how we perceive ourselves, and how we navigate these turbulent waters that we call life. The key is to find peace and contentment with who we are and what we do.

As we have discovered in the research, there is a high correlation between bisexuality and Borderline Personality Disorder, but that too is just another label.  The long journey through the pathological impairments and traits on  DSM5  has made it abundantly clear that most of us tend to have some serious mental issues. However, we will never overcome these issues by continuing to focus on our pathological traits and impairments. Neither will we find peace and contentment by focusing on our sexual preferences. They are what they are. We need to move onto building a better life through mental wellness so that we can then strive for what we all long for – loving relationships.

Therefore I wish to take you on the next stage of our journey to go beyond the limits of our sexual preferences and our pathological traits. We will strive for mental wellness and then go beyond that to building a life that we would truly love to live filled with inner peace and joy along with a strong and healthy sex life.

To do this we will look at the virtues.   We will begin our journey to mental wellness with the grounding virtues. Grounding is a spiritual term defining a process whereby we can become balanced and stable in our physical and emotional states. To read more:

Mental Wellness and the Grounding Virtues

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