Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I'm not really sure what's important for people to know to help me out.

Some background: My husband and I are both 25. We've been married 4 years, but we've been together 5-6 years. Both of us suffer from mental illness and attachment issues from childhood trauma. We see the same therapist doing IC, and I've actually been seeing our therapist since before I met my husband at all. We recently started MC with the same therapist, but we've only been to one session. We like our therapist a lot, and trust her to hold a safe space for us. We don't have any kids, but we do have assets together. My husband works full time and overtime in a good paying trade. I work part time and attend college. In the past, we've been really co-dependent/attached at the hip. Meals, chores, shopping, laundry and even showers were all done exclusively together. But, we also had a lot of bumps in the road, including unemployment, sexual hurdles, binge drinking and an abortion. About a year ago, it got to the point where co-dependence and guilt about past experiences was damaging my ability to take care of myself, and I'd completely lost a sense of identity.

DH and I have been separated living together on and off for about a year. We've probably spent 40% of our time over the last year intermittently fighting/not talking/living in separate parts of the house. When we were living more together, our sex lives and physical and emotional health were still very strained. Our fighting started when I pushed back against what I saw as my husband's complacency and disinterest in me, and his inability to understand how his neglect of himself or his surroundings affected me. I've always felt like I handle the majority of the decision making and getting things done in our relationship, and DH is just kind of along for the ride. Basically, I fall into Parent and DH falls into Child, and as a result neither of us feel equal or in love. I keep pushing him away from me in hopes he'll start to be more self-reliant and take care of himself more, but now he feels abandoned/neglected.

At first, I was pushing back gently and just asking for certain expanded boundaries or privacy. DH was usually upset but is respectful and understanding, and he tried to give me what I needed. Ultimately we would slip back into unhealthy co-dependence 1-2 weeks later, at which point I'd either blame myself for (perceived) not being strong enough to enact change, or blame my DH for (perceived) manipulating me out of taking care of myself. I finally got so angry that I just moved all of DH's things to a spare bedroom so I could get some freaking space. There was already a rift, obviously, but this deepened it and widened it greatly, as it made DH feel very rejected and abandoned or discarded. While we're apart, I've had a much easier time taking care of myself - eating well, getting good grades, working on my physical health, etc. But, DH is still really struggling with cleanliness, hygiene and emotional health.

I guess the most frustrating part through all this is that my husband seems like a really poor communicator. He has a hard time sitting down and having a long conversation about a difficult topic like relationships, and often doesn't remember what we talked about a few weeks later. Sometimes, I have a hard time remembering too, and then we fight about remembering things differently. I've tried to move the conversation to a more record-able format, but he won't write letters or emails back and forth with me, and won't have written conversations via text or any other format. We still love each other a lot, and when we do sit down and get on the same page, we both want to reclaim our relationship without losing a sense of our individual identities. We'll go through a few good days together, but then have some misunderstanding or argument that sets things all the way back to "you obviously hate me, and we should just quit."

I'm getting really frustrated with this process, as it seems no matter how hard I try or what I try, we are constantly unintentionally hurting each other. It's really hard not to feel hopeless, but I'm having a hard time seeing how we can become healthfully interdependent without being damagingly co-dependent.

Any advice or different perspective is appreciated... Thanks for reading,
Kayla
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,484 Posts
What do you mean by mental illness and attachment issues? I think you need to explain that more. What do you think that has to do with your problems?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What do you mean by mental illness and attachment issues? I think you need to explain that more. What do you think that has to do with your problems?
Sure.

I've suffered from depression and anxiety off and on since my early teen years, with self harm and suicidal ideation in the picture. Neither of these are a big concern now, but they have certainly come up sometimes over the course of our relationship together, and it's mostly been anxiety. Depression and self harm has been behind me for almost a decade. I suffer from PTSD from childhood trauma (neglect), which makes it difficult for me to properly self-soothe as an adult. This is where a portion of my attachment issues stem from. The other portion is just from bad parenting overall - neither of my parents were good at setting up consistent structure for me as a child or teenager, and as a result, creating and sticking to structures for myself (think meal plan, exercise schedule, chore wheel, etc) is extremely difficult. This cycle leads me through periods of success, periods of self-neglect, and periods of anger/resentment towards myself and my environment. So, when I say "co-dependence and guilt about past experiences was damaging my ability to take care of myself," I mean I was offloading an unfair amount of responsibility onto DH for my failings, waiting for him to make it better, and then lashing out at him or myself when he didn't.

DH has also suffered from depression and anxiety, and has struggled with self harm and suicidal ideation. These things are more present for him now. DH also suffers from PTSD from childhood trauma (neglect), and this causes him to struggle with the same hurdles around self-soothing and self-care. DH's parents also failed to provide consistent, reliable household structure, particularly in the sense that DH came from a very large family, and every child had a different set of expectations to meet. For example, it was OK if some of his siblings didn't do well in or complete school, but DH was "stupid and worthless" when he struggled in school. There were double standards and severe punishments around learning, sexuality, cleanliness, and behavior. As a result, DH also struggles with the same cycles around pushing back against structure, but really needing the structure to thrive, but resenting the structure, but really needing it, but... etc. DH often doesn't know how to set structure for himself, so his self-care (good eating, exercise, hygiene, cleanliness) suffers horribly, but DH thrives in consistent structures like work, therapy, etc.

I wanted to include some links here for further reading, but TAM says I haven't made enough forum posts yet. If anyone wants to know more, the VA website has great resources on PTSD in Children and Young Trauma. I also wanted to link to The Center for Self Leadership's page on Internal Family Systems. These are all very googleable, though, for anyone interested.

To address how this affects our relationship, when we are in a co-dependent state, we're constantly leading each other around the cycle. I set a structure, DH or I don't stick to it, we blame each other, we reconcile, I set a structure, DH or I don't stick to it... Etc. For example, we spent $900 on eating out/fast food in January, and also we're overweight and our health is suffering, so we make structure and agree that we'll only eat out a certain day, and below a certain price, etc etc. Then, the system breaks down as each of us find loopholes to bypass or break the structure we put in place, and then we end up blaming each other or ourselves for our failure. Then, we go out to eat to comfort ourselves. No matter what the structure is, it doesn't hold up.

I began asking for, and eventually pushing for emotional and physical space for myself after I realized this cycle had totally consumed my life and relationship. To reiterate what I stated in my first post, I've had a lot of successes in setting structure for myself and participating in good self care during this time. This means that, on my own, I do well resisting loopholes and am mostly doing what I told myself I would do. However, DH has continued to cycle between feeling abandoned/neglected by me, and feeling angry/resentful towards me for my distance, and feels he "just doesn't get anything from [me] anymore." DH hasn't reoriented himself towards taking care of/supporting himself outside of controlled structures like work. I've made it really clear that I can't be emotional or practical support for him if he's not also taking steps to care for himself. The farther away I move out of a sense of self-preservation, the worse it gets.

Back around to how I summed up my initial post: I'm getting really frustrated with this process, as it seems no matter how hard I try or what I try, we are constantly unintentionally hurting each other. It's really hard not to feel hopeless, but I'm having a hard time seeing how we can become healthfully interdependent without being damagingly co-dependent.

Thanks to anyone who reads,
Kayla
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
45,031 Posts
You might want to check out the books "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs" (see links in my signature block below). The books are meant for both of you to read and work through together. They should help the two of you talk about things and restructure your marriage into a much healthier relationship.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
SHORT RESPONSE
Kayla, you're describing warning signs for BPD. I therefore suggest that you and your DH seek a professional opinion from a psychologist.

LONG RESPONSE
DH has also suffered from depression and anxiety, and has struggled with self harm and suicidal ideation. These things are more present for him now.
Are you saying that DH self harms by hitting himself, cutting, or head banging? I ask because the APA's diagnostic manual (DSM-5) lists "Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting" for only one disorder: BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). That is, of the 157 disorders listed in DSM-5, only BPD has that behavior listed as a defining trait. Moreover, many studies have shown that self harm like cutting is strongly associated with BPD.

A 2004 hospital study, for example, found that "Self-mutilating behavior is a symptom seen in both men and women with various psychiatric disorders, but the majority of those who self-mutilate are women with borderline personality disorder. This complex, maladaptive behavior is used by clients as a means of self-preservation and emotion regulation, and is often associated with childhood trauma." See J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2004.

I've suffered from depression and anxiety off and on since my early teen years, with self harm and suicidal ideation in the picture.... Depression and self harm has been behind me for almost a decade.
Whereas self harming in adulthood is strongly associated with BPD, that behavior in the early teens is only weakly associated with it -- because there are many reasons that a young teen exhibits such behavior.

I suffer from PTSD from childhood trauma (neglect), which makes it difficult for me to properly self-soothe as an adult.... DH also suffers from PTSD from childhood trauma (neglect).
Having strong BPD traits does not rule out having PTSD. On the contrary, the folks who develop lifetime BPD are so overly-sensitive and immature that they are at far greater risk of developing PTSD when experiencing a trauma in adolescence or adulthood. A recent study of nearly 35,000 American adults found that about 40% of BPDers develop PTSD at some point in their lives. See Table 3 at 2008 Study in JCP.

Significantly, both BPD and PTSD are believed to arise from trauma (combined, perhaps, with a genetic predisposition). Generally, the current theory is that, when trauma occurs at age 5 or later, it can produce the behavioral symptoms seen in PTSD. These traits include flashbacks, frightening thoughts, and bad dreams. When the trauma occurs before age 5, however, it generally is far more damaging because it can bring the child's emotional development to a screeching halt.

The child thus never has the opportunity in childhood to learn how to do self soothing; how to regulate emotions; how to intellectually challenge intense feelings instead of accepting them as "facts"; how to trust others; how to be "mindful" (i.e., to remain in the room instead of escaping in daydreams to the past or future); how to perceive "object constancy" (i.e., to see that your personality is essentially unchanged day to day, even when you are angry); and how to avoid black-white thinking by learning to tolerate strong mixed feelings, uncertainties, ambiguities, and the other gray areas of interpersonal relationships. If your DH is so emotionally immature that he lacks these basic emotional skills (ego defenses, actually), his behavioral symptoms go far beyond those of PTSD.

Both of us suffer from mental illness and attachment issues from childhood trauma.... this causes him to struggle with the same hurdles around self-soothing and self-care.
As I noted above, if the childhood trauma started occurring before age five, it could have frozen DH's emotional development. If so, this would leave him fully reliant on the primitive ego defenses used by young children: projection, denial, temper tantrums, magical thinking, and black-white thinking. Fortunately, most major cities now offer excellent treatment programs (e.g., CBT and DBT) that teach BPDers those missing emotional skills.

Importantly, I'm not suggesting your DH has full-blown BPD but, rather, that he may exhibit strong traits of it. I caution that BPD is not something -- like chickenpox -- that a person either "has" or "doesn't have." Instead, it is a spectrum disorder, which means every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all BPD traits to some degree (albeit, usually at a low level if the person is healthy). At issue, then, is not whether your DH exhibits BPD traits. Of course he does. We all do.

Rather, at issue is whether he exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper third of the BPD spectrum). Not having met him, I cannot answer that question. I nonetheless believe you can spot any strong BPD warning signs that are present if you take a little time to learn which behaviors are on the list. They are easy to spot because there is nothing subtle about behaviors such as always being "The Victim," icy withdrawal, verbal abuse, and temper tantrums.

DH has continued to cycle between feeling abandoned/neglected by me, and feeling angry/resentful towards me for my distance.
If DH is a BPDer (i.e., is on the upper third of the BPD spectrum), there is no distance -- close or far -- that will allow you to avoid triggering his anger/resentment. This predicament is caused by the position of the BPDer's two great fears -- abandonment and engulfment -- at the opposite ends of the very same spectrum. This means you are always in a lose/lose situation because, as you back away from one fear to avoid triggering it, you will start triggering the fear at the other end of that same spectrum.

Hence, as you move close to a BPDer to comfort him and assure him of your love, you will start triggering hisr engulfment fear, making him feel like he's being suffocated and controlled by you. Yet, as you back away to give him breathing space, you will find that you've started triggering his abandonment fear. Sadly, there is no midpoints solution (between "too close" and "too far away") where you can safely stand to avoid triggering the two fears. I know because I foolishly spent 15 years searching for that Goldilocks position, which simply does not exist.

I keep pushing him away from me in hopes he'll start to be more self-reliant and take care of himself more, but now he feels abandoned/neglected.
As noted above, that is to be expected if he is a BPDer. When you back away, you will trigger his abandonment fear. And when you draw close in intimacy, you will soon start triggering his engulfment fear (which makes him feel like you're suffocating and controlling him).

I've always felt like I handle the majority of the decision making.... Basically, I fall into Parent and DH falls into Child, and as a result neither of us feel equal or in love.
If your DH is a BPDer, he lacks the emotional skills needed to sustain a husband/wife relationship. Hence, until he's had time to acquire those skills, a parent/child relationship is what you're stuck with.

We've probably spent 40% of our time over the last year intermittently fighting/not talking/living in separate parts of the house.
This is not surprising if DH exhibits strong and persistent BPD traits. BPDer relationships are notorious for having multiple breakups and exhibiting a repeating cycle of push-you-away and pull-you-back. A BPDfamily survey of about 460 such relationships found that nearly a fourth of them (23%) -- like your relationship -- went through 10 or more complete breakup/makeup cycles BEFORE finally ending for good. About 40% of the BPDer relationships experienced at least six breakup/makeup cycles before ending. And 73% had three or more breakup/makeup cycles before finally ending. See "Results" at BPDfamily Breakup/Makeup Poll.

He often doesn't remember what we talked about a few weeks later.
This altered perception of past discussions/agreements is called "rewriting history" and is seen frequently in BPDers. The human condition is that our judgment goes out the window whenever we experience intense feelings. The reason is that those intense feelings distort our perceptions of other peoples' intentions and motivations. We experience these distortions so many times during childhood that, by the time we enter high school, nearly all of us realize we cannot trust our judgment when feelings are very strong. This is why we try to keep our mouths shut when we are very angry. And this is why we try to wait at least two years before buying the ring.

Well, BPDers are like that too -- only much more so. Because they lack the emotional skills needed to regulate their own emotions, they experience intense feelings far more frequently than the rest of us. The result is that, if DH is a BPDer, he often gets a distorted view of other peoples' intentions and motivations. And it will even distort and color his recollection of what statements and agreements he made a week ago. A BPDer's perception of his interactions with you is dominated by how he is feeling AT THIS VERY MOMENT.

If he is high functioning, that distortion typically is limited to his perception of family members and very close friends because those are the folks who trigger his two fears (abandonment and engulfment). It is unlikely to occur with casual friends, business associates, clients, or total strangers. None of those people pose a threat to the BPDe's two fears. There is no close relationship to be abandoned and no intimacy to cause the scary feeling of engulfment.

We still love each other a lot, and when we do sit down and get on the same page, we both want to reclaim our relationship without losing a sense of our individual identities.
If your H has strong BPD symptoms, he likely has no strong sense of real identity that can be lost. A BPDer typically has such a weak, fragile sense of self that he feels like he doesn't know who he really is. To the extent that a BPDer has any lasting self image at all, it is the false self identity of being "The Victim." This is why a BPDer seeks frequent "validation" of his victim status and refuses to accept responsibility for any mistakes. And this is why a BPDer usually maintains a death grip on that false self image, refusing to let go.

Moreover, this lack of a solid self identity is the reason that a BPDer usually is attracted to a partner having a strong sense of self identity -- i.e., a partner who can provide that missing identity. But, of course, when you do exactly that -- provide him with a stronger identity by helping to ground him and give him a sense of direction -- he will resent you for it because he will feel controlled and engulfed.

We'll go through a few good days together, but then have some misunderstanding or argument that sets things all the way back to "you obviously hate me, and we should just quit."
With a BPDer, things get set "all the way back" to "you hate me" because there is no middle ground. No gray area exists between black and white. The vast majority of BPDers typically are great folks to be around while they are perceiving of you as "all good" (i.e., "with them"). And they can be terrible to be around while they are perceiving of you as "all bad" (i.e., "against them).

BPDers categorize everyone close to them in this black-white manner because they are too emotionally immature to handle being in touch with two strong conflicting feelings at the same time. You will see this all-or-nothing behavior in a four year old who adores Mommy while she's bringing out the toys but, in a few seconds, will flip to hating Mommy when she takes one toy away.

No matter how hard I try or what I try, we are constantly unintentionally hurting each other.
Like a young child, all of us are capable of becoming mean and vindictive when under enormous stress and in great pain. Generally, however, BPDers do not intentionally try to harm their partners. Instead, their abusive behaviors usually are motivated by a desperate desire to protect themselves from what they perceive to be real threats of abandonment or engulfment. Hence, if DH is a BPDer, he likely is absolutely convinced that the outrageous allegations coming out of his mouth are true.

I've made it really clear that I can't be emotional or practical support for him if he's not also taking steps to care for himself.
As long as you continue protecting a BPDer from the logical consequences of his own bad choices, you are harming him by destroying all of his opportunities to be forced to confront his own issues and learn how to manage them. To avoid this harmful enabling behavior, it is important you allow a BPDer to suffer the logical consequences of his own actions. Otherwise, he has no incentive to seek therapy and work hard in it to acquire the missing emotional skills.

I therefore suggest you take a quick look at my list of 18 BPD Warning Signs to see if most sound very familiar. If so, I would be glad to discuss them with you. And I would suggest you also read the book, Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with BPD.

Of course, learning to spot these warning signs will not enable you to diagnose your own issues or those of you DH. Yet, like learning warning signs for breast cancer and heart attack, learning those for BPD may help you decide whether it would be prudent to spend money seeking a professional opinion, ideally from a psychologist.

If it turns out that your DH really does exhibit strong and persistent BPD traits, he will be able to take advantage of the excellent treatment programs available in nearly all major cities. Programs like DBT and CBT can teach him how to better regulate his own emotions, thereby reducing the intense feelings that distort his perceptions of other peoples' intentions and motivations. Take care, Kayla.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
EleGirl - Thank you for the book recommendations. I will take a look at these, and also ask DH if they are something he would be willing to work through with me. I appreciate it!

Uptown - DH's father had untreated/self medicated bi-polar disorder. Two of this five brothers also have bi-polar disorder. If DH is likely to be developing a serious disorder, it's much more likely to be bi-polar. Our IC is a psychologist/psychotherapist, and is fully aware of DH's family history, and is vigilant.

Regarding self-harm: Many disorders or mental illnesses display self harm, including PTSD. DH's self-harm is not controlling. DH does not threaten self-harm in an argument, for example. If DH engages in self-harm, its much more likely to be kept secret and he feels very ashamed. It's just something I know that he does sometimes. That being said, I may have outgrown cutting myself, but I certainly still binge eat when I feel bad, and procrastinate on important things I shouldn't while knowing it'll incite panic later. In other words, self harm shows up in a lot of different ways, for a lot of different reasons.

Regarding forgetfulness: In working with our psychologist, there is a good chance one or both of us is coming up on an adult ADHD diagnosis.

Thank you for your thoughtful response!
Kayla
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
Kayla, you have just mentioned two mental disorders -- bipolar and ADHD -- which you did not mention before. I will comment on them, together with the self harming, below. But, of course, these are issues you should be raising with your psychologist. He is professionally trained and, as you observe, is already familiar with your family histories.

DH's father had untreated/self medicated bi-polar disorder. Two of this five brothers also have bi-polar disorder. If DH is likely to be developing a serious disorder, it's much more likely to be bi-polar.
Perhaps he is bipolar, Kayla. That is not what you're describing here, however. The behaviors you mention -- e.g., identity insecurity, event-triggered anger, cutting, and childlike behavior -- are warning signs for BPD, not bipolar. If you're interested, I describe the differences I've seen in the behavior of bipolar-1 sufferers (e.g., my foster son) and BPDers (e.g., my exW) at 12 Bipolar/BPD Differences.

Moreover, even if your DH does exhibit bipolar, this would not rule out BPD. On the contrary, a recent study found that half of the men exhibiting bipolar disorder in the past year also have full-blown BPD. See Table 2 at 2008 Study in JCP.

There is a good chance one or both of us is coming up on an adult ADHD diagnosis.
The diagnostic criteria for Adult ADHD specify that it is to be diagnosed only when the symptoms cannot be explained by another mental disorder such as a personality disorder. Adult ADHD thus is diagnosed only when all other disorders producing those same symptoms are ruled out.

I mention this because Adult ADHD and BPD share several symptoms (e.g., impulsivity and emotional dysregulation). Due to this overlap in behavioral symptoms, some members of the psychiatric community suspect that adult ADHD may be a subset of BPD, not a distinct disorder. See, e.g., 2006 Study and 25% of BPDers Have ADHD. Similar studies are cited in BPD or ADHD? Most psychologists, however, still view them as separate disorders even though they share a few common symptoms.

Many disorders or mental illnesses display self harm, including PTSD.
Yes, that is particularly true in the early teens, as I noted above. Self harm in the form of suicide attempts is strongly associated with depression, bipolar, and BPD. Yet, self harm in the form of cutting is heavily associated with only one disorder. As noted earlier, this strong association has been found in several studies. One of them concluded that BPD explains most occurrences of cutting by adults. Moreover, of the 157 mental disorders listed in the DSM-5, BPD is the only one for which "self harm such as cutting" is listed as one of the diagnostic criteria.

DH's self-harm is not controlling. DH does not threaten self-harm in an argument, for example. If DH engages in self-harm, its much more likely to be kept secret and he feels very ashamed.
If DH's self harm takes the form of cutting, it is very unlikely to be motivated by a desire to control you or emotionally blackmail you. Rather, it would be motivated by two benefits offered by the cutting. One is that, when a BPDer is suffering great emotional pain, it can be a great relief to externalize that pain -- bringing it to the surface and putting it on the outside of the body. Hence, BPDers typically do cutting to reduce their pain level, not increase it.

The other reason is that, when BPDers are suffering great emotional pain, they do the same dissociation they used for survival in childhood. They are able to somewhat escape the pain by dissociating their consciousness from their own body -- to the point of feeling like they consciously are outside their bodies or are in some way disconnected from the body.

That dissociation does dull the pain but it comes at a terrible cost: the BPDer starts to feel so numb that he feels like he is a robot having no emotions. He therefore has a great desire to experience a true feeling again so he knows he is still alive and is a real human being. This is most easily accomplished, of course, by simply cutting one's own arm -- an action that immediately gives him a strong feeling and brings him back into the land of the living.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Uptown -

While I appreciate your personal perspective, I want to re-emphasize that while these symptoms - identity insecurity, event-triggered anger, cutting, childlike behavior, impulsivity and emotional dysregulation - might indicate developing or ongoing Borderline Personality or Bipolar disorder, they are also all symptoms of already diagnosed PTSD based in childhood trauma. DH participates in ongoing talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment for PTSD. I feel you have zeroed in on the cutting behavior with your analysis, but to clarify, this has occurred once, with one cut, over the last 18 months, or, twice, with 2-3 cuts total, over the last 4 years of marriage. My worries about the problem are likely far more overblown than the issue itself.

Co-morbidity is extremely strong for ADHD, PTSD, BPD, Bi-polar, GAD, SAD, OCD, Major Depressive, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, substance abuse, eating disorders, sleep disorders, learning disorders... the list goes on. Frankly, if you heard the story from DH's side on a bad day, you could make the same BPD argument about my behaviors - I exhibit all the same symptoms, thanks to my own PTSD from childhood traumas; We're two peas in a weird dysfunctional pod, DH and I. Does untreated/unchecked PTSD from childhood trauma lead to BPD and/or Bi-polar? Maybe - somebody should research that! Perhaps health insurance providers and government officials would be more willing to provide better access to mental health care for people with childhood trauma if you could convince them it effectively leads to fewer substance abusers, lower rates of divorce, and fewer ER visits. (Oops, I got off track..)

Ultimately, this is why we continue to see our psychologist on a monthly basis, and have for 5+ years. She has been with us a long time, and is a recognized expert in her specialization of PTSD and Internal Family Systems. We trust her greatly.

With the intention of honesty, and not the intention of being insulting or discounting/undermining your individual experience with BPD and Bi-polar: Offering up the advice that someone should probably seek professional psychological support is one thing, but attempting to make a diagnosis of something as serious as BPD or Bi-polar via handful of vague 2nd hand stories from a grumpy/frustrated family member is a little much. It almost feels like fearmongering. I get that once you're inundated with one lens, it can take mindful effort to see through other lenses. I would encourage you to engage in more up to date research on the prevalence and variety of self harm in adults. Self harm is about much more than just cutting, and shows up in adults under many flagships of psychic pain.

Once again, thank you for your thoughtful response! I may not agree, but I appreciate being provoked to think critically and from different perspectives.
Kayla
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
Attempting to make a diagnosis of something as serious as BPD or Bi-polar via handful of vague 2nd hand stories from a grumpy/frustrated family member is a little much.
On the contrary, Kayla, I stated (post 5) "at issue is whether he exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level (i.e., is on the upper third of the BPD spectrum). Not having met him, I cannot answer that question."

I then cautioned that "learning to spot these warning signs will not enable you to diagnose your own issues or those of you DH. Yet, like learning warning signs for breast cancer and heart attack, learning those for BPD may help you decide whether it would be prudent to spend money seeking a professional opinion, ideally from a psychologist."

I am glad to hear that your H is being treated monthly by a psychologist. I am also glad to hear that his arm cutting was limited to only "2-3 cuts total" during your marriage -- and that your "worries about the problem are likely far more overblown than the issue itself." That is encouraging news. Take care, Kayla.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top