Borderline Personality Disorder - The Cure?
Is there a cure for Borderline Personality Disorder? Can BPD be cured? Is the word "cure" relevant? I recovered from BPD 14 years ago, therefore it can be overcome for sure. Am I cured then? Learning to identify one's choices and to take responsibility for them is the way to "the cure".
There is a cure, so to speak. Of course you knew I was going to say this right? I have recovered from BPD. Doesn't this mean I'm "cured"?. Is it just semantics? Is there a difference in meaningful terminology before and after recovery?
Mind you I have always thought that when it comes to personality disorders and mental illness we usually use the terms recovered or healed. Cure seems, to me, to apply more to physical diseases. As I have experiences and as many professionals believe, psychotherapy can change the very biology of our brains. The debate continues.
I know that there is a way to get better and leave BPD behind. However, I wouldn't think of it as one singular cure but rather a series of thousands of cures. By this I mean it is up to each individual to undo the relational - emotional damage which is largely responsible for the reactions = defense mechanisms and cognitive rigidity of BPD. Thousands of "cures" because BPD is such a layered disorder encompassing so many issues. All of these issue have to be adquately addressed in order for one to recover.
I know that this is not pleasant to read when you have BPD but BPD is a series of maladaptive choices by in large. Whether or not it has biological components to it, one can heal from it. Learning new and healthy ways of relating to self and others, new and healthy ways of thinking, perceiving, acting, being and feeling will lead to the emotional maturation necessary to leave BPD behind.
Many don't appreciate when I talk about choices but when we are young and either abused or not having our needs met, or both, we make choices, subconscious choices that then become patterns and habits. BPD is a personality "disorder" it is not a disease, it is not physical (at least not largely if at all). We make choices all of the time. Some of that time, or in the case of BPD, perhaps, much of that time, we aren't even aware of all of the choices that we are making. For example, you may feel angry at someone for something. If you think only about yourself, or your feelings of anger what you will miss is the fact that your being angry with someone else IS A CHOICE. It is a choice that hurts you more than it could ever hurt the person that you are angry with or at. If you do not know that your behaviour or attitude toward someone is a choice than you are definately in need of more self-awareness.
In my recovery process I didn't think about being or getting cured I thought about getting better, feeling better, working out my pain and learning to relate to others in an age-appropriate and consistent way. I had to work through and let go of the pain of a child in order to "grow up". If you hold on to the pain of your (inner) child and you don't heal it, it will hold you back and keep you stuck in the patterned-behaviour of BPD.
Recovering from BPD is a long process of untangling issues, distorted-thoughts, reactions and misperceptions. It is a matter of undoing choices that were made either at a very young age or as the result of pain felt, needs not met, some physical and or emotional threat or trauma. Learning to understand how you make choices, and why will enable you to then take responsibility for yourself, your choices and your actions no matter what the reason you perceive as the cause of them. This is the cornerstone to healing from BPD put simply - PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
It is only on the other side of BPD, that I can honestly understand just how illogical my thoughts and perceptions were. The other aspect of BPD that many don't work past is the fear. Many with BPD live their lives in and out of fear. Knee-jerk reactions to fear will always produce seemingly-illogical reactions.
My suggestion would be to think about what you (you meaning anyone who is reading, and not anyone specifically) can do to feel and to be better. What can you do to grieve what hurts? What can you do to learn to relate to yourself and to others? Keep your eye on the small changes. Give yourself credit and be determined to be well. Focusing on a "cure" may be an effective way to keep yourself stuck and or to feel like it's all too much. Taking one issue at a time and working hard on it in your life and in therapy always working toward improving your self-awareness is the way to take one step at a time in the process of healing.
Recovering from BPD (or not) is a choice. For most borderlines the issue that need to be worked through are numerous, interwoven and interconnected. These issue may not all have the same cause. Therefore the best way to heal from BPD is to adapt an ecclectic approach. Find what works for you, what has meaning for you and allow yourself to continue to challenge your pain and perceptions.
BPD cannot be cured with a pill. BPD cannot be cured by therapy alone. BPD is overcome, or defeated and rendered in one's past when one emotionally matures to the point of meeting his/her own needs, taking care of him/herself, owning personal responsibility and when one is re-parented to the point of finally being able to nurture and or soothe him/herself.
The cure for BPD is not as elusive as you might have thought. It does not lye with some brilliant therapist or some expensive pill it lyes deep inside of the you that you need to find, get to know and develop a healthy relationship with.
Knowing oneself as separate yet connected to others, as a part of the main, not the centre of the universe as interdependent and not co-dependent or dependent is also a big part of what it means to be recovered from BPD.
Don't wait for someone to cure you to make your life, your problems, your world better - the answers that you NEED ARE inside of you. Work with your therapist but understand that while others may assist you, it is you that is in charge of your own recovery.
© Ms. A.J. Mahari - December 23, 2000 with up-date January 25, 2004 and December 2009