Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder is Possible

As an Author, Life Coach, BPD/Mental Health Coach, I know first-hand that recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder is very possible because I recovered from BPD in 1995. I also coach many clients with BPD that are in the active process of recovery now. I know what recovery from BPD is, means, looks like, feels like, and what it entails because I have been through it. And, an important point I want to stress for you to think about today, if you have BPD, is that when I recovered in 1995 – which was an unfolding process over eight years that culminated in recovery as the result of a 7 month out-patient group therapy experience that was eclectic but mainly based in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) – I did not take psychiatric medication. This is how and why I know that medication, while it can be helpful in some cases, for some period of limited time in conjunction with therapy, is not in any way what makes or breaks recovery.

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Is there only one way to recovery? Yes and no. First the no. Of course there are many ways to take the journey of recovery that unfolds in what are common ways for each and everyone who will recover from BPD. Each person has their own unique way of unwinding all that BPD really is and means. The yes, in terms of there being only one way to recovery, refers to something I believe very strongly – medication is not going to help in your actual recovery.

Make no mistake about this, medication cannot and will not cure you. It is not a panacea. It does not make recovery possible. In fact, in way too many cases medication actually hinders recovery from BPD. That’s right, hinders it, blocks it, and keeps you stuck. Why do I say this? Simply because most medications will dull your ability to think clearly and to be open to what you are actually feeling. Both being aware of what you are thinking and being able to access the experience of what you are feeling, no matter how overwhelming, are two crucial aspects to gaining the awareness needed to get on and stay on the road to recovery from BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder is not only the most stigmatized mental illness but it has also now fallen prey to biopsychiatry and to the unfounded and unproven theories it espouses that BPD is a “brain disorder”. This is the result of a marketing campaign by Big Pharma. It is effective in that Big Pharma and a great number of psychiatrists want to make the money that prescribing endless medication to people diagnosed with BPD can earn for them. The question you need to ponder seriously, today, if you have BPD and you want to get better is, what is in the bpd-is-a-brain-disorder marketing for you?

Ironically enough, it isn’t just people with BPD that need recovery. Loved ones – non borderlines - of someone with BPD also need their own recovery as well. Whether or not you are still in a relationship or in contact with your BPD loved one or family member or not, there is a process of recovery needed on the other side of BPD.

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Recovery from BPD is possible. But, first, you must be aware of what it is that you are actually needing to recover from. It is not a “brain disease”. It is not even actually really “insanity”. What people with Borderline Personality Disorder really need to recover from is a psychological and spiritual wound – a very profound woundedness that occurs when secure bonding and attachment, for whatever reason or reasons, is not achieved in accordance with the average healthy developmental stages of early childhood development. It is this insecure or absence of bonding and attachment that arrests emotional development and leads to what Melanie Klein, a pioneer in Object Relations Theory, referred to as, “The psychological death of the otherwise burgeoning authentic self.”

Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, as I will be talking much more about, and have talked a lot about, on my main BPD Inside Out website, in my Videos and my Ebooks I’ve written, the Audio Programs I’ve written and narrated, along with my Coaching Services, is very possible and awaits your engaging the process. Recovery takes commitment to it and the foundational stepping-stones it involves. There are no short-cuts. There aren’t any magical cure-all pills and I can’t see there ever being short-cuts or magical pills.

Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder is a process that involves, among other things, peeling the  layers of defense mechanisms away, one by one, and gaining awareness into the pain that is being protected against. It is a pain from early childhood that had to protected against so you could survive. That’s not insanity. What it really is about is old and very young, primitive even, reactions, let alone choices (made subsconsciously) given your experience in early childhood and/or your reactions to that experience. Protecting against the pain that you did not know how to cope with as a  young child doesn’t make you crazy at all. It just means you need to learn how to change the patterns of thought, feeling, perception/misperception and the rigid ways you experience life in often negative, all-or-nothing, black-and-white ways. The longer you continue to adhere to protecting-choices and rigid patterns the more you strengthen them and actually the more you wall yourself off from the awareness that is needed in the recovery process.

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Too much has been pathologized about what Borderline Personality Disorder really means, in my opinion, and in my experience of it, when I had it. Postive and humanistic psychological principles along with some sound spiritual and philosophical truths would counter the pathologizing of people in pain that happens at the hands of biopsychiatry and mental health delivery systems.

This pathologization of human pain, extreme pain and suffering, in the case of those with BPD might be an major reason why more and more people with BPD, in therapy now, or who have had considerable therapy are now turning to me as a BPD Coach to be truly validated and supported as well as educated about actual recovery versus the treading water of  systemic stigmatizing that only re-wounds and certainly doesn’t create a healing environment. In fact, I wonder, do you even know that you truly can recover? Or have you bought in (perhaps quite literally) to the biospychiatry-big pharma marketing campaign that can’t help but leave people feeling disempowered – a direct trigger back to the triggered emotional dysregulation of feeling helpless and hopeless?

You can free yourself today. Dare to think outside of the Big Pharma  marketing-box.

The first step to beginning to believe you can get better and that you aren’t crazy and that you can dare to hope can come from just knowing that the way that the DSM-IV (past DSMs and the up-coming DSM-V) define BPD is more about pathologizing people and then abandoning them – re-abandoning them, actually, re-wounding them in the name of supposedly seeking to help them. With the rare exception of some amazing therapists out there, the mental health profession is not invested in your getting well. This is why I stress to make sure that if you are in therapy or you are looking for a therapist, you only work with a therapist who truly believes in your ability to get well and who does not support the systemic pathologizing of your very humanity.

© A.J. Mahari, December 17, 2010 – All rights reserved.


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