Identity Issues and BPD

Halloween always reminds me of how stuck I used to be with the Borderline Personality Disorder issue of a lack of a sense of identity (with the masks and costumes and all).  Through much work through DBT, I no longer have this problem.  I never, ever imagined that I could overcome the lack of sense of self that so plagued me.  It is what ultimately led to my diagnosis of BPD and set me on the path of treatment.

Here are some posts from over the years on identity disturbance and BPD.  I look forward to your thoughts on this topic.

Identity Disturbance and BPD (it can be overcome)

You've Gone Away, So Where Am I?

The Psychic Borderline: Reading Others & Identity Issues

Identity Crisis: Finding Yourself When You Have Borderline Personality Disorder

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Career Issues with BPD Identity Disturbance

Reinventing Ourselves: Identity Issues & Borderline Personality Disorder

And, an article with a pic of me in my Lady Gaga Halloween costume...

Gaga at the Psych Intake: BPD and Identity Disturbance

► PS  This week I guest blogged for the Roanne Program on Living With BPD.  It's a really encouraging post, and I hope it helps you in some way. Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading.

More soon.

In kindness,

Guided Meditation to Help With Relaxation

Got Stress? 

This week I have a treat for you. It's a 30-minute guided mediation that I recorded to encourage you to take some time today to relax, restore, and rejuvenate.  Getting proper rest and relaxation is a major contributor to our well-being.

It's often things like guided meditations and exercise that we resist and then inevitably end up being glad we followed through.  We often feel invigorated (with exercise) and calmer and more blissful with guided meditations.

Because I've had success with noticing a reduction in stress as a result of a variety of methods, I've included short forms of several in this one, cohesive experience.  

This is my gift to you.  Please let me know if you do it and what you think.  Please take the time out to do something good for YOU.

Listen now:

Thank you for reading/watching/listening.

More soon.

In kindness,

Watch It Now: The Webinar on Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar (by Optimum Performance Institute)

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to co-facilitate a webinar on bipolar and borderline personalty disorder with the esteemed psychiatrist Robert "Dr. Bob" Fischer of Optimum Performance Institute (OPI).  That webinar (approximately 90-minutes long) is now up and available for you and your loved ones to watch!

I really had fun with this event, which involved lots of Q&A with parents.  Please do let me know what you think!

Click HERE to watch it (and keep this tab open so you can check out some other Healing From BPD articles after that):

Thank you for reading and watching.

More Soon.

In kindness,

Should You Take a Gap Year off Before College? (I wish I had)

Image courtesy of CollegeDegrees360. Image cropped.
Recently, I've heard a lot about the "gap year" -- that question of  "Should I take a year off before college?"  It's been a while since I was a high school senior.  I'm feeling nostalgic, actually, in response to the 90's comeback. (For those of you who watch YouTube makeup tutorials, check out the latest, and you'll see what I mean.  The makeup, flannel, grungy hair -- it's all coming back.)

While I can recreate how I dressed and looked in the 90s, I cannot go back almost twenty years to change how I handled my senior year in high school, and I hope that this information is helpful in helping others prevent unnecessary suffering in their lives.  If this information had been discussed with me at that time, things might have turned out a little bit differently. But, I do not wish to live in regret.  Ultimately, my life did get on course with my education, and yours can, too.

Looking back at my own situation, in the midst of my junior year, I transferred from alternative high school which consisted of only about a hundred co-ed students, all of whom were in residential group homes due to behavioral issues, including me, to public high school.  That, in and of itself, was a huge adjustment.  With consultation between the staff at my independent living group home and the guidance counselor and principle at my new school, we arranged for me to do half days, leaving before lunch and completing some course work at the community college and some at the group home.

I thrived upon my return to public school.  This wasn't the case before group homes.  I was constantly getting into trouble, fights, being truant, etc.  I had learned some skills in the alternative setting to help me succeed in the academic environment and with my peers. I was getting better! I was researching colleges and scholarships.  I wanted to use college as my ticket out of Massachusetts and into California.  I had excellent grades and received awards for excelling in human biology. I had seriously considered going into medicine.

That's why it was shocking to those around me -- the group home staff with whom I had bonded dearly and the administration at my school,  when, a couple of months before graduation, I sabotaged it all.

I convinced a friend to run away with me, in the middle of the night on a Greyhound bus from Boston to Seattle.  Completely dysregulated with fears related to success (of all things), I subconsciously found a way to ruin it all so that I could be in control, rather than the victim.  I could see that only in retrospect and from the wisdom of my adult self who has grown and evolved.

As a result of running away, upon our return we were asked to leave the independent living group home. They said that if we managed to make it to and from Seattle and survive, we had proven we were independent enough. They helped us fly home, and then we had to leave. To be honest, I was SHOCKED.  I can still remember that feeling in my solar plexus that I had been turned away from the place I considered home. I was terrified, because I did not have a safe and secure place to go.

I had a break in my high school year due to the move. I stayed temporarily with an alcoholic family member and then ran away, again, to be with a guy I met during the Seattle runaway. He happened to live in California. I got my ticket, but not the one I wanted or needed.  This was a huge setback.  Even after I managed to complete my high school education, it took me nearly eleven years, on and off, to finally finish my degree.  I didn't get into medicine, but I am proud of the accomplishment of my bachelor's degree. It symbolized a huge accomplishment in my life. It just took soooooooooooo long to get there.

What if, instead of running away, I had reached out for the support I needed at that critical time in my live -- that important milestone?  I might have expressed my fears and concerns and then taken a gap year before college to work through the emotional issues I had and become better prepared for the college and work life experience.

Young adults today have Failure to Launch residential programs like that offered at Optimum Performance Institute (OPI) in the Los Angeles area.  Had they existed back when I was that age and I were to find out about them (the internet was just born that year, really), I would have seen OPI as my golden ticket to California and my ticket to getting the help and support I truly needed and deserved.

Check out this article by Robert Fischer, MD of OPI on the Gap Year and taking that year off after college to get intensive treatment and support for the transition.  I hope you'll consider taking care of yourself in this way to avoid unnecessary suffering.

What are your thoughts on the gap year?  Did you take one?  Do you plan on doing so?

Thanks for reading.

More Soon.

In kindness,

Is it Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar?

Some of you know that I was originally misdiagnosed with bipolar rapid cycling, put on meds that didn't help, and left wondering if I could ever get my life on track.  When I finally received an accurate diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I received access to treatment that would finally help me -- namely, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  My meds were adjusted accordingly, and life began to change.

There are many reasons why I (and many others) have been misdiagnosed.  There are many similarities between the diagnoses; however, there are some distinctions that help a clinician determine whether what you're experiencing is bipolar, borderline personality disorder, or a mix of both.

In a free webinar that Dr. Robert Fischer of Optimum Performance Institute and the Roanne Program will be giving on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10 am Pacific, many of these issues will be addressed.  Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions of both Dr. Fischer and of myself (from a consumer point of view) on this topic.

This presentation will be tailored especially for parents of young adults ages 17-28 who suffer from bipolar disorder, BPD, BPD traits.

Click Here to reserve your spot for this free online event.

See you there!

Thank you for reading.

More soon.

In kindness,


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