#1 – The Goal of My Website About Borderline Personality Disorder

The main goal of this website is to show that meaningful recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder is possible, and to illustrate one way of getting there.

My Life Today

My name is Edward Dantes, and I’m 28 years old. I am a teacher working in an academic institution in the Eastern United States. At age 18, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder by a psychiatrist. I have spent the past 11 years working to recover from severe childhood abuse and neglect, and have now reached a place where I can definitively say that I am better.

By “better”, I mean that for the most part I’m emotionally healthy – I like my work, enjoy several hobbies, have good intimate relationships with family and friends, can regulate my self-esteem, and can handle difficult emotions without acting out. Most days, I feel real, alive, and excited about what I’m doing.

I still have periodic struggles and doubts. But my core self is so much stronger than before. Or rather, I have a core identity where there was none previously. As one of many people who have recovered from severe childhood problems, I hope my story will encourage other survivors who want to do the same.

My Past Struggle

In my late teens and early 20s, I was severely borderline. My life was a living hell dominated by severe depression, constant anxiety, terrible self-esteem, suicidal thinking, acting out of various kinds, a lack of any intimate relationships, being unable to sustain full-time school or work, and the horrible feeling that things would never get better. As a young adult, I often despaired of ever succeeding at a job, having real friends, or having a successful romantic relationship.

However, slowly but surely, I did get better. I educated myself in great depth about BPD, and discovered what had helped others with the condition. I sought therapy and found friends to support my recovery. I rejected the prevailing societal view of the disorder as a biologically-caused, life-long condition that can only be managed rather than fully recovered from. This shift in my thinking became critical. I found out the truth – that meaningful recovery is possible, and that many people diagnosed with BPD have recovered enough to live good, rewarding lives.

Today, I have 0 of the 9 symptoms of BPD, whereas 10 years ago I had at least all 9 symptoms listed in the DSM-IV definition of BPD. I trust my progress and have every reason to believe that it will continue.

Confronting the Pessimists

Apart from promoting this positive vision of recovery, another purpose of this site is to confront those who say that Borderline Personality Disorder cannot be effectively treated. Many people on internet forums and the therapeutic community believe that BPD is a life-long condition. They believe that it can only be managed and “lived with”, but not deeply recovered from.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Getting better from BPD is possible, although it requires hard work over a period of years. Recovering to the point where one is essentially healthy and “normal” in the sense of enjoying work and relationships has been achieved by many former borderlines. Unfortunately, many borderlines and their families are not aware of the resources that are needed to recover, nor do they understand the disorder in depth.

On this site, I will present a powerful counterexample to pessimism about BPD. I will explicate the disorder from a variety of viewpoints, and present strategies which were useful in my recovery.

Additionally, this site will confront the American medical view that seeks to cast BPD as a genetic or biologically-based disorder, one that needs to be treated primarily with psychotropic medications. It will expose the lack of strong scientific basis for such claims, and will analyze the emotional and financial factors that might motivate supporters to hold this viewpoint.

The Validity of the Borderline Disorder

Lastly, I wish to radically challenge the notion that BPD is a valid scientific diagnosis as it is defined in the DSM. From my own research and life experience, and despite being diagnosed with it myself, I now believe that the DSM version of borderline personality disorder has little validity. That is not to say that the symptoms BPD represents are not profoundly real and that people do not suffer from them greatly – they are, and people do.

However, my viewpoint is that BPD is more useful as a metaphorical or symbolic term that encapsulates a range of severe problems in functioning and relating. In other words, BPD represents a large, nondistinct area of severe psychological distress, rather than a discrete syndrome. Psychodynamic theorists would call this region “preoedipal” and “preneurotic”, but not “psychotic”. Re-conceptualizing BPD has been a useful step toward recovery, since it allowed me to view myself as existing on a subjective continuum between sickness and health, rather than as having a discrete “disorder”. For me, this was freeing.

Disclaimer

Lastly, this website should not be taken as the advice of a medical professional, but rather as the opinion of a layperson. However, coming from the “inside out”, I can give a viewpoint of BPD and how to recover from it that is fundamentally different from any professional opinion.

It is my hope that this website will prove useful both to those who have been diagnosed with BPD and to family members of such people. If it does nothing else, it will hopefully challenge people to think differently about BPD, both in terms of what the disorder actually is, and in considering how much people diagnosed with it can change for the better.

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7 thoughts on “#1 – The Goal of My Website About Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Arwen

    Thanks for the like! This blog is so very encouraging, and I’m happy there are people like you out there who don’t have the characteristic hopelessness towards BPD outcomes. I consider myself “mostly” recovered..though like you, still have moments of some relapse. Either way, it’s always great to know I’m not alone in the struggle.

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  2. Alaina

    I was never, to my knowledge, diagnosed with BPD. However, I have been diagnosed with complex PTSD. After a layperson told me that C-PTSD is “borderline combined with post traumatic stress disorder,” I started looking into it.

    From what I have learned, C-PTSD is not “BPD and PTSD combined.” However, I strongly suspect that borderline personality disorder — if it exists — is complex PTSD.

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    1. bpdtransformation Post author

      Thank you Alaina. In my view BPD does not exist as a discrete illness, but the description of an illusory distress constellation called BPD does resemble the description of complex post traumatic stress. In everyday terms all of the distress experiences which are inappropriately labeled borderline can and often do result from traumatic experiences in childhood, therefore so called borderline symptoms are often the distressing outcomes of trauma, ie they are post traumatic stress symptoms. But to reify and concretize human emotional distress into pseudo illnesses like BPD and PTSD is not only philosophically mistaken, it is harmful and unnecessary, in my opinion.

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  3. luckyotter

    This post gives me hope. BPD has been so stigmatized lately and we are told by some that we can “never change.” I don’t believe this is true, and your story is proof positive that we certainly can change, and do all the time! Thank you for this post and your blog.

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    1. bpdtransformation Post author

      Thanks… but, who would believe that statement? I guess when people are down or worried, as I once was a lot, it can be scary. But looking at it now, people are constantly changing, BPD is not even one valid and consistent state, and many people with different varieties of “borderline” states have matured to the point that they’re quite well and not remotely “borderline.” In some ways you are probably an example of that positive change Lucky Otther, from what little I know of you through your writing.

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