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MENTAL HEALTH STORIES

MISTAKEN FOR “MANIPULATION”: 5 CLASSIC BEHAVIORS ON BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER

Whomever I meet with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I hear the harshest and heartbreaking stigmas surrounding in the mental health community. Even the clinicians refuse to treat or work with BPD patients, it feels like an undying existence of a mental condition of being misunderstood and alone in the struggles not mentioned anywhere.

I have an emotional support system that still misunderstood things about BPD and everyone I know has put this statement on my face, “People with BPD are manipulative.”

Honestly, BPD people are commonly viewed manipulative irrespective of explanation or acceptance.

The dictionary meaning of the word “manipulation” is “Exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one’s own advantage.” And I don’t react or act for advantages. I have emotional needs and neglection surfaces to take control.

The untreated behaviors that people often misjudged are the desperate and unlearnt attempts to get emotional needs meet that neglected in an abusive and invalidating upbringing.

The 5 classic BPD behaviors that force the term “manipulation” are about poor social skills that never got a chance to develop.

Needing Constant Comfort or Validation

I have chronic anxiety and it needs constant comfort and validation. I fear what other people would misinterpret about me. And, I am not trying to force anyone to say something I want to hear. Whatever I say or share, I look for comfort and a little validation only. I’m impulsive, not a monster. There is no manipulation!

Threatening Suicide or Self-Harm

I often get triggered by talking to someone I love and suicidal feelings consume me. In reality, I don’t know how many times I feel like ending everything in a day. I engage in self-harm behavior like alcohol or cutting, but I am not manipulating. Sometimes, fear of abandonment is all I know.

Intense Emotional Reactions

I don’t leave my bed for days. I don’t work for months. I don’t talk to people for days. I cry constantly over wrongly accused. I break things. I am called selfish or over-emotional. I cannot control what I feel. Everything I feel is either high and low and it hurts every single time it changes. I am not asking for attention or manipulating you into liking me.

Being ‘Too Needy’ or ‘Too Detached’

Relationships are not the strongest strings in my life. I have people who I love and hate. Sometimes, I am too needy for them and at times, I get too detached from them. The Pull and the Lose explanation is always marked by the word manipulation. I am terrified to feel that a person will leave.

Unreasonable Demands

I often make unreasonable demands like I need everyone to stay quiet with me. It sounds pure manipulation and I am not doing it. I just need everyone to listen to me once. I feel aloof and it hurts like hell.

I am always working on myself and it is not easy. It took me years to learn what I know now. and it will take years to know more about emotional health as a Borderline Personality.

Things I learned to Process my emotions

During my Dialectical Behavior Therapy as introduced by Dr. Marsha Linehan specifically for BPD. These two skills to make my life good enough to live by:

1. D.E.A.R. M.A.N.

I always ensure that I am thinking in this manner: Describe, Express, Assert, Reinforce, Mindful, Appear, confident and Negotiate. 

2. G.I.V.E

In relationships, I am Gentle, Interested, Validate and Easy manner.

All I can say to other BPDs is that you are not alone and never will be. We do need constant validation and it is not enough, but we can live our lives in better ways.

This post was submitted anonymously. It is edited for the posting purposes.

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