Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.
Does Someone You Love Have Borderline or Narcissistic Disorder?
If you're reading this blog, perhaps someone you know—maybe even you—has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unstable. They lavish affection on loved ones one moment, and then lash out at them the next. They're intense, impulsive, and reckless.
At first, this description may sound merely like someone going through a moody stage of life, like a teenager. Or someone who's just has a fiery disposition.
But it's much more than that.
People with BPD fall on the far side of what we consider "normal" behavior. They are driven by impulsivity, self-loathing, an intense fear of being abandoned, a relentless sense of emptiness, and the feeling they don't know who they are.
They are hard-wired to feel love, hate, and everything in between more intensely, in the vast majority of situations, and with most people—especially the people who love them most. And they've been that way for many years.
Do These Sayings Sound Familiar?
People who share their lives with a person with BPD or BPD traits share remarkably similar feelings and experiences. They say:
* No matter what I say or do, she twists it and uses it against me.
* He blames and criticizes me for everything that goes wrong, even when it makes no logical sense.
* I'm on an emotional roller coaster. When I come home, will I be greeted at the door by the caring person I fell in love with? Or will it be the raging tyrant who's got to have her way, no matter what?
* He sees me as either all good or all bad, with nothing in between. And when he feels one way about me, he can't remember ever feeling any other way.
* I'm afraid to ask for things in our relationship. When I do, she tells me that I'm too demanding or that my needs are wrong or not important.
* He accuses me of doing things I never did and saying things I never said.
* I try to do what she wants me to do. But just when I think I've got the rules down, she changes them.
* I feel bewildered, misunderstood, wrongly blamed, exhausted, and isolated.
* One moment, she acts perfectly normal. Sometimes she even tells me how wonderful I am. Then the next minute she's screaming at slamming doors and threatening me for no reason at all.
* When I try to make things better after an argument, he becomes more infuriated no matter what I say or do.
If several of these sound familiar, there is good news. You are not going crazy. Everything is not your fault and you're not alone. You are among fathers, mothers, partners, siblings, and others who are going through the same pain and difficulties—difficulties so incomprehensible that one person who struggled for years with the BPD of a close loved one summed it up this way: "I feel like I'm in the middle of Oz complete with flying monkeys and talking trees.
Some people with BPD also have narcissistic personality disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, DSM IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines narcissistic personality disorder:
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive admiration
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
This blog and website will explain BPD and NPD and help you cope. Be sure to subscribe or put this site on your favorites section to learn more!
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