Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Personality Disorders

Following my Government Health Warning regarding a recent internet stalking incident, I needed to work out why days later I still felt suffocated by negative and opposing emotions all directed at my ex? Ranging from love to hate with sporadic ‘what ifs’ and ‘if only’. During a conversation with a therapist and some internet research, I had an ‘Arh Ha’ moment of clarity which I hope you can not relate to.

Do you ever feel the failures in your relationship are your fault and if you changed, your partner would finally be happy? Has your partner twisted your words and actions and used them against you? Do you ever feel emotionally bullied in the relationship but keep making excuses for their behaviour? Have you stopped planning any social engagements because of your partner’s unpredictability? Are you beginning to feel desperate, angry and isolated? Are you doubting your own sanity and flicking through the phone book looking for the nearest therapist?

Does your partner suffer from low self esteem, find it hard to deal with their emotions and have a fear of abandonment? Do they over analyse every conversation and talk obsessively about their day? Do they shy away from all responsibility believing nothing is their fault? Are their moods unpredictable and do they pick fights without any logical cause? Do they intensely love you one moment and hate you the next? Do they deny they are in need of any professional help even in the depths of depression?

If you can relate to any of the above; it could be possible your partner, friend or family member has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). ‘The diagnosis of BPD is based upon signs of emotional instability, feelings of depression and emptiness, identity and behavioural issues’ http://www.bpdworld.org/bpd.html

When researching BPD, I found described in less than 500 words my life for the last few years and the psychological profile of someone close to me. I believe one in twenty people suffer from BPD and it is most common in women. Although the disorder sounds extreme it can be diagnosed in varying degrees of severity, from erratic mood swings, depression to self harming and suicide. Please do not think for one minute I am an expert on psychoanalysis. A few months in therapy does not give me the right to make a diagnosis on another’s mental state and BPD is just a label used to describe a common state of mind. Through research this label has helped me gain a better understanding of my past relationship and my conflicting feelings towards my ex.

There are a variety of personality disorders all under the headline of mental instability, ranging from the antisocial to the schizoid. I can recognise a part of myself in all these disorders; but fundamentally I know who I am, how to act, what I like and how I choose to live my life. My identity is of course unique; it is a symptom of my childhood, upbringing, experiences and my genes. I can be childish and needy one minute and a confident leader the next. I can be outspoken, destructive and fiery followed by healthy and sporty. My favourite persona is a partying, flirty socialite and sometimes, but rarely, I have a desire for perfection. Put this all together and I become one, actually I become a synopsis of the Spice Girls. This reminds me!

How could I link mental instability with the Spice Girls? That’s easy, you probably think I’m nuts for just going to the concert! I did though, and to lighten the mood I’m going to spice it up! Contrary to recent media speculation, the O2 arena this Sunday was not half full, Baby was not on crutches and the girls did not have a full blown argument and storm off stage. The arena was packed mainly with women of all ages and the Spice Girls; they were not good, they were bloody fantastic. I read recently ‘Who wants to watch five middle age women gyrate badly on a stage?’ If our life expectancy is now 60 and gyrating badly means superb choreography from five sexy talented performers, then the answer is ‘I DO!’

The Spice Girls were a manufactured group based on personalities, unlike Girls Aloud! What they lacked in talent they made up for tenfold with character. With so many strong personalities it’s no wonder the group had trouble reconciling and became a little unstable. But they are back, Geri and all. They performed as a tight knit unit, thriving off the support they gave each other. They had fun, laughed and at no point took themselves too seriously. They were everything a good relationship should be and I love them.

As performers, the joining of the contrasting identities creates a successful whole. The human mind is not so different, just a little more fragile. If someone you love has personality difficulties, has become disjointed and is unsure who they are from one moment to the next they may have BPD and be unaware. The internet advice for those in a relationship with a BPD sufferer is; learn all you can about the disorder, get some support, look after yourself and remember you are not alone. I wish I had known months ago what I do now. I may have been able to deal with my relationship more effectively and not doubted my sanity to the degree I did.


Anonymous said...

Without sounding like I am criticising your blog (which I am not because I love it), the Spice Girls are about as far removed from a 'good relationship' as you could ever get. It's the promise of over ten million pounds that has got them there - nothing to do with being friends and loving each other.

Female therapy said...

I think there is a definite emphasise on the word 'perform'. They certainly gave the appearance they were a good team and had a strong relationship and that's good enough for me. Let's give the Spice Girls a break, we should be proud. They are 5 very successful, inoffensive, beautiful women promoting 'Girl Power'- oh god that was even too much for me :) But come on, I would be best mates with Cheeky Girls if you gave me 10million x

Lucky Bitch said...

I disagree.....with the anon person above and am with you on this one FT! I can totally see what you're trying to say here - 5 different persoanlities make one whole - fine for a group but pretty hard to live with when its one person and you're just not sure which one you'll come home to that night.....or which one it was that you fell in love with. I like the analogy!

Not so sure about the 'girl power' part but like you for £10mill I'd be next to you in the queue for cheeky girls friendship!!

Keep on FT-ing!

Female therapy said...

Hey L. Bitch,
Am glad I was making some sense, I really struggled with this one. Not knowing who you are coming home to certainly rings a bell and eventually tired me out … women, hey!

I’m on the phone with the Cheeky Girls, they’ll split the money for 2 friends, so will you settle for 5 million? x

Anonymous said...

more rubbish navel gazing

Female therapy said...

I feel like I'm having deja vu! Didn't we cover this in 'It's nice to be nice'. Please don't feel forced to read or comment on this rubbish x

'J' said...

well i saw the spice's at the O2 and they were FANTASTIC!! ive seen many concerts from Tina turner, pink,madonna,and many more and they were the most fun, most atomosphere,etc, i would go again if i had the chance! Go Girl Power!! They are excellent business women, good on em, i say!

I also agree with the 5 in one personality too! although i wouldnt mind abit of ginger,baby, sporty,scary,posh spice at home alone!!!! hahaha

Female therapy said...

Hurray, another Spice lover! I have seen Pink, Madonna and Britney in concert and I would nearly agree with the Spice Girls being the best but Britney was fantastic... Oh shit have i just overstepped the mark and become toxic? x

p.s. I know that makes no sense but it's late :)