Stress, Anxiety, and Panic–why do we have this?

We all hear a lot about stress–“it’s very stressful”, “I am just stressed out”, “Hey, don’t stress”.  Obviously, stress, anxiety and even panic are hard-wired into the human condition.  But why is that?

What is Stress?

Stress is simply the body’s response to something unusual or potentially harmful.  Your brain is designed to keep you alive and in doing so, you are constantly examining your environment for potential danger.  You are constantly monitoring your internal feelings for anything unusual or new.  You are on RED alert when you find anything out of the ordinary.

How does stress affect the body?

To determine all the changes that take place in your body during a stress episode, let’s look at a cat.  When a cat is startled or frightened, what does it look like?  How does it act?

stress, anxiety, panic

Starting with its eyes, let’s discuss all the bodily changes that the cat goes through:

  1. eyes–pupils change to allow more scope of vision.  If you are under attack, it is paramount that you see your enemy coming.
  2. mouth–usually the mouth will be open to allow a large intake of breath in preparation of flight.  The salivary glands will shut down and the tongue will become dry.
  3. whiskers–the facial whiskers of our cat will become fine tuned toward the approaching menace.
  4. skeletal muscles–the cat arches its back to try to look more imposing.  The leg muscles begin receiving more and more blood to prepare for flight.  All muscles clinch and prepare to run.
  5. fur–our cat’s fur will be standing straight out from the body.   This is another way to look more imposing, but it also helps the cat detect any movement nearby.  Each hair follicle will become sensitive to changes in the environment.
  6. internal organs–once frightened, the cat’s internal organs begin to slow down.  The stomach and intestines become quite slow, almost at a stand-still.  The kidneys and bladder contract to prepare for escape.
  7. hormones–every hormone in the cat’s body is now preparing for “fight or flight”; the adrenals release large quantities of cortisol which then agitates and activates many of these changes.
  8. lungs–the cat’s initial large breath opens the airway and allows the lungs to process oxygen that will be needed by the muscles in a fight or in flight.  All the lung functions are now in high gear and the cat is panting.

In all of about 2 seconds, all these things occur simultaneously to protect the cat from danger.  Now it is 2 minutes later and the danger has been assessed and found to be nothing.  Our cat’s body returns to normal and the cat begins to groom and self-soothe.

All of these things occur in humans as well.  Once aroused and fearful, the human exhibits pretty much the same thing; all these things occur simultaneously in a matter of seconds.  So you can see that stress is useful if there is danger, but if there is no danger it is unnecessary.  However, sometimes we feel there is danger when none exists–and it happens over and over until our bodies are physically affected.  Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one time or another. The difference between them is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress. (https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/stress#)

What type of disorders occur from prolonged exposure to stress?

  • You can develop generalized anxiety disorder where you display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms such as:

Restlessness or feeling on edge
Being  fatigued
Difficulty concentrating                                                                                                                    Having your mind go blank                                                                                                              Irritability
Muscle tension
Difficulty controlling the worry
Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep) (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml)

  • You can, over time, develop panic disorder which is characterized by sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking; and feeling of impending doom.
  • Once panic sets in, you may also develop social anxiety disorder characterized by have a marked fear of social or performance situations in which they expect to feel embarrassed, judged, rejected, or fearful of offending others.  Symptoms like:      Feeling highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them
    Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or fearful of offending others
    Being very afraid that other people will judge them
    Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be
    Staying away from places where there are other people
    Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends
    Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people
    Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach when other people are around  (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml)

So what can be done about this if you develop one of these disorders?

Once a disorder has been identified, there are several options for treatment depending upon which works best for you.  Therapy works (usually cognitive based therapy) but not everyone responds to therapy; medications also work but require constant monitoring by your physician and frequent adjustments may need to be made.  Your doctor will probably start out with some form of antidepressant, like Paxil.  Or, you doctor could try using a beta-blocker to control the symptoms of anxiety.  You could attend a self-help group, either in person on online.  There are various self-help methods you can use to control your stress/anxiety yourself.

Next week’s posting will be on the various self-help methods you can try and how they work to combat stress.

 

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5 Signs Your Coworker Is a Psychopath

Here is an article from Psychology Today that you might find interesting.   If you watch television or go to movies, you might be familiar with the concept of psychopathy–usually attributed to some serial killer in a cop show.  However, this particular personality disorder is more common than you think. In this, “5 signs your coworker is a psychopath” you will discover the difference between sociopaths, psychopaths, and antisocial personalities.  You will see that this disorder is more prevalent in the general population than we would like to think.

Please read the entire article and learn how to identify this type of personality so you can be prepared to defend yourself against any harmful plan they make devise.  People with this disorder seem to feed off the discord and emotional confusion that they create.  It really is important to be able to identify them before harm occurs.

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5 Signs Your Co-worker Is a Psychopath

Posted Oct 26, 2017
By:  Kevin Bennett, Modern Minds

Serial killers are often depicted in film and television as deranged psychopaths. This contributes to a general misconception about psychopaths (and of serial killers). The truth is that psychopaths, sociopaths, and antisocial personalities, compared to serial killers, are relatively common in the population. Serial killers are extremely rare, because they usually exhibit a potent combination of multiple diagnostic categories including antisocial personalitynarcissism, and different forms of paraphilia — voyeurismfrotteurismexhibitionism, sadism, masochism, etc.). Statistically speaking, a psychopath is almost always never a serial killer; patterned homicide is just that rare.

How many psychopaths are reading this article along with you? 

It’s hard to pin down. But if thousands of people read this, research suggests there are bound to be some in the group. About 15 percent of male prisoners meet psychopathic diagnostic criteria. This statistic illustrates where this disorder can take one, especially those lacking a network of concerned individuals like parents, teachers, and friends who could provide support and intervene at the earliest signs of disorders.

study in the journal Behavioral Sciences & the Law found that 3 percent of business leaders scored in the psychopathic range. In contrast, rates of individuals in the general population with psychopathic traits (i.e., have some psychopathic tendencies) hover around 1 percent.

The causes of psychopathy are partly genetic and partly environmental. Men are more likely to be diagnosed than women, and symptoms are most visible during the early twenties. Due to the positive social qualities that psychopaths sometimes possess, our ability to detect them is often diminished. Here are five signs that someone you work with has psychopathic tendencies:

1. Thrill Seekers

Psychopaths often crave activities that have an element of physical danger or risk of being caught doing something illegal or malicious. Because they have little concern for their own safety or the safety of others, they will try to convince people around them to engage in risky behavior. In some contexts, this may seem fun, until it becomes clear to others that this goes beyond what is normally acceptable. For example, “I’m so bored. We should all get in my car and play chicken with other cars tonight out on Highway 61.” Or, “Let’s see how far you can drive down this dark road with your headlights off.” Not all psychopaths engage in illegal activity, but they may be very good at getting others to go along with risky and inappropriate adventures.

2. Superficial Charm

It is not unusual for psychopaths to be well-liked, especially at the beginning of a relationship. They often project an image that is charming and engaging. Conversations

(Read the entire article here.)

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How to Give Support for Depression

One issue that is rarely addressed by the mental health profession is the need for social support and how to provide such support for depression in times of crisis.  Being in a relationship with someone who is depressed has its own problems that are in addition to any that you would normally find in any romantic relationship.

Depression is much more prevalent than we like to think.  When you are having a bad day and then realize you have been having bad days for months, you might be depressed.  When everything in your life seems to be spiraling out of control and nothing you do makes it any better, you may consider depression to be part of the problem.

Couples, just naturally, have issues they are constantly working on and striving to find the center point.  That is the nature of a relationship.  When one or both parties in the relationship are depressed, the issues become almost insurmountable and the depressed person may just give up.

Providing emotional and social support to a spouse or significant loved one is crucial to their ability to recover from the depression’s grasp.  The problem becomes just how far should you go to provide said support?  The trap is that you can easily become an enabler and that allows the partner to remain depressed without any pressure to recover.

This article below is well written and informative.  The author seems to understand how depression can destroy a relationship if it is not acknowledged and dealt with.  He seems to have personal experience with this issue, so please read the entire article.  You might just find the information you seek.

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How to Support a Partner Struggling with Depression

Being in a romantic relationship when one (or both) of you suffer from depression is a massive challenge. Depression can make your partner seem distant. They may feel like they’re a burden or close themselves off. None of that means your relationship is the problem. You two can tackle this together. Here’s how.

As I’ve discussed before, I struggled with depression for years. That didn’t stop me from trying to have relationships, but it affected each one differently. It’s important to keep in mind that how depression manifests will vary not only from person to person, but relationship to relationship. We can give you some tips and suggestions, but only you and your partner can decide your boundaries, your compromises, and what you can handle.

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The Narcissistic Personality

For today’s post, I chose to post about the Narcissistic personality because our country is being run by the picture-perfect poster child for the narcissistic personality disorder.  I feel strongly that we must all acknowledge and be aware of this damaging situation if we want our country to survive and prosper.  I am not condemning our president–he is our president and we all should want and expect that he will succeed in making good decisions for our country.

This post is put up for education and awareness.  Maybe if we all look at behaviors and try to understand where they are coming from instead of blaming and fault-finding when criticism is voiced.  I am hoping that this article from Psychology Today will help each of us to begin to understand and help us as a nation develop a plan to secure our future away from the personal needs of our leader.

Please don’t simply assume that this post is “political” which it is not; please don’t assume that this is an attempt to undermine our country which it is not.  This post is simply a starting point for learning about a damaging behavioral disorder that hurts everyone it comes in contact with.

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Joe Navarro M.A.

The Narcissistic Personality: How They Think

Knowing how the narcissist thinks can help you understand toxic individuals.

We often hear the term “narcissist,” but in reality, what does that mean? Does it merely describe someone who likes to be the center of attention, or likes the way he or she looks? Or is there more to it? The psychiatric literature defines narcissists as possessing specific traits, such as having a sense of entitlement or requiring excessive admiration. But what are narcissistic individuals really like on a day-to-day basis?

Anyone who has lived with or worked for a narcissist will tell you: Narcissists view themselves entirely differently — i.e., preferentially — compared to others, making those around them less valued. And there’s the rub: Everything must be about the narcissist. We don’t mind that a 2-year-old needs constant attention. That’s appropriate for the developmental stage of a 2-year-old. But we do mind when a 40-year–old needs that level of appreciation — and when achieving it comes at our expense.

Narcissists victimize those around them just by just being who they are, and they won’t change. That statement may seem extreme, until you listen to the stories of those who have been victimized by a narcissist. Then you realize just how toxic relationships with these individuals can be.

Work for a narcissistic boss, and he or she can make you physically or psychologically ill. Live with one, and it could be worse. In researching my book, Dangerous Personalities, I talked to scores of individuals who have been victimized by the narcissistic personality. Listening to story after story of stolen childhoods, destructive marriages, and burdensome relationships, I heard the same refrain: Narcissists see themselves as being so special that no one else matters. No one. Over time, the behavior resulting from their defining pathological traits will cast a wide debris field of suffering.

I have learned from the victims lessons that no medical book can teach, and they are lessons for all of us…(more can be found here)

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Stress and Stress Reduction

Here is an excellent article about student stress and ways for stress reduction.  It is absolutely true that being a student today is a very stressful experience, filled with pot-holes and land mines.  The way you choose to respond to this stress can define your health, your future, even your mental health.

Here are specific ways to deal with stress.  It is up to you if you let it beat you down or you choose to harness that energy and use it.  One thing is certain, life is rough for everyone in a myriad of different ways.  Unless you are walking in the same exact shoes, don’t judge.  How one person handles their struggles with stress should not define you or how you decide to respond to your stressors.

Please read the article in full.  Maybe you will have other suggestions for ways to manage and deal with school/life stressors.  Won’t you let me know what you think of the article?

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A Stanford psychologist has a simple mental exercise for tackling student stress

September 07, 2017

Stress can be debilitating, paralyzing, and generally bad for our health.

It can also motivate us to get organized, try new things, and push to higher levels of achievement.

Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford, thinks we spend too much time worrying about stress and not enough harnessing it to learn and grow.

“If I am stressed, it means I care,” McGonigal said on School’s In, a Stanford podcast. “Stress can activate strength.”

She thinks this matters for students, in particular, who appear to be under unprecedented levels of stress. Parents should, of course, help kids reduce the sources of stress—not over-scheduling them or excessively focusing on grades and test scores—but they can also dramatically reframe stress, away from avoiding it at all costs to trying to manage the bad and leverage the good.

Whatever the challenge—inviting a new friend over, trying out for a sports team, or starting a new school—the anxiety that comes with stress looks and feels a lot like excitement. So we should think of it that way—as excitement—she said on the podcast. Your heart is pounding because you want to do well and your body is helping you to rise to the challenge. “We will do it even if our hearts are racing,” she suggested parents tell their kids.

If we only think of stress as toxic, this magnifies its toxic effects. If we see that it can have positive outcomes—preparing us to perform—we might be able to lose some of the meta-stress, the stress about stressing. Students, for example, can focus on the root of the stress (preparing for the test) and not the self-flagellation around what the stress might mean (“I’m not smart enough”).

She is quick to point out that plenty of life’s stresses cannot be willed away: poverty, abuse, and neglect cannot be mitigated with reframing.

But other types of stress can be.  Read the rest of this article here.

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The Struggle with Schizophrenia

 Schizophrenia is truly a devastating disease that strikes some of our most creative and talented people at the start of their adult lives.  This article is both informative about mental health issues like schizophrenia but also heartbreaking to see how a parent had to deal with watching two sons descend into the darkness that is schizophrenia.

I cannot imagine the anguish and pain this father dealt with, but as a psychiatric nurse for over 20 years I can understand what he had to deal with.  This father had to stand by and watch as one of his sons finally lost his battle for sanity and committed suicide then he had to watch another son begin the same battle.

He is correct in his statement that schizophrenia is so difficult to treat because the person affected does not think he/she is ill.  That is the reason the medications are stopped usually.  If you don’t believe you are sick why take medications that make you feel really bad and that cause all kinds of side effects?

This father has written a book that I will try to get and read.  I hope after reading this article you, too, will want to read his book if only to get a better understanding of what our schizophrenics deal with daily.  It may give you a new way to interact with the mentally ill.

This article is well worth your time.  Please read and let me know what you think about his struggles.

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Father Of 2 Sons With Schizophrenia Talks Of His Struggle To Save Them

schizophrenia

Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Getty Images

As the father of two sons with schizophrenia, author Ron Powers is familiar with the pain and frustration of dealing with a chronic, incurable disease of the brain.

Powers’ younger son, Kevin, was a talented musician whose struggles with schizophrenia began at age 17. Just before his 21st birthday, in 2005, Kevin took his own life.

A few years later, Powers’ older son, Dean, started experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia and had a psychotic break.

Ron Powers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and media critic, wrote Flags of our Fathers, which was adapted into a film by Clint Eastwood.

Sarah Junek/Hachette Books

“There is no greater … feeling of helplessness than to watch two beloved sons deteriorate before [your] eyes, not knowing what to do to bring them back,” Powers tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.

Powers’ new book, No One Cares About Crazy People,is both a memoir about his sons and a history of how the mentally ill have been treated medically, legally and socially. Although Dean is now medicated and doing well, Powers notes that many people with schizophrenia don’t receive the treatment they need — in part because they often don’t believe they are ill.

Read the rest of this article at the source:  here

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The Storm After The Storm: Disaster’s Mental Toll

We are almost two month past the most horrible natural disasters of this century so far–Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma–as well as major earthquakes all over the world reeking havoc with daily lives everywhere.  There is a storm after all the events are gone that very few are addressing and that is the toll to the mental health of people who have survived such a terrible event.

PTSD is real and it can damage your life if left untreated.  People with PTSD have trouble functioning, their thought run in a circle, and they don’t know what to do to stop them.

We as a nation are not doing enough–or anything–to address the mental health fallout that these horrible events have caused to millions of people.  Please read this article and if any of this fits, reach out for the help you deserve and need.

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The Storm After The Storm: Disaster’s Mental Toll

“We got the house ready,” says Mendez, a 68-year-old English professor from Cutler Bay, about 30 miles south of downtown Miami. The family put up the hurricane shutters, wrapped paintings and other valuables, and moved the patio furniture inside.Suddenly, however, Maria ran out of the house.”I opened the gate and started running,” she says.

Her husband, Alfredo, and daughter Ana led her back to the house, calmed her down, and the family safely evacuated.

In hindsight, Maria knows what was behind her need to escape. Irma had triggered a reliving of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, when they lost their house, cars, and boat. During that storm, the family had holed up in the house, terrified as the bathroom ceiling collapsed and the roof blew away.

“We were sure we were going to die,” she remembers. The psychologistwho diagnosed her posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after Hurricane Andrew had said to expect unusual reactions when disaster strikes.

With seemingly endless recent disasters — hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean; wildfires out West; and now, major earthquakes in Mexico — the immediate concern of the ones affected is survival: eating, drinking, and finding a place to sleep.

But soon after, the mental health fallout can start.

What’s ‘Normal’ After Disaster?

Experts notice a pattern of mental health symptoms after disasters, says Yuval Neria, PhD, professor of medical psychology and director of the PTSD treatment and research program at Columbia University Medical Center. “Usually what we see first is the anxiety, fear, the difficulty in concentrating and functioning,” he says.

Read the rest of this article here.

 

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5 Things To Include In Your Mental Health Maintenance Routine

I found this article and really liked the approach.  I agree that we all need to take responsibility for our own mental health; and it seems that there may be specific things we can be doing to improve our mental well being.

Although she lists five pretty obvious ways to improve your mental health, I think that pointing out the existence of ways you can improve your own health is a step in the right direction.  Stress is the biggest threat to your well-being so anything you can do to reduce the amount of stress in your life is a boon.

Be sure to read this entire article at the source and while you are there be sure to sign up for their very informative newsletter.  Let me know what you think about this approach to improved mental health, won’t you.

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5 Things To Include In Your Mental Health Maintenance Routine

mental health

5 Things To Include In Your Mental Health Maintenance Routine

Mental health isn’t something you should view as a ‘reaction to’ –  it’s an ongoing process that you need to work on every day. Just like an exercise program or a diet regime, your mental health needs a routine. Here are 5 ways to get your program in place.

  1. Yoga

Anyone who suffers from depression has been told by someone that they should try yoga. Most of the time this suggestion inspires little more than a spark of annoyance because in the midst of a depressive episode, doing even light yoga feels impossible. The thing is, yoga can actually be really helpful as part of your regular routine!  Yoga as a physical activity is not only great exercise but you can do light yoga at home if you can’t get out of the house, or you can go to a studio and do power yoga for a more strenuous challenge

  1. HALT

Bradford Health Services has created an acronym for the things you need to look for when taking stock of how you feel. By regularly checking in on your physical and emotional state, you can catch potential issues early and nip them in the bud before they evolve into full blown problems. Halt stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired… read the rest of this article here.

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WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS: MENTAL ILLNESS FACTS

This article by the National Alliance on Mental Illness is short, sweet and to the point.  What is mental illness? What are the facts about mental illness?  I imagine this article was developed as an infographic at one time.  The reason I am posting it here is the frank and easy to understand  language used.

This article addresses what mental illness is and what can be done to treat the disorders of mental illness.  The facts are chilling and the cost of not treating mental illness in our population is astounding.

Maybe if more people were to understand what mental illness really is, we might get more funding for mental health treatment in this country.

Please read the article at the source.  While there, why not browse around and check out some of the other articles available.  Knowledge is power.

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WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS:  MENTAL ILLNESS FACTS

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

In addition to medication treatment, psychosocial treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends and meaningful paid or volunteer activities contribute to overall health and wellness, including mental illness recovery.

Here are some important facts about mental illness and recovery:

  • Mental illnesses are serious medical illnesses. They cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s “character” or intelligence. Mental illness falls along a continuum of severity. Even though mental illness is widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion-about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 Americans-who live with a serious mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans-experience a mental health disorder in a given year.
  • The U.S. Surgeon General reports that 10 percent of children and adolescents in the United States suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day-to-day lives at home, in school and with peers.

Read the rest of this article at the source here.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

As a retired psychiatric nurse, I can attest to the frustration everyone experiences when dealing with someone diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.  Because this diagnosis is an Axis II diagnosis, it is not as significant as any of the Axis I diagnoses–Major Depression, Bipolar Depression, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, etc.

People who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder often live a very chaotic life with impulsive, negative behaviors and a very unstable mood.  It is very difficult to live with and care for someone with this illness, but it is not impossible.

There has been a major breakthrough in the treatment of borderline personality disorder with the advent of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT for short.  This particular treatment is making headway in helping the persons with borderline personality disorder manage and change their behavior in order to stabilize their actions and thoughts.

I feel that this is the perfect place to give you the information you may need if you suspect you are living with someone with this disorder, or you fear you may have this disorder.  It is a diagnosis that is becoming fairly common in the mental health arena, but that is not to say that it is trivial or unimportant.

These individuals usually are crying out literally for help but the methods they choose are not easy to interpret for the lay-person.  Please read this article from the NIMH and then make use of the other resources they have to offer you.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Overview

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days.

Some people with BPD also have high rates of co-occurring mental disorders, such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, along with substance abuse, self-harm, suicidal thinking and behaviors, and suicide.

While mental health experts now generally agree that the label “borderline personality disorder” is very misleading, a more accurate term does not exist yet.

Signs and Symptoms

People with borderline personality disorder may experience extreme mood swings and can display uncertainty about who they are. As a result, their interests and values can change rapidly.

Other symptoms include:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
  • Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
  • Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
  • Having stress-related paranoid thoughts
  • Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality

Seemingly ordinary events may trigger symptoms. For example, people with borderline personality disorder may feel angry and distressed over minor separations—such as vacations, business trips, or sudden changes of plans—from people to whom they feel close. Studies show that people with this disorder may see anger in an emotionally neutral face and have a stronger reaction to words with negative meanings than people who do not have the disorder.

There is a treasure-trove of useful information as well as the rest of this article here.

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