Resource: BPD New Reasons for Hope review and Quotes

8 Nov

Borderline Personality Disorder New Reasons for Hope by Francis Mark Mondimore, MD and Patrick Kelly, M.D.


This is a comprehensive book that included topics like what is personality, the four dimensions of Borderline Personality Disorder, different treatment options, and how to cope and how to help.  The book has multiple vignettes (little and sometimes longer quotes about people’s personal stories) and some sections with some pretty heavy psychology related jargon.  The section on personality gives different ways of showing the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder as well as unique ways of clustering symptoms.  This section also touches on co-morbid or co-occurring disorders and behaviors along with theories of how personality and personality disorders develop.  The four dimensions of Borderline Personality disorder are the disease model, measuring traits, behaviors and the life story.  Treatment gives examples of how each of these dimensions can be treated an example is with the disease model medication may be used.  The last section is spit into two parts if you have been diagnose or if you are a family member or loved one of someone who has been diagnosed.

Some helpful quotes and charts from the book:

Persons who have borderline personality disorder have a desperate need for nurturing that seems insatiable and can be so consuming and smothering to those around them that they end up losing exactly what they crave most: caring relationships.


Their inability to damp down emotions also means that people with the borderline diagnosis can be carried away on their emotional waves into potentially self-destructive behaviors.  ?Because they cannot rein in their emotions, they cannot rein in their behavior.  This may involve pleasurable activities- sexual behaviors, drinking too much, driving too fast- or desperate attempts to stop experiencing negative feelings- going on spending sprees, using drugs, binging on food.

Damaged self-identity.  This is considered by many experts to be the central problem for persons with the borderline diagnosis.  The exact wording in the DSM is “identity disturbance” but this fails to capture the severity of the emptiness, worthlessness, and aloneness that they feel.  One of us had a colleague who would describe persons with the borderline diagnosis as “having a black hole where most of us have a sense of who we are.”  Unable to feel good about themselves, they become clingy in relationships quickly, seeking constant attention from others as well as reassurance that they are cared about.


A personality disorder is said to exist when some personality trait, or more often, group of personality traits, is so extreme and so outside the range of normal that a person has trouble functioning in nearly all areas of life because of it.


Several studies have shown that persons with the borderline diagnosis are more likely than persons with other psychiatric diagnoses to report that they were victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect as children.


The term dissociation is used to refer to a variety of psychiatric symptoms that share as their common element some form of disturbance in a person’s awareness of an mental connection to his surroundings.


Other studies examined more subtle problems with parenting in persons who have BPD and have consistently found that they were significantly more likely to report having a caretaker withdraw from them emotionally when they were children.  Individuals reported inconsistent parenting, such as being praised or punished in unpredictable way, perhaps due to a parent’s own problems with mental illness.  They reported experiences in which parents tended to deny or discount their thoughts and feelings as children, or treated than as a friend or confidant or even a parent. conflict on a relationship and perceived loss represent a re-experiencing of childhood abuse or neglect or simply family conflict or inconsistent parenting.


It has been propsed that the intense psychological reactions that persons withe the borderline diagnosis develop in response to


On self-harm

This behavior is not suicidal behavior because the persons are not acting out of a desire to end their lives; rather, individuals with this problem report that the behavior gives them rapid, though short-lived relief from uncomfortable emotional states, including depression, anxiety, and anger.  Often, the person feels guilty and ashamed afterwards and attempts to conceal what she has done.


Many persons also say that they engage in these behaviors to keep from feeling numb.  We previously discussed how individuals who have BPD are frequently troubled by feelings of profound emptiness and loneliness.  They sometimes report feeling unreal or nothing at all, and self-injury may be a way to generate emotional and physical sensations that allow them to feel “real” or alive again.

On suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

These attempts are usually triggered by some immediate traumatic event, most frequently an interpersonal problem such as an argument with significant others and family members, or incidents in which the individual feel disappointed, angry with, or abandoned by someone close to them.

From what you have read in this book so far, it should not be difficult to understand why persons who have BPD are so troubled by suicidal thinking and behaviors.  Their problems with damaged identity make them especially sensitive to rejection- they feel so bad about themselves continuously that rejection, even the most trivial, seems like a confirmation of their feelings of worthlessness.  In a sense, they don’t have any “self” to fall back on fro support.  Their tendancy to react strongly and quickly with negative emotions, which they cannot adequately modulate on heir own, means that their emotional reaction to perceived rejection escalates out of control fast, like a runaway train careening down a hill.  Add impulsiveness and and inabiltity to self-soothe to this potent mix, and you truly have a recipe for disaster.

Part of a vignette:

“I’m horrible,” I told the man on the other end of the [suicide hotline].  “I hate myself.  I’m crazy.”  It would really surprise him that once upon a time /i used to be somebody.  People who knew me, I told him, wouldn’t believe that all this was going on.  They think I’m a nice person.  They don’t know me.

bpd book chart

bpd chart 2


4 Responses to “Resource: BPD New Reasons for Hope review and Quotes”

  1. made58 November 8, 2014 at 2:39 PM #

    Reblogged this on HelpingOthersHelpThemselves.

  2. prideinmadness November 9, 2014 at 6:05 AM #

    Well, I related to a lot of that!

    • mm172001 November 9, 2014 at 7:33 AM #

      I did too, it’s one of the best books on BPD in my opinion, which is why I did this review and had it linked to my resources page. I have other books I’m hoping to get around to doing too!

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