Borderline Personality Disorder For Dummies

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Your clear, compassionate guide to managing BPD — and living well

Looking for straightforward information on Borderline Personality Disorder? This easy-to-understand guide helps those who have BPD develop strategies for breaking the destructive cycle. This book also aids loved ones in accepting the disorder and offering support. Inside you'll find authoritative details on the causes of BPD and proven treatments, as well as advice on working with therapists, managing symptoms, and enjoying a full life.

  • Review the basics of BPD — discover the symptoms of BPD and the related emotional problems, as well as the cultural, biological, and psychological causes of the disease

  • Understand what goes wrong — explore impulsivity, emotional dysregulation, identity problems, relationship conflicts, black-and-white thinking, and difficulties in perception; and identify the areas where you may need help

  • Make the choice to change — find the right care provider, overcome common obstacles to change, set realistic goals, and improve your physical and emotional state

  • Evaluate treatments for BPD — learn about the current treatments that really work and develop a plan for addressing the core symptoms of BPD

  • If someone you love has BPD — see how to identify triggers, handle emotional upheavals, set clear boundaries, and encourage your loved one to seek therapy

Open the book and find:

  • The major characteristics of BPD

  • Who gets BPD — and why

  • Recent treatment advances

  • Illuminating case studies

  • Strategies for calming emotions and staying in control

  • A discussion of medication options

  • Ways to stay healthy during treatment

  • Tips for explaining BPD to others

  • Help for parents whose child exhibits symptoms

  • Treatment options that work and those you should avoid

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About the author

Charles H. Elliott, PhD, and Laura L. Smith, PhD, are clinical psychologists who specialize in training mental health professionals in the treatment of adolescents and adults with personality disorders, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, anger, and depression. They are the coauthors of Depression For Dummies, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, and Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies.

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jul 1, 2009
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780470550625
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / General
Psychology / Psychopathology / Dissociative Identity Disorder
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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"[A]n absorbing journey through a psychiatrist’s dauntingly challenging first case of multiple personality disorder--from the beginning of therapy to stable integration and recovery."
-- Colin Ross, author of Multiple Personality Order and The Osiris Complex

In 1989, Karen Overhill walks into psychiatrist Richard Baer’s office seeking help for her depression and a persistent memory problem: she routinely loses parts of her day, finds herself in places she doesn't remember going to, and is told about conversations she doesn’t remember having. While trying to discover the root cause of her memory loss, Baer works to gain Karen's trust, but it's years before he learns the true extent of the trauma buried in her past. What she eventually reveals is nearly beyond belief, a narrative of a childhood spent grappling with unimaginable horror.

Then Baer receives an envelope in the mail. It’s marked with Karen’s return address but contains a letter from a little girl who writes that she’s seven years old and lives inside of Karen. Soon Baer receives letters from others claiming to be parts of Karen. Under hypnosis, these alternate Karen personalities reveal themselves in shocking variety. One “alter” is a young boy filled with frightening aggression; another an adult male who considers himself Karen’s protector; a third a sassy flirt who seeks dominance over the others. It’s only by compartmentalizing her pain, guilt, and fear in this fashion that Karen has been able to function since childhood. Realizing that his patient represents an extreme case of multiple personality disorder, Baer faces the daunting task of creating a therapy that will make Karen whole again.

As powerful as Sybil or The Three Faces of Eve, Switching Time is the first complete account of such therapy to be told from the perspective of the treating physician, a stunningly devoted healer who worked selflessly for decades so that Karen could one day live as a single human being.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by unstable moods, negative self-image, dangerous impulsivity, and tumultuous relationships. Many people with BPD excel in academics and careers while revealing erratic, self-destructive, and sometimes violent behavior only to those with whom they are intimate. Others have trouble simply holding down a job or staying in school. Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder is a compassionate and informative guide to understanding this profoundly unsettling--and widely misunderstood--mental illness, believed to affect approximately 6% of the general population. Rather than viewing people with BPD as manipulative opponents in a bitter struggle, or pitying them as emotional invalids, Valerie Porr cites cutting-edge science to show that BPD is a true neurobiological disorder and not, as many come to believe, a character flaw or the result of bad parenting. Porr then clearly and accessibly explains what BPD is, which therapies have proven effective, and how to rise above the weighty stigma associated with the disorder. Offering families and loved ones supportive guidance that both acknowledges the difficulties they face and shows how they can be overcome, Porr teaches empirically-supported and effective coping behaviors and interpersonal skills, such as new ways of talking about emotions, how to be aware of nonverbal communication, and validating difficult experiences. These skills are derived from Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Mentalization-based Therapy, two evidence-based treatments that have proven highly successful in reducing family conflict while increasing trust. Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder is an empowering and hopeful resource for those who wish to gain better understanding of the BPD experience--and to make use of these insights in day-to-day family interactions. Winner of the ABCT Self Help Book Seal of Merit Award 2011
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