FAMLIES WHO APPEAR IN THE IF ONLY WE HAD KNOWN: A FAMILY GUIDE TO BPD VIDEO SERIES
KRISSY AND HER FAMILY
Krissy was and energetic and outgoing child, but when she reached school age, problems began to arise. Her parents sought professional help and Krissy received several different diagnoses including ADHD, learning disabilities, and depression. But when she first cut herself and made a suicide attempt, all before she was 16, her parents knew there was something terribly wrong.
Finally, a professional mentioned the possibility of borderline personality disorder. Having the correct diagnosis, Krissy’s parents found appropriate treatment for her, and also for themselves through classes with other families that were also struggling to cope with BPD.
LINDSAY AND HER FAMILY
From an early age Lindsay was never comfortable being alone, and was never quite sure what her place in the world was supposed to be. Although she is bright and talented, things in her life began to unravel in high school. Friendships faded and relationships with boys never seemed to work out.
Her moods shifted rapidly, she would react to minor events way out of proportion – sometimes violently. Her late teen years brought on self-harming behaviors like cutting, and overdosing.
Her parents didn’t know what to do. Her mother started searching for information about all of the behaviors Lindsay was manifesting. When she found a site that described borderline personality disorder, the list of characteristics closely matched Lindsay’s. With that as a start they were able to find a mental health professional well schooled in BPD. That helped to turn Lindsay’s life, and theirs, around.
CATHLEEN AND HER FAMILY
She was first in her class in high school and college; and was in the top half of her law school. But Cathleen often felt that she wanted to die in order to escape the emotional pain she constantly felt. Her social skills seemed to keep her low self esteem hidden from others. But after a few years of marriage, she couldn’t control her feelings as well as she had. No longer sure what to do, Cathleen’s husband Jim started searching the internet for help. When he came across a site about borderline personality disorder, he instantly recognized Cathleen’s behaviors.
He convinced Cathleen that BPD was at the root of her emotional problems. She found a therapist who was familiar with dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, and Jim joined a family education program on BPD that used many of the same elements of DBT. That combination likely saved not only Cathleen’s life, but their marriage as well.
EJ AND HIS FAMILY
From the outset, EJ was louder, more mischievous and charismatic than most other kids. He went through a litany of diagnoses as his parents tried to understand his emotional swings. He could switch from dark moodiness to white hot anger in an instant.
Trouble at school as well as at home followed him into adolescence. There was drug abuse, fights, on and off relationships and lots of family arguments until the day came when his family had to ask him to leave the household because no one felt safe with him there.
When his parents were told he might have borderline personality disorder, at first they didn’t know what it was. But learning about BPD and seeking professional help for the rest of the family, helped them see EJ in a different light and they stopped reacting to his extreme behaviors in like kind. Over time, things began to settle down, the angry outbursts and impulsive behaviors decreased and EJ was allowed to return to the family.