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"The puzzle at the heart of BPD is one that you can solve." A.J. Mahari

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Borderline Personality Disorder
and Radical Acceptance

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a formidable personality disorder. It is a complex and multifaceted mental illness that negatively impacts efforts to build relationships. In fact, if anything, the issues that those diagnosed with BPD have, often experience maintaining relationships next to impossible to manage in any way that is constructive and age-appropriate.

Bundle of 4 Audio Programs For Borderlines $57.99

3 Non Borderline Audio Programs Package $42.00

Dr. Marsha Linehan pioneered one of the most popular therapies for the treatment of BPD called Dialectical Skills Training (DBT). One of the central principles of DBT, housed within the Distress Tolerance Module of Linehan's Skills Training is Radical Acceptance.

Radical Acceptance has its roots in ancient Buddhist philosophy. As it is applied by Linehan in her DBT skills training it denotes the choice that can be made by those with BPD to be "willing" as opposed to "wilful". Most borderlines, at some point or other, find themselves in what are referred to as unregulated moods in which they are not able to effectively manage their emotions. These unregulated moods that manifest so much of borderline toxic relating and borderline behaviour are the result of triggered emotional dysregulation This is, in fact, an example of wilfulness.

Wilfulness that is a response to abandonment fear and that is a result of the legacy of abandonment in BPD. Abandonment and even more to the point the shame of abandonment borderlines continue to experience is one of the most central realities in and of Borderline Personality Disorder. The central role and importance of this unresolved legacy of abandonment and on-going impact of the core wound of abandonment in BPD are the forces behind the incredible and enduring and self-destructive wilfulness of those with BPD.

Touchstone Life Coaching

When one is wilful, one is rigid, and therefore not flexible. Most borderlines are wilful because they lack the emotional maturity to flow with things as they unfold, particularly relationally. Borderline wilfulness is second nature and largely is the result of the very elaborate defense mechanisms required just to feel as if one isn't about to die or cease to exist.

Emotions overwhelm borderlines. Most with BPD feel the need to defend against emotional pain, the roots of which, or cause of which, for most is hidden deep within their unconscious.

Learning the stance of willingness required to practice Linehan's Distress Tolerance skills can and does produce incredible change over time when practiced. Adopting a willing attitude of radical acceptance creates change because one learns how to stop the whirlwind cycle of borderline emotional dysregulation. A dysregulation that is not only very emotionally painful but also keeps those with BPD from being able to get to know the authentic self that was lost to the narcissistic injury of the core wound of abandonment suffered or perceived by the borderline in the very early stages of psychological development, usually before the age of two years.

Radical acceptance is the vehicle of transition between knee-jerk protective reactions that further borderline suffering and the borderline's learning how to begin to tolerate some emotional distress that over time comes to be dreaded less, feared less, and then reacted to less. The Radical Acceptance of DBT, when practiced, helps the borderline develop the skill necessary to build emotional mastery and turn what has been unbearable and unmanageable suffering into manageable pain. Radical acceptance is at the heart of the road to recovery that is the journey From False Self To Authentic Self - Getting in Touch with the Inner Child in BPD.

Radical Acceptance in Bordelrine Personality Disorder, when practiced, can and will be the heart of what is essentially the ground work of preparing to recover from BPD. A recovery that is possible. A recovery that first requires that those with BPD begin to search for a believe in hope for that recovery. A recovery that one must take personal responsibility for finding, working toward, being committed to and sticking with, even when it hurts.

© A.J. Mahari 2007 with additions November 22, 2008

Bundle of 4 Audio Programs For Borderlines $57.99

3 Non Borderline Audio Programs Package $42.00

A.J. Mahari is currently writing a memoir about her life and experience as a person who had two parents with Borderline Personality Disorder, as a person who was diagnosed herself with BPD at the age of 19 and from her perspective as someone who has recovered from BPD. There is a new section on her BPD Blog called The Diary - My Borderline Years where A.J. Mahari shares snipets of experience from her own life that is will give you just a taste of what her memoir will include.

The Shame of Abandonment in BPD

BPD and Abandonment

Inside The Borderline Mind - For Non Borderlines

Audio Program "Preparing For Recovery From BPD" Parts 1 & 2 by A.J. Mahari

Audio Program Rage Addiction in BPD by A.J. Mahari (sold separately or packaged with Mahari's Ebook, "Rage and BPD")

No reproduction in whole or in part without the written consent of A.J. Mahari. To seek permission to re-produce anything on this site or to link anything on this site please email me at bpdinsideout@yahoo.ca - I do not give my consent for anything I've written to be re-produced on any other website without my expressed permission. If you wish to link to an article I've written please link directly to the article page on this site - thanks so much!