How do stoics manage to fall in love?
How does a borderliner love?
For a moment he swears his love for her, takes her by the hand and dances through the apartment. Shortly afterwards he yells at her for placing a water glass on the windowsill instead of the dining table. "This is typical behavior for people with borderlines," says Manuela Rösel, psychological consultant from Berlin. "You only know extremes." They cross the border between euphoria and depression, self-exaggeration and self-doubt, black and white.
Borderline - so many are affected
Around 1.2 million Germans suffer from the personality disorder, especially adolescents and young adults. Experts assume that the number of borderliners will continue to increase. The reason: Our society is becoming increasingly fragmented, fixed family structures are falling apart more and more. This is a problem for cross-border commuters, because they in particular need a stable environment.
The well-known German psychiatrist Borwin Bandelow is convinced that he can locate the majority of Borderliners among celebrities. Robbie Williams, Kurt Cobain and Angelina Jolie are just a few names he mentions. His thesis: The borderliners' brains release too few endorphins, that's why they crave happiness hormones more than others. And they get them especially in the spotlight. Bandelow even recommends: "Anyone who suffers from such disorders should strive to become an artist." His colleague Dr. Kirstin Bernhardt, Deputy Director of the Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy in Kiel, is critical of this assessment. Confirmation from outside has no permanent positive influence on the very low self-esteem of borderliners. But she agrees with Borwin Bandelow that they are extraordinarily creative people. Perhaps an impetus for those affected to let their creativity run free, to try out whether this valve provides relief.
Affected people cut themselves or hit their heads against the wall
The causes of the personality disorder are not yet clearly understood. Most experts suspect an interplay between genetic and social conditions. "One of the hereditary factors is that the brain regions, which play an important role in the emotional evaluation of situations, are extremely excitable in borderliners," says Kirstin Bernhardt. As a result, they suffer from massive tension and are over-sensitive to stimuli. If someone had traumatic experiences in their childhood, felt isolated or even experienced abuse, the severity of the illness increases.
What are the reasons for borderline disorder?
According to the system used to classify mental illness, there are nine indicators of the disorder. If five of these are met, the patient is considered a borderliner. These include an insecure self-image, behavior that harms yourself, such as drug abuse or excessive spending. Self-harm are also typical. Affected people cut their skin and hit their head against the wall. Further evidence: the chronic feeling of inner emptiness, fits of anger, paranoid ideas, suicide threats and contradicting feelings like the panic of being alone, although at the same time there is a great fear of closeness.
We have addresses, contact points and Self-help groups for borderliners and their relatives put together.
We have also compiled a list of books on the topic of borderline.
Many partners are overwhelmed
This paradoxical attitude makes living together with borderliners so difficult: on the one hand, they cling to their partner, on the other hand, they quickly withdraw from him. For the other a difficult state to endure. Many partners are overwhelmed, do not want to be to blame for the dissatisfaction of the beloved, do not want to take responsibility for his actions.
"Cross-border commuters evaluate everything based on their respective emotional state," says Manuela Rösel, who has already written several guides for partners of borderliners. Since those affected often do not know who they really are, they lose themselves in their emotional chaos. That's why they need someone through whom they can define themselves, a mirror, so to speak. And that is often the partner. "Borderliners expect him to feel the same way they do at the same time," explains the expert. If he doesn't, they try to provoke that feeling. "Someone with this disorder cannot cope with the fact that their partner is an independent individual - and not just a projection screen," says Manuela Rösel. Borderline people experience a separation all the more existentially. Because if the partner is missing, the mirrored self is missing: "Some feel like they have been destroyed," says Manuela Rösel. Because they believe that they can only live through the other. That's why they don't let go of the other and in the worst case even become stalkers.
His despair is not my despair
But how can you live a love for a borderliner? "By setting yourself apart," advises the expert, "and realizing that the desperation of the other is not your own despair and that you are also not responsible for your partner." Maintaining this attitude requires great inner strength, which not everyone has in themselves. Because who can stand it when the loved one hurts himself, cuts himself with a razor blade.
Why do borderliners hurt themselves?
To break out of a state in which they see the world as if through a veil, only perceive everything in pale colors, no longer feel real. Only the pain brings them back to life. But what is actually an emergency anchor can also be reversed: five to ten percent of all borderliners take their own lives.
Therapy - what are the options?
But now there are successful therapeutic options that do not cure the disorder, but can get it under control. The most common Dialectical Behavioral Therapy applied. The first thing to do is to find alternatives for how borderliners can free themselves from the unbearable state of inner emptiness. For example, instead of cutting yourself with a razor blade, you can snap a rubber band onto your skin. In the second step, they learn to be more mindful - with themselves and the world that surrounds them. This is important because in mindfulness there is love.
Forums, self-help groups, contact points - Borderliners and their families can find help here.
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