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When a loved-one has traits of Borderline Personality

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Marsha Linehan Reveals Her Own Fight with Borderline Personality Disorder

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Dr. Linehan had a ready answer. It was the one she always used to cut the question short, whether a patient asked it hopefully, accusingly or knowingly, having glimpsed the macramé of faded burns, cuts and welts on Dr. Linehan’s arms: “You mean, have I suffered?”

No, Marsha,” the patient replied, in an encounter last spring. “I mean one of us. Like us. Because if you were, it would give all of us so much hope.”

Dr. Linehan, 68, told her story in public for the first time last week before an audience of friends, family and doctors at the Institute of Living, the Hartford clinic where she was first treated for extreme social withdrawal at age 17. A discharge summary, dated May 31, 1963, noted that “during 26 months of hospitalization, Miss Linehan was, for a considerable part of this time, one of the most disturbed patients in the hospital.”  “So many people have begged me to come forward, and I just thought — well, I have to do this. I owe it to them. I cannot die a coward.”

An article appearing in the New York Times on a June 23, 2011, Marsha M. Linehan shares her struggles Borderline Personality Disorder and features a very inspirational video short (clink on photo above).

The article provides interesting insight into both the motivations and the spiritual and scientific influences that lead to Dr. Linehan to develop Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  The discussion of Radical Acceptance distills this concept down to its very essence. salutes Dr. Linehan for taking this brave step to fight the stigma of one of the most difficult and perplexing condition tearing up lives and families. Every day hundreds of our members struggle helping a loved one and report again and again how isolating this illness is not only for the person suffering from BPD but also for the family members. Marsha Linehan and the cadre of gifted people that inspired by her have given everyone a much better chance to overcome the dysfunction in our relationships.

Authors: An0ught, BlackAndWhite, Patty, Skip, United for Now

Source: New York Times

"Are you one of us?" the patient wanted to know of her therapist, Marsha M. Linehan of the University of Washington, creator of a treatment used worldwide for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. provides support, education, tools, and perspective to individuals with a loved one affected by Borderline Personality Disorder. BPFamily is a non-profit, co-op of nearly 75,000 volunteer members and alumni formed in 1998. We welcome you to join our free 24 hour on-line support community with its nearly 3 million postings and grow with us as we learn to live better lives in the shadow of this disorder. For more information or to register, please click here.

Write comments
  1. This is pretty flipping amazing. Wow. Just wow. This is going to change things, I think, for the better, in terms of public awareness and acceptance of this disorder.

  2. Exactly. At least people will feel safer about coming out. Also, I think it'll be a lot easier to sell DBT to persons diagnosed. It's one thing to say that some psychologist came up with a treatment to help you. It's completely different to say that someone like you came up with a way to help you. I've heard a lot from my wife and others from BPD that "they" don't understand. It's hard to use that line now. Not impossible, mind you. But a LOT harder.

  3. A marvelous revelation. Truly an inspiration to all the other sufferers, both ordinary and famous.

  4. This is amazing! I even cry when I read this article. My teenage daughter is suffering from this. Our family is going crazy because it is so hard to understad all this behaviours. Now I know for certain that their is HOPE!

  5. I have the deepest respect and admiration for Marsha sharing this part of her journey with the world. Thank you Marsha!

  6. Thank you Marsha, more and more people should share their journeys. We need to find a away to prevent this and other disorders. Studies and statistics often over exaggerate the ending results for finding if disorders in adults are caused from trauma occurred during childhood. Making it seem that if a traumatic event does occur the child will grow up with a disability. For those how unfortunately have these disorders i think this needs to be done. The frontal lobe of the brain is the main element to the damage, whether damage is psychological, physical or genetic this part of the brain needs to be the main focus of the studies. And more long term studies need to do done.

  7. I think tha bpd is “Inability of individual to control or regulate the intensity of response to every emotion whether in past, present or future is a prime symptom in this disorder, i.e. if a emotion(thought) suppose generates(trigger) depression of level 1 in a healthy subject, in case of bpd due to his unability to regulate the emotion, depression might go up to 20 times of normal(this number is just an indicative & hypothetical for understanding & will vary from person to person), similar thing will happen in anger, fear, boredom, suspicious, anxiety, sexual feelings, creativity, innovative, excitement and other different aspect of human emotional thought process, it is very unlike Bipolar & the episodes in bpd last for only few hours but the frequency is far too rapid and increases if not treated.

    An analogy can be drawn with patient of blood pressure and diabetes as the intensity of patients suffering from these diseases differ similarly intensity of bpd patients differ.”

  8. Mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice.(Source:Wikipedia)
    Vipassana meditation also can be good option for the same.

  9. The video really touched me. What a courageous woman, I really admire her work, and the fact that she came forward to tell her story. I think it is so important for other sufferers to see that there is hope - from someone who knows what it feels like to live with a mental disorder. From suffering can come some absolutely beautiful gifts, and I think Marsha and her work are examples of that.