Sanctuary for the Abused

Monday, August 22, 2016

Devaluation and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)


The Slippery Slope (B.P.D.)

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has at its root distorted cognitive interpretations. There is a propensity toward negative perception. This negative perception is aroused and or triggered by any number of things that take borderlines emotionally back to the unmet needs and the pain that sits there until faced, felt and healed.

One very central way to change this cycle of being triggered and then sliding (often subsconsiously) into cognitive distortions which that can lead to acting out and over-all child-like behaviour, demanding, push/pull, self-harm, feelings of rejection or abandonment to name just a few is to learn how to recognize and stop borderline devalution.

Devaluation is the lessening of someone or something. It often results from triggered-distorted thinking. It often takes the shape of negative, judgmental, critical and angry conclusions drawn in relation to someone in the here and now that has come to represent someone in one's past. It is yet another facet or extension of borderline-narcissism.

When one begins this cycle of devaluation there is great reason for concern. It is a slippery slope from the mental exercise of devaluation to behavioural reality of aggression or passive-agression. When one is devaluing another person who that person is gets blurred. It then gets easier to value one's own narcissistic and selfish expression which will over-ride the reality of the other person's entity.


In the act of devaluing borderline's often misinterpret reality as if events that have occurred are a conspiracy against them or are happening just to them and being done by others on purpose. This is a prime example of narcissism in action.

An example of devaluation:

You are with a friend who has helped you out a lot and who you believe cares about you. You like this person most of the time. Though there are those times when you think that they think (projection) that you are "less than". Your friend decides to change his/her mind about something that they had promised to do with you. Rather than just accept that at face value and accept his/her reason you suspect that it has more to do with you. You suspect and come to believe that they are doing something to you on purpose to hurt you. Chances are that the change in plans your friend has made has nothing at all to do with you. Here is the critical area in which you need to stop the cycle of devaluation before it starts.

If you get into devaluation it will begin with the thought that your friend is not being honest with you. It will proceed to your believing they really don't like you anyway. Then the next thought would be that they don't care about you so why should you care about them. Anger sets in as you feel hurt but don't deal with that. Next thing you know, this friend that you wanted to go to a movie with now seems like some stranger you've never known. The reason has nothing to do with him/her. The reason that your friend now seems like a stranger is because you have projected so much of yourself on to him/her that you are not seeing them anymore. So, in essence then, this devaluation of another person, is really an extension of your own self-hatred and how undeserving you feel. And all it takes to activate this trigger in the average borderline is a slight change of plan or routine that leaves anything in the borderline's experience feeling unpredictable or out of control.

It is when you devalue, and react to others as an extension of yourself (narcissistically), that the slippery slope sees you sliding down the triggered-reality toward what is tantamount to illusion and distorted thoughts. Any action that you act on that results from that illusion or those distorted thoughts has a great chance of being very damaging in any relationship. It will be experienced as controlling, manipulating and or punishing by the person on the other end of your devaluation of them. If you are unaware of the effect that you are having on others and if you are unable to take personal responsibility for the unfolding of this devaluing dynamic the chances are good then that you will feel rejected, and or abandoned, not understand why and then escalate your negative and controlling behaviour/defence mechanisms which will then only further alienate others from you.

Devaluation of others is a slippery-slope because it quickly leads to patterned responses from your past crowding into your relationships in the present. When you come to understand what devaluing others costs you, you may then decide that it is a cycle worth stopping. When you start your slide down that slippery slope it can be difficult to stop yourself before you have done a lot of damage to yourself and others and before you end up at the bottom of that cycle yet again.

No deserves to be devalued. When one is able to devalue another it dehumanizes them and leads to an inability to respect. This is often the precursor to violence.

There are thought-patterns which occur in patterned ways in each and every devaluing episode. The key thing is to learn what they are and how to recognize them. The way to stop them is to work through them and understand what they are attached to from your past. The best way to not fall into the pattern of devaluation is to remind yourself that everything is NOT about you. If you find yourself about to devalue someone just tell yourself to STOP. Just saying STOP can help you re-focus your thoughts elsewhere.

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Saturday, August 06, 2016

The 99 Worst Things to Say to Someone Who's Depressed


Some people trivialize depression (often unintentionally) by dropping a platitude on a depressed person as if that is the one thing they needed to hear. While some of these thoughts have been helpful to some people (for example, some find that praying is very helpful), the context in which they are often said mitigates any intended benefit to the hearer. Platitudes don't cure depression.

Here is the list from contributors to asd:

0. "What's your problem?"

1. "Will you stop that constant whining? What makes you think that anyone cares?"

2. "Have you gotten tired yet of all this me-me-me stuff?"

3. "You just need to give yourself a kick in the rear."

4. "But it's all in your mind."

5. "I thought you were stronger than that."

6. "No one ever said life was fair."

7. "As you get stronger you won't have to wallow in it as much."

8. "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps."

9. "Do you feel better now?" (Usually said following a five minute conversation in which the speaker has asked me "what's wrong?" and "would you like to talk about it?" with the best of intentions, but absolutely no understanding of depression as anything but an irrational sadness.)

10. "Why don't you just grow up?"

11. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself."

12. "There are a lot of people worse off than you."

13. "You have it so good, why aren't you happy?"

14. "It's a beautiful day!"

15. "You have so many things to be thankful for, why are you depressed?"

16. "What do you have to be depressed about."

17. "Happiness is a choice."

18. "You think you've got problems..."

19. "Well at least it's not that bad."

20. "Maybe you should take vitamins/herbs/chant affirmations for your stress."

21. "There is always somebody worse off than you are."

22. "Lighten up!"

23. "You should get off all those pills."

24. "You are what you think."

25. "Cheer up!"

26. "You're always feeling sorry for yourself."

27. "Why can't you just be normal?"

28. "Things aren't *that* bad, are they?"

29. "Have you been praying/reading the Bible?"

30. "You need to get out more."

31. "We have to get together some time." [Yeah, right!]

32. "Get a grip!"

33. "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

34. "Take a hot bath. That's what I always do when I'm upset."

35. "Well, everyone gets depressed sometimes!"

36. "Get a job!"

37. "Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone."

38. "You don't look depressed!"

39. "You're so selfish!"

40. "You never think of anyone but yourself."

41. "You're just looking for attention."

42. "Have you got PMS?"

43. "You'll be a better person because of it!"

44. "Everybody has a bad day now and then."

45. "You should buy nicer clothes to wear."

46. "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

47. "Why don't you smile more?"

48. "A person your age should be having the time of your life."

49. "The only one you're hurting is yourself."

50. "You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it."

51. "This is a place of business, not a hospital." (after confiding to supervisor about my depression)

52. "Depression is a symptom of your sin against God."

53. "You brought it on yourself"

54. "You can make the choice for depression and its effects, or against depression, it's all in your hands."

55. "Get off your rear and do something." -or- "Just do it!"

56. "Why should I care?"

57. "Snap out of it, will you?"

58. "You want to feel this way."

59. "You have no reason to feel this way."

60. "Its your own fault."

61. "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

62. "You're always worried about *your* problems."

63. "Your problems aren't that big."

64. "What are you worried about? You should be fine."

65. "Just don't think about it."

66. "Go Away."

67. "You don't have the ability to do it."

68. "Just wait a few weeks, it'll be over soon."

69. "Go out and have some fun!"

70. "You're making me depressed as well..."

71. "I just want to help you."

72. "The world out there is not that bad..."

73. "Just try a little harder!"

74. "Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days."

75. "You need a boy/girl-friend."

76. "You need a hobby."

77. "Just pull yourself together"

78. "You'd feel better if you went to church"

79. "I think your depression is a way of punishing us." &emdash;My mother

80. "Sh_t or get off the pot."

81. "So, you're depressed. Aren't you always?"

82. "What you need is some real tragedy in your life to give you perspective."

83. "You're a writer, aren't you? Just think of all the good material you're getting out of this."

84. This one is best executed with an evangelical-style handshake, i.e., one of my hands is imprisoned by two belonging to a beefy person who thinks he has a lot more charisma than I do: "Our thoughts and prayers are with you." This has actually happened to me. Bitten-back response: "Who are 'our'? And don't do me any favors, schmuck."

85. "Have you tried chamomile tea?"

86. "So, you're depressed. Aren't you always?"

87. "You will be ok, just hang in there, it will pass." (or "This too shall pass." -- Ann Landers)

88. "Oh, perk up!"

89. "Try not being so depressed."

90. "Quit whining. Go out and help people and you won't have time to brood..."

91. "Go out and get some fresh air... that always makes me feel better."

92. "You have to take up your bed and carry on."

93. "Why don't you give up going to these quacks (i.e., doctors) and throw out those pills, then you'll feel better."

94. "Well, we all have our cross to bear."

95. "You should join band or chorus or something. That way you won't be thinking about yourself so much."

96. "You change your mind."

97. "You're useless."

98. "Nobody is responsible for your depression."

99. "You don't like feeling that way? So, change it."

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