Dr. Maria Solomon
I have been working, for many years, with patients who have Borderline Personality Disorder. These individuals are frequently creative, passionate, highly calibrated, resilient – and both loving and loveable. They have also been grossly misunderstood, dismissed as histrionic and manipulative - - and seen by many therapists as hyperbolic, hopeless and unable to sustain treatment. Sadly, the solution to their intolerable agony is often self- medication through substance, eating disorders or self- injurious harm-- or death -- either intended or accidental.
I have learned, over the years, that what lies at the center of successful treatment with them is the very quality of our presence. We become their anchors – steady, predictable, moored -- unflappable and yet also fallible. We are with them in a mutually committed partnership and we are not daunted or deterred by the high-risk behaviors that so often seem for them to be their only refuge for peace. We stand with them – and by them – in an unwavering mission to help them choose and create a life for themselves. We teach them – through concrete skills, compassion, insight – to take the fragmented parts of themselves and their lives and put them slowly and deliberately into a cohesive whole.
It breaks my heart to hear people – both professionals and lay – talk about Borderline Personality Disorder as untreatable. It is both inaccurate and archaic. As a community of clinicians, family members and individuals with BPD, we bear a responsibility to dispel this myth. It is extraordinary that Rosa Nouvini, Roya Nouvini and Paula Tusiani-Eng have turned their experience into direct action by forming Emotions Matter, Inc. I am thrilled to be on board to help in any way I can.
Anonymous Psychiatrist from New York
My sister has BPD and I first realized there was something wrong when she developed a pain medication addiction. She was having difficulties at work and wasn’t getting better when she became sober. Things were so bad she once attempted suicide twice in 2 weeks.
She was finally diagnosed with BPD in 2006 but it wasn’t until I became a psychiatrist years later that we figured out as a family what it really meant. We finally began to understand why she had so many difficulties for such a long time. Her relationships and support have been the most helpful in her recovery. The least helpful to her has been the many doctors that refused to work with her.
My sister’s struggle with BPD has inspired me to become a psychiatrist that treats these patients. I love working with them, and it is so rewarding to see them improve with treatment. I want society to know that this is a brain-based disorder. I want to eradicate the belief that these patients don’t get better.
There is hope for a better future for those living with BPD. Today, my sister is sober and married with a child and lives a meaningful life. She is one of the best chefs I know. We are close and I am there for her whenever she needs advice.