Keeping Mental Illness A Secret In Shidduchim🤕 🤒🤐👰🤵
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- This topic has 114 replies, 38 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by The little I know.
March 3, 2018 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #1480023
Yitzy, why only take a girl that’s currently on meds? Do you not think other people would unerstand you? Why do you need a wife who has BEEN through this same struggle as you?
I think you need someone with understanding, someone who has dealt with heavier stuff in life. By you saying “struggled in life” doesn’t sound like nessesarily meds.
It doesn’t sound strange to want someone who can truly understand your struggle, but I’m sure people can understand and even have similar feelings but in other ways.March 3, 2018 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #1480044BelievingParticipant
It’s very normal and understandable to date someone who has been through similar things. There’s a certain level of empathy that we get as a result of the challenges we endure. That’s not to say that others who haven’t had rough patches aren’t empathic. Nevertheless, it’s very understandable to want to date someone who has had various big bumps and can therefore share similar feelings and relate to you more (on a personal level).March 3, 2018 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #1480068
Thanks for understanding.
I didn’t really mean she had to take meds. I meant she should have an issue so we could understand each other and support each other. Of course a marriage isn’t about common challenges. I once almost got engaged to a Russian baalas tshuva. I think we understood each other. But people look at me and don’t see that I take meds etc (which is a good thing) so they don’t red me the shiduchim that have a higher probability of working out.March 4, 2018 3:14 am at 3:14 am #1480142
Yitzy, we all have hard things, but I get what you mean. I also haven’t had a simple life, and I have told people that I don’t want a boy that has just simply gone through the system very smoothly, and is just sitting and learning now because that’s what everyone else is doing and someone else pays tuition.
I wouldn’t say I’m looking for a boy with an issue, but rather a boy who has built himself up, and who he is now is only a result of his work. I think when I say this, most people that fall into this category are people who will understand me and my hashkafa, and any “issues” I do have, if that makes sense.
Regular people who have not gone through hardships. (I know of quite a few) are people that have simply just gone through the school system and haven’t thought much about where they are.
I went out with a boy who didn’t have any “common problems” with me, but he was put into a situation where he was forced to re-think his life and started on the path of building himself. Such a person is self aware, understanding, and “regular” problems are just a complete different story with them as they have a different outlook on life. This was a boy I thought things could work out with, I felt he could understand who I am and my choices.
What do you say?March 4, 2018 8:54 am at 8:54 am #1480165
There is a shadchan, Mrs. Chava Most, whose focus is
on shidduchim involving people with issues of any kind.March 4, 2018 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #1480656👑RebYidd23Participant
Are meds the same for men and for women? AFAIK, many of the side effects are not.March 4, 2018 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #1480693
Is there a way to respond to each post separately? I’m relatively new here.
Mrs. Most told me she doesn’t work with mental illness only physical issues or people in their 40s. She was nice when I spoke to her.
RebYidd-you make a good point. Certain meds are problematic during pregnancy. Not all though.
Shopping-I think you are making two points. 1-You seem to be not looking for a guy in kollel who will be supported by others. That seems separate from struggling with issues. I can understand that. Then 2-a person can struggle without it being mental illness. I understand that too. I agree with you that not “everyone has issues”. I hate when people say that. But in a sense, the older I get and the more I see, I start to see people really get issues! I think its a statistic. Every day is a potential for an issue.
When I was in yeshiva I was mkana the two best guys in my shiur (good friends of mine). I was depressed and they were the top learners. Well what happens? One nebuch loses a child to cancer and the other survives (bh) cancer. When I was having kinah did I know what was going to happen to the people I was having kinah on? Of course not. And terribly there are people younger than me who I have watched pass away. So in a sense I can count my blessings that I am alive. But I still so much want to get married and fear rejection for taking meds.March 4, 2018 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #1480700
☢ 🚭 ☣ Rand0m3x 🧠🕴🎲Participant
There is a shadchan, Mrs. Chava Most, whose focus is
on shidduchim involving people with issues of any kind.
She must have thousands of clients because i dont know a single person who does not have an issue of some kind.
The torah mentions about a mitzvas asay of v’ohavta l’rayacho komocha. If you don’t disclose your mental illness or you disclose it right before getting engaged you are allegedly oyver on this mitzvas asay among other issurim.March 4, 2018 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #1480718
Takes2: What’s the issur of disclosing it “right before getting engaged”, given the engagement didn’t yet occur?March 4, 2018 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #1480723☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
V’ohavto L’reiacho KomochoMarch 4, 2018 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #1480728
Disclosure how long before the engagement still qualifies as V’ohavto L’reiacho Komocho and how long does not qualify?March 4, 2018 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #1480731
Takes2: What’s the issur of disclosing it “right before getting engaged”, given the engagement didn’t yet occur?
V’ohavta l’rayacha kamocha.
Many many times the person receiving the news breaks off the shiduch and u want to know what issir wad caused?
You stole someone’s time, you strung them along for no reason other then selfishness. You hurt them emotionally. You stole thier money when you went out to eat. All this knowing full well that as soon as the shadchan is will be asking about when the guy guy or girl is ready is the time that a load of bricks will fall down on the presective shidduch. Joseph u Still want to know whats wrong with this sheker?March 4, 2018 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #1480743☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Disclosure how long before the engagement still qualifies as V’ohavto L’reiacho Komocho and how long does not qualify?
As implied by T2, before there’s a huge emotional investment.
I believe poskim don’t speak in terms of how long before the engagement, but rather how long after initially meeting. I believe the number generally given is three dates, but ask your posek for specific guidance.March 4, 2018 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #1480746
In the Chareidi world three dates is generally not long before the engagement.March 4, 2018 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #1480775Curious1000Participant
Joseph – while that is true, it’s also right after they started going out. It’s pretty rare in the chareidi world to get engaged before the fourth date (though I do have several friends who did so).March 4, 2018 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #1480783Midwest2Participant
Of course I’m from the “bubbie/zeidy” generation, but when I see young people getting engaged after 5 dates I really feel afraid for them. The dating situation is artificial, but if you see someone enough times you’ll get some sort of idea about how they think and react.
No amount of “research” by the parents can make up for the young people actually observing each other over time. Many times issues are concealed or ignored, or things which are not really issues but just slightly nonconformist are magnified. And what’s a perfect match for one person may be a “no-go” for someone else. Is ten dates too much? I think it ought to be the minimum.
How many young couples have to wind up in beis din before we re-think the system?March 4, 2018 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #1480794
Curious 1000: Which means the difference between telling right before the engagement and telling a couple dates earlier is not that big a difference in time.
Midwest2: Those who date 10 or more times end up in Beis Din more often than those who get engaged after 5 dates. And those who date for half a year or more have an even higher divorce rate. Even 6-12 months of dating will often not reveal major faults.March 4, 2018 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #1480827
Many poskim say to tell on the 3rd date. Others say there no “vort davka” in the 3rd date. Its an inyan that you can’t get the girl to fall for you and then tell her you have a mood disorder. 3 dates 6 hours each is different than 3 dates 2 hours each. I think we’d all agree on that. And a 22 year old bochur’s 3rd date is different than a 40 year old baal habos’s 3rd date.
That being said, of course I’d tell the girl about my mood disorder before it gets serious.
I wish there was a book of stories of people on medicine who got married.March 5, 2018 6:31 am at 6:31 am #1480847
Is there a way to respond to each post separately?
No. : (
<e>I wish there was a book of stories of people on medicine who got married.
There’s no tension to a story if you know the outcome, and I
don’t think anyone wants to read 20 similar stories in a row.
(“Boy and girl get married” isn’t a very compelling storyline, either.)March 5, 2018 10:52 am at 10:52 am #1480932
Yitzy: Welcome. I’ve been here since I was 14.
1. I’m not nessesarily looking for a worker. Gosh, I just want a guy who does whatever he does becuse he truly wants to, and is a self made person. He definitely needs to learn daily, something, anything. I might marry a full time learner, whatever Hashem sends me.
2. Glad you got my pointMarch 5, 2018 11:17 am at 11:17 am #1480876The little I knowParticipant
“The dating situation is artificial, but if you see someone enough times you’ll get some sort of idea about how they think and react.”
Others commented about some particular number of dates, or whether those who date more vs. less end up in beis din.
Aside from there being virtually zero statistics on this, I question anyone reporting this based on anecdotal data. I do not believe there is anything at all to do with more or less dating. I do believe that mental illness is one of many factors that can become a problem within the relationship, and that the failure to discover or disclose it before is problematic.
But if we recall that the dating period is completely artificial, as noted in the comment from Midwest2, the amount of that contact does not matter at all. It is typical that when one is seeking to establish a relationship with another, that they put on their best face, both in physical presentation and in their demeanor. These two dating people are hardly the real people, and this prevents them from seeing each other under pressure, dealing with negativity, disagreement, etc., all those things that need to be part of managing a marriage. How is he/she when they are hungry, tired, or in a bad mood? That will never be discovered on a date, not the first, not even the tenth.
Attributing success vs. failure in marriage to these numerical factors is erroneous. It completely misses the core issues that determine whether the marriage has potential. The older ones among us can likely remember grandparents or great grandparents who barely dated, if at all, who enjoyed beautiful marriages for many decades. The parsha about what makes marriages fail or succeed is vast, and efforts to present any single factor are futile. The question here is about the secrecy of mental illness. Yes, it can make a huge difference. And there may well be certain people that should not get married altogether. I know that is a terrible thing to say. But not possessing the basic skills to manage a relationship makes such efforts doomed. People need to spend their lives being happy, and this requires making the other person happy, too.March 5, 2018 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm #1481015Midwest2Participant
There are no statistics on dating/marriage outcomes, because, as anyone who has tried to do social research in the frum community knows, few people will tell the truth, and many will simply refuse to answer. And we have no practical way of designing a study anyway. The only good data that I’ve heard about have come from rabbonim and batei din, and they don’t collect the kind of information needed.
And for anyone who’s done any research, you know that “data” is not the plural of “anecdote.” No matter how many times you hear something at the kiddush club or from your brother-in-law, it does not mean that you can assume it represents what’s happening in the whole community. There are probably many happy marriages where one or both spouses have a “problem” but they know how to handle it, in which case you’ll never hear about it. Maybe the batei din in Lakewood could come up with some way of collecting data, but in the meantime we’re flying in the dark.March 6, 2018 12:38 am at 12:38 am #1481835
So I called a girl tonight and she says, a great guy like you, why aren’t you married. I get evasive and ask her, why aren’t you married? She sighs and says how hard it is to fimnd a guy who isn’t divorced OR ON MEDS
Ok. So I’ve proved my point. Truth is, evberyone has their pekel.
How do I get positive?March 6, 2018 6:30 am at 6:30 am #1481850
It’s hard. I myself would be wary of anyone on meds. I don’t know what your meds are for, so it depends obviously. But I’ve been through so much, and have so much on my plate, if is taking meds for a mental illness, I’d be very wary, even if he is functioning great, and he;s been on them for years, things happen, people change, what if one day he won’t want to take it? Our bodies change, what if he needs to switch medications? Going through the whirlwind of finding the right one and dose and meanwhile he is falling apart…
I just don’t.
If the meds are for ADHD, any physical issues, or very small things, like hormones or moods are a bit off not like major mental disorder, than I’d look into it obviously, but I’d marry a guy like that.March 6, 2018 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #1482121
My meds are for bipolar II. But people act out of ignorance (I am not saying you). They don’t even know the difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II (not that they are expected too).
Being married to someone with a mental illness that is not controlled is a serious problem.
But why would you worry that a guy would stop taking his meds if he hasn’t stopped taking them for the last 23 years? True, the body can change and meds can need to be adjusted but lets say a girl is 40. The guy she marries may develop many other physical problems too. Gosh, I meet girls under 40 who are almonos so their husbands died! People can get cancer at any time.
But I’ve had enough therapy and I’m studying to go into a second career as a therapist to know that everyone is entitled to their feelings 🙂 That actually is the one thing I can think is a “maalah” of what I’ve gone through. It’s made me more compasionate.March 6, 2018 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1482256
The bigger issue in todays shidduchim is many girls and boys equally who should be on meds and arent and when they get married the other spouse realizes this after a very short time being together it all goes down hill. Was it really worth keeping all this a secret?March 7, 2018 7:19 am at 7:19 am #1483229
Yitzy I hear. Listen, like I’ve told many people, if you tell me someone is really matim, then I’ll look into it.
Besides for that, my mom says I’m not even 20 and I shouldn’t “settle”. Meaning Chav Vshalom marry a working guy…..or someone not learning full time.
So yeah, I don’t think she’d go for anyone with meds.
It’s not that I’m anti marrying someone with meds, but it brings a challenge I have no expiurience with, and I don’t know if I’d willingly put myself in the position of dealing with that for the rest of my life. Of course, in a few years from now, if I hadn’t found my bashet (which hopefully won’t happen) at the age of 24, 25 I think rethinking is necessary, and meds are definitely something I’d learn more about and make myself comfortable with.
On that note I know a girl with bipolar, I don’t know which one, but I do know it was really out of control, and she managed to get married at 21. Hashem manages to get abusive, horrible people married. Although it’s kinda sad, it kinda reminds you Hashem is truly in charge……March 8, 2018 6:30 am at 6:30 am #1484627
“Hashem manages to get abusive, horrible people married.
I’m not sure how to interpret that statement.March 12, 2018 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #1487441
To yitzymotcha: my heart goes out to you. The frum world is in a cocoon when it comes to this. In the outside world, most people meet and develop a relationship before it ever occurs to them to consider marriage. A strong relationship leads many to marry people with whom they know that life may be challenging. Whether it is Mental Illness, early onset Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, or a genetic problem in their family. Because they really want to be with that person. It’s WORTH it to them! In our world, the system, for understandable reasons doesn’t lend itself to that sort of situation. I am close enough to this topic to be quite well-informed. If I can give you some chizuk, this is what it would be:
1. Hashem is really, really in charge. He has given different people different nisyonos. I’m sure that you have some very special qualities. My assumption, based on some of what you’ve written, is that you know yourself, perhaps better than many others know themselves. Which lends itself to a refreshing sort of honesty, and reality based approach to life, and perhaps also to your yiddishkeit. My hope for you, and one that YOU should daven for, is that at least one… (and you only need one!) young woman will meet you, and find your individual strengths so worthwhile, that their response to your revelation will be… things like “How does that work? How does it feel? How would it affect me? What would I/could I do to complement who you are, and what you struggle with?” This would be a person who has already seen that you have very special qualities that would benefit her life, and that she is attracted to. You will be “WORTH” it to her! If she is really listening, because she wants to understand you better, you may be surprised at how impressed she will be with the strengths you have developed. She may even say “You seem so “normal”, I didn’t know one day I would meet someone who could truly understand my own triumphs over adversity!”
I have seen it, and I have spoken to Doctors who have seen it. I don’t know the “right” shadchan for you. I know ultimately Hashem orchestrates shidduchim.
2. There is currently a program in Cornell for especially dedicated to treatment of pregnant women who have emotional dysregulation in their history. This is a program dedicated to successful, productive outcomes in building a family, for individuals who are on medication, in therapy, and are high risk for mental health problems during and after pregnancy. I am mentioning this, despite your being a male, as an example of what some educated people out there believe, and what they are doing about it. It is possible, and it is doable, and it is reasonable for adults with challenges to have and raise healthy children, given the proper approaches, support, and reality checking that is necessary. If these medical doctors and therapists didn’t truly believe that, they would not have such a program. They would be referring people to “family planning” resources, as well as clinics to simply “get rid” of the “problem” as early as possible. (It would be inappropriate to use explicit terminology on this board).
3. I know a woman who is currently in that program. She has very mild asperger’s, bipolar disorder, AND borderline personality disorder! Really! She takes medication, and has done a lot of therapy, and continues to do more. She is constantly growing. Her husband loves her for everything she is: A deeply caring friend, an incredibly dedicated partner, a smart, capable and proactive, solution oriented person, and so much more. Why did he marry her? Because they dated for many months, over which time he got to know her well – and can’t imagine life without her. But what about him? Well they were introduced because they have common interests in the area of emergency medicine! Guess what: like most people, he has plenty of “issues”. Ironically, his have never been diagnosed, because apparently they never got in the way of his functioning as a bachelor! But he is a very devoted, responsible, loving person, and she is very attracted to him, and appreciative of how he treats her. Often, she has more insight into his “mishugasin” than he does. But she sees him as a whole person, who comes with strengths and weaknesses. As we all do. He has learned how to keep things real during her times of distress, and she has learned to tolerate and/or redirect the focus, when it is necessary for sholom bayis. And they keep learning!
As a friend, I am amazed at their relationship: How they go about their life together, the ups and downs, and the incredible commitment they each have to the other – and to their marriage. They are constantly doing things – small things – specifically to make each other happy.
They don’t sacrifice – they invest!
4. Many years ago, a young man was a guest for Shabbos in my parents’ home. He had come from a distant country for the simcha of a close friend. His wife and 4 children stayed behind. Due to a bunch of circumstances I ended up driving him to JFK airport after Shabbos. Somehow during that trip, this gentleman revealed to me that his wife suffers from major depression. She takes medication, and sees a therapist. To paraphrase HIS words, “this is a nisayon that Hashem has given US. I am glad that I did NOT know before, because I shudder to think that in my ignorance I may have turned away my zivug, the love of my life. I didn’t know because She didn’t know.” Apparently she had not yet had a major episode before they got married. Being that I do know more than the average frum Brooklyn Jew about mental dysregulation, I asked him how it has affected him. His answer: “I am much closer to my children than most fathers. At times that she was unable to be there for the children, I stepped in as father AND mother. I have explained to them that Mommy loves you very much. but that part of her is not working correctly right now. She will get better. Let’s daaven that it is soon. And the rest of the time, we raise our children together. I just wish she suffered less”.
He did not sigh. He in no way presented as carrying a heavy burden. He was far from pitiful. I must add that due to his geographical location, he is not “handicapped” by the limited vision that seems to be common in the frum community in and around New York, where I live. He said a lot more, (In his delightful accent), but as I mentioned in my first paragraph above, I hesitate to share more information on this forum.
I believe that Hashem orchestrated that this man stayed in my parents’ home, and needed a ride at the last minute, at least in part so that I could see what is possible. So that further down the road, I would be able to give chizuk to those whose mental health challenges are known to me.
(In no way do I mean to insinuate that anyone should hide a serious detail in their life from a potential shidduch. Deceipt destroys trust, without which a marriage is not viable. One should look for signs that the potential mate has the backbone and skills to deal with his/her personal problem, and then share the challenge intelligently, paying careful attention to the response. Rejection hurts, but it also protects you from someone who is not right for you.)
Where there is capacity for deep pain, there is also capacity for deep simcha, deep compassion, deep connection, and deep love. Some people really value that.
May your tefillos: spoken and unspoken, be answered for good very soon. Forget about statistics; Hashem works with each of us in a personal, individual way.March 12, 2018 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #1487438
Wow. Just wow. I have just gone through 3 pages of comments, and I have a dilemma. (After the first page, admittedly I only skimmed through the rest of the comments) I have commented in the coffee room off an on over many years. I have much to say about this topic, and I want to. However, I have found that when people try to explain “mental Illness” or “emotional illness” or whatever the current description is, many people use the information to further hurt people. I have seen articles written in the popular Jewish/heimishe magazines, with the obvious intent to dispel the stigma. I have concluded that it doesn’t work. When people have already reached a conclusion, whatever it may be, more information becomes more fodder for making the stigma BIGGER. This thread is a perfect example of this. There is ignorance mixed up with linear information, individual unfortunate experiences mixed up with generalizations, opinions mixed up with facts, fear mixed up with self-righteousnous… I could go on. And so, as frustrating as it may be, I will remain silent. Here. In real life, I share what I know with people who already are open to listening. To those who do want to know, I want to address the diagnosis that seems to have been labeled “untreatable”, and more. There are resources far more authoritive than a thread on YWN. Try reading a book, if I recall it may be titled “Walking on eggshells [when someone you care about has borderline personality disorder]” The author(s) include a clinician named Paul Mason. There is a “method to the madness”, and there are ways of working with someone who is working on themself.
And here’s an interesting thought: Occasionally, a person with a diagnosed emotional disorder unfortunately marries a nasty or abusive person with no diagnosis!!! They just have really bad midos, and no real “need” to work on themself when they can blame everything on their ‘damaged’ spouse.March 13, 2018 2:18 am at 2:18 am #1487862
Moderators: Did most of my post get deleted?March 13, 2018 2:26 am at 2:26 am #1487871YW Moderator-29 👨💻Moderator
I don’t think so. Not intentionally.March 13, 2018 11:31 am at 11:31 am #1488129The little I knowParticipant
One of your messages in your comment deserves repeating, and some emphasis on it would benefit many.
You noted that aside from the stigma that accompanies a diagnosis and medication, there are countless situations of people who are unable to sustain the challenges of marriage that have no psychiatric labels, have not been subjected to evaluation, and are not taking any medication or therapy intervention. This is responsible for a great many broken marriages. In the Torah world, we tend to refer to this category as having poor midos. And you seem to imply that poor midos might be a characterological situation that will not be affected much by regular reading or studying of sifrei mussar. I soundly agree with you. That is why the homework done prior to a shidduch needs to address the matter of personality. The kinds of questions worth asking include, “How does this shidduch prospect handle stress? What do they do when they get angry? How do they deal with confrontation? How do they manage under pressure?” Responses to questions such as these (providing they are honest) are far more relevant than the individual’s academic record. All marriages will entail challenge. Is there a foundation of character traits that can deal with this? Or are we assuming that things will just work out (e.g. because the boy is a learning boy)?
You alluded to the book “Walking on Eggshells”. Fine book, useful content. Still, living with a spouse that has BPD is a huge undertaking. Kol hakavod to someone that wishes to stick it out. Many do that, and they are praiseworthy. Others jump ship, and often face a lifetime of challenge, nastiness, battles in court, and other forms of suffering. There are other books, too, that are worth checking out. I take a position that BPD is incurable. It can be managed in many cases, but a lifetime of intervention and support is needed. I am witness to cases that entered treatment, improved greatly, but upon stopping therapy, reverted back to their old ways. What Marsha Linehan contributed with her development of DBT was a set of skills that the person could continue to use without continued outside help. Once again, a cheaper way of continuing what therapy would accomplish. Saves lots of money, and provides a helpful strategy to maintain stability. But the condition of BPD never leaves; it just continues to be treated.March 14, 2018 7:26 am at 7:26 am #1489022
Thank you for reading what I wrote.
Firstly, I don’t recall saying anything to
imply that poor midos might be a characterological situation that will not be affected much by regular reading or studying of sifrei mussar.
I can’t find a definition for the word characterological. If you are referring to the last line I added to my comment, it was written in the spirit of irony – mixed with some cynicism. But if you are going to lend implications to my words, let me clarify what I really believe! If the problem is really just poor midos, than in fact it should be affected very much by studying sifrei mussar, and adjusting one’s behaviors in sync with what was studied! I was referring to people who do not have emotional dysregulation, but behave poorly, and either do not read sifrei mussar at all, or who do not bother to implement what they have learned. If they did, they would improve their midos, (at their own achievable pace) despite, or apart from their spouse’s _______________ (fill in the blank) problem. They wouldn’t excuse their own negative behavior by comparing it to or blaming it on someone else’s. As far as I’m concerned “sifrei mussar” includes any and all resources that focus on self-improvement.
Part of your response, though, is the reason I choose to share less of what I know on a forum. Because people disseminate information that seems so solid, with terminology, personal experience, and “facts”. The problem is you don’t have all the facts. You have the facts that you have been exposed to. I did not mention any specific form of therapy, nor any particular therapist, other than an author of a book.
Just like you felt that some of what I wrote needed to be qualified, I would like to qualify some of what you wrote, in fairness to a significant group of vulnerable people, as well as to the readers on this forum. My objective here is not to encourage anyone to marry someone who behaves irrationally most of the time, or is abusive. I just want to balance out statements that can be taken as absolutes, and cause undue pain – and damage. Especially for the benefit of people who seem to think that a YWN forum is a good source for factual, statistical information!!
I do not believe that the treatment du jour, DBT is the full answer to ANY diagnosis. (actually, the new treatment du jour may be EMDR, but it’s hard to keep up with these things!)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is used today for many different issues. As you said, it is a [good] set of skills. Actually, it’s probably good for anyone, but particularly someone with intense emotions.
The position you have taken, (and chosen to share on this public forum) dismisses out of hand all people who for various reasons exhibit 4 or 5 (or more) out of 9 symptoms that describe BPD. (or fit the conditions in the way it is currently described in the DSM5 manual for psychiatric diagnoses, which I may add CHANGES, every few years. Is it the people who change, or the information, or the medical editorship, or ?…..)
There is a very broad spectrum of people who fit the criteria for BPD. There is conventional, and non-conventional BPD. There are people who are narcissistic, and people who are not. There are people in supportive families, and people who live(d) in a severely judgmental home. It is simply not true that recovery is not possible for all people with this diagnosis. Underlying trauma can be treated, and it isn’t treated only with DBT. There is no set amount of time for recovery from trauma. But recovery is possible. It is not up to you to determine whether a particular experience or family dynamic was traumatic! Recovery has steps, and those steps may be different for different people. I grant you this: a person who exhibits most of the destructive behaviors consistent with Borderline Personality Disorder, is probably not in recovery! That doesn’t mean they CAN’T be. While a person is in recovery, depending on where they are holding, they may be ripe for a relationship, or they may not be. And depending who you are as a person, you may have the disposition to see strengths outweighing weaknesses, or you may be someone who has a keen eye for weaknesses, and low tolerance for them.
I read your comment to somebody today, and she said something funny:
Crawling isn’t curable either. Generally people learn to walk, so it becomes less of a problem.
Maybe it’s true that you can’t cure BPD. But a person CAN grow out of it, and MOVE on, and no longer be “disordered”!
There are some excellent therapists out there. There also are some pretty unskilled, under-educated, and non-emapthetic(!) ones, when it comes to this diagnosis, sadly. With a number of different successful interventions, support, skills, courage, will, and appropriate attention to the maladaptive traits that have developed, a person with BPD can REALLY evolve, grow, and change. They need not remain on the verge of reverting to old, desperate responses to stress. Their personality will likely always be a more sensitive one. That may make them capable of more empathy and deeper relationships than the average person!
We do both agree that it’s a good idea to find out from people how a particular shidduch prospect responds currently in certain situations. You can also ask the person themselves. A person in recovery from BPD, knows quite well how they respond, and whether or not they stillneed extra doses of patience, understanding, and validation. Since it seems from statistics, that most of these people are quite intelligent, it would seem that they are best off with an intelligent spouse…. who would benefit from the book I referred to. I do not know if you have any sort of license to issue diagnoses. Perhaps you do. Perhaps you have not met anyone who recovered/is recovering from BPD. Or maybe you did, but you didn’t know! 🙂
I will not continue to post about this, for the reason I presented in my post above
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