The proverb: “No good deed goes unpunished” is a good introduction to understanding the much misunderstood condition known as borderline personality disorder. Any personality disorder is a fixed, lasting pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that usually leads the person into emotionally and/or physically dangerous situations.
I’ve been treating a 43-year-old woman for 20 years. Because of our long-term history, one would think that she would know and trust me. However, the complexity of BPD became very clear when I volunteered to go with her to help her interpret the results after her uterine cancer was removed. She was scheduled to get a follow-up visit with her ob-gyn doctor, but she was so terrified of what she’d hear that she couldn’t bring herself to go. I was in the hospital that day so I offered to stop by during her visit and help my patient deal with whatever results she obtained. She said she was grateful and would go if I were present.
That day I went into the ob-gyn’s office with her and sat across from the doctor who reported great news that the patient was cancer-free. I nodded happily and felt good for her and the positive results. Out in the hallway, out of the other doctor’s hearing range, my patient yelled and cried.