I have been having a bit of relationship troubles and some problems with my furry 'family' as well. My mate, the lovable tiger that he is, is sometimes a bit of a handful. He's really paranoid and reads too deep into what people say. If you say you don’t like what he likes, he will get really upset assuming you are saying you hate the opposite. A sort of bianary mentality about things. If its not one way, then it must obviously be the exact opposite. This leads to him jumping to conclusions and making wild assumptions and yelling at people he just meets because they say something wrong. Lastly, when someone tries to bring up that they are having a problem, he will interject with one of his problems and when we tell him we're trying to help the other fur, he assumes we don’t care about him leading to us spending several hours trying to cheer him up having to completely ignore the other fur's problem. This, as you can assume, leads to a lot of drama. I am the one who has to clean up the drama because I just happen to be the one who is capable of managing emotions. So most of my time talking with my friends is spent being a drama janitor. Its really stressful because everyone is so fragile and easily upset so I have to always tiptoe through my words. The worst part though is that since these furs seem emotionally helpless, I dont get to express my problems, but most of the time, I dont need to express my problems because I enjoy helping people with their problems. I love being helpful amd making people smile. Sadly the problems I have to deal with are petty and if I point out that the one who is upset is actually at fault and not the victim, I get barked at. How do I handle them?
Pardon me if I rambled.
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Dear Tired Pup,
It sounds to Papabear as if your tiger mate might be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. Remembering that this bear is not a medical professional, I urge you to look at some of the links I will provide you below.
BPD’s symptoms include seeing everything in black-and-white terms (what you call a “binary mentality”) and having inappropriate overreactions to other people’s comments and observations. Depending on the degree of the BPD, sufferers of this affliction may or may not be able to function well in society. Treatment is available for those with BPD, and often involves a combination of therapy and medications.
Tired Pup, though you are very brave and sweet to try to handle this problem on your own, Papabear urges you to try and get some help for your mate, if at all possible. In addition, don’t forget about yourself. You sound like a very giving person, but every now and then try and give yourself some “me time.” Find a place where you can be alone and relax, meditate, go see a movie, go enjoy the outdoors. Try and do this at least once a week and it should help relieve some of the stress.
In the meantime, here are some links for you:
· http://www.bpddemystified.com/: a very good introduction to BPD and its treatments.
· http://bpdresourcecenter.org/: another good resource with all kinds of information.
· http://bpd.about.com/od/treatments/a/od/glossary/g/psychoed.htm : this page from About.com offers a lot of treatment options, including tips on self-treatment, which can be useful for those who can’t afford psychotherapy.
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