Artworks about Borderline Personality Disorder

About two years ago I diagnosed myself with possible borderline personality disorder after my girlfriend at the time thought I had it. I think she was probably right, although I think there is a strong environmental element which makes it more like a complex PTSD situation related to childhood abandonment arising from leaving Sri-Lanka and the nanny who looked after me 6 days a week for 4 years suddenly and without warning. Anyway, I wanted to make some art using Arnheim 3.0 to try to capture some of the aspects of BPD. Thankfully due to Marsha Linehan's Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and other psychotherapeutic approaches and due to the increasing patient support groups that are springing up we are seeing much less stigmatization of BPD than we were before, although the title BPD is still onerous and unsatisfying. I would rather call it Incomplete and not Included Phenomena, or something like that.

In "Six immaculate conceptions" I show a collection of ex-girlfriends dressed up as the Virgin Mary holding a baby who looks like me. This is to indicate the unreasonable expectations one has of being cared for in a relationship which means that it is hard to see the other person as a separate individual with their own needs. The Virgin Mary has remarkably few needs of her own you see.

The "The Cycle of Idealization and Devaluation" is a scientific diagram showing how a girlfriend is idealized and devalued cyclically. In the first instance they are worshiped as perfect, they tend to my every need, with perfection, and they cannot be wrong. But eventually they have their own needs and when the honeymoon period is over they are shown to be imperfect, but such an ambiguity is unsustainable and so they are demonized and rejected. The only way out is that I learn that I am able to provide for my own needs by taking care of my own inner child, and not depending on others to do so.

"Coffee cup on a Chain Analysis" shows how to do a chain analysis after a BPD episode. After a BPD episode one has a terrible feeling of humiliation defeat and regret caused by the almost delusional level of judgement one has exhibited during the episode. It is worth writing down the chain of events that lead to this episode and its consequences and then writing down how things could have been done to intervene and prevent the further percolation of these events, e.g. doing mindfullness exercises, speaking about one's feelings or using the STOP skill from DBT.

In the two variants above "Broken Statue of the Virgin Mary with Baby Astronaut" I was just gaining the courage to talk about myself as having BPD, and trying to describe a childhood of floating unseen in space with emotionally absent and broken caregivers.

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