BPD Recovery: Analysing Core Beliefs

hey people! this is laurel and I recently read an incredible chapter in a book on bpd. the author suggests a recovery technique for bpd and although the whole book is amazing, I was very pleasantly shocked when I read it. the book is the big book on borderline personality disorder and I recommend it to everyone struggling with bpd, friends, and anyone who’s interested. however, as a symptom of bpd, the book handles potentally triggering topics such as self-harm and addiction. it doesn’t go into that much detail, but enough to explain it. the author also uses some light swear words. the only thing I don’t like about the book is how hetero- and allo-normative it is.

this is going to be a very short post, explaining only this coping technique, but I’m going to write a longer one explaining the symptoms of bpd in depth if anyone’s interested!

because the bpd brain is wired differently, we see every bad situation as a threat and the world in black-and-white extremes. this affects our core beliefs. core beliefs are important to every individual, it’s what makes up a part of their identity. but in bpd, they’re distorted, due to early childhood abandonment – which triggers the disorder to develop – and our perception in extremes. abandonment of a person’s core beliefs can be devastating, but when they directly hurt us and those around us, questioning them can be key to recovery.

this is a replica of the image the author used to explain them further:

someone said… I reacted by: my perception: my core belief:
“I think your hair looked nicer longer.” going home and crying. they think I look awful. I am not good enough.
“I can’t make lunch today, as something has come up.” not talking to them and building a resentment. they just don’t want to see me. nobody likes me.
“your friend is really nice” accusing them of fancying my friend. they prefer my friend to me and are going to cheat on me. the opposite sex can’t be trusted.

it may seem extreme and unreasonable to someone without bpd, but it’s the only way we know. our hippocampus, the decision making centre, is much smaller and we see everything as a life threat. if someone unidentified was running for you, you wouldn’t consider all the option; your natural instincts would cause you to run away or freeze in shock. to us, every situation is the same as that - there’s only two options.

in order to live a happier life, we need to analyse our core beliefs and where they come from. I encourage you to write down some core beliefs that come to your mind. here are some examples if you don’t understand the exercise:

  • it’s wrong to show my emotions
  • if I’m not perfect at everything I’m a failure
  • no one cares for me
  • everything bad is always my fault
  • everyone is out to get me

these core beliefs apply to every situation for us, however, they’re very harmful to us. now, let’s try to figure out where they come from.

  • a friend couldn’t understand when I came to them for help – I’m convinced it’s wrong to show my emotions
  • people got upset when I messed something up – I’m convinced that if I’m not perfect at everything I’m a failure
  • a friend bailed on me when one of theirs was in trouble – I’m convinced no one cares for me
  • I was blamed when a reservation got cancelled - I’m convinced everything bad is always my fault
  • someone had a similar project idea to mine – I’m convinced everyone is out to get me

while our perception is important and so is what we think, it’s distorted due to our brain structure. not everyone sees it that way, in fact, very little people do. people still care for us even if they had something else to get to. because these aren’t life our death situations – which is hard to understand – we need to take time to assess them. next time something causes a negative reaction, try to think of all the possibilities the situation happened. a friend bailed on you; maybe they got injured on the way and had to go to the doctor. maybe their boss needed some work done urgently. maybe a friend of theirs was having a breakdown. maybe a road was closed and they couldn’t make it in time. not everything is about us, and we don’t have control over everything like we’re convinced.

I hope this helped at least a bit! I love to talk about psychology and meeting new people, feel free to pm us if you happen to notice I’m fronting!

– laurel


Moved to #general-chat:health-and-beauty and added a couple of tags

Also @Psychologists might find this interestingggg


oiwcmiskdjf she said she was gonna post in psychology- but thank youu

– a blurry mess

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no problema~

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omg thank you laurel this is so helpful :pleading_face: <33


i thought i was coming here to read about Bipolar Depression but this is definetly interesting.

its sad that people with this think that way but awareness is important


Stan Laurel. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
But seriously, thx for the info, yet another very complex topic. It’s also sad to see that today’s psychology reduced itself to pills and killing off symptomes instead of looking for the actual causes, saying it would not matter or could not be found out, but the truth behind it in my humble opinion is simply a lack of time to deal with a person as thouroughly as needed and deserved… :pensive:


not me again replying to someone else’s replies :moyai:

ill get that to herrr shes gonna be really glad you like it

agreed, it really does suck and recovery takes a long time
pretty sure we have books on bipolar disorders too, i can ask the other to do some on that too?

yeahh she do be pretty cool
agreed, everything is reduced to minimal effort. ive also seen people really misunderstand cognitive therapy which is so weird? some see it as a very extreme treatment but its literally talk therapy, idk if its because were in cbt but i find it so so normal

– chloe



I also have Borderline Personality Disorder and I can to this.
I also split into 5 personalities (I don’t have DID).

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