Todays topic is CONFLICT/HCP (High Conflict Personalities) which for Borderliners is like breathing its that often, Conflict is for the 1st years for myself was a very good thing, because in my 1st few years of being aware of my mental health issues it would show it self in pure anger because that is and always has been the easiest thing for me to handle, I can handle anger so very well although it would manifest in such a bad way and destructive way, But for me inside it was and always has been the easiest thing to deal with, When it comes to other emotions such has Sadness that is such a destructive emotion for me, because I held onto this for many years I used to say to myself ‘If I cry it means I’m weak, and if I’m crying I’m at my weakest and I’m unable to control myself’ Now if I was in pure rage I could handle that and it wouldn’t lead me to thoughts of suicide unlike with sadness it would take me to thoughts of suicide, and I don’t like being there at all id rather be in fits of rage for all eternity than be in sadness for 1 mini second.
But regarding Conflict there was a time where id be like a moth to a flame, all you had to do was say Boo and bang you’ve got a confrontation, and I used to be like that for several years leading me to be a very nasty person, I shudder when I think back to them times how I used to be to how I am now, and how any form of conflict now I stare clear of and if there is going to be confrontation I do handle it differently now than I used to do, I often think to myself I’m a shell of my former self in pure relation to anger and the ways I was to the way I am now, I often say this to myself, if it was me of 2007 VS me of today locked in an UFC ring, it would take less than 3 seconds for the old me to destroy the me of today. Now we are talking strictly physical aggression. Now I counter that with if I was to sit down and talk to the me of 2007 VS me of today, me of today would be able to break me of 2007 down in minutes and make 2007 me cry and brake. The point here is what iv lost in aggression iv made up for in education. The old me was full of rage and anger and aggression and misguided anger also, at the very time of my highest point of rage was the years during my parents divorce and any woman/girl I seen that reminded me of my mother at that time I was 16/17 yrs old, I would HATE that woman and imagine all kinds of hateful acts on them, Nothing Sexual just pure Rage, and any man that reminded me of my mothers new partner the thoughts of murder was so intense it got to a point of I actually enjoyed them thoughts.
But it took a lot of pain and it took CBT therapy to help unlock this hate and I learnt that it was all misguided anger and all the anger and hate I had for my mother, disappeared and I was then able to work on things now I was seeing things clearly. and now the relationship is somewhat peaceful, I also used this technique on another relationship that I fucked up, because the way I was. So CBT was amazing for me looking back on it, it took years to learn that tho. Now you might be thinking what all that has to do with Conflict, its the root of it isn’t it, because everything I said is all conflict related. Weather its justified or not its still conflict, and the person I am today I’m so far from conflict its unreal, other than 1 relationship in my life, there is no conflict, no anger, no nothing like that so its so damn nice to be able to shed this beast CONFLICT. Conflict for BPD is rather a sticky point because its so prevalent in all peoples like with BPD I can pretty much say that confidently because every single one of us will be dealing with conflict because there is so many misunderstandings in relation to BPD, which leads to conflict.
Now unlike most of my blogs with this one I’m not going to give too much info on all the ins and outs relating to conflict, I gave that example above about 1 specific issue, but ill tell you with the clinical information, I agree with it all and I relate to it all. Although iv not spoken on it, be sure I most certainly relate to it.
Now iv given you my little perspective on conflict I’m now going to give you some information on conflict for BPD. to help balance it out in a more general perspective. I know my perspective there was a little deep and a lot of info was written there, I do apologise for making it lengthy, but I needed to do it that way to show the ways of conflict and how things have changed over the years.
What is a high conflict personality (HCP)?
High conflict personalities are people who demonstrate certain personality patterns:
1.Rigid and uncompromising, repeating failed strategies
2.Unable to heal or accept a loss
3.Negative emotions dominate their thinking
4.Won’t reflect on their own behaviour
5.Can’t empathize with others
6.Preoccupied with blaming others
7.Won’t accept any responsibility for problems or solutions
HCP’s stay unproductively connected to people through conflict and will continue to create conflict to maintain any sort of relationship, good or bad. Since HCP’s undermine all relationships, they constantly repeat their same patterns and usually end up divorcing repeated times. About 20-30% of all couples getting divorces have at least one HCP spouse.
HCPS are driven by four primary fears:
1.Fear of being ignored
2.Fear of being belittled or publicity exposure
3.Fear of being abandoned
4.Fear of being dominated, includes fear of losing control over you, the other spouse, their money/assets, or themselves
HCPs often have one or more cluster B personality disorders (which include BPD and NPD) or just have BPD/NPD traits PD traits. However, not all people with BPD/NPS are high conflict personalities.
What is High Conflict Personality?
A person with a High Conflict Personality (HCP) usually has underlying trauma associated with distinct personality traits. Traditional diagnostic categories characterize persons with these personality qualities as “dramatic, emotional or erratic” cluster (Cluster B) that includes antisocial, borderline, narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders. Personality issues are often longstanding patterns of behaviour and experience that adversely affect a person’s interrelationships with others and ability to function effectively in the world. People with HCP do not necessarily fall neatly into one of these recognized categories. Instead, they can demonstrate symptoms from one or more of the Cluster B diagnostic categories, and they may by exclusion fit into the category of “Personality disorder not otherwise specified.”
How is High Conflict Personality treated?
In most cases, psychotherapy is the treatment of choice for HCP, whether in an individual or group setting. Since HCP Clients have been helped by both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural treatment modalities, therapists have several tools at their disposal. One in particular, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), a method of psychotherapy originally developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, has been effective for Clients with HCP, as the two disorders have many characteristics in common. While medication may not be the treatment of first resort, it can be appropriate for some Clients, especially for those who may be suffering from other psychological issues, especially mood disorders, in addition to a HCP.
What Causes High Conflict Personality?
Like many psychiatric disorders, specific causes of HCP have not been clearly identified. In general, research has demonstrated an association between personality disorders and abuse or neglect early in life. There are many theoretical constructs that attempt to explain the circumstances that give rise to one disorder or another, but definitive causes are generally elusive. If nothing else, it is fair to say that there is no demonstrable link between these disorders and any genetic or physiological condition, although temperament may play a role in their development. It is believed that HCP is related to an insecure or disrupted attachment in childhood. Accordingly, the symptoms of HCP can clearly be exacerbated by situations like divorce or relationship difficulties (that are filled with conflict even for people without HCP).
What are the Symptoms of High Conflict Personality?
HCP, given its overlap with the antisocial, borderline, narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders, may be more of a descriptive term than a specific diagnosis. Persons with HCP tend to have several things in common. They initiate and receive reward from conflict with others, and they are usually at the center of whatever conflict is occurring. They appear to treat conflict as normal and expected in their interactions, to a point at which conflict becomes a defining aspect of relationships. They are adept at escalating conflict and at blaming others.
At the same time, they have great difficulty seeing things through the eyes of others and they are extremely reluctant to take responsibility in their lives or to accept blame when things go wrong. They are often referred to as “chronic blamers.” They tend to be emotional, aggressive, mistrustful and controlling. They easily see themselves as victims, and they are extremely resistant to acknowledging that they may have contributed, in even the smallest way, to making a situation difficult.
For people with HCP, the world appears in black and white. Others are either with them or against them. They have little or no insight into their own behaviour, and they are easily threatened by interpretations of behaviours that do not comport with their own worldview. Splitting is an important concept among persons with high conflict personalities. The people around them are perceived as all good (over-idealized) or all bad (devalued). Someone who has “split” off a family member or friend may refuse contact with that person and may speak very negatively about them.
What is the prognosis for HCP?
Clients with HCP are not naturally insightful. They can react with hostility to therapeutic intervention, often interpreting the therapist’s efforts as an attack. These qualities can make treatment difficult, but a trained therapist who understands HCP can work through these difficulties using specific techniques. Change may be gradual, but Clients with HCP can ultimately adopt more effective ways of living. For persons more on the narcissistic spectrum, initiating therapy may be difficult to impossible. Forming a deep relationship with a therapist is also difficult for them.
Many of the symptoms of HCP are most pronounced in interactions with those closest to the Client, so these relationships are especially important to effective treatment. The involvement of family and friends in treatment can be enormously helpful for all parties, encouraging them to understand the behaviours at issue and to adopt new, more productive ways of interacting.
id like to thank you for taking the time to read todays blog on CONFLICT/HCP.