As we delve into the behavioural side of the things, the behaviour of the BPD is characterised to be extreme and aggressive. Binge-eating, starvation, sexual activity with impulse and guilt, spending spree, dangerous driving, alcohol and substances overuse, self-harm, etc.; these are some problems on the behavioural side.
Looking at this you may think: “Wow aren’t these people completely off?” – and it is easy to think such – but in SanMyu, the behavioural pattern is not the main point of BPD. Of course, the symptoms they display are very dangerous, and often when left alone will lead to irreversible consequences, thus we do have to impart some methods to correct and control those behaviours. However, the behaviour themselves are irrelevant to the actual pathology.
That is because those behavioural patterns actually fall under the realms of self-improvement.
Let’s take a look. It’s only a matter of extent, and everybody here have their own issues in behavioural pattern. They are just not excessive drinking, reckless driving, guilty sex, self-harm or suicidal attempt. We still engage in many acts that affect ourselves negatively, or doesn’t do anything for us.
The direction and the magnitude of our actions are better, but that doesn’t mean our behavioural patterns are exceptionally healthy. Hence, it is tremendously common for someone to have healthy self-identity and affect, yet have behavioural problems.
It would not be an exaggeration to say most people fall under here.
In SanMyu, before these are problems of behaviour, they are problems of ‘dualistic desire’: wanting while not wanting; rejecting while desiring; it is a repetition of self-contradictive behaviours.
That is why those behavioural issues are approached differently. They are not classified as pathology. We won’t go too much in detail about it just yet, so you can summarise it like this:
“Why do I have behavioural problems?”
“It’s not because of self-esteem issues, confidence issues, or problems with mood and emotional control, or lack of willpower.”
“It is because I do not know what I am; I lack the insight to know exactly what I want and do not want.”
That’s the summary of it, and the solutional technique will be covered later.
This is consistent with the principles of brainwashing. We cannot be forced into doing something we do not intend, period. Your actions are consistent with your intent, be it directly wanting it or indirectly allowing it. You intended it. Of course, you may complain about it, regret it afterwards, or deny that you ever wanted it. However that does not mean you never intended it.
All of these are not the issues of self-control, but lack of self-inquiry. In order to properly solve this problem, you must not fall for the patients’ unintended lies.
If the patient comes to the doctor and say that they cannot control themselves, and you buy it, trying to work with them in regaining that control like an inexperienced practitioner, you will be dead wrong later on.
One patient I encountered complained that she was being sexually harassed by a ghost while she was asleep. She came for help asking if she was going crazy.
Now, if you make assumptions and thrust the measures of morals, custom and common sense; if you prescribed drugs to rudimentarily reduce those symptoms or teach her to protect her own identity from those multi-self phenomenon, you will be called a quack.
I displayed all kinds of reactions during that consultation. While she was speaking of the horrors and suffering afflicted by that ghost, I expressed with subtlety, many reactions to it. Then she ‘clicked’ and got engaged when I was displaying:
‘Maybe… You… liked it?’
If I kept to my “Oh no! Oh my, are you ok?” she would have never made much progress. Of course if somebody looked at it from outside they would think a perverted psychiatrist was suggesting things.
However it is those specific pieces of reaction that you throw in: ”Echoing the Mind” that allow you to hear from the patient:
“I didn’t hate it that much to be honest.”
What you must know is that, the above sentence was just one out of hundreds of things the patient said, and all the rest were about how she was scared of it and not happy about it.
It’s not just her. All records of counselling almost look like innocent kids’ diaries. Is everyone saints? It might even makes me feel guilty. Oh no! Am I the ‘bad one’ out here?
Even after asking multiple times and digging through, they don’t reveal their true self. We humans are all very experts at self-packaging.
But as I said before:
– You can trick your therapist. Yes you can.
– You can lie to your teacher.
– But you can’t deceive yourself.
It is impossible to live functionally while deceiving oneself.
‘It is easier to deceive the world,
than to be true to oneself.’
Therefore, you can’t draw the conclusion just by looking at the behavioural pattern, and assume that the patient’s wants are completely in line, and they just need help with self-control.
You must keep asking until the end:
“Yeah I get it. I know it’s wrong and you want change and you want to fix it….. But what are you going to do if you wanted it? We can’t be doing what we never intended.”
Hence, whether they like it or dislike it, whether they form a conclusion or continue in denial, coming face to face with that, is how the therapeutic process can progress.
We must allow them to know more about themselves. We must give them the chance to find out for themselves what they really want, what they really do not want.
The only problem is that, this isn’t something that’s achieved by just talking. If you have the misconception that some form of self-reflection, self-evaluation or explaining oneself can achieve that, you need to discard that.
The moment you start that reflection, interpretation and explanation, you will be played by it and start disparaging yourself into trash, or packaging yourself as saint. It doesn’t work with just words. Hence, the need for experiential learning.
That’s the overview so far for the behavioural patterns.
Second is mood and affect. Now we are getting to the meat of things. Only from now, we can truely say that someone actually have psychological issues or personality problems.
I have deliberately transcribed the teachings of my teacher.
Let’s get the legal stuff out of the way. Following the methods of SanMyu is not an excuse for diverging away from formalised medical advice; not because medicine is great (I myself am a psychiatrist) but because that’s the law.