Interpersonal Terrorism

Interpersonal Terrorism-being held captive by Borderline Personality Disorder. When rage, self-hatred, and suicide are a way of life.

(Download this article as a PDF)
Carlsbad, CA, 05/17/2010

Borderline PD: “Trying to provide support for the borderline person can be like trying to carefully disarm a bomb… Cutting, burning, self-mutilation, suicide attempts, trips to the hospital ER, rages and emotional unpredictability, overdoses of medication, drug and alcohol abuse, starvation, binging, and a list of failed therapists—people suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder make it almost impossible for friends, family, and professionals to provide support.

…There is help, and we offer treatment that can be life-changing for everyone involved—including family and friends.”
Dr. Jason N. Camu, Fuel-centers specializing in anxiety, Carlsbad, CA.

Understanding the Disorder
Constantly wanting to end the pain and brutalizing themselves with a unique form of self-loathing, those with Borderline PD are at a loss for answers. They are commonly filled with rage and anger, depression, confusion and emptiness, uncontrollable feelings, deep desires for closeness combined with terrible fears of being alone or that they are not loveable. Deceit, suicide attempts, self-mutilation, aggression and explosive interpersonal relationships are all a manifestation of pain—a pain so raw it can be communicated in no other way.

Despite their actions, it is NOT the purposeful intention of people with this disorder to manipulate others, destroy relationships, and see things in black and white; it FEELS like there is just no other alternative.

Traditional psychotherapy typically Does Not Work for borderline personality disorder, it makes it worse.

Traditional therapy

  • explores feelings
  • encourages emotional expression
  • may heighten anxiety in the process
  • results in moral conflicts for resolution
  • uncovers painful experiences
  • opens the lid (feelings)
  • has limited structure
DBT (dialectical behavior therapy)

  • contains feelings
  • encourages emotional regulation
  • offers immediate relief with tools
  • emphasizes what works vs. right and wrong
  • helps to manage painful experiences
  • teaches how to close the lid (feelings)
  • functions like a class/very structured

What the symptoms mean, it may not be what you think

“He just wants attention,” or “she’s being dramatic—just ignore her.” Ouch. What could be more invalidating; the suggestion is that the person is just acting or pretending and with the conscious intent to dramatically manipulate others for attention. By understanding the person with the disorder, or at least trying to, it can be possible to see destructive behaviors for what they really are, the inevitable conclusion when one is totally overwhelmed by pain, suffering, and even self-hatred. The borderline person is so sensitive, and feels so powerfully, that the management of feelings becomes impossible.


Imagine (or try) someone you care for deeply, chained and imprisoned. Within the confines of the gruesome cell a perpetrator delivers a special torture; convincing their prey that they are worthless, unlovable—ugly. The victim who is beaten, dehumanized, tortured, and writhing in agony is not acting or performing for their tormenter, he or she is really suffering. Imagine if the persecutor was your own mind? Where would you go, what would you do, and how would you survive? Many people don’t survive. And suicidal “gestures” are not exercises in theatrics but life threatening emergencies that promise an end to the pain. You have entered the mind of many who are suffering with borderline personality disorder. While the specific expression of symptoms varies according to the individual, e.g., cutting oneself with a knife or swallowing 40 pills, treatment is the same.

Finding Treatment that Works

Fuel-centers for emotional health in Carlsbad, CA employs a very specific treatment modality. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (known as DBT) is an established approach constructed by Dr. Marsha Linehan. This highly structured and focused treatment has proven effective. Dr. Camu of Fuel explains, “I have used this method in different settings for years, inpatient, hospitals, outpatient mental health programs and private practice. It works. It is effective because it provides concrete tools. And when effective, it also shapes the way the mental health professional views the patient—as a person.”

Fuel for Emotional Health, specializing in anxiety and located in Carlsbad, CA provides both individual and group DBT-treatment for Borderline personality disorder.

(Download this article as a PDF)

For further correspondence or interviews by telephone call 1.760.828.3835(FUEL),

or email


Content copyright 2009-2011. Jason Camu, Psy.D. All rights reserved.


Teletherapy Appointments

Teletherapy Appointments

Use Teletherapy, just like in-person

Text us to schedule:  760-828-3835 (FUEL)

You have Successfully Subscribed!