Panic, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder and Hunger for God

 
Every Friday afternoon, I spend an hour in the Adoration Chapel at church. Today, I had the idea to practice lectio divina with the stanzas. I was surprised by some of the reflections I had. For some reason, I was pulled to the topic of mental illness, specifically anxiety disorder, panic attacks and borderline personality disorder. 

The first twelve stanzas struck me as "angsty" and full of longing and distress. Anxiety permeates the entire section. The "bride" has seen God, who is "the bridegroom," only for an instant, and then He was gone. If she had not seen Him or known He was there, she could not feel the pain of loss, and because he caused the sense of loss, only He could heal her.

The phrases of the Canticle are intense and dramatic,such as, "If you shall see Him Whom I love the most, Tell Him I anguish, suffer, and die," and, "all wound me more and more, and something leaves me dying, I know not what, of which they are darkly speaking."

Anyone who has suffered from anxiety disorder or panic attacks knows that feeling- the fear that you will die. When we are infants, we cannot be abandoned, or we will certainly die. People suffering from borderline personality disorder have an intense fear that others will abandon them, often because one of their primary caregivers did as a child, so this type of anxiety is common. Threats like, "Don't leave or I will die," or "Come back or I will kill myself," are based on the same primal terror.

Comments

  1. beautiful, especially the quoye from St. John of the Cross

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. I love St. John of the Cross.

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    2. when you want to say,"no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me" John of the Cross is THE saint to listen to

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  2. Borderline Personality Disorder is the most difficult to understand and diagnose mental illnesses. As a consequence there is little awareness of its existence in the general public. If there were greater awareness, more resources would be brought to the table to help these people. I believe the biggest problem is its name. "Borderline" means nothing in helping us understand the condition. I have proposed that we change the name to Faultfinding Personality Disorder based on the most important diagnostic criterion - chronic finding of fault with themselves and others due to their black-and-white thinking which leads to disturbed interpersonal relationships. To back this up I wrote the book "Faultfinders: The impact of borderline personality disorder." I explained the condition using examples of numerous famous people to make the symptoms memorable. I would be interested to hear what others think about a possible name change.

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