Glossary

accurate expression: when we think, feel or want something and we describe it accurately
advance care directive: a legal form for people aged over 18 years to record wishes and instructions for their future health care if unable to make their own decisions.
affective: pertaining to one’s emotional state.
affect regulation: controlling one’s emotions.
Axis I: a classification in DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association 2000) consisting of major psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, etc.
Axis II: a classification in DSM-IV-TR for personality disorders, for example, BPD.

cognition: a thought or belief.
cognitive: referring to thinking or reasoning.
comorbid: occurring together with another disease or condition.

depersonalization: a sense of being unreal.
diagnostic criteria: a list of clinical features that must be present for the diagnosis of a mental disorder to be made.
dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): a treatment for BPD developed byMarsha Linehan combining aspects of cognitive and behavioral therapy. The treatment teaches specific skills to manage emotions, control impulsiveness, and diminish self-destructive behavior.
dissociation:
feelings of detachment from one’s own body or thinking.
DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; the American system of classification of psychiatric diagnoses.
dysphoria: a state of sadness or depressed mood.
dysregulation: the inability to regulate or control (mood or impulses).

emotion (primary):  fear, happiness/love, embarrassment/shame, guilt and sadness
emotion (secondary): a reaction to a primary emotion
etiology: cause or presumed cause.

hypervigilance: When someone is on alert for a threat, but more than they need to.

ideation: the process of thinking or forming ideas.
impulsivity: inability to resist performing some action.
invalidation: When you communicate that another person’s experience, emotions, thinking or actions are invalid or wrong or bad, and they shouldn’t feel that way.   Even when it is valid.

judgements: Judgements help us sort our emotions into good/bad, right/wrong or should/shouldn’t.  Judgements are associated with secondary emotion and can lead to a lot of pain

mindfulness: Paying attention on purpose, right here and now, with no interpretations or judgements

non-judgemental stance: To enter into a reality that is real and solid.    (a judgement is not reality, it’s an interpretation)   It is primarily about description

pathology: the condition and processes of a disease or disorder.
psychosis: a loss of reality and impairment of mental, social, and personal functioning.

radical acceptance: when you accept reality eg it is what it is.  Letting go of the illusion of control and accepting things as they are right now, without judging
reciprocity:
what one person does affects the other and what they do comes back and affects the one.
reciprocity (negative): when one person is judgemental, then over time, the other may become more judgemental
reciprocity (positive): as one person becomes more aware, present, caring and gentle, it becomes easier for the other person to be warm and loving
relationship mindfulness: 
bringing all of your attention to another person right now in this moment, with interest, observation and description (not being judgemental or critical)

suicidal ideation: thoughts of wishing one were not alive or of committing suicide.

trigger: an external event or circumstance that may produce very uncomfortable emotional or psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, panic, discouragement, despair, or negative self-talk

validation: legitimizing the emotions, thoughts, and experiences of another.  Communicating the legitimacy of the other persons experience, emotion, thought, want or activity.   A validating response is that makes sense.   Praise means you like it but validation means you understand it and it is legitimate
how to validate: if you feel the same way, just say ‘me too’

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This website is produced by members of the Sanctuary Support Group. We are not mental health professionals nor clinicians.  We are ordinary people who care for someone with BPD. This website is a collection of information that we have found helpful or of interest in the context of our own lived experiences. The content of this website is not a substitute for independent professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.