Welcome to elizahecht.com, home of Eliza Hecht, writer.

Seven best attributes/skills:

1. Makes a mean roast chicken.

2. Also, mean fried chicken.

3. Ass that don’t quit.

4. Can throw up in public without anyone noticing.

5. Can talk anyone down to half-price.

6. Very good at spelling.

7. Teeth are pretty white.

28 thoughts on “Home

  1. Eliza, I just finished reading your Vox article on BPD. It really gives me hope. I did foster care for 10 years with adolescent girls, and I know several with BPD and other personality disorders like Reactive Attachment Disorder. The psychiatrists would prescribe meds and therapists would go through the motions, but they all *KNEW* that nothing would really help these girls. The only therapy we found to be at all helpful was EMDR. None of our girls would ever admit their behavior was a problem. We have yet to get them out of the victim stage. It is just nice to see that there is hope. We need a movement to have more effort and money put in research and treatment of Personality Disorders.


    • Very much agreed, Carol. Personality disorders are so complex that they’re often just given up on, rather than treated. And the biggest, unspoken issue is that the best treatment and medications for these disorders are expensive. My DBT has never been covered by insurance, and my meds are still expensive, even with insurance. I’ve been lucky enough to get the very best care, which I think greatly affected my ability to get better.

      For your girls – I highly recommend trying to find a group that does DBT in your area – at the very least, a therapist who’s familiar with it, or even buy Marsha Linehan’s book to see some of her ideas. It absolutely changed my life. I did some EMDR, and it was helpful – but mostly for dealing with trauma, not learning to cope with BPD.

      Best of luck,



  2. Hi Eliza, I’m coming here from your Vox article. Thanks so much for writing it! I’m 26, living in NC, and strongly relate to some of the hardships you outlined. Specifically, your descriptions of relationship problems, impulse control, and anxiety. When I was younger, I always thought that my depressive episodes were just a part of my personality. I often pushed these thoughts out of my head and avoided them. About two years ago, I started taking medication. Recently, I decided to go completely off medication and focus on working with a therapist. So far, things are improving, slowly but surely. I just wanted to offer my thanks for writing your piece, and to express my solidarity with you and others that might be struggling out there. I wish you the best on your journey and thanks again for shedding light on such an important issue that silently affects so many.


  3. I just read your Vox article. I have denied having BPD for a long time. It is hard enough just being bipolar. I feel like I have mostly lived in a failure fog for most of my life. Very good student in high school. College…more difficult. I am 32 and still in undergrad. I am a senior though and plan to go to medical technology school. This my second time on DBT. Have to work at it. I am glad that someone is out there that shares this pain that I have to deal with everyday.


    • I get it. Completely. It took me eight years to do undergrad, and there’s no shame in taking your time.

      Definitely stick with the DBT. It’s entirely changed my life and is the reason I can get through every day. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

      I know this whole thing is hard, but once you get over the hump and learn how to live with it, it really does become much easier. Best of luck and love.


  4. Eliza – I am new in the health care side of mental issues. Thank you so much for shedding some light on what you specifically have, and do, suffer. You have done a great service for health care providers because your take the DSM code lines, such as: Fear of abandonment, A pattern of unstable and intense personal relationships, and Unstable self-image,etc; and put them in living descriptions. This allow providers to match up these rather vague (at times) code statements with what these look like in real people’s experiences, hence making the diagnosing and appropriate treatment for other sufferers, being more likely offered. This is important because there is so much overlap in symptoms and the mental health diagnosis they may represent. This will help health providers in matching the real world with the cold dry clinical descriptions of diagnosis.Thank you again, for being boldly transparent, and sharing yourself. May the Lord Jesus bless you. Frank


  5. Saw your article on Vox. Just ended a four year relationship with a a woman who was intensely warm, caring, loving and funny. She also was almost always lonely, bored, depressed and talked about profound feelings of emptyness, engaged in cutting, and had frequent out of control rages. I still loved her, and supported her the best I could. Loving someone with BPD is hard, but I would do it again. best regards, j


    • So glad to hear it. We can be intensely passionate people, with much to offer, once you understand our disorder and can learn to live with it (and your partner can live with it, too). Hope you find love again soon!


  6. Thanks for your article. I have a nineteen year old son who has bpd. I have shared your article with friends who want to understand what we are going through. It is difficult to explain. He has done some dbt but not sure he practices it. He has improved much in the last year while in a residential treatment center and then a step down program. I hope he’ll be okay one day and be happy and not have to struggle so much.


    • I hope so, too – and I also know that improvement is absolutely possible. Sometimes it takes time – none of us have our best judgment at 19, let alone those of us with BPD. So, trust that he will mature, and, with the best care – which you seem to be giving him – he will learn how to deal with this disorder, and hopefully get better. My advice is to stick with the DBT and look into medications – including a mood stabilizer and an anti-psychotic.


  7. I read an article you wrote on BPD. I just wanted to let you know I needed to read that. I needed to know someone understood. Thank you for writing it.



  8. About 2 yrs ago my 37 yo daughter (who live far away in Hawaii) informed me of her BPD diagnosis. I asked her if she could help me to understand the disorder. Not my job, she said and told me to find a therapist and to go find my own happiness. I did, but the information was just a dire diagnosis, and I was instructed to hit the read a book, hit the pause button and to be thankful I lived far away.
    Your article is the first time I can begin to grasp her struggle. Thank you


  9. I read your Vox article. My mom has BPD. While I was a teenager in high school our home life was almost completely torn apart by some of her actions. She went through DBT, and things have been very nice for the past 11 years. There are still times when I’m not completely trusting of her when it comes to money issues, but she no longer harms herself (was a bulimic for 40 years), and her sexual escapades are no more (she’s been happily married for 9 years now; she one time went home w/a guy she met while driving on the interstate – literally, they were both driving and pulled over at a Starbucks to talk). All that being said, living with a mental illness is difficult (I have OCD), and kudos to you for letting the world know your life and what you go through.


  10. Eliza, I can’t seem to keep myself from writing here, even though what I have to say might come across as cruel, given the tone of vulnerability you evince in your Vox essay, which I have just read. However I think that friends and relations of BPD people (i.e. their victims) might appreciate a supportive voice here, too. My experience with a BPD person in my life includes other problems you did not address: extremely manipulative self-serving behavior; occasional, potentially dangerous outbursts of violence to others as well as to yourself (thank god no gun in sight); absolutely no respect for others’ boundaries; above all: “Crazy like a fox” – that is, able to carry on and succeed when in her interest to do so, but as soon as others require a certain standard of appropriate behavior in situations that they need (high school graduation, weddings, social events, etc): “oops, sorry I have BPD, it is an illness and I can’t help myself from totally disrupting everyone here, assaulting people, shamelessly embarrassing people close to you, etc. This is an incredibly, strangely, suspiciously self-serving disorder! So, in response to your essay I would have to say to BPD people in general: fine, I understand what you are saying. It still does not make what have done ok or acceptable. And to you: fine, yes, I understand that you have a hard time with your disorder. But in addition to the tone of vulnerability (and victimhood?) where is the tone of apology to those whom you have hurt, manipulated, damaged, etc?


    • I think you’re coming at this from a point of having been hurt by someone, not having read my piece closely. I definitely didn’t invoke a tone of victimhood, and also acknowledged many times that unacceptable behavior is still unacceptable behavior – no matter the reason.

      Your impression of your friend is consistent with a lot of people’s assumptions about BPD. And there are some people who, yes, are not receiving the help they need. It’s not a “suspiciously self-serving disease,” it’s a really hard one to live with, and people who are not getting the right help can often seem selfish. As I acknowledged in my piece, the illness is not an excuse for poor behavior, but often people are struggling with issues that create that behavior – it’s an explanation, not an excuse. And the stereotype of all people with BPD as being manipulative or hurtful or selfish or victimizing – it’s only hurtful to those of us living with the disease day to day. And I bet you know more people with BPD who seem totally “normal” to you.

      I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience with a friend who is in desperate need of help. But she’s probably trying, you just can’t see it. And I can’t express enough what it’s like – she doesn’t want to be the way she is. This is an incredibly difficult thing to live with, even once you’re properly medicated and receiving help, learning skills, etc. The point of my piece was to hopefully create some understanding of what it’s like to be in our heads – even though I am not sure that anyone could possibly imagine it, truly, without having been through some degree of mental illness themselves.

      Mental illness isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. Your friend needs to learn how to deal with her disease. But it can be an explanation for a lot of things that seem selfish or bizarre. And I’d like to remind you that there’s no such thing as “BPD people in general.” Behavior is wildly different from person to person – because people are, well, people.


  11. I’m 28 and have been diagnosed with BPD for 8 years now. I’ve been through the usual wringer– multiple hospitalizations, PHP, IOP, outpatient groups, every conceivable medication. I too function best with a mood stabilizer and antipsychotic, but I can no longer take mood stabilizers due to health issues. I went from having a full scholarship at my dream school to appealing to get back into community college because I withdrew from too many classes on too many occasions. I feel very hopeless sometimes, but stories like yours make me feel a bit better. Thank you for sharing.


    • I understand. I can still remember how hard it was before I learned what medications worked best and how to manage my symptoms and behavior. It’s so, so hard and frustrating. But school doesn’t go away. The best advice I ever received was to take a break, stop trying, and focus on myself. Sometimes pushing and pushing and pushing isn’t the way to go – instead, recognize what your current limitations are, and take time off. No shame in that.

      I know how hard it is now. But, with work, it really can get better. It’s hard to believe. I remember feeling as hopeless as I’m sure you do. But if I’ve managed to get reasonably happy, healthy, and functional, you can, too. There’s hope. It really is possible to learn how to manage this disease and live with it. It just takes a lot of hard work and what can feel like an eternity when you’re in the thick of it.


  12. Sounds like your ex’s weren’t very accepting….
    Im curious what your astrological sign is. I could advise you the most compatible signs for you if you’d like.


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