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borderline personality disorder question
December 27, 2005
10:01 pm
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Anonymous
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When does simple codependence, mixed with a little depression, mood swings, low self esteem and ADD perhaps - turn into borderline personality disorder?

From what I am reading - all share so many similar traits....but yet borderline personality disorder seems to be an extreme diagnosis.

I think I know what the difference is - and it is minute - but I wonder if anyone else can shed some light on it.

December 27, 2005
10:30 pm
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camra
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alicat, Im not sure that it does..

Those are all sepreate disorders.

camra

December 27, 2005
10:32 pm
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Anonymous
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They are all separate disorders - but many of the symptoms also present in borderline personality disorder.

So, what makes a person borderline personality - vs. codependent with issues of low self esteem, ADD and perhaps depression?

December 27, 2005
10:41 pm
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camra
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well I think they are actually thinking of doing away with Borderline personalilty disorder because it is so contervrsal. I personally think is a buch of poppy cock.

Symptoms
Relationships with others are intense but stormy and unstable with marked shifts of feelings and difficulties in maintaining intimate, close connections. The person may manipulate others and often has difficulty with trusting others. There is also emotional instability with marked and frequent shifts to an empty lonely depression or to irritability and anxiety. There may be unpredictable and impulsive behavior which might include excessive spending, promiscuity, gambling, drug or alcohol abuse, shoplifting, overeating or physically self-damaging actions such as suicide gestures. The person may show inappropriate and intense anger or rage with temper tantrums, constant brooding and resentment, feelings of deprivation, and a loss of control or fear of loss of control over angry feelings. There are also identity disturbances with confusion and uncertainty about self-identity, sexuality, life goals and values, career choices, friendships. There is a deep-seated feeling that one is flawed, defective, damaged or bad in some way, with a tendency to go to extremes in thinking, feeling or behavior. Under extreme stress or in severe cases there can be brief psychotic episodes with loss of contact with reality or bizarre behavior or symptoms. Even in less severe instances, there is often significant disruption of relationships and work performance. The depression which accompanies this disorder can cause much suffering and can lead to serious suicide attempts.

As you can see it resembles many other disorders too, so it has become very conterversal.

my personal opioion is its poppy cock!

Good luck!
camra

December 27, 2005
10:45 pm
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Rasputin
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Here is another info I found Alicat!

Symptoms:

While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day. These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse.

Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone.

People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike). Thus, they may form an immediate attachment and idealize the other person, but when a slight separation or conflict occurs, they switch unexpectedly to the other extreme and angrily accuse the other person of not caring for them at all. Even with family members, individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and distress to such mild separations as a vacation, a business trip, or a sudden change in plans. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent, leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthless. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments.

People with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.

I hope it's helpful!~Ras~

December 27, 2005
10:46 pm
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That's pretty much what I am trying to figure out...exactly what differentiates this from standard depression or low self esteem, codependency or ADD...which all present issues with volatile relationships, feeling of emptiness and abandonment issues.

What is the line in the sand?

I don't think it's poppy cock - but I think it is controversial - kind of like ADD - it's real, but overdiagnosed - and probably only "real" in 10% of the cases.

December 27, 2005
10:48 pm
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Thanks Ras -

I have found alot of websites with this information.

Unfortunately, I don't know what makes these symptoms different from standard low self esteem or such...

I am waiting for an appointment with my therapist - but with the holidays, she is slow getting back to me.

December 28, 2005
1:05 am
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When I am feeling at my worst, I am most of those behaviors and act out many of them when in distress. In recovery, I have overcome many if not most of them. On a good day, I don't even resemble those behaviors and traits. I don't think it is a real diagnosis, more a large assemblage of dysfunctions that people in pain, or from difficult homelifes act out and what that looks like.

LL

December 28, 2005
1:18 am
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hopeinhim
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I am pretty sure one of my friends had borderline when I was in high school - she was extremely jealous, there were suicide attempts, and she would be really rude if I did not pay "enough" attention to her.

I think it is a real disorder - and, terribly disabling.

She was drop dead 1 in 5,000 with her looks - but, we did not keep in touch because she was too volatile.

Hope that helps,

Hope

December 28, 2005
2:49 am
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Worried_Dad
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alicat,

My first partner was diagnosed with BPD.

I read an article in Scientific American that referenced studies that studied the brains of BPD people my NMR and also looked at their histories. It seems like childhood abuse and neglect is a risk factor and that can be actual damage to the brain in regions responsible for emotional processing.

With BPD I hear about the extreme and unreasonable jealousy a lot. Seems like Borderlines often have a strong fear of abandonment, which with the jeaoulsy becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thus, the title of the book about borderline disorder: I hate you, dont leave me."

December 28, 2005
3:03 am
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Lass
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WD,

You have a way of making things make so much sense. An easy way with explainations.

December 28, 2005
3:06 am
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depressionsucks78
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Ali, I know you do not know me personally, but I have severe BPD. I am recovering, so it is not so bad most of the time.

Right now, I am going through a lot of shit, so it is particularly bad at the moment. Since I have been getting treatment for it though, it has been wayyyyyyy better.

Yesterday, I was ready to kill myself, and did actually try it, but it didn't work. Today, I've been going up and down, like I'm on a flippin roller coaster. I am going back and forth with all of the feelings and crap that go along with BPD.

Camra is wrong, this disease is NOT poppy cock, it is VERY real, and scary. To have this disease, and to know what it does to your brain, is more frightening than I could ever explain, because I never know when I'm gonna get hit with an attack of these feelings.

Since I am recovering, I am able to recognize when I am in the middle of an episode, but I still can not always tell before it happens. Often times, I don't know until I am screaming at someone for no apparent reason, then I think about it, and I realize what's going on. That's only with the raging anger. I can't tell when i'm being impulsive, promiscuous, or anything. I constantly suffer with abandonment issues, and lately, I am just having some SERIOUS issues.

So, this disease is 100% real. I live with it, please don't say that it's fake.

December 28, 2005
3:13 am
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ACryForHelp
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camra, I was told that I have borderline personality disorder because I have all the symptoms you mentioned in your first post but I also cut/burn myself...

It it just an easy way to lump everything together because even though they are all individual disorders they occure so frequently together in certan people that it might eventually become it's own seperate entity???

I want to know if what I have been told by a doctor is true or if he had just read too much "alternative" BS or crackpot theories...

Thanks!

December 28, 2005
3:40 am
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depressionsucks78
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self harm is another criteria for BPD

December 28, 2005
11:54 am
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When I studied at college I remember our psychology teacher told us that "we are all NORMAL TO SOMETHING...be it NPD,BPD,OCPD.

So, in conclusion NO ONE IS IMMUNE!!!
We are all suffering from something even the most healthy and sound human being among us.

I also remember that he told us that BPD is the PD that exists in big cities. NYC has 40% of its population as BPD.

So, WE ARE ALL NORMAL TO SOMETHING............

This thing should motivate us to be understanding, symapthetic and non-judgemental to others.

PS: In my other thread about my supervisor, the only thing I was apprehensive of is when these people live in denial about their PD and do NOT go for therapy and pretend that nothing is wrong with them and make our life difficult!!!

~Ras~

December 28, 2005
12:07 pm
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oh, I DO know something is wrong with me.

And I know that there is an infinite RANGE of behaviours - meaning it's not all or nothing kind of diagnosis.

I can look at others and see EXTREME cases of it - but then look at myself and see some level of it - enough to worry me and seek help.

I am not suicidal - and many days I am able to function normally - with it only "bubbling" in the background - waiting to erupt. There is no rhyme or reason for why I erupt - any number of things can set me off.

The biggest things that interest me are the abandonment issues, the "splitting" everything into black or white/good or bad, the erratic relationship history and the "object consistency" issues. I do not harm myself - but all my behaviours point to this otherwise. I emotionally abuse all those around me and have only ONE friend and in the process of losing my current relationship. My relationship with my family is also volatile, although part of that is cuz of how they are.

I am waiting to see what the therapist says - and I am going to stick with her - because originally I was going to drop her, like I have with all the rest - but I have read enough to know that dropping another therapist is not going to help me get better. I have to be honest with her and have to stick with it long enough for her to know me enough to help me.

I don't want to keep losing relationships - I don't want to look at other people and wonder how they do it and what is wrong with me that I can't maintain any kind of relationship - work, friends or otherwise.

I have read alot of the websites - and have read firsthand accounts of people who live with BPD and I am astounded how much they sound like me - and how many of the exact same phrases and thoughts they have.

I have protected myself by NOT TRYING to have friends - lest I lose them - but this existence sucks. I have no desire to harm myself or others - which is a good thing - but I am certainly not a happy or healthy person on many levels. Although, from what I see now, I have done "emotional harm" to alot of people over the years...which I know I can't change - but I do not want to continue to do.

December 28, 2005
12:16 pm
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Ali- knowing what you have to work on and being willing to do it is half the battle! You have friends here that love you dearly! I know we can't be there with you day to day physically but we are with you whenever you need us. I am glad you are sticking with your therapist. Build on where you are and keep digging and you will get there. Gayle

December 28, 2005
1:07 pm
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Ali,

I am giving this suggestion to you as a friend. PLEASE stop trying to make this whole situation with E your fault. It seems as though you are looking for any reason to blame this on yourself.

I know that you think there is something terribly wrong with you due to failed relationships but the reason these relationships have failed is because of the people you are choosing to have relationships with. Obviously, I am not a professional, but it seems to me that you have a fear of abandonment cause by good ole' fashioned, poor self esteem and perhaps a little codependency thrown into the mix.

BPD is a very serious disorder. The symptoms that have been described above should not be taken lightly. People with this disorder have EXTREME abandonment issues. EXTREME jealousy, without cause for jealousy. EXTREME anger, without cause for anger. SEVERE, depilitating (sp?) depression. EXTREME cases of promescuity, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc. Suicide attemps, self mutilation, etc. Most need to be hospitalized at one time or another.

From everything I have read about you in the past several months, none of these are true for you.

You are angry, distrustful and jealous because E has lied to you, manipulated you, cheated on you, minimized you feelings etc. IT IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND HEALTHY TO BE UPSET ABOUT THESE THINGS. The thing that is not healthy is NOT being upset enough by these things, which to me shows low self esteem, codependency and fear.

See you therapist Ali and tell her the truth. Stop trying to diagnose yourself and let her help you.

Your friend,
Lolli

December 28, 2005
1:58 pm
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Wow, this site has really openned my mind about mental disorders. Never realized that people had so many problems an still lived a functional life...The last man I dated told me about a lot of these behaviors..describing his wife..but it could have been his own behaviors as he lied to me about a lot of things...He described her as a cheater, lazy, mood swings, controlling...but I also saw some of those behaviors in him too. But he was a very functional person as he had a position that would require good mental stability.

So hard to tell about these things in a person...Just wonder if I have the problem too...I do like to spend money...not really moody or angry person...not over critical or jeolous.

December 28, 2005
2:02 pm
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Lolli,

I know that you can only go on the information based on what you know from my relationship with E.

But what you do not know is past relationships - before even my alcoholic boyfriend.

And from what I read online - there is a broad spectrum of levels of "disability".

The worst cases are the ones that need to be hospitalized - and I am not one of them. The high functioning ones do "ok" in real life, but have alot of difficulty in relationships.

I am not taking this concept lightly - I have done my homework and I know that I am not seeing this because of an isolated incident. I am seeing this because of a history that you are not fully aware.

The depression, the anger issues, the impsulive behaviour, the fight or flight, the inability to tolerate anxiety on any level, the inability to tolerate "shades of gray", the "splitting", the "projection", the trust issues, the anger issues, the abandonment issues, the binge eating, the reckless driving...are ALL part of my history. No, they are NOT extreme as I see they can be in other people - but they are VERY real and very much a part of my long history.

this goes beyond low self esteem and my current boyfriend, or even my last boyfriend. this goes back to the beginning.

And while you see alot of what I do write here - you do NOT see the anger and the arguments. And you do not know what goes on here that proves that I DO get upset by these things.

I am NOT a violent person - but short of that - the behaviours are real and have been present long before I met E.

I AM willing to work with the therapist - and I am willing to work on all this stuff. And perhaps it is a simple case of low self esteem - but no matter what it is - the treatment is the same and I hope the outcome is positive.

I know that E did alot of things to make him an unfit boyfriend. I am NOT discounting that AT ALL. But I will not get trapped in the blame game. I WILL take responsibility for my behaviours that contribute to my inability to have a healthy relationship with anybody. It is simply NOT healthy to constantly keep blaming E for all the turmoil. And I am not blaming myself either. I am simply looking to correct unhealthy behaviours and issues that exist within me.

Please stop telling me that I am blaming myself too much and not blaming E enough. That is not going to get me anywhere. I am trying not to wallow in what's done, but look forward in a healthy way, with optimism that I can create a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mental state for myself. What's done is done and I can't change it. But I can change how I behave going forward. And E is responsible for changing how he behaves. We all make mistakes - and I refuse to continue to hold unhealthy grudges about what happened.

Part of therapy includes NOT giving your power away by reacting to what other people do - by letting other people control, manipulate or depress you, you are giving your power away. I let my relationship with E depress me. I let his bad moods bring me down. I let his actions bring me down. I let my moods be dicated by what he did or didn't do, what he did or didn't say and by what he did or didn't mean - and that has to stop.

One way or another my self esteem WILL rise with therapy. If it is only self esteem issues, I will recover faster - if it is BPD - it will be a longer journey - either way, I am going forward with it. I am tired of being alone and unable to maintain relationships on a personal intimate level - and I want better for myself.

December 28, 2005
2:13 pm
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Marlex,

I think that my point is that most behaviours cross - just because you have one or two of the behaviours does not mean you have the diagnosis.

You may have a problem with impulsive spending - which may be related to low self esteem. But if you don't have problems with anger and jealousy - and are not destructive to yourself - it's doubtful that you have this disorder.

One of the things I realize is what Lolli points out - that alot of the behaviours mimick other symptoms of other behaviours.

Low self esteem can cause alot of the same symptoms. Depression can too. Codependency or ADD can too.

And perhaps, since I do not cause myself physical harm and I am not suicidal or violent - perhaps I just have a laundry list of disorders, and not fully BPD. But knowing that this disorder comes in high functioning and low functioning and every place in between - I believe it easier to think I have ONE disorder, and not several.

No matter WHAT I have - therapy is the same - and perhaps when/if I get medical insurance, I can look into having an actual test done on the frontal lobe of my brain to confirm or deny it. But for right now, it's a crap shoot - even the therapist may be wrong....many therapist disagree about BPD.

I have one best friend, and she has four kids and her two sons are bipolar. And both behave VERY differently - but still are bipolar. And one of them is also borderline personality - and she has been thru the diagnostic criteria and is fully aware of the disorder - and actually thought that I am BPD - and thought I was already aware of it. She knows me better than anyone else - and she has been thru the whole gammet of therapy and diagnosis stuff...I even think she is smarter than some of the doctors she has dealt with. I know there is diagnostic criteria for confirming this diagnosis - and I plan to look into it.

As I said - I would rather be "ONE" diagnosis, than a laundry list of scattered problems - I can handle one, not many.

December 28, 2005
2:57 pm
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turnabout
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You think we might be trying too hard to label ourselves with some disorder or another? I mean, I remember when I had severe depression I was very relieved when I could put a name to what I was experiencing. Coming out of my chaotic thought processes, giving it all a name, calling it a sickness, gave me something to focus on at a time when I completely lacked focus. So, I'm not saying it's a bad thing to look for putting a name to what you are experiencing, but isn't it possible that when in such a state of mind nearing desperation for something to focus on ... something to "fix"... that we might jump at just about anything?

And that isn't intended for any one person. Something I've been asking for quite a while. There is naturally a lot of talk of disorders on this site, and it's great talking with so many people who are so well aware, but sometimes it seems to me to be ... well, ... a bit excessive. Just makes me wonder if we're not all a little overeager to label ourselves sometimes.

(this isn't about your research specifically, ali. Sounds like you're really doing your homework, and that's great!)

December 28, 2005
3:39 pm
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Turnabout,

Yes, I think self diagnosis is dangerous and yes, when we are in the pit of despair, we certainly want a name to something we can't figure out.

Part of what sent me looking was that while I was working on abandonment issues, trust issues, codependency, and ADD - there was something that these disorders weren't addressing.

It was only until I saw the concise list of behaviours on ONE website - that listed it all - in detail - that it finally made sense.

I admit that I have depression issues, mood swings, ADD like symptoms, codependency and more - but there are a few of my behaviours that do not fall into those categories - and that BPD covers.

I think in the end - knowing what's wrong and that there are proven ways to fix it is such a relief on so many levels. I was relieved to find therapy for codependency, but something was "still not quite right" - and now I think I have it figured out, and I feel "free". I am not flying blind.

And I think that it's that desire to know what the problem is that leads people to try and determine what's wrong with them. Especially if they came from a family that told them nothing was wrong with them, it's all good.

December 28, 2005
4:25 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Ali,

You said:

"Please stop telling me that I am blaming myself too much and not blaming E enough. That is not going to get me anywhere."

Ali, the reason that I say the things I say is because that is the impression that I get from reading your posts. I read one of your posts from the other day and the whole thing said things like "we see" and "our feelings". When I see things like that it seems as though you are so enmeshed with E, that you sound like you are the same person. I also stand by what I say in that I believe that you are trying very hard to blame yourself. I realize the "blame game" is not healthy but neither is taking the blame for his actions on to yourself.

You are right in that I don't know your whole history. I only know what you say here and that is what my perception is based on.

I never meant to hurt you or to say things that you find unhelpful. I will respect your request and I truly hope that you find what you're looking for.

Take care,
Lolli

December 28, 2005
4:36 pm
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turnabout
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I can't knock self-diagnosis. No one ever told me I was in a depression; I had to figure it out on my own. And, although I had the help of a couple of therapists for a while, I really directed my own recovery with extensive research, taking what I could use from the therapists and ditching what I couldn't (I had both simultaneously b/c they addressed different needs. One was very goal oriented, the other focused on cognitive therapy), and integrating faith-based principles. I'm just wary of anyone "jumping on the bandwagon" so to speak.

If you really see yourself as BPD, it could be you were reflecting HIS codependency (instead of his BPD, as I originally suggested), which is what sent you to therapy and to start this investigation.

I've developed such a laissez-faire attitude about disorders lately. LOL ... "You can call yourself whatever you want if it will help you deal with whatever it is.".... I think it's the holidays. I'm tired of thinking. X-P

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