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Borderline Personality Disorder

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
For a long time I though I was type 2 bipolar but never did anything about it. I thought it was quite mild because my mood swings lasted for a few hours or a day at most. I've been struggling with anger and while googleing I found this disorder and I cried. It felt like they were talking about me. I've contacted a therapist and hope to start therapy and pursue getting a true dx but I was wondering if anyone has had any expierence with the disorder and if they could tell me more. I've put a bunch of books on hold at the library about BPD, but first hadn personal expierence is invaluable. Below I inserted info from one of the many webpages I've looked at for those who are unfamilar with this. I can see clearly 9 of the 10 symptoms within myself.

Quote:
The main feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and emotions. People with borderline personality disorder are also usually very impulsive.

This disorder occurs in most by early adulthood. The unstable pattern of interacting with others has persisted for years and is usually closely related to the person’s self-image and early social interactions. The pattern is present in a variety of settings (e.g., not just at work or home) and often is accompanied by a similar lability (fluctuating back and forth, sometimes in a quick manner) in a person’s emotions and feelings. Relationships and the person’s emotion may often be characterized as being shallow.

A person with this disorder will also often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:

Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
Chronic feelings of emptiness
Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
post #2 of 67
BPD & Bipolar disorder often go hand in hand. Bipolar disorder used to be misdaignosed as BPD. Bipolar disorder is like the physical version of Borderline Personality Disorder. Bipolar is brain, BPD is mind. Does that make sense?

It's great that you've found a therapist. DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) is an effective method in treating BPD. I like Marcia Lenehan's (sp?) book. It's pretty telling.

I hope you can still be open to the possibility that you have Bipolar disorder & have consequently developed patterns of behavior characteristic of the "Borderline Personality." The symptoms you cited are symptoms of Bipolar disorder as well.

Out of curiosity, why do you think you have Bipolar II disorder, opposed to I or NOS?
post #3 of 67
Thread Starter 
What is NOS? If I am bipolar, I think it would be bipolar 2 because I don't have the type of mania described. I have rage, but I either feel a calm happiness, or anxiety/depression/anger and if I feel neither things I can't grasp the idea of what it feels to feel any of those emotions.

The therapist I found does the DBT which is why I picked her. She sounds quit nice and hopefully through DH's EAP at work I'll get my first 3 visits free. :

I am trying to remain open, I've done light reading on bipolar and it never felt quite right but I could identify with a few symptoms, but when I read about BPD I cried because it explained my whole life.

I just want to feel sane and not feel ruled by my emotions! Emotional and mental health here I come.
post #4 of 67
Like you, I've never been formally diagnosed, and BPD sounds closest to what I've got going on. I never really considered Bipolar 2 until I started taking St. John's wort a few months back. A certain brand of that made me feel really wired, like I HAD to move, and sort of "in tune" in a way I wasn't used to. I cut back on the caffeine, and changed brands of SJW, and I'm less antsy now. But it did make me wonder. I've read some things that suggest that the manic part of bipolar can be negative. If that's true--if you can be intensely agitated, angry, etc, it might fit for me.

The part about BPD that makes sense for me is the pervasive instability in relationships, and fear of being abandoned.
post #5 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right of Passage View Post
when I read about BPD I cried because it explained my whole life.
I feel you. Reading Marcia's book was really helpful for me. It helped me understand, heal & move on. I think for a motivated person, Borderline Personality Disorder can be easily "fixed" & moved on from. Once you're aware of how much your own irrational/untrue beliefs effect your own reality it's a lot easier to rationalize with yourself & take a second look at things through a less tainted lense. With practice you can catch yourself before you go off, especially if you don't want to go off. That's really the bottom line... if you want to change, or not.

BPD is all about behavior modification (actually, Bipolar disorder also requires a lot of behavior modification, but it also requires medication ). Some people don't want to change & live really sad lives. It's really really great that you're into helping yourself, you know?



Oh.. NOS is "Not otherwise specified." Bipolar disorder, they're realizing, is more of a spectrum, like Autism. I know wikipedia isn't a scholarly source by any means, but it can be useful to sum up information e.g.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar...a_and_subtypes

When I was 15 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder "With Psychosis," OCD, a schitzoaffective disorder and a "Borderline Personality." Now I'm diagnosed "Rapid Cycling Bipolar I" which pretty much sums up the above
post #6 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewhammy View Post
If that's true--if you can be intensely agitated, angry, etc, it might fit for me.

The part about BPD that makes sense for me is the pervasive instability in relationships, and fear of being abandoned.
If the mania in bipolar isn't a high and can be anger than I would say it would fit me quite a bit. I have an intense fear of abandonment. When my husband leaves to work I nearly lose it, every.single.day. I have to speak to him at least every four hours to know that he still loves me. That sounds so immature and just dumb but that's why I'm starting therapy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carley View Post
I feel you. Reading Marcia's book was really helpful for me. It helped me understand, heal & move on. I think for a motivated person, Borderline Personality Disorder can be easily "fixed" & moved on from. Once you're aware of how much your own irrational/untrue beliefs effect your own reality it's a lot easier to rationalize with yourself & take a second look at things through a less tainted lense. With practice you can catch yourself before you go off, especially if you don't want to go off. That's really the bottom line... if you want to change, or not.

BPD is all about behavior modification (actually, Bipolar disorder also requires a lot of behavior modification, but it also requires medication ). Some people don't want to change & live really sad lives. It's really really great that you're into helping yourself, you know?



Oh.. NOS is "Not otherwise specified." Bipolar disorder, they're realizing, is more of a spectrum, like Autism. I know wikipedia isn't a scholarly source by any means, but it can be useful to sum up information e.g.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar...a_and_subtypes

When I was 15 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder "With Psychosis," OCD, a schitzoaffective disorder and a "Borderline Personality." Now I'm diagnosed "Rapid Cycling Bipolar I" which pretty much sums up the above

I was just thinking today that bipolar is more of a spectrum and I was wondering if BPD should be on that spectrum? When I was 14 after 2 suicide attempts and years of self injury that my mother tried to brush off I was told I was borderline bipolar, they never told my mother : they just found it easier to drug me and walk away. I don't know if there is really a borderline bipolar as a dx? I know regardless of what I end up being Dx'd with I can heal, and I can have a much better quality of life.

I'm definetly motivated, I want change. I want my LOs to see a healthy mama.
post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right of Passage View Post
I know regardless of what I end up being Dx'd with I can heal, and I can have a much better quality of life.

I'm definetly motivated, I want change. I want my LOs to see a healthy mama.
That is so, so awesome.

So many people suffer and resist treatment. They'll lose family, friends, significant others and children & still think it's everyone elses problem. They live very unhappy lives and die young and angry. It's really sad, because life doesn't have to be that way. Treatment is a good thing.

to you mama... you're a great mother. It's amazing that you're considering your children like that.
post #8 of 67
Actually, coming close to losing it when your husband leaves for work sounds pretty familiar to me. And I've been driving my DH nuts calling him at work (he's a roofer, so he's usually someplace high and dangerous when I call). I can see that what I'm doing is on the demented side, but I can't stop myself from doing it (yet).

There seems to be a lot of overlap between bipolar 2 and BPD. Also complex PTSD, which is what I was more or less diagnosed with.

I need to get back in therapy, but really can't afford it--insurance doesn't kick in for me 'til 10,000, and we're facing foreclosure on our house. When I can afford to get help, I'm going to look for someone who does DBT.
post #9 of 67
my psych and therapist told me that the diff between BPD and bi polar is the cycle. bi polar has a predictable cycle with pretty consistent lengths of time being up and down. but BPD has no consistency. you can be down for years, months, or just days then go up and stay there for a day, a month, etc. but bi polar you could count it on the calendar. she said otherwise there is no difference. it is a brain malfunction. the part that regulates emotion is screwed up. i went to a group that was for BPD and bi polar people. we were all the same. the group helps you retrain your brain. it will never be a cure but it was an improvemnent.
post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post
my psych and therapist told me that the diff between BPD and bi polar is the cycle. bi polar has a predictable cycle with pretty consistent lengths of time being up and down.

At the risk of sounding like an arrogent fool, unfortunately that is not the case. It'd sure be nice if it were.

BPD is not predictable. Lifestyle, stress, hormones, time of the year... they all play a huge role in episodes. BPD episodes are also different for every individual.

I'm rapid cycling and there is no predictability unless I'm in a stressful period (or "go out" or drink) in which case I'll probably have an episode.


http://bipolar.about.com/cs/faqs/f/faq_cycfreq.htm
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewhammy View Post
I need to get back in therapy, but really can't afford it--insurance doesn't kick in for me 'til 10,000, and we're facing foreclosure on our house. When I can afford to get help, I'm going to look for someone who does DBT.

Have you researched low income mental health benefits in your area? Mental health is as important as Physical & often the two are intertwined (e.g. Bipolar Disorder, Autism, Alzheimers)

http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publi...50/default.asp
post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right of Passage View Post
When I was 14 after 2 suicide attempts and years of self injury that my mother tried to brush off I was told I was borderline bipolar, they never told my mother : they just found it easier to drug me and walk away.

I wanted to speak on this. I think a lot of us with Bipolar Disorder before recent times had similar experiences & fustrations with the "treatments" available. I held a lot of resentments until I realized that treatments for ALL diseases (autism = retards, cancer = certain death AIDS = no knowledge etc) weren't as available or effective as they are now.

Sometimes there were no other options, you know? It's not that our treatment was easy, it was costly & I'm sure it was fustrating for academics who thought they could help people. They really didn't have any options for "what to do with us." Thankfully research and medical technology (even the ever despised pharmaceutical industry) has really improved what we know, thus given us more treatment options than institutionalization. Tip of the iceburg, yes.. but improving every day!

"Back in the day" I underwent a lot of what I now realize was breakthrough research regarding the EEG's of brains effected by Bipolar disorder. I do have a different EEG than typical EEGs and mine reflects what they now know are common effects of BPD. Interesting, right?

Watching treatments improve for ALL diseases really gives me hope for the future. I'm especially interested to see how gene therapy pans out. It really would be amazing to witness!

/ETA remember what ultrasounds used to look like? They couldn't even tell gender... and early ultrasounds weren't even worth it! They were nothing! No early pregnancy tests... nothing!
post #13 of 67
Thread Starter 
I'm a youngen so this was only 8 years ago (wow, that seems like yesterday!), so I really hope that treatments have improved. All they did was put me on zyprexa and prozac, I also think it was quite irresponsible and detrimental to me for them to not tell my mom. I think they looked at me like a lost cause, or a fake. All things to learn from and grow from thankfully. I really love all the insight you've offered thank you so much!
post #14 of 67
Hello Mamas, sorry to jump in here, very interesting conversation. When I read the descriptions of BPD and bipolar, sometimes I think that my gma, father and I ALMOST qualify.

I have the rage/irritability too and depression. But I don't have the kind of problems with people at work that seem to be part of BPD. When I was younger (late teens mostly) I really needed constant reassurance that my bfriend loved me. Now I don't have that problem with dh...although I think that could be because of his consistent love and patience with me.

When speaking with my pdoc, she went through a list of characteristics for bipolar and my dad fit most of them, but not the key impulsive ones like spending, sex, etc. So it's hard to know. My gma seems to have some of the BPD stuff. Black and white thinking for both dad and gma.

Anyway, this talk about stuff on a spectrum is very interesting to me.

You women are very inspirational to me -- I think it's really important to care for ourselves, our mental health, to learn, grow and understand it. I think it's important for our children to see us taking care of ourselves, to see us coping. And they may develop some mental health problems in the future and need to learn to cope.
post #15 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
Hello Mamas, sorry to jump in here, very interesting conversation. When I read the descriptions of BPD and bipolar, sometimes I think that my gma, father and I ALMOST qualify.

I have the rage/irritability too and depression. But I don't have the kind of problems with people at work that seem to be part of BPD. When I was younger (late teens mostly) I really needed constant reassurance that my bfriend loved me. Now I don't have that problem with dh...although I think that could be because of his consistent love and patience with me.
to you mama! I have that too, when I first read it I thought "but I've been HAPPY with DH for almost 7 years now" and then it dawned on me I have the hardest time making or keeping friends (too sensitive and get hurt quite quickly) and this has been most of my life and don't have much of a relationship with my family other than my mother. DH is so patient with me and loves me so much I don't deserve it. I've been very lucky with those 2 without either of them IDK where I'd be!
post #16 of 67
I don't have any bi-polar. but i was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder just a few days ago after having to be hospitalized at a mental health center. i'm starting counseling and DBT in a couple weeks (along with meds that ive been on for awhile.) it's relieveing to finally get a diagnosis, it's like everything makes sense now.
post #17 of 67
Hello. I haven't read through all the posts in detail, but I am writing as a clinical psychologist who's worked with a number of people with "BPD" and Bipolar. The first thing I want to tell anyone who's thinking they've got these issues is that they should probably be wary of anyone labeling them as "borderline". This is kind of a "garbage can" category for some groups of psychologists that means, essentially, that a female patient is difficult and particularly challenging to work with. It's like a buzzword. As a woman and feminist, I would not allow my colleagues or trainees to be so cavalier as to suggest giving anyone this label without serious debate. It's not really a diagnostic label that opens a path for helping or ameliorating symptoms. It is most probable that the the DSM-5, the next version of the diagnostic and statistical manual, will have many changes to the axis 2 (Personality Disorders) category. The fact that BPD is applied mostly to females sends up huge red flags for me. Also, most of the "symptoms" of BPD appear in many other diagnoses. In other words, it's very heterogeneous.

Bipolar Disorder, on the other hand, is a whole 'nother matter. As someone posted earlier, there are many gradations of the disorder, but the key feature is periods of hypomania or mania. In other words, along with periods of depression, the individual experiences periods of sleeplessness, agitation, racing thoughts. These periods can be extremely productive. Many highly intelligent and creative individuals have periods of hypomania, and indeed, many artists, writers, intellectuals, are thought to have been bipolar. On one end of the bipolar spectrum, the individual can identify a single hypomanic episode, while on the other, the individual has many or frequent episodes (rapid cycling). Also, however, some periods of mania may come with notions of grandeur or omnipotence. The depressive periods, on the other hand, come with severe self-loathing and ideas of self-anihilation.

What's important about correct diagnosis is that if somone is bipolar and prescribed antidepressants (as might be for someone who is "borderline"), the SSRI's can cause bipolar symptoms to be worse. On the other hand, mood stabilizers or antipsychotics (as given in some cases) would probably not be helpful to someone who has "borderline" symptoms.

So, I guess the grain of wisdom in all of this is: Do not accept a diagnosis of BPD without putting up a fight, because more and more clinicians are beginning to see that it isn't a helpful diagnosis. Also the "empirically-driven" therapies developed for BPD don't really get to the heart of the matter. Yes, it's important to give an individual who has highly destructive relational patterns an opportunity to develop better coping and relating skills, but most of these therapies stop short at getting to the heart of the matter: Most women with "BPD" symptoms come from very difficult family backgrounds where they learned their dysfunctional relational patterns. Therapies that don't also look at the foundation of the individual's personality are really nothing but band-aids in the long run.

Anyhow, I hope this is helpful.
post #18 of 67
I agree with Vishapmama on the subject of BPD. My own therapist also does not believe in diagnosing folks with BPD, and I've found it quite helpful to choose NOT to accept the label. The truth is that most mental health professionals use the diagnosis for female patients that may have difficult, needy behaviors that the therapists don't particularly want to deal with. Once you have a label of BPD it is very hard to get quality care- many mental health professionals refuse to see borderlines entirely, other severely limit the number they will accept into their practice. Once they see "BPD" they assume they know all about you as a person, and little of it is flattering.

My own therapist says that people who have symptoms of BPD are quite obviously hurting quite a bit. If you treat them like they are hurting, and not like they have a mental disorder, they tend to improve. And, childhood abuse is almost universal in Borderlines. But all of these "borderline therapies" completely ignore that the symptoms are a reaction to trauma. If you treat the underlying trauma, the "borderline symptoms" go away. However, therapy for childhood trauma is generally longer term, something most therapists are unwilling to deal with currently, so they throw out labels of personality disorders and then can feel more confident walking away.

I do not doubt that your symptoms mirror those listed as criteria for BPD. I think it is important however, to understand how the label is used and seen by professionals, and other potential causes and cures, before voluntarily taking on a BPD diagnosis. -Oubliette
post #19 of 67
Thread Starter 
I appreciate both of the above postings and was hoping to see this kind of info as well! I'm reading a book on BPD and I'm quite distrubed, according to the book the "behaviors" that bother my daily life the most are the hardest to treat and the least "curable," and my problems very much mirror the BPD symptoms (I'm 9 for 9!) but I'm not sure what else would be a symptom in my life that I can't see objectively that would change the outlook. I'm looking forward to my visit on friday and I have quite a history that I need to sort out. I will update after that visit if anyone is interested!
post #20 of 67
I am NAK... but I wanted to express agreement with Vishapmama and also humbly to suggest the possibility of PTSD sometimes manifesting itself as a cluster of symptoms that could be mistaken for BPD. This is along the lines of what Oubliette mentioned as well.

I hope your appointment goes well on Friday.
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