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Discussion Starter #1
Perspective on Borderline Personality Disorder

Okay. So I dont consider myself particularly stable, and I stumble from one diagnosis to another in an attempt to justify and comfort myself. My last inquiry seems remarkably close to the mark, but I am uncertain how much I can really gleam from such authorative sources like wikipedia and how much my bias distorts things. Thus I was wondering if anybody actually diagnosed might be able to provide a better account of what its like to have this kind of disorder, something more than a list of symptoms i can all vaguely relate to.

I feel like I need help, but incidentally I want to be certain I have a problem before I seek help. That is another point of interest, when do you know you need counsel?
 

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Borderline personality disorder is a neurological disorder that can manifest itself in many different ways through an apparent lack of impulse control. From what I've seen, there are at least two distinct clusters in BPD: reckless/aggressive and self-harming/depressive individuals. Although I can't give you an accurate account of what it's like to live with borderline, I may be able to share with you my opinion and advice once you've shared more about your symptoms and the various conditions you've considered so far.

As for your question: if you feel unstable and in need of help, it's definitely time to get help.
 

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All I can say is, my friend was not diagnosed with it, until after she attempted suicide.

It's very unpleasant, and if you don't feel safe with yourself, find professional help NOW.

And if you ever feel self destructive, or even just destructive, vent to us. We can try to help you calm down. Please don't make a decision that could ruin your life!
 

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I don't believe it's really a neurological disorder. It doesn't come from something being inherently wrong with the wiring in your brain, and if something is chemically unbalanced it is the result of experiences. One of the more insightful/humanizing descriptions I could find of it is here: Young Adult: The New Borderline Personality Disorder in Cinema | Psychology Today There is no line drawn where on one side you should get counseling and on the other side you shouldn't, it's up to the individual. But yes, if you're feeling unhappy/unstable, I would suggest going in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Okay, well I can begin by saying I havent attempted to harm myself, though I did have a recent habit of taking anger out on myself by biting/hitting myself. Most of my abuse however is mental.

Internally, where most of the action takes place, I am governed by particularly unpredictable episodes of emotions; I usually coast cooly through the day, but random things can set me off onto a path building up to incapacitating bouts of rage, frustration, despair, or combinations of all three and more. Other times I might feel blissful and optimistic for no apparent reason, until I notice and question it, where upon it may fade back to the background in a puff of logic or burst into shame. Shame because I have a very, very low self esteem. I see myself through a series of abhorant mistakes failing to be the person, prodigee even, I could have been, failing to be even a decent person. I criticize myself frequently and enforce modesty as a sentence, feeling undeserving of being very confident. I have equally intense views on the arrogance and selfishness I see in society, but then again I come down ten fold on myself for being a hypocrite in regards to some issues.

Interpersonally I am very reserved. I am extemely self-conscious about being perceived as nice and gentle by everyone, but don't actively seek out relationships or even conversations with others, save for one person. Since about when highschool began, I felt an essential need to be extremely close to one other person, as a friend or otherwise. I do everything I can to please this person and understand them, including restraining and contorting my own emotions to avoid conflict. Supporting them is where I find my motivation, my enjoyment comes from holding a special place. As time goes on though I feel gradually less certain and trustful, and have increasingly unstable emotions around them, loving them one minute and feeling betrayed or painfully uncertain the next, and hating myself for it all the while. I have a particularly acute fear of being abandoned or replaced – I have had and lost three such people, and am beginning to experience that termoil with a fourth.

Previously I naively thought I might have some mild form of bipolar disorder, but quickly concluded my manias were not extreme or prominent enough. Then I considered some mild form of depression, but I just didn't find the symptoms quite fitting, since I still clearly found enjoyment and had those occasional inexplicable highs with the lows. I also considered dependent personality disorder, but noticed while I engage in many of the mannerisms, I don't do it out of a fear of being unable to take care of myself.

Which brings me to borderline personality disorder. I gather, though, if I had it, I should not be able to diagnose myself with it since it would appear normal to me. Then again, if I am trying to find flaws in myself, perhaps I could stumble onto something halfway legitimate. My fear is that I would finally seek therapy, causing my family to think they didn't raise me well, then be told nothing is wrong.

Edit: I'm sorry, I edited this into practically a new post.
 

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Okay, well I can begin by saying I havent attempted to harm myself, though I did have a recent habit of taking anger out on myself by biting/hitting myself. Most of my abuse however is mental.

Internally, where most of the action takes place, I am governed by particularly unpredictable episodes of emotions; I usually coast cooly through the day, but random things can set me off onto a path building up to incapacitating bouts of rage, frustration, despair, or combinations of all three and more. Other times I might feel blissful and optimistic for no apparent reason, until I notice and question it, where upon it may fade back to the background in a puff of logic or burst into shame. Shame because I have a very, very low self esteem. I see myself through a series of abhorant mistakes failing to be the person, prodigee even, I could have been, failing to be even a decent person. I criticize myself frequently and enforce modesty as a sentence, feeling undeserving of being very confident. I have equally intense views on the arrogance and selfishness I see in society, but then again I come down ten fold on myself for being a hypocrite in regards to some issues.

Interpersonally I am very reserved. I am extemely self-conscious about being perceived as nice and gentle by everyone, but don't actively seek out relationships or even conversations with others, save for one person. Since about when highschool began, I felt an essential need to be extremely close to one other person, as a friend or otherwise. I do everything I can to please this person and understand them, including restraining and contorting my own emotions to avoid conflict. Supporting them is where I find my motivation, my enjoyment comes from holding a special place. As time goes on though I feel gradually less certain and trustful, and have increasingly unstable emotions around them, loving them one minute and feeling betrayed or painfully uncertain the next, and hating myself for it all the while. I have a particularly acute fear of being abandoned or replaced – I have had and lost three such people, and am beginning to experience that termoil with a fourth.

Previously I naively thought I might have some mild form of bipolar disorder, but quickly concluded my manias were not extreme or prominent enough. Then I considered some mild form of depression, but I just didn't find the symptoms quite fitting, since I still clearly found enjoyment and had those occasional inexplicable highs with the lows. I also considered dependent personality disorder, but noticed while I engage in many of the mannerisms, I don't do it out of a fear of being unable to take care of myself.

Which brings me to borderline personality disorder. I gather, though, if I had it, I should not be able to diagnose myself with it since it would appear normal to me. Then again, if I am trying to find flaws in myself, perhaps I could stumble onto something halfway legitimate. My fear is that I would finally seek therapy, causing my family to think they didn't raise me well, then be told nothing is wrong.

Edit: I'm sorry, I edited this into practically a new post.
So, firstly, I'd like to apologize if I came across wrong; I didn't mean that all who have borderline are suicidal, but that it can be a destructive thought process. PLus it was emotional because I'm still somewhat 'moved' by her act (she did it twice). And plus I'm pmsing.

Secondly, I'm very sad you are going through this. From an outsider's point of view, this sounds like a mind trap- you know, a constant circle of thought with very little perspective of the outside world- not because you are ignorant in any means, but because your fear holds you back.

Fear being closeness, rejection, abandonment, deceit, denial, and understanding the ugly side of yourself.

Imagine having to confront those things, what would you gain if you faced those things?

Closeness- trust, love, acceptance, understanding.
Rejection- the ability to move on, because you know you deserve love from someone who is willing to be close. Also, self worth.
Abandonment- Independence. There comes a time where we all must face aloneness, where loneliness can not be avoided, but it certainly also does not need to reside.
Deceit- Once someone has deceived you, you can spot out all the clues. You'll be able to see who is a true friend and/or companion or colleague.
Denial- ACCEPTANCE
the Ugly sides of yourself- SELF WORTH. You will be able to see the true beauty within you. and it's there, trust me.

I speak for myself, I am/was highly paranoid, with a mix of bitter, a pinch of self hatred, and a sugar frosting of "everything's fine guys." I was terrified of closeness, and still am. I had some pretty crappy friends, very conniving, very self centered (probably have the same fears as me, or maybe you too). I entered a relationship, after 4 years from a very possessive, alienated one. My current boyfriend has taught me so much, far more than he knows. I keep risking the relationship by a sudden loss of trust, because of the way I was taken advantage of in the past. And so I asked a lot of questions, to him, to my friends, my parents, cashiers at the gas station, people on the bus, professors, google, and you guys! And basically everyone has told me the same thing:

Don't forget about yourself, BUT, you will never know everything, and therefore, you must learn to trust, even if it causes you pain.

And it's so true.

Also, what you explain also sounds a bit like a possible imbalance of hormones. My therapist and my gyno both told me I have PMDD, which makes sense because I begin to feel this way about a week before my period. One time it was so deep in a funk, I was questioning the reason for living. Seriously! So maybe you should check your hormones too, there are ways to help modify those symptons.

Just remember, wherever you go, there you are.

Also this makes me sad, because I broke off my friendship with the said girl not long ago, in a not-so graceful way. I miss her, but she manipulated the hell out of me, and I couldn't take it any longer.

Maybe you should do something that will clear your mind so you can see some real truths. By that, I mean, soul-searching. A vow of silence, a trip to Tibet to join a monestery, taking some Peyote, taking a class in dance, or extreme sports, read Camus, Hemmingway, Sherman Alexi. or even just talking walks to a quiet place when you don't feel at ease.

Good luck, dear.
 

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Okay, well I can begin by saying I havent attempted to harm myself, though I did have a recent habit of taking anger out on myself by biting/hitting myself. Most of my abuse however is mental.

Internally, where most of the action takes place, I am governed by particularly unpredictable episodes of emotions; I usually coast cooly through the day, but random things can set me off onto a path building up to incapacitating bouts of rage, frustration, despair, or combinations of all three and more. Other times I might feel blissful and optimistic for no apparent reason, until I notice and question it, where upon it may fade back to the background in a puff of logic or burst into shame. Shame because I have a very, very low self esteem. I see myself through a series of abhorant mistakes failing to be the person, prodigee even, I could have been, failing to be even a decent person. I criticize myself frequently and enforce modesty as a sentence, feeling undeserving of being very confident. I have equally intense views on the arrogance and selfishness I see in society, but then again I come down ten fold on myself for being a hypocrite in regards to some issues.

Interpersonally I am very reserved. I am extemely self-conscious about being perceived as nice and gentle by everyone, but don't actively seek out relationships or even conversations with others, save for one person. Since about when highschool began, I felt an essential need to be extremely close to one other person, as a friend or otherwise. I do everything I can to please this person and understand them, including restraining and contorting my own emotions to avoid conflict. Supporting them is where I find my motivation, my enjoyment comes from holding a special place. As time goes on though I feel gradually less certain and trustful, and have increasingly unstable emotions around them, loving them one minute and feeling betrayed or painfully uncertain the next, and hating myself for it all the while. I have a particularly acute fear of being abandoned or replaced – I have had and lost three such people, and am beginning to experience that termoil with a fourth.

Previously I naively thought I might have some mild form of bipolar disorder, but quickly concluded my manias were not extreme or prominent enough. Then I considered some mild form of depression, but I just didn't find the symptoms quite fitting, since I still clearly found enjoyment and had those occasional inexplicable highs with the lows. I also considered dependent personality disorder, but noticed while I engage in many of the mannerisms, I don't do it out of a fear of being unable to take care of myself.

Which brings me to borderline personality disorder. I gather, though, if I had it, I should not be able to diagnose myself with it since it would appear normal to me. Then again, if I am trying to find flaws in myself, perhaps I could stumble onto something halfway legitimate. My fear is that I would finally seek therapy, causing my family to think they didn't raise me well, then be told nothing is wrong.

Edit: I'm sorry, I edited this into practically a new post.
Much of this sounds remarkably similar to some of my own experiences. Have you read anything about C-PTSD? What was your early (/current) life like? Do you suppose that any of these pains you suffer could be, in a sense, wounds given to you from some external means?
 

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Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. If you really wish to classify yourself, you'd be better off making an appointment with a classified psychiatrist. You cannot fluctuate with psychiatric disorders, because you find it to be comforting. It is a serious illness, nothing to take lightly.*

There is confusion between Manic depression and Borderline. The distinction I find, is that in individuals with Borderline, they have pronounced black and white thinking, impulsive, they either like you or they do not, if you do not comply to their unrealistic demands you are cut off from their life, no questions, no warnings, you're "dead" to them. They engage in high risk activities such as unprotected sex, in order to feel intimacy with others, shoplifting, you'll see that their in the mood to spend their savings on something insignificant, there's rarely no stability. Once they attach themselves onto you, they apply expectations that no human being can commit nor meet. They will also at times manipulate others with threats of suicide, self-harming behavior just to "feel" something or to promote a need to protect them from others. *Borderline individuals are incapable of maintaining healthy relationships, they were robbed of this is childhood. Very common. Borderline individuals cannot receive treatment nor medication, hence why psychiatrists will purposely diagnose those with BPD with Bipolar disorder instead.

You'll hear "It's like walking on eggshells." a lot from those that live with individuals suffering from BPD.

Edit: if you know about the attachment styles, respectively the four attachment styles, there are numerous studious that indicate children that develop the insecure attachment style disorganized are prone to develop borderline personality disorder. It makes perfect sense actually.


Children who unfortunately develop disorganized attachment behave:
"Come to me - No! Get away from me - Wait come back, please?!? - No stay away from me. No mommy I love you - no I hate you mommy don't touch me." Very disorganized. The parent both becomes the source of the child's fear and safety. They engage in contradictory approach-avoidant behaviors when under stress towards the caregiver.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
C-PTSD sounds much more applicable than BPD. I have some degree of stability and moderation unlike what American X describes and an ability to hold a good relationship for a decent amount of time, but my attachment style (seemingly Anxious-Preoccupied) is definitely tweaked and tied together with my self perception in a larger issue. I had a wonderful early childhood with a loving family whom I felt secure with, but I believe something happened outside of my family around middle school, which was the point where my self-esteem took a subtle downturn and just prior to when I began seeking incredibly close friendships/relationships. Thank you for tipping me to that – have you had therapy, or any treatment for this?

And to m_dogg, I believe you offer the perfect description saying that this is a "mind trap" with no outside perspective. I have noticed that the reality I imagine and work off of seems to gradually deviate from what is actually happening, and when I am reassured there's an odd relieving sensation of being grounded again, though reassurance gradually stops working. Thinking seems to actually make it far worse, which is what initially lead me to try diagnosing myself; I wouldn't be surprised if hormones were exacerbating it (though hopefully not as part of a prelude to a period :p). Also, I am really sorry to hear you had to break off a friendship, Im sorry for opening wounds.
 

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I was diagnose with BPD a few years ago and to be honest and I cannot really remember much of those years accept that I was feeling incredibly low, drank alcohol all day (from morning), cut myself twice and tried to commit suicide twice. I wasn't too sure what was really going on with me but realise that something was seriously wrong with my state of mind cause I was seriously convinced that my time on earth needed to be ended. My moods went from feeling happy to feeling extremely low for which seemed like no apparent reason. I'd convinced myself that my emotions were I charge of me instead of me being in charge of them.

Anyway, I knew this was a distorted way of thinking so went to my doctors and told them what I was feeling. I remember she did an assessment on me and can't remember what she told me but I remember her asking me what I think would help. I remember saying that I don't think counselling will help since it just gets you to think about your problems and I was doing enough of that already. She said she would refer me to some place and told me they would be in touch. About a week later I got a letter from a clinic stated my first appointment for assessment. When I googled the clinic to find out what they do - it revealed that specialise in dealing with people with personality disorders. I remember feeling so shocked. I didn't really know anything about personality disorders and the thought that my doctor thought that I might have one just crushed me. Anyway while waiting for the appointment I tried a personality disorder test and it revealed that I had borderline, however I did not take this as an official diagnosis. I think I did more just to get an understanding of what they might say when I go to the clinic.

Eventually I had my appointment. I had 3 appointments which were purely based on assessment and at the end the psychiatrist told me I had BPD and OCPD. I remember feeling slightly relieved that there was a name for what I was feeling but also lost as well (which is a typical BPD symptom). However it was the start to a long road of recovery and I glad I did it. When I look back now I still don't understand how I got to that place. However, when I think about it my childhood was pretty grim and I think that my behaviour was just a symptom of my childhood.

Also I think that personality disorders are a state of mind. I remember reading something that BPD is most commonly diagnosed in women and more common in those 35 and younger. It is documented that BPD tends to fade away as you get older. I definitely feel that way now. I now feel I am nowhere near as being emotionally less stable and definitely no where near as sensitive as I was back then. I did a personality test online a few month ago out of curiosity and it showed me as completely normal. I remember the slightest thing would shift my mood. But I think that was more to do with feeling, depressed, lost, insignificant, unhappy, unheard and hurt. I did therapy for 6 months and took anti depressants and it helped me alot in understanding myself. I know feel I know and understand myself more than I ever did. I now I feel I have truly feel I have accepted myself which I had difficulty doing before. Also I worry less about trying to live up to people expectations and worrying about what people think of me.

Sorry its so long. Just wanted to give a realistic account of what its like to have BPD and how one may be diagnosed of the disorder.
 

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C-PTSD sounds much more applicable than BPD. I have some degree of stability and moderation unlike what American X describes and an ability to hold a good relationship for a decent amount of time, but my attachment style (seemingly Anxious-Preoccupied) is definitely tweaked and tied together with my self perception in a larger issue. I had a wonderful early childhood with a loving family whom I felt secure with, but I believe something happened outside of my family around middle school, which was the point where my self-esteem took a subtle downturn and just prior to when I began seeking incredibly close friendships/relationships. Thank you for tipping me to that – have you had therapy, or any treatment for this?

And to m_dogg, I believe you offer the perfect description saying that this is a "mind trap" with no outside perspective. I have noticed that the reality I imagine and work off of seems to gradually deviate from what is actually happening, and when I am reassured there's an odd relieving sensation of being grounded again, though reassurance gradually stops working. Thinking seems to actually make it far worse, which is what initially lead me to try diagnosing myself; I wouldn't be surprised if hormones were exacerbating it (though hopefully not as part of a prelude to a period :p). Also, I am really sorry to hear you had to break off a friendship, Im sorry for opening wounds.
C-PTSD is still a very new diagnosis and so not much research has been done on it. Whether C-PTSD is really BPD, or how specifically these two relate to each other is yet to be defined.
 
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They way you describe it, it does not seem to be borderline personality disorder. Borderlines usually have a long history of conduct disorder and self-injury. This is a very difficult diagnosis for even professionals to apply. What you describe sounds like it could be Bipolar especially when you talk about the blissful feeling fading to depression, but...these things are highly variable and there could also be a combination of factors. I know getting professional help can be quite difficult for various reasons, but I think you can overcome this or at least improve the situation with medication or talk therapy. I think the labels are overrated-it's more about how it affects you and what you can do to improve your functionality and happiness. I wish you the best of luck.
 

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I think the labels are overrated-it's more about how it affects you and what you can do to improve your functionality and happiness. I wish you the best of luck.
I agree fully with this. I have BPD (as well as several other serious and long-standing mental heath issues), and while I have found it kind of comforting to have a name for what's going on with me, in the end it's just that: a name. Words. What matters is what you decide to do about it. Since I've started seeing a new therapist recently, I've felt a lot more inclined to see myself just as someone who's coping with some past traumas in an ineffective way, and I'm a lot more confident in my ability to find a whole person beneath my illnesses and embrace whoever she is. (I'll admit that finding other INFPs here on PerC who experience life in very similar ways to myself has really helped as well. I still undoubtedly have mental health issues, but maybe I'm not as crazy or as broken or as alone as I felt. It's very comforting.)

I wish you the best and hope you're able to get the help you need and/or want. :)
 
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