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[RD] Ask me about Borderline Personality Disorder.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Greywulf, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Moderator

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    Grewolf, glad to hear you've got that under control. As a fellow former alcoholic (some would dispute my preferred terminology, I call myself an ex-drinker, just like I'm an ex-smoker) I have a small idea of what that means. When I was going through recovery and group sessions I was astonished by how many people had some sort of comorbid diagnosis. I myself don't have any diagnosis besides the alcohol dependency, but easily half the people I was with had some other complicating factor. Anxiety disorder, BP, etc. It reminded me of the common complaint that the US has a mental health crisis that's being ignored. Also, prescription drug carelessness is a huge factor - about a quarter of the people I met there got hooked via legal pathways. Scary stuff, but not directly relevant here.

    It's great that you've been able to learn how to manage without them, as long as it's working well for you. Do you know if it's common for BPD sufferers to also experience depression?

    I've often thought that so many of the conditions society pathologizes are present in "normal" people, but in ranges or strengths that aren't as apparent. We're all on the spectrum, basically.
     
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  2. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    Disorder is normal ;) Its that variability or diversity that has allowed us to exist

    Kinda fascinating how really smart people tend to have more emotional problems, maybe there are limits to our species' collective intelligence. We get too smart and procreation rates decline because of the brakes evolution has placed on our wheels. Course there's all sorts of brakes on that, sterility, low sperm counts, libido levels, sexual attraction, Bill Maher Syndrome (he dont want no stinking kids). Seems like greater intelligence 'frees' us a bit from the biological imperative to reproduce, a self defeating process and dilemma for the eugenicists.
     
  3. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    Doesn't look very encouraging...Yet another portrayal of BPD as the bad guy. I don't think this helps with the stigma at all, and likely encourages it. I don't think I want to watch this show now, but thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    "Borderline" is a term from the early days of discovering this condition (Something like early to mid 1900's), and refers to the borderline between neurosis and psychosis, as in on the border of a diagnosis between neurosis and psychosis. Back then there was little to no understanding of the condition however, and it was apparently quite confusing those trying to observe it. It's become somewhat controversial now too, however I'd personally rather be called "borderline" than "emotionally unstable", even though the latter is more to the point, and much easier to understand the meaning of.
     
  4. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    Thank you, and I have to say that I could not have done that alone. Addiction is so much easier to get over when you have support and are not alone. Very glad to hear that you too have it under control! It's a good feeling, isn't it? I actually feel proud of myself, especially when I think about just how hard it was to stop!

    It's no surprise to me that so many people with various additions are people who live with mental illness. Things like alcohol are used as a coping mechanism, and an escape from all the suffering, and many people, especially ones with severe mental illness, don't have enough support, and may have to face that sort of thing alone...No wonder it is so difficult for them to conquer it. Sadly, they then get judged for not being able to stop by themselves, even though others may have no idea how difficult it really is.

    I don't have any statistics on this, however I believe it's very common. Trouble is I think that the periodic emotional anguish is confused with depression, even by psychologists and the like. Many people with BPD do get misdiagnosed to have depression instead too, and maybe they do have depression as well as BPD, all of which make it difficult to know the percentage of people with BPD who also have clinical depression as a separate condition. Another factor is that BPD is typically (apparently not always) caused by childhood abuse (most prominent causative abuse by far being emotional neglect), and depression can also be caused by childhood abuse (though lots of things can cause depression). This also seems to blur the lines between the two conditions.

    An amplification of emotions (positive and negative) is a way I would describe it.

    I think most people do not have a serious or chronic fear of abandonment. They feel secure most of the time, and any thoughts of possible abandonment must be fleeting, and certainly doesn't ruin their day...At least, this is how I think it must be for most people who don't have BPD. Notably, this fear of abandonment in BPD can be imagined, but it can also be a realistic fear. When I'm imagining that people will abandon me, I am self aware that this is what is happening...I'm still not able to stop believing it though.

    There may be a biological predisposition in at least some cases, however even with a biological predisposition, my understanding is that it's extremely unlikely that someone will develop BPD without some measure of abuse, especially during early childhood ~ I've heard speculation that it could be specific to a person's toddler years. The most significant link is specifically emotional neglect during childhood, typically in connection with trauma of some kind as well. Essentially the person believes that they will be abandoned because as a child they actually were abandoned on some level, or not loved by one or both parents.
    There's likely exceptions to the rule as well, by the way. We are still learning about what causes this condition.
     
  5. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    Found a video that explains the infamous "emptiness" experienced by sufferers of BPD...



    Notably, this emptiness is the main driving force behind BPD suicidal behaviour.
     
  6. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    So nurture and not nature? I guess that makes sense, but given that most people dont have an overwhelming fear of abandonment and some of them suffered abandonment it must involve a biological source as well, or even cause - nature triggered by nurture.
     
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  7. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    Indeed. With the probability of a biological predisposition, nurture is still the major factor here, at least in the majority of cases...But like I said, there's likely some exceptions to the rule.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  8. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Warlord

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    Thanks. Slightly more useful than Synsensa's response :)
     
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  9. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Warlord Super Moderator

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    Thanks for letting us know more, and I'll ask a few more questions:

    Women are diagnosed with BPD much more often than men are. Do you think this partly reflects an actual difference in likelihood of having BPD, and/or do you think that sexism plays a significant role in either women being over-diagnosed, or men under-diagnosed, or both?

    Do you find that people with BPD are more stigmatized by mental health professionals than people with other mental disorders?

    How would you differentiate between stigma and understandable human responses to emotionally intense people?

    When you tell someone you have BPD, is the label more likely to help them understand you, or to induce them to judge you negatively?

    Do you think that there's lots of confusion between borderline and antisocial personality disorder, aka sociopathy? In particular, your sig says:

    All four of those are APD traits, much more than they are borderline ones.

    I have a cousin who used to work at a mental hospital. She described borderline as "essentially sociopathy for women" and really disliked interacting with borderline patients - they frequently became extremely angry and verbally abusive for the slightest reason. Of course, she only saw the ones who were so affected that they ended up in a mental hospital. While she was wrong in that sociopathy and BPD are actually quite different, I can't help but think that some of the stigma comes from the fact that a large fraction of borderline patients, especially the more severe ones, are extremely unpleasant to interact with. Of course, the resulting negative stereotype then hits all people with BPD, not just the ones who are hostile. Lose-lose all around...
     
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  10. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    No problem, I'll try to answer them... :thumbsup:

    Men and women are pretty much equally likely to develop this condition, however it is stereotyped to be a female disorder. This is actually one of the more common misconceptions, but I think that it's getting more awareness now.
    It is disturbingly common for men to be misdiagnosed, while women are generally more accurately diagnosed with this condition, so it would seem that sexism could be a component to this, but there are other factors. For example, another factor is that men and women with this condition apparently do tend to present slightly differently, with men being more likely to have a history of substance abuse, and women a history of being medicated. Men also tend to be less likely to seek help and less likely to open up about their problems than the majority of women. As well as that, I think that men are more likely to feel ashamed about the needy side of the condition (I know I have trouble with this), which is unfortunate since there's nothing wrong with needing help and support.
    Additionally this disorder is often enough comorbid with other disorders, such as Antisocial Personality Disorder, and men with comorbidity are likely to get a diagnosis for the comorbid condition, and the BPD symptoms are more likely to be either ignored or attributed to that other condition (with impulsive behaviour, for instance, which is also a symptom of Antisocial Personality Disorder).

    Some mental health professionals do have a negative bias about this condition, though I think it may not be the most stigmatized condition out there, it is certainly stigmatized more than other conditions.

    This can be a difficult one for someone with BPD, as there is a real element of paranoia as well, so someone simply not saying "hello" to an individual with BPD can make the individual doubt the person cares about them, for instance, but it can be done with self awareness and rational thinking. Some different scenarios might help...
    If the person has no idea that an individual has BPD and is strongly reacting to their behaviour, then obviously that is not part of the stigma.
    Reacting to BPD behaviour when the person does know about the condition doesn't mean that they have a stigma either of course, say if a person sets clear boundaries for the person with BPD, or doesn't reward aggressive behaviour, that doesn't mean they have a stigma, but could indicate that they want to help the person, or at least continue the relationship.
    Sometimes it is very clear that the person has a stigma however, as some people are very open about their negative feelings towards people with BPD, and seem to want to spread the stigma more. So often enough it is quite obvious if someone has a stigma, but not always, and when it isn't obvious, I'd really have to try to analyse it and try to get more info first.

    Without a good explanation to it, and/or if they don't know me well already, I think there's a greater risk of being judged than understood. That being said, people who know me well, even if they have a wrong opinion about the disorder, they will likely see that I'm not like the misconceptions they've likely heard about. I generally don't tell people who don't know me well, as I feel safer that way, and I think many people with BPD do tend to live in the shadows so to speak, especially in parts of the world where mental illness has a particularly negative stigma to it ~ like Japan and S.Korea for instance...Cool countries, but among the worst places to have to live with mental illness, especially one that is connected with suicidal behaviour.

    Yes, very much so! Basically one of the biggest misconceptions people seem to have in my experience is that they think of BPD as pretty much the same thing as APD or NPD. BPD is wrongfully stereotyped to mean that the person is dangerous, egocentric, and lacking in the ability to feel empathy for others...All of which is entirely incorrect, with the exception of some with comorbidity with conditions that have this symptoms (well some individuals with BPD can be dangerous too, but the majority are absolutely not). Regarding empathy, studies have shown that people with BPD actually feel more empathy than the average person, so that misconception is particularly hurtful. Manipulative behaviour is however a common symptom for BPD, but being self aware one can definitely over come this tendency, and not all people with BPD are manipulative. It's therefore not fair to think of all people with BPD as manipulative, even though it is common.
    The worst misconception I've personally come across, which is directly tied in with the stigma, is the belief that BPD is the same disorder as Vulnerable/Covert Narcissism. This may be because that superficially and from a distance these two conditions can appear to have similarities, or again because of some cases of comorbidity, but actually they are very different conditions, sometimes polar in their differences.

    It's sad to hear of people working in mental hospitals having stigma, but this does happen. That's a good example of the stigma too, by the way.

    Like all conditions, there are opposites within the condition. There are people who are self aware and people who are not self aware. There are people who are in control and people who are not in control over their own behaviour. Each of these factors will affect how tolerable it is to be around a certain individual. This is why some people have best friends who have BPD and have a stable relationship, while other cases of BPD everyone who comes in contact with the person would rather be elsewhere.
    The good news is that those who aren't self aware can be taught to become self aware (or become self aware by themselves over time), and those who have little to no self control can gradually gain control over themselves. There's always the possibility of progression, and BPD is actually a disorder that has good percentage rates of significant progression, as it is a very treatable condition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  11. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    I did a little digging and found a review of the character you asked about from someone who may have BPD (they weren't officially diagnosed with the condition though), so I thought you might find that interesting...


    ...I'm still waiting for a hero with BPD rather than another villein (for once).
     
  12. Samez

    Samez ION GUNNER

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    An ex gf of one of my buddies has a BPD.
    In addition to all the mental issues (and later some physical due to failed suicide attempts) she also had a gambling addiction which ruined her financially.
    In the end she left the country to start a new life - this was about 10 years ago and I just recently learned that she at least seems to be alive.
     
  13. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    Unstable relationships and addictions are unfortunately typical problems for people with BPD, though both of which can be helped. Addiction is linked to the impulsivity, and it is not uncommon for sufferers to have to deal with two or more addictions at the same time, and it in itself often plays a major role as well in relationship problems for the individual who has these addictions. It's also notably harder for BPD sufferers to quit, as the impulsivity is very difficult to control, as is the self hating, and feeling like nobody cares anyway.
    It also can be horrible when people have to live with the consequences of failed attempts to commit suicide, and committing suicide is very difficult to do, so failed attempts are very common. Depending on the method, it can result in things like brain damage, terrible scarring, physical injury, and deeply emotionally traumatized loved ones...Best not to make an attempt in the first place.
    Glad to hear that she is still alive, and I hope she is doing much better now. In 10 years someone with BPD can have amazing progress!
     
  14. Dekker

    Dekker Chieftain

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    Thanks for this, I will definitely take to heart and do my best to remain a presence and hopefully a caring one, especially since he has done the push away attempts and in the past with family I use to take that as an excuse to stay away.

    In regards to his current attitude towards continuing to get help, in your experience would you find it more detrimental for someone to encourage that?
     
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  15. Hehehe

    Hehehe Chieftain

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    After watching this, the character arc makes a little more sense, even if I'm still not a fan. In any case, in my humble opinion, having watched the show, it never lowered my opinion of people with BPD or the condition in general (to me it was more like a villain who has BPD than a villain who is a villain because of BPD). Of course, I can see why you wouldn't like it.

    If you're interested in this kind of stuff, there's a movie called "Girl, Interrupted" where the main character has borderline personality disorder (and she's not a villain). It didn't seem interesting to me so I can't tell you much about the movie, but it exists I guess
     
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  16. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    This is a tough one, as he may feel like you don't understand him if you try to get him to go back to places that he feels didn't really help him (it's frustrating for people with mental illnesses to feel like other people don't understand them). That being said, if someone encouraged you to get help, likely you would feel that they care about you, so there's that as well. Perhaps reason that not all mental health professionals are the same, so if one didn't work for him, he can always try another. If he starts to get upset about it, I'd let it go and then maybe try again at a time when he's in a more positive mood. Also bear in mind that that sort of thing is not the only thing that can help him, and you being there for him is a great help on its own.

    Ah yes, I completely forgot about Girl, Interrupted. I haven't watched that film in years, and actually I went to try to find it to watch it again not that long ago when I found out that the main character has BPD, but can't seem to find it at all now. I'd have to re-watch it to give the character a review, however it is very encouraging that there is a main character who is not the villain, with BPD! Thank you for reminding me of that one! That makes me think that there must be others...
     
  17. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Ghost Agent

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    Since this popped up, I’ve been wondering if there’s a link between being a victim of bullying and BPD. I’ve honesly had thoughts about it since I’ve noticed of years of self observation that I saw some symptoms in myself.

    Depends on the relationship. It’s mainly stable with family. But with friends, I can only say that during my course of the struggle, I’ve lost three friends in the past decade because they didn’t want to deal with my personality/persona. As a result, I tend to shut myself off from other people than to risk losing a friend who lacks paitance with me after an outburst. As for romantic and sexual relationships, I haven’t had then for years due because of my fear of rejection.

    I’ve had fear of rejection ever since I was a teenager. Initially it was fear of being rejected by my peers and girls due because of my appearance and snowballed into encompassing me having a fear of rejection in job interviews.

    When I was younger, all I can describe it is being in a hurricane where I go into a rage when I perceived that I am wronged or don’t have things go my way and down the road feel sense of regret. Looking back, I had thoughts that I am better off getting brainwashed and getting my brain reprogrammed.

    I’m, practically self-diagnosed and mainly had to go with self-medicating/psychotherapy. Largely due to financial reason and stigma that comes with mental disorders.

    I tend to keep it to myself since I know that people would judge me negatively.
     
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  18. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    Thank you for sharing!
     
  19. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    We judge everything new negatively, thats evolution making sure we dont fall off cliffs or walk into a lion's jaws. Familiarity and comfort take time.
     
  20. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    But there's a lot of new things we judge very positively as well....Say a new born baby in the family, a brand new house or car, visiting a foreign country one has never been to before, etc.. New isn't inherently perceived as negative.
    As for concern about being judged by others for having BPD, that's based on a very real stigma rather than instinct, and so it's quite justified for someone with BPD to be concerned about this for that reason.
     
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