Thanks for asking that question. I'm wondering the same thing myself. I'm bipolar or schizoaffective (I've got everyone confused on my diagnosis) along with avoidant/dependent, but my boyfriend believes that I might be borderline. (he looked at a few websites and swore the criteria fit me). I'm certainly not going diagnose myself, but I'm interested in learning more. It seems like bipolar and borderline are so similar, so I am lost. Sorry that I can't help you, but it is nice to know someone is confused about it too.
Ok I did some research. Both disorders are very much the same except for two/three symptoms. Borderlines have a "profound fear of abandonment and a feeling of chronic emptiness" and this doesn't exist in bipolars. Another difference is that borderlines seem to self-harm more than bipolars.
I'm interested in how the mood swings are different. If a person has bipolar, they are in a cycle. I've been told I have mixed episodes. This is where you have several mood changes in a week, or even in a day (for example, going into depression twice, mania once), at least that is what I understand. I have severe mood swings everyday, some set off my triggers, most not.
I'm confused as to whether borderlines cycle, or do they just have unpredictable moods that change as often as a mixed cycle. That could possibly explain why you haven't been diagnosed with bipolar.
One thing that this one site didn't mention was other symptoms, like splitting. I don't know if it is possible for bipolars to have black/white thinking. I think in extremes, but it was written off as a negative thought cognition.
Thanks 4 the replies. I think I understand it now, here is what I've found:
"Bipolar disorder is essentially a mood fluctuation disorder, characterized most often by depression. Bipolar people can abuse substances, but otherwise they do not typically show the range of different symptoms BPD people manifest.
BPD individuals can be depressed, but BPD is essentially a hyperreactive/impulsiveness disorder with mood features, but also other symptoms affecting thinking and perception, self-concept, relationships, etc.BPD involves instability not only of mood, but of perception of self, perception of others, relationships, behavioral consistency, self-control, etc.
The mood disturbances in Bipolar Disorder typically are along a depression--mania dimension; (mania, hypomania)
with BPD, however, mood disturbances typically involve the dimensions of anger and anxiety.
MostBPD patients do not have mania (sustained hyperactivity and elation), though they can often act impulsively." (Daniel C. Claiborn Atlanta)
"In bi-polar the self-destructive behaviors are because the individual feels all powerful and invincible, whereas in the BPD the self-destructive behaviors are an attempt to stop pain. It's a huge difference.
In bipolar disorder mania or hypomania must be present for the diagnoses to be made. Many individuals with the BPD have been erroneously diagnosed with bipolar because of the mood swings, even though they've never had mania or hypomania.
Bipolar I is the classic mania alternating with depression. Bipolar II is depression alternating with hypomania. Bipolar III is when the hypomania or mania occur only with antidepressant medication. Mixed bipolar is also called rapidly cycling bipolar where the person alternates between severe depression and severe mania in a very short period of time - sometimes minutes or hours. Cyclothymia is likely a form of bipolar with mini highs and mini lows in a cyclical manner." (Leland M. Heller, M.D.)
"Bipolar disorder is an episodic, long-term illness with a variable course. The first episode of bipolar disorder may be manic, hypomanic, mixed, or depressive and may be followed by several years during which the patient is symptom-free... The diagnosis of bipolar disorder must be carefully differentiated from substance-related disorders, antisocial behavior, or personality disorders... Untreated patients with bipolar disorder may have more than 10 total episodes of mania and depression during their lifetime..." (American Psychiatric Association)
Now I see why I haven't been diagnosed with bipolar here are some more facts:
Cycles in bipolar disorder are theoretically of rather long duration, sometimes a few months what is not the case in the borderline disorder.
The Bipolar has long periods of remission during which he is well, we cannot say the same with bpd peoples
The bipolar will suffer its cycles, basically no matter what it does, and independently of external factors, whereas in the borderline disorder cycles are the fruit of its emotions and its impulses, in short of lived moment what explains the speed of mood swing and the misleading feeling that he has several personalities
Borderline people is unstable almost in all domains like self-image, relationships, black and white thinking, emotions , ... what is not the case with bipolar
Last edited by BorderChild; 04-19-2006 at 02:34 PM.