I personally have not met anyone with BPD that hasn't had some form of self destructive behavior like cutting, suicide attempts, violent behavior, excessive sex/drugs/drinking/gambling problems ect. I myself Have BPD, Dissociative Disorder and Tourette's syndrome and I have been in all of the above categories that I listed at different points in my life.. I think that everyone has traits that resemble BPD it's just the degree that differentiates us. We are extremists with little sense of self and a strong history of splitting and breakdowns at real or imagined abandonment.. who sometimes tempt or force others to abandon us and then flip out on them and self destruct when they do.
What you describe sounds ore like an anxiety disorder to me.. however I am not a doctor.
Last edited by missjunglism; 10-22-2005 at 11:16 AM.
Hey Paulista, your situation sounds EXACTLY like my wife, who was diagnosed with BPD over six years ago. She has attempted suicide once, and that entailed not eating for a week and drinking excessively and working out a ton in the meantime. Other than that, her "self destructive behavior" came in the form of skin picking (especially the nail cuticles), sexual deviation (cheating on boyfriends and husbands/engaging in sexually dangerous activities), drinking excessively (only at times), and her number one is lack of eating. She will convince herself that she is trying to drop a couple of pounds and eat like a half a meal a day for two weeks till she reaches her target weight. The truth is that she felt guilty for doing something and wants to make herself feel better while punishing herself, and starving herself to look better is a perfect excuse.
She has her good moments too, and she looks damn sexy and attractive. But none of that makes a difference in her diagnosis of BPD. She still has a very, very poor sense of self and she really has no idea what she wants or who she is. So far in her life, she has defined herself according to what the people around her found 'acceptable' or 'right'. Her good moments are great, but her bad moments can end with violent yelling or acts that could have gotten way out of hand had other people not been around to still the waters. She loves to escape and she loves to draw her attention to ANYTHING other than what is wrong and she even has a very, very difficult time just being honest enough to talk about her problems (namely, what she has done wrong in a given situation and what she can do better in the future to make things better) for more than ten minutes at a time.
If ANY of this rings a bell, you might want to get a proffesional opinion on the state of well being you are experiencing, and get help soon before things get worse. And if you do have BPD and you do nothing (denial, justification, however it might get passed off), then you are bound to make ALL the mistakes that you can read about in this forum. I wish you the very best. Hope I was of some help.
It sounds as if you do have a lot of borderline characteristics, but skin picking isn't always a form of "self-destructive behavior." I'm a skin picker (my scalp, toes, and cuticles), but I don't have BPD- I have severe OCD, and this is one of my compulsions to make my skin "perfect." Still, the rest of your description does sound like BPD, especially if you skin pick just solely for self-injury, unlike me, who does it for "perfection." Good luck and God bless!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
Have you looked up the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder in the DSM IV? There are nine criteria, and a diagnosis of BPD usually follows if at least five of these criteria are present, and have been present for at least six continual months.
This is from the first website that comes up after I do a search for BPD DSM IV criteria:
"The DSM-IV gives these nine criteria; a diagnosis requires that the subject present with at least five of these. In I Hate You -- Don't Leave Me! Jerold Kriesman and Hal Straus refer to BPD as "emotional hemophilia; [a borderline] lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate his spurts of feeling. Stimulate a passion, and the borderline emotionally bleeds to death."
Traits involving emotions:
Quite frequently people with BPD have a very hard time controlling their emotions. They may feel ruled by them. One researcher (Marsha Linehan) said, "People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement."
1. Shifts in mood lasting only a few hours.
2. Anger that is inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable.
Traits involving behavior:
3. Self-destructive acts, such as self-mutilation or suicidal threats and gestures that happen more than once
4. Two potentially self-damaging impulsive behaviors. These could include alcohol and other drug abuse, compulsive spending, gambling, eating disorders, shoplifting, reckless driving, compulsive sexual behavior.
Traits involving identity
5. Marked, persistent identity disturbance shown by uncertainty in at least two areas. These areas can include self-image, sexual orientation, career choice or other long-term goals, friendships, values. People with BPD may not feel like they know who they are, or what they think, or what their opinions are, or what religion they should be. Instead, they may try to be what they think other people want them to be. Someone with BPD said, "I have a hard time figuring out my personality. I tend to be whomever I'm with."
6. Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom. Someone with BPD said, "I remember describing the feeling of having a deep hole in my stomach. An emptiness that I didn't know how to fill. My therapist told me that was from almost a "lack of a life". The more things you get into your life, the more relationships you get involved in, all of that fills that hole. As a borderline, I had no life. There were times when I couldn't stay in the same room with other people. It almost felt like what I think a panic attack would feel like."
Traits involving relationships
7. Unstable, chaotic intense relationships characterized by splitting (see below).
8. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
Splitting: the self and others are viewed as "all good" or "all bad." Someone with BPD said, "One day I would think my doctor was the best and I loved her, but if she challenged me in any way I hated her. There was no middle ground as in like. In my world, people were either the best or the worst. I couldn't understand the concept of middle ground."
Alternating clinging and distancing behaviors (I Hate You, Don't Leave Me). Sometimes you want to be close to someone. But when you get close it feels TOO close and you feel like you have to get some space. This happens often.
Great difficulty trusting people and themselves. Early trust may have been shattered by people who were close to you.
Sensitivity to criticism or rejection.
Feeling of "needing" someone else to survive
Heavy need for affection and reassurance
Some people with BPD may have an unusually high degree of interpersonal sensitivity, insight and empathy
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
This means feeling "out of it," or not being able to remember what you said or did. This mostly happens in times of severe stress.
Miscellaneous attributes of people with BPD:
People with BPD are often bright, witty, funny, life of the party.
They may have problems with object constancy. When a person leaves (even temporarily), they may have a problem recreating or remembering feelings of love that were present between themselves and the other. Often, BPD patients want to keep something belonging to the loved one around during separations.
They frequently have difficulty tolerating aloneness, even for short periods of time.
Their lives may be a chaotic landscape of job losses, interrupted educational pursuits, broken engagements, hospitalizations.
Many have a background of childhood physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or physical/emotional neglect. "
As a longtime borderline myself, I feel this is a very very good description of borderline personality disorder. At times I have had all nine criteria, others only five. BUT never less than five. I have five right now, but maybe tomorrow there will be six.
I firmly believe, based on experience, that EDUCATING YOURSELF about BPD, TALKING to a professional who is educated in BPD, and SEEKING TREATMENT are the most valuable things a borderline can do. Someone with BPD MUST want to help themselves before they can be helped. No one can do it for them. No one can force them into treatment, there is no involuntary dry-out facility. RECOGNITION that there IS a problem and seeking all the help you can get is the ONLY way to get help and lead a productive, active and HAPPY life.
Recovering Borderline - 20 years +
That was a great post. I beleive my boyfriend has it and he's even read some of the literature I bought home. Sometimes he'll admit to the symptoms while other times he thinks I"m out of my mind for suggesting this.
He says if he's been to many therapists in the past, why haven't they ever diagnosed him with this.
Does the "normal" therapist not know about this disorder?
sorry it took so long to get back to you. As previoulsy mentioned, BPD is very very difficult to diagnose. It mimics so many other disorders.
My mother, who is a social worker with an MSW, has never believed that I am borderline. She still believes that I am histrionic. She says she has never seen the borderline tendancies in me nor has she seen any bipolar activity either.
Of course not! Borderlines can 'act' normal for certain amounts of time. Especially when they are around people who constantly want to give or force their opinions on them. I am always on my best 'around my mother' behavior when around her. I can't take it very long though, Christmas is very difficult without Xanax! LOL!
Recovering Borderline - 20 years +
I'm not sure if I'm even doing this correctly. I just want to know what, if anything is wrong with me. My abnormal psychology professor, one day, was talking about BPD and it startled me how much she seemed to be describing me. I went to a psyhologist through school ,who hardly listened to me and sent me to a psychiatrist who didn't help at all. I know you're not suppose to diagnose yourself, but I fit 8 of the 9 criteria although my destructive bahavior consists of the nail cuticle picking and biting, sometimes to the point of bleeding, I bite the inside of me cheeks also sometimes to the point of bleeding, and parasuside (which I didn't even know existed until my abnormal psych class). I went out and bought the book Stop Walking On Eggshells and cried as I read it, because I have never felt like someone or something understood me as much as that book did. I'm afraid I'm going to accidently push my husband away completely, I've almost already have a few times when all I'm trying to to is get his to listen to me or just to even stay near me. If anyone can please help. I don't know what to do anymore.
I know how you feel. Try and see if your husband will read Stop Walking on Eggshells. I want you to find "I hate you, Don't leave me" College psychologists are probably very used to students coming from psych class with a self diagnosis.
Would you mind sharing some details about yourself? Age, how long married, etc, have you always felt this way? If my internet doesn't get shut off, I will try and help you as best as I can.
Recovering Borderline - 20 years +