Join Date: Nov 2007
Does This Count as Identity Disturbance
In the DSM-IV criteria for BPD, there is the issue of identity disturbance. Generally speaking they seem to refer to someone who changes their personality (though not necessarily intentionally) depending on whom they are with and have almost no sense of self. That is not me. I'm not the type of person to change dramatically depending on whom I'm with. That has little effect. I might be more shy around certain people or more open around others that I feel more comfortable with, but that is about it. Also, I have fairly stable (though eccelctic) interests, tastes, goals, and beliefs. There are somethings I don't like and never have and other things that have been major interests of mine since I was a child. Some of my beliefs changed as I grew older, but that is natural as we develop our own opinions and learn about the world, have experiences, etc. Still, I am fairly opinionated and don't change my mind on big issues, easily. Some of my beliefs have held fast since childhood, also. Plus, some of my personality traits are rather steady and some have been pretty steady my whole life.
However, I do have the issue of perceiving myself as flawed, defective, bad, evil, etc. like many with BPD, but I donít have a problem with not knowing who I am in many ways. I split MYSELF black sometimes in a way. When I have non-selfish emotions I sometimes tell myself those emotions can't be real because I'm a bad person and bad people don't feel un-selfish emotions. Also, I sometimes refer to different parts of myself like they are diff people, but I know we are all one. It is just hard to like myself knowing "SHE" is a part of me. Every once in a RARE, RARE blue moon I feel pure again, like all is forgiven, but that is so rare and I fear it may never come again. Also, while I know my beliefs, interests, etc. now, I feel almost like nobody at the moment, because I feel dead and empty, which goes down to the emptiness problem that is a seperate criteria, but might affect the identity disturbance criteria. Also, within the last few years I've split myself because of bad past behavior. I know I am not that bad person now, but I feel like I can't ever be a good or decent person again because of that behavior, so what does that make me? A nothing. Sometimes certain aspects of my personality switch- I may be shy one day and somewhat outgoing the next, nervous one day and not the next, etc.. Yet, my interests, goals, beliefs, tastes, etc. are pretty solid as are several personality traits. They do not change or disappear when I am alone or with diff. people. So, I donít think I have this particular criteria, but I'm confused.
After a major breakup, some things changed dramatically about me (some small things, some larger), but these were things that had existed before I ever dated this guy, so it isn't like I became someone else when I got together with him and lost it when he went away. Although our relationship and just the years of events that happened during our relationship might have changed me some, as is natural, it did not have some weird effect on me and make me a totally different person changed to match him. I was still largely the same, changed somewhat by exerperience and growth. Then after the breakup, parts of me that had been fairly stable since I was a young child, before I dated him and during dating him, just BAM- Changed. Maybe it was just the shock of the experience. I don't know if that's normal. Also, for awhile I was really confused- still sort of am- about what went wrong. And somtimes my view of what went wrong shifted and it felt so RIGHT the way I saw it, then BAM it would shift and felt so right some other way. Now, I don't do that with major opinions that I feel really convicted about or anything, but I did it in that situation where the truth was so hard to get in its entirity and everything was so confusing. It was odd, though because it let me see how two different people could have vastly different beliefs and feelings and conviction about them. I can't understand that about all beliefs, but it just helped me understand how two people can see one situation so differently and percieve the events in a diff. way. Are these things also identity disturbance or can I mark this one off my list of criteria I fit?