Ask a "high-functioning" borderline your questions!

Afternoon, all.

So, I am a 32 year old female living in Canada. I was dx’d with BPD in 2005, along with GAD, which I think is my predominate illness. Nonetheless, BPD plays a part in my life, my thinking and my emotional regulation.

The traits of my PD are either mild/non-existent, or pretty severe.

I don’t split, or engage in black-and-white thinking.

I don’t engage in self-destructive behaviours, such as cutting, although I once did long ago, but very briefly.

I am mildly impulsive. Sometimes I say things I don’t mean when I am very upset, but that’s about it.

I never act out violently, even when angry. I did one time, quite a while ago, punch a glass door and injured my hand pretty badly.

My mood swings are pretty severe. When I am sad, the sense of despair I feel is overwhelming. Ditto with anxiety and anger.

My number #1 symptom is a lack of sense of identity. Most of the time I don’t know who I am, where I am going in life. I know I want a decent job, a nice home, to be happy with my husband and children, but otherwise, it is pretty grey. I feel empty most of the time, like a huge void inside of me. I also feel defective quite often, like I am sub-human, or something to that effect. Sometimes I don’t even know if I am bisexual or heterosexual. Yes, it’s that bad.

That’s it for my background.

I feel there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding this illness, especially since it is so often confused with co-morbid illness like histrionic or narcissistic PD. It is not a trait of BPD to manipulate for personal gain (which a lot of people attribute falsely to BPD because BPD is often co-morbid with NPD or ASPD), however it is very much a trait to manipulate to get someone we feel is about to abandon us in an attempt to stay.

Ask away! :slight_smile: But, as always, civility never hurt.

Can you spell out all those initialisms?

I’m kind of a low functioning non-borderline - if we were to arm wrestle, who do you think would win?

What kind of treatments have you tried? Which ones do you feel are most effective? Are there any treatments that you thought were worse than nothing?

What does the “borderline” in borderline personality disorder represent? Is it a behavioral or attitudinal boundary that you have not and will never cross, even though you might get close to it once in a while?

I fear my mother is BPD, so I look forward to learning from this thread. So far, my only question is… are you in therapy? If so, was it difficult to find someone to treat you?

BPD is bronchopulmonary dysplasia

GAD refers to gadolinium, a contrast dye used in MRIs

PD is Parkinson’s disease

It’s a wonder she can even get out of bed.

Hey! Mine too! :slight_smile:

Yeah, and PBD is also Borderline Personality Disorder
and GAD is also General Anxiety Disorder
and PD is also Personality Disorder.

Which makes more sense in context?

Have you ever any told anyone in real life about your diagnosis? If so, how do they usually react?

How has the disorder affected your relationships?

How did you feel when you were diagnosed? Did it come as a complete shock or had you had suspicions leading up to it?

I’m going to guess.

BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder
GAD - General Anxiety Disorder
PD - Personality Disorder
NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder
ASPD - Anti-Social Personality Disorder

also mentioned, but not initialized, was histrionic PD.

What does it mean to be “high-functioning” in this context? Is it based on a formal clinical diagnosis of being high functioning? Is is based on a quantitative assessment with a minimum cutoff score to be considered high functioning? Does it indicate the lack of a need for specific intensive interventions (e.g. “low-functioning” people cannot survive outside of an institution)?

Your wisdom impresses.

How severe does BPD have to be to cross the line from simply “your personality” to “personality disorder”? As discussed in another thread about personality disorders, most people could probably pick and choose aspects of personality disorders that are part of their own personality, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have that particular disorder.

So how does one tell the difference? If I feel like symptoms of BPD can describe me, but I’m generally able to function and maintain normal relationships does that mean I don’t have it?

You’d either be a very, very high functioning person with BPD, or you wouldn’t have it.

My go-to example is Alex from Fatal Attraction- that’s a pretty textbook example of someone with BPD. Now, leaving off the fact that she (SPOILER) died in the end of the movie, that was someone whose ability to function on a daily basis was pretty negatively impacted.

If you have more bad days than good, or an inability to keep jobs/relationships due to your issues, then chances are you actually have a mental illness. That’s the difference.

I have know quite afew BPD’s. My first wife was pretty severe and it was a heartbreaker watching her struggle through life. For some reason I was always the target of her anger even though I was the only person in her life she could trust. Identity was the big issue as well as poor boundry setting. If she made a new friend she would talk like them, adapt thier mannerisms, dress like them etc. And then before long it would always blow up. Hard to live with a bpd.

Was I mistaken in thinking that BPD was no longer considered an actual disorder and had been removed from the DSM?

Yep. Went and checked myself. It’s still a disorder, the diagnostic criteria has gone under pretty big change however (that’s where my confusion came from). Carry on…:o

I hope the early jokes didn’t scare off the OP. Usually we hear about BPD from the exhausted, fed-up lover or family member side. Not the person with BPD.

Another question I have:

Does BPD confer any advantages? Seems to me I can think of positive traits associated with other PDs. Anti-social personalities come in handy in times of war. Schizotypes are creative thinkers. Someone with obsessive-compulsive PD wouldn’t be fun at a party, but they’d probably be a good analytical chemist or accountant. I’m betting someone who is histrionic would make a fabulous actor or actress.

I know that folks with BPD often are very empathic. I can see this coming in handy in the “helping” professions…but maybe not?