View Full Version : Humbly asking questions ... BPD


browneyes_326
10-03-08, 06:03 AM
Trying not to make this super long!

Ok, I kind of just had a moment similar to when I first heard the details of what ADD is ... And it's a little scary.
I've always known my issues are multi-layered. In any case my older sister has asked me on many occasions if "They" (the Dr.'s) have ever considered an additional diagnosis for me ... bi-polar, nope ... OCD, nope ...

Anyway, I've been meaning to learn more about PDs for sometime ... suspecting my ex most definitely fit in one or another of the 'categories' ... ANYWAY, I just read the Borderline PD description and felt sick to my stomach ... I had no idea that was what it was all about. I'm really not trying to be dramatic or self-diagnosing but I know my emotional processing hasn't always been like others ... I could never understand how most people could 'get over' the end of relationships ... My mantra's always been that once I let someone in I can not fathom letting them out of my life, they're like family and it would be like a death in the family to do so ... aside from the words, the feelings of extreme panic at the thought of 'abandonment' has derailed me at times in my life ... and I have never been successful in explaining to anyone how incredibly horrible it feels ...
I've embarrassed myself before by trying to relate to someone who's literally lost a loved one, trust me they will look at you like you're evil if you try to relate a break-up to a death (I've had plenty of that in my life too) ....
I was essentially ignored as a child ...
So the 'real or imagined' abandonment ... and the 'frantic' efforts to avoid ... Oy vey ...
and the 'emptiness' ... Oh lord, I know it WELL
the self-damaging acts ... relate to all of 'em
Unstable self-image ...

Ok ... I'll stop, but questions ...
Should I take this seriously?
Do these issues sound familiar to anyone?
Is there specific treatment for this other than my past therapy that treats each individual 'symptom'? (in the past I was simply told I have an addictive personality which they threw everything into ... body image, relationship, 'over-doing' everything)
Is it normal to be freaked out by this and feel like I am crazy? ...

Hopefully one of you can relate and give a few kind words of guidance or encouragement ...

Sandy4957
10-03-08, 07:19 AM
Browneyes,

I can completely relate to your descriptions of how you feel from a break up. I had that type of reaction to them, oh, 20 years ago now. It changed with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a very good psychiatrist.

I have a tough time seeing you as Borderline Personality Disorder. I think that you tend toward unstable moods, need to learn better boundaries, and have to find healthy ways to boost your self-esteem. You'll be ok. You're quite young, still. Mood swings are stronger in your late 20s than they'll be in your late 20s to 30s.

If you have not done this, it would likely help to find a therapist whom you trust and to stick with him or her for a while. I worked with the psychiatrist for a year and then needed nothing at all for 20 years. Now I'm building on the foundation that we set 20 years ago.

Sandy

reesah
10-03-08, 07:34 AM
Yes, if you think you might have a PD try to get diagnosed. Just knowing can help. And then you can get the right kind of treatment to give you new ways to deal with things.

here's a thread (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56521) that might make sense to you.

cashmere
10-04-08, 07:23 PM
If thats really you in the blue dress Brown eyes you could light up a christmas tree with those smiles.

If you have recently split from a boyfriend then those inner emotions could take a bit of a bashing.

Your thread seemed to be double ended,two topics in one,but perhaps i have drank to much wine.

Prusilusken
10-04-08, 08:15 PM
Hi Browneyes,

I am myself diagnosed with BPD (among other things) and if you take a look at the thread reesah just linked to, you'll see that I am very far from feeling like you do with that diagnosis.
If you felt a lightbulb moment "ADDstyle" when you read about the emotional disorder that is BPD, I think you should get it checked out like reesah suggests.
With the fear of abandonment, the self harm, feeling of emptiness, unstable moods...I'm not saying...I'm just saying...you sound like the people in a BPDforum I once joined to learn about my Dx back then.
I felt completely estranged in there, eventhough the people (mainly girls) were very nice to me...maybe you wouldn't? Try it out. I think it's a great way to find out more to try out a forum and see if you still "click". ;)

If you find out that you do in fact have BPD, take comfort from this:
A lot of people with BPD seem to "grow out of" some of it over time, or that's what I've read. And CBT over a longer period of time is supposed to be very beneficial.

If you feel it'll improve your quality of life to get the BPDstamp (provided that you in fact do have BPD) go get it. You need all the firm ground to stand on that you can scrape together, and if this dx gives you an extra squaremeter you should claim that, imo. :)

Oh, and BTW...cashmere's right about the christmas tree. ;)

browneyes_326
10-04-08, 09:38 PM
Thanks you guys :) For the advice and compliment ... blush

Ya, I guess that's what I was kind of getting at by asking 'how seriously do I take this?' ... I don't know that i need the stamp now ... although helpful to understand when working with a therapist I would think ... I think the dx scares me! It was just another moment of 'holy crap' other people have the same set of issues AND I wish I had read that 10 years ago!!

I didn't want to go into detail in my first post but this is most certainly not the case of the blues from the last breakup ... I'm talking about being 5 years old and crying myself to sleep often because I felt so desperately empty and lonely ... I remember laying in bed at night, no older than 8 and trying to wrap my brain around why I was even on this earth, I didn't see the purpose ... scary, huh!
Then when older, I'd have over the top physical / emotional reactions to someone 'leaving me' ... 'real or imagined' ... If I even got in an argument with the last guy I would full on panic that he was leaving forever ... and guess what? That pretty much creates a self fulfilling prophecy, not many people stick around after displays of extreme insecurity!

I used to try to explain it like this: If you had never once been told you were loved or physically touched as a child .. and then found someone who gave that, you'd hold on for dear life too ... once I had it I didn't want to ever go a day with out it again... makes for p*** poor judgment in relationships!!!

Funny thing is even in a relationship the only time I felt at peace was when I was literally right next to them 'feeling loved' ... when I'm not physically with them I'd feel extremely empty ... I hated that feeling and was frustrated by it.

Side note: you should see the studies on what zero physical interaction does to infants & children... it actually forms different neurological pathways in the child's brain ...sorry, this is one issue that I still harbor so much anger about ...

Add the curse of a higher IQ and then you also have the pain of understanding how abnormal you are ... sprinkle a little ADD in there and now you've got a ridiculously insecure person who understands their issues and can not stop processing and obsessing over it! HA! ... even though true, little attempt there at comic relief.

I kept thinking that I had 'learned' to manage separation ... What I've learned is to try not to show it ... but man, it feels just as horrible as it did when I was a child ... I turn into a hyperventilating mess.

So now I'm scared to death to get close to men, I come off as confident and reassured ... but I know if I let them in, they'll find the truth and be disappointed and then I'm in for a world of hurt at the end... so I keep them at arms length. Even went through a good length of time following the last break-up where I could not stand to be touched ... every muscle in my body would tense.

OK, OK!! This turned into a total vent w/ a lot of personal info BUT it felt good so apologies if you stuck with me and read all my whining!

... Thank you all very much for the responses and I'll check out that forum ...

Prusilusken
10-05-08, 11:28 AM
Browneyes, thanks for the vent - don't worry about it.

When in 7th grade I was forced to see a pretty old and very scary documentary about some scientists that researched "what happens if a chimp baby is not touched in x weeks or months after birth". It was sick, I was so desperate, I asked if I could be excused because I couldn't stand to watch or even hear it. So I sat there crying my eyes out while the other kids made fun of me. I dreamt about those poor little things scratching their arms into bloody pulps and other horrific images for years afterwards and the images has stuck with me ever since.

I have always been loved, I have always been hugged.
I've always been a quiet, negative thinking little kid, but I have never felt empty or unloved in my whole life. I'm blessed with a wonderful set of parents, a very kind brother (as kind as elder brothers come, haha) and extended family who showed nothing but love for me. They didn't always understand what I was about, and of course there has been "clashes" but I've had it easy compared to most.

I feel fine on my own. Of course I'm afraid that someone I care for deeply will leave me, but it's in a normal way.

I'm not writing this to rub your nose in it, so I hope you won't take it that way, even if it can be hard to read about someone else's fortune and mere luck, when you have yourself been so unlucky in the same segment.

To me, it sounds like when it comes to the symptoms of BPD, you recognize them.
You feel at home in them - and you have good reason to judging on what you write above. You describe it well. You got me thinking of those cute, little innocent chimp babies again, whose lives were ruined to prove a point that humans and other mammals have known instinctively for ages. Children need contact and affection and to feel safe or they will grow up to be broken in some way.
Sometimes they'll grow up to be a danger to others, sometimes only to themselves.
But chances are that for a long time, and maybe all of their lives, they will feel - and be - damaged. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Maybe "fixable" through hard work to a very large extent.

"Side note: you should see the studies on what zero physical interaction does to infants & children... it actually forms different neurological pathways in the child's brain ...sorry, this is one issue that I still harbor so much anger about ..."

It sucks, BUT! - CBT can help you form alternative neurological pathways!
At some point you will have to let go of most of the anger to be able to work your way out and from what I heard from the aforementioned BPDforum, that is very hard and scary as hell. A lot of BPD quit at that exact point in CBT, but the ones that stick to it can make astonishing progress. I want to stress that I'm only talking 2nd hand knowledge here, since I don't seem to have most of your issues, but in my search to find "me" I stumpled upon a several girls and women our age who did.

Problem with CBT and BPD is that it can take years to change things fundamentally.
PDs are supposed to be very stubborn. But I'd think even a few courses and like Sandy says, a good CBT specialist, will be able to help you a LOT if you chose to pursue this.

Good luck, Browneyes, you sound like you're getting ready to deal with this.
You're young, smart and beautiful. Have a go at this, even if you don't decide to call it BPD.
It'll only come back good. :)

browneyes_326
10-05-08, 04:10 PM
Oh wow ... Boy do I remember that documentary! ... I cried and decided I hated my mother when I watched that one ... fantasized about forcing her to watch it. The ironic part, she was a kindergarten teacher for 30 years!!

Anyway! It was just on TV here about a month ago ... couldn't watch it again.

I know you only get one go around and I must let go of the anger for myself ... I used to think be harboring the anger I was punishing my mother ... I know it only hurts me!

One thing I know ... If I ever do have my own child they will only suffer from too much love!

Thank you again ...

sloppitty-sue
10-05-08, 05:58 PM
Hi Brown-eyes,

Yup. I really identify with the stuff I read about Borderline P.D. too. And unfortunately - where I come from - there seems to be a LOT of stigma around that diagnosis. I remember telling someone I knew who was in a counseling field and she said that she didn't think I was Borderline because Borderlines are THE WORST people to be around -- and I'd definitely know it if you were one. (I've even heard from actual psychologists and therapists that "Borderlines" are these demonic creatures that you want to avoid at all costs because they just want to cause trouble and make you miserable. They also always make themselves out as victims when, in fact, they are busy victimizing others. I do NOT believe these things, NOR do I approve of someone in the field of psychology talking about a potential client in such a disrespectful way. I hope my meeting these few people with these opinions is some sort of rare coincidence. What they said was very offensive and hurtful!)

Anyway - I am always trying to "be good" and "act normal" and not call attention to myself . . . but damn - I totally identify with a lot of how they describe "Borderline personality disorder." And I have been in therapy - WEEKLY - with the same therapist for about 3 years. I asked her if she thinks I have borderline per. dis. and she said that she doesn't think so and that many in the field don't even believe in personality disorders and not to get hung up on labels and that she understands how having that label would upset me because it's become like a "putdown." So maybe I do fit the criteria, but she doesn't want to "put me down" as I have viewed it as such.

BTW: The psychologist I saw prior to my current therapist (who dx my ADHD - I), when I asked him if he thought I had a personality disorder (I think it was Narcissistic that I asked about) - he said that there is a high percentage that I'm NOT N.P.D. just because I'm wondering and asking if I am. He said that those with N.P.D. don't wonder if they have any such flaws. (That was kind of funny to me.)

I guess stigma and views VARY around our country, and it sounds as if I've come across THE WORST where that's concerned. Please know that I do not approve of people saying such vile things about ANYONE (whether with a pyschiatric dx of ANY sort -- or not). And I hope that I haven't offended anyone. I just wanted to show how IGNORANT, ludicrous, and NON-therapeutic some folks in the field can be.

Sincerely,
Sue

ADDdiva
10-05-08, 06:27 PM
I'm confused, Brown Eyes. Do you have ADD? I only ask because having ADD with a co-existing PD, sometimes one can cancel out a symptom of another.

Have you ever looked up Adult Separation Anxiety Syndrome? This is a newly discovered disorder, so not many are aware of it. It sounds like you have some pretty severe separation anxiety.
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/CPES/diagnostics/DSM-IV_Adult_Separation_Anxiety_Disorder.pdf

Here is a link to the DSM entry for it. If you think you might have this, perhaps you can print it out and bring it to your psychologist.

MECMR
10-05-08, 08:11 PM
Hi, Browneyes!

You have gotten some really great advice and support on here already, so I am just here to back it up a bit. :) I work with adults who have chronic mental illness, and several people I work with are diagnosed with BPD. It is a difficult, fascinating, painful and inspiring group of people to work with.

Noone is exactly sure of how BPD starts, but one major theory is that the person has a pretty complete lack of love, attention, and understanding during early stages of development. Therefore it is not biologically based, but rather a matter of learning. CBT can help, as well as a process called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT. Google "Marsha Linehan", who started DBT, and you can learn a lot.

I have a lot of my own theories about BPD. I keep trying to type them out, but they seem so long! In short, I will say don't believe the hype about how "awful" it is, because it CAN be worked with and with success. And yes, insight about possibly having it does give pause to giving the diagnosis, because one major component is a lack of insight about how the person's view of things affects their ability to function. People diagnosed with BPD often feel everything comes from outside of themselves, OR that it is all their own fault, so they cannot see that they need to learn a different view. They vascilate between "Well, HE made me feel like crap" and "I feel like this because I AM crap" and struggle to learn "I feel like crap because I have a cold, which is nobody's fault at all."

That pattern, in theory, comes from inconsistencies in an early stage of development. An adult with BPD may have been made to feel horribly guilty for interrupting Mom's nap because they were hungry, or ignored when a test got an "A", but then gets cuddles and amazing amounts of sympathy from Mom when Grandma scolds them for touching a family heirloom. The child cannot trust in the response they will get, and learns to not trust themselves. They learn they may or may not get what they want or need, and so there is fear and rage at injustice and a sort of..."pulling in" and simultaneous "pushing out" that is meant to self-soothe.

I could go on and on...I fear I already have! I don't know if this helps at all, I am sorry if it does not. Please know that I admire the fact you are looking into this, and if you are open it can help you a lot. Seeing that BPD resonates with you does NOT mean you have it. It does mean you have come a long way in identifying your own issues, and now you can work on them.

If I can explain anything a bit more, please let me know. I'll give it my best shot!

browneyes_326
10-06-08, 03:47 AM
I'm confused, Brown Eyes. Do you have ADD? I only ask because having ADD with a co-existing PD, sometimes one can cancel out a symptom of another.

Have you ever looked up Adult Separation Anxiety Syndrome? This is a newly discovered disorder, so not many are aware of it. It sounds like you have some pretty severe separation anxiety.
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/CPES/diagnostics/DSM-IV_Adult_Separation_Anxiety_Disorder.pdf

Here is a link to the DSM entry for it. If you think you might have this, perhaps you can print it out and bring it to your psychologist.

Thank you ADDdiva but
1) I don't relate the that AT ALL .... I'm happier alone because if and when I find love etc I know I'll have the pain of losing it at some point ... so it's the fear of abandonment after having a connection ... and sickening feeling of emptiness that can't be filled by anything along with self-doubt / hate... I like leaving home and I like the thought of running away ... so, no the adult separation thing, I feel no connection to
and
2) YES I have ADD, I was posting only about a possible coexisting condition so did not speak to my "off the charts" (as my diagnosing doc explained it) case of ADHD-I

But thank you for offering the option ...

browneyes_326
10-06-08, 04:10 AM
Emmie - I get it and that may have been some the most useful advice ... feel free to go on as long as you'd like!

The thing is I've spent 32 years thinking I was dealt a bad hand ... everyone and everything was against me ... it wasn't 'my fault' that I was soooo emotional and why doesn't anyone understand how much I hurt ... it's only recently that i started to realize that my feelings and reactions weren't / aren't normal .... after MANY people in my life saying to me ... 'can't you get help for that?' or ' you shouldn't feel that bad about this!' or 'poor Amy, the world is against you, isn't it?!' ... so the insight is new.

Maybe I'm a recovering BPD, Ha! If that's possible ...
I don't want to be a victim at the same time I want to curl up in a blanket, suck my thumb (pathetic, I know!) and cry that it's not fair that my mother was disconnected and unloving ... it takes EVERY once of me not to hate her to the core .... I can't get away from wanting to be taken care of like I was 5 again ...

Sigh ... Thank you for your words ...

Bluerose
10-06-08, 05:40 AM
Hi! I can relate. Long story short, I'm convinced my dad was BP. He was very abusive and he committed suicide. I lived a long time thinking I had a personality disorder. Recently reassessed and been told I have a mood disorder not a personality disorder. Just a bit of background.

What I wanted to say was in relation to you wanting to curl up with a blanket, be 5 again. Do it! I did. Imagine your inner child hurt and in need of some TLC (tender loving care). Listen to your body, and your inner child, and try to give her what she needs. I lived on ice cream and melon for three months. :) I walked barefoot in the park eating an ice cream, I bought myself big comfy blankets, sweeties, a teddy bear, pretty little pink things. Just to have them around. Whatever she wanted she got. And it worked. Believe me. Try it. We don't need to wait around for anyone to take care of us. Once we know what we really need, we can provide it for ourselves.

reesah
10-06-08, 06:26 AM
All the people I have known with BPD . It seems like they have all the emotional connection and all the fears I do not. And I think for them it must be even more difficult than it is for me, to deal with relationships.

It's very good to hear you guys talk about this, it explains some things to me.

And it's good to hear I'm not the only one the therapists don't like ;)

ADDdiva
10-06-08, 11:38 AM
Thank you ADDdiva but
1) I don't relate the that AT ALL .... I'm happier alone because if and when I find love etc I know I'll have the pain of losing it at some point ... so it's the fear of abandonment after having a connection ... and sickening feeling of emptiness that can't be filled by anything along with self-doubt / hate... I like leaving home and I like the thought of running away ... so, no the adult separation thing, I feel no connection to
and
2) YES I have ADD, I was posting only about a possible coexisting condition so did not speak to my "off the charts" (as my diagnosing doc explained it) case of ADHD-I

But thank you for offering the option ...

OK then...Perhaps an avoidant personality disorder fits better?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidant_personality_disorder

Edit: Oh, and I meant no offense by asking if you had ADD. It just helps to have all the info, and I didn't want to make any assumptions! :)

browneyes_326
10-06-08, 10:21 PM
Diva ... I'll check out that link, Thanks :)

And Bluerose .... I just thought I'd tell you that I had eggo waffles covered in syrup for dinner, while watching a Disney movie in my pajamas :)
Haha! I have to tell you it felt great ;) ...

ADDMagnet
11-06-08, 01:51 AM
I really want to respond to this thread but it is getting late and I really need to get some sleep. I also have a busy weekend coming up so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get back as soon as I'd like. So I'll be very brief for now and post more later.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about BPD. One of the reasons for the stigma is simple ignorance. people who stigmatize those with a painful illness really understand very little about it.

One site I can recommend for some helpful and compassionate information on BPD is www.biologicalunhappiness.com (http://www.biologicalunhappiness.com) the doctor who runs this site is the one who diagnosed my husband with BPD.

I also posted on two other threads in this section so you may want to take a look at those.

Take care.