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Borderline Personality Disorder - December 17th 2009, 09:40 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I have Borderline Personality Disorder.

More people in the United States have heard about Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder than Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), even though BPD is more common than Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and affects 2% of the adult US population.

In America, about 1 out of every 9091 people kill themselves. In people who have Borderline Personality Disorder, 1 out of every 10 people kill themselves. People with BPD also account for 20% of all inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations in the US.

What is BPD? Because it's a personality disorder it's hard to explain, just like it would be hard for you to explain your personality in a few words. There are 9 symptoms of BPD, and to be diagnosed you have to have 5 or more of the 9 symptoms consistently for over a year. I'm going to bold the symptoms I struggle with.

The 9 symptoms include: extreme but short lasting mood swings, feelings of emptiness, fear of being abandoned, being impulsive in multiple areas of your life, being excessively angry, low self esteem, unstable/intense personal relationships, frequently threatening or actually engaging in self harming behaviors such as attempting suicide, cutting, etc, and paranoia/delusions/dissociation.

BPD has a lot of stigma attached to it. Some people feel that people with BPD are intentionally manipulative, attention seeking, or untreatable. In recent years however several therapies have become more widespread that are thought to be effective in treating bpd. These therapist include: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Schema Therapy, Transference Based Therapy, and Mentalization Based Therapy.

My hope is that this thread can do several things:
1)allow young adults with BPD to discuss their struggles with people who can relate
2)help break down the stigma of BPD
3)offer insight and support to people who have loved ones with BPD.
People who don't have BPD are of course welcome to come and share advice as well!

MY STRUGGLES:

Although I had some symptoms before that, most of my mental health problems started around August 2006, a few weeks before 8th grade. Different Diagnoses were debated along the way, but my current psychiatric labels include Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Major Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and ADHD. I'm a few days shy of 17, i'm a junior in high school, and since I've started high school I've been hospitalized 4 times, and was in residential for 6 weeks. I've been in a type of therapy called DBT for about a year, and am a big fan. So if you have DBT related questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Now for the more intimate details.

I have no clue who I am, although I hate myself a lot. All I know is I'm happy when I feel loved, and most of the rest of the time i feel numb or depressed and very empty- like life is pointless and meaningless. It's only when I'm in an intense relationship that the emptiness is filled. What do I mean by intense? I mean that I get so attached to people they become my whole world. I stop talking to basically all my friends but them. Sometimes I'll talk to them for hours a day. I'm happy when they're happy. Sad when they're sad. I start putting the rest of my life aside, not sleeping enough, not doing school work, not taking care of myself, so i have more time to be with them. No matter how much time I spend with the person, as soon as they leave, I miss them and often am afraid I'll never see them again. That they don't love me anymore, that they'll find someone better than me, etc. This becomes suffocating for the other person, so in the end they do leave me. So I've been trying to not have any friends at all. I could be in friendships that other people would call "normal". hang out once in a while, talk about both stupid and serious stuff, care about each other, but not be obsessed. to other people that's a satisfying friendship. to me its like winning second place in a race. i think second place can be worse than last, because you're so close to winning you can almost taste it. that's what "normal" friendships are to me. they taunt me, by filling up that emptiness a teeny bit, but making me majorly crave to fill that hole inside me. so i think its almost easier to not have any friends, to not have anything in the hole. But without any friends, again life seems so meaningless, and i start to dream about suicide and cutting to escape from the pain. My emotions tend to be a roller coaster. little things will send me over the edge, screaming or crying or threatening to hurt myself, and then 20 minutes later I'm completely fine.

I see the emptiness as the heart of my problems. if i didn't feel empty i wouldn't get attached to people/fear abandonment so much, and my relationships would be better. life wouldn't seem so meaningless, and i would see a reason to live. but i don't know how to fill that emptiness by myself. in therapy I've learned so so many coping skills. I can handle the mood swings. I can use more effective techniques than harming myself. but i feel like its just brief distractions from the real problem. maybe that's all i can hope for- is that ill learn to keep distracting myself from the emptiness. but its hard to imagine being able to keep distracting myself for the rest of my life. anyone have thoughts on how to fill that hole?

feel free to respond here to my struggles, with struggles/questions of your own, or to pm me.
Megan



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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 17th 2009, 11:29 PM

I understand what you're going through. I was diagnosed with it about 2 years ago when I was 15. I can't give you advice as I'm going through pretty much everything you are and have been struggling with it for a long time.

All I can say is that telling my boyfriend about this and explaining it to him has helped a lot. He understands now what possesses me to text him four or five times a day and that when he says something, if he doesn't do it, he knows I'll go into a blind rage because of the feeling of separation.

I think the way to not feel empty is very personal. Now, I'm not a councellor but I think that councelling could help. I myself am currently going through councelling, and although it isn't helping that much, it is helping me to understand other's points of view.

Honestly, I don't know what to say. It is a very hard thing to go through, and you are extremely strong for going through it. I know you may think you're going through it alone, but you're not.

I think one of the most important things here is to find a way to accept yourself for who you are to fill the low self esteem thing and keep trying to build up from there. Again, councelling can help, maybe not in the way you wish it to, but it can. Don't rule out all the possibilities.

If you need to chat at any time, feel free to PM me.

x


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What a shame to have to beg you to
See we're not all the same, what a shame
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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 17th 2009, 11:59 PM

I find it interesting that you have been diagnosed as young as you are. Most medical professionals will not officially diagnose anyone under the age of 20 with a personality disorder, let alone someone under the age of 18.
And because of this, I might actually want to suggest you get a second opinion. It never hurts to get a second doctors opinion. : )

Also, I just wanted to post the official diagnostic criteria for BPD, as the symptoms you listed are not the official list of symptoms used in the DSM.

1. Going to about any lengths to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2. Intense unstable interpersonal relationships characterized by changing between idealization and devaluation the relationship.
3. Lack of ones own identity. A Marked instability of self image or the sense of self.
4. Impulsively in two or more areas that are self damaging. These may included abuse, sex, spending, eating, driving reckless, or etc.
5. Recurrent gestures, self mutilation, suicidal behavior, or threats.
6. Instability in affect.
7. Marked feelings of emptiness.
8. Frequent displays of anger due to a difficulty in control.
9. Dissociative or paranoid.

Also can you please site all of your sources, I would be interested in knowing where you got the 1 out of ten people with BPD commit suicide. In my studies I have never heard such a startling fact and would be interested in reading about it more. : )




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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 18th 2009, 01:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzie View Post
I find it interesting that you have been diagnosed as young as you are. Most medical professionals will not officially diagnose anyone under the age of 20 with a personality disorder, let alone someone under the age of 18.
And because of this, I might actually want to suggest you get a second opinion. It never hurts to get a second doctors opinion. : )

Also, I just wanted to post the official diagnostic criteria for BPD, as the symptoms you listed are not the official list of symptoms used in the DSM.

1. Going to about any lengths to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2. Intense unstable interpersonal relationships characterized by changing between idealization and devaluation the relationship.
3. Lack of ones own identity. A Marked instability of self image or the sense of self.
4. Impulsively in two or more areas that are self damaging. These may included abuse, sex, spending, eating, driving reckless, or etc.
5. Recurrent gestures, self mutilation, suicidal behavior, or threats.
6. Instability in affect.
7. Marked feelings of emptiness.
8. Frequent displays of anger due to a difficulty in control.
9. Dissociative or paranoid.

Also can you please site all of your sources, I would be interested in knowing where you got the 1 out of ten people with BPD commit suicide. In my studies I have never heard such a startling fact and would be interested in reading about it more. : )
Hi- if you read the criteria in the DSM you will see that teenagers CAN be diagnosed if they consistantly meet at least 5 of the symptoms for over a year. you're right, a lot of mental health professionals are hesitant to diagnose it in adolesence, which is ridiculous, because despite the fact that some symptoms (impulsivity/mood swings/ low self esteem) are seen commonly in adolescence and that as the brain further develops in the twenties many people see a reduction in symptoms, early intervention and treatment decreases likelyhood that the symptoms will persist into adulthood i dont see why the label is so scary. whats the worst that can happen? you get referred to therapy? although perhaps not cheap, its not like therapy would do a person harm.

My diagnosis has been confirmed by the 7 or 8 psychiatrists i have been under the care of in the past two years between hospitalizations/out patient settings, one of them being Dr. Blaise Agguire who is considered an expert in the field of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescence, author of the book "Borderline Personality Disorder In Adolescence", and is the medical director of 3East, a residential DBT treatment program for adolescent females with Borderline Personality Disorder at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA.

I cannot post links yet as i am a new member, but those statistics are not secrets or at all hard to find if you do reading about BPD. For the statistics on US prevelance of BPD in adults, and prevelance of BPD in inpatient psychiatric settings in the US, google "NIMH borderline personality disorder". the statistic of suicide rate in those with bpd is listed on the wikipedia article about bpd, which refrences the website borderlinepersonalitytoday(dot)com/main/facts/htm. the statistic is also listed on NAMI's website (google "NAMI borderline personality disorder") the statistic is also on WebMD's webpage on Borderline Personality Disorder, citing their source as "Janowsky D (2008). Personality disorders. In MH Ebert et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Psychiatry, pp. 513523. New York: McGraw-Hill."



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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 18th 2009, 03:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crescendo View Post
Hi- if you read the criteria in the DSM you will see that teenagers CAN be diagnosed if they consistantly meet at least 5 of the symptoms for over a year. you're right, a lot of mental health professionals are hesitant to diagnose it in adolesence, which is ridiculous, because despite the fact that some symptoms (impulsivity/mood swings/ low self esteem) are seen commonly in adolescence and that as the brain further develops in the twenties many people see a reduction in symptoms, early intervention and treatment decreases likelyhood that the symptoms will persist into adulthood i dont see why the label is so scary. whats the worst that can happen? you get referred to therapy? although perhaps not cheap, its not like therapy would do a person harm.
Psychiatrists and psychologists don't all adhere to the DSM-IV-TR to the letter, many will consider psychological and other biological theories in their diagnosis. So although they technically can give such a diagnosis, many will not for this reason among others listed below.

You also mentioned that if the child or youth is diagnosed with BPD or another personality disorder and is under 18, then not much can happen. The reason why some may be reluctant is two-fold: first, it's a bad image for the doctor and second, that diagnosis will be listed in the person's medical record and anytime it's accessed, the doctor or nurse can see that the person is listed as having a long-term psychiatric disorder which they may not really have. When other doctors see this label, they may try to form alternative means of treatment thinking the person truly has that disorder, only to find out later (if they even do) that the person doesn't actually have that disorder. So it creates a lot of unnecessary chaos and stress for the youth and youth's parents.

The psychotherapies may not do much harm and you have a valid point there but the rest of the problems outweigh this one unharmful by-product.

But I have to say, it's very refreshing to see someone post in this part of the forums who cites and uses actual research and diagnostic material. I don't think I've seen many, if any, who make their thread and the first post has the research.
   
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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 18th 2009, 04:33 AM

I feel the exact same way as you, Crescendo. It sucks. I don't know what the hell to do with myself alot of the time. Although, I don't know what else to say. =/ I don't feel like talking much right now, to be honest. But yes, you're definitely not alone.
   
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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 18th 2009, 06:01 AM

I agree with Lizzie and Nightmare, I'd go get a 2nd opinion if I were you. It's highly unusual to be diagnosed with a personality disorder before the age of 18. My old psychiatrist even waited until awhile after my 18th birthday to diagnose me with it even though I had been seeing her since I was 17.
I know the DSM says that they can if you meet the criteria for a longer period of time, but I still think you should talk to another doctor about it.
It's hard to diagnose a personality disorder, especially borderline, in an adult. Let alone in a young teenager like yourself. So many of the symptoms overlap with other things, such as bipolar disorder, other personality disorders, puberty, etc. A lot of doctors seem to jump the gun when it comes to borderline, as soon as they see a person who self-harms it seems that's what they think of. I'm not saying your doctor is wrong, or that you don't have it, but a 2nd opinion has never hurt anybody.


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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 18th 2009, 10:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaFin View Post
I agree with Lizzie and Nightmare, I'd go get a 2nd opinion if I were you. It's highly unusual to be diagnosed with a personality disorder before the age of 18. My old psychiatrist even waited until awhile after my 18th birthday to diagnose me with it even though I had been seeing her since I was 17.
I know the DSM says that they can if you meet the criteria for a longer period of time, but I still think you should talk to another doctor about it.
It's hard to diagnose a personality disorder, especially borderline, in an adult. Let alone in a young teenager like yourself. So many of the symptoms overlap with other things, such as bipolar disorder, other personality disorders, puberty, etc. A lot of doctors seem to jump the gun when it comes to borderline, as soon as they see a person who self-harms it seems that's what they think of. I'm not saying your doctor is wrong, or that you don't have it, but a 2nd opinion has never hurt anybody.
if you read my response to lizzie you would see that i've had a second opinion, and a third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, and an eighth all by psychiatrists, one who is considered an expert in the field of bpd in adolescence. i am well aware there is overlap between bpd and other illnesses, such as complex ptsd and rapid cycling bipolar disorder. i have not had multiple traumas so complex ptsd is not applicable to me, although i am diagnosed with ptsd. rapid cycling/mixed bipolar 2 was considered as a diagnosis early on, but discarded in time as it became clear although at times i do get hyper (possibly related to my adhd) i do not display trademarks of hypomania/mania such as increased speed of speech, impulsivity, reduced need for sleep, etc.

i have recieved extensive ongoing treatment in out patient, intensive out patient, partial hospitalization, inpatient, and residential settings, and have had my diagnosis confirmed by 8 psychiatrists in the past two years throughout those settings. it was not a diagnosis my family or i accepted blindly or lightly and i am not interested in debating the validity of my diagnosis with someone who like lizzie does not know enough about bpd to have seen the commonly referred to statistics i posted, or you who has not read through this thread throughly enough to see i have already had a second opinion.

there are 9 criteria of bpd, you must have 5 or more to be diagnosed. that means in someone diagnosed solely with bpd, there are 256 manifestations, and that doesnt even account for severity of symptoms. factor in other diagnoses that can present comorbidly with bpd, and you can only imagine how different one person with bpd may present from another.

if you have extensive knowledge of bpd, or have bpd yourself and would like to discuss specific reasons why you think my brief description of symptoms makes you feel i do not have bpd, i would be happy to consider your insights. i am happy to try to educate people who have questions surrounding bpd in adolescence.

i would like to redirect this thread back towards its original goals as stated in the first post.

thank you



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Last edited by Adam; December 20th 2009 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Editing out some rude comments.
   
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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 18th 2009, 11:34 PM

Hey, I was just saying I think you should get a 2nd opinion, I wasn't saying you don't have it, or that your doctors were wrong or that it's not possible. And sorry for not reading the whole thread, I skim through threads because I'm not on for extended periods of time because of my job, family life, social life, etc..
I have read a lot of books and such on bpd, seeing as I'm diagnosed with it too. I'd like to point out that your statistic of 1 in 10 people with bpd committing suicide is wrong, the actual statistic is 1 in 10 people with bpd attempt suicide.


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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 21st 2009, 09:13 PM

That sounds scarily like me.
The mood swings, the paranoia, abandonment, every bit of it. Is there treatment of some kind for it?
   
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Cool Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 21st 2009, 10:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrel View Post
That sounds scarily like me.
The mood swings, the paranoia, abandonment, every bit of it. Is there treatment of some kind for it?

As I mentioned in the original post there are several types of therapy that are thought to be effective in treating BPD.

In my experience with borderline personality disorder it's really hard to find good therapists because everyone's either scared of the label or isn't experienced enough to help you. One of the most effective treatments for Borderline personality disorder is a type of therapy you mentioned called DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). DBT was developed by a psychologist who had borderline her self. She found in her own recovery, and in treating her patients, that CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) was too oriented on change for borderlines, leading them to feel invalidated and have a high risk of dropping out of treatment. DBT is a balance of acceptance and change. The tag line is that DBT teaches you to "Build A Life Worth Living". And two uniquie focuses of DBT include training on dialectical thinking (seeing both sides to every story) and mindfulness ( living in the present, concepts are most highly pulled from Zen Buddhism, but are not at all religious in nature.) DBT teaches you skills in distress tolerance (which is crisis survival), interpersonal effectiveness (how to improve your relationships) , mindfulness ( living in the present moment, meditation type stuff), and emotional regulation (how to prevent yourself from going into crisis to begin with..basic taking care of yourself kind of stuff).

DBT is very very different than standard psychotherapy, which tends to be a processing therapy. While in standard therapy you may spend many many sessions focusing on whats wrong, DBT is constantly redirecting you towards focusing on solutions. and in absense of concrete solutions, acceptance, so you decrease suffering.

I think it is important to emphasize that DBT is not a magical cure, nothing is. And it can take a lot of perserverence to continue to incorperate skills into your daily life when you aren't seeing a dramatic increase in mood. Most DBT outpatient therapies need a time span of 1-2 years in therapy for full benefit. It is not meant to be a life long treatment, although you could use it that way. But for someone who is intelligent, and is determined to make the best of what they have been given DBT is an excellent choice.

If your interested in doing some work in DBT on your own, I would suggest the "Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills Workbook" its green and is published by New Harbinger Publishers.

http://www.amazon.com/Dialectical-Be...1436739&sr=8-1

Medication can help treat mood disorders which often coexist with BPD, but behavioral therapy is considered much more effective for treatment of the BPD itself.

If you think you may have borderline personality disorder it is an important first step to be evaluated by a psychiatrist who can make a proper diagnoses.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Megan



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Re: Borderline Personality Disorder - December 27th 2009, 09:40 AM

Being afraid of getting too close to someone because I am afraid that when I don't have them I will feel alone and abandoned, is it one of the symptoms of BPD?


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