Author Topic: Borderline and personality disorders  (Read 554 times)

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experimental

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Borderline and personality disorders
« on: February 27, 2017, 03:42:04 PM »
My new T of 3 months went to consultation and came back to tell me that she can't continue with me because I'm too complex for her. She referenced things that I think come under the borderline umbrella though she hasn't said borderline.

It feels validating though because I've known the deeper more nuanced elements of borderliney in me for a long time. And have never felt like I could bring it up with my therapists. Especially when so many therapists seem anti-diagnosis. Plus "DID" covers almost everything and I wasn't too worried about this one.

I posted about my T leaving in another thread in DAT. But this stuff and conversation at this level feels so validating and freeing. Schizotypy and narcissism too... Especially since the hitting incident and brain injury. But I've known and thought about this for a long time.


I'd like to ask who here has been diagnosed borderline, or any "personality disorder", or have had conversations about it? How do you feel about it? I have in mind meaningful/correct diagnoses but I feel for you if anyone got wrong ones and want to talk about it too.

experimental

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 07:14:05 PM »
huh.... this is affecting me a lot more than her leaving right now.... not "being borderline", but just so many things that i've felt difficult to articulate, that i thought was different for me. this maybe gives a chance for these things to finally be addressed. it'd mean so much to me if this stuff doesn't have to rely on a 'special person' of inexplicable qualities who can get to this stuff somehow or facilitate the process to get there. maybe there's something quite straight forward that people can help me with and maybe for once i can finally trust somebody to 'know how to help me', wholely and fully.

that whole conversation with T is shaking me a lot. i felt taken seriously for the first time ever. about therapy. it's rocking my world and making my bones ache.

missatoo

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 04:37:26 AM »
not been diagnosed borderline so can't help you there. though I do probably meet criteria for avoidant personality disorder LOL. to me it is not so much about the label but identifying the problem and seeing a way out of it. or even seeing that what you experience is a 'real thing' and that there are valid reasons for it. what I think you try and convince me of often.

I have come to conclusion lately for example that I have a definite attachment problem that must stem from experiences very early on in life (which underlies borderline issues as well as I understand it from reading). that is why some of these things are so difficult, intractable, ingrained in addition to the whole dissociation issues. I can intellectually accept this but there is an emotional component too, the meaning that it has for me to accept this also.

it must be said I think that you can't really see your attachment issues until you are exposed to something else quite different and what is happening in the transaction identified in a non-judgmental and skilled way which is what I think your T has done. otherwise you observe/feel this "differentness" but are not able to really identify what it is. which now maybe you are starting to do. and I think you find comfort in paradigms and research to validate your internal experience of yourself. I have to have some intellectual grasp before being able to embrace the emotional side of it myself.

and I think this T built trust. and that trust is what you are talking about. the trust if I open myself to your care, I will be okay and there is a way out. that is extremely hard to manage with attachment issues. she is giving you that self-trust too - like you will know now what "good and skilled" looks like when you look for a new T. and I venture to say, you knew this kind of all along too in your reactions to other Ts.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 04:45:15 AM by missatoo »
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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 09:51:17 AM »
It's so much more than a label. It's the underlying mechanics of everything... for the first time i feel like a conversation has been had about me and the underlying factors affecting me. And that actually had a good point. I've never had the platform or felt able to talk to my therapists at this level. So it got secluded away in my head in some sort of shame space.

But anyway it's at a more detailed level than diagnoses. Years ago when there were more people here there were more people with a psychiatric reference point and words. i wonder how it affects people.

harumph but my T doesnt get those kudos heh. i saw myself through her looking back at me, like a V-shaped mirror, or like holding a mirror with your back to another mirror at an angle. and i have that trust from old-T and gleaning things from everywhere, but i've never had a trust in the therapist's clinical ability or perspective. until now it became possible. and this T is telling me "you KNOW you cant trust me clinically - GO! Go go!! You knew this omg you knew this!"

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 02:22:13 PM »
i used to float around reading this stuff in the school holidays, age 15-17ish... weeks of being left home alone and knowing my parents won't be home for hours, so i was safe to drift and daze. spent hours drifting on this stuff. diss'ed out of my mind. thankgod for the internet. they were legit academic articles too. i have a book now that i haven't opened about this stuff and with the brain injury it's a lot harder to comprehend this dense detailed theory.... think my comprehension was better at ~15. but oh yes this brings me way back.
this is pre-therapy, pre-here, pre-isstd, pre-DID...

missatoo

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 08:20:47 AM »
it amazes me when I look back how much I didn't know about....there was no internet when I was a teenager or into college and my early twenties. my mental health education was therefore very limited. and I didn't know enough to even consider the topics dissociation or trauma. I just thought I was depressed. and remember studying depression in the books I could find.

when the internet came about the mid-1990s that was when I figured stuff out too. I loved the Internet back then. it was so different than now.  I remember finding a DID chatroom and figuring out there were other people like me - some a lot different but nevertheless I was not the only one with others. but I was so much "not" like them either. 

I would go to the local borders bookstore too and read every book on their shelf. couldn't buy them. so I used to read them at the coffeeshop (in secret). they resonated some.

that's because now, i realize with all the book knowledge I have, that will not fix me. that can only diagnose. and was a little poor at that too until I read that structural dissociation book. I am not textbook by any means and I think exp neither are you.

its only the experience of healing that has helped. the books made me feel less freaky and then too a little more crazy too. but I found some empathy in them too. and that helped.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 08:27:28 AM by missatoo »
Truths needing to be heard but maybe not fact.

Wren

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 02:16:41 PM »
Missatoo - sounds like you and I might be same general age  group.  The internet opened a whole new view for me also.  Maybe it would have been different if I had known that I wasn't crazy back then also.

E - Your intellect and persistence always amaze me.  Sorry about this T.  I hope you find someone that can help you heal.

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 04:54:27 AM »
I've had conversations about this when I discovered a close friend of mine was diagnosed with this. I read so much about it to find out what this actually meant and what I found fit this person to a tee! It made me feel sad that I had to live with this with this friend. I felt like I was up against a wall because there seemed to be nothing much I could do to even help this person. I had a strong dislike for the absolutes he felt because if my thoughts were different from his then we had heated battles about that. I felt I couldn't ever get my point of view seen as holding any substance and it shook my whole sense of value as a person. I was very unsure at that time about who I was and so I felt that I was of little value to him. I felt I had to give in no matter what I thought. When I did I felt so much that I was being overlooked and not valued as a person because what I said didn't matter two cents to him. This is my experience and I finally had to distance myself from him just so I could get my own issues dealt with and get healing. He has many positive qualities which I admire and still talk to this friend. But it really still does get my goat when he doesn't seem to acknowledge the things I say. I've come a long way since I discovered this diagnosis. I can manage a lot better than I once did. Through t I have now a better sense of who I am and can now stand up for my rights without getting into a huge fight about it.  I so wish that my friend would get help for his issues, I can only suggest he does and hope that something that I say to him will hit 'home' and he will get the help he needs.
"And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32)

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 09:03:14 AM »
There is a person that has been very significant in my life that I believe has borderline personality disorder. I have observed many of the defining, consistent behaviors associated with the disorder.  I was given the primary responsibility for the individual's emotional and therapeutic care beginning about when I was age 8 or 10.

I would not want to have conversations about it in a group that consisted both of borderlines and individuals that have related to borderlines.  I don't see how one group could be therapeutic to both.

I have seen some good academic work contrasting DID and BPD but I don't have access to it right now. 

The repetitive SI element of BPD always made it extremely difficult for me to identify with or understand. 
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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 01:33:33 PM »
Thank you for all your replies. Sorry for the late reply, I kinda kept wanting to reply to various aspects then got lost in my thoughts haha........  And I got discouraged about this topic after following my therapist's referral led to not much.

But wow you guys sound so distant and foreign to the borderline category/label. I wouldnt want us to hold that much negativity about borderline/BPD. I guess i'm sort of lucky in that I avoided a lot of the judgment from others by being very contained and having a clean image all my life. So i'm sorry for anyone who had to experience that or even to have that concept/entity in their minds about borderline. (not that i think i fit BPD squarely) I first came upon the term in articles that were advocating for better understanding and they sounded a lot more compassionate than judgmental. And i guess they brought out a lot of its essence and vibe without so much of the behavioural issues or disruptive and inconsiderate tendencies. I feel like these tendencies maybe run counter to what the survivor community identifies with cos so many of us have lived in silence and internalised stuff without being able to act out in any way.


To me, being 'borderline' is having an exquisite sensitivity about life, the intensity of the beauty in it and having the strength and tolerance for the difficulties. It's a sharp awareness of being alive and its vulnerabilities, and not being afraid to live. It's a graceful kind of rebellion against norms and complacency just by being and living, not necessarily actively "advocating" for anything. It's being in touch with the ambiguities and fragility of the world and having enough clarity to see that. Most of the people I've known who have a BPD diagnosis at some point are also mellow, wise and insightful to have come along the way. They have a certain kind of empathy and awareness of others. But within all that they're still 'borderline', there's something in the quality of who they are and their personality structure that rings of living so closely to a kind of naked honesty. It's being more existentially aware but still not having a self and constantly fighting against the void with so much intensity. (and i see 'personality structure' before i ever read it that way)

I dunno, i dont want to romanticise/talk-up it to something it's not and more than ever i see how much that kind of existence makes one blind to the ordinary needs of life and the meaningful things in having structure and order and acknowledging basic needs. Like eating and sleeping and relationships in whatever form. That it's 'dangerous' to identify too closely with this kind of erratic existence and that you can't escape basic needs or society in general. But it still means a lot to me, and i think it has its place in the world/universe and it matters, in its own right. Even if i move away from that, which i find myself already having done, it's not something i'd wanna throw away as a product of a disorder or 'error of my ways' kind of thing.

In the DID community there is plenty of these experiences so i've found that i'm not alone... but it was this link back to the borderline stuff that made me realise how much of the inexplicable and elusive have been the infant attachment thing all along and how much of my fragmentation mediates against the pain of separation. That's attachment and dissociation, not even necessarily BPD I guess, but to me, there is a thread there that have always been meaningful to me and now i finally have a flag for where it is and what it is.

The referral was to (I'm gonna name him, now that i am far enough away from him heh) professor Russell Meares. He doesn't have a lot of published works but what i have known  had resonated long ago and he writes about dissociation in terms of failure of relatedness and self concept (dont quote me on this, my thoughts only) in a developmental and neuro way. (Btw i also discovered that brain injury really pushes people that way and im so sad about that, theres a study cited) Anyway, it just seemed more true to my sense of fragmentation and overlappy parts with a high level of un-formed-ness than systems whose parts are more established and in a lot of ways more level headed than I. Not that there are clearcut lines, but it meant something to me.

There used to be 'subtypes'... i wonder if someone's less likely to be diagnosed it if they're one of the less disruptive subtypes, heh. I related to those and felt a thread of hope for it capturing a variety as a category. I got more cynical when psych class was a lot more rigid about it so i ignored those a bit. i turn away from things that predominantly refer to self harm or chaotic disregard for others. I don't relate well to those either. though i do relate to compulsive self harm, and i haven't done it, and some parts are/were holding out in identification with that and in loyalty to that. So haha, you caught me :P


missatoo

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2017, 05:14:31 AM »
borderline I think is like any other disorder - it can be experienced by another person as very difficult, but is no less valid for the sufferer. their struggles are real.

T said something to me like this past weekend about my mother -- that he could probably explain what happened and how she didn't handle grief or parenting well and why. but that wouldn't matter - I still experienced it.

Likewise, I think can explain my behavior with my son, some of which was harmful, but not abusive - but that does not mitigate its effects on him, which are real.

the only solution is to try to be as psychologically healthy as possible. at some point we all have responsibility for our own psychological health and the tools available to us.

what I think is actually really harmful is people like my mother, who have no self-awareness and therefore reject any attempts to help.

and the flip side - which is that some disorders give us strengths. I have strengths only because of them too. which is what I think you are saying exp.

however, even though I am not borderline -- I have severe problems obviously with attachment. so i relate to exp saying   how much of the inexplicable and elusive have been the infant attachment thing all along and how much of my fragmentation mediates against the pain of separation. just expresses differently. 

I also used to SI, but not because of a borderline thing. so I get that too. so I think SI is not exclusive to borderlines either but more about trauma.

which leads me to the conclusion that the diagnosis itself is less material. we all will fit some diagnosis some way or another. I have a half-dozen I have fit over the years at different times dutifully recorded in my records. all symptoms. that's all they are. we attack some symptoms and new ones appear out of desperate internal needs to mitigate the actual root causes. which has nothing to do with diagnoses beyond PTSD.

That one I'd embrace. it becomes clearer and clearer to me that is what I actually suffer from. the rest is just symptomatology.
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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2017, 01:56:29 AM »
Yes, I think one characteristic of borderlines is expressing the associated emotions much more freely than DIDs tend to.

I think that classifying someone as both DID and BPD, though, would be considered irresponsible diagnosing, unless a strong, long-term case had been built with strong evidence.  It would be a little like diagnosing someone with PTSD and comorbid bipolar disorder.  The therapist would be blurring the lines between the causes of the symptoms and effectively saying he or she didn't want to put forth the effort to get and justify the accurate diagnosis.

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 09:45:22 AM »
Well i think diagnoses are real entities/things. I thought that way before i had any adult understanding of what the DSM is or how diagnoses (of anything, from anywhere) are established. I felt and believed in the validity of these categories including BPD as a teenager and before any influence from any psych person. I think it's up to the diagnoser to understand and exercise their judgment about which thing or things someone has, and which ones are valid and meaningful while others are secondary or a spin-off of something. It may well be both, and it'd be irresponsible not to capture it as such. I later found out there are guidelines and much discussion about these things, especially complicated/ambiguous/conceptually-unclear categories. But that doesn't stop it from being valid. So it bothers me when people say diagnoses don't matter or it's the person that counts or docs/pdocs/professionals/experts/Ts don't know what they're doing and undermine all of it. Because it's real and meaningful to me. And for a long time i wrangled these on my own.

And hey i'm not a doctor or diagnoser or whoever else, but I can see things and I expect and will only give time to doctors who can exercise at least an equal level of clarity and clinical judgment. Of which they are qualified for. I agree many people suck at it despite that. And it's a really awful experience for us when they do. But these are meaningful categories and I want to swim away from the current in survivor communities where believing in yourself and your value or uniqueness equals rejecting these categories and the expertise that sits behind that (or should sit behind that). I feel like i'm trying to keep sight of its value and worth. I'm not either a doc of any sort nor someone helped by one (ie able to finally trust one who is wise and competent and great), so i can't be idealising their greatness, and i have my share of cynicism and bitterness. Not that you guys make me feel that way, but it's just conversations i've been in before elsewhere.

It's up to the diagnoser to exercise an appropriate level of judgment about both the diagnosis and its description. It's up to the reader of my records to exercise sensible judgment about complexity in whatever is described, any overlaps or similar terminology, or variations of the same phenomenon under different terminology or descriptors (even my brain injury has a clusterfk of words). Sometimes it's not realistic to expect anyone coming upon my medical record to understand it all deeply, and you could even say that it's only natural NOT to understand it for most medical contexts, but that doesn't undermine what it is. It's a problem of governance or people (and context) or process, which is a different thing, different discussion.

I certainly don't want to minimise or dismiss the destructive impact of many people with BPD. But the category in itself is meaningful to me and I'm glad and happy that it was seen in me in some way because it's illuminating for a number of things. And also cos i have positive associations with the term to begin with.

And i guess im on a 'psychiatric' swing in rebound from old-t's vague anti-diagnoses position to a detrimental degree. and recently getting in touch with the extent of clinical thought in my head sequestered away all this time. so it's the combo of the two leading to these posts. heh.

FWIW i would most probably not meet criteria now anyway, but aged 16-20 if i went to say a hospital during one of my really bad days (as they say you should do but i never did) and was really honest about everything that was going on and my thought process (which i would never have done cos it was far more about hiding everything), it would be easy and understandable to have diagnosed me BPD.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 09:53:47 AM by experimental »

missatoo

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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2017, 11:03:29 AM »
i think the symptoms you display at any given time are important. your body and mind are speaking through your symptoms. it is not as if symptoms or diagnosis don't matter. they do.

however, I am just saying that diagnosis itself is only a guidepost. I guess for me it is now well-established for me that I have some sort of mood disorder (though I do not currently take meds for it) and trauma. we are way past diagnosis at this point. because now in looking back I can see so many of my symptoms differently.

I think some think diagnosis is a validation of their struggles. and in that sense is good for people. though that has never been the case for me I guess so maybe I just don't get it. I just want validation of the struggles I suppose. in my heart, for example, I know I had parts, years before it was ever presented as a diagnosis at all. I knew I was depressed years before there was a name. the name did not give me answers. in fact was worse in some cases. no one could have understood the landmines.  I think too the problem I have with diagnoses is they often fall short - I was never the classic anorexic. nope, not really. No one can decide/agree if I am mildly bipolar or not. I don't fit DID totally - more like DDNOS. fuels more doubt, not more certainty. and what type of category is that anyway. the interplay between all of them is too complex. I am a human being in all its complexity.

searching for that perfect description of me (wherein there would be this magic answer) was fruitless. there was none. 1 or 2 books came close. but is it really not a cover from the realness of it all, an intellectual exercise. a hope there is some easier recipe to follow rather than the very real hard work.

just my thoughts.
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Re: Borderline and personality disorders
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2017, 05:41:43 PM »
I guess my touchiness is that the discussions around a diagnosis is so much more than diagnosis - any diagnoses don't mean very much to many people and can't possibly capture everything, but I'm tired of being placated by Ts and people working with me who don't have a deep sophisticated concept of what is going on, within all of me. This includes psychologists - psychologists who are well versed in what the diagnoses are and who are aware of much of the trauma theory and recognise me as being affected by severe trauma (because i came to them being clear about it). In addition to psychologists/others who are even less aware.

It was great to be spotted via that consultant, second hand, on issues that are relevant to me. It's me that recognised the BPD paradigm that turned out to be right, but that discussion with T was never about diagnosis nor did anyone say that I'm either BPD or somewhat/slightly like it. No one fit me in there or applied it to me. But it is through discussions at that level, that I have only glimpsed through books/research/online, that have given me perspective, a sense of trust and safety, and a faith in the meaningful things of the world far beyond what any T has done for me. Old-t was a big part of that in being as sincere and humane as he was, but i couldn't have benefited as much from him without all of this in the background too in my mind and boistering me up. I couldn't have come as far as i have without the depth and insight and support that has been my substitute for T and that is so much more than theory or cold intellectualism.

i hope to do that justice by believing in its truth. and hopefully i get to carry some of that into my life onwards and into my place in the world.