9 thoughts on “Part 1: 7 Challenges of Borderline Personality Disorder

  • October 12, 2016 at 2:21 am

    This topic never fails to arouse rather strong reactions and feelings in me. I wasn’t going to respond, closed out the site and then ended up coming back to it.
    I think I might have asked you this before but maybe not? Are BPD and Attachment Disorder the same illness? I heard before that Attachment Disorder is a child’s diagnosis but from young adulthood on, it is called BPD when it comes to a formal diagnosis.
    Anyway, I think there may be a possibility that a few family members have this disorder due to more than a few of the symptoms you mention. I personally often experience #1 on the list. And ironically, though it is honestly VERY rare for me to feel anger, I was in a situation this weekend that was obviously triggering me for some reason. I say that because I truly have NEVER as an adult–even as a young adult–lashed out at a friend and called her a name. I did just that this past weekend. I received an email response from a long term friend and was so upset I told her via email that she was “acting like a b–ch and needed to stop!”
    I don’t feel my upset was entirely wrong but my response was and I realized it literally just after hitting the send button so I wrote and apologized. Then the fact that I did that triggered a rather strong reaction toward myself.
    I do think your list is very helpful and comprehensive. I also think that some of the items might be considered non pathological though depending on circumstance?
    For instance, when I said that I identity with the first item, in a way I think that is totally understandable given that I am not finding my life to be very fulfilling right now. It is hard not having a job or a car. It is lonely at times not having a significant other. These things would probably cause feelings of low level depression, emptiness etc in many people I would imagine?

    • October 14, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Hi Lori,
      Thank you for commenting. I’m glad when you comment as you typically get the conversation started in a good way. 🙂

      You are right, the things you discussed can cause significant feelings of depression, emptiness, guilt, etc. in many people. The “symptoms” discussed in this article affect many of us at some point in our lives. Many of my clients have these emotions and are not diagnosed with BPD. The only difference for those with BPD is that their emotions tend to be very powerful, unbarring at times, and confusing. Once these emotions interfere with your ability to cope or interact with others without harming them in some way, these “symptoms” need to be treated.

      I do agree that this topic arouses strong feelings in many of us. It is hard not to engage in this discussion as many people either fit the criteria of BPD, are diagnosed with it, who know someone who is.

      All the best

  • October 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I keep reading about BPD but not treatment. I have a child with BPD and type 1 diabetes. Again placing in another residential because not safe to be home. Then I deal with counselors who are not licensed and getting their hours and in my opinion not enough knowledge to help. Babysitting in my opion .I have doctors in The outside world refusing to acknowledge the mental health to police who will not talk about it. Where is the help? The mental health is so broken but nobody talks about it
    I am angry and frustrated.

    • October 19, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Caren,
      Thank you for your input. Most of my career as a child and adolescent therapist has been working in what are called RTF’s – Residential Treatment Facilities (“group-home” like environments offered to keep kids safe when they cannot be safe in their environment). My experience is that there are many levels of experience among staff and unfortunately, the possibility that a few staff members lack training is high. As a result, these places can seem like “baby-sitting facilities.” There truly is no real treatment for BPD in an RTF unless the facility specializes in its treatment.

      The mental health system is indeed very broken. It is a system I have educated myself to (almost day and night) in an attempt to help families like yours Caren. But there are many experts out there who are doing the same thing and one such agency is The Treatment Advocacy Center – Dr. E Fuller Torey. I encourage you to check out his website.
      All the best

    • November 7, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you for bringing light to BPD. Dialectical Behavior Therapy worked wonders in our family. I also found the class with National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality to be a life changer for our family. The class is called Family Connections and it for family members that have a loved one with BPD. When we learned how to better interact and understand the disorder we began to see changes. I also found finding people that get it or understand you is essential to helping a loved one. We need support too. I would love to have family members connect with me on my blog. I do write from time to time about what it is like to love and care for adult children with a mental illness.

  • November 7, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Tamara,

    This is ABSOLUTELY the experience I’ve had parenting my (what I believe to be) BPD daughter. In fact, I feel like she’s the person you described as your “worst-case scenario” above. We’re at the stage of researching residential care treatment and are really hoping that this will be the therapy that “sticks”. She’s been in CBT for years and years, but I’ve always felt that, even in the best of times, there’s something inside of her that couldn’t be “touched” by therapy. It almost felt like…it was a part of her. And our optimistic thoughts of, “This will get better with time/puberty/therapy/medication/diligence/consistency” was just wishful thinking. It seemed like there was something deeply ingrained within her that we could never uncover. It’s taken us back to the drawing board many times and, after this most recent re-evaluation, we’ve discovered BPD and it seems to fit our situation to a T. I’m interested in hearing how personality disorders (like BPD) differ from mood disorders, which is what she’s been diagnosed with in the past. (MDD, GAD, ADHD.) Is it because BPD is a personality disorder that I felt like there was something that CBT was never addressing?

    • November 10, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Hi Maria,
      BPD is very complicated, as I mentioned in the article. Depending on the severity of symptoms and the type of diagnosis that may be co-occurring (“acting out” with BPD symptoms such as depression or anxiety), will determine whether BPD responds to CBT. Personality disorders are long-term traits that have been ingrained overtime with life experience (environment) and genes. There is definitely a biological (genetic) component to personality disorders. MDD, GAD, and ADHD are also genetically passed down through the family line but are much more responsive to CBT tools and techniques. Personality disorders are so ingrained that years of therapy may be needed. It is very difficult to change a disordered pattern of personality traits and behaviors. For you and I both, it would be difficult (after years of developing aspects of our personality) to change who we are. CBT can be useful to assist in changing disordered patterns of behavior but DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) has been “tagged” as the most effective approach for BPD.

      I encourage you to look it up if you don’t already know about it.
      I wish you well

  • November 14, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    My ex-fiancee almost certainly had Borderline Personality Disorder. I put it that way because she refused to acknowledge it or go to more than just a few counseling sessions. Our counselor thought it was BPD. Looking back now, I can see how clearly she fit almost all of the characteristics of BPD so well.

    She happened to be a Latina, and at first, part of me liked the way she was so jealous – even though there was no reason for her to be. At first I thought it was part of the stereotypical Latina fire and passion, which did describe her in many ways, and which I liked in many ways. At one point she even told me that if she ever caught me cheating on her, she would cut off my you-know-what! Even that didn’t really bother me at first because I knew I wouldn’t cheat on her, and thought once again it was part of her fiery Latina temperament.

    What did begin to bother me, and a LOT – is when she started accusing me of cheating on her, even though I wasn’t. I could tell that she really believed I was cheating on her. Well, as you can imagine, when I put 2 +2 together in my mind, i.e. her prior statement about cutting it off, and now she was really believing I was cheating… well that was more than a little disconcerting. It was just one of a number of reasons we broke up, but what you said in the article about paranoia and delusional thinking is very real – and potentially very dangerous.

    My heart goes out to anyone dealing with BPD because it makes having a successful relationship very, very, very difficult. She and I loved each other very much, there is no question about that in my mind even to this day, but BPD was just too much for our relationship to overcome.

  • March 19, 2017 at 11:58 am

    these symptoms are very close to narcissitic personality disorder as narcissists fear of abandonment and looking for supply and constant praise from outside world also they always have anger issues with their scapegoat targets and their grandiose sese of self make them highly manipulative and demanding from closed ones.and also highly attenion seeking from their supply


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