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51 Comments to
Borderline Personality Disorder: Is It Just An Excuse?

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  1. What a good article.
    I have long had a diagnosis of BPD, and I would deny this most of the time. The shame is truth in knowing. I am unique in the way that I never exp lode but implode and suffer all the symptoms you mentioned – with them come such an intense fear of rejection that I become paralyzed in my home. Doctors have refused to treat me because I am inconsistent in making appointments, both physicians and psychiatry alike. I have never felt that my illness has excused me from any consequences, but perhaps that is simply because I don’t use it as an excuse and accept responsibility for my actions or inactions

  2. Please. Wrecked childhoods, marriage and inability to maintain adult relationships are something my family endures due to a family member with this. It was one thing to be alienated by our peers but now to have mental health professionals tell us that this diagnosis is just an excuse? I never disclose this part of my family’s life but this article is a slap in the face of those of us torn apart while trying to love and help a sufferer.

    • @Lived It, Please reread the article. It says the exact opposite–that a diagnosis of BPD is NOT an excuse!

      • I’ve lived ‘with’ someone who had this. The defintion is spot on and written by doctors who have studied and studied it, and ultimately came to it’s current definitive definition. It’s not just an opinion. I understand that NO one wants to hear that they are somewhat responsible for their own actions, but that’s a step in getting this illness under contol, since currently there’s no cure. Good post.

      • It is not an illness!!!! it is a descriptive word for a cheating, lying, manipulative b*tch!…..the depression that has subsequently befallen myself due to being deceived by such an individual is an illness.

        It’s like being punched in the face and apologising to them for your face being in the way of their fist

      • In my opinion, you’re punching Yourself in the face and blaming someone else. You’re all grown up now. Most people have been through the same or much much worse. Grow up and CEASE.

      • So despite all the projection and gaslighting it was all my fault? well that’s put my therapy for PTSD back by six months. Thanks Paris

      • There you go again. Aren’t you tired of blaming everyone but yourself at Your age? We all have problems and I too have PTSD but I work on controlling it instead of pointing fingers at those in my past and singing the ‘poor me’ song. The results you get by allowing every comment said- that doesn’t please you, is partly the reason that you will always remain having BPD. Let others have their opinion about your shoes, or your sofa. SO WHAT. Why do you HAVE to retaliate or explode if it’s not what you like to hear?? YOU don’t HAVE to blow up–you WANT to. Therein lies your sickness. Your heart, blood pressure, moods etc pays the price for your explosions. I personally believe every part of your body responds negatively to anger. Even the Resting __ look on your face. Watch your face being furious. You won’t like what you see.

      • I haven’t got BPD you idiot! I suffered abuse at the hand of someone with BPD

        I am having counselling to come to terms with being mentally and physically abused by someone with BPD and you say it’s my fault?

      • I have every right to be angry towards the person with DPB who destroyed me! and to those who give them excuses to do so

        You don’t know my age or the abuse I suffered at the hands of someone with DPB and to say that the person who has BEEN abused is the one at fault is disgusting!

        Being mentally or physically abused is NEVER the fault of the victims, only a narcissist would suggest or make you think otherwise

        The power of the BPD is to make their victim think and feel that they deserve to be treated badly!

        I am genuinely disgusted at your comment that the fault lies with their victims

      • I guess it is my fault for allowing someone to abuse me, I could have removed myself from the situation instead of allowing it to continue.

        I spent a long time after the abuse blaming myself and had been convinced by my therapist that I was not to blame.

        But youve opened my eyes to the truth that I believed in the first place that I deserved all the abuse.

        I have now cancelled my therapy sessions as they are quite clearly just a way of making me think being abused wasn’t my fault as a way to make me ‘get over it’

        My apologies to Paris and thank you for making me see sence

      • What are you even doing on this site? It’s about accepting responsibility for your actions with having BPD, and ways to curtail or stop the lies and manipulating that comes with having it. I didn’t ‘cure’ you and no one ‘gives’ it to you like a cold. It may be a personality disorder you acquired from your distorted way of thinking or have always had it and it’s been exaggerated by your life experiences. This list of posts are here to help you realize what you have and OWN it. Work on the garbage you give out to others, and do some self examining on why you love doing it.

  3. This is by far the WORST definition of Borderline Personality Disorder I have ever read….I had this diagnosis…and because of this “label” my former spouse of over 35 years used it against me…when in fact I am NOT Borderline….oh some symptoms may have manifested themselves as such…but the true facts are that I was abused as a child and into young adulthood….and no one bothered, until my current therapist to look at the true underlying causes of my depression, anxiety, black and white thinking, suicide attempts, panic attacks, etc…and it does not matter what Mental Health issues you may be labeled, you are still responsible for your own behavior..sp? I have learned a lot about this label and how in the end a great many therapists say they are unable to work with “Borderlines” as they are hopeless and there is no true way to help them…it is just not true…looking for that underlying cause, working to see what is real and not real, etc…I am 100% better today…living a great life.

    • I guarantee that you are not 100% better. The only way I’d ever believe that is to hear it from a nap my er of close family members who have to deal with you. Borderlines are liars. They lie to others and the hey lie to themselves.

  4. Personality disorders in general are hard for me to wrap my mind around.

    But, having witnessed a couple BPD sufferers in my day, I’d say they’re definitely experiencing SOMETHING unpleasant inside that leads to their turbulent behavior. It seems to be a malignant combination of insecurity, lack of impulse control, mood swings and fear of rejection. The compulsive lying, cheating and plotting to hurt others before they hurt you is merely a symptom of the internal problem….what that problem is isn’t clear to me.

    Are there biological differences in the brain, or are personality disorders a result of poor coping skills and early trauma? Are BPD sufferers reacting to current situations as if they were whatever bad thing happened in the past, like a form of emotional PTSD?

    My theory is that something goes wrong during the critical period when empathy, identity formation and other vital insights develop. Severe emotional trauma, neglect, etc during the brain’s early developmental stages can result in permanent changes in brain function–even causing intellectual disability or death in the severely neglected. There’s no reason to think it couldn’t affect emotional and social competence too.

  5. Have to agree that the article isn’t entirely clear. It does speak out of “both sides of the mouth”, even though the opener I suppose was meant to be the “hook” to get one to read it.

  6. Many spouses, children, and colleagues of BPD view the very real diagnosis of BPD as not quite a real diagnosis. It is not uncommon that clinicians experience resistance from family members–they find it difficult to accept the BPD diagnosis. It is hard to accept that certain behaviors, especially the ones that are viewed as emotionally manipulative, are actually part of the disorder. Treatment on the other hand does involve helping the client understand the feelings that inform some of these behaviors and learning new and better ways to cope with overwhelming feelings.

  7. I have never read such a perfect description of BPD in my life. WHY do you think the borderlines here are objecting to it’s very defintion so much? “it’s an excuse for bad behavior”. Yes, I think this is exactly it. One I know in particular, (my cousin) goes on forums and offers an answer or question and then ‘changes her name’ and answers her own question on the next post she makes. She argues w/ moderators over and over. She’s not a stupid person, she knows just what she’s doing, she just Loves to cause trouble, hurt & insult innocent people- then turns around and becomes everyones friend, incognito. Revenge? She’s pitiful. She has to win and never apologizes to anyone. “it’s always their fault” This is a terrible but well executed illness.

    • I hear you on that paris!

      I too have a cousin with this disorder and I always hear so much about how she has a “disorder” that we should try to understand and support her. People don’t know her and what she’s done to people though. She goes beyond having little outbursts of anger and a fear of abandonment. Sorry, but MOST people have something in the way of a “mental illness” or “disorder” nowadays(I have been diagnosed with depression in the past), but I’ve certainly NEVER used it as an excuse to treat people the way she does(and I can take responsibility when someone calls me out on something if I was wrong)! I can certainly understand(and agree with)supporting people with BPD and/or other mental illnesses, but ONLY if and when they are willing to get HELP to get their disorder under control! My cousin will not. She is not only destructive to herself(she lies about her entire her life! When you talk to her at first, she seems normal and you the “crazy one” for thinking anything bad/wrong about her.Then after awhile, you slowly see it in her. It becomes very clear that you aren’t dealing with a full deck of cards!
      She’ll tell you that she “went to some big University and has a degree in x,y,or z(it changes, but the thing is: She’s NEVER been to college in her life!),” She’s had 14 “miscarried/still births children”(she had 1 child by C-Section and then couldn’t have anymore after that), most of whom she’ll tell you that she knew the genders of and there were even TWINS at one point. She’s never thought about the fact that people will question her on this because for one thing, one would have to be minimally 4-5months to know the genders(some even have names!)! This is where it gets really crazy. In an entirely different conversation, she’ll tell you that she wonders what it would be like to give birth naturally because she NEVER experienced it. She hasn’t even thought about how one might question her on this: How does one lose 14 children, esp mid term and not experience any labor/delivery? It’s pointless to ask her this though. She’ll agree with you on those facts you gave and just change the subject but then next week, go right back and talk about how she lost all of these babies! She’ll tell people that she speaks Spanish fluently(she knows a few words and gets some very strange looks when trying to communicate with someone who DOES! She’s had “ovarian cancer”(they were just cysts), yet had no surgery or chemo for it. When asked how that’s possible, she’ll say it’s because “they caught it all early and she didn’t need it,” as if she thinks you’re stupid enough to buy it. Of course whatever the lie is with HER stuff, it’s always POSITIVE(if it is ever negative, then it’s a huge emergency, tragedy or some ‘wrong’ that someone has done her. She’s still a “victim” no matter what the situation is, even if SHE caused it or wronged the other person first!)! Usually, it’s delusions of great things or things that NEVER even have happened, but she will always paint herself in a wonderful bright light to everyone(including the need to “help” everyone else who is ill or has problems in her eyes!). Forget trying to point out to her that her “facts” just aren’t possible. Even if you give her evidence to show her that her “facts” aren’t true/real, she’ll either get mad or she’ll drop it for the moment, only to come back next week with the same story/belief! She lies so much about her life that I think she actually starts to BELIEVE her own lies(probably because she’s told them to herself and others so many times!).
      What’s hurtful and hard to deal with though isn’t the lies about herself. That’s sad, but what’s caused me to have to separate myself or cut her off completely is that she LIES on/about EVERYONE ELSE(people she claims to “love” and “care about”), which to me can be outright dangerous! I’m not talking about little lies/fibs either, but SERIOUS lies and/or accusations that have gotten people into serious trouble(like calling CPS on a friend or her telling my entire family that my husband is ABUSING me, simply because he’s come to resent the stress she’s caused him and I. He can see right through her little games and manipulation. He won’t take her crap either and she knows it too! This is why she did this to him(that and she is trying to isolate me by making me CHOOSE between him and her and telling lies if I don’t/won’t!). She didn’t care that that kind of lie could get him harmed(or even killed)if said to the wrong person or family member who may have thought they were just “trying to help/protect” me from him. She didn’t think about how CPS could hear about “abuse” and come by or worse, have my kids taken away, etc…these are very serious consequences and for what? A LIE! She doesn’t care though nor does she THINK before acting! She said she was just “looking out for my well-being and wasn’t sorry for saying this!” What? This was for MY benefit? Just like an abuser, she’ll hurt you and then come back within a couple of days, begging to talk to/see you with a hundred “I’m sorry’s” or some excuse that justified the action(even if it was a LIE!). If that doesn’t work, she’ll call you from the ER, telling you that doctors have told her that “something serious has happened” and she “may not make it through the night?” She can’t understand why people can’t/don’t want to be around her? She just REACTS and DOES things, she doesn’t THINK about the consequences of lying on people! Worse, once she makes up one lie about something or someone, she’ll continue to lie about the situation or person in order to cover her tracks and keep her always looking like the “good person”(even if it nearly destroys the lives of the other people involved). And she hasn’t figured out that other members WILL talk to each other if something serious has been said about someone else(she never thinks about this while she’s doing it.). Then after she gets everyone riled up with her drama, she suddenly “doesn’t know what’s going on” when confronted about it. She says “I love you” and “cares” about you, but only to the degree that it doesn’t make HER look bad. If she has hurt you and you confront her, she wants to back away from the situation and say: “Well,it’s not my fault!” or “It’s not my problem!” She takes responsibility for NOTHING at all. The lies she tells are always Positive when about her, but everyone else? It’s ALWAYS negative(even if it’s her best friend!)! With her, there is always a crisis/emergency.She’ll even fake/exaggerate medical illnesses in order to be brought into the hospital so she can call everyone to tell them about how she’s come near death so she needs everyone there,thus the drama! This can be several times a MONTH. People are tired of it(and her)!
      I don’t doubt this illness exists, but I think people give way too much credit to these people for being “innocent” and/or not knowing what they do, they DO(I KNOW she does!)! She’s all about preserving herself though. As I see it, this just gives them another excuse to behave as they do.
      I have to ask(to those who are always wanting me to go easy on her and try to understand the disorder): At what point would you say that she is dangerous and destructive enough to cut ties with her? I know she that is NOT every BPD out there, but she is a dangerous one to be around. She doesn’t want to change and won’t because there is “nothing wrong with her” even after being DIAGNOSED with BPD!
      Sorry, people can say what they want to me or think I’m cold, but I’ve put up with enough of her BS! It’s hard to deal with(and forgive)a person like this. I can stand by and support people, but I REFUSE to drown WITH them(That expectation isn’t realistic, not to mention just WRONG to even expect of a person!)! For my own sanity now(which I feel like I’ve lost part of with her in my life!), I have to let her go!

      • Sorry so long, but this is a picture of WHO you are dealing with when you deal with an extreme case of BPD.

      • This is just and only my opinion. I am no doctor. BPD’S like to deceive others to a fault. To make up crazy stories to see who they can fool. It goes on to a point in where others think she’s as invaluable, and foolish –even worthless, as she herself does. She’s pitied, when she wants to be or could be championed.
        She hates herself to tears. She wants acolades anyway she can get them. Why can’t a person have faults? I do, you do. We all do. Excepting each others faults and still loving or really caring about them is crucial. Including herself. Honest, informed advice,can really be painful to them, or just another knee jerk reason to elicit sympathy from anyone she can, b/c YOU’RE wrong & she’s smarter than you. She’s addicted to manipulaton, and lies.
        The stories can be almost be laughable to many, b/c BPD ‘ignorant’ people who know about her intimately are laughing at her and her illness b/c they feel she really can really stop hurting others . I pity her. All people have their own problems, and don’t really care about liars. She has to learn this. It’s an ugly, mean illness, but what illness is pretty? Others catch on soon enough, and she’s left lonely and friendless. Is this the life she chooses? The truth is way more interesting than the lies and manipulation. Her lies are a relentless bore–and so obvious.
        Learn you have something in you that’s worth giving. Learn the truth, it’s beautiful.

      • If you’ve been living with all of this trauma, and aren’t seeking professional help regularly, how’s that working for you? Pardon my saying so, but you sound like a nervous wreck. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t suffered something awful in their life, but it’s hard to believe that the military would even consider you. You “never did exaggerate? Your post here has a host of exaggerations in it, to me. Reread it. What’s wrong with a label if that’s what you have? That just sounds like another form of denial of what is wrong with you. You began this post with ‘labeling’ both parents who raised you, to begin with. “It’s their fault’. As awful as your story sounds, it doesn’t sound like it’s all THEIR fault, at all. Then you say you quit cutting early in your post- and in the end of your comment, you say that you’re still cutting! You need help, label or no label, you don’t have to inform the relatives or anyone else of your diagnoses! They don’t hang a sign on you. You seem confused, angry, and tormented, by your letter.People will always taaalk about you, good or bad, you cannot stop that. We all live with that. The military, offers mental health counselors for their soldiers, or just continue with whom you already see. But see someone. Don’t spend your life battling these illness’ alone. Above all, don’t be ashamed. There’s somthing amiss about each one of us!

      • Did I mention that this person that I know who not only has BPD but revels in telling you what it ‘propels’ her to do, has an extreme compulsion to WRITE and write on and on and on. On anything she can!
        Go on ANY bipolar or BPD psyche site (or forum) and you will find her there with an 850,000 word entry, full of lies, exaggerations and some waaay out overly detailed story of how she was and did blah, blah and blah.
        Have you found her yet? Skip reading those ‘books’ because it’s not the truth! Find the truly helpful entries that are REAL stories and you can honestly relate to them. Not this wanna be writer who has to add her 2 cents and made up stories where ever she can.

  8. Wow, your relative sounds like the (functionally) alcoholic mother with Narcissistic Personality Disorder I grew up with. I can hardly tell the difference between them and a BPD, to be honest. Add a step-father who was passive-aggressive, pathological liarand….yay me, huh? As a coping mechanism, since I grew up nearly locked alone with them in their dysfunction and I was the family’s landfill/scapegoat for all their angries, chaos, and violence and I became a very isolated, lonely child who had a nice, affectionate imaginary family I played with in my room. That worked till my folks started throwing or locking me oit to the streets when my drunk mother was on a rage in the middle of (school)nights. I’d be punished for the ensuing bad grades and falling asleep in class. Like manyteens, I turned to cutting, burning, drugs, sex, and drink to ease my pain and solitude. First time my mom came into my room and found I’d taken a bottle of sleeping pills, she kicked me in the head to ‘wake me up’. At the hospital she put on her ‘professional’ face, the one only strangers got to see. It’s not unusual for kids who’ve suffered systematic abuse for DECADES to not exactly do well with people, school, jobs and definitelie twust is neigh impossible to feel. Anyway, while I def see some similaitie b-tween BPD actions and miself, I’d grew out of the self harm but not the dope. Then I went to wa and was in combat. Coming home sucked. No familie there, none to greet (litany of excuses), I got into a car wreck and had a serious brain injury putting me in trauma…my three older sibs, who all lived 35 minutes away couldn’t be bothered to visit me in ICU, not even once. Anyway, when they finally let me go home to recupergate with all sorts of special instrctuions, my dad came down with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I moved him in with me to help him. Then, a year into a new job I could work from home at, me and a couple of the other IT people were laid off and my dad was gong down hill fast. He passed away, at home, in my arms. Our reunion dream came to a horrible end. I was shattered. Burnt to ashes walking out of a city burnt down to embers and smoking. I did what came natural in this gun clenching on occasion between me teeth. I had a major depressive event and as always, my family couldn’t be bothered to drive an hour to check in on me. Ever at the ready to kick me when I’m lowest, to mock and minimize, I cut them all out of my life, even the good ones because the abusers in our ‘fam’ made it too hard on them to have any contact with me either. Anyway, what I NEVER did was exaggerate, since it was all bad enough as it was. Rather than dance to their squonk eyed, dysfunctional tune I cut them all out of contact with no more ‘care’ for their opinions left in me. I can look back and see some BPD self-abuse symptoms in me…the burning and cutting…but that fell away as they did and I got older. I also insisted on talk therapy WITHOUT influence of any labeling of disorder’s, preferring such a thing to ppssibly come afterwards. It did and does help to have professional suppprt. My blood kin are unreliable, dysfunctional, abusive and petty people who manipulate each otherand I can’t be bothered with all of it amymore. They’ll get no more a ppund of my flesh.Even when I’m notaround to do or say anything, my character continues to be assasinated. Toxic people, the whole lot.For me I learned I also have ADD, cPTSD, depression, with a heavy avoidant trait. If BPD had been around as a kid, that probably would’ve been my ‘label’. Do people who suffer like me hVe personal responsibility for our actions? You betcha. But that cannot be learnt outside off compassionate, consistent care. Anyway, I still cut, though much less so and always regret it due to the shame. With my background, ‘shame’ is something I have to unlearn but it takes time. I didn’t get jere overnight, it won’t be helped overnight. BPD is NOT about having excuses for behavior but relearning how to control emotions that weren’t taught us how to be handled. Good luck to you. 🙂

    • One more thing obviously people on here think BPD persons have extremely high emotional IQS to be so manipulative . I assure you most of us aren’t aware of what we do but when we do become aware ( unlike alot of you ) we use this wisdom and repeat our behaviors with less and less entensity unlike alot of you .

  9. “it is much harder for the person who’s been diagnosed with BPD.”

    Are you fuckin serious ? Childrens get treatened, hit, live a hell because their mom is BDP and sometimes end up BDP themselves because of their poor life but it is harder for the BDP himself ? Really ?

    I wasted 1 year of my life with a girl diagnosed with BDP, she ruined my life, she isolated me from my friend, she putted me in a huge financial hole that I will have to pay for most of my life but it is “harder” for them ?

    I seriously dont understand why most article I read about BDP are so unsensitive of the consequences of BDP’s actions, it’s like if a BDP would push a nuclear bomb button they would justify it by “it was harder for him”.

    • BPD’s are just plain evil, why so called professionals make excuses for such behavior baffles me….they should concentrate their efforts on helping the victims

      I genuinely don’t think these professionals fully appreciate the damage it does telling us “it’s not their fault, they cant help being that way, you’ll just have to live with the pain they didn’t mean to cause…sorry”

  10. Well the good thing about borderlines is they let you know exactly what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. Basically what I hear is people focus attention on others instead of themselves ,pointing a finger at others is a great way to NOT deal wth your own issues . I’m newly diagnosed with bpd ,all liers manipulators well if you look society in general if BORDERLINES are that, maybe were a reflection of what we see in others.Hypoarroused emotions maybe our emotions are do to the extremely entense issues we’ve dealt with early on. Wish we had it as good as you did then we’d be on here complaining about others instead of cleaning the shit from our own nest .No were all not victums were just like YOU only more defined .

  11. Not all BPD sufferers lash out. Some lash in. If you know a BPD sufferer that lashes out, you need to set limits. These are hard limits, if you wreck my car, break windows, hit me, speak to me like that again I will…
    I have two family members with BPD. A cousin and my sister in law. My cousin is clearly suffering, therapy is helping him to learn to cope and adapt. He’s never blamed anyone for his behavior, in the past he would ignore his part in whatever downfall he had created, but never lashed out and blamed others.
    My sister in law is completely different. Shes constantly lashing out. Never owns her responsibilities for her actions. Some of these have landed other family members, myself included, in legal and financial troubles.
    Setting limits with her is like trying to play wack-a-mole. It’s like chasing leaks in a dam, in many ways she’s like a toddler, always testing for weaknesses. After years of her doling out verbal and sometimes physical abuse to friends and family, causing property damage, self harming, we’ve had to call it quits for our own sanity. She has two friends left to her name. Sad.
    Not all BPD sufferers use it as an excuse to roll out the bad behavior. The BPD sufferers that do use it as an excuse create such havoc and chaos. It’s walking on eggshells while dodging a wrecking ball. At some point you just have to say…I’ve had enough, I love you, but I’ve had enough.

  12. I do understand “using it as a excuse” and “walking on egg shells”
    comments. I have heard the same comments from my exs. My favorite
    is “get over it”. Each time from someone who really cared but
    Thought was it controllable like over eating.

    I was diagnosed at 5 years old when entering public school. I have
    Tried everything from alcohol, AA, 12 steps, antidepressents, and
    so on. Each time getting some mild uplift which disappeared in time.
    Medications like Zolof and Effexor-XR work best but the side effects
    Create their own new problems to address.

  13. If all things being equal. Then I completely understand the disbelie
    A nonBPD perception of BPD behavior. They seem different and
    they are at a physiological level. A number of recent studies
    show BPD children have a amygdala 20 percent smaller than normal children.
    Why is this important because the amygdala is responsible for reason and
    memory. The cornerstones for forming behavior. A study also showed the smaller
    amygdala (part of the cerablelum) has more connections to adjacent structures than
    normal children, Their frontal lobs are the same in both nonBPD and BPD. Could the
    peanut size structure malformation be the cause BPD ? Therefore all things are not equal.

  14. Borderlines are evil. Period. In the past, that’s what we called people who manipulated, lied, and destroyed people’s lives. Evil is based in something, so I guess these people were somehow abused, but that just means it’s evil begat from evil.

    Funny how a borderline will take you to court so they can get money, but somehow, “they aren’t aware of what they are doing.” Baloney. They are emotionally lazy. If they can get something by conning somebody, they will. It’s easier than earning it yourself. This goes for their emotional well-being too. Can’t get somebody to love me? Trap them with lies, sex, or promises of gain. I personally was entrapped by a pregnancy by a borderline who said she was infertile. She’s played havoc with my life and my son’s. He’s been in therapy since he was 6 years old. But who does she blame? Me. But for my own sanity, I had to distance myself from both of them. Her, because she’s destructive. Him, because he’s nothing more than her weapon. It’s sad. But I digress.

    Here’s why I think borderlines know what they’re doing: because the way they fix themselves is acknowledge it. Simple as that. I f they take responsibility like normal people, they get well. But most don’t. Iit’s easier to go through life conning people. After all, they’re professional manipulators.

  15. Thank you for this article, it is good to hear the point that BPD behaviors are not simply excuse for a person who is “bad”. My s/o definitely shows BPD behaviors and whenever i go to say this to anyone, everyone end up saying that all my judgements are wrong and he is simply a “bad guy”. They say i’m simply trying to “save” him, and that i am “obsessed with him”. They even tag the “fear of abandonment” as “drama”/ “attention seeking” and the splitting as “exploiting your goodness”. Under such situations, this article gave me hope.

  16. See as someone with severe bpd I’ve never used it as an excuse. Parents and a few people know of it and try and support me but otherwise I’d be ashamed to admit how I am. Because of this I get a lot of remarks and looks from peers because of the way I act sometimes without meaning to which makes life a bit more stressful and more guilt ridden that I have this illness. To hear of people who use it as an excuse for their behaviour simply reminds me of my narcissistic mother and how she blamed her behaviour on ptsd and anxiety.
    The article was well written over all and the symptoms quite accurate in my opinion. You didn’t go into detail about the black and white/obsession extreme relationships involving possessiveness but I think it was a good article well done on it.

  17. I suffer from BPD. I have done since I was a teenager and probably before that. I’ve done things I’m not proud of but it was NEVER about trying to hurt other people or cause pain. The best analogy I can give for the turmoil, surging emotions and hysteria – imagine making decisions after say, a three day drug bender without sleep, all the while with someone blasting a matterhorn in your ear. You can have the best intentions but everything is so magnified, you feel as if a dropped sandwich is equivalent to a death in the family. Can honestly, honestly say I’ve raged (never raised a hand to anyone though and never would), stolen money (though serious drug addiction, not sure if this would have been the case regardless of BPD) and been a selfish jerk at times. But I also haven’t ever ignored a friend in need, lied about my behaviour or tried to blame it on others. I’ve actively sought treatment and even taken a second job in order to pay for it. I’ve been refused by therapists who have neve met me, I’ve been taken to hospital completely unconscious and unstable after suicide attempts only to be discharged and practically booted out without follow up or compassion as soon as they see the diagnosis on my record. I haven’t been on a date or made a new friend in five years, I am so afraid of hurting people that I never see anyone anymore and spend pretty much all of my time trying to atone for being such an awful person. What I want people to know is that it’s a spectrum like many other conditions. Some of the family members and friends commenting on here seem to have been so burned by individual BPD patients’ behaviour that they see it as license to go online and vilify every single person with the condition. I can tell you this – most of us actually just want to die. Living is too painful and every negative feeling is so, so amplified. The treatment we’ve been offered for years (traditional talk therapy, traditional anti-depressants) has been completely inadequate and unsuitable but we the patients have been blamed and stigmatised by the psychiatric community. I even think there’s a fair bit of malicious “payback” in the wording of the diagnostic criteria for being ‘difficult’ instead of ‘stigmatised and deliberately disregarded and misunderstood out of frustration and embarrassment at failure to successfully treat’. I ask you, would we punish diabetic patients for failing to respond to chemotherapy? No, we wouldn’t. You would not believe the permissible way the entire psych community is able to simply throw people in the ‘too-hard basket,’ often not even having met them.

    • In other words “Sorry I destroyed lots of people but hey I’ve got BPD so it’s okay”

  18. In my opinion BPD is most definitely an excuse to give these horrid vile individuals a label they can use to destroy others lives guilt free BPD is BS

    • Thankyou. Someone needs to say it. They all need to.be locked up together. See how they like it. And I am sooo sorry for your suffering. I’m a bpd victim as well And I can only imagine what you’re going through. I’m in therapy and it’s really helping. If you’re struggling with whatever horrid and disgusting torture you have gone through, I would recommend talking to someone. It definitely helps.

  19. Sorry. Sham diagnosis. Behavioral problem. Shouldn’t be in the dsm.

  20. Wow

    when i come to thing of people having to face way more difficult situations…. say like… the second world war….. no matter what people managed to go through life, nowadays, it seems that too many claime to be bipolar, anxious, depressed…. and I mean way too many…. because doctors legitimized and give pills like candy. As if they knew everything. Let me tell you something, when life s tough you just hit it back, you suck it up, you fight on, you don t turn into a little girl or boy.

    It s really sad. I had students crying because they claimed to be sick / anxious …. just to justify not to submit their assignments. I know of adults who can t work because of anxiety attacks….. you want anxiety ???? Think of the poor souls in the middle of a battle field… that s real anxiety the rest is chicken shit what we go through in life. And I know , I used to be anxious about every stupid little things….

    • Why you post in the disguise of being a teacher – of anything is beyond me.
      You can’t even spell.
      You have apparently have BPD so you need help, but there really isn’t any to give or get. Read some books about it, and get some ”people experience” under your belt. Try keeping a friend for more than one year and you’ve got a good start in getting a handle on this curse.

      • My sentiments exactly.
        You don’t “hit back” and “suck it” up? That’s no way to handle people in your life or the problems you face. We all have melt downs but that doesn’t mean we turn into little children and have to fight and argue. Concentrate on your own behavior. Watch how the “real you” responds to others criticisms. Keep track of how many times you’ve lied or are currently lying. Build a life not a wall. Find real friends not cyber friends. Leave your fantasy world. No ones home there.

  21. Bpd is the clinical term for somebody who has many undesirable, often cruel and life destroying traits. The rest of us seem to operate by a set of social and moral rules. We have to control our emotions and anger. If we don’t and cause hurt or damage to others, we apologize and try to rectify any damage done. We have to be accountable for the things we say and do. We deal with the consequences of our actions. Most of us try not to repeat our mistakes or do things that hurt others. Many of us nonBPs have also suffered past trauma or abuse and have managed to treat others with kindness, honesty and respect.

    What makes a BPD unable to control their tendency to abuse others? Why is it so hard for them to keep damaging thoughts and words to themselves? Why can’t they stop once they start? Why won’t they own up to the things they say and do? Why are they so angry? Why do they twist truths and tell lies? Why do they feel it so important to criticize and rage at those they love? Why won’t they apologize? Why do they keep turning on their loved ones over and over?

    The term bpd is a label that allows those suffering from it to treat others badly with an excuse. The rest of us have no excuse so it’s not okay to hurt and abuse others. Plus it’s the last thing we’d ever want to do.

    If the bpd in my life felt remorse for the things they had said and done over time, I wouldn’t know it because they deny they said it, never apologize, blame me for their behavior then call me a liar if I bring up things they have said and done.

    It’s abusive, the non-bpd is left to muddle through the mess, forgive the bpd, and move forward despite damage done. The non bpd has to display extreme patience and self control, always have a thick skin, and endure abuse to spend any amount of time with their loved one.

    The bpd denies everything, gets to move forward with no consequence and seemingly no guilty conscience until they need something next time. Then it happens again.

    Yet all of these articles expect us to be sympathetic towards the bpd.. I’m starting to wonder what is the difference between an abusive asshole and somebody with bpd? A diagnosis?

    Why is the pain the bpd experiences more significant than the pain they continue to put others through? What makes them continue the cycle of abuse they experienced once instead of trying to stop it? Why are they blind to the pain they inflict on others?

    How can you keep a bpd in your family and protect yourself at the same time? I seriously don’t know.

    • I have a sub type of bipolar,so my personal shingle says bipolar NOS; officially for 14 years and counting. I am finally beginning to understand the borderline disorder. I’m not saying I like it– but rather understand it much more. My moods can over power my actions so who am I to judge? I cannot account for my Own behavior when I’m manic, depressed or mixed, so why shouldn’t they too have a free ticket on our busy little bus? Does only OUR illnesses OWN the freekin bus?? BPD exists! Whether we like it or not.
      What ever the emotional disturbance you or I suffer with, we all deserve another chance if we F up. If we could snap our fingers and our problems, moods, and depression would end -we all would; wouldn’t we? Who wants to hate themselves? Who here wants to be hated?? Raise your hand. hhmm I thought so.
      Whether it’s a psychological disorder, chemical imbalance, bad gene pool trait, emotional trauma, sexual, drug abuse survivor, etc, NONE of us knows what goes on in the OTHER persons head.
      I do know this. They have the same need to beloved and included as the rest of us.
      I have given upon many,actually all psychologists,as they have me,for my inconsistencies in keeping appointments. I honestly want help but my brain turns it’s back on me at the worst of times,as I am also an ultradian bipolar. This is one of the worst forms of bipolar to treat as we can cycle like hell all day long. It can be HORRIBLE!I have cancelled 20 minutes before an appt, many times thanks to a really bad ‘surprise’ mood. I can’t HELP this. << sound familiar?
      Hour to hour cycling happens to me many days. So I get the ''lack of understanding'' here.
      The operative word here being 'understanding.' That's something we may all lack when we look at the other guy. They are trying to help themselves, just as we are doing our best to help ourselves.
      We, the psyche drug takers-are all incurably ill. Drugs may not work for borderlines. We all suffer in many different ways.
      We just have many different illnesses.

  22. It is extremely difficult to live with someone with BPD. It must be hard for people with it, but isn’t it the same for anyone who is immoral ?

    Anxiety and depression seem different… They’re less controllable. BPD is like someone who can’t help be cruel… I don’t buy it. People need to take responsibility for their actions. I fully understand that someone may struggle and be more likely to make damaging decisions. They can work on this with a therapist, but a common thing with BPD is not taking responsibility for your actions, and creating a convincing false reality to hide what’s really happening. It is a distorder, but somewhere deep in there people need to start taking responsibility.

    I can’t feel any sympathy, my mother has this and ITS been hard, so so hard… Hard on her, but I would say harder on everyone else. im sorry, this is just my experience.

    • You think my mother was a day at the beach? I never realized how messed up/MI she really was -from my first brothers death until 2 or years before she passed. I’d accepted the cold,loveless treatment I received from her- later figuring out she wished it was me that died, instead of who did. I did everything for my mother. She just wasn’t there. I kept trying to ”break thru” to her -but she kept me at arms length emotionally. I became the chauffeur, the wash girl,the house painter/fixer, the all around handyman, but no longer her daughter. Not in the sense any daughter would want. I saw her give love out to her friends but not to me. My mania kept me going-always something to do.
      Do you ever feel remorse? True regret? Do you consider yourself immoral or sick of constantly drowning in apathy? What’s the difference then between you and a sociopath? Is there a difference? I blame & believe 90% of the mess I do on my bipolar; b/c it’s mostly true. Poor judgement is one. The thing is– I realize it later,not at it’s inception. All I really can do is apologize afterwards, and use it as a learning experience. I too, have to take responsibility for many of my poor actions. I ask myself if I can still feel. I can. I can. I’ve been through hell and don’t care for a follow up.

    • There is a lot of negativity pinging between BPD sufferers and non BPDs here. I and my kids have also suffered massively at the hands of my BPD partner of 25 years. For much of this it was understood he had bipolar disorder but over the years, as the observer, I realised something else wasn’t right. The past 2 years especially have been torture. He was finally diagnosed last year with cyclothymia personality disorder; a combination of bipolar and borderline personality disorder. I honestly think it’s the borderline aspect we have suffered at the hands of most. Constant irritation, irritability, anger and verbal abuse being the worst and threats of leaving as soon as he felt cornered. I often wound up faced with someone who exploded in front of me and I could not work out how we’d ended up in such a place. I desperately tried to track back to see what the trigger was but often couldn’t identify it.

      He lies constantly, is impulsive, reckless (driving scared me witless), chaotic and disorganised. Conversely, he is charming, engaging, intelligent, witty, great fun and definitely the person at a party you want to meet. All of the positives unfortunately are usually a front for others to respond to. At home it’s very different where he hasn’t got to prove himself to someone. We as his family get the whole package and it can be incredibly difficult at times, especially when things have been bad for me personally and he goes off the rails because I’m not giving him my undivided attention. As the kids have got older, he can’t control them as much and being teenagers they have rebelled against this. The strain has been tough to put it mildly. The result of this has been that he has felt unloved and unwanted at home. Telling him most teenagers turn away from their parents is normal doesn’t work with him. He says it matters hugely what others think of him and admits he jumps in with both feet when meeting and making new friends. This has caused problems because he has hooked up at times with less than positive characters.

      The impulsivity is very obvious too. Most things he does are sudden and unplanned and often others sort out the resulting mess because he is totally incapable of taking responsibility. The worst of this behaviour has been affairs. These have chipped away at my self esteem so that I am not the person I was. He has been having another affair these past two years which I knew about all along, exposed it a few months in but he wouldn’t stop. For the sake of my kids and the uncomfortable awareness that I had become completely scared and weak, thinking of all I stood to lose, I tried to reason with him and save our partnership. The cruelty he has shown me has staggered and crushed me totally with several times where I was a sobbing wreck in front of him and he showed no empathy, care, distress, guilt, shame or remorse whatsoever. In fact he got angry because I was ruining his fun. In the end I had to call it a day. He has left, the kids are angry and hurt and we all feel betrayed. It’s only now he’s rootless that he “realises the enormity of what he’s done, how much he has screwed up and wants to make amends.” Really?! I see it as selfish because it’s only now he’s in a difficult position and actually feeling something negative that this is his reaction. At no point did my pain register. The lack of responsibility was so evident with this affair. He said he couldn’t stop because he had “got in too deep,” meaning he knew the other woman’s feelings were complicating things for him, only it was ok to keep hurting me rather than her. In short he was just not able to sort out the mess he had created. It got a lot nastier and still he didn’t face up to things. In the end, as always, it was me that took responsibility by separating and because the other woman turned out to be a nasty, manipulative character herself, I.e. threatening him with the kids and his friends. He’s finally seen that he was sucked in by her and so that’s ended too. Because I had always been there for him, I don’t think he ever really thought I would take this step but I just reached the end.

      I have read up extensively about BPD. I understand it and the torment sufferers go through. My partner has been mismanaged and let down by the health service as well. I have tried to be there for him through thick and thin and supported him so much to help him keep on an even keel. Unfortunately for his family it’s not been enough. I have suggested therapy over the years but he has denied he needs it, saying nobody can help.

      As with others who have commented here, it’s incredibly difficult for non BPDs to accept that the constant barrage of abuse is down to their significant others’ BPD. There is only so much you can take. I feel like I have come out of a very long and dark tunnel. I look back and realise how much I have been abused. I will never get these years back. I do love my partner and worry that his life will always be blighted by his illness. I wish it was different, I really do but I feel like I’ve sold my soul to the devil. I would advise others living with a BPD sufferer to leave if that person is unwilling to seek proper help via therapy. You can’t fix them yourself and you end up being swallowed by their problems and lose sight of who you are in the end too.

  23. It is a very fine line between personality disorder and just being a bad person. I can understand that people develop destructive behaviors/coping mechanisms and have trouble controlling themselves. However, in my experience many people with personality disorders know very well that their behaviors hurt others, but they simply don’t care. Yes, perhaps lack of empathy is itself a symptom of personality disorders, but often these same people who “lack empathy” can definitely recognize when people are not sympathetic to them. You can’t tell me that they know when others are hurtful to them, but they can’t possibly recognize the hurt they do to others? I do think there is an element of choice involved in these conditions.

 

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