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borderline personality disorder

(18 Posts)
ampm Sun 20-Sep-09 12:51:55

i think my son aged 22 has signs of this - can anyone help as it's so awful not knowing what to do - just need some guidance please

jojo02 Sun 20-Sep-09 20:44:06

My ex (we split because of his illness in the end), was diagnosed with BPD about six months before we split (although he had mental health issues for years).
As far as I can tell, it is an umbrella term used to cover a variety of mental health issues.
I think the best thing you can do is to try and get your son to see his gp, he can then be referred to a mental health team and get whatever help he might need.
Is he aware that he has a problem? Have you spoken to him about this?
There is plenty of help out there, some may work and some may not, but you have to ask for it.
Good luck!

ErikaMaye Sun 20-Sep-09 23:23:01

Hiya I've got BPD, so am more than willing to help out in anyway I can, for you or your son. I know how difficult it is from this side, but also can't imagine how hard it must be from a parents perspective. My condition is pretty stable currently (touch wood) but know my parents have struggled greatly at times.

Here is the Mind page for BPD, they tend to be pretty helpful.

Is he getting any support right now?

What makes you think your son has it, by the way? Its quite similar in symptoms to rapid-cycling bipolar too, just so you're aware (been diagnosed with that one too at one point!!).

skihorse Mon 21-Sep-09 12:56:43

I am a recovered BPD person - jojo - it's not helpful saying that BPD covers a myriad of "illnesses".

To be diagnosed with BPD your son will have to be assessed on multiple occasions by a psychiatrist and will be asked 100s of questions. To fulfill the criteria of borderline he must meet 5 of the 9 areas described in the DSM. Because of course there are so many different combinations of these 5/9 no borderline person is the same as the next.

"Borderline" men tend to be "antisocial PD" rather than borderline although it's not impossible.

To beat this illness rather than dull it with lifelong medication you will find it expensive, time-consuming, heartbreaking and difficult. E.g., in my case 4 years of weekly therapy (Schema Therapy), however I was able to throw away my meds 18 months or so in to it - that was something! grin

GypsyMoth Mon 21-Sep-09 13:06:16

so what are the meds for this? (my ex has sort of been diagnosed with this) for years he was just told his mental health issues were 'depression',so those were his meds.

a psychhiatrist recently said he's not depressed,but 'probably' bpd. after one assesment,so assuming he'll need more for a diagnosis. also recomended a psychologist nex. why would that be?

skihorse Mon 21-Sep-09 13:11:09

What do you mean "why would he need a psychologist?" - don't you think he needs some sort of therapy or would you rather he continues to live his life in misery guzzling anti-depressants? shock

Meds are very much on a case to case basis. I had anti-depressants and anti-psychotics - some authorities will also prescribe lithium as a mood-stabiliser and an "upper" such as adderall for when you can't get going in the morning due to the anti-psychotics.

GypsyMoth Mon 21-Sep-09 13:45:44

just wondered why the psychologist,as opposed to further appointments with the psychiatrist...

he won't take meds...will for first few weeks,but when with me,and then with new girlfriends,would stop. then would attempt suicide,then see psychs,back onto meds...and cycle repeats itself from there. 9 suicide attempts in 3 years now i think report said. the only meds he's had are anti d's..

i would prefer he gets help to sort this out....its me who has pushed for this forensic psychiatric assesment he has recently had.....he won't be seeing his children untill he is stable,but he won't take the meds so far,for any period of time...

i always knew it was more than depression. that was all he ever got told with the gp. but i was married to him for 10 years,i just knew.

mathanxiety Thu 24-Sep-09 19:36:50

Try this for very good, clear information about BPD and other personality disorders.

skihorse Fri 25-Sep-09 09:26:17

mathanxiety It's nice that it's a support site - but I bloody hate sites like that where people can "diagnose" others on a whim.

Diagnosis is not a 9 question survey on the net.

mathanxiety Sun 27-Sep-09 06:31:03

No, it's not, but if you spend a good few years of your one precious life banging your head against a wall wondering where you're going wrong in a relationship, and why your H behaves the way he does, and tells you you're going crazy and everything is your fault, when you come across a site like that it feels like the clouds have parted and you know it's not you, and there's no amount of house cleaning or sexy lingerie or witty conversation or home baked goodies that will make this man change. Just knowing it's not you can make all the difference. It got me my life back. I recommend the site for information, because without information, people who are living with a LO with a personality disorder are powerless. And probably utterly miserable.
It's up to a professional to make a diagnosis, but you have to make them go to get that help, and for that you need to know what you're talking about.

mathanxiety Sun 27-Sep-09 06:35:37

Skihorse, glad you have got help and are recovering. But nobody living the kind of life I led with my exH tries to diagnose another person on a 'whim'.

ErikaMaye Sun 27-Sep-09 16:08:54

Doctors don't like it if you turn up with suggestions of what it could be though - puts them on their gaurd, and probably less willing to help.

mathanxiety Mon 28-Sep-09 05:18:12

No, that's true; and in my experience, the doctor had only a brief conversation with me when my ex was hospitalised -- he took it from there himself. Asked only for details of his behaviour, which I gave, without any quack diagnosis from me. ExH was in complete denial that he had any problems all along, and even after a lot of medication and ongoing psychiatric therapy still casts me as the evil witch, so now he is my ExH.

I tried to use the information I had found as a means of leading the horse to water, but only he could decide to drink, and so far, as far as I know, he hasn't done that. But the info ended up saving my sanity.

borderliner Tue 29-Sep-09 09:22:14

I have BPD, am not yet ready to out myself on MN under my own name as I have read so very many negative/abusive comments about people with personality disorders on the site (saw someone with a PD referred to as "sub-human" once and that made me leave for several weeks!)

I'm in therapy and it is helping a lot - the psychologist I am working with says my level of acceptance of my condition means that I am am making some very rapid progress. TBH, the diagnosis was a massive relief to me!!! All of a sudden the reasons that I self-harmed, drank too much, attempted suicide, sabotaged pretty much everything I put my hand to, had extreme abandonment fears, had a horribly out of control temper (with everyone but my children!) all made sense.

I am lucky, very very lucky, in that I have a dh who has known me since I was a teenager (well we both were) and despite all my best efforts, he is still madly in love with me and has even been able to help me see that a lot of the things that he loves about me (I am passionate about many things, for example) are actually traits that have developed out of my BPD. We now occasionally even joke about me having a "borderline moment"! And recently when I got some very upsetting news and managed a whole day without calling him to come home, or losing my temper, he came home with a huge bunch of flowers to celebrate a borderline-free day!

I still struggle with my self-esteem, and with knowing who "I" am. Practically no-one knows about my condition as I have heard too many stories of people who are badly hurt/ignored/rejected (again - early rejection and abandonment are common features in BPD) when they reveal their condition.

I have found antidepressants to be a helpful tool in managing mood and have been given antipsycotics twice for agitation (a month at a time each). I see my psychologist fortnightly.

Interestingly, BPD is 4x (I think) more common in women than men.

skihorse Tue 29-Sep-09 11:42:07

borderliner Yes, I get that. I find it extremely hurtful that people are so quick to "diagnose" others or tar them with the "they must have a personality disorder".

Furthermore the total unawareness that BPD can exist in so many forms. I myself turned in on myself, hurting myself. I moved to another country and bought a house in the sticks 20 miles from the nearest town. I didn't go around abusing people... I drank/smoked, used drugs and slept around. However, "internet experts" will assume I was physically and verbally abusive towards my "loved ones". I had no loved ones.

I still struggle with "voicing my opinion" but I'm getting better now at understanding that I am "allowed" an opinion and if other people don't like it they can fuck themselves. If someone disagrees with me it does not necessarily mean that I am "wrong". I've also had to learn basic things like "Do I like my coffee black or white?" That might seem like a daft thing, but for someone with BPD who has never "existed" as themselves, simply a reflection of others - it's a BIG issue! blush

skihorse Tue 29-Sep-09 11:43:09

Men are more likely to have antisocial personality disorder and be in prison. A high incidence of BPD women will be prostitutes and/or drug-addicts/alcoholics.

So any of us who are still "high-functioning" are doing great.

ErikaMaye Wed 30-Sep-09 11:37:43

Borderliner what a lovely post Though I'm shocked at some of the negative posts... I haven't seen any... Have been called stupid for falling pregnant but hey, kinda used to that!!

Until I got the diagnosis, I never realised that all the crazy stuff I had done, that I was ashamed of, was because I was ill. It was such a relief, and now I don't blame myself so much for it. Its a very big label to carry around, but sometimes such a comfort as well.

Skihorse your bit about the coffee made me smile, because I was exactly the same, probably until I got with my DP. Now I know its okay if I want milk one day, and don't want it the next, and if I want sugar in it, just because no one else is having sugar, that's okay too

sb9 Tue 13-Oct-09 12:48:26


Hope you dont mind me posting. I dont want to get into the whole issue of diagnosing people and hope that i dont offend anyone with my questions...

I have long thought my sister and father have had bdp or anti social. I just wondered if any of the posters with bdp could fill me in on exactly what bdp is. I have been on the mind website but are there any examples.

I am in counselling myself for depression and often feel that i am to blame for things but know in my heart i havent done anything.

The quote "I didn't go around abusing people" really struck a chord. I could be a lot more forgiving if i knew my father or sister were ill and as such couldnt help it...


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