"Borderline personality"?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Karenvm, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Hi. Does anyone have experience with this diagnosis? I have read a bit online, but thought I would get info from those who have dealt with it.
    My difficult child, age 17, seems to think that is what he has. I am not certain why he feels that way (other than that he is very smart and likes to do his "research", almost to a fault, where I think he reads about something, and then makes himself "fit" the diagnosis). His current therapist feels that he really fits the bipolar description, and we have heard that from other therapists in the past as well.
    I don't know much about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), so if any of you can give me some idea of what it "looks like" in your family members, that would be helpful.

    Thank you.
  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Karen,

    Did you see the thread in the substance abuse forum?

    I'm sure that others will be along with information.

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I have 2 daughters with the diagnosis.

    As with many mental disorders, symptoms are similar.........so it takes some experience and "tell tale" symptoms to make a diagnosis stand out. I'd say if all docs so far are leaning toward bipolar, then that is likely......given you feel it is a "fit" as well. (you know your child better than any doctor)

    The big tell tale behavior with a border line is the let me push you away so you can prove how much you love me/ I mean to you behavior. It's not fun to deal with and until you get a firm understanding of the diagnosis, it can get old mighty mighty fast......which.....actually happens at times anyway. lol

    I'd read up on both as far as symptoms/behaviors go and see what you think. But most likely if he's missing the behavior above, he doesn't have it. (I will say some teens do this as typical teen behavior on a much more mild scale so be careful)

    Katie: Drama queen. You're expected to come to her rescue. Hers is a more subtle version, at least with me. The moment you don't live up to her expectations or call her on behavior she is "done" with you........until she's not. She also has other issues playing into diagnosis so it complicates it more.

    Nichole: Rage......and lots of it, moodiness, rapid mood swings (very rapid, like seconds at times). Nichole would say whatever popped into her head, hurtful or not......she could be vicious in a rage. Yet the moment the mood shifted all was right with the world again, and you were expected to be ok with it too. Same for behavior. If she became violent during a rage.......all should be forgotten once it was over. Like flipping a switch. She had the hardest time learning that other people did not flip moods like that and that her words behavior have a lasting effect on those around her. Took her a very long time but she did learn. She worked very hard to get better. As an adult I only see the behavior during times of extreme stress, and now I see her working hard to control it even then. She thought no one could love her........literally believed that.....for quite some time. She also truly feared abandonment.....which is why she tried to push those away she loved. If she pushed you away first in anger then maybe it wouldn't hurt so much when you were gone. Know what I mean?? Illogical thinking, skewed reality.......there version, what they perceive doesn't match what really is going on much of the time. There are still times now when she will ask me if she is perceiving something correctly......but at least she's asking.

    For a while Nichole's docs thought she had bipolar too. There was one major flaw with their diagnosis, no mania, not even hypo mania. Her very first therapist pinned it on the nose, borderline personality. To see her today, you'd never believe it in a million years. :) Katie? I don't think she'll ever get to the "I have a problem" part to get anywhere. ugh
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know your son, of course, but he would be very erratic and have moodswings way beyond bipolar (sometimes minute by minute) and suffer relationship issues (be both needy yet push people away with a possible touch of the need for revenge). I diagnosed myself as having had it when I was younger...or at least traits...along with a mood disorder. If your son has it, yet has insight and understanding, it is really quite treatable. Tell him to look up dialectal behavioral therapy since he likes doing research (so do I). Unlike in the past, if he does have borderline AND the insight to know it, there is so much hope for good treatment these days.
    Of course, it can be something else too. There is often a fine line between borderline and an actual mood disorder and they often coexist too! Again, BOTH are treatable :) Welcome to the board.
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    OMG. I cannot believe I only looked it up now, but the diagnosis fits my difficult child to a T!!!!! WOW!!!!
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    In my opinion, a person with Borderline Personality Disorder looks like the ultimate "two-face"....

    They say one thing one minute, the opposite thing the next minute - and then they are angry that you are not on the same page as they are. They will tell you they "hate you" and expect you to understand that they really mean they 'love you'...anything they do TO you is because YOU deserve it...and then they are hurt if you are not unconditionally loving and forgiving in return.

    Relationships are fleeting at best - crazy at worst. And it's always drama, drama, DRAMA!

    Hope this helps...
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The more you get answers, the more there is hope for help.
    If you don't know what you're dealing with - half of what is done ends up being "wrong".
    Even medications approaches are tied to a solid diagnosis.
  9. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Thank you everyone! This is very helpful. I really don't think my son fits this picture, but he certainly does fit the bipolar picture pretty well. The past few years when we have been treating him for ADHD (based on his impulsivity), I actually think he was manic, or hypo manic.
    Things are getting clearer to me, and it is promising. If we have not been treating the true disorder, it makes sense that we have really not seen any improvement. I think we have been barking upnthe wrong tree!

    thank you again. It is incredibly helpful to hear from all of you.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Karen... you'd be surprised how many of "our" kids on this board started with a diagnosis of... ADHD. Lots of kids start with that, and then end up with something else - or, start with that and add a list of other things. One way or the other... ADHD usually isn't the LAST piece of the puzzle. (usually. I have one who IS nothing else but ADHD.)