The majority of people in the World can have something negative said to them and let it slide right off their backs. I’m not one of those people and I can’t remember a time when I was. Sometimes I question my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder when I read more about Borderline Personality Disorder.
I appear to have symptoms of both but most Psychiatrists will say that you can’t have both.
The recent criteria for separating the two is to assess the emotional episodes from the person’s normal behavior. With Bipolar there are extreme emotional states uncharacteristic of the person during an asymptomatic time. Borderline Personality Disorder is an ever constant emotional state that’s present because it’s part of the person’s baseline personality.
If you understood all of that than we’re doing well. I’m still confused. I’m constantly in an emotional state of some kind. I never have an “ordinary” day. I haven’t for a very long time.
To meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder a person must have at least one manic episode with high energy, self-confidence, impulsiveness, fast speech, and high risk behavior. When not manic impulse is not a problem. Emotional/mood swings can last a day or weeks. They are likely to occur without any trigger.
There are different types of Bipolar Disorder but most people spend much more time in a depressive episode rather than a manic one.
Depressive episodes leave the person feeling isolated, worthless, sad and empty.
When I was younger I had episodes of self-confidence, impulsiveness, fast speech and risky behavior. As I got older something changed and I began to only feel the isolation, emptiness, sadness and being worthless everyday.
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
In BPD sadness, irritability, anxiety, and emptiness are chronic states of being. Controlling behavior is an ongoing struggle. Overreacting on a regular basis, anxiety, anger and depression is your life.
Stress can cause intense emotional pain. Perception and memory become impaired and a sensitivity to separation or rejection.
- Intense fear of abandonment (real or not)
- Feeling empty like having a black hole inside you that can never be filled
- Feeling non-existent
- Episodes of numbness or zoning out
- Spending Sprees
- Promiscuous Sex
- Substance Abuse
- Suicide Attempts
- Self Harm
ASSUMPTIONS BY PEOPLE WITH BPD
- I must be loved by all the important people in my life at all times or else I’m worthless
- Nobody cares about me as much as I care about them so I always lose everyone I care about despite the desperate things I try to do to stop them from leaving me.
- When I am alone I become nobody and nothing.
I went into more detail with BPD because I’ve covered Bipolar Disorder many times. I could check off pretty much everything listed.
EXCEPT some traits I think I definitely don’t have.
- See people as either all good or all bad
- There are no gray areas
- Have no empathy for other people
- A large percentage have Narcissistic Personality Disorder
My niece was diagnose with Borderline Personality Disorder and I have definitely seen these traits in her. People with BPD can also be aggressive and she is. She is exactly like her father, my brother. He would never go to a Psychiatrist or admit there’s anything wrong. Several people in family have been diagnosed as Bipolar and fit the criteria but me? I’m an enigma in all things. I always blamed my fear of abandonment on my Grandfather because he forgot me at the car wash when I was around 5. It took him about an hour to figure it out. The place was on a busy street and I just stood there hugging a telephone pole and crying.
I am constantly berated for only remembering the negative events in my life. I’m not sure why I can’t remember the happier times. I’m pretty sure that there were some. I remember a few specific times but they were about making someone else happy like my mom.
Does it matter what my diagnosis is? I’ve been this way for the majority of my life, it’s only since a name has been attached that the people around me expect to see a metamorphosis. It isn’t going to happen. I’ve quit drinking for 9 years (I think), I don’t leave the house, I spend too much money, I’m not sleeping with random men or any for that matter, I’m doing the best I can for right now.
I do know that my attachment to my twin sister is unhealthy. I look for her approval too much. I think it’s because she was the most vocal about her disapproval and disgust with the way I was living my life. She really had no room to judge and never offered support only put downs. I’m at the point where I’m getting ready to do something drastic with our relationship. I love her but I can’t keep hitting my head on that same brick wall.