A Matter of Personality

From borderline to narcissism

Responding to “Borderline” Provocations Part VI

Being in a relationship, by blood or romance, with someone with traits of borderline personality disorder is incredibly challenging. While they may seem at times to be irrational, there is in fact a method to their madness. In Part VI of this series, I recommend countermeasures for when they seem to be making illogical statements or absurd arguments. Read More

It's an interesting behavior,

It's an interesting behavior, using a highly developed, very specialized set of people skills to induce anxiety, guilty, hostility, etc. in the people around you. If a person with borderline personality disorder goes to such lengths to have these emotions around them, they must really want it for some big, important reason. What would happen to a BDP person if these emotions entirely disappeared from their life? Does the BDP person begin to feel better? Worse? Different? How does a BDP person respond if the people around him are relatively emotionless, like a society of androids? What happens if the desire for provoking anxiety, guilt, etc. just goes unsatisfied, forever? If a BDP person keeps herself in isolation, does the desire sit there, ready to jump out again as soon as other people return, or does it begin to morph of its own accord over time?

interesting behavior

Hi Ice Queen,

Thanks for your question. It's a bit complex. The person with BPD, in doing these things, is looking for someone to help them or enable them with their rather ungratifying role of "spoiler" in their family of origin (see http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/matter-personality/201109/the-family...).

If you don't give such "help" to them, they may just look for someone else who will. The negative consequences that ensue when they don't play the spoiler role happen to other family members, particularly the parents - not to them. This is what drives them. IMO, they are sacrificing themselves for the family. The desire can go away if the family behavior starts to change.

The hardest thing for me in reading your posts is that they do not apply to many of us

I would argue most of us are not like this and that to treat us like we are like this is to cause a self fulfilling prophecy. That self fulfilling prophecy has been inherent in the mental health profession for so long that now that opinions are changing towards BPD many still find themselves being pushed back into that hole.

I've certainly met people with BPD who behave this way but then I've met plenty of people who don't have BPD who behave this way too. Personally I can say that my having BPD makes me acutely aware of what other people are feeling and I have an intense sense of responsibility regarding not disturbing other people. I know what makes people feel anxious, hostile and guilty because I am a very sensitive person and I go out of my way to not do such a thing.

If I wanted to take a large quantity of drugs or walk the streets late at night I just wouldn't tell anybody because I wouldn't want to disturb them. My suffering is a private thing and while other people have seen that I am suffering I have not drawn them into that in the way you suggest is intrinsic to the condition.

I can see how some people may react to having BPD by mistrusting people or finding negative ways to gain their attention but these are not factors that are inherent in the condition like you suggest. They are simply disfunctional coping mechanisms that some people utilise, for the same reasong people without BPD utilise them.

Do you accept that there are a great number of people with BPD who are sensitive to the needs of others, whose turmoil is largely a private affair?

And in response to Ice Queen I would like to say I live alone and it has given me peace. I have a ways to go yet in my therapy before I can socially interact with others without it causing me pain. That pain is not caused by some need to get others to abuse me by making them feel anxious, hostile or guilty. It is caused by my own lack of self preservation in the face of other people's needs.

I simply cannot be in a relationship or even a room with other people in it and maintain a strong sense of my own needs and desires. Other people's needs become my own and their need to not feel bad in anyway is something I take on as my own person responsibility. It keeps me awake at night worrying about how to solve other people's problems, what I should say or do in order to fix other people's lives.

In this sense and this sense alone I agree with Dr Allen, that I create situations that force me to the bottom of the social pack but it is by my own choosing and it does not impact on the wellbeing of those around me. It is incredibly painful to hear it when people speak of those with BPD as causing harm to others. While I am not able to maitain relationships with other people it is not because I cause them harm.

do not apply

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for your comment. Actually, I agree with you 100% that people with BPD are highly sensitive to the needs of other people at their own expense. That is, in a nutshell, exactly the problem!

When their families-of origin give them the double message that basically boils down to "I need you desperately/I hate you," provocative spoiling behavior seems to be what gives them what they need.

Of course there is a wide variety of different behavior patterns seen in the disorder, since with the Chinese Menu style of defining it, there are over 200 ways to have 5,6,7,8, or all 9 criteria. Add a severity factor to each criteria, and the number of presentations goes up exponentially. Plus, once you qualify for the diagnosis, the average patient qualifies for almost two OTHER personality disorders - ANY other disorders. Not to mention the fact that each and every family has slightly different dynamics and personalities which combine to create the core conflict.

This series of posts is meant for people who are involved with those who DO engage in the specific behaviors described therein. If they do not do these things, then a particular post would not apply. So if the shoe doesn't fit, I am not saying that anyone should wear it.

Becoming socially isolated as you describe is another fairly frequent outcome with BPD individuals, but to me that is not a result that I aim for with my psychotherapy patients. It sounds lonely to me. Another person in the field named Joel Paris thinks that the avoidance of intimate relationships (without the other self-destructive behavior) may be the best therapists can hope for for their patients. I strongly disagree.


I get that you understand there are different ways in which the condition can manifest but it seems to me that mine is not a unique presentation of symptoms and the spoiler character is a rarer occurence than is popularly believed.

When you go to BPD support groups or communicate with other people with BPD online you find that most of us are singing from the same hymn sheet. When we try and present our experience of the condition then we get told, as you have just said, that this particular interpretation does not apply to us.

Those that are spoilers stand out like a sore thumb in such communities and they don't last long either. I know that when I'm upset about something I usually keep it to myself. When I finally do have enough and express my disatisfaction then I get treated as if I am just trying to make the other person feel bad because I have BPD. Its stigma. I wonder how Ice Queen feels about this? After reading the article was it clear to you that it was simply addressing a subsection of people with BPD or did you leave the article feeling that it was analysing the reason all people with BPD necessarily behave this way?


Anon - Just a couple of additional points:

People in general, including those with so-called "cluster B" traits like BPD, do not act the same way with everyone. How they act around you in a support group may be completely different than how they act around family and/or around people who enable them. They are particularly likely to show spoiling behavior around parents, lovers who keep trying to fix them, and therapists who don't know how to respond to them. I started as a therapist before BPD was even in the diagnostic manual, and before I learned how to respond, I was frequently a target. Nowadays I rarely see that behavior at all, because my reponses stop it.

One can easily be misled as to how they act with people that you don't see them with first hand. I've seen patients out and about at concerts and movies, and no one would ever guess they were cutters, etc. They act completely normal and friendly. Too bad more therapists think that what they see in the office is what the person is like all the time. And therapists accuse patients of "splitting!"

A blog post would be unreadable if I had to spell out all of the disclaimers. (That took the length of three books). That's why I answer questions like yours in the comments section.

It would be nice if you could present a paper showing how having BPD doesn't prevent people from being decent, empathic and caring people.

Most of us are and yet because it is only people with BPD who write about this aspect of our existence no-one believes it. I've presented this concept to you and you've responded by saying that the people whose accounts tally with my own are not presenting the same face to me that they do to others so you either don't agree or don't wish to address this concern.

So much of the focus of BPD discussion is focussed on what makes us difficult and awful people. People like Ice Queen go online to find out what BPD is and they hit site after site explaining us in incredibly negative terms. Its akin to going on a site to finding out about schizophrenia and being told time and time again from numerous sources why schizophrenics kill people.

Most of us see what is going on with the people around us with greater clarity than we are given credit for. We do so because many if not most of us were brought up in dysfunctional environments and we get overwhelmed by other people's distress. Its not just passing comments that have led me to this conclusion but lengthy discussions with people about their personal circumstances where we exchange ideas on how best to resolve our issues whilst taking responsibility for our emotional dysregualtion. Its not just a question of how they behave with me but the minutae of their lives, their self sacrificial behaviour and desire to resolve issues for their loved ones that I have based these ideas on.

Yes people with BPD behave differently with different people. One of the reasons dealing with therapists is so difficult is because therapists frequently misinterpret our behaviour and invoke and emotionally disregulated response. Same with family members. Its not just a case of us trying to make people behave in certain ways to fulfil a subconscious need. And you have to take responsibility for the fact that people read your articles and go out into the world treating people like me like they are the same as those in your article, who in my opinion are not representative of those with BPD generally.

would be nice

You keep saying that I am disagreeing with you when mostly I'm agreeing. Therapists absolutely do misinterpret BPD behavior, but the question you are avoiding is, why does that happen so often and so readily? Are therapists just evil or something?

If you don't think people with BPD commonly create distress in others, and that sometimes they do so on purpose, then you'd be wrong. Watching people you love destroy themselves alone (even when they are not blaming you for their problems), is excruciating for most people.

The advice I'm giving to people on how to respond are actually ways to treat people with BPD with much MORE respect and empathy, not less! How interesting that you would view it as the opposite of that.

I'll stop here.

Basically this is my concern

While your methods for defusing situations with patients who have BPD may well work I believe it is because you are taking responsibility for your own reaction to someone becoming disregulated rather than defending yourself against, albeit subconcious, attempts on the part of your patients to make you feel anxious, guilty and hopeless.

When I become disregulated I am not trying to make anyone else feel anything. I am simply overwhelmed by my own experience of my emotions. I know from my conversations with other people with BPD and mental health professionals who themselves have recovered from BPD that we share this understanding of our condition.

I think it would be better if you understood our experience of our own emotions rather than projecting your interpretation of it because of the feelings our disregulation invokes in you. Countertransference in therapy with people suffering from BPD has been the greatest barrier to people with the condition benefitting from treatment. It took Marsha Linehan and her intrinsic understanding of BPD from the inside to develop a system that actually treated BPD symptoms and enabled recovery.

I haven't done DBT as I think that while it was a good start it requires a great deal of discipline on the part of practitioner and discipline is something I struggle with deeply. I am benefitting from Schema Focussed therapy however, as it is helping me to understand why I get so overwhelmed by my emotions and take on board the responsibility for other people's lives.

I have spoken with my therapist about your belief that I and others are trying to make other people feel certain things and he has helped me to overcome the difficulties that this was causing to my therapy. And it did. I was feeling intensely guilty when I was in therapy because when I became upset I thought that maybe you were right. Maybe I was just trying to make him feel bad but we have discussed this and this is not the case.

great points!

You present some great points to truly educate others about bPD and how it really presents/ feels like..

I think the problem is that here on Psychology Today website they aren't interested in truly understanding BPD instead this seems to be the place to bash / stigmatize BPD and present it as the only mental illness where you can blame all of your bad behavior/transference on the person who happens to suffer from a mental illness because that is the one mental illness that might resemble normal in a way. (Oh yes they are also quite caught up in labeling it cluster B for some reason though MANY BPDs are cluster C)

At PT pseudo family members/ significant others of BPDs or anyone that wants to escape their own horrible contributions /bad behavior in dealing with someone who suffers from a mental illness can feel less guilt and culpability because article after article will tell you that BPDs are serial killers. drama queens evil seeds sadistic spoilers and worse so whew get away quickly you barely escaped a life of hell.

The good Dr. here tries in that he says family members should be held accountable but he doesn't quite get BPD and how they bleed empathy emotional sensitivity and have suffered trauma and dysregulated CNS systems he doesn't have the empathy to truly understand BPD (perhaps narcissistic?)


"The good Dr. here tries in that he says family members should be held accountable but he doesn't quite get BPD and how they bleed empathy emotional sensitivity and have suffered trauma and dysregulated CNS systems..."

Actually, I have made every single one of those points.

"...he doesn't have the empathy to truly understand BPD (perhaps narcissistic)."

Sorry to have to point this out, but some commenters here are doing exactly the same things they are accusing everyone else of doing - refusing to take ANY responsibility for their own part in the problem and just blaming everyone else and/or pathologizing everyone ELSE's behavior.

That's never going to fix anything.

I'm the first anon person, thought I best had pick a name so it doesn't look like I'm having a conversation with myself

Thanks for the back up. We need to start fighting this nonsense together. No-one is ever going to get us unless we explain it to them ourselves and no-one is going to listen to us until they get us. Its so infuriating!!! I'd love to write a book about how the stigma developed and how it is being still being reinvented and regenerated today but I lack the discipline. We've got enough misery memoirs now, we need a good solid, social and political analysis of BPD stigma and what needs to happen to overcome it. If you know anyone who could do such a thing I'd love to know their names.

And Dr Allen...

While you have decided that you have nothing further that you wish to add to the conversation, presumably because you are defending yourself from my attempts to make you feel bad, you have not answered my question.

Do you think that having BPD automatically prevents people from being caring, compassionate and empathic people? You talk about us as if that is the case. You talk about us as if you are doing us some great service by saying that yes we are awful but at least we don't mean to be.

With friends like you we really don't need enemies. If you actually, genuinely had our interests at heart you would listen to what we say instead of interpretting everything that we say through the distortion of your BPD filter.

and Dr...

Hi Heinz

Wasn't "I agree with you 100% that people with BPD are highly sensitive to the needs of other people at their own expense" in answer to an poster in this very thread clear enough for you? OK, I'll be more explicit: YES, of course people with BPD can be very capable, caring, compassionate, and empathic just like anyone else, just like they are quite capable of being the opposite of those, just like anyone else.

In fact, although their brains have trained themselves to have a high level of reactivity because it's an important adaptation to a highly dysfunctional and traumatic family atmosphere, I belief people with BPD are normal. Many psychiatrists do not.

If you want to instead think you have a brain disease, you're welcome to your opinion.

Also, I never described people with BPD as "awful." (That would be splitting). When people keep ignoring my answers and attributing things to me that I never said (examples of spoiling behavior, BTW), of course I will defend myself.

"Sorry to have to point this

"Sorry to have to point this out, but some commenters here are doing exactly the same things they are accusing everyone else of doing - refusing to take ANY responsibility for their own part in the problem and just blaming everyone else and/or pathologizing everyone ELSE's behavior."

Nope, thats not the case. I take full responsibility for my condition. I know my limitations and am fortunate enough to be in therapy with a person who listens to me without judgement and is assisting me in overcoming them.

If I get emotionally dysregulated I feel shame in my behaviour and I apologise my actions. Even before my diagnosis I did this because I am a decent person and recognised that my emotional reactions were more intense than other people's.

Your assumption is that we are blaming others for things that are our fault but we're not. We are blaming you for misinterpretting our behaviour and encouraging others to do the same.

You will continue to do as you please and we will continue to challenge you. One day you will be gone but until that time it is important for those of us with BPD to speak about and validate our own experience of the condition in the face of those who wish to distort the public's view of it.

I don't have a catalogue of broken hearts behind me. I am not an abusive person to anyone but myself and I have had to fight damn hard for help in overcoming this from a mental health profession that has largely assumed by distress was an attempt to garner some kind of negative response from others. It was not, is not and will not be in the future because, I reiterate, BPD does not and will not prevent me from being a decent person. All it prevents me from doing is effectively regulating my emotions.


I'm glad to hear that, but it sure did not sound like that was what you were doing when you were mischaracterizing me and invalidating me by saying I might be narcissistic. (Perhaps you can now see how easy it is to be misinterpreted in discussing such sensitive topics).

I didn't call you a narcissist

That was the other person. I personally think that your ego is having a hand in preventing you from answering my question. I picked a name to clarify that I was not the new anonymous writer. I have been respectful but I do not agree with you and have pointed out respectfully why that is the case. You have not answered my question about whether you think people with BPD are incapable of being genuinely supportive, empathic and caring people whose suffering is internal. Last time I asked you this question on another thread you closed down the conversation also.

And you have to understand that your articles are insulting and cast people with BPD in a negative light. You insist that we are people that need to be managed and cause harm to those around us and you reject out of hand my attempts to indicate to you that that is not generally the case. I totally understand why the other commenter has accused you of being narcissistic because, quite frankly, trying to get you to see reason is intensely infuriating. I don't know you well enough to say what or who you are but I know myself and other people with BPD well enough to see that what you are saying is offensive and harmful, giving people the wrong impression that those with BPD are generally awful to deal with. I'm not and neither are my friends with BPD.

I know you haven't read most of what I've said with a clear mind because when it comes to BPD you hear what you think we say and not what we actually say, but I will continue to respond because, frankly, when you go off half cooked, miss the point, avoid answering questions and passive aggressively say you've said all you want to and have no wish to speak on the point anymore you are simply backing my corner and proving that what I am saying has demonstrable merit.

I didn't call

Sorry, you're right, that was another writer. I thought it was you.

I obviously don't agree with you that I'm giving anyone the wrong impression about anything.

I did not create the negative impression that people have about those with the disorder. In fact, I'm trying to make their behavior more understandable.

I'll try again

Even without treatment or a diagnosis do you believe it is possible for someone with BPD to be a decent, compassionate, empathic and caring person? I am, always have been. I'm not well, never have been, always known it. What do you think?

Ok I you're answer just appeared further up but it took long enough

I am sick to death of reading articles by you that myself and others with BPD find offensive, not because we don't read them, not because we are engaging in BPD behaviours, but because they do not apply to us - MOST OF US!

Why should there be so much material devoted to telling people how to deal with a small subsection of those with BPD without caveats explaining that most of us with BPD are not like that?

I don't care how troublesome you might find it - people read your articles and are not given any indication that they are not at liberty to generalise.

We've had enough and we have every right to have had enough. I deal with it everyday, people reading things like this and then dealing with me accordingly. People being patronisingly sympathetic, telling me they are not offended by my behaviour because they know I can't help it when I'm actually making a valid point and they aren't listening.

And when you are writing you're upcoming article on parasuicidal behaviour and suicidal threats bear in mind that you are talking about a subsection of those with BPD. Unless you are very careful in what you say you will leave people with the generalised impression that those of us who wouldn't dream of threatening to kill ourselves or pretending to kill ourselves, are simply playing a game when we try and seek help because we really are ready to die. Just think about that OK?

Stigma kills, not me fortunately, but when you associate with people who have BPD you see the rate at which they drop and it is sickening to think that when these people genuinely reach out for help they get treated like they are just trying to make other people feel ANXIOUS, GUILTY and HOPELESS. What is gained by people who are dealing with a small section of particularly disruptive people with BPD has to be weighed up against the intense and life threatening harm that is caused to those that don't meet this criteria when people like you generalise about the condition.


FYI: according to NIH, "As many as 80 percent of people with borderline personality disorder have suicidal behaviors,7 and about 4 to 9 percent commit suicide." (Of course that means that about 20% do not).

My posts on countering provocative behaviors apply only to people who are dealing with other people who act in the ways that are described in the post. Nowhere do I state that everyone with the disorder acts in any specific way.

However, that does not mean the behaviors are only seen in a "small subsection" of this population. They are extremely common, and if you don't think so, you'd be wrong. Some of them are even criteria for the disorder.

If a lot of people don't seem to be listening to your valid points (and I do suspect that your points are very often valid), then perhaps you should at least consider the possibility that this happens because of the WAY you are making the points.

You just do not get why what you are saying is so infuriating

Your keep returning to these arguments that provocative behaviour in people with BPD is caused by us trying to make people feel angry, hopeless and guilty. Well it may be that some peole with BPD behave in such ways but it is not part of what it means to have BPD. It just means that an immature and self involved person also has BPD. You never make that distinction. What I see you describing are ways to handle people who are immature and self involved and you correlate those qualities with BPD. This is what is so upsetting.

Before I was diagnosed I had a boyfriend. He was smart, manipulative, lazy, selfish and self involved. If he didn't get his own way he would rage at me. If he wasn't getting enough attention then he would threaten to kill himself. He did not have BPD because his protestations were superficial. He was not experiencing any kind of existential angst he had just failed to grow up and developed a survival mechanism that enabled him to manipulate the women in his life the way he manipulated his mother.

He did not have BPD and at the time I was not diagnosed with BPD. The provocative behaviour you describe fits him perfectly but he was just a lazy idiot. He may well have grown up by now and be a perfectly acceptable and decent adult, I don't know, but your posts are applicable to him and not me.

You cannot see why what you are doing is correlating generally dumb behaviour with a serious mental health condition. My ex used to manipulate me to feel anxious, hopeless and guilty and it worked for years. For him it was a prudent lifestyle choice and I was a fool for enabling him - but he did not have BPD and I am confident of this because he lacked the introspection and sensitivity that I myself have and others I have encountered with BPD.

Go ahead and write your series about how to deal with provocative people, just make it clear that those who are provocative and don't have BPD are so for the reasons you assign to our being provocative. It doesn't fit. And the other thing is I have tried in this article to get you to see reason. I have said the same thing over and over again and yet you are saying that there is something wrong with the WAY I am saying it. No, there is something very wrong with the WAY you are hearing it.

Don't get

I think I finally get what you're upset about. Are you concerned that someone you are already in a relationship with and who is ALREADY mistreating you might twist my advice to use against you just because somebody diagnosed you?

Unfortunately, any good thing can be misused if someone has a mind to.

Whether the person who was mistreating you meets criteria for BPD (or even whether or not you do, although I take your word for it) is something I cannot guage in a forum like this, so I can't comment on that.

Spoiling behavior is, however, what defined the disorder in the first place when the analysts first described it, whether you believe that or not. Try asking a few people whose mother had the disorder if you don't believe me.

Again, I do not believe BPD is a true brain disease, precisely because the problematic behaviors appear and disappear depending on the interpersonal environment. The symptoms of real brain diseases like schizophrenia don't do that.

The other sticking point is this

The advice you give for dealing with provocative people who have BPD is catastrophic and triggering when dealing with a person who isn't provocative and has BPD.

Like I've said to you repeatedly, people read these aricles, come on my support site and speak to me as if everything I am saying has some subtext that they have to decipher in order to effectively communicate to me how messed up I am. In short it is incredibly invalidating and has the effect of making me, understanderbly, very cross and frustrated.

The moment I say "You are not listening to what I am actually saying and it is ignorant and disprespectful of you to be making these judgements about my motives just because I have BPD." Then I'm hit with a whole barrage of textbook arguments about why people wtih BPD are not capable of seeing things from other people's perspective, that I'm projecting my feelings of hopelessness onto them.

This is why I say it is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you think you need to interpret what someone is saying rather than to actually listen to what they are saying then you automatically invalidate them.


I've never been formally diagnosed with BPD, but I know I have it in spades. My psychologist has said so without actually diagnosing because he says it serves no purpose to label people, but if you don't have that definite diagnosis, then how do you know what you're really fighting? What if I'm wrong?? What if I'm only a highly sensitive person who is simply over reacting to stress or something? I need to know, but nobody will tell me. I'm going to see a psychiatrist as soon as I can get a referral, but will he give me the full picture??

I sufferer from all 9 criteria of BPD. As I got older, it got much better, but then a chance meeting with an ex friend who I'd verbally ripped apart 6 years ago over nothing caused me to regress to an even deeper level. Now I'm a total mess and the Efexor my stupid GP put me on isn't doing a thing to stop the massive emotional swings, but he won't let me go off it and I hate him!!

I do goad my psych and I don't even know why. I'm forever trying to get my best friend (and my only real friend) to hate me and I don't know why I do that either. I get angry at EVERYTHING over nothing. I hate myself and wish I could die, but nobody gives a flying fuck! They think I'm joking when I say I'm going to slit my wrists! What?? Do they find that kind of threat funny??

I don't even know why I responded to this. I just want someone to hear and know the pain I'm in. My world is a living hell and I've struggled on for more years than I should have.

Sorry if I've messed up anyone's day. Is there no end to this crap??

Behaviours not BPD

Dear Annie or " Behaviors writer". I don't think you have BPD. I think you have intermittent anger disorder. or something like that poss Bipolar.

I have BPD and I would never "verbally rip apart a friend over nothing" You said "I get angry at everything over nothing" That too is not BPD... BPD's know very well what they are angry at and it is never over nothing. BPds don't goad their psych over nothing, they goad or respond to perceived invalidation.

It sounds like you want to have BPD but I personally don't think so ep after all of the other comments on every BPD blog that you leave about your BPD mother. Nice try.

In reply to "anonymous." (3rd June 2014)

Anonymous, I'd just like to clear up a few points. Firstly, my comment concerning ripping into my friend was a bit misleading. She accused me of having poor fashion sense on a shopping trip and I took it rather badly, so there was a trigger to my outburst and of course, the end of another friendship. She was also being passive aggressive at the time.

Secondly, I am not bipolar. Although I cycle through highs, lows and everything in-between, the length of the highs and lows are of short duration and not an indicator of bipolar.

Thirdly, when I say "I get angry at everything over nothing" I'm being overly simplistic. "Everything" and "nothing" are too black and white. I could have gone into great detail of how lots of little things get blown out of proportion and make me angry, but for the sake of not boring potential readers to death, I kept it concise. Of course I don't get angry over "NOTHING!" I'm always analysing the little things that people do, that people say and then get angry with myself for being so sensitive. I get angry at myself because I can't trust anybody. I get angry because people don't understand me. I get angry because I live alone rather than interact with people and risk abandonment by them. Yep, it looks like lots of things contribute to my "anger" after all!

As for my psychologist, I goad him because he's so damned rigid. That and the fact that he's told me that once he finishes for the day, he's no longer part of his professional world, but I expect him to be there when I text (which he has been). He also told me that once I go home, he has no further responsibility for my state of health and if I go home and self harm, then it's up to me to ring a crisis team for help if the situation is critical. "Goad" might be the wrong word here. What I want is for him to say he'll be there if I need him, but all I'm seeing is a cold fish setting boundaries and I love to test boundaries.

As for "wanting" to have BPD.... who the hell would want it?? My life has been in tatters since I was a young teen! I've been through literally dozens of jobs, friendships and relationships over my lifetime and now live alone, too afraid to start another relationship, yet hating the fact that I'm alone. I've been a hundred different people dependant on who I was hanging with at the time to the point where all I am now is an empty shell just floating through the rest of my time on earth and not caring if I'm dead or alive! In short, I have no idea who I am because I don't have a human attachment. I have no ambitions, no future. Thank God I have the ability to "zone out" when my emotional agony gets to be too much!

But this bit has me really intrigued...... "ep after all of the other comments on every BPD blog that you leave about your BPD mother. Nice try."

I think you may have me confused with somebody else. My post above was the very first time I've ever posted to anything like this. My Name is Aime, not "Annie." I do post regularly to a BPD message board in my home country (not USA or UK)but it's for members only and even if you were a member, I don't use my name on there.

As for my mother, well, she may have been more than a little rigid and invalidating, she may have even suffered from some disorder which was never diagnosed, but I seriously doubt it would have been BPD. She's also passed away some years ago at the tender age of 100 years.

If you have BPD anonymous, then what I've written may make you feel bad, especially when you realise you have the wrong person, but please don't feel bad. We all make mistakes. Mine is in not being articulate enough in my descriptions and writing. If I reply here again, I'll certainly try much harder and remember, there are dozens of BPD variants. Just because I don't act the same way you do with regards to BPD, it doesn't mean I don't have it. I only wish I could wave a magic wand and relive my life without all the complications, but as we all know, only hard work can allow me to live the rest of my life in peace and I'm only just beginning. I truly wish you all the best with yours.

Kind regards,

Aime is definitely not Annie

I know Annie and this is not Annie. If Annie showed her face on here you can be damn sure I'd be doing something about it!

The label can cause problems but its your decision whether you want it or not

My psych professional did the same thing with me, didn't want to give me the label because he was concerned about how I would deal with the stigma. I had to demand an official diagnosis in the end because I needed it to access appropriate treatment that worked because all I was given without it was CBT.

It shouldn't be this way. I have no shame whatsoever in my diagnosis but I know for a fact that people who know what BPD is treat me differently now and it is crazy making. If I'm not sure how people will take it then I tell them I have Emotional Regulation Disorder.

BPD maltreatment is the psych professions dirty secret and they don't always handle diagnosis well because of this when it comes to BPD. They know its their fault that historically we have been perceived as trouble makers, attention seekers etc, but instead of boldly and openly apologising and making ammends to change public perceptions of the disorder, instead most of them just get all guilty and dumb when it comes to whether or not to diagnose you.

Your lucky they are discussing it with you in fact! Many of them don't tell you what you are suffering from and get on the phone to your family to give them a warning about how to deal with you. If you want a diagnosis demand one is my advice, just be careful who you tell.

Thanks for the response Heinz

Thanks for the response Heinz and yes. I found out the hard way who I should mention this to and who I shouldn't.

I'm currently doing the only thing I can and taking it one day at a time. I'm very hopeful that this psychiatrist, who was recommended to me by someone whose input I appreciate, will tell me the bold truth. Like yourself, I'll have no shame in my diagnosis if it proves to be BPD. I only want to know what's wrong so I can take appropriate measures to defeat the disorder.

I was feeling very down when I wrote the above post, but already my mood is beginning to swing back up, however today has been emotionally draining and I feel exhausted, so I'm going to go get some sleep (if I can) and hopefully wake up in a better frame of mind.

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David M. Allen, M.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Tennessee and author of the book How Dysfunctional Families Spur Mental Disorders.


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