Anonymous asked: i have a lot of symptoms of bpd, but like I dont have the seemingly characteristic ones? like i have a very solid sense of self identity. idk like i know you dont need all the symptoms to be diagnosed , but, idk, i dont have a lot of the ones that seemingly EVERYONE has, u feel? is there another pd thats very similar that i should look into or do i have bpd that doesnt present like the standard model? idkk
Answer: You don’t have to have the “obvious” symptoms of BPD to have BPD either. This is also answered in the FAQ. However, if you’re really unsure about BPD, the first place you can look is other Cluster B personality disorders. (Histrionic, Anti-Social, and Narcissistic.) Really all personality disorders have something in common with BPD, but you may want to start there. Other commonly diagnosed PDs with borderline symptoms include Avoidant, Dependant, Schizotypal, and Paranoid. This can also be found in our resources under our masterpost about personality disorders.
I Definitely Don't Have BPD, so What Is the "Opposite" of BPD?
kaishabackwards asked: So, I took the BPD quiz and I checked never on almost every question so I'm starting to wonder if there's an opposite of BPD. People tell me all the time that I'm cold, or that I'm a vulcan and I always just thought it was my personality but now I'm wondering if it's not something more. Thanks.
Answer: There are a number of disorders that have opposing traits to BPD, (Anti-Social Personality Disorder and Schizoid Personality Disorder come to mind, though it’s absolutely possible to have ASPD or SzPD when you also have BPD) but there’s no true “opposite” disorder.
Checking “never” on almost every question of the BPD quiz just means that you don’t have any symptoms of BPD, not that this indicates you’re on the other end of a “spectrum” and that there must be something wrong with you for not experiencing any BPD symptoms. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re neurotypical of course, but it also doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you for not displaying any symptoms of BPD specifically.
BPD symptoms are not really common or “normal” experiences. They’re not traits that every person has. I’d say most if not all neurotypical people don’t have ANY traits in common with the borderline experience. The symptoms of BPD cause distress, which is why it’s a disorder. So the absence of those traits doesn’t necessarily indicate that you’re mentally ill in the “opposite way” that borderline people are. If anything, the “opposite” of BPD would be being emotionally regulated and NOT mentally ill. The absence of borderline symptoms is not a cause for concern on its own. All it means is that you don’t experience the things that people with BPD do.
I obviously can’t diagnose you, or even say whether you’re experiencing a different mental illness at all. But I really don’t think that saying you don’t experience any borderline symptoms is an indicator that there’s something “wrong” with you. Because borderline symptoms aren’t “normal” things for people to experience, that means there’s nothing “abnormal” about not having those experiences.
Can You Still Have BPD If You Only Experience Negative Emotions?
Anonymous asked: Can you still have BPD if you only (or mainly) experience negative emotions like depression, anger, anxiety etc? Or do you have to have moments of extreme happiness too?
Answer: Yes, you can still have BPD even if you dont experience extreme happiness. Although, I do want to add that it took me a Very Long Time to recognize the fact that my happiness was an extreme. It’s harder to tell because you’re so focused on being happy that you dont think about how other people are experiencing their own happiness in that same situation, it’s harder to compare and differentiate happiness levels when you’re busy having a good time
What is a Favorite Person? Do I Need to Have One to Have BPD?
I just want to make a quick note here, since the term “Favorite Person” is being used a lot lately.
You do not have to have a Favorite Person in order to have BPD.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a Favorite Person is someone on whom you are emotionally dependent and with whom you may be infatuated. You may idealize this person excessively, to the point of changing your opinions and other parts of yourself to gain their approval. Not only will you need their approval, but you’ll also require their time and attention in order to remain functional.
Not to be confused with a Depended, which is an important person to someone with DPD and is an exclusive term to people with DPD.
Anyone with a personality disorder (most common in clusters B and C) can have a Favorite Person, but it is not part of any diagnostic criteria and is not a required experience in order to have any personality disorder. Someone with ASD could also have a Favorite Person, but–again–it is not required for a diagnosis.
What is the Difference Between a Favorite Person and a Depended?
Anonymous asked: is there a difference between favorite + depended? love your blog, it's helped me in more ways than i could've imagined!!
Answer: A Depended is someone a person with DPD feels particularly dependent on. I know, for me, I don’t idealize them in the way I have Favorite People in the past. I also don’t think I change myself for my Depended as much as I withhold parts of myself? But mostly, with FPs, there is that idealization happening and often putting that person on a pedestal. Sometimes, a person can be both a Depended AND a Favorite Person, but only if you have DPD.
In my experience with DPD (and other people with DPD are more than welcome to chime in with their personal experiences), I don’t idealize my Depended, but I do look to them for reassurance before making any sort of decision? Like I need their approval before feeling comfortable doing anything. It’s not so much that I need their attention all the time as much as I need their approval. And doing things without them is really scary. Like I won’t go to social gatherings unless a Depended is there. I won’t go to the doctor unless a Depended is with me. Things like that.
Meanwhile, with Favorite People I’ve had in the past, if I went a day without talking to them, I would start to break down. But if there weren’t a Depended, then I probably didn’t care so much about their approval. I had on FP who told me it was a foolish idea to get a piercing, and I did it just because they told me not to? Because I figured if they really loved me, it wouldn’t matter. And then when they were disappointed, I was freaking out, so.
What Is Similar to BPD? (links to be added as forum is updated)
Do you relate to some of the symptoms of BPD but don’t think you have BPD? Here, I’ve gone through each symptom of BPD and listed disorders which also feature the symptom.
Disorders are not listed in any particular order.
Note: None of the symptoms listed are required for a diagnosis for any of the disorders listed. For example, you may be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, but you noticed it is listed on the dissociation symptom. Dissociation is not required for a diagnosis of bipolar (nor is it even in the diagnostic criteria). We are listing the disorders based on possibilities. Someone with Bipolar Disorder can experience dissociation, but they don’t have to.
Anonymous asked: I have a diagnosis of Bipolar, but after finding this blog, I'm not too sure? I think the issue is with my mood swings; sometimes my depressive/euphoric episodes can last days, up to a week. But I can also go through phases where I switch between extreme moods frantically, triggered or un triggered. I fit A LOT of the bpd diagnostic criteria as well. Any thoughts?
Answer: So, I’m going to preface this with saying that I don’t want to say one disorder or another. To be honest, I know the kind of power SBD has in the borderline community, and so I don’t want to accidentally abuse that power by influencing how people make decisions about their mental health, if that makes any sense? Like, I don’t want to say, “I think this” and discourage you from a diagnosis when I’m really just one person who knows the bare minimum of your symptoms. :P All I can do is give you a bit of information and let you make the decision.
Mood swings have a potential to happen quickly during bipolar! It’s not listed in the actual diagnostic criteria (if you’re just going by the checklist, which is based on the DSM’s list), but that is a thing which isn’t unique to BPD. Sometimes, you can be depressed and manic/hypomanic at once, which is… an adventure. I also feel like quickly-shifting moods can happen in mania/hypomania anyway? Mania/hypomania doesn’t get the depressive symptoms, but you can become quick to anger during it, and then back to normal. The thing with mania/hypomanic isn’t that it’s so much elevated moods (although they do happen) as much as it is fast. Everything is just. Really fast. And so moods can be fast too.
There is a lot which makes BPD unique to bipolar, like the fact things just happen rather than being dependent on episodes. There are also more symptoms to consider.
Does It Matter If I Express My Symptoms Internally or Externally?
deathlovestheuniverse asked: Hi! I was wondering if I really needed to have extremely explosive anger or ever changing moods that I can't fully control to have BPD? I have more or less 6+ of the symptoms but I'm not as explosive with my moods. I usually just feel them instead
Answer: If you check our FAQ, we have a masterpost called “Do I Have BPD?” with more information about required symptoms, but the short answer is that there is no one required symptom in order to have BPD.
I also feel like feeling moods vs expressing moods should not be a distinction made when looking at borderline symptoms. As a woman and as a child abuse survivor, I have been socialized to never ever express my emotions, so many people would never describe me as someone with a lot of mood swings. However, I do feel myself switching constantly, even if I internalize all of it. So I check “yes” on mood swings, even though other people are like, “Really? I never see you shift moods though?” Yeah well. Symptoms =/= behaviors.
Ultimately, internalized symptoms are still symptoms and are still valid.
Does Self-Diagnosing Harm Those Who Have Been Professionally Diagnosed?
Anonymous asked: I saw a post saying you shouldn't self-diagnose bpd because it hurts those who have been professionally diagnosed and it was distressing because I never got a clear diagnosis from my psychologist before I stopped seeing her and now I'm doubting my identity even more and I'm splitting on the person who made the post. You don't have to answer this but I wanted to vent here because I thought you would be sympathetic even though I really don't know if I'm in the right here. Sorry to bother.
Answer: Self diagnosis doesn’t hurt professionally diagnosed people. It does not. Saying that self diagnosis is bad or invalid or hurts people, now that’s something that actually hurts people! You still deserve help and information for your disability even if you don’t have the funds or don’t feel comfortable going to a professional for it. You still deserve help and information for your disability even if it’s too dangerous for you to get a diagnosis. People who disagree don’t know your life.
And I really don’t appreciate them talking for me, because I’m a professionally diagnosed person and I aggressively support building communities where you don’t have to subject yourself to the abusive and prejudicial psychiatric system in order to figure out how to live your life!
You’re always welcome here, anon. Our resources are for you and people like you. We support you and we appreciate your support as well.
I Relate to Blogs About BPD, But Not The Criteria? Anonymous asked: so i've been looking into bpd a lot lately and i dont match up with enough of the official symptoms to really count as bpd i dont think, but when i look through the bpd tag on here i line up with nearly everything others talk about dealing with in relation to bpd, so idk. i dont feel like i can reblog them bc i dont line up with enough official symptoms to be able to claim it. but i dont know what to do abt this, help?
Answer: This is my personal advice for everybody who feels this way: go to our FAQ, click on the DBT Skills Masterpost, and start learning. Really study. Use any studying techniques you’ve learned. Print out information, use highlighters. Set goals, like reading about one skill per week. Commit yourself to practicing those skills. Keep coming back for more skills, Pandora is still writing them!
The great thing about SBD is that you don’t have to feel ready to “claim” BPD, or even think that you have BPD at all. You don’t have to justify or diagnose yourself. It doesn’t hurt people with BPD for everyone to benefit from healthy coping skills. Whatever understanding of yourself and your mental health you get from reading about BPD is valid, even if it’s that you don’t have BPD.
That said, I think the diagnostic criteria can be really alienating. It’s much easier to understand symptoms of BPD in real people, in real life situations, than in dry descriptions in the DSM. It’s hard to apply those descriptions to your own life.
You could try thinking scientifically. Your hypothesis is that you have BPD, and now you need evidence that either supports or does not support that hypothesis. Writing down your experiences helps you to see patterns you may not have noticed in your behaviour and thoughts before. Here are some other tips.
I’ve seen a lot of people with BPD who are very distressed by people without BPD reblogging their BPD-specific posts (which mention BPD specifically and/or are tagged with something like “don’t reblog unless you have BPD”). Of course, when you make a post on tumblr, pretty much anybody can reblog it, as that’s just how this website is. However, if you don’t think you have BPD, it would be respectful not to reblog posts that are for people with BPD. If you are questioning, you could write that in your tags.
Otherwise, you could save the posts to your drafts or computer. They can be evidence to support/disprove your hypothesis. Or, doing this could simply take care of your urge to reblog them without letting anybody know you read them.
It’s okay to reblog informative posts about BPD, even if you don’t have BPD.
In summary: Our resources are for the benefit of everybody, even people who don’t have BPD or don’t feel comfortable self diagnosing. People often request that BPD-specific posts stay within the community. If you don’t feel you have BPD but you find the posts relevant or useful, you could save them to your drafts or computer instead of reblogging.