THE TROUBLE WITH EMOTIONS~IS IT BIPOLAR OR BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER?

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.

BIPOLAR DISORDER

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.

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11 responses to “THE TROUBLE WITH EMOTIONS~IS IT BIPOLAR OR BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER?

  1. I think that your diagnosis only matters in terms of the type of treatment you get in health care. And my thoughts are, if you don’t feel like you are getting well then maybe getting a second opinion about it wouldn’t hurt. If nothing else, whomever provides this second opinion may have a different treatment plan for you even if the diagnosis remains the same. If it’s not working then it’s time to try something different. *hugs* You deserve to feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the hard part I’ve second and third opinions & all say Bipolar Unspecified. Every one of them wants to keep me on an endless search for a medication combo. I’ve been doing this for over 7 years now plus ECT and every kind of therapy. They won’t consider that at this point my brain isn’t holding any of their coping skills for when they’re needed, I repeat myself constantly because I can’t remember if I’ve said things. They aren’t just treating a Mental Health problem they have to realize they’re treating someone who only has 1 kidney, doesn’t absorb vitamins and minerals, is considered malnourished, is losing bone density at a fast rate, so I highly doubt I’m getting much benefit from the medications or therapy. Why am I automatically dismissed? Is it just me? My sister says it’s my voice, it puts her to sleep. Then she tried to make it sound like a compliment by saying she meant it was “soothing”. I’m getting more than frustrated.

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    • I would be furious if it were me. As it is I’m feeling powerless to help. I have no idea what the resources are where you’re at. Do they have case management where you are? Maybe having an advocate on your behalf would be helpful?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Social Workers or Case Managers in R.I. are not known to make matters easier. I’ve had several family members deal with them, one was a “ward of the State” from a young age and it was horrible to watch. My Grandmother was part of the Mental Health System many years ago and I’ll never forget it. Between the “surprise” visits, access to bank accounts, constant phone calls, I couldn’t deal with them.

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    • Oh really? 😦 I didn’t have that problem here in Maine while I was recovering from postpartum psychosis. The problem that I had was the woman dropped me because she was of the opinion that I didn’t want to get better. I eventually figured out through my sister (a psych nurse) what I needed to do to get better, but damn… that was supposed to be that woman’s job.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Some good news though! My sister is excited about the compliments she’s been getting about the earrings I made her. She wants to work together and spend time together going to fairs, festivals and flea markets to see if I can sell some of my jewelry. She’s also friends with a woman who just opened a boutique near her house she sells clothing and handmade jewelry. I’m keeping my hopes to a minimum but it’s a start!

      Liked by 1 person

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