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Borderline Personality Disorder


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I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in my teens. I mostly ignored that diagnosis because I didn’t want to know about it. BPD is a pretty brutal diagnosis and the prognosis used to be very negative. I decided to get on with my life and I aimed to be as together and balanced as I could possibly be. For the most part I succeeded. I have been in the same job for four years (one with adults with intellectual disabilities and behaviours that challenge), I do community work (with Irish Travellers) and I maintain stable and close relationships.

Even though I am a competent and normal person, I have had to lie in order to be employable. I am finally getting over this diagnosis and also my undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder, Depression & Anxiety and possibly - Alcoholism!

I guess my point is this: BPD has been criticized for being a ‘catch-all’ diagnosis: young women who had been traumatised in childhood and were now difficult, hysterical and self-destructive. The prognosis was poor until they did research that suggested otherwise.

I want to open a thread about the impact of scientific zeitgeist in abnormal psychology. It’s well-documented that negative expectations can produce negative outcomes. Has anyone read ‘Listening to Prozac’? - Where the author speaks about how Prozac is used to ‘medicate personality’. Do any other posters have experience or knowledge about how diagnosis can actually be a risk factor for more negative outcomes? Or any views about the power of psychiatry?

 

Or am I completely mad :doh:

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I've yet to meet a single child who couldn't qualify for ADHD diagnosis and prescription medication about 15 seconds. I'm fairly convinced the whole thing is a sham, at least on the scale it's presently being applied.

 

Saw a Frontline on this a couple weeks ago, and was apalled at the way it's turned into a simple application of, as you say, "medicating personality". Doctors with no real information and only a few minutes with the patient are prescribing powerful medications with no clue about the long or even short term effects. And the whole thing turns into an exercise of "well it's up a bit more this week, let's try a little more of the down drug".

 

What was that definition of insanity again? Cuz I think the kids are the SANE ones. WE'RE the ones doing the same stupid stuff over and over again, hoping for a different result. Unbelievable.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/medicatedchild/

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  • 1 month later...

I was also diagnosed BPD back in 1995. Though I will concede I do have some major issues, possibly stemming from my father having bi-polar disorder, I have forever been at odds with the whole label of BPD in general and how psychiatry and society deals with these issues. Here's an article you should read.

 

Personally, I feel that even if personality disorders, as opposed to mood disorders, do exist, the symptoms are no more than conditioned responses to external stimuli (think Pavlov) and can be easily unlearned once resistance to change has been overcome by the "sufferer".

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a friend who was diagnosed with BPD, it was a tough relationship to manage, because of self-seclusion my friend subjected herself to. Talking with her was always a one-sided conversation about herself, and her negativity about life. As much as I wanted to remain friends, couldn't deal with the strife of her disorder. It lowered my self esteem and changed the way I viewed things in my life. It was TOXIC. We decided to go our separate ways, I sometimes call her to see if she is progressing with psychotherapy, but she never gives an actual answer. I guess it's just one of her idiosyncrasies that I'll have to deal with.

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I always believed that the hype about personality disorders was a bit overexaggerated. Telling children and others diagnosed with the "disease" that they had "mental problems" or "chemical imbalances" or whatever else only fosters in them a sense of differentiation and a conscious knowledge that they're "not normal". I know a girl who's in her early twenties and was part of a singing group that I ran. She would miss deadline after deadline, and when confronted she would say, "I have a personality disorder! Don't you realize that whenever I try to sing, I end up breaking down in tears because I feel like the most miserable and worthless person in existence? I have no self-confidence in myself, I just am not in tune with my art, and I can't do anything!" No amount of encouragement or sympathy could get her out of the mindset that she was "different" and that she was "miserable". I mean, sure, there are plenty of days where I feel worthless, but had I been able to attribute this "worthlessness" to a disease, it's a subconscious fallback for excuses. The attitude that one is "worthless due to a personality disorder" just draws the victim back into the pool of misery and doesn't let them free.

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I always believed that the hype about personality disorders was a bit overexaggerated. Telling children and others diagnosed with the "disease" that they had "mental problems" or "chemical imbalances" or whatever else only fosters in them a sense of differentiation and a conscious knowledge that they're "not normal". I know a girl who's in her early twenties and was part of a singing group that I ran. She would miss deadline after deadline, and when confronted she would say, "I have a personality disorder! Don't you realize that whenever I try to sing, I end up breaking down in tears because I feel like the most miserable and worthless person in existence? I have no self-confidence in myself, I just am not in tune with my art, and I can't do anything!" No amount of encouragement or sympathy could get her out of the mindset that she was "different" and that she was "miserable". I mean, sure, there are plenty of days where I feel worthless, but had I been able to attribute this "worthlessness" to a disease, it's a subconscious fallback for excuses. The attitude that one is "worthless due to a personality disorder" just draws the victim back into the pool of misery and doesn't let them free.

 

You know, I understand where you're coming from here. Though, I know beyond a shadow of doubt that there's something "wrong" with me, I do keep in mind that, despite my careful research on my own regarding personality disorders and such, I could very well be susceptible to being influenced by what I've been diagnosed with and have researched. It's a fine line.

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Do any other posters have experience or knowledge about how diagnosis can actually be a risk factor for more negative outcomes? Or any views about the power of psychiatry?

 

Or am I completely mad :doh:

 

you're not mad, its a good question, this is called Labeling Theory.

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