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  1. #1
    Member Isis's Avatar
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    Default Borderline Personality Disorder

    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publi...disorder.shtml

    Above shows a list of symptoms of BPD. It is a serious mental illness. It can be caused by a combination of genetic and developmental factors. It is not something that is diagnosed easily and not easily treatable but can be treated successfully.

    I suspect my friend suffers from this. He displays, to my knowledge, most of the symptoms. (I think you need 5 out of 9 for a diagnosis. I would say I have seen 7.)

    All I have read has said to run for the hills. It is brutal for a non- BPD to deal with.
    But I don't have the heart to run for the hills. Abandonement is a BPD sufferers biggest fear.
    Anyone have experience with this and can share?
    Thanks

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    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    I have BPD.

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    Member Isis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudade View Post
    I have BPD.
    Thank you for sharing. I commend you as it seems a difficult thing to say the least to deal with.
    I don't know if you would be willing to PM with me sometime. If not- I understand. Thanks again.

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    You wouldn't say it's serious if someones got it under control. I have seen it before and advocate buddhism to reduce that loud clutter that is extraversion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by minutegovt View Post
    You wouldn't say it's serious if someones got it under control. I have seen it before and advocate buddhism to reduce that loud clutter that is extraversion.
    Point taken. I believe it is serious because we don't want to underplay it- as some people with BPD self injure or commit suicide. Also- some cannot maintain an intimate relationship which I consider a serious thing. But I have hope and really do believe it can be treated. But I do believe the person diagnosed but admit they have it and take full responsibility and steps towards their recovery. And resist the urge to manipulate their therapists which I have read is common with BPD.

  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I dealt with someone for a year and a half who, on the basis of the list of symptoms you cited, either has it or displays very similar traits. (I'd also say she has about 7 of them.) She is about 20 and was a little younger when I was involved in her life and I think it's still young enough to be uncertain about how someone's personality will solidify - and of course I'm not a trained psychologist. In MBTI terms I'm pretty sure she's either a withdrawn ENFP or an aggressive INFP.

    I was trying to more or less befriend/mentor her but it turned out quite an unpleasant experience. She was very very jealous of me having any other friendships and either loudly proclaimed her jealousy, or tried to introduce herself into all my friends' lives (or at least, those dumb enough to friend her on FB, after I warned them...) and act as though she had friendships with them which were the same as the friendships I'd built up over five, ten or fifteen years. She wasn't able to comprehend things like personal boundaries, though I spelled out to her in harsh detail what I considered personal boundary violations, and she would do things like follow me down the street and jump onto public transport with me although I had told her the conversation was over and to go home - as well as grabbing hold of me and refusing to let go, etc. She also adopted my interests as her own - I realised gradually that there had been a woman before me (who I knew slightly) who she had done the same thing with, glommed onto extremely and started imitating her life. In both my case and the case of the woman before me it seemed like she considered us combination best friend/mom/big sister/lesbian crush/person to be imitated in every detail. Actually, I noticed that with a few of my friends she'd friended on FB she was imitating their style, interests etc in various ways too (they also noticed and mentioned it to me). It seems like an emptiness which pushes her to try to take a personality from others - she even talked to me about feelings of emptiness, not existing, needing to take things from others, etc which are all associated with BPD.

    I've basically removed her from my life as I was unable to deal with the situation, after trying very hard. I didn't just cut her off - I made it very very clear, in a lot of detail, that I had tried and tried to have a semi-normal friendship with her, that I had given her many warnings that the situation was unsustainable, and that I was ending the friendship because her behaviour was so utterly unacceptable and destructive to me. She lives at home but her family is very dysfunctional and she doesn't get support, although other friends have offered various types of support (and I made them very aware both that she needed support, but also that I was no longer able to offer it). I found her extreme ingratitude and sense of entitlement hardest of all to deal with, honestly. She was very manipulative and I gradually realised that she was trying to keep me in her life, and make me put up with intolerable behaviour, by constantly promising to change.

    I think the best thing I did was push her to get into therapy, but I'm not sure she's still doing therapy. We attend the same place of worship so we see each other occasionally though I don't see her much there these days. But I don't even say hello if I can avoid it because she's still showing some stalker-like behaviours. She's pursuing some of my friends in various ways and she just started studying at uni - pretty much exactly what I studied many years ago, which is definitely no coincidence. She is basically leaving me alone though which is a big relief. I have also warned my friends to be careful about interacting with her. I really got the impression with one of my friends in particular that, because this girl finally realised that her friendship was me was over, that she was trying to replace me with my friend (who has a lot of her own difficulties in life right now and REALLY doesn't need that.)

    I probably sound quite harsh in this but it was a difficult experience and I don't think I was strong enough. I'm pretty sure she's mentally ill, whether BPD or otherwise, but what I found nastiest was just that she seemed to feel it ok to inflict a horrible, ungrateful, nasty personality on everyone else - especially someone who really tried to help, like me. And that's something outside of BPD - it's how she was choosing to behave. She's a very angry, aggressive, spiteful, bitter, negative person. I think anyone who deals with a friend or acquaintance with such problems needs to maintain rock solid boundaries (something I'm not historically good at, but this experience did help with that - I learned a lot about maintaining boundaries) and be prepared to say "no" constantly. The best thing to do is probably to encourage them to get professional help. And if you've done all you can and it's overwhelming, don't be afraid to remove yourself from their life. You can't save other people.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I dealt with someone for a year and a half who, on the basis of the list of symptoms you cited, either has it or displays very similar traits. (I'd also say she has about 7 of them.) She is about 20 and was a little younger when I was involved in her life and I think it's still young enough to be uncertain about how someone's personality will solidify - and of course I'm not a trained psychologist. In MBTI terms I'm pretty sure she's either a withdrawn ENFP or an aggressive INFP.

    I was trying to more or less befriend/mentor her but it turned out quite an unpleasant experience. She was very very jealous of me having any other friendships and either loudly proclaimed her jealousy, or tried to introduce herself into all my friends' lives (or at least, those dumb enough to friend her on FB, after I warned them...) and act as though she had friendships with them which were the same as the friendships I'd built up over five, ten or fifteen years. She wasn't able to comprehend things like personal boundaries, though I spelled out to her in harsh detail what I considered personal boundary violations, and she would do things like follow me down the street and jump onto public transport with me although I had told her the conversation was over and to go home - as well as grabbing hold of me and refusing to let go, etc. She also adopted my interests as her own - I realised gradually that there had been a woman before me (who I knew slightly) who she had done the same thing with, glommed onto extremely and started imitating her life. In both my case and the case of the woman before me it seemed like she considered us combination best friend/mom/big sister/lesbian crush/person to be imitated in every detail. Actually, I noticed that with a few of my friends she'd friended on FB she was imitating their style, interests etc in various ways too (they also noticed and mentioned it to me). It seems like an emptiness which pushes her to try to take a personality from others - she even talked to me about feelings of emptiness, not existing, needing to take things from others, etc which are all associated with BPD.

    I've basically removed her from my life as I was unable to deal with the situation, after trying very hard. I didn't just cut her off - I made it very very clear, in a lot of detail, that I had tried and tried to have a semi-normal friendship with her, that I had given her many warnings that the situation was unsustainable, and that I was ending the friendship because her behaviour was so utterly unacceptable and destructive to me. She lives at home but her family is very dysfunctional and she doesn't get support, although other friends have offered various types of support (and I made them very aware both that she needed support, but also that I was no longer able to offer it). I found her extreme ingratitude and sense of entitlement hardest of all to deal with, honestly. She was very manipulative and I gradually realised that she was trying to keep me in her life, and make me put up with intolerable behaviour, by constantly promising to change.

    I think the best thing I did was push her to get into therapy, but I'm not sure she's still doing therapy. We attend the same place of worship so we see each other occasionally though I don't see her much there these days. But I don't even say hello if I can avoid it because she's still showing some stalker-like behaviours. She's pursuing some of my friends in various ways and she just started studying at uni - pretty much exactly what I studied many years ago, which is definitely no coincidence. She is basically leaving me alone though which is a big relief. I have also warned my friends to be careful about interacting with her. I really got the impression with one of my friends in particular that, because this girl finally realised that her friendship was me was over, that she was trying to replace me with my friend (who has a lot of her own difficulties in life right now and REALLY doesn't need that.)

    I probably sound quite harsh in this but it was a difficult experience and I don't think I was strong enough. I'm pretty sure she's mentally ill, whether BPD or otherwise, but what I found nastiest was just that she seemed to feel it ok to inflict a horrible, ungrateful, nasty personality on everyone else - especially someone who really tried to help, like me. And that's something outside of BPD - it's how she was choosing to behave. She's a very angry, aggressive, spiteful, bitter, negative person. I think anyone who deals with a friend or acquaintance with such problems needs to maintain rock solid boundaries (something I'm not historically good at, but this experience did help with that - I learned a lot about maintaining boundaries) and be prepared to say "no" constantly. The best thing to do is probably to encourage them to get professional help. And if you've done all you can and it's overwhelming, don't be afraid to remove yourself from their life. You can't save other people.
    You're right in saying it's okay to remove yourself from someone's life if it is unhealthy for you and that you can't save other people. I agree!
    As for your friend- I'm also not a doctor- but I'm not sure that sounds like BPD overall. The constant mirroring for an identity. I wonder if it is some other type of identity disorder. I have experienced this before- not as extreme as your story, but I had a few female friends stalk me ... mirror me .... to the point where I had to cut them off. I was younger at the time and a wimp and I did it mainly by avoidance. I don't recommend this to anyone. (It worked though!) But I recommend more the way that you handled it! You were up front and honest and I commend you! You took care of yourself. Bravo. You absolutely cannot have a psycho stalker in your life. Period. This stuff can escalate to a very bad place. Please don't feel an ounce of guilt. I'm glad your former friend sought therapy and I wish her well. But again- it is not your job in life to take care of her.

  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    You're right in saying it's okay to remove yourself from someone's life if it is unhealthy for you and that you can't save other people. I agree!
    As for your friend- I'm also not a doctor- but I'm not sure that sounds like BPD overall. The constant mirroring for an identity. I wonder if it is some other type of identity disorder. I have experienced this before- not as extreme as your story, but I had a few female friends stalk me ... mirror me .... to the point where I had to cut them off. I was younger at the time and a wimp and I did it mainly by avoidance. I don't recommend this to anyone. (It worked though!) But I recommend more the way that you handled it! You were up front and honest and I commend you! You took care of yourself. Bravo. You absolutely cannot have a psycho stalker in your life. Period. This stuff can escalate to a very bad place. Please don't feel an ounce of guilt. I'm glad your former friend sought therapy and I wish her well. But again- it is not your job in life to take care of her.
    As I understand it, the "constant mirroring for an identity" (as you put it) can be an aspect of BPD. But I totally agree with you, it could be something else. I would say that it seemed like BPD-like behaviour to me, but I didn't exactly want to diagnose her with that (I don't have the right or ability) and I always hoped that as she's fairly young, she would overcome it. I know there are various types of disorders which have to do with unstable identity, which was/is definitely a big part of her issues.

    I do feel sorry for her and I'm afraid my post may have sounded kind of judgmental. It just turned into a nasty thing for me to deal with and it was also disappointing because I had really hoped I could make a big difference in her life. (I think I do have slightly co-dependent tendencies/a desire to "save" people, in certain situations.) I do want to emphasize that if I'm judging her (which I probably am somewhat), it's not over whatever the nature of her mental instability, but about her horrible attitude - which just made the whole thing unbearable. She certainly got a rough deal in life to a certain extent, with the dysfunctional family and all, but I know people who have some kind of mental instability and crazy families and they are still the loveliest people you could meet...in large part because they faced up to it and took responsibility.

    Do you feel like telling us more about your friend...do you think it's a friendship you'll be able to maintain? I'm quite interested in these types of disorders at this point.
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  9. #9
    Member Isis's Avatar
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    You are so sweet, @SilkRoad, I did not take your post as judgmental at all. There is a point to which one is empathetic and there is another point to which one is self-preserving. We all have baggage and backgrounds and bad memories- some worse than others. But at some point, people who are socially inept to the point of alienating people or making people miserable - have to own up to what they are doing- or at the very least, face the consequences of their actions which mostly amounts to people walking out of their life. Being stalked is unbearable. It's unacceptable. And it's dangerous for you both.

    As for my friend, I do not have the guts to tell him what I suspect.

  10. #10
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    You are so sweet, @SilkRoad, I did not take your post as judgmental at all. There is a point to which one is empathetic and there is another point to which one is self-preserving. We all have baggage and backgrounds and bad memories- some worse than others. But at some point, people who are socially inept to the point of alienating people or making people miserable - have to own up to what they are doing- or at the very least, face the consequences of their actions which mostly amounts to people walking out of their life. Being stalked is unbearable. It's unacceptable. And it's dangerous for you both.

    As for my friend, I do not have the guts to tell him what I suspect.
    To be honest I think it was a little easier for me to be forthright with my former friend because I never viewed her as an equal. In fact, one mistake I think I made was that I treated her a little too much as an equal though I didn't view her as one, because she took that as carte blanche to behave horribly. But she made it impossible to view her as an equal, not really because she's much younger (I have friends in different age groups, after all) but because she acted like she wanted to be a dependent and like she had an emotional age of no more than ten.

    I think it would have been harder to be tough/forthright if she was my age and someone I respected more, for instance. I didn't say to her at any point that I thought she might have BPD but I did tell her (quite gently at that point) that I thought she was depressed and it would be wise to see a doctor. And she did eventually get some therapy at least, because of that - although she later admitted that she'd lied about some stuff to the therapist, and that she'd lied to me about lying to the therapist. Hey ho. SO glad I'm out of that situation.

    Do you think your friend has some inkling that he behaves unstably? Does he have friends or family, close ones, who you could talk to about your concerns?
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