I often talk about my Bipolar 1 Disorder and diagnosis but often leave out this very important diagnosis. Sometimes I cannot tell where one disorder begins and where the other ends and it can be a bit confusing on my behalf. Just a little rundown of my life to refresh your memories, or in the case of new followers, give you a little insight.
Onset of depression- 11 yrs of age. This is when I became a poet, and writer.
Fast forward 13 yrs ( yr 2000)- First diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.
2002- Diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder and Anxiety.
2008- Diagnosed with severe Anxiety with psychosomatic symptoms
2010- Diagnosed Bipolar 1 with Psychosis (rare psychosis), General anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks.
2011- Bipolar 1 Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety, and a bit of Dissociative Disorder.
The Borderline Personality Disorder came as a shock to me as I had never identified myself with it in any way. The Dissociative Disorder I could swallow because of time gaps I do not remember and probably do not want to remember. Here is the DSM IV criteria for BPD and how they relate to me personally.
A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5. * How this applies to me… Instead of clutching on for dear life for fear of abandonment, I have left every single relationship I have been in to prevent the abandonment from happening to me. I prefer to walk away than to be walked away from… hurts less I suppose.
2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. * How this applies to me… God, in every way. Instability is my middle name.
3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. * How this applies to me… I have ZERO identity that comes from me. I will blend into whoever I am around. If I am around people who always dress nice and wear high heels, I am that person too. If I am around people who where Fox, Hurley, and Roxy… I am that chick too. I have absolutely no clue who I am when it comes to my individual identity. I blend in with anyone if need be.
4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5. * How this applies to me… spending money on huge purchases I truly cannot afford, sexual encounters when single that are dangerous…
5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior * How this applies to me… as for self mutilation, my therapist counts tattoos and piercings, so yea, I have acted impulsively for the sake of a rush. Recurrent suicidal behavior applies to me and I have a morbid fascination with it.
6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days). * How this applies to me… I cannot seperate this one from Bipolar Disorder because it describes it to a “T” as well. I have intense emotional swings… sometimes over nothing. I love, I don’t love… I wax, I wane.
7. chronic feelings of emptiness * How this applies to me… Doesn’t matter how many people love and support me, or how many people are in the room with me, I am forever empty. I have felt empty and alone for as long as I can remember and try to fill the void with impulsive acts.
8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights) * How this applies to me… My anger I am fairly good at controlling until it builds and builds and then I erupt. I often say “Violence is my happy place” and no, that NEVER applies to my children. But look at me the wrong way and I will spoon out your eyeballs.
9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms * How this applies to me… Dissociative symptoms.
It is very interesting to see the similarities between Bipolar Disorder (BD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
The DSM IV goes on to say:
The essential feature of Borderline Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.
Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder have a pattern of unstable and intense relationships (Criterion 2). They may idealize potential caregivers or lovers at the first or second meeting, demand to spend a lot of time together, and share the most intimate details early in a relationship. However, they may switch quickly from idealizing other people to devaluing them, feeling that the other person does not care enough, does not give enough, is not “there” enough. These individuals can empathize with and nurture other people, but only with the expectation that the other person will “be there” in return to meet their own needs on demand. These individuals are prone to sudden and dramatic shifts in their view of others, who may alternately be seen as beneficent supports or as cruelly punitive. Such shifts often reflect disillusionment with a caregiver who nurturing qualities had been idealized or whose rejection or abandonment is expected.
There may be an identity disturbance characterized by markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self (Criterion 3). There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values, and vocational aspirations. There may be sudden changes in opinions and plans about career, sexual identity, values, and types of friends. These individuals may suddenly change from the role of a needy supplicant for help to a righteous avenger of past mistreatment. Although they usually have a self-image that is based on being bad or evil, individuals with this disorder may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all.
Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder may have a pattern of undermining themselves at the moment a goal is about to be realized (e.g., dropping out of school just before graduation; regressing severely after a discussion of how well therapy is going; destroying a good relationship just when it is clear that the relationship could last). Some individuals develop psychotic-like symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, body-image distortions, ideas of reference, and hypnotic phenomena) during times of stress. Individuals with this disorder may feel more secure with transitional objects (i.e., a pet or inanimate possession) than in interpersonal relationships. Premature death from suicide may occur in individuals with this disorder, especially in those with co-occurring Mood Disorders or Substance-Related Disorders. Physical handicaps may result from self-inflicted abuse behaviors or failed suicide attempts. Recurrent job losses, interrupted education, and broken marriages are common. Physical and sexual abuse, neglect, hostile conflict, and early parental loss or separation are more common in the childhood histories of those with Borderline Personality Disorder.
There is much more information but I chose to include the information that hits home most for me. If you would like more information, please search the web for scholarly articles and websites specifically for BPD. There is a wealth of information out there… and remember: education is the key!
Much love my friends… may this day be gentle on you. ♥