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Old 10-03-2009, 05:38 AM
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Arrow Borderline PD symptoms description

I like this description of BPD because it is more than just a list, and I suppose because I relate to it very much. Learning more about BPD has helped me slow down the processes and find words for what is going on.

When this diagnosis is offered, it isn't always offered as an explanation for how we relate to ourselves and others and the intense emotions that result.
It is a complex way of being, as one thing affects another..affects another. It is no wonder we often feel overwhelmed.
I feel so fortunate to have a psychotherapist who understands, accepts, and is kind and patient.

from the site:

The symptoms of borderline patients are similar to those for which most people seek psychiatric help: depression, mood swings, the use and abuse of drugs, alcohol, or food as a means of trying to feel better; obsessions, phobias, feelings of emptiness and loneliness, inability to tolerate being alone.

In addition, these patients displayed great difficulties in controlling ragefulness; they were unusually impulsive, they fell in and out of love suddenly; they tended to idealize other people and then abruptly despise them. A consequence of all this was that they typically looked for help from a therapist and then suddenly quit in terrible disappointment and anger.

Underneath all these symptoms, therapists began to see in borderline people an inability to tolerate the levels of anxiety, frustration, rejection and loss that most people are able to put up with, an inability to soothe and comfort themselves when they become upset, and an inability to control the impulses toward the expression, through action, of love and hate that most people are able to hold in check. What seems to be of central importance in the symptoms and difficulties mentioned above is that the hallmark of the "borderline" personality is great difficulty in holding on to a stable, consistent sense of one's self: "What am I?" these people ask. "My life is in chaos; sometimes I feel like I can do anything—other times I want to die because I feel so incompetent, helpless and loathsome. I'm a lot of different people instead of being just one person."

The one word that best characterizes borderline personality is "instability." Emotions are unstable, fluctuating wildly, often for no discernible reason. Thought processes are unstable—rational and clear at times, quite extreme and distorted at other times. Behavior is unstable—often with periods of excellent conduct, high efficiency and trustworthiness alternating with outbreaks of regression to childlike states of helplessness and anger, suddenly quitting a job, withdrawing into isolation, failing.

Self control is unstable leading to impulsive behaviors and chaotic relationships. A person with borderline personality disorder may sacrifice themselves for others, only to reach their limit and suddenly fly into rageful reproaches, or they may curry favor through obedient submission only to rebel, out of the blue, in a tantrum.

Associated with this instability is terrible anxiety, guilt and self-loathing for which relief is sought at any cost—medicine, drugs, alcohol, overeating, suicide. Sadly, oddly, self-injury is discovered by many borderline people to provide faster relief than anything else—cutting or burning themselves stops the anxiety temporarily.

The effect upon others of all this trouble is profound: family members never know what to expect from their volatile child, siblings, or spouse, except they know they can expect trouble: suicide threats and attempts, self-inflicted injuries, outbursts of rage and recrimination, impulsive marriages, divorces, pregnancies and abortions; repeated starting and stopping of jobs and school careers, and a pervasive sense, on the part of the family, of being unable to help.
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