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Personality Disorder Message Board

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Hi Marti!

Well, I'm so glad you aren't considering cutting off contact. To me, it sounds like the things you and your husband are doing right now are just about the best things you can do for her. So many borderlines can ruin their parents' lives. My mom wouldn't let that happen, and now she is my best friend. Can I ask you a couple other questions? Maybe they will help determine a little more whether it is BPD you're dealing with. Does she have very instable relationships with friends or boys? Maybe with friends, she'll go from one day saying they're her best friend and they are perfect, to the next day saying they are evil or horrible people? The statistical manual has nine criteria for BPD, and in order for a true diagnosis, the person must hold at least five of the traits. I will paraphrase it the best I can so it doesn't get deleted for copyright reasons.

1. Doing everything in their power to avoid being abandoned, whether it is real or only in their head.
2. Intense friendships or relationships that are very unstable and may include everything from putting one on a pedestal to seeing them as evil.
3. Not knowing who they are; they may take on the personality traits of the person they are with at the time.
4. Indulging in at least 2 things that are self damaging- I think her drinking and drug use would fit in to this category.
5. Being suicidal, or at least threatening it. Or cutting or burning herself.
6. Extreme mood swings that can happen anywhere from every few minutes to every few days.
7. Feeling empty or bored constantly.
8. Severe raging anger, or inability to control her temper.
9. Feelings that she may not be real, or possibly dissociating from herself for periods of time (similar to multiple personality disorder or DID, "blackouts" where she doesn't remember what she did or said.)

These are the statistics in the manual, but there are other traits common among BPD's.

1. Chronic feelings of shame or guilt. (But, she may not even realize she's having these feelings. Generally, they come out more as anger.)
2. Undefined boundaries (Acting in a way that "normal" people would not find acceptable)
3. Control issues- she may be a control freak, who is the leader amongst her friends, or who feels there is only one right way to do things.
4. Situational Competence- she may act completely in control and able to handle some very stressful situations, but fall apart in an equally or less tough situation and revert to more babyish behavior.
5. There are many others, but they are all described in the book I reccommended.

I hope this might give you some insight. But if they don't seem to fit her, you may need to do some more searching.

I know you said she resists the thought of therapy. However, if she is still a minor and is doing things that are self-damaging or illegal, you can force her to have a psychiatric evaluation and maybe even a stay in a mental health facility. That's what made me realize my behavior was hurting everyone around me, but most of all, myself. It will be hard, but it seems like the two of you have been strong through all she's put you through so far, I'm sure you could handle it.

If you have any other questions or want to know what it feels like from a BPD's point of view, feel free to reply.

Hope I Could Help,
Hundtoft :wave:

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