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Think About It... Some members think of "triangulation" as a dysfunctional behavior perpetrated on them by a person with BPD. And why not - this is how we often see triangles when we are in them and the '"odd man out"! However, seeing it this way is exactly the opposite of what we want to do to end the drama.. ~ Skippy
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Author Topic: BPD vs. Multiple Personality Disorder?  (Read 915 times)
Pixie-Dust
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« on: December 02, 2011, 12:27:45 PM »

Hey everyone!  Sorry if this is a stupid question, but it's something that crosses my mind frequently about my BPDh.

How is BPD different than Multi Personality Disorder? My husband has two distinct ones if not more.
They are so distinct it's scary.

Classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Night and day difference. Distinct.

Sweet/loving/kind and then becoming mean spirited to the core with extreme hatred and vile accusations and horrid language.

Any thoughts on this welcome.

Thanks,
  Pixie  snowman
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PMB1311
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 09:35:02 AM »

Pixie-dust,

Thank you for this post.  I have often wondered this very same thing.  I know my exBPDgf was "split" for the lack of a better term.  She has a very pleasant exterior, articulate and wonderful in every way.  On the flip side, she is a cold, emotionally repressed, uncommunicative mess.  There is no in between and there were triggers that would put her into one "personality" vs. the other.

This may sound different than what you are experiencing, but I do believe it's a variation of the same thing.  Perhaps you could talk to your hubby (or you may already know) to see if the events from his past can be identified.  Once you get to the core(s), you and he may gain some valuable understanding to what is going on.  From there, healing and/or what to do may be able to be much more focused.

What I've come to discover was that the exBPDgf and her two older sisters were repeatedly sexually abused by their step father.  When it was brought to the mother's attention, she blamed the daughters instead of the new husband.  The girls were 16, 13, and 12 (this one was my gf).  They were still dealing with abandonment issues from the divorce and then to be further abandoned by their own mother while learning that their home environment was not a safe place to be had to be horribly damaging.  There was no therapy or dealing with any of the issues.  Everything had to be repressed, internalized, and never discussed again.  The oldest sister is a drug addict and an alcoholic with three children who are on welfare, drug addicts, and alcoholics.  The middle sister is an alcoholic with a teenage daughter who is drinking heavily as well.  The youngest one I was dating was promiscuous and very much like a child emotionally.  She was the only one in the family who was not into drugs or alcohol, although there was a solid history of alcohol abuse.  The walls she had built up were so hardened and thick that while she let me in to a degree, it became safer to push me away. She could be charming and "normal" then switch to the dark side in an instant.  I never knew which gf was going to show up.  The exBPDgf was also terrified of her mother when something of importance had to be discussed. This family secret was what I believe started the whole dysfunctional path for these girls. They are paying for it still. Their children have taken on this burden without understanding why.  I feel horrible for all of them and wish there was something I could do for them, but I cannot.  I tried therapy with the exBPDgf, but she refused to face her own issues - I could see the fear in her when she was put on the spot or challenged to look within herself.  My heart has broken for each of them in a whole new way.  It is tragic and very sad.  I can only pray for each of them like I'm praying for you. 
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Neverknow
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 09:36:24 AM »

I don't know that they are different.
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momtario
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2011, 09:48:07 AM »

I think the main difference is that pwBPD are reacting to feelings, and simply seem to be 2 different people. But with true multiple personality disorder, I think the 2 or more personalities have different names, and may or may not know about eachother. They sometimes even speak to eachother, and may or may not differ in values like the jekyll/hyde of BPD, and even more frightening, they wouldn't necessarily know you or realize they are married to you when they flip. Instead of being one person with seemingly 2 personalities, ppl diagnosed with multiple personality disorder actually are 2+ different ppl in the same body. Very very rare.
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Neverknow
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2011, 09:54:22 AM »

I gave my bddw's personalities different names ( in my head).  

And, that memory thing is a little scary.  When the "good" person shows up, she often has a memory blank of weeks or even months.  Nothing.  Nada.  But, when the "bad" person comes back, she remembers everything, even the stuff that happened while good.
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2011, 10:30:10 AM »

that sorta sounds like MPD, but I am not a psychiatrist... She could also be dissociating during the bad times, and "forgetting" out of denial. Their behaviour is even appalling and horrifying to them. My dBPDxbf hit me once, and I honestly believe he doesn't remember. He seemed to honestly have no idea what I was talking about when I brought it up with him before I went NC several years ago. My uBPDh seems to remember everything he does, just skewed from reality.
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Neverknow
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 10:48:04 AM »

that sorta sounds like MPD, but I am not a psychiatrist... She could also be dissociating during the bad times, and "forgetting" out of denial. Their behaviour is even appalling and horrifying to them. My dBPDxbf hit me once, and I honestly believe he doesn't remember. He seemed to honestly have no idea what I was talking about when I brought it up with him before I went NC several years ago. My uBPDh seems to remember everything he does, just skewed from reality.

Mine made a very serious attempt at suicide last year and was hospitalized.  Two months later, she raged and screamed at me all day, then went to bed for like 48 hours straight (just getting up to use the bathroom).  When she finally woke up, the "good" person showed up, asked where we were and how we got there (we were on a sailboat on an extended trip), and later told me she had no recollection of the last four months, including the suicide.  She confessed that that been happening to her all her life, and she herself had suspected that she had MPD.

 Later, "bad" came back, and remembered everything, but remembered it as me causing her to try suicide, and me suggesting she had MPD because I am so messed up and have so many mental problems myself.
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Phaedrus
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2011, 10:51:55 AM »

that sorta sounds like MPD, but I am not a psychiatrist... She could also be dissociating during the bad times, and "forgetting" out of denial. Their behaviour is even appalling and horrifying to them. My dBPDxbf hit me once, and I honestly believe he doesn't remember. He seemed to honestly have no idea what I was talking about when I brought it up with him before I went NC several years ago. My uBPDh seems to remember everything he does, just skewed from reality.

Mine made a very serious attempt at suicide last year and was hospitalized.  Two months later, she raged and screamed at me all day, then went to bed for like 48 hours straight (just getting up to use the bathroom).  When she finally woke up, the "good" person showed up, asked where we were and how we got there (we were on a sailboat on an extended trip), and later told me she had no recollection of the last four months, including the suicide.  She confessed that that been happening to her all her life, and she herself had suspected that she had MPD.

 Later, "bad" came back, and remembered everything, but remembered it as me causing her to try suicide, and me suggesting she had MPD because I am so messed up and have so many mental problems myself.


I would say what you described is a pretty good description of the difference of Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD) and BPD. My uBPDxw has several distinct personalities, but they aren't like separate people, they are more like masks she puts on and takes off at will.
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2011, 10:53:35 AM »

My last ex was DID (dissociative identity disorder, the current term used for multiple personality disorder).  He was multi-fractured- meaning personalities in the thousands.  It starts with severe abuse at a very early age.  His father was a pedophile and two of the alters (personalities) were able to talk about it starting when he (the host) was only months old.  He had every diagnosis in the book as he was growing up.  He was non-verbal at age 7 so he was labeled mentally retarded.  Then when he did start talking he only talked to the alters so he was labeled with childhood schizophrenia.   I was a former mental health professional (before getting disability for my own mental illness) and I was the one to question the diagnosis.  I wrote a book about our ten years together.

At the time there was nothing out there we could find to help him.  We read everything written.  And I've since started an organization called SEASCAT for supportive environment for adult survivors of child abuse & trauma.  I thought it was because of him, but since realized it's even more for my sister and I.  Anyway, I digress.  With DID the split is complete- far from being a mood change- you find yourself dealing with different "people" (for lack of a better word).  They will use different names and often have no idea who you are, why they are in the body or where they are.  They may be any age, often very young.  They may be either gender.   I've known other DIDs.  And while they differ in some ways, this pattern is similar.

Someone who is DID can function at times just fine with no evidence of the disorder- until a traumatic event occurs to cause the alters to resurface.  One friend of mine raised two kids and had a career before her alters surfaced following a traffic accident.  They were created when she was very young- but once they weren't needed they felt safe leaving her and she didn't even remember their existence.  Then the traffic accident caused them to resurface.

Another DID friend, had alters surface when he went into the military.  He never even left the country, never went to Iraq or Afghanistan.

My current BPD BF has some "splitting" but he is aware, never loses time.  Loosing time is another big indicator of DID.  He did appear DID to me once, but that turned out to be the Chantix he was taking to try and quit smoking.  That stuff can be devastating to someone with a mental illness.

Littlefoot
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Pixie-Dust
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2011, 10:55:19 AM »

Thanks for your thoughts on this everyone!  Doing the right thing

Momtario-What you said helped me see the difference somewhat. It's so similar though. The only difference seems to be they have different names and sometimes talk to each other and maybe don't recognize you when they're the other person. So creepy! Reminds me of that movie "Sybll" I saw when I was little  shocked.

NeverKnow-
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I gave my bddw's personalities different names ( in my head).
-Me too. Mine are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde grin.



P.S. PMB1311- That is so sad about your exBPDgf and her sisters cry cry. It's so hard to comprehend how some sick loser can prey on children. Uggg. So disturbing ? barfy . I just said a prayer for them and I pray to God that sicko pays for what he did in some form or another.
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Pixie-Dust
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2011, 11:07:18 AM »

Quote
I would say what you described is a pretty good description of the difference of Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD) and BPD. My uBPDxw has several distinct personalities, but they aren't like separate people, they are more like masks she puts on and takes off at will.
-Yeah, makes sense. My h can change at will. The phone rings in the middle of him raging, he picks it up and switches to calm Mr. Charming ?. Then after hanging up he goes back to his horendous behavior.

littlefoot-Wow! That was a lot of in depth info explaining the difference. I think it's sinking in,...the difference. Gosh, it's so sickening hearing stories of children being abused,...it breaks my heart cry. It's so unimaginable that humans can be such monsters.

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Neverknow
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2011, 01:04:19 PM »

My last ex was DID (dissociative identity disorder, the current term used for multiple personality disorder).  He was multi-fractured- meaning personalities in the thousands.  It starts with severe abuse at a very early age.  His father was a pedophile and two of the alters (personalities) were able to talk about it starting when he (the host) was only months old.  He had every diagnosis in the book as he was growing up.  He was non-verbal at age 7 so he was labeled mentally retarded.  Then when he did start talking he only talked to the alters so he was labeled with childhood schizophrenia.   I was a former mental health professional (before getting disability for my own mental illness) and I was the one to question the diagnosis.  I wrote a book about our ten years together.

At the time there was nothing out there we could find to help him.  We read everything written.  And I've since started an organization called SEASCAT for supportive environment for adult survivors of child abuse & trauma.  I thought it was because of him, but since realized it's even more for my sister and I.  Anyway, I digress.  With DID the split is complete- far from being a mood change- you find yourself dealing with different "people" (for lack of a better word).  They will use different names and often have no idea who you are, why they are in the body or where they are.  They may be any age, often very young.  They may be either gender.   I've known other DIDs.  And while they differ in some ways, this pattern is similar.

Someone who is DID can function at times just fine with no evidence of the disorder- until a traumatic event occurs to cause the alters to resurface.  One friend of mine raised two kids and had a career before her alters surfaced following a traffic accident.  They were created when she was very young- but once they weren't needed they felt safe leaving her and she didn't even remember their existence.  Then the traffic accident caused them to resurface.

Another DID friend, had alters surface when he went into the military.  He never even left the country, never went to Iraq or Afghanistan.

My current BPD BF has some "splitting" but he is aware, never loses time.  Loosing time is another big indicator of DID.  He did appear DID to me once, but that turned out to be the Chantix he was taking to try and quit smoking.  That stuff can be devastating to someone with a mental illness.

Littlefoot

That matches up with my BPD wife.  Sexually abused by her father from a very early age, 3 or 4 at least, on a constant, almost daily to semi-daily schedule.  Intercourse started around ten, and then he went to anal intercourse with her at twelve after he got her pregnant and she had to have an abortion.  She then got herself pregnant by a boy at 15 to escape the house (her father wanted her to get that one aborted because he was afraid it was his, too). Her father ended up shooting the boy who got her pregnant (he survived and they got married). Her mother is a mess and so is her older brother, who has tons of guilt for not stopping it when he knew it was happening.  Later, the father raped a 14 year old niece, got caught and went to prison.  Then victims came out of the woodwork, but she never said anything about hers (because her mother already knew because of the abortion).  At 30, it hit her, she had a complete mental breakdown and had to be committed.

Even now, if you bring up to the family that she is having problems because of it, they refuse to talk about it and get mad saying if I would just not talk to her about it, it would go away.

It's no wonder she is messed up and it's not her fault.  But, it's not my fault, either.
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PMB1311
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011, 03:03:25 PM »

Pixie - thank you for the prayers!

Neverknow, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your situation.  Your post was painful to read because I could feel the hurt of everyone involved.   Empathy

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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 09:09:50 AM »

I posted on another thread recently that my sister is a psychiatrist and she recently told me that she believes that DID represents the extreme end of the BPD spectrum.  Not sure if this is correct as I have zero experience with DID.  Considering the rarity of DID, it might be that most practitioners have never seen a true case of this disorder… idunno.
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Auspicious
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2011, 09:24:25 AM »

My therapist (a clinical psychologist) explained the difference once (when I asked about the possibility) this way: both BPD and DID involve identity disturbance, but DID involves multiple distinct personalities, while with BPD there isn't even one solid identity.

Lacking a firm identity, startling shifts can occur. Which can sort of mimic DID.
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 11:31:25 AM »

I don't know what it is, but it happened again yesterday.  She woke up, nice and pleasant, with no recollection of the last three or four hateful days.  My BPD w call that person "she".
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littlefoot

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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 11:51:02 AM »

When I was with my DID ex and in the years before psychiatrists always seemed to believe DID, if it existed at all, was extremely rare.  Now, depending on who you read- it's quite common, just not diagnosed or mis-diagnosed.  If she didn't remember the last few days, she could be DID.  The important thing is how does this effect treatment?

With the DIDs I've known- the first step is to improve communication between the parts, so less lost time and more cooperation to get things done.  I was lucky with my ex because he had some very functional alters that learned to surface and take over a lot of the responsibility.  For a long time he made good progress.  But he was multi-fractured, with thousands of alters, and eventually a really bad one took over and the host (as I knew him) was lost forever as far as I could tell.

Littlefoot
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2011, 12:50:04 PM »

Thanks Littlefoot and Wrongturn1.  Doing the right thing

Auspicious-
Quote
My therapist (a clinical psychologist) explained the difference once (when I asked about the possibility) this way: both BPD and DID involve identity disturbance, but DID involves multiple distinct personalities, while with BPD there isn't even one solid identity.

Lacking a firm identity, startling shifts can occur. Which can sort of mimic DID.
-Thank you! Makes total sense to me.

Neverknow-My God, your poor wife cry! My prayers go out to her (and your family).

 PMB1311-Your welcome. Empathy



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« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2011, 05:13:01 AM »

When I was with my DID ex and in the years before psychiatrists always seemed to believe DID, if it existed at all, was extremely rare.  Now, depending on who you read- it's quite common, just not diagnosed or mis-diagnosed.  If she didn't remember the last few days, she could be DID.  The important thing is how does this effect treatment?

Littlefoot

The way it effects treatment is that when the good normal person is around, she wants treatment, and knows she needs it.  So we schedule it.  Then usually, by the time the appointment comes around, or maybe even because of it, because any kind of stress, no matter how little, will trigger her going into the "she" mode, she decides that there is nothing wrong with her, but that I should go and ask the T to help me with all my problems.

I have given up hope that there is any chance of her getting better because of that crazy cycle.
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PMB1311
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« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2011, 04:02:29 PM »

Nevermind,

Giving up hope is a hard place to be.  I feel for you and your situation.  Make sure you focus on your happiness and your well-being.  In my situation (whether she has DID or not), the exBPDgf would be a happy bright person one day and a totally miserable shell the next.  I never knew which gf I was coming home to.  Toward the end I actually observed her "flipping" from behaving normally and behaving like a complete narcissistic sociopath within a matter of minutes.  The responses she was giving, her tone of voice, the look in her eyes - everything about her changed.  I was initially freaked out, but I was able to settle down and just watch silently.  I knew right then that all hope was gone.  I saw it for what it was and realized that I wasn't giving up on her.  I gave up on the r/s because she had given up on herself.  I know she has some awareness of her situation but she - to date - refuses to acknowledge that she has to face her issues.

It's a sad place for them to be and a very sad place for us to lose hope, but each of us has a choice - the light where we can grow and thrive or the darkness where we wither and die...
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