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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: Epilepsy: Is there a link between epilepsy and BPD?  (Read 22330 times)
foul ball


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« on: April 18, 2010, 01:55:38 PM »

Hello everyone,

Question--Is there a link between BPD and epilepsy? I am epileptic and my BPDd had seizures as a child.

hvac guy
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Jemima
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 02:01:11 PM »

I have never heard of a STATISTICAL link between the two, but ... who's to say that there is not a connection in your family? I believe strongly that in some individuals --- particularly those people without any history of abuse and whose problems started early in life --- there MUST be some kind of brain injury, either through a blow to the head (as some on this forum have reported), through early trauma like in utero stroke, and maybe in your family's case, through seizures.

Of course that's just my theory so take it for what it's worth.
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 10:06:35 AM »

dear hvac guy,

pwBPD do have abnormal brain function.  you might try researching this from the epilepsy point of view.  ie...if epilepsy causes the parts of the brain to function in an abnormal manner, if epilepsy causes abnormal emotional functioning, if epilepsy ... then do a comparison.  it may give  you the answers you seek.

head trauma can cause epilepsy

trauma can causes ptsd

ptsd can cause BPD

head trauma can cause emotional dysregulation

...

lbjnltx
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 09:17:56 PM »

Anti-convulsant drugs that are used to control epileptic seizures are also sometimes used to control BPD symptoms. My BPDDD has been on some of them, and she doesn't have epilepsy, nor does anyone in our family.

So there must be some underlying similarity in the brain dysfunction, but I don't think there is definitive research about it yet.
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2010, 01:28:14 AM »

Yes and no..Epilepsy ..BPD..2 separate disorders..but..I can tell you this with a certainty..For treatment of BPD many take a certain medication..and  that same medication is also used for certain kinds of Epilepsy..it is the certain part of the brain that it treats..I will give you a good example of what I mean..My one sister is  a diagnosed BPD..she takes the same exact pills my other sister who has frontal lobe disorder and has seizures..the latter sister has MANY of the symptoms of BPD ...it is odd..also many years ago when that same sister was brought to the Emergency room by me..the doctors pulled me aside and told me she was faking the seizures..today she can't work and gets disablity..I have NEVER EVER seen her have any kind of seizure..I was told it may be psychosomatic..(in her head) ..so it is somewhat intertwined..but if you have BPD you don't necessarily have epilepsy..BUT some with Epilepsy may have symptoms of BPD..you follow?Make sense?
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2010, 09:16:38 PM »

Hello everyone,

Question--Is there a link between BPD and epilepsy? I am epileptic and my BPDd had seizures as a child.

hvac guy

My husband, son and daughter are all diagnosed with BPD.  My sister was diagnosed with it last year as well.  They all see the same doctor and he believes BPD to be primarily a medical problem that causes psychological problems as well.  He believes the mood swings and rages are due to a type of epileptic seizure.  He explains a lot of this in his book, "Life at the Border" and at his website (www.biologicalunhappiness.com). 


I also did some researching on epilepsy and the behavorial dyscontrol syndrome and was amazed at some of the similarities between that and the behavior seen in BPD.  Similar reactions to certain medications that brought on BPD dysphoria/raging and triggered epileptic seizures.  Descriptions of inappropriate, intense anger and unpredictable mood swings triggered by stress. 
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2010, 11:50:17 AM »

What a fascinating line of inquiry.  I am going to be looking for and following any research papers I can find on this line of study.  It does seem like a hopeful seed of possibility that could help pinpoint exactly what is going on with the brains of those with pds.  

There is another researcher, Paul J. Markovitz, M.D., Ph. D.,  who is also of the opinion that personality disorder is a medical issue, an organic brain dysfunction to do with brain chemistry.  His theory is that the behaviors first need to be treated with medication, then followed up with therapy, and he has published many papers on the subject.  It would be interesting to hear his take on the possibility of an epilepsy connection as well.

Here is a link to his cv (his "curriculum vitae") aka his information:

www.borderlinepersonalitytoday.com/main/pmcv.htm 

-LOAnnie

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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2010, 08:36:43 PM »

What a fascinating line of inquiry.  I am going to be looking for and following any research papers I can find on this line of study.  It does seem like a hopeful seed of possibility that could help pinpoint exactly what is going on with the brains of those with pds.  

There is another researcher, Paul J. Markovitz, M.D., Ph. D.,  who is also of the opinion that personality disorder is a medical issue, an organic brain dysfunction to do with brain chemistry.  His theory is that the behaviors first need to be treated with medication, then followed up with therapy, and he has published many papers on the subject.  It would be interesting to hear his take on the possibility of an epilepsy connection as well.

Here is a link to his cv (his "curriculum vitae") aka his information:

www.borderlinepersonalitytoday.com/main/pmcv.htm 

-LOAnnie

LOAnnie,

I have checked out his site in the past and you are correct in that he is another doctor who views it from a more medical perspective than most.  I wish there were more "psychiatrists/psychologists" who were open minded enough to look into this.   In spite of Dr. Heller's success in treating BPD, he can not get the approval and funding to do a study comparing his treatment of BPD to another treatment because he is not a "psychiatrist". 

By the way, for quite some time I have joked with family and friends that I was going to get a t-shirt that said, "I see BPD" .  It is kinda scary when you realize just how many people there are with BPD--my neighbor, whose daughter has BPD, has also gotten quite good at recognizing the symptoms in others. 
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ingridp
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2010, 11:02:21 AM »



Hi There -

I have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy - not what one would call the 'normal' epilepsy with catatonic seizures -and my son has BPD. Last year his T put him on the same meds that I'm on & they seemed to work fairly well in stabilising his moods until he became non-compliant.  rolleyes. Don’t know if that’s a link, but would sure be worth investigating further.

btw - some of my TLE symptoms are actually quite fun - like waking up at 2.00 in the morning & smelling hot, buttered toast (and I'm, the only one in the house cheesy). One of my symptoms causes quite a lot of hilarity amongst my colleagues - I tend to sort of loose my balance and walk like a drunkard. They know that I'm a total non-drinker, which is why I seem to amuse them.  cheesy. Not all my symptoms are that much fun, though.

Take care

Ingridp

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innerspirit
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2010, 12:02:19 PM »

I wouldn't be surprised if more and more links are found between PD's and disorders that we find more organic.  And they seem exacerbated by stress.  There may be chemical factors too subtle to show up (at this point) but that have substantial effect on brain function.
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2010, 01:31:29 PM »

Well, thing is, its not really substantiated that there are any links at this point in time.  The possibility that there are links to other more organic disorders (like epilepsy, schizophrenia, etc.) is only a potential subject of future research studies, right now.  

However, I agree with you that the "hard sciences" such as brain research into the possibility that there are neurological, chemical, or structural components of personality disorder is a fascinating line of inquiry and (in my opinion) holds the most hope for discovering potential means of prevention, improved treatments, or even cures.

-LOAnnie


I wouldn't be surprised if more and more links are found between PD's and disorders that we find more organic.  And they seem exacerbated by stress.  There may be chemical factors too subtle to show up (at this point) but that have substantial effect on brain function.

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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 11:53:13 AM »

However, I agree with you that the "hard sciences" such as brain research into the possibility that there are neurological, chemical, or structural components of personality disorder is a fascinating line of inquiry and (in my opinion) holds the most hope for discovering potential means of prevention, improved treatments, or even cures.

Well it's a hope.  My x sister-in-law was diagnosed as bipolar and was very reassured by the reasoning that adhering to her meds was for as organic a reason as a diabetic's need for insulin.  Just as an antidepressant relieves a serotin imbalance, I guess.  If there were a confirmed physical, organic component to PD's, I hope that it would relieve some of the stigma of mental illness.
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ingridp
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2010, 01:48:19 PM »

I agree.  smiley Not only would it reduce the social stigma, but hopefully, would force medical aids to provide more funds for the treatmentof the disorder. And just imagine the enormous hope that it would bring to all our beloved BPDs - what a joy!  messenger3

Love

xoxox

Ingrid

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innerspirit
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2010, 02:32:34 PM »

I agree.  smiley Not only would it reduce the social stigma, but hopefully, would force medical aids to provide more funds for the treatmentof the disorder. And just imagine the enormous hope that it would bring to all our beloved BPDs - what a joy!  messenger3

Love

xoxox

Ingrid

I read that people with epilepsy were tremendously stigmatized in the past, as pariahs of the community. 

Sometimes they were regarded as shamans (with seizures interpreted as trance-states.)

Or perhaps both.
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2010, 10:59:05 PM »

My uBPD father is epileptic. Really interesting info here, thanks.
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innerspirit
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2010, 11:05:50 PM »

My uBPD father is epileptic. Really interesting info here, thanks.

Do you see any connection between the illness and his behavior?  (As you feel comfortable in posting.)

My X went go catatonic when very stressed.  There was one time that it took several minutes for me to revive him.   I still wonder...
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2010, 04:46:27 PM »

Hi innerspirit,

I don't think I ever made a connection between his epilepsy and his behavior. He does tend to get mild seizures after traveling (I always chalked that up to stress).

Recently, when we were discussing something, he told me he was starting to feel "seizurey", and it turned out that the subject was making him feel depressed/waify. He got up and walked out of the room. So that's kind of interesting.
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2010, 04:10:52 PM »

As noted by Dr. Heller's (an MD) various articles on the website linked above (Biological Unhappiness) as I have read several of them to date as well, he believes that there may be a potential link between BPD and damaged amygdalas (two almond sized glands in the center of the brain which are known as the "fear and stress center").

In addition, the excellent BPD video entitled "Back from the Edge" which is being promoted here on BPD Family, there are some doctors interviewed in that same film who discuss the potential links between damaged amgydalas and BPD. When your amygdalas are damaged, your emotions tend to be adversely affected according to many doctors.

I have read at least 20 other articles myself (written by experienced doctors) who also believe that damaged amygdalas may be part of the reason why someone has BPD, Autism, Asperger's, and even Epilepsy so this post may be on to something here.
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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2010, 05:50:35 PM »

I have read numerous studies on this, and there seems to be a huge correlation between the two. My BPDexgf's BPDmother had seizures when she was under enough stress. I don't think that having epilepsy = automatically having BPD, but there is way too much coincidence to not look into this. One therapist I know, is convinced that epilepsy has a lot more to do with emotional regulation than we think, even though most professionals believe that it is strictly a neurological problem.
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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2010, 07:01:31 PM »

This is a very interesting thread.  My uBPDh has temporal lobe seizures due to a tumor on his temporal lobe that is unoperable due to its location by an artery.  I've often wondered if it, along with brain damage that was verified by a SPECT test, has contributed to his BPD.  His tumor is located deep inside, by the amydala.  He was scheduled to get an MRI to send to UCLA to find out if he would be a candidate for Cyberknife surgery but he doesn't bother and cancels appointments.  Apparently, he's not interested.  Doesn't he want to get better?  Surely, no one in their right mind would want to continue living like that (with all the BPD stuff).  The connection with the amydala is interesting since it is involved in a wide range of behavior function and psychiatric conditions.  That could be the connection.  I'll have to look at the SPECT results and check out the amydala.  We might have something here.
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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2010, 01:09:41 PM »

Very interesting message thread.

I've often wondered if there was some sort of neurological abnormality that might trigger BPD symptoms. My uBPDm's Grandfather was afflicted with eplilepsy. Although I don'thave any details, I do know that it became so bad that he had to be institutioinalized.

While I don't *think* epilepsy - in itself - can be fatal, the family seems to have accepted that he eventually died as a result of this affliction. (I'm guessing he probably died from complications brought on by the epilepsy, however.)

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Recovery08


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« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2010, 05:19:18 PM »

Interesting that you mentioned this...my (BPD) ex claimed to have been diagnosed with epilepsy...however, as my ex had a tendency to lie quite often I have no reason to believe her claim. 
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« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2010, 06:43:59 PM »

My exBPDgf's BPDmother had seizures, they were always emotional related. I have discussed this before with some of my psychologist acquaintances and they seem to think there is a connection - i may be mistaken, but isn't epilepsy a frontal cortex problem - like BPD has been hypothesized to be?
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foul ball


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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2010, 09:41:46 PM »

Hi There -

I have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy - not what one would call the 'normal' epilepsy with catatonic seizures -and my son has BPD. Last year his T put him on the same meds that I'm on & they seemed to work fairly well in stabilising his moods until he became non-compliant.  rolleyes. Don’t know if that’s a link, but would sure be worth investigating further.

btw - some of my TLE symptoms are actually quite fun - like waking up at 2.00 in the morning & smelling hot, buttered toast (and I'm, the only one in the house cheesy). One of my symptoms causes quite a lot of hilarity amongst my colleagues - I tend to sort of loose my balance and walk like a drunkard. They know that I'm a total non-drinker, which is why I seem to amuse them.  cheesy. Not all my symptoms are that much fun, though.

My BPDd 31 also has Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Shortly after being diagnosed with epilepsy (many years ago) she became non-compliant with her medications.



Take care

Ingridp

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« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2014, 01:33:43 PM »

My therapist suggested that I look into Temporal Lobe Epilepsy to see if it fits my husband, I was able to find something that said that their is a link for some people who have BPD. My husband was diagnosed with Brain Damage which can cause the seizures. Just wondering if anyone knows any more about these kinds of seizures and the correlation with BPD. My dBPD husband has been doing EMDR and he seems to really get triggered after the sessions to the point where he really feels he can't handle the EMDR. My therapist suggested that someone with this kind of Epilepsy would have a hard time doing something like EMDR because it stimulates the brain and would create a seizure. Any articles that talk about BPD and this type of Epilepsy?
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« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2014, 11:36:51 AM »

My bipolar/BPD mother had epilepsy. She could also go from raging angry monster to a peaceful doll in a second. Not sure what her diagnosis where , I did hear bipolar , but her swings could be very fast , but also her depressions could be long lasting.
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