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Author Topic: COMPARISON: Highly Sensitive Person vs BPD  (Read 7930 times)
empath
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« on: November 05, 2013, 11:03:38 AM »

I was wondering how BPD was different than a person who is 'highly sensitive'?  www.hsperson.com/

I would describe myself as highly sensitive; I am very sensitive to external stimulation and interpersonal emotions. I also tend to be a calming influence on others. However, I don't have any of the key diagnostic criteria of BPD. In my pwBPD, the sensitivity seems to turn inward; it becomes 'people don't like me' and 'I need them to like me'.

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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 11:15:38 AM »

I am also an HSP.  I wonder how many of us there are with pwBPD... .hmmmm... .
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 11:49:13 AM »

As I understand it, "HSP's" are simply more sensitive than the majority of people to external stimuli.

While I'd agree that one of the common traits of pwBPD is that they can be extremely "sensitive" -- both in terms that we tend to label as "real" or "normal" emotional responses, as well as in being "touchy" about how they are handled, spoken to, etc. -- I think HSP is more a temperament, while BPD is a personality disorder.

I think the primary difference between the two lies in the behaviors of the individuals. HSP's may be overly affected by external stimuli, but as I understand it, they don't tend to rant and rave and rage against those around them, both refusing to take responsibility for their actions and blaming others for everything that happens to them. 
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 10:57:48 AM »

My uBPD ex partner identified himself as " extremely sensitive". How this sensitivity manifested itself was in intense , excessive and at times totally inappropriate emotional reactions. He genuinely saw himself as " unusually sensitive" and wore this as a badge of pride. His sensitivity was , as I now understand it, his labile and intense moods. He used his " sensitivity" as a weapon, too. As in, a minor disagreement was followed by the silent treatment and then an email saying " when we live together. I want no arguments. I don't have the personality for arguments " . Meaning: submit to my every preference and demand or I will accuse you of causing me intolerable emotional pain.

I've worked with people who identified as highly sensitive and they were both mild, good natured introverts. None of the volcanic emotional outbursts, self pity or instability I saw with my ex.
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lemon flower
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 07:29:52 AM »

As I understand it, "HSP's" are simply more sensitive than the majority of people to external stimuli.

While I'd agree that one of the common traits of pwBPD is that they can be extremely "sensitive" -- both in terms that we tend to label as "real" or "normal" emotional responses, as well as in being "touchy" about how they are handled, spoken to, etc. -- I think HSP is more a temperament, while BPD is a personality disorder.

I think the primary difference between the two lies in the behaviors of the individuals. HSP's may be overly affected by external stimuli, but as I understand it, they don't tend to rant and rave and rage against those around them, both refusing to take responsibility for their actions and blaming others for everything that happens to them. 

exactly! BPD is a psychiatric disorder, HSP is a characteristic of the nerve system.

however I have always thought that there's a bigger chance for a HSP tot develop BPD than a non-HSp, in that sense you could say that BPD is also HSP 

but that's just my opinion, I don't know if there has been done research between the connection HSP and BPD, but if there is I want to know all about it, and if there isn't I would gladly join any discussion/ research around this matter !
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 07:47:32 AM »

I am also an HSP.  I wonder how many of us there are with pwBPD... . hmmmm... .

me too... . I think as a HSP we are very attractive to pwBPD's because we tend to be more empathic and we can't protect our personal borders too well, which makes us an easy victim 

on the other hand we are even more vulnerable than "normal" people in a harmful relationship like that because our nerve system is so fragile, I've been in a relationship with a BPD twice (the first time I had no idea what was going on, I stayed three years with that guy and in the end I found myself lying in bed crying all the time, I was getting paranoia and hysterious, and still I didn't understand that he was sucking all my energy and putting so much negative energy on me :-(

in the end I litterally kicked him out of my home and it took me years to recover)

but in that period I learned about HSP and it made me feel much better  Smiling (click to insert in post)

but yeah, it had to happen again... ten years later (8 months ago from now) I met another guy, still not knowing anything about BPD, but this time I recognised the signs and I broke up after 6 months BEFORE he got me all broke again, and shortly after that I read an article on BPD in a magazine by coincidence and so finally my eyes got open ! 

I have the feeling it had to happen to me again so that I should learn about it, it feels like finally the circle is round , so hopefully now I can break out of the pattern  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 10:42:01 AM »

After months of reflection on all of this, I think the difference between a "non" and a personality disordered person is that someone who is a non is able to respond to circumstances of life, and adjust their behaviour, and change in order to achieve a different outcome if things in their lives have gone wrong.  A person with a personality disorder resists all change, and repeats complete disaster over and over and over and ... . well you get the message.  In order to no longer be disordered, I suppose they need to be able to make definitive and lasting change... . but the fact they are disordered keeps them in a rigid cycle that can only be broken if they decide they want to break it.  It is Einstein's definition of insanity: making the same mistakes over and over again but expecting a different result.

I've been thinking about this because I have since observed so much behaviour that is BPD-like and I wonder... . does everyone have it? Is the world insane? BUT, perhaps the difference between non disordered people and pwBPD is that the non disordered make adjustments in their lives to avoid making the same mistakes.  So yes some cheat, yes some lie, yes some have fear of intimacy, yes some can be self destructive, and some are passive aggressive, some can rage, etc... . BUT the non disordered understand that this type of behaviour is destructive and want to be able to change this and find different ways of dealing with stress.  PwBPD cannot process the consequences of their actions, and therefore live in a never ending cycle.  Just my thoughts as I continue through this world full of strange, BPD-esque like people Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 12:40:04 PM »

This is the definition of Personality Disorder:

Excerpt
a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind, typically manifest by the time one reaches adolescence and causing long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society.

So, if one is asking about the difference between a HSP and pwBPD:

If someone is a HSP, do they have any "deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind" that are "causing long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society"?

Being highly sensitive by itself does not pose any problems IF it doesn't result in maladaptive coping behaviors... .
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 04:54:16 AM »

I've been thinking about this because I have since observed so much behaviour that is BPD-like and I wonder... . does everyone have it? Is the world insane?

ha! you're not the only one thinking that... . a belgian psychiatrist DIRK DE WACHTER who 's specialised in BPD wrote a book "borderline times", ( I don't know if it is translated in english yet), in which he points that our western culture indeed shows BPD-traits in itself... . ofcourse he doesn't mean that everyone is insane, but I get his point, and more important: I think that this society indeed can increase the number of people with BPD... . frightening idea, if you think of it... .
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wishfulthinking
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 01:49:04 PM »

Being HSP, I find external stimuli can get on my nerves and I tend to shut down instead of act out.  I am more sensitive and notice more things going on around me than the "normal" person who is often oblivious to the music in the stores, the smell of places, how rough a material is, etc.  Too much noise and chaos and I want to go into a quiet place and hide and let my senses calm down.  I don't rant and rave or strike out at others.  I just get quiet. 

My BPD/NPDh on the other hand is proud that he is "sensitive" emotionally.  He says he doesn't understand how everyone doesn't feel his amount of emotion and pities them.  He calls his rants and raves "passionate".  Because he's passionate about something... . sigh, whatever.
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lemon flower
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 03:44:22 AM »

indeed, i don't question it a moment that your friend is very emotional, my ex is too, it's one of the characteristics of BPD to be over-sensitive and not being able to control emotions in a proper way, sadly their emotions come out of their own wounded self, I don't find them very responding or sensitive towards other people's emotions 

what about you ? aren't you highly sensitive in the emotional aspects ?

I'm HSP not only in the physical "senses" but also in my emotions, but I'm very good in blocking that part off 
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wishfulthinking
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 10:54:52 AM »

triskina,

I can be very emotional... . it kind of depends on my place in life at the time.  If I feel comfortable, then yes, I allow my emotions.  Now, as someone with a rough childhood, I can block out anything necessary.  I can shut off any emotion at any time when needed and become numb.  This makes my BPD/NPDh upset.  He says I have no emotion in my face at times he is raging at me.  I've learned to shut it off at that point.  He pushed me, literally, and I didn't talk to him for 2 weeks.  I had no problem with it.  I shut him out and became numb.  I allowed myself emotion when in private, like in the shower, at the counselor, and to show emotion to my daughter of happiness.  But to him, nothing.  The physical sensitivity is still there for me, though.  I can't seem to shut that down. 
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lemon flower
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 06:16:21 AM »

I get your point, that's one of the biggest problems in a relationship with a disordered person I guess, we have to be the strong one, and showing emotions might be dangerous, as it can be used against us... .

but as long as you can express yourself when it feels safe, that's fine, and healthy!
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2014, 10:42:38 AM »

Normal: Emotional pendulum can gets excited in proportion of outside stimulus. Take stimulus away it stabilizes again.

HSP: Emotional pendulum can get very easily excited from the outside. Take stimulus away it stabilizes again.

pwBPD: Emotional pendulum can get easily excited and swings widely. Stabilizes not well. Tends to create often inadvertently an environment that gets the pendulum swinging.

Once emotions are in a wild swing (dysregulation) then a normal person, a HSP or a pwBPD can act out of of character. Frequent dysregulation can cause dysfunctional behavior to be adopted by the dysregulating person and/or their environment.
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