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Author Topic: COMPARISON: Aspergers/autism spectrum disorder vs BPD  (Read 6992 times)
takingcharge
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« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2011, 11:56:20 AM »

My stepson has aspergers, and it is soo far off from his father with BPD.  Stepson is not affected by other people's emotions and generally, ( moreso than our other children) has a positive outlook on life.  He is socially unaware, and definitely not highly emotional and charged in most situations. 

Plus, hes obsessed with rules( you will never catch him breaking the law), and his father breaks most rules and some laws.
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« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2011, 09:30:56 PM »

No. Aspie kids grow up to be aspie adults. Such as myself.

The underlying cognitive processes that lead to aspie behavior are so dissimilar to what BPD experts and people with BPD describe that the two may as well be polar opposites.
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Zena321
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2011, 12:25:47 AM »

I would say Asperger kids are not the saame or grow into borderline adults. As a mother of a 22 year old son with Aspergers and wife to a husband not his dad (so no genetics involved ) very clear difference. My son as someone said clearly follows the laws he would be upset and tell you its breaking the law if you burned a copy of your cd for a friend for instance. Where as if my husband thought a cop was wrong he would have no problem telling him to F off even though he has avoided somehow not being arrested so far . My son doesn't get social cues,if anyone even raises their voices even joking he thinks we are arguing and retreats it overwhelms him ,where as my husband would have no problem raging and getting loud,smashing things into walls over "whatever".My son feels physical pain to his body,opposite seems to be true with my husband.My son has to see something to believe its true example he would never believe in God he cant see him,where as husband could believe in things he percieves is true in his mind whether real or imagined its "his truth".
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We Seek Goals in the start of our Life's Journies,we hit a dead end, we need find a new road.Some take the Hwy,some get lost and panic & give up.My life no short cuts or hwys.Always the " SCENIC RT".Sometimes I stay in unkown places way to long than most.It is ME,somehow I manage to live thru HOPE.
takingcharge
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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2011, 01:28:25 PM »

Zena 321- Very good explanation.  I too see these same differences in husband and son.
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argyle
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« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2011, 02:38:52 PM »

From my experience, I'd second Mahari's writing. BPD and Asperger's are separate disorders and can coexist in the same person. An (over)simplified perspective is that Asperger's is wiring-related and BPD is program-related. (Disclaimer: I'm not a mental health professional at all.)

My wife and I spent a long time wondering if she had BPD or Asperger's.  The correct conclusion, as far as I can tell, was both.

On the bright side, from reading these forums, A+BPD may be somewhat less toxic than straight BPD because of the enormous number of missed social cues/lack of ability with duplicity.  On the other hand, the poor, poor emotional processing and recognition may result (and has, in our case) in extreme occasional volatility.

That said, everyone is different. I'm probably at least a bit Aspie and my wife and I joke that we've divided the symptoms from the typical Asperger's book between us pretty much exclusively.

--Argyle
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LavaMeetsSea
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« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2011, 08:07:51 PM »

 Welcome Argyle.   Hi!

The fact that your wife is discussing this with you, and is open to plural possibilities without getting violent, is itself a WONDERFUL prognosis, IMO.  Just committing to treatment is usually the biggest factor in recovering.  Also, and I know it's irresponsible to comment with so little information, but from what you've written, I think we're already seeing some of the strengths of Asperger's.  If, and it's a big if, your wife is truly co-morbid, and receiving appropriate treatment - I think her recovery will be AWESOME.  I hope you keep us posted. 

Here's my reasoning: much of what keeps BPD's from getting and staying in appropriate treatment stems from an inability to accept fault or acknowledge wrongdoing.  Anything that isn't perfect about them is perceived as a character attack, and that keeps them from owning and learning from their mistakes.  They act a lot like toddlers, complete with the tantrums.  They may not mean to, but it's the only truly reliable tool they feel they have to keep the people they so desperately need around them.  The overloads are going to happen either way, but BPD's have learned to use them to manipulate the people around them.  The ability to do that, for someone with Asperger's, is evidence of both an investment (albeit destructive) in interpersonal relationships, and necessarily dependent on a willingness and ability to read, however inaccurately, the signals of interaction.  Back when I worked with kids with autism, I used to ask for the oppositional cases - I liked the ones that spit the gummy bears I offered them into my hair, and tore pages out of my notebook when they felt ignored.  They are INVESTED.  They WANT to be empowered.  There I was, taking even more of it from them by telling them what to do, stuff that was deliberately hard, and they had the smarts and spunk to rebel.  There is vitality in every attempt at control.  All you need to do to turn a battle between two people into a partnered campaign of evolution is win trust.  And guess what?  These guys are paying attention.  Obviously I'm being a little simplistic.  Trust is hard.  It's not a switch that gets turned on and off for anyone, but for these guys, it's a daily process.  They've gotta trust your motives, your abilities, your commitment, or you're going to have a power struggle.  At the same time, treatment requires that they be provoked so they'll improve, so you can't give them the power, either.  Your wife has a genetic condition.  Her social difficulties are not her fault.  This is biology, baby; she doesn't need to carry shame for it.  They are, however, her responsibility.  It sounds like she's taking that seriously.  I know she blows fuses easier than we do, but her frustration tolerance level is pretty high if she can discuss this, with you, and stay rational.  Even if it's only sometimes, that's a huge platform to build on.  The BPD might be helping her make connections that would be harder for non-BPD's with Asperger's.  BPD has its strengths.  Her drive for intimacy and connection, the intensity of your marriage, those seem to mitigate some of the isolating aspects of Asperger's.  She's got a reason to work hard at this; she has you.  That's a very good sign.

That doesn't mean there's not a lot of work to be done; there is.  With Asperger's though, it's a well-worn path with plenty of fellow wayfarers.  You've got maps, literally and metaphorically, and a community that's unusually tolerant and supportive.  There are tons of books with very concrete techniques the two of you can practice together, and a suitable therapist is more likely than most to give your wife homework, but a lot of it is going to be about the irrationality of human society, as opposed to figuring out how what happened twenty-five years ago is giving you a panic attack now.  (That would be my therapy, I sheepishly type.)  Someone with Asperger's is going to be able to remember and apply, and then self-evaluate and refine, very specific techniques and skill-sets quicker than those of us who mostly intuit things, and have trouble with pinpointing what is coming from where in terms of stress.  Theoretically, anyway.  At the same time, she will be learning a LOT about other people and how to respond to their reactions better.  If she also has BPD, you could get played.  Be patient but not too pliable, ok?  Make sure you're getting support too.  You can always come here if you need some, but it really helps to have someone with sympathetic eyes that you can talk to up close, you know?  Are you taking good care of YOU?    if it's ok.
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argyle
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« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2011, 11:53:11 AM »

My guess is that BPD and Asperger's are distinct disorders. Asperger's tends to manifest as an inability to process certain emotional cues/stimuli - probably related to differences in brain function. BPDs often have normal brain function, they manifest a range of negative reinforcing behaviors, centered around fear of abandonment.

I suspect some BPDs are co-morbid with Asperger's, but I believe most are not. I don't know if Asperger's is a risk factor for BPD. I would guess that, absent childhood abuse, it is not.  Given childhood abuse, I could make a reasonable argument either way. I'm not a mental health professional in any way. (Couldn't find any references...)

That said, I suspect that co-morbid Asperger's and BPD may be associated with dangerous levels of violence.

--Argyle
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Zena321
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« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2011, 08:44:08 PM »

I would also like to comment on BPD verses Aspergers from my own personal observation ..it has been said people with BPD have a deep seated fear of abandonment where as I believe with Aspergers emotions are rather neutral thats their disability if you may,they could be alone in their room or thousands of miles away and feel the same where as I would miss being away from family if I were alone in a strange place for any amoun of time and call and see how things wsere at home.

My son on the other hand has just up and went on road trips in the middle of winter his first stop Ohio,then Buffalo then down to Miami then back home to MA. Mind you he was driving in blizzard conditions to start etc. did all this driving alone meeting "internet friends"and didn't understand why I wanted him to at least call and tell me if he made it to his states at least if he was OK it was to him like he was going to the store 10 minutes away.

He did this again last montgh up and went to Niagra Falls because he had never been and told me today he is going to NYC.

I asked him to please call and leave me names of hotels so I at least know where and when he gets places and is heading home. I put it in a way to say wouldn't you be a little worried if I took off to meet some man I didn't know hundreds of miles away and never called ...he somehow got that concept about me ..

Where as I believe someone with BPD would be extremely angry and would leave with a purpose not as my son did not thinking or feeling it was any big deal.
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We Seek Goals in the start of our Life's Journies,we hit a dead end, we need find a new road.Some take the Hwy,some get lost and panic & give up.My life no short cuts or hwys.Always the " SCENIC RT".Sometimes I stay in unkown places way to long than most.It is ME,somehow I manage to live thru HOPE.
argyle
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« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2011, 12:06:25 PM »

Actually, I did a bit of web search. My summary would be:

Asperger's and BPD are different disorders that can look alike.  In particular, the endless energy BPDs spend on their issues can result in Asperger's-like social issues, particularly lack of empathy. However, their origins and treatment are different. Aspies have differences in brain function and tend to learn mitigation strategies that help them work around their issues. (Eg, adopting the rule...bathe daily.) BPDs have poor coping strategies and need to unlearn those strategies and replace them with more effective strategies. (Eg., distract themselves instead of endlessly rehashing a conversation.)

However, the sticky part is that Asperger's has been found to be, in some cases, a risk factor for BPD.  The rationale is that the world for an Aspie is often quite scary, and may involve substantial abuse by childhood peers or parents. In addition, Aspies often have trouble processing emotions, which is also a root issue for BPD. It also appears that the symptoms of BPD are somewhat different in Aspies.

So, Asperger's and BPD are different. But, it wouldn't be too surprising to find that your husband also had Asperger's.  If you encounter frequent 'no comprehension' incidents when he is unstressed, the probability is higher.

--Argyle


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Zena321
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« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2011, 04:56:39 PM »

Hi Argyle,

              Actually it is my sons stepdad that has BPD but on a different note his father is definately ADD of course at 53 back when he was a kid nothing was known about ADD but it definately is not outgrown. We were married 14 years and had 4 sons 2 which are also very ADD  .
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We Seek Goals in the start of our Life's Journies,we hit a dead end, we need find a new road.Some take the Hwy,some get lost and panic & give up.My life no short cuts or hwys.Always the " SCENIC RT".Sometimes I stay in unkown places way to long than most.It is ME,somehow I manage to live thru HOPE.
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« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2011, 06:27:09 PM »

I, too, am a teacher of special needs children who has worked with children on all aspects of the autism spectrum. I do believe that aspies and pwBPD are completely different. Yes, they do share some similar broad characteristics: social issues and communication issues. In my experience with my daughter, her social issues stem more from paranoia and fear (ex.other people are talking about her, even people who she does not know and don't know her), rather than an inability to know how to conduct herself in a social situation. Also, apies can be taught to communicate their needs, wants and feelings verbally while my daughter communicates by inappropriate use of language and physical aggression.Just my thoughts...
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rubytuesday258

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« Reply #41 on: July 05, 2011, 09:22:02 AM »

[quote author=LW1968 link=topic=143298.msg1396236#msg1396236 date=1302297262

A pwBPD lacks empathy for others because of extreme pain and the need to care for the self first, above all others, much to the pain of those around them.[/quote]
All the people with BPD I've known have gone above and beyond to care for those around them, maybe when they are in deep depression they are not so eager to help care for those around them but I don't think this is because of a lack of empathy but more because of the lack of energy and feelings of helplessness both to their situation and to how to help those around them.
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argyle
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« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2011, 09:55:53 AM »

I'll second this...my BPDw has extreme empathy for people around her - excepting her husband.  OTOH, she usually has too many emotional issues to exercise that empathy.

--Argyle
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just_think
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« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2011, 11:08:02 AM »

All the people with BPD I've known have gone above and beyond to care for those around them, maybe when they are in deep depression they are not so eager to help care for those around them but I don't think this is because of a lack of empathy but more because of the lack of energy and feelings of helplessness both to their situation and to how to help those around them.

I always felt that it was a false empathy with my ex.  She cared for people she had nothing to do with to promote an image that she was a good person, but for those closest to her in her life, she had none. 

How you treat those closest to you is who you are. One cannot describe themselves as empathetic if they abuse those who really know them without being a hypocrite.   
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rubytuesday258

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« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2011, 11:37:43 AM »

One cannot describe themselves as empathetic if they abuse those who really know them without being a hypocrite.  

Abuse and empathy are not mutually exclusive. Especially when it is the type of abuse that is not cold-hearted and planned but rather an attempt to show the other how they really feel though obviously not in the healthy loving way. Also the people I know with BPD are not really that abusive, I mean sure they may get really angry if someone challenges them and they may lash out with a comment, but I do not think this necessarily makes them un-empathetic, I mean sure it's painful when they do lash out but I don't think that makes them un-empathetic or a hypocrite. Maybe you're experience is different.
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argyle
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« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2011, 12:10:58 PM »

I dunno.  My BPDw has been highly abusive towards me.  There - she really lacks in empathy.  'So, I was beating you about the head...how would I know that hurt you?Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post)'

However, I also believe that the compassion she shows towards others is genuine.  She worries about our preschool teacher, her family, her friends, random strangers on the street.  And still cries over a woman she met in prison who can't find her son. She has very strong emotions - and lacks many of the defenses I'd expect.

I suspect that my BPDw is a highly compassionate person.  Unfortunately, in intimate relationships, her fears of abandonment/anxiety/rejection, combined with a history of childhood abuse - result in not treating her husband well at all.  But, mostly, she savages me when she panics - not out of planned cruelty.

So - my observations, at least, are that some BPDs are highly compassionate.  I have also seen others who seemed to be more calculating in their displays of empathy. But, I've never been sure of the division between BPD/NPD.

--Argyle

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rubytuesday258

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« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2011, 11:52:31 PM »

There are always going to be people who lack empathy but I do not think it should be generalized to include all pwBPD. BPD and NPD are pretty different, in regards to lack of empathy, this is not in the diagnostic criteria in the dsm for BPD but in NPD one of the diagnostic criteria is "Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others".

I'm sorry that your wife lacks empathy towards you, that must be really hard, but I don't think that pwBPD should be overgeneralized.
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D
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« Reply #47 on: July 06, 2011, 11:26:34 AM »

I'd say that people with BPD don't lack empathy at all. They lash out and are hurtful because they hurt. They've actually got very good powers of 'reading' people and can find emotional 'buttons' with uncanny accuracy. They can also punch those buttons strategically to powerful (and painful) effect. They may not be consciously aware of it, but they're emotionally manipulative. I think it's more out of desperation than meanness. If they could figure out how to get what they need without hurting people they probably would, but then they probably wouldn't have BPD.

Aspies don't read people very well at all and if they find your emotional buttons it's probably by accident and if they punch them it's probably because they are unaware that they're hurting you. If you say that they're hurting you they may not care because it doesn't make sense and is thus hard to believe or put meaning to.

When I was a child I had to be taught, explicitly, that other people's feelings matter even when they don't make sense. I do hurt people's feelings and often I don't notice, and often if I do notice I don't know what caused it, or if it was even me. dBPD MiL is very in tune with people's feelings and, when she chooses, can make people feel very good about themselves, or very bad. She can make friends quite easily and that seems to work in quite the opposite way as it does for me -- people love her at first and gradually start to find her creepy and unpleasant.
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Salut
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« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2012, 11:40:55 AM »

Does anyone have experience with asbergers?  My uBPDh's nieces son seems to have asbergers, and it got me thinking about my H.  He has some physical traits that seem to be common with asbergers ( clumsy, walks oddly) and he can have narrow interests and social problems like talking over people and seeming self centered.  On the other hand he can be pretty gregarious and make friends easily. 

But here's an interesting revelation for me.  I love H's nephew and have watched him grow up.  I know he has problems but would not judge him for those.  However, I am pretty judgmental with my H for some of the same tendencies.
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real lady
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« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2012, 11:53:27 AM »

My son is an aspie; his father-my exhusband, we "believe" to be an aspergers though he has not been diagnosed. He was very OC; uOCPD, I believe.

I do not recall seeing very much similarity between my BPDh's behavior and an aspergers though aspies CAN exhibit SOME impulsive and explosive behavior but it does NOT have the long duration of de-escalation that BPDs seem to have.

My son and his father are both very bright and intelligent but no where near as much as my BPDh. I see my BPDhs behavior as being an emotional dysregulation disorder and Aspergers as being more of a social ineptness. Both can lack empathy but I believe it is for different reasons and from different sources. Their depth of emotion seems to be VERY different.

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Salut
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« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2012, 01:32:25 PM »

My nephew (really great nephew) does seem much more literal and not so emotionally driven as my H.  My nephew talks over people but it is because of his singlemindedness.  I think my H talks over people for control and some kind of fear. 

I was wondering because of what I read about the physical traits associated with asbergers.  My H is always sort of in overdrive which can make him clumsy.  And he has sort of a different body structure (short legs, big turned out feet) that makes his walk a little out of the norm.  I assumed all this was normal variation in people, but started wondering when I read about aspergers.

I have never understood the descalarion part.  My experience is that I am the one that holds a grudge.  My H used to escalate really fast, but then let it drop.  That has changed as our r/s has worsened.  he holds onto a lot now, but I can understand that after all the trouble we have had.

How does your son handle aspergers?  My nephew is just becoming a teenager and going through family changes.  I'm a little worried about him and don't know what to expect.  Always new he was unique, but the school has recently started trying to identify the problem.

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real lady
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« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2012, 02:07:21 PM »

My son was diagnosed at 7 and will be turning 11 soon. His social skills (lacking) are really evident in a personal boundary issue for him; he sometimes has a hard time keeping his hands to himself, talking when he should not be talking and getting out of his seat; he is NOT ADHD and that is a good thing.

He does very well on the playground, surprisingly to his teachers. He has done VERY well in mainstream classroom this year but will have much more resource room next year (smaller class size) to help him not get so overwhelmed.

Social inappropriateness is the only thing that I am really concerned about for my son; he is very bright but does not always know what is "wrong" until after he has already done it and then may still not understand why anyone got upset about it. He means no harm and just doesn't "get it". Because he was diagnosed and gotten into an IEP right away; he has responded well and hopefully he will be more equipped in understanding himself by the time he becomes a teenager.

I have an Asperger son and a BPDh and be the only other adult (with pets) in the house. They are challenging and many times, wonderful to be around but since there are "some" similarities in their behavior; they are seeing themselves in each other which is both good and bad; hard for me overall but it could be much worse.
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Salut
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« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2012, 08:42:19 PM »

 Hi! Real lady,

Dealing with any behavior issues (our own or other people's) is very difficult.  I am glad you are able to cope and have the tools you need to keep it all in perspective.

My nephew (really great nephew) does seem more obsessive, while my H seems to want control. What does your BPDh think of your son?  I don't think my H quite nows what to think about his nephew.  He doesn't really have the patience to deal with him and I think he prefers to deal with his other nieces and nephews who will go along with my H and not try to lead the conversation. 

The other day my H had a little melt down at a family gathering when the nephew wanted to go walking with us.  h wanted to go with adults, so he got upset, and while he tried to be nice to the the nephew, he really turned on me and blamed me for not understanding there would be a transport problem.  The problem was minor and could have been solved, but I didn't want it to get worse for the nephew so I just stood by and waited for my H to work out whatever he was going to work out with his family.  But I was steamed.  He was really rude to that poor kid.

H has been dysregulated lately and there was a death in his family recently so i am trying not to judge too harshly, but we ended up in a fight about it later.  I did try to understand what he was saying and i now realize he wasn't directing anything at his nephew and didn't think he was being unkind to his nephew.  Unfortunately, his sister from out of town and i both saw it and thought he was pretty mean.  I told him he should apologize to his nephew and he eventually sort of agreed but I don't think he has.

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PatsFan10

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« Reply #53 on: May 21, 2012, 10:55:17 AM »

This is an interesting topic to me because i was too seeing similarities in Asbergers vs. BPD. My stepdaughter who is 9 is very close to being officially diagnosed with Asbergers. My wife hasn't been diagnosed with BPD, but I have been following this site for some time and would be willing to bet the farm on the fact she has something that is concerning. It is amazing to see the two of them argue over issues because it is like I'm watching the two and seeing my 9 yr old use tactics that my wife uses. So i wonder if my wife has just asbergers or if i should be more concerned about my 9 yr old... or did my wife have asbergers and as a kid her horrible life experiences developed her into having BPD... Just thinking out loud... Any thoughts?
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« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2012, 08:39:33 AM »

Have a family member w/Aspergers and a uBDPm.  Perhaps there are superficial similarities w/weak social skills and consistent demonstration of empathy, but I think there are radical differences:

Aspergers lack vindictive behavior.  Their behavior may seem unkind, or overtly truth-speaking, but it's not motivated by vindictive or punitive feelings of BPDm.

Aspergers lack "empathy filter" to dependably regulate their behavior and statements.  BPDm states her entitlement to "speak her mind", as "I am who I am; you must accept it."  BPDm is aware that she's behaving badly, and takes perverse pride in her version of "truth-speaking" - which is often false.

Aspergers lack consistent social deftness; BPDm relishes her social faux pas - finding it humorous that she bullies and/or mocks other people.

Some Aspergers seek social acceptance, and try to read social clues to "fit in".  BPDm seeks "center of attention", and is willing to violate social rules to achieve that focus.   
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Pastel

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« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2012, 03:13:12 PM »

I have Asperger's Syndrome (diagnosed), and I'm fairly certain my mom has BDP.

I'd suggest picking up a copy of "Aspergirls" by Rudy Simone, and also checking out this website, which lists an overview of female AS traits: www.help4aspergers.com/pb/wp_a58d4f6a/wp_a58d4f6a.html

When I told my mom I thought I had AS, her reply was that "there's no way my child is autistic! I know what autism is!" But after a lot of begging and negotiating, I got her to read that book. When she finished, she told me "It's like they wrote a book about you." The point I'm getting at is, that book is easily accessible and gives a good general overview on what females with Asperger's experience AND appear like to the outside world.

Here are some differences between AS and BDP I can think of off the top of my head:

- Black and white thinking means a different thing in AS than it does when speaking about BDP. In autistics, b&w thinking means things like "there is only one way to get dressed" or "there is only one right way to build a sand castle." We can be very set in our ways, often to the point of ritualistic or seemingly OCD behavior. In interpersonal relationships, it means that we have difficulty seeing beyond our own experience. When I was a kid, I could not comprehend how someone could dislike a book or a movie I liked. It was obviously good (according to my experience), therefor the only reason someone didn't appreciate it as much as I had was because they hadn't been paying attention or just didn't understand (in which case, it was my job to explain). It was a "good" book, in my mind, not that my experience of reading the book was good. The idea that "Good" and "bad" were subjective was too abstract for me to understand. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I started to learn that people can experience the same event and have a different reaction. However, this is something I know cognitively, not intuitively, meaning that in social situations (which often occur too quickly to completely think through, because non-autistics rely on their intuition completely) I can still get tripped up. B&W thinking in autism really refers to how we take things literally and how we need things to be a certain way. In interpersonal relationships, what you're really talking about is a lack of cognitive empathy and a poor theory of mind, which gets into the examples I was discussing above.

Black and white thinking in BDP's is really a completely different animal. It's the "my way or the highway/all or nothing" mentality. Superficially, they might in some instances seem the same. My mom and I both might need the cereal boxes to be lined up in alphabetical order (for example). We might both experience distress if this need is not met, and we might both react in a way that seems completely overblown. However, the mentality behind it (in my opinion), is different. For autistic people like myself, routine is comforting and change is distressing. It's very similar to the needs of a person with OCD. I might get upset if someone rearranged my cereal boxes. I might even get angry at the person who rearranged my cereal boxes. But the source of my distress would be the cereal boxes themselves, and only the person who rearranged them by extension. I would feel comfortable again once the cereal boxes were in the right order.

If it was my mom we were taking about, the locus of her distress would be on the person who moved the cereal boxes, and the cereal boxes would only be the facts which frame her anger at the individual. As I understand it (and I'm really more an expert in autism than BDP), the BDP individual needs to exert control over their environment to feel secure. While they may be particular about how things are done, it is less about those particular things and more about exerting their will over others (consciously or unconsciously). My mother and I may both think that our need to have the cereal boxes in alphabetical order is more important than my brother's need to keep the box on the low shelf to reach it, but in the case of the BDP individual it's the mentality of "my needs come first" or "my needs are so great that I can't consider yours." She has a need to control others which she satisfies by controlling the environment. The fact that my brother needs the box lower is then an act of defiance or an attack. It is something done with the intent of hurting her, and she lashes out to punish. In her mind, the black and white thinking is "This request was simple. You were capable of bending to my wishes, and the only reason that you didn't is because you don't care about what I want or feel." The other person's feelings don't factor into the equation. White is "you love me and you'll do this for me" and black is "you hate me and you won't." The idea that my brother can love her and not put the cereal boxes in order is an impossible paradox due to her "all or nothing" mentality.

- Self-harm or SIB is different in AS than it is in BDP as well. Which is not to say that autistic people never self-harm like others do. What I mean is that there are two different impetuses which can compel an person to self harm. There is the type everyone is aware of (the cry for help, the self-hatred, needing to feel, etc.), and there is the type unique to autistic people (and some others). When you hear about low-functioning autistic kids who bang their heads against a wall, they're not doing it because they're depressed, more than likely.

Due to sensory issues, certain types of "pain" can feel good to an autistic person. Our brains don't process sensory information the same way others do. I floss so hard that my gums bleed because I like the way it feels. I also put pressure on the sides of my fingernails.

Self-harm can be a reaction to stress. Which is often the case with head-banging. When my brain gets overloaded (particularly because of too much sensory input and social situations), I find that a little bit of pain can momentarily "bring me back." I'll do things like twisting my fingers until they hurt, bite the inside of my cheek, or bite my fingers to get through something difficult. It keeps me slightly more focused.

But none of this is to say that autistic people don't self-harm due to the "typical" reasons as well. People with AS can also be depressed or bipolar (and so on). We're not immune to that, but we might not be self-harming for the reasons you think.

- AS is a pervasive developmental disorder, not a personality disorder. The keyword there is "developmental." You do not develop AS late in life, you are born with it (or acquire it sometime during the early stages of development, jury's out). If your daughter has AS, there were symptoms present in her early childhood. Of course, that doesn't mean you necessarily recognized them, particularly if she was your firstborn and you didn't have a real comparison to draw.

Symptoms in childhood include things like hyperlexia (reading at an unusually early age, massive vocabulary, but peculiarities in usage), echolalia (repeating back words or phrases they hear, particularly instead of a response when questioned), poor fine or gross motor skills (difficulty with handwriting, difficulty with learning movements by mimicking others, clumsiness and general poor coordination), taking language literally (taking figurative phrases literally, I put the cat in the fridge so it would "chill out." Common conversational phrases are often picked up on through trial and error, but look for difficulties in following instructions because they're taken literally. For instance, "give that paper to me by Friday" could have the implied meaning of "turn that paper in to me by email the same way we always do." However, the person said "give" instead of "email," causing great confusion to the autistic individual who has difficulty understanding the implied meaning.), and sensory issues (being incredibly sensitive to certain sensations, such as the tags on clothing, certain smells, certain colors or patterns, being touched lightly by others, food tastes and textures, and certain sounds. The autistic brain can perceive everyday experiences as physically painful, and when overwhelmed by these painful experiences, the autistic child can often explode in an uncontrollable tantrum or completely shut down.).

This is by no means a comprehensive list. It does not mean your child has autism if they had one or all of these traits. It does not mean your child DOES NOT have autism if they had none of these traits. The main thing to keep in mind when considering whether or not your child is autistic is to look at the big picture. Every autistic person experiences the traits in their own unique way, and we all experience the traits to a different severity. But the bottom line is that we all experience the same thing to some degree. If your daughter doesn't have that shared experience (particularly if she does research into it and doesn't feel that it fits her), don't try to force it just because one aspect really makes sense.

Like I said, I'm not really an expert on BDP. I'm not 100% sure my mom has it. I may have made some mistakes when talking about BDP, but I'm confident my info on AS is solid.

Writing this made me realize how similar AS and BDP can seem on the surface in certain situations. I was really kind of offended at first that someone could mistake one for the other. I still am, actually. But I guess that's just my own prejudice. My mom was just so hard to live with, it's hard for me to see BDP in a positive (or even neutral, really) light.
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« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2012, 06:45:58 AM »

In the new ":)SM-5" manual, "the criteria will incorporate several diagnoses from DSM-IV including autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder (not otherwise specified) into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder for DSM-5 to help more accurately and consistently diagnose children with autism," according to an APA statement Saturday.
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« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2013, 04:19:00 AM »

My undiagnosed BPD friend knows that something is not ok. He thinks he may have Aspberger's - and it seems there are some similarities - motor difficulties, some clumsiness, little empathy, social awkwardness (sometimes, sometimes he is brilliant). But he shows lots of BPD traits too, immaturity, baiting, projection, belittling.. Does it make any difference?

My biggest question seems a bit difficult to answer.. should the person with Asperger's be treated in a different way? If one set of behaviour stems from insecurity, and the other from not being able to recognise information, signals .. I'm still not sure. Have too keep reading, but would appreciate others' opinions.
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« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2013, 12:25:37 PM »

Hi foggydew,

What an interesting question, and, I agree, difficult to answer!  I think it may come down to radical acceptance, whether your friend has BPD, AS, or both.  The behaviors are what they are, and although I know to us it feels like there is a difference between a "signal" problem or one that looks like intentional manipulation, I think it's important to take care of ourselves as we do our best to accept and love our friends/family/partners with AS and/or BPD. Not easy, for sure.

Here is some info. from a recent study (May 2012) about Aspergers and personality disorders:

Personality disorders and autism spectrum disorders: what are the connections?

Tove Lugnegårda, b, , , Maria Unenge Hallerbäckb, c, Christopher Gillbergb

a Department of Adult Habilitation, Central Hospital, Karlstad, Sweden

b Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

c Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Central Hospital, Karlstad, Sweden

Abstract

Background

The relationship between autism spectrum disorders/pervasive developmental disorders and personality disorders is not completely clear, although both concepts imply lifelong impairment. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the presence of possible personality disorders in a group of young adults with Asperger syndrome.

Method

Fifty-four young adults with a clinical diagnosis of Asperger syndrome were assessed with Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II disorders to evaluate the presence of a concomitant personality disorder and completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient to measure level of autistic features. Autism spectrum diagnosis was confirmed by Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders with a collateral informant.

Results

Approximately half of the study group fulfilled criteria for a personality disorder, all belonging to cluster A or C. There was a significant difference across sex: men with Asperger syndrome meeting personality disorder criteria much more often than women with Asperger syndrome (65% vs 32%). Participants fulfilling criteria for a personality disorder showed more marked autistic features according to the Autism Spectrum Quotient.

Conclusions

There is a considerable overlap in symptoms between Asperger syndrome and certain personality disorders. Similarities and differences of the two concepts are discussed in the framework of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system.



I also found a review (2011) of a book by Louise Weston entitled Connecting With Your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy.  The advice sounds similar to what you might read about dealing with a pwBPD:

"There is an emphasis on many scholarly and non- scholarly related materials to get a better understanding of AS diagnosis. This book is moving the issue of diagnosis to a new level for some of us neurotypicals. Along the same lines, Louise Weston is referring to the challenges in the diagnosis as ‘‘let go of expectations.’’ I find this phrase a fantastic one as it truly indicates the issue that no two Aspies are alike. Therefore, it would be impossible to have certain level of expectation associated with being in a relationship with an Aspie."

"One of the repeated themes in the book is referring to ‘‘self-care.’’ There is a fine line between the strategies of self-care and activities that can be indicative of a rela- tionship. Whether with a NT or with an Aspie, one should always practice self-care. The author provides various ways in which the NT can monitor stress levels as well as levels of self-care."

Hope this helps.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #59 on: August 23, 2014, 03:19:46 PM »

Hi, I am wondering if there is any relationship between these two.  My mother and aunt have very VERY strong BPD traits although neither has ever come close to getting anything that could resemble a therapist so both would be undiagnosed.  However, my aunt's first born son has strong traits of autism, and has been to all sorts of therapists throughout his life, and is officially recognized as having a disability.   

I've noticed many other people on here posting about having autistic children, and I wonder if there is any link between BPD mothers and autistic children.  I've been told that when my cousin was very young (2 years old) my aunt would have serious rage episodes against him because he would get food everywhere when he ate, or would spill water, or whatever other insignificant typical thing a 2 year old can do.  I wonder if this may have aggravated or even provoked his symptoms.
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