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Author Topic: FAQ: Low functioning vs high functioning - what are the prognostic indicators? ?  (Read 8195 times)
Stu84

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« on: January 09, 2016, 06:00:10 PM »

In trying to determine whether my ex was really suffering from a PD or PD traits, I've wondered where the extent of her behavior would sit on the spectrum of functionality (or rather dysfunction!).  I've obviously seen posts about 20 + year marriages with pwBPD and career pwBPD.  I'd certainly call these high functioning pwBPD despite the hell that may have occurred behind closed doors.

My ex gf certainly began to devalue and criticize me a lot after about 9 months and this eventually lead to a horrific breakup... .and a recycle 4 months later.  But this could be just another toxic r/s with trouble person.  I wonder if past behavior is always indicative of future behavior?  Basically, these are the salient features I'm looking at to determine (with some interest) whether she is low function and whether she'll ever get her s*** together (she's now 28):

- Substance abuse - It really all went south when I caught her abusing drugs, realized she'd re-taken up her addiction that had occurred years ago

- Shop-lifting - I was in the FOG when she dropped that she stole most of her cloths from large department stores

- She once said she'd driven her car at stupid speeds a couple of times and didn't know why

- She completed 3/4 of both a psychology degree and teaching degree (still not finished) but struggled with what she wanted to do - she was very intelligent and was considered stellar at her teaching pracs

- a series of hospitality jobs that she was very good at but never stayed at any for that long

- no real friends - she had two that were dropkicks, one being the guy who scored her drugs for her.  She's dropped them now (well hopefully still has)

- can somewhat tell she'd had a fair few r/s but kind of indicated that I was the longest at 2 years (even though I sort of laughed at this suggestion as there had been the horrific initial break-up that lasted 4 months) - she said all her past BF's had gone "crazy"

- she'd apparently been an escort in her early twenties

- sounds like she'd had a problem with binge-eating because she admitted she'd had lap band surgery to sort her weight out

- Kind of understood her behavior was messed up and stated "I was on good behavior for the first 9 months"

- reckless with money - bought things on a whim, wasted lots of money on shopping

- knew she was hurting me, could acknowledge it in some way but couldn't seem to stop

- lots of put downs

- thought I would have an affair - when I sad "why" she replied because "I've been mean to you"

- could never really face saying sorry or thank you towards the end

- said she'd report me to the police when I texted her suggesting BPD
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Itstopsnow
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2016, 06:24:21 PM »

Honestly I think that she sounds somewhat low functioning. My ex he is very intelligent . Has his masters and speaks 3 languages fluently . But like yours... .Can't seem to keep long term work. Looks like he can study better than working. Always impulsive with spending money, wanting to go to the casino and gambling . Huge credit card debt. Was living home free now almost two years since leaving the priesthood and in 7k plus credit card debt. No friends. And acts very socially awkward at times. Can superficially function with others if it's for small amounts of time. I don't consider him high functioning because too many areas of his life seem to be impacted negatively. Not even mentioning his rages, tantrums, rigid ways and moodiness . I think with others he isn't too much like that. But in the work place I feel when pressure gets too high for him he overwhelms and screws up. Or checks out mentally. Has to always have his mom bail him out when finances get too out of control. Having his backups are more important than his goals and moving forward in life. I got him a great opportunity at a company where he would of started off at 65k and he made 10k for the summer. He blew the job bc he got his second girlfriend then. Juggling two full times proved to be too much and they didn't keep him on. I'm sure they noticed his issues or lack of responsibility . He screwed up two jobs this way.
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2016, 01:11:10 AM »

Low functioning included things like chronically unemployed/fired, suicidal, risky sexual relationships, financial ruin, etc. - basically not able to operate in society well.

Diagnosisable has more to do with the presence of 5 or 9 criteria.

Have you looked at this? What do you see here: https://bpdfamily.com/content/borderline-personality-disorder
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 04:21:42 PM by Harri » Logged

 
enlighten me
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 01:44:46 AM »

Im still trying to work out if my exgf was low or high functioning. She can run her finances well but if monies available she will blow it. She has held down jobs for a long time in the past and done well with them but more recently has been in and out of work and was nearly fired from her last job but quit first. Lots of sexual partners. Can operate in society well but doesn't have long term friendships. Flits between groups of friends.

I think she falls into low functioning more but can come across as high.
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Itstopsnow
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 11:27:15 AM »

I also read because it's a spectrum disorder they can go between high and low functioning. My ex had a lot of sexual infidelities I'm assuming. He did hold the priesthood about 4 years. But was seeing women on side during most of that. I heard when they are in very structured jobs they can maintain for a while. I think that's what happened for him there. Since his needs were taken care of for him he didn't have to be responsible for them . His housing, car insurance, and food was paid for. So any money he had was just for his own personal pleasure. Now out of priesthood . He changed 4 jobs in 18 months. Nothing in bank and 7k plus in debt. And dating as many people as he can. That seems like low functioning to me.
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Masuimi

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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 12:15:20 PM »

Hi everyone Smiling (click to insert in post)

I just had a question that keeps popping up in my mind, but... .

Can BPD's hold down a steady job?

I ask this because my now exBF has always had no problem holding down jobs. He doesn't like jobs where there is much interaction with people, but he is a hard worker and gets things done in an efficient manner (something I've always valued about him). He actually has two jobs currently; taking on a second one so that he could buy new things around his house for me when I was planning on moving in (something I now feel incredibly guilty for). Anyways, it was just a thought in my mind. I know people with BPD have a difficult time working with others because of the fact that they view everyone as black and white. So I can understand to some degree that if they paint someone black it would be harder to work with them.

With the black and white thought in mind, it also confuses me because my ex would say that he hates someone at work but will still be kind to them? Even going as far as having friendly conversations or doing some online gaming with them (as if they were actually friends). He goes back and forth between saying he HATES the guy but later on saying that he's "alright and cool" or "he's a good guy, just a crappy worker". Is that something most BPD's do?

Thanks everyone!
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Rock Chick
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2016, 06:11:03 PM »

I read some articles and posts on forums that said there is high functioning BPD, low functioning BPD and combination (I cant remember exact phrase or word used when person has traits of both high and low functioning pd). I personally think my bf's mother is either combination or low.
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Jester20
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 06:00:13 PM »

What is the difference between low and high functioning BPD ?
My husband worked since leaving school and did 13 years as a manager in the auto trade business. Back surgery saw him leave this job and he went bankrupt ( medical bankruptcy he told me which is quite high in the states?) then he met me.
Whilst being a manager for 13 years he also did rally car racing in his spare time. He had never had a girlfriend before he met me... .he said it would not have been fair whilst he was doing the rally car racing.
So hasn't worked for 7 years, tried to kill himself and now in group for BPD
Would he be classed as previously high Noe low functioning... .and yes I believe 3 of life's main stressors moving , marriage, no job and health problems and father passing ... .pushed him over the edge and resulted in low functioning.
Would this seem correct?
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kc sunshine
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 08:19:09 PM »

One interesting distinction that I read was that low functioning tended to map on "acting-in" destructive behaviors (self-harm, suicide attempts, etc) and high functioning tended to map onto "acting out" behaviors (e.g. rages at partners, etc). What do you all think of this distinction?
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SummerStorm
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 03:17:05 PM »

Hi everyone Smiling (click to insert in post)

I just had a question that keeps popping up in my mind, but... .

Can BPD's hold down a steady job?

It depends on the person and the job.  My BPD friend couldn't handle teaching.  It was too much work and too much responsibility, along with all of the stress that goes along with having to grade and lesson plan after work and over the weekend.  She's been working at a convenience store for about 18 months now and was given a manager position because of her college degree and job performance.  But obviously, that job is much less stressful than teaching.  She basically makes smoothies and sandwiches all day.
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TDeer
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2017, 12:27:09 PM »

https://www.BPDcentral.com/borderline-disorder/subcategories-BPD/?fullweb=1

There's a great chart on the website! My BPD MIL is definitely an "invisible" aka high functioning BPD.
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You will find indepth information provided by our senior members in our workshop board discussions (click here).

Shane87

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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2017, 06:53:53 PM »

My wife is high functioning.

She doesn't engage in self harm, that I'm aware of. 

To manage her separation anxiety and emotional immaturity, she is all about control.  To attain and maintain control, she employs a host of methods including gas-lighting, destruction conditioning, smear campaigns, preemptive defense, baiting, shaming, perpetually claiming victimhood, etc.  I had already been conditioned to walk on eggshells around her long before the outright verbal abuse towards me began.

She is unable to accept any level of accountability for her actions.  Claiming victimhood is her default defense when confronted with her behavior... .always against the person she feels confronted by.  As is re-writing history as many times as is convenient, depending on the narrative she desires.  If there is simply no way of evading accountability, she will experience a complete emotional breakdown, appealing to sympathy.

The only person I've seen her abandon her martyr identity with, for only a minute or two, was our psychiatrist.  The moment he exposed how she was gas-lighting me and reassured me that I wasn't hallucinating her abusive/manipulative behavior, she unveiled her fury at him.  Of course, after that meeting she refused to return to the psychiatrist and began a smear campaign in conjunction with proxy recruiting our local ecclesiastical leader (and his wife) to use against me and the psychiatrist.
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RiseAbove

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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2017, 08:42:30 PM »

Hi Shane-- sorry to hear you must've married my ex ;-)

Your list that start with the BPD's inability to take accountability for their actions is 100% on the mark, in my experience. My ex uBPD is high functioning, and can appear normal (but 'off' in most social situations. I think the high functioning BPD knows they have a set amount of time until they get uncomfortable being around other people, and vice versa.

For my ex, she uses the victimhood-shield to try to gain sympathy from people, but anyone that pushes her on it gets immediately vilified. Partly it just gets hard to even follow her on whatever it is she is claiming to be a victim of, and if you wait long enough you will be named as a perpetrator.  She is able to work a job, and function as a 'normal' mother in many situations, but the moment something happens to cause her to dis-regulate (which happens fairly often) she goes right into the theatrics we all seem to know so well. I know that I would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to prove she is BPD, and even then I'm not sure that would help the situation with my kids and me.
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2017, 10:10:55 AM »

Don't forget that, according to the DSM, a person only needs to have the majority of symptoms (5 of 9 indicators) to have a Cluster B personality disorder. That means that they don't necessarily need to be violent or self-harming.

I think maybe my BPD MIL does self-harm, but only if it gets her attention and she's covert most of the time, so it's hard to tell. That, or she milks an injury for all the attention she can.

One time when I was over the in law's house, my BPD MIL cut her finger pretty badly and KEPT COOKING. I was there and I couldn't figure out why neither my husband nor his father would help her or say anything to her about stopping.

I confronted her to ask her to take care of herself and got the first aid kit. She really didn't stop until my husband took care of her injury and after I insisted we all help her. Her own husband went upstairs and didn't bother paying attention to her. She was bleeding, but in retrospect, I guess it was under control enough or she wouldn't have kept cooking. That's what makes me think it was for attention that she didn't just go take care of it or ask for help. She had to prance around like a victim to get attention from my husband before stopping. She didn't want my attention or she would have listened to me instead.

It was no small cut either. I knew she was weird, but I didn't know it was a true mental illness until much later. I mean, who cuts themselves and doesn't take a second to stop their own bleeding?

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Tattered Heart
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2017, 09:22:13 AM »

Hi everyone Smiling (click to insert in post)

I just had a question that keeps popping up in my mind, but... .

Can BPD's hold down a steady job?



My H has never had a problem with jobs, or money for the most part. I think this questions is really answered based on their high or low functioning status.

I consider my H  to be a high functioning BPD. In his jobs he has not only stuck with each of them for 5+ years, but he also manages to move into a better position in his jobs, such as being promoted to management. We each get personal spending money that we do not have to be accountable to. He blows all of his immediately on weed, but that's the only drug he uses. His worst spending habit is going to eat fast food frequently outside of our budgeted amount.

My H will maintains control of himself publicly. He is very concerned with how others view him and doesn't want to be rejected socially, although he acts like relationships don't matter to him.  Only when he feels like people are trying to put him in a box or rejecting him does he rebel by canceling plans or not showing up to events.  He has a history of attacking people on FB but lots of people are mean on FB. When talking with him, most people can tell that there is something off about him, but it's hard to put your finger on. He comes off as a know it all nerd, maybe a little paranoid, very negative, but people randomly walk up to him and start sharing their problems with him and he gives really good advice. They see him as practical.

Thankfully my H has never had suicidal tendencies or self harm. His most dangerous behavior is road rage, which can get pretty bad, but he also knows limits and doesn't want to go to jail. He tailgates, drives recklessly to scare other drivers, and flips people off. His other addictive behavior is food. He eats 3-4 snacks at night after dinner. I'm still not sure how he isn't too overweight. Probably because he paces constantly. He has a CCW and it is not an issue. He doesn't threaten people with it or even talk about it.

All of his bad behavior is seen only by me. He rants and complains to me about others that have hurt him socially. He obsesses over subjects only when he is home. He lets his fear of rejection by others be seen only by me.  He complains about his job and church and society privately. He yells at me, criticizes me, and treats me badly only at home. He is moody and volatile and offended only where I can see it. He knows that if he acted that way in public people would reject him.
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