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Author Topic: Age: Do the symptoms of BPD improve/worsen with age?  (Read 67177 times)

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Gender: Male
Posts: 45

« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2007, 07:56:58 PM »

I had the same question so I asked my T.

He said that many eventually burn out. It takes a lot of energy to sustain the levels of emotionally intensity that they experience and as they age they find that this level of intensity it is not possible to maintain.

Hence, with age they "Mellow" (My word not his)


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Gender: Male
Posts: 405

« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2007, 02:59:55 PM »

Perosnality disorders tends to increase at age 50+ and tends to decrease at 60+
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Gender: Male
Posts: 665

« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2007, 03:27:41 PM »

As a person ages 50+ it seems they mellow (though my observations are purely anecdotal evidence).

My mother is a nurse who deals with a lot of geriatric patients for a week to a month at a time.

She says that attitudes of these type of patients are usually angry or very nice, rarely any middle grounders.

I am not sure this matters but interesting info none the less.

I am curious about the study. What symptoms were they gaging this by? Medical studies are some the most

ambiguous studies and are often as flawed as their subject; humanity is hard to quantify, much less the human with BPD.     

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Gender: Female
Posts: 109

« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2008, 01:57:57 AM »

As concerns (most probably) low functionning BP, there is a recent paper by Zanarini et al. A 10-year follow up of 362 BP initially contacted while they were in-patients. While impulsivity and severe difficulties in interpersonal management showed a reduction in some individuals, chronic disyphoria, abandonment and dependency issues tended to remain over time. Here the ref.

Zanarini, M. C., Frankenburg, F. R., Reich, D. B., Silk, K. R., Hudson, J. I., & McSweeney, L. B. (2007). The subsyndromal phenomenology of borderline personality disorder: a 10-year follow-up study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(6), 929-935.

To my knowledge, there is no follow-up study on high functionning BP.

But no need to say that this type of investigation would be deeply needed :-)

- yoo

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Gender: Male
Posts: 52

« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2008, 06:18:01 PM »

Thanks Yoo, that information is very interesting.  And I do wish there were more studies conducted with high functioning, but it also may be dangerous to do that since they can be so manipulative and the data could be scewed as well.
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Gender: Female
Posts: 221

« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2008, 12:30:37 PM »

I think it is different for everyone. However...from my research and my experiance. BPD is at it's very worst from age 17 to about 30. 
Raven Valley

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Gender: Female
Posts: 33

« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2008, 04:46:31 AM »

I first found out about what exactly the disorder is on wikipedia, but on there it says it lasts for about a decade, that it lessens in severity over time. But a lot of the threads I've been reading here seem to be by people who have known sufferers for a lot longer than 10 years without any dissipation of the disorder.

Is wikipedia wrong?
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Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 7204

« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2008, 08:59:44 AM »

This may be a definitional thing... often the technical literature refers to low functioning BP.  These individuals have difficulties holding jobs, self harm, and often spend time as inpatients in hospitals.  These severe symptoms often reduce in time.  They learn to adapt.

The majority of the BP discussed on this sit are either high functioning, sub-clinical (traits as opposed to clinically disordered), or past this "severe" symptom period. What we discuss here is the difficulty of maintaining a relationship with a BP or person with BPD traits... and that level of difficulty can persist for many years - even a lifetime - if a significant effort is not made to address it.

Hope that helps.



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Gender: Female
Posts: 28

« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2008, 09:02:03 AM »

I dont think that slipping will necesarily put you back to the start, its a two steps forward, one step back process from what i've seen. I think the major difficulty with BPD is that every patient is different, there are different vices, different coping mechanisms, different drugs and therapies that may help one, but not another, and thats why its such a difficult disorder to diagnose, treat and live with; because there are no 'right' answers, because each patient is individual. I have a friend of a friend, who went through two years of therapy, and now leads a full and healthy life, although she does sometimes feel like she has bad days when she thinks about the past and feels like it may be creeping back. So she is not 'cured' as such, but has been given a chance to deal with the issues, and has learnt to live with, and cope with her feelings. In 2 years, she has had 2 days off sick, and they were genuine... Now of course the same therapy wont work for everyone, but it shows that things can be done, but perhaps not to get rid of BPD, but to learn to cope. Hope that makes some kind of sense...!

Rainbow x
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Gender: Female
Posts: 769

« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2008, 10:36:13 AM »

It is a disorder, similar to something like diabetes, in that it can be managed with the proper treatment of medication, therapy and changing one's way of thinking with some form of cognitive behavioral therapy which can include DBT (has been shown to reduce self-harming behavior).

Symptoms may wax and wane depending on the amount of stress they are under, when they first fall in love and certain traits may lessen in severity with some individuals.  There is no cure at this point but it can be properly managed, if the individual is willing and is able to receive the right treatment.

As Skip mentioned, there is a difference between low functioning and high functioning borderlines and most of the research has been based on low functioning types which are more often seen in clinical settings.

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