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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: Age: Do the symptoms of BPD improve/worsen with age?  (Read 59586 times)
kittykat63
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« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2012, 05:19:26 AM »

my mum is 70- and is definitely better! she is still a sick person but 300% better than she was.

she used to be one very- very sick and abusive lady. now shes just dotty and self obsessed. but the self obsession is harmless- as long as i dont need a two way conversation.

the abuse- blackmail- projection- fogging- needyness- demands- most of that has gone

what lingers now is the child like state of being stuck in that child like "my needs are the most important" narcissism. and thats ok to deal with- INTENSLY annoying but not damaging.

i never used to be able to see my mum withut being verbally abused- now i see her once a week- abuse free- and we chat quite happily. so long as she dominates the conversation and talks about herself and gets indulged.

its not fair- but its a better deal- and its also a genuine mental condition that one cant snap out of- or change easily. so apart from feeling intensly annoyed- and not being able to cope with vry much of it- its ok by and large.
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kittykat63
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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2012, 05:29:30 AM »

its me again..i keep readin past posts...i have to stop and break away..lol

you dont break away from BPD at the age of 40, maturity or age doesnt cure a deep rooted/deep seated physchological condition which has arisen from childhood. it would be like learning to walk again but walking a different way- near on impossible. instead they learn coping strategies- how to deal with impulses for example

the impulses will always be there- but over time they wil learn how damaging they are and what to do INSTEAD,

althugh my mum - at the age of 70- will STILL do things wrong. Ive noticed that she has made a concious decision of what impuslses to follow- for example those that help and support her (me and my son) she will bit her lip and learn not to say things. those that she believe doesnt take the trouble to sympathise and understand her condition- she will let her impulses go and say the nasty thing...in between the nice things (which of course we all know is deeply confusing!)

it wont occur to my  mum that this is still making problems for herself- that those who dont support her- will support here even less. so shes not helpng HERSELF...so i think they make strides but stop short of a total cure!


right- i really am going now... Doing the right thing
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callmeAmber

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« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2012, 01:47:11 AM »

I have to agree with Alana.

Also,It depends on the enviroment they are in.  When you are young you feel more invincable and as the pressures of family life grow the added pressures seem to push the cycle along and jobs require more of you, they require more to bolster them up, and this complicates the whole thing they thought they had going.

When I accused my partner of compulsive lying and I told him he should google it, he did and we then progressed to BPD and he said he felt great relief to understand what he does and that he is unable to control and steer it.  He said "The lying is exhausting me"  I recognised some behaviors and he read some others and recognised them to.  He said he wanted to tell me lots of times but his dissociative behavior prevented him, he practised saying these things to me but couldn't get the words out.  He had always chatted with me on the phone but I was lucky to get a sentance out of him at home and of course this made him feel isolated which added to his need to feed on others for acceptance.  He is human you know! lol

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pessim-optimist
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« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2014, 09:18:15 PM »

I don't know of definitive studies on this topic.

But I have read that for many (that does not mean everyone) pwBPD the intensity of the behaviors tends to mellow out with age. So, that does not mean that their condition gets better. It means that the outer manifestations of it may get better.

The reasons given were two:

1. general mellowing out & loss of energy that everyone experiences with age

2. possibility that some pwBPD learn by repetition that some behaviors do not gain them the desired results and only hurt them.
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uBPD step-daughter (adult, married w/3 kids), uBPDm, NPD-traits dad
Murbay
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« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2014, 10:36:23 PM »

2. possibility that some pwBPD learn by repetition that some behaviors do not gain them the desired results and only hurt them.

I would have to agree with point 2 as this makes a lot of sense.

At the age of 7, I was diagnosed with Aspergers. It stood out to many that I was on the AS that I was referred for testing. Many years later, it takes people by surprise when I tell them, it has even caught close friends by surprise too. The only people that seem to notice immediately are people who have family members on the AS and can identify the micro signs. It has been a lifetime of learning by repetition, self analysing what works and what doesn't, intense reading, making changes to my personal being, therapy. There is no cure and it won't ever go away but I have made changes to improvise, adapt and overcome personally.

I would be certain that in the same way, pwBPD can and will do the same thing too. At the end of the day it is an illness they never asked for and it causes them intense pain too. I guess it would depend on the individual but if the same pattern follows you all the way through life, and you are aware it is doing it, then you would look to make those changes. The key difference would be down to projection and how much a pwBPD is willing to take responsibility. With Aspergers we tend to take on and own everything, pwBPD tend to project everything so it is much easier for us to make those changes than pwBPD but it doesn't mean they can't or won't.

As well as the individual, it would also depend on the partner too and how they approach the situation too. For someone like me who takes on responsibility that isn't mine, I'm certainly in no position to help improve a pwBPD because we would leave the r/s with me thinking I was at fault for everything and them believing I was at fault too. So in answer to the question, my belief would be that a) it depends on the individual and b) would depend on their support network. A good balance there, I cannot see why a pwBPD could not improve with age. On the other hand, someone who cannot take any responsibility and a bad support network will forever believe others are at fault, will be abandoned many times over, may be angry and frustrated and therefore worsen with each abandonment cycle.
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maxsterling
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« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2014, 12:14:43 PM »

Well, I've read and heard various things, and I think it ultimately depends on the pwBPD.  I can relate a couple of experiences, though.  First, my GF was diagnosed BPD over a decade ago.  She's gone through DBT, and is now 38.  Have her symptoms lessened?  Dunno.  She no longer cuts, has not attempted suicide in 10 years, and has been clean from drugs and alcohol for 11 years.  On one hand, that's major progress.  Yet, she still has violent outbursts, still rages, still has unstable relationships, still self harms in other ways (overeating, overspending, risky relationships), still can't manage her own life, still is mostly depressed and can't keep a job.  So in her case, symptoms have definitely changed to ones that are at least less life-threatening, but lessened?  Not really.  She still meets all criteria for BPD on a weekly basis.

On the other hand - my mother.  She's not diagnosed BPD, and never has met the criteria, but many of her behaviors are similar to BPD.  And I can attest to major changes in her moods and behaviors since she turned 60.  She doesn't worry about my dad as much. She's happier.  Things that used to bother her she's able to deal with better. 

I really think it depends on the person, and what kind of challenges that must be overcome in order to truly tackle the BPD.
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Tim300
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« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2014, 02:34:59 PM »

Based on my experience in observing my ex-fiancee's mother (both have BPD), I would definitely say that BPD does not get better with age.  She was in her early 50s.  Nobody would date her now, but it became easy to see her BPD traits in other areas (except cutting -- I don't think she ever did that).  

I read somewhere that an aged, single, unattractive pwBPD will seek non-relationship activities to stir up drama -- such as making unnecessary ER visits.  I did in fact see her make such hospital visits.

In any event, from a theoretical perspective, I don't understand how or why BPD would fizzle out with age.  I would be just as quick to assume that BPD would worsen as negative life experiences accumulate and the person becomes less attractive and thus potentially more prone to abandonment/rejection.  I suspect that any sources suggesting that BPD fizzles out with age are overly optimistic, erroneous, and are based off of poor methodology (e.g., only relying on cutting observations).  Most BPD traits would likely be impossible to observe and measure on a broad scale for the purposes of conducting a study.  BPD traits seem to be hardwired into certain peoples brains, for the long haul.  
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enlighten me
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« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2014, 04:18:50 PM »

Ive read on sites for pwBPD that some have mentioned their symptoms improving post menopause. Othrrs stated that hysterectomy and HRT improved their condition with some stating they were no longer meeting the criteria for BPD.

I would not say this is the norm as the change in hormone levels effects everyone differently. Some have stated here that their female partners improved when pregnant while othrrs changed up a gear and got worse.
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Setter Rob


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« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2015, 02:37:34 PM »

After 31 Years of marriage I would have to say my BPD wife has gotten worse. She sailed through menopause early, but then about age 45-47, coincident with a big move out of state and my retirement, things began to get worse--and the move and my retirement were of course blamed. Now that she's 55, and after three separations of six weeks, three months, and eight months, we are on the brink of ending it. She has never been suicidal or addictive, but does engage in some risky behavior for someone with a seizure disorder. All the other symptoms have gotten worse, though in the last year there has been some improvement which she credits to AlAnon (her father and a brother are her qualifiers). She has seen a therapist on her own and with me, but lately her defenses have gotten so high she refuses to seek help, even though her neurologist said she had to see a psychiatrist because of her insomnia.
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YaYaGirl
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« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2016, 12:35:46 AM »

There is no cure for BPD, but people can go into recovery. Just because you go into recovery doesn't mean you no longer have BPD. I've had BPD now for over 30 years and I've had 3 recoveries. I'm still in my 3rd one and I'm better then ever and off all medication.
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