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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: Is BPD a spectrum disorder? Can there be "BPD lites"?  (Read 24499 times)
pizaluvr
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« on: April 11, 2007, 09:01:45 AM »



Here is a question for everyone:

What really is the difference between high functioning BPD's and low functioning BPD's?

Just when I think my ex is low functioning, her games seem to be played like an intelligent person would play.

Is there such thing as a middle functioning BPD?

Kind of like a mixture of both?

pizaluvr
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PamelaMc
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 09:09:12 AM »

As relates to my DH's uBPDx (aka The Terrorist), I would say from "outward" appearances, she is high functioning.  Peel back the layers of the onion, and I'm surprised she makes it to work each day.  I think the fact that the BPD is not incarcerated or hospitalized means they are "functioning".  I think the common vein is that they all have very low functioning interpersonal relationships.

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EyesWideOpen


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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 10:24:28 AM »

My uBPDNPDh is high-functioning.  His drive for recognition and perfection won't let him just sit around, though when the weekends come around he usually doesn't accomplish much at all.  He gives all of his energy to his job, and leaves nothing for his family.  When he comes home, he shuts down.  His father taught him good work ethics through intimidation and competition, so whatever job he has, he does it with gusto, trying to outperform his coworkers.  He usually succeeds, and every time he gets promoted, he gets all stressed out about trying to prove himself again, and the family suffers his wrath.  All the while, he is complaining about how everyone is trying to screw him, and how noone appreciates his hard work.

His work ethic and his job and career choice are a major problem with our marriage.  He is all blue collar, and is jealous of the white collar, because they have better working conditions, but he won't make the time to study something else, like internet businesses.  He says he's getting too old to physically work so hard, yet doesn't feel like he's done a good job unless he gets dirty.  He's a manager/salesman/tree worker, so he manages the crews and paperwork, gives the estimates and sells the jobs and climbs and cuts the hardest trees or picks up the slack when his crews get behind.  He works so hard because he doesn't know any other way to do it, but he won't honestly try to learn any other way to do it.  He'll read this or that article or book half-heartedly, and a little bit of the advice works, but again his attempt at changing his ways is feeble, and he's complaining the whole time about how I'm not helping him do his job.  He contradicts himself all of the time, back and forth, even in the same conversation.  He's jealous of my job (I work from home), and puts me down about it, then he'll praise me for it, saying I'm doing a great job.

It is literally driving me nuts.
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JoannaK
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 11:07:27 AM »

I don't know if there is any accepted distinction in the mental health community.  Usually "low functioning" (in any situation, not just BPD) refers to someone who can't hold a job, support themselves, or even take care of themselves, someone hospitalized or frequently hospitalized, someone with frequent brushes with the legal system.

High-func types can go low-func, and vice versa.  The level of function is not set in stone.
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PDQuick
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 01:30:03 PM »

My understanding was that High Functioning meant they were able to conceal their sickness in front of most everyone. They show it to those at home, or in very personal relationships. As far as Low functioning, it is more obvious to everyone.
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pizaluvr
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 02:04:12 PM »



Thanks for the input guys!

Joanna,

I asked this question because my ex does such a good job pretending that she is innocent in all of this.  She isn't a very bright person, and it is so hard for me to believe that she could pull this off without anyone else figuring her out.

That is the crazy part, or the part that makes me look crazy when I talk about what she did to me. People are perplexed because she is so quiet and controlled around other people.

Can they hide this that well?

Can a low functioning borderline hide it better than a high functioning borderline?

I'm at the point that I believe she is so good at hiding it, she hides it from herself.

She complains constantly about being broke, she doesn't drive (doesn't even have her license), her apartment needs to be condemned.

Low or high?

pizaluvr   


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ian
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 04:25:08 PM »

Low functioning BPDs are the ones who can't hide it, and have serious impairments to most aspects of their lives. Alot of the time they do more drastic things like cutting, suicide threats and attempts. They more obviously fit the stereotyped image of a mentally ill person.

High functioning BPDs are the ones that you have to get fairly close to realize something is wrong. They seems like great people to everyone else, do well in school and in work and can be quite social and even popular.

IMO high functioners tend to be more angry because of the denial and blame necessary to compartmentalize their personality so that most of their freinds don't suspect. They tend to lash out at people they are close to because they need to externalize their problems more. Low functioners seem to self-inflict more and have obvious self-hatred problems. They are not as able to compartmentalize and fake it as well.
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pizaluvr
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2007, 04:49:13 PM »



Ian,

Thanks for the feedback. 

I think my ex may have been (and still is), very depressed. 

When I got involved with her I thought I could rid her of her depression by loving her.

She didn't do well in school, and she isn't popular or well liked.

She pretty much just exists.

I'm thinking maybe she is somewhere on the low end of a high functioning borderline.

I get very confused by her behavior.  I'm trying to educate myself to protect myself.

pizaluvr
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JoannaK
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 05:34:31 PM »

It's not a conscious act, pizaluvr.  That's the hard thing to understand.  She really feels differently with a lover than at work... or with more casual friends.  The intimacy brings out different behaviors.
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LAPDR
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 06:03:16 PM »

JoannaK;

I agree, mine was very intellegent and highly functional in her work life and around friends and family, I believe this took a lot of energy for her to project this. At home she could swing from hi to low and back at given notice. At times it was scarey. At home she didn't feel as insecure the when she was outside where she had to prove she was better than she thought she was and hide who she really was. At home she felt venurable.

lapdr
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Letting go when it is too painful to hang on is hard to rationalize.

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