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Author Topic: Is it really BPD? Could it be multiple comorbid personality disorders?  (Read 56987 times)

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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 09:13:20 AM »

I'm told my wife had a possible diagnosis of Bi-polar at one point. Honestly I have no idea what that means (the possible part). But as it sits she officially has 3 diagnosis' and one of them I kinda question (I'll get to why below). So far as bearing on mood swings, I'm not nearly qualified to answer that or even give a meaningful opinion.

My wife's diagnosis' are:

1) BPD and at the moment is considered relatively low functioning. In reality she's definitely a mix of high and low functioning.

2) Masosadism to which her Pdoc has told us there's not many studies on and not much he can do about it (paraphrased and summed up). We only found out about this one in January... made total sense when I heard it. It's one thing to have fantasies and like things on the "rougher side" (IF both parties are ok with it) but some of the stuff she's done to herself and others... man, outright scary and NOT my cup-o-tea . 

3) Depression. This is the one I'm not sure on... It was diagnosed YEARS ago and knowing what I do about her past, she's definitely been struggling with BPD for at least as long even if she didn't know it at the time. So it makes me wonder, which came first? the chicken or the egg? Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  Was her depression brought on by her inablilty to really integrate in society? by the string of "bad" relationships? by her mother being an alcoholic? the abuse she suffered from her ex-step-dad? Or is it a "clean", seperate diagnosis?

The important question in our case though is "does it matter?" It is what it is so carry on Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) . I just find it interesting to consider... Where did it all start? What was the cause and effect? and so on. I guess it's kinda my way of trying to understand some aspects of it.


This board is intended for general questions about BPD and other personality disorders, trait definitions, and related therapies and diagnostics. Topics should be formatted as a question.

Please do not host topics related to the specific pwBPD in your life - those discussions should be hosted on an appropraite [L1] - [L4] board.

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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 10:09:16 AM »

Matyr, I don't have the same issues you are facing. My H has been diagnosed with depression and ADD but not BPD.  However I did see this article in our archives.  See if this is of any benefit to you.  I think we can drive ourselves crazy trying to make sense of our spouses' behavior.  Understanding can lead to more compassion on our part but ultimately our main focus needs to be on our part of the dysfunctional dance.  Is she in any therapy at all right now?

What are the diffences/similarities between BPD & bipolar? Comorbidity?


"We seek to please God. He seeks to perfect us--and life works.  Not without pain but with purpose."

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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 10:15:25 AM »

It's possible to have multiple diagnoses.

My wife was initially diagnosed with bipolar II. She later (in hospitalizations) picked up the BPD diagnosis, but kept the bipolar one too.

The bipolar one has changed around - it went to bipolar I, then to major depression and anxiety, then to "mood disorder not otherwise specified".

Whatever they want to call it, I do believe that she has both types of disorder: a "chemical" mood disorder, and also BPD.

She has been on bipolar meds for years, and she has been in DBT for months.

Have you read the Lessons?
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 03:55:53 PM »

Yeah I hear you all.  Good information Skip.

It seems like sometimes BPD is used as a "catchphrase", when therapists really can't pin a definitive diagnosis to the symptoms. As I've stated before, it's blatantly obvious that my SO's behavior stems from her childhood trauma, but why are some people affected more than others ?. I too had a "rough" childhood, but in my instance , it just made me stronger & more self reliant. I make friends easily & maintain relationships, & have a generally positive outllook on life, & I am able to deal with "drama" when it arises, without letting emotion cloud the issue.

I'm going to continue documenting her mood swings & her behavior, & try & look for a pattern. In the meantime, I'll continue with the workshops & lessons (thanks for the link Jay Bird). It's all good therapy for me, as well as leading to a greater understanding of BPD, which can certainly aid me in maintaining this relationship.

Thanks guys !  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 05:51:55 PM »

I too had a "rough" childhood, but in my instance , it just made me stronger & more self reliant.

Me too, but you know what, it also made me think I had this strength to save people, that I would be okay no matter what, and it brought me to a relationship with someone who needed a lot of saving and though I'm still strong and self reliant, I have a bit of PTSD from it.

My partner has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, PMDD, BPD, and PTSD. She's done a lot of DBT and is doing very well these days, but still has a bit of all these illnesses.

As to why, I'll just give my partner's example. She endured every kind of abuse and neglect while receiving little love and no validation. She was also descended from and surrounded by mentally ill substance abusers as a child. Never mind being poor and black in the south and never knowing her father. Most people don't have all these factors, and even when some do, they don't get BPD.

And remember, all these diagnoses are just combinations of symptoms. If my partner didn't have these symptoms, it wouldn't matter if she had a diagnosis. I personally have emotional regulation issues, but I don't have BPD.

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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 06:15:12 PM »

Hey peacebaby (cool handle !)

Yeah, I'm way over thinking I & now just focus on what I can change (ME), while doing my best to accept what I can't change.

It's very difficult when "what you can't change" impacts your life so much, & the only option to change the situation your left with is to dig out !. I'm hoping that my SO will return to DBT, so that we may both work on our relationship.

At this point I see little hope...at least while she is in denial, & projecting all the BS onto me, & yes, it is a sad fact that most BP's were "damaged as children.

AnOught has some very helpful things to say about this topic in another thread I'm participating in.  Try check it out !


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« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2011, 03:47:17 PM »

I've seen a lot on co-morbidity for PDs.  Ex, someone having both BPD and NPD.  What I'm wondering is if having BPD increases the chances of other non-PD mental illnesses.
mommies dearest

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« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2011, 09:48:51 PM »

This is a very interesting topic, I've been wondering the same thing.  My uBPDm has the official mental illness diagnosis of "bipolar disorder", which I DO NOT think she has.  In my opinion, she has been "acting" with her psychiatrist (to get on disability) and really doesn't exhibit any of the real traits of bipolar disorder.  She is a classic borderline. But like immadone said, the therapist can only go by what the patient tells them, and my mom is a master manipulator.
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2011, 07:46:32 AM »

Fascinating topic. I know that research has linked ADD/ADHD in girls to BPD. I wouldn't be surprised if clinical depression, bipolar and other genetically inherited mental health problems can lead to BPD. It makes sense if you think about it. My mom and I both have ADD, and she has BPD as well. ADD can cause a lot of problems; drifting off when people are talking to you, feeling slow in school, not being able to focus on social interactions and behave appropriately; these make developing healthy relationships that much harder and I believe have contributed to my mom's feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing, and ultimately her BPD. Luckily for me, I was able to get into treatment at a young age and was spared the potential of developing BPD for myself (phew on that one!).

The interesting thing to me is that while ADD and bipolar are genetic and managed with medication and therapy throughout a person's life, BPD is (supposedly) much more curable IF the person wants to get better. The IF is the big question though...
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2011, 08:06:50 AM »

I think it's a spectrum as Skip points out. I think also some things are actually symptoms.

I'm not a doctor so I could be off base, but it seems to me that hoarding is simply a symptom of something else. From my research, I don't think I've ever come across anyone who is "just" a hoarder.  :)epression, PTSD, a personality disorder - something like that always seems to be present. So some people have a PD and end up as hoarders. Some have a PD and end up as neat freaks. Some people have a PD and the state of their house is not affected and it shows itself in other ways instead.

My mom is a hoarder. It runs in my family. Child abuse, child neglect, depression and alcoholism also run in the family. It's definitely related.

Here because of my mother. BPD with a touch of narcissism (according to my therapist's second hand diagnosis - according to my my mother, everyone else is the problem)
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