Politics Magazine

More on Borderline Personality Disorder

Posted on the 18 March 2015 by Calvinthedog

Ed writes in saying that his wife is a Borderline. His statements are in quotes, followed by mine.

My wife is likely borderline, and I haven’t commented (same with the contribution!) because I’ve been too busy dealing with her.

I am so sorry that this is going on with you, Ed. You have my deepest sympathy.

“Borderline Personality Disorder” was originally named that because the people who had it were literally regarded as borderline crazy. Not quite crazy enough to be committed, but still crazy.

It was also called “Borderline Schizophrenia” and “Pseudoneurotic Schizophrenia.” Both of these have gone over either to Schizotypal Personality Disorder or mostly to BPD. It was thought to be on the edge between neurosis and psychosis which is actually not a bad characterization. There was a lot of talk of “borderland states” and whatnot. This was back in the day. A lot of this work was going on in the 1940’s-1960’s. And quite a few Borderlines look somewhat Schizotypal too. I think there may be a link there somehow.

I think the current term is “Emotional Dysregulation Disorder” which is a more accurate description.

This is exactly what is going on with the Borderline person.

I also understand that “personality disorder” was a sort of jumped together category where behavior was put that psychiatrists weren’t sure was mentally ill, or just badly adjusted.

Not really, if you read up on psychology, the link between Axis 1 and Axis 2 is quite clear. BPD probably went into Axis 2 because it is a long-term illness, it does not respond to medication, it starts early in life and continues for decades afterwards in a stable and persistent manner and they do not seem to want to get better. All of which is Axis 2 in a nutshell.

but BPD/ EDD has been moving more in the direction recently of the mentally ill category.

BPD is funny as an Axis 2 disorder because unlike most personality disorders, these people really do seem to be actually mentally ill instead of merely having a character defect.

My view of mental illness, and again psychiatry is moving in this direction, is that all mental illness is just a manifestation in terms of thought and behavior of an underlying physical problem.

The more time you spend around Borderlines, the more you are convinced that it is so obvious that there must be something wrong with their brain somehow, and yet they can shut the symptoms down at will, so it is confusing. Furthermore, meds don’t fix them, which makes you think Axis 2 and not a biological brain issue.

I find the main problem in dealing with someone with the disorder to not be the abuse so much as the constant chaos, upsetting of plans, and so on which seems to stem from a need for attention.

Yes involvement with a BPD can be described as endless drama and chaos. It will go on like that into the forseeable future. Borderlines are certainly very narcissistic, and they are the center of the universe all the time. This is one of their main problems. The world revolves around them.

I’ve read that people with the disorder grew up in chaotic, broken households, and they learned how to deal with it, so they subconsciously try to recreate these conditions wherever they go.

I am not sure. I knew one Borderline, and I have never met anyone from such a dysfunctional and screwed up background. Both parents were heroin addicts, criminals and thieves, chronically depressed and suicidal, made regular suicide attempts, were in and out of jail all the time, moved often, and were regularly homeless. The mother committed suicide, and within a week the father committed suicide also. Pure Hell.

This person, instead of trying to recreate chaos, seemed to have somehow gotten broken into 100 pieces like a shattered glass on the floor, apparently by this chaotic upbringing.

But some Borderlines grew up in healthy households.

And yeah, men can have it, but it manifests itself somewhat differently. Think of the worst boss you ever had.

Male Borderlines are bad. I have never met one, but I have heard about them. They can be quite dangerous. They also engage in a lot of drinking, drug abuse and theft. Many of them are in prison or jail, which is where they belong if you ask me.


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