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Re: Cyclothymia & Borderline Personality Disorder

Posted by JohnL on June 8, 1999, at 3:10:59

In reply to Cyclothymia & Borderline Personality Disorder, posted by thia on June 7, 1999, at 22:45:25

> Hi,
> I have read about both. I've been diagnosed with cyclothymia, but sometimes I wonder if it is not borderline personality disorder. How can you tell the difference? cyclothymia seems to have a life of its own, but can be swayed by your reactions to situations and borderline personality disorder seems to be about emotionally intense reactions to situations. Am I right? Anybody know about the differences between these two disorders. Can you have both?
> thanks, thia

Thia, I'm certainly no expert, and 10 people would probably give you 10 varying answers. From what I've read, BPD and other attempts at describing a person's abnormal behavior are convenient terms for some therapists impotent at terminating their patient's suffering. BPD is more of a personality temperament, while cylcothymia is more of a biological affective disorder. However, researchers now seem to be realizing all these things are woven in a complicated web; related, not separate distinct conditions. They are different manifestations and stages of an overall depressive disorder or, more likely, a form of bipolar, and that the root cause is biological, as evidenced by pharmacotherapy being able to alleviate symptoms. I think you are right, that BPD predisposes one to be more susceptible to having the underlying condition being triggered by an emotional event. Who knows for sure. In any case, a caring doctor and aggressive pharmacotherapy with mood stabilizers and antidepressents alleviates the sypmtoms of both conditions you describe. As evidenced at this site however, there are a whole lot of us struggling to find the right medicine(s) to do that and live with the side effects. For more reading, try Dysthymia And The Spectrum of Chronic Depression by Hagop Akiskal. The book discusses all of this stuff a million times better than me. JohnL.




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