Posted by katekite on May 14, 2002, at 13:07:00
In reply to Re: What is Borderline Personality Disorder? » Phil, posted by Sarahmarie on May 12, 2002, at 11:38:24
The diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is perhaps the worst diagnosis to get. There is a stigma around it. One doesn't want it unless its accurate, if it is accurate then diagnosis is important for good treatment and of course you want it despite any stigma.
Don't take it lightly and agree to having any symptoms or problems that you think are within the normal realm. ie if you don't make "frantic" attempts to avoid abandonment then don't say so. Most people make some attempt to avoid abandonment. And people with abandonment issues make big attempts to avoid abandonment, but do not have to be borderline to do so. Borderline also requires thinking that people are either good and nice and on your side or mean and against you. Either/or with no inbetween (at least that's my interpretation). Sort of like little kids where people are frends one minute and not the next, where they are enemies over not sharing an ice cream bar or over playing with someone else. If borderline is a possibility, maybe take the mmpi test to see if you fall in the fairly normal range of 'borderline tendencies', or the abnormal range of 'borderline personality'. Often depression or something else will most likely account for much of it. Most of us when depressed or anxious get the idea that our close friends would rather be hanging out with someone else, and we tend to withdraw, even be a little paranoid, be extra sensitive, etc. So make sure that any questionable behavior isn't explained by something else.
Then again, if one does test out into the borderline range, make sure depression, bipolar, anxiety, medical problems are all treated well -- as its never as bad as when something is out of control.
It seems to me like another one of these catch all diagnoses for people who feel chronic emptiness and don't have depression or anxiety extreme enough to call it the primary problem. If they have abandonment issues or have had abuse in their lives its easy to take their issues and call them borderline. When really that may not be it.
Many therapists will not be happy to take on a new borderline client as they tend to have real and fake suicide attempts, calls during the middle of the night etc, just needing much more support than others. They also apparently tend to progress in therapy pretty slowly (at least without meds). Stressful and frustrating for the therapist. This is not to say that they don't deserve the support 100% and that life is not a continual agony for a borderline person, it is. But one can often get quicker better therapy without that diagnosis.
There is controversy over which meds are the best for borderline personality disorder. Some say mood stabilizers, some say ssris. It seems like it probably depends on what the other issues are, whether moodiness is a huge problem or whether depression or anxiety is worse.
I'm not saying its not a real diagnosis for some few people, just that I have read, heard etc it overdiagnosed.