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???s about Borderline dx

Posted by Racer on March 7, 2004, at 13:10:24

I've been wondering about this diagnosis, and all diagnoses really, for a while now. For all of you who have studied all this more than I, especially those students who are getting in depth knowledge about personality disorders, can you tell me what you think about it? What the current teaching is?

My new therapist -- with whom things are going rapidly from bad to worse -- keeps talking about people having diagnoses. Not having problems, but having diagnoses. She saw I was reading a compliation of the late Peter Cook's works, and said, all excited, "I wouldn't be surprised if he had a diagnosis!" As if that explained anything at all! Of course a diagnosis could have been made for him, but does it change the fact that a very brilliant man had to balance survival against success? That he died far too young, that he spent so many years at the bottom of a bottle? How about saying something more useful, like, "He was brilliant, it's too bad we'll never know what he could have produced had he lived."

Then we come to Borderline. A number of years ago, a pdoc told me to cooperate with treatment, or she would diagnose me with BPD and then I'd never be taken seriously again. In a new support group my therapist is running and has me in, she brought up BPD, as a sort of catch all diagnosis which she preferred not to mention by name. Not, you understand, that she didn't believe in it, just that she didn't like to use the name because it was so stigmatized. Hm, I mentioned that I thought it was partly stigmatized by the doctors having the attitude that any patient who did not "cooperate" with the prescribed treatment could be dropped into a drawer called "Borderline" and safely ignored. "Oh, well, there's nothing you can do for a borderline, anyway, so I don't have to worry about her anymore..." Even the DSM says it's mostly a dx of women. Not that it's mostly a disorder of women, but it's mostly diagnosed in women. Since I am a woman, and I have had the term brought up, I tend to see it as a way for doctors to abdicate any responsibility for the patient's recovery. Then again, I don't know much about it. I'd like to hear other people's opinions about all this.

So, if you have either been diagnosed BPD, or are going through psychology training, I'd like very much to hear what you think. Or, for that matter, if you just have anything to add, I'd like to read that, too.





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