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Re: 'on the spectrum of borderline' workinprogress

Posted by Dinah on March 26, 2010, at 8:12:43

In reply to 'on the spectrum of borderline', posted by workinprogress on March 26, 2010, at 1:30:58

I do understand. I remember when the pdoc from h*ll blithely assured me that I had schizotypal personality disorder. Dr. "Just the Facts Ma'am" didn't agree, but my therapist is still sure I do.

Personally I identify myself with borderline personality disorder, and I've found Marsha Linehan's books very helpful in learning to understand myself and find ways to cope. In her descriptions of what it feels like to be borderline, I'd keep stopping and yelling "That's It!!!!"

Yet all my pdocs have ruled it out because some things just don't fit. My therapist, however, is quite struck with my borderline traits. He's seen me at my most borderline.

I do think most people have traits from one personality disorder or another. After all, they're all variants on normal human traits, and it's only the degree that makes it a disorder. And the amount of discomfort that it causes.

For myself, I've decided it's useful for me to think in terms of traits. Or being -ish. I'm borderlinish and schizotypalish. And I try to do it without judgment. The only possible reason any mental health diagnosis is valuable - especially in the mental health arena - are to help in understanding and treatment. I've found that in thinking of myself as borderlinish and reading everything Linehan writes, I've come to an acceptance of myself I might never have found when I thought of my own behaviors as bewildering.

I've got some printouts somewhere of some sensible ideas about the range from personality types to personality disorders. But I can't find them. I think it might be "ptypes" but the information I find on that isn't quite what I remember.

The thing I remember was more that people often fall into one or two types of personality traits, and that if it gets extreme enough, and causes enough distress, this moves from being a personality type into a personality disorder. I found that strangely reassuring. Where you fall on this spectrum is largely a matter of the art of clinical judgment, not science. Hence one pdoc believing that without question that I had schizotypal personality disorder, and the other pdoc being just as certain I had no such thing. That maybe I had schizoid traits, or possibly even schizotypal traits, but I did not have schizotypal personality disorder.

So don't let it bother you overmuch. Just use what is helpful to you and toss the rest.




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