31 Days of BPD
Some quick definitions first from BPD Central so we know what these terms mean:
Characteristics of lower-functioning,”conventional” BPs:
- They cope with pain mostly through self-destructive behaviors such as self-injury and suicidality. The term for this is”acting in.”
- They acknowledge they have problems and seek help from the mental health system, often desperately. Some are hospitalized for their own safety.
- They have a difficult time with daily functioning and may even be on government disability. This is called low functioning.
- If they have overlapping, or co-occurring, disorders, such as an eating disorder or substance abuse, the disorder is severe enough to require professional treatment.
- Family members’ greatest challenges include finding appropriate treatment, handling crises (especially suicide attempts), feelings of guilt, and the financial burden of treatment. Parents fear their child won’t be able to live independently.
Higher-functioning, invisible BPs:
- They strongly disavow having any problems, even tiny ones. Relationship difficulties, they say, are everyone else’s fault. If family members suggest they may have BPD, they almost always accuse the other person of having it instead.
- They refuse to seek help unless someone threatens to end the relationship. If they do go to counseling, they usually don’t intend to work on their own issues. In couple’s therapy, their goal is often to convince the therapist that they are being victimized.
- They cope with their pain by raging outward, blaming and accusing family members for real or imagined problems.
- They hide their low self-esteem behind a brash, confident pose that masks their inner turmoil. They usually function quite well at work and only display aggressive behavior toward those close to them. Family members say these people bring to mind Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- If they also have other mental disorders, they’re ones that also allow for high functioning, such as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
- Family members’ greatest challenges include coping with verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse; trying to convince the BP to get treatment; worrying about the effects of BPD behaviors on their other children; quietly losing their confidence and self-esteem; and trying—and failing—to set limits. By far, the majority of Welcome to Oz (WTO) members have a borderline partner.
Based on these, I think I’m somewhere inbetween (that’s right, I’m sitting on the fence!).
Like someone with low-functioning BPD, I seek help. I know I need help and I’m desperate for it. I often struggle with daily tasks and the people that know me most are always trying to find appropriate treatment for me.
But like someone with high-functioning BPD, I rage outward and blame everyone else around me. I also put on a brave-face and pretend confidence around everyone else to fool them that I’m fine.
Is it possible to me middle-functioning BPD? Apparently I have just have the bad aspects of both – brilliant! But maybe that’s partly due to my Cyclothymia as well.