Seven Biggest Myths About Bipolar Disorder
Ah myths, we love them, don’t we? Friday the 13th is unlucky, Canadians live in igloos and drinking Coke and eating Pop Rocks will make your stomach explode. (Your stomach might not, but your pancreas is another matter.) People buy into myths all the time. When enough people say them, especially if the people are holding microphones or best-selling books, people assume they must be true.
But as a good friend of mine always says, trust, but verify.
Myths About People with Bipolar Disorder
These myths are brought to you by the commenters, here, at HealthyPlace.
- Bipolars are liars
- Bipolars cheat on their partners
- Bipolars are manipulative
- Bipolars are “spoiled teenagers”
- Bipolars feel it’s “all about them”
- Bipolars are angry and violent
- Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are almost the same thing
Well now, that’s quite a list. It’s amazing I’m allowed to live outside with all the “sane” people. For my own part, I am nothing like those seven things. I have never known a bipolar that was those seven things. Nevertheless, let’s soldier on.
Debunking Myths About Bipolar Disorder
Lying is not remotely a symptom of bipolar disorder. It does tend to be found with some personality disorders, however. That being said, I will admit it’s almost impossible to be honest about how I feel with people as they don’t want to know about it. My obfuscation is to prevent the other person from knowing how horrible I feel. If you’d like to know about the blood-dripping suicidal ideation, I’ll tell you, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to know.
Depending on the survey, between 30%-60% of married people cheat. These are just your average run-of-the-mill-survey-answering-folk. Perhaps even more surprisingly, 27% of people who reported being happy in their marriage have had an affair.
Statistically then, at a minimum, 30%-60% of people with bipolar disorder also cheat. As hypersexuality is a symptom of bipolar disorder, it reasonable to think that bipolar disorder would lead to higher numbers, probably both in the person with bipolar disorder and their spouse. (Sorry, I can’t find any specific, reliable data.) But with a number already higher than 50% in some cases, it’s unrealistic to blame cheating on bipolar disorder in general. Most of the time it’s just the people in the relationship.
Again, this is not remotely a symptom of bipolar disorder. Manipulation is often associated with personality disorders, but not bipolar disorder.
Bipolars Act Like Spoiled Teenagers
I’m not quite sure how to respond to this one. In fact, I'm not going to bother.
Bipolars Think It’s All About Them
Mania or hypomania does have a symptom of “inflated self-esteem or grandiosity”. Basically thinking that we’re the bee’s knees. This is different from the selfish “it’s all about me” concept, however. Again, that is more typical of a personality disorder. (Not that inflated self-esteem is the best trait either, but most of the time we have pretty low self-esteem, so give us a bit of a break.)
Bipolars are Angry and Violent
There was a specific systematic review on this subject – I’ll shortcut it for you – bipolars are not more likely than the general population to commit violent crime (once alcohol use was taken into account). People with alcohol problems, bipolar or no, are a different matter.
Borderline is the Same as Bipolar
Borderline is a personality disorder, considered part of someone’s “core personality” whereas bipolar is not. Bipolars have a distinct symptom-free baseline when the person is feeling well. A borderline’s symptoms are their baseline. Bipolar disorder is not borderline personality disorder. Period. They're not even in the same family. Some symptoms do cross-over, but that is common in medical diagnoses. (Please read Borderline Personality and Bipolar Disorder Differences, which does justice to this topic.)
Just Because I Do It Doesn't Mean it's a Symptom of Bipolar Disorder
In short, I’m sure there are bipolars who do lie, do cheat, do manipulate, are selfish and are violent. I have no doubt that they exist. But that's not disorder-specific; that is part of who they are.
Just because a person with bipolar disorder does something, that doesn’t make it a symptom of bipolar disorder.
Personally, it scares me and I jump when someone knocks on my door, I despise opening mail and I loved jumping out of planes. That's not bipolar disorder. That's just me.
Tracy, N. (2010, September 10). Seven Biggest Myths About Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 15 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2010/09/seven-biggest-myths-about-bipolar-disorder
Author: Natasha Tracy
I have bipolar. and the myth that bothers me the most is the violence one. I had a teacher during my Assistant in nursing training who spouted that myth as fact. There were two of us in the class who were clinically diagnosed with bipolar. Please note that to get a traineeship in aged care you have to pass a police check and have no recorded violent incidents. We both verbally objected based on personal experience. Neither of us had ever be violent to another person. Any violence had always been directed towards ourselves.
The lying thing, well I'll admit to lying about my illness. Its hard not to lie when you are paranoid.
Cheating? Never have. I dont display the heightened sex drive that is one of the diagnostic criteria for mania.
Manipulative? Maybe a bit. I just want peopleto like me, and avoid conflict. But so does mostof the "normal" population.
"Spoiled teenager" - not even sure whats meant by this myth, so can't really formulate a reply.
"All about me"? I have been an assistant in nursing in aged care for seven years, not a job that pays well enough to do for the sake of money. I enjoy helping people. I have just qualified to be a registered nurse. One of my down swing triggers is upset friends who I can't help. I have accrued 224hrs of sick leave, meaning I have been rarely sick, let alone taken "mental health days". I feel horrible when I <i>do</i> call in sick, because I know my co-workers may have to work short staffed. I recently have had major events in my life that have made my mental health worse and had to take time, because I know I am unable to provide the care that my patients deserve.
"borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder are almost the same thing" - well yes they share some diagnostic criteria, most mental illnesses do - BUT - bipolar tends to be cyclical, and there are periods where NO symptoms are present. Borderline is a personality disorder - meaning there are personality traits that make everyday living hard for the person, meaning the disordered behaviours/thinking is present all the time unless a person gets therapy to address the traits or develops their own methods to allow them to live without it affecting ay to day living. The differences between BPD and Bipolar are set out in the DSM-V which PSYCHIATRISTS use to diagnose the disorders.
Its pretty hard to start looking into mental health disorders without thinking "OMG, thats so me" because most people have traits that are used as diagnosic criteria. These traits are only an issue if it effects everyday living. So a lot of people who have looked in to it and self-diagnosed themselves so they have an excuse to be less than stellar examples of the human race, they actually wouldnt be clinically diagnosed with anything.Treatment is also quite different between BPD and Bipolar. All of that being said, there is nothingto say that both cannot exist within the same person, they are not exclusive diagnoses.
By the way, I hate having to admit that my head is the reason I can't do something, I hate using my illness as an explanation for my behaviour, and I never use it as an excuse (for me at least, there are miles of difference between explanation and excuse, an excuse means its not my fault because I had no control over something, and explanation explains why I acted a certain way)
So really, "All bipolars do these things" is a really stupid assumption. To receive a diagnosis of Bipolar, you only have to meet a <i>majority</i> of criteria for depression and mania/hypomania., not all criteria. Any diagnosis from anyone but a clinical psychiatrist is not a formal diagnosis, and in my experience, most psychiatrists are reluctant to give a firm diagnosis on a person unless there is irrefutable evidence, even though they may treat as though the diagnosis is definite.
My husband helps me sort things out and helps me when stress gets to be too much to remain stable. When I get either manic or depressed (especially depressed ) I just cannot think well at all. I find out when I am well that my thoughts were wrong and try to repair the damage, but my family has been hurt for too long for them to be willing to deal with me, to challenge poor thinking. I get tired and suicidal when I compare myself to their achievements.
My husband understands. He is a safe person which helps me not get too unreal.
I am feeling supported and judged all at the same time reading these comment so I thought I'd add another perspective. I have bpd,adhd and bipolar 2. Bit of a complicated mix but I noticed a lot of support for mentally ill people in general, so that's good....mostly...but....a few people have made it seem to be fact that lying and manipulation are symptoms of bpd which is not true. It has been noted as a symptom of antisocial personality disorder though. But then I don't think there is a single person with or without mental malady who has never lied or manipulated...if we're generalising. I don't know how usual it is but I personally thrive off the truth when I'm hypo to extremes sometimes. I am generally severely cheerful and positive mostly. My self esteem is lifted by the realisation that I can positively affect anyone around me. I normally feel allot more alive and in touch with everyone's emotions and enjoy trying to make them happier. When I depressed its the complete opposite I guess I am pathetic with barely anysocial ability at all, everything seems like hard work and I barely leave the house. I have currently not seen family or friends for 6 weeks and am almost certain they hate me. This is not a sob story as despite the rep of borderline personality disorder I understand sympathy is useless to me, I do not want to negatively affect the people I love so much with my misery as I have in the past. It is hard for all of us with the brain that seems to want you dead sometimes, probably just as hard even worse some times for the people who support us at our worst.
Do the abbreviations bpd, bp2, add really mean you can define that I will lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and neglect ur feelings?
If so I must be evil having three abbreviations as apposed to one?
Should I die?
BP which is a chemical imbalance of the brain, & thus carefully monitored medication can help the BP sufferer live a fulfilled life w/family & friends. The personality disorder individual needs therapy. They NEED 2 b re-trained on how 2 behave or they will lose those who love them the most. To just say "oh well, they can't help it". Will cause the person to get worse, they will become more uncontrollable, and more alienated from the world around them. Of course, like Job, they MUST accept the help in order to correct their thinking. I originally Googled this: how do you know the difference between a person who is bp or just mean and selfish? Of all the sites that popped up, Natasha's quote was the one that made me think "jackpot" finally someone who recognizes the difference between BP & someone choosing to act in a bad way, whether they know it or not. So, thank you Natasha & those who realized what she was saying. I hope that all those who have been traumatized & abused by those they love will look at the personality disorder link, and see you were right to find this behavior unacceptable. Yes, at times BP sufferers can behave like the list, as all humans can, when undergoing overwhelming stress. But, continual abusive behavior is NOT a symptom of bp. I hope all of you caregivers can heal & find true happiness, love, and peace. To those who may be suffering from borderline personality disorder, and truly didn't realize it, go to the link and get help.?
If you research into it enough, you will find out how spouses suffer having to deal with it. At the high end, almost all of the marriages fail. Even after the divorce, I did my best to get him psychiatric help and on medication so that he could function somewhat normally at work. See more below...
It is TRUE that:
HIGHEST SPRECTRUM Bipolars
Are liars (and VERY good at it. You have to be really sharp to understand this.)
Cheat on their partners (in ways you don't want to know).
Manipulative (Masters Degree in this one.)
Bipolars are “spoiled teenagers” (not necessarily true, but maybe this is the final step to being totally psychotic.)
Feel it’s “all about them” (And don't you forget it. A death in your family can be distracted by a small splinter and how they are discomforted. They don't like to hear about others pain at all.)
Are angry and violent (Not going to go there. Be prepared)
Highest Bipolar disorder and personality disorder exist together.
Substance abusers: alcohol and/or drugs
Self-grandiose themselves to the point of irrationality
When in the manic high, they pretend to be the most loving, caring people, but more often than not it's a hidden agenda to get what they want.
Quit or get fired from jobs VERY frequently when in the low phase due to anger or substance abuse on the job.
Are very sneaky.
Will blame things on you in a heartbeat when they have done something wrong.
If people can understand this and not deny it, please help them to understand what they have and try to get them help. The ex did read a book I gave him on the spectrum of bipolar disorder, and he was unsettled a bit because for the first time, he said this and I quote, "It was like looking into a mirror." They need proper psychiatric therapy with someone who KNOWS and is specialized in bipolar disorder. Also, then need to be treated with the proper medication for their needs. And they need to be educated about the disorder to understand what they have. They may not fully realize what they have and need to know that someone can understand and help.
Relationships don't work at this level. Learning to control themselves is a lifelong struggle and being involved in it can tear the other person apart. A neighbor ex-cop told me after my divorce, I was "lucky to come out of it with all my fingers and toes." He'd seen worse.
I got out early and life for me is now pretty darn good! But I had to educate myself to heal from it and I learned to make decisions by being more aware of things.
Sure, sometimes manageable, but often times not and the disease is progressive.
These are the exact traits that make this sickness so exhausting for one thay suffers bipolar as well as anyone thay attempts to have a relationship with someone with bipolar.
I came to this website to read about myths of bipolar because my ex left me in a manic episode and I've been learning more about it.
Sounds to me like you're in denial. Mania DOES present, quite often, as manipulative, deceitful, and unempathetic. A person with bipolar wouldn't be able to see that thought, because they experience it internally and are unable to see it from the outside, objectively.
One more thing. What you said about a borderline's symptoms being their baseline? That's rubbish. I have borderline, and most of the time, people don't even know I'm sick. My symptoms only present when I'm triggered, and that only happens privately. My personality is not Borderline. I have personality flaws that meet the criteria for BPD but that is not who I am 100% of the time. Bipolar symptoms change a person's mood, thought processes, goals, passions, etc. Bipolar is more a part of you than borderline is a part of me. Borderline can go into remission with treatment. Bipolar cannot.
Do more research before you spew nonsense about disorders you know nothing about.
Because of bipolar's often-erratic manic side, I do believe that there's a valid reason why these people are accused of all sorts of bad behaviour, but that we can't assume that if a person has the disorder, they will automatically conduct themselves in these ways. They aren't bad people - these impulses are extreme and very hard to control. But their actions often do hurt others (and themselves) and the faster help is received, the better.
As for the stats, I simply don't believe them. If a group of 1000 people are asked if they've considered an affair, it's silly to assume that the results apply to the total population. Often times, stats are achieved through biased means to "get a point across" - for example, a group of divorcees are asked whether they've cheated. Well, when you're unhappy, you're more likely to cheat, whether you're dealing with a mental illness or not. So I don't think stats apply at all.
In reference to the BPD comparison, I totally agree. Bipolar is a mental illness. BPD is a personality disorder. There are similarities, but careful assessment of the patient will ensure a proper diagnosis. Treating bipolar patients is difficult initially, due to denial factors, but treating BPD is much more challenging in the long run. Because of this, we as therapists are advised to set a limit on how many BPD patients we can treat at any given time.
The entire point was that the core characteristics of bipolar disorder don't include the aforementioned myths. A person can certainly possess unsavory traits, but it does not stem from the mental illness itself.
Just because you knew one, two or a handful of people with bipolar disorder doesn't mean you can make broad assumptions about the disease.
Think of it this way, if a drug company produced a new drug designed to treat heart problems and tested it on 2 or even 10 out of 314 million (current US population) and then claimed it to be safe for everyone, would you trust it? Of course not! The FDA requires a few thousand or more.
So just because you knew 2 out of the 5.7 million Americans with bipolar disorder doesn't mean that the unsavory traits they may have ALSO had are directly related to the disorder.
US Population from 2012 Census
FDA Drug Testing: http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm143534.htm
Mental Health Number: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml#Bipolar
Now, we people with bipolar disorder are typically very emotional, and experience a range of emotions that others do not pick up on.
Let's take a bipolar child, in the playground. She's just witnessed a minor bullying incident between to of the girls in her class, and she doesn't know what to do. Should she befriend the girl who was picked on and face being picked on by the other one? The existential dilemma she is facing has reduced her to tears. The teacher sees her crying. The bipolar girl can't give away what happened, and she cries still further.
The teacher is exasperated. The girl seems to be crying for no reason, and it happens often. She just seems to want the teacher's attention all the time. The teacher has deduced the girl's behaviour as manipulative, since the teacher cannot see the reason why the girl is crying and the girl is not explaining.
People with bipolar disorder will often seem to affect people emotionally and the person sees no reason why. Nobody can see the pain and anguish in our heads, the dysfunction of the brain that prevents us from doing what we need to do.
If you are mentally healthy you need to have enough imagination to understand that there are things beyond your comprehension relating to the mental illness.
I can't speak for Natasha and what her reasoning is or was at the time of writing the article, but I can speak to your points at least. I'll have to quote and then write below each part.
1. "Lie, cheat, manipulative, self-centred – yes, yes, yes and yes. I know two diagnosed BPDs and they both have exhibited all of these. The major problem with BPD seems to be a lack of admission that one is actually doing these things. As you put it yourself when discussing lying, you lie because you think others can’t take it. That doesn’t mean you’re not lying; it means you think there’s a valid reason for you doing it. But that doesn’t make it OK to other people or for other people."
First, we have to be careful about the acronyms or abbreviated terms we use. BPD could mean bipolar disorder which I'm assuming is what you mean by it, but it's also meant borderline personality disorder. I think I've actually seen it to mean the latter more frequently, but I can't be 100% sure on that.
Second, you introduce a whole other element, which is your perception of the lack of one's admission to any of those faults as being a symptom itself of bipolar disorder. But, if you reread Natasha's post, it's clear what's she's saying. She's saying that lying is not a symptom of bipolar. That's true. Lying (and manipulation, because in my mind anyway, it falls under the same category) are more symptomatic of personality disorders, and particularly often, borderline personality disorder. She, THEN, says that have stated lying is not a symptom of bipolar, she "admits" that she finds it difficult as an individual to always be forthcoming to people, particularly when suicide is on her mind. But you completely manipulate and turn her words all around (as later also, "like discussing your suicidal ideation to make your lying more valid"). No, actually, that's not what she said at all. You missed it.
You DO have a good point when you say this though, extracted from its application: "As you put it yourself when discussing lying, you lie because you think others can’t take it. That doesn’t mean you’re not lying; it means you think there’s a valid reason for you doing it. But that doesn’t make it OK to other people or for other people."
I don't know if she said she did lie (as a regular habit, as we all have one occasion or other), my interpretation was that it was more of a withholding. But regardless, what you write is a good point. My only hiccup was with the last sentence, because other people don't get to determine what I share with them. That's my choice.
2. "You’ve used the same reasoning to somehow debunk the ‘myth’ that BPDs cheat. Well, everyone cheats, you say, and it’s part of our nature, so you can’t really blame that, but, hey … I don’t even know what kind of reasoning you’re using here. It goes all over the place."
I think I'm going to disagree completely here. First, Natasha was not trying to "debunk the 'myth' that BPDs [edit-bipolars, or people with bipolar disorder] cheat." She was simply trying to demonstrate that people can't blame the cheating on the bipolar itself, and often only on the bipolar . . . whichever way it goes. She also does not state that everyone cheats, she gives a statistic of 30-60% (I assume of the total population?) in marriages that do cheat. Now I don't recall what percentage of the population is diagnosed with bipolar, and of those, what percentage are in marriages . . . and which country we're even talking about here, because Natasha is Canadian. I'm American. I don't know what anyone else is (or that it matters), but I do know these statistics are usually done by country. From what I have read and understood in general about bipolar disorder, the number in marriages is probably lower in comparsion to those not in marriages or even in any relationship. All that being side, it would just lower the odds, not increase them. But to move back to the main point, because I got a little sidetracked, of course people with bipolar cheat, as do people without bipolar (and even people without a mental illness in the relationship at all! Gosh, I'm shocked).
Bottomline is that the bipolar is not to blame, necessarily, for the cheating. And that is the premise for the rest of the article, really. Maybe Natasha didn't say it the greatest way, I don't know, but that is the main point. Simply because someone has bipolar disorder does not mean that he or she is going to be a chronic liar, cheater, manipulater, selfish, or also have borderline personality disorder.
In fact, if you're facing (which it sounds like you are or have) all of those problem behaviors chronically and the person has bipolar disorder, it could mean a couple things: a)they're not stable on medication and/or b)they also have borderline personality disorder, of which those other traits are all symptoms. It could be either way, or neither, but I can guarantee it's not all attributable to the bipolar itself.
It's difficult. For both parties, the one with bipolar and the one without. And yeah, sometimes the person with bipolar IS selfish. However, as someone who has bipolar I, and adhd and ocd, but who does not cheat, lie, intentionally manipulate, or be overtly selfish, I can say that my significant needs growing up (over which I had no choosing) required so much of my parents' efforts that I was perceived as being extremely selfish and was greatly resented by my older sister, which I didn't know until just the last year or two. I don't that's necessarily restricted to childhood. And I'm not saying it's always the case, it's not. Nothing is ever always the case. It's just a perspective to conider, because people do need different things, to different degrees and at different times. And we often don't know how to ask for it, if we're lucky enough to be able to identify it.
Aside from your relatively logical post, I pick on a lot of pain and hurt in your life that has, unfortunately, been at least in part, caused by the bipolar itself, and then of course by the individuals and how they handle themselves. I'm sorry that that's the case for you; it doesn't surprise me. Bipolar disorder and any other accompanying disorders, personality or not, wreak havoc on people's lives whether you're the one with the disorder or not. Just as the person with the disorder didn't choose to have it, so too, the people in our lives didn't choose to have to live it with it, particularly if it's by relation. But even if it's not, and we were chosen by someone, that other person chose us, not the bipolar. And while it may be easy to separate the two sometimes, many times it's not.
I hope that you're able to find the peace and healing that you need. We all need it from time to time, for different reasons, etc etc. So don't be afraid to take that extra step for yourself, whatever it looks like. Be selfish in that regard, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. That's your choice, not theirs, and it's not always an easy one. Good luck and take care,
You've used the same reasoning to somehow debunk the 'myth' that BPDs cheat. Well, everyone cheats, you say, and it's part of our nature, so you can't really blame that, but, hey ... I don't even know what kind of reasoning you're using here. It goes all over the place.
Manipulation and self-centredness ... These are major issues and, again, the problem seems to be a lack of ability to see them. Perhaps, like the 'hey, I don't lie, but I find it impossible to tell the truth' you have a different view of it that somehow makes these things OK to you. Like discussing your suicidal ideation to make your lying more valid.
The problem I've had with living with a BPD (and closely related to another BPD) is that their own personal issues have been regularly made to be my problems. In fact, their problems are always seen as worse than my problems, and therein lies the self-centredness. There is no understanding or acceptance that other people can have their own problems that need to be considered and respected by others.
Gratitude is scarce for anything I've done and anything I continue to offer, regardless of money, time or emotional investment in a situation. Generally, I am perceived as not doing enough and yet I don't owe this person anything at all. I am giving of my own free will.
I don't know you. I don't mean to criticise you and I certainly don't mean to categorise you in a small basket according to my restricted experience. But if you're going to debunk 'myths', you at least need one or more clear arguments, and unfortunately I can just hear reasons why these things are actually OK to you.
Nice use of the word obfuscation. I think that is a more accurate wording than when I talked about lying to everyone about being bipolar on a different post. Its more dishonesty by omission than out right lying. To me, it is saving them from the harsh reality and saving me the discomfort of sharing it and the pity or awkwardness that might follow, which I would sooner avoid.
Plus, I find that I couldn't possibly effectively and sufficiently relay what it is I'm going through were I to try.
In regards to the rest of the list, my response would be, to no more a degree than the general population.
Selfish as the day is long. And at the end of this they email me and whine that I don't do things for them and send photos when they suddenly look bad because they don't have any of the grandkids. They can burn in hell, both of them. Hope they have long painful illnesses that take them right to the end.
Including self medicate with drugs
Hubby says it sounds like you need some support in managing with your fiance's bipolar because it's not easy - a good counsellor might help you best. He says he can't really give a good response because he doesn't know you and your husband well, and every one is different. He has to understand me really well and my bipolar in order to give the right kind of encouragement. There's not much use getting angry about it - better to try to get the best communication possible and work through it together. (I've lost those 20kg now).
My advice is only to say that while I don't know your fiance at all, the reason I would be covering up my spending is due to embarassment or fear of disappointing my husband. I don't like to admit when I need some help or that I'm not coping as well as I thought.
I feel blessed, ten years after having been diagnosed bipolar and just a couple years knowing of my borderline status - that I have a gift of self-examination; I know very well how to be in tune with myself, know my triggers, know my body, spirit, mind - I can't say the same for fools that follow myths and spout off generic judgments.
I say foolishness and judging others is the mental illness that's got the world in the violent and chaotic mess it's in today.
One day at a time.
You can always come here to talk. That's OK with me. I hope you are getting some help with a professional to talk to as well. Therapists can not only listen to you but they can help you find sense in all the disjointedness.
You're going through a tough time, but you're completely normal. You just need to get some help.
Great to hear a "sane" person's perspective. I think it's important that the non-bipolar folks weigh-in because really, you're the ones that are going to be dispelling those myths most convincingly.
I don't know about blessing, but I try to be helpful. Thanks.
Yeah, I still think grandiosity isn't necessarily the same thing as selfish, although it can be.
I do know how unimportant I usually feel, and I agree, it's nice for the change.
Hi Natasha - Interesting post. It resonates with me as usual. Something my therapist told me about the 'grandiosity' feeling that happens during mania/hypomania is this: people with Bipolar Disorder often have very low self esteem (symptom of depression) and during mania - the individual can feel an inflated feeling of confidence and importance. Part of the reason for this is that one can feel unimportant to oneself and to others - its a coping mechanism against the feelings of worthlessness. I definitely experienced this during my mania - for the first time in my life I felt important. Considering I have felt very unimportant for most of my life - I guess I needed it. It helped to understand it in this way.
Congratulations on finding something that's working for you, that's a tough thing to do. To the best of my knowledge, borderline is best treated with life-skill-type therapy, which is exactly what you're doing. I have no doubt it's hard work, but it's a step in the right direction.
I'm glad I could help. You're welcome.
As you may be aware, #7 is my personal favorite. I have been doing research on the matter and have really come to see that they are very different. I am Bipolar with a borderline personality disorder. What fun!
Knowing the difference has been surprisingly helpful. I have just entered a program called B.A.S.E-Borderline Awareness Skill Empowerment- that focuses on Schema (positive or negative life patterns) therapy. It has been, understandably, difficult to separate the two. Medication aides in the management of the bipolar symptoms, but does nothing for the personality disorder. I have to manage that on my own with the help of my therapist.
Our little conversation on FB really got me to look closer and see this reality so that I may better be better armed with information to overcome.
Thanks for all your hard work.
For more information on the BASE program for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: http://bpd-home-base.org/what_is_bpd
Well, thank-you for the compliments.
I think people throw around diagnoses because it makes them feel smarter, or that it can "explain you". Every diagnosis has its own challenges, but it doesn't help anyone to have them jumbled about.
And yes, I could really rant about all the numbers, but I tried to keep it brief.
Thanks for your comment.