Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This is Borderline Personality Disorder

Dear Readers,
What you are about to see is the most comprehensive and compassionate description of Borderline Personality Disorder I have ever seen. Thanks to Clinically Clueless for finding this and posting it on her blog, which is where I first viewed it. I also send heartfelt thanks to the creator, aperfectingangel on YouTube. Thank you, aperfectingangel. This is truly beautiful.

If you know anyone touched by, confused by, or suffering from BPD, send them this video link. I bet they'll thank you for it.


Anonymous said...

When I watched the video, it reminded me of me from few years back. I used to drink too much to escape the pain. I was also very skinny and had a very fast metabolism. It all had changed after I had my kids. I don't know if the kids gave me a purpose in life, or if it's because of all the hormonal shift that happened. I gained some weight and my metabolism sucks, but I certainly feel better emotionally. I sometimes get a "wave" of extremaly bad mood, but it goes away, unlike in the old days.

Denise said...

Wow, this totally describes me before I took medication. And even times in between when the medication didn't work and you go through the whole process of trying something different. Do you know how this is distinguished from bipolar disorder?

etta said...

Hi Denise-
While both Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are shortened to BPD, they are totally different diagnoses.
Bipolar, like Depression, is a mood disorder. It is an Axis 1 diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which is the handbook used by professionals to categorize mental illnesses. (see the following link for more info about the DSM: Axis 1 contains the typical "mental illness" diagnoses such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder is an Axis 2 diagnosis. Axis 2 is where you find the personality disorders (paranoid, anti-social, etc...) and developmental disorders (autism, mental retardation, etc...).
This video explains very clearly some of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. It is a horribly misunderstood and stigmatized disorder leading to often cruel and punishing treatment by so-called "professionals." This mistreatment is especially damaging, in my opinion, because it reinforces the confusion, self-hatred, and abandonment issues already so pronounced within the BPD patient.
I have some other posts, Let's Talk About Borderline and intrusive thoughts are two I can think of, which may help you understand BPD better. Or check out the site mentioned in the video.
Good luck. I'm glad you found the video informative. It brought tears to my eyes. As a person recovered from BPD, and as someone who was stigmatized and vilified while suffering, I was overcome by the video creator's compassionate presentation. Only a person who has been "in it" could detail the borderline experience so precisely.
If I can answer any more questions or be of further help, please let me know.

Phin said...

I think "borderline" is slowly going to make it's way to Axis I. It's really not about personality, but about an emotional pain so overwhelming that one's personality gets lost in it.

All kinds of people born hypersensitive may be unfortunate enough to have made their way to this diagnosis. It's absurd to think for a moment that we are describing one kind of personality.

The stereotypic form of this disorder - impulsive people who "act out" all the time is nothing but a subtype and possible even denotes those who have the least amount of "dysphoria" as they are often capable of moments of euphoria too. They are the most likely to see people in terms of black and white - as they are optimistic enough to idealize - an optimism not granted to two thirds of those suffering from this disorder. They are most likely to be extroverted, i.e. capable of reaching out.

Some of those who suffer the most have no capacity of getting their anger out, introverts with no skin to filter other's negative emotions out, their only defense is isolation; they are almost invisible, but they are also the most likely to self harm, to sink into major depression, to commit suicide. It is hard to explain just how terrible this suffering is.
The most inhumane part of the DSM's shortlist for this illness is a callous indifference to this underlying, free floating, often excruciating emotional pain, this dysphoric Inferno, that is the most fundamental aspect of what we call, for lack of a better name, BPD.

It is wrong to think that just because someone is difficult or unlikeable that they must have BPD. So please think again, all you who tend to bat around this disorder as just another adjective for someone who did not make your day.

etta said...

Regarding: "It is wrong to think that just because someone is difficult or unlikeable that they must have BPD. So please think again, all you who tend to bat around this disorder as just another adjective for someone who did not make your day."


Thank you so much for your insightful comments. Interesting thoughts about moving borderline to Axis 1 and the subtypes of those suffering. Very interesting. You may be right on.

Regarding: "...this underlying, free floating, often excruciating emotional pain, this dysphoric Inferno..."

Another spot-on description. Thanks.

Claire said...

As a sufferer of BPD this video really touched me. I have been through DBT and 10 years of struggle but am currently doing well for the past 3 weeks on loxapine.

Thank you for your blog. Lets hope the dark times get shorter and shorter.

Jackal said...

Deeply moving as it expresses BPD so well. Brought me to tears.