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i just got dx borderline and was just wondering why it is called a disorder and not an illness.

whats the difference between an illness and a disorder?

or is it the same thing?

sorry im asking such a lame question but i am a little confused about all the info they are bumping into my head.

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i just got dx borderline and was just wondering why it is called a disorder and not an illness.

whats the difference between an illness and a disorder?

or is it the same thing?

sorry im asking such a lame question but i am a little confused about all the info they are bumping into my head.

same thing.  for instance,  according to the national institute of mental health, "bipolar disorder" also known as "manic depressive illness"...

i think disorder is just the term they are using now, perhaps illness is passe?

(there is a difference between axis I dx's (MDD, bipolar, etc) and axis II (the personality disorders, etc.) but i don't know if that's what you were getting at.  if so, i can explain that if you want.)

i know being dx'd borderline is scary, i think it's great that you are asking questions.

take care of yourself.

penny

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It's a very good question.

A personality disorder is a dis-ordered way of looking at the world, of your personality. It means that compared to the average person, your identity and behaviour is much more chaotic and less ordered than theirs.

The reason that it is not an illness is because it is not a chemical thing in your brain that we can point to and say 'that is why Iona Viona feels empty/acts impulsively/self harms etc'. There is some evidence from brain scans to suggest that people with BPD have more pronounced chemical reactions to stress, but no firm biological basis. Therefore it is a disorder, not a biological illness.

You may get medication to regulate your moods and your psychotic symptoms if you have them, but borderline will only be really be dealt with by therapy, as it's your personality and behaviour that is dis-ordered and needs re-ordering through therapy. My therapist actually doesn't like me to use words like 'ill' and 'cured' because BPD isn't something that starts and goes away, it's a lifetime tendency that you either learn to change or choose to stay with.

This sounds frightening but is incredibly positive, it means that you can and will learn to live a better morefulfilling life, you're not doomed to be 'ill'  and on meds forever! Have you been referred to therapy or given any info on your diagnosis yet?

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BOYD

Taken to the extreme then yes, it may be some conspiracy to get us all the act exactly alike. Here in my day to day contact with mental health services, I find that what is generally meant is that we learn coping strategies that are healthy for us and non harmful to ourselves and others, something which average people tend to have a greater degree of, though no one is perfect.

I am all for individuality and mental interestingness but in my mind there comes a point where we have to cut the bullshit, take some responsibility and not wander around causing utter chaos and justifying it by claming to be unique and special. I love the CBers too, they have many virtues but actually many of them (and me) are unhappy about our past actions, dissatisfied with our present and scared for our future. So being mentally ill isn't working for us, however lovably kooky we make out to be.

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i was taught that it becomes a disorder when it starts having a significant impact upon your functioning in daily life.

because we are all of a particular personality category, of different clusters, of different degrees of functionality. there is no "perfect" personality. it's when your personality, ie: how you view and interact with your environment, prevents you from having a life, because of its dysfunctional coping, its emotional inequalities, that it becomes a disorder.

so yes, it is chemical, but it is chemical in everyone, it's a construct of our upbringing and our underlying biochemical architecture which is both genetic and environmental.

eg: i more than qualify for the borderline personality disorder. but because it's something i've worked on hugely, and i don't outwardly express the very picture of borderline disorder, it's been toned down to just "borderline personality". i am still the same, emotionally and biologically.

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