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While in hospital I was recently told I have BPD traits because I meet two criteria for the disorder. That sounds kind of suspicious to me... only two traits? Anyone else ever been told this?

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BPD is way over-diagnosed and nowhere near as easy to dx as many suggest.

BPD is almost exclusively dx'd in women.

BPD is often used as a way for doctors to tell each other about difficult patients. Given how much time you've spent in hospital, I'm frankly surprised no one has brought up BPD/traits with you before. Particularly from hospital pdocs.

I'm not a diagnostician, but I think any diagnosis of BPD or BPD traits should be taken with an extremely large handful of salt. Talk to your primary pdoc. He knows you better than the hospital pdocs, having seen you both in crisis and while relatively stable. The hospital pdocs only ever see you (oddly enough) in crisis, so their experience of you is skewed.

Edit: Here's an interesting blog post on what borderline is defined to mean and what it has come to mean to psychiatrists in general. http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2007/10/the_diagnosis_of_borderline_pe.html

 

Edited by Geek
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I am going to try to get ahold of my medical records; then I'll know for sure. The diagnosis doesn't fit me at all. The few criteria I meet are easily explained by different things.

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Personality disorder diagnosis is similar to learning disorder diagnosis, in that a lot of people insist the research and diagnostic process isn't biased, but it massively is. BPD is probably underdiagnosed in men but yeah, overdiagnosis in women is definitely an issue. Being told you have it with only two traits is extremely dubious IMO. I'm technically OCPD with BPD traits, because I'm maybe 5/8 traits instead of the 6/8 needed for full BPD, if that makes any sense. 

It also doesn't help that (again, IMO) diagnosing personality disorders requires a large amount of experience and talking to other professionals in the field. Just reading the DSM description is so vague it borders on non-sensical. It doesn't help that BPD reads like a laundry list of different disorders- dissociative, traumatic, mood, anxiety, etc. It's a very strange disorder. I really hope you get a second opinion aura 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The prebious reply expressing concers about bias? Yeah. Fully agree.

"Traits".. I have a huge issue with the medical community using the term 'traits' as some kind of meaningful justification to fill gaps in a diagnosis where actual symptoms should be. It's right in line with the infamous "N.O.S." 

It does a huge disservice to the afflicted when those responsible for supporting our mental stability replace feelings with facts.

Either the presence of active symptoms, past history, ongoing patterns of behavior, thoughts, feelings, actions, and occurrences support a true diagnosis, or it does not. 

It's the equivalent of a court judge throwing an innocent person in jail because there is a chance they might commit a crime at some point in their future... Or a vindictive child services caseworker removing a child from the loving arms of their parents because of some conveniently perceived 'risk of future harm'. Happens all the time.

The politics of economics depend on the false and deceitful generation of job security for those in positions of influence or authority. Look at the explosion in the prevalence of autism in the past 15 years. How many commercials a day do we see touting the newest brain chemical altering medication breakthrough? I'm uninspired when I see puppies playing in the park.. We now have the cure!

The more vague the symptoms are accepted to be, the more the potential market for treatment expands. The DSM plays into this phenomenon by the way it overlaps many symptoms across each spectrum of affliction. This logic only feeds the stigma. The bipolar fad is replacing the autism explosion. People glamorize hypomania and manipulate the term like it excuses their intentional irresponsibility or poor judgement. "Honey, I'm sorry I slept with your sister.. I had a bipolar moment". More stigma food.

20 years ago, psychosis fell neatly into one category. Now? Instead of pointing directly towards schizo - It's anxiety induced. Manic induced. Illicit drug use induced. Medication induced. All over the map. We have 500 different pharmaceutical options to sample our way through in an effort to eventually find what 'helps' us blend in better with society or be more tolerable to those around us. But, the medication is always prescribed in layers, because the 'symptoms' are overlapped all over the map. 

Does anybody here with a firmly established mental health diagnosis take only one medication? No.. because we are told that would be 'dangerous' to neglect the potential for that same medication to send us into orbit. Cold turkey is never an option either. There is a financial influence and component that gets overshadowed by the element of 'risk'.

The ongoing mantra of 'treat the symptoms' becomes invalid. None of the medications for mental illness seem to accomplish that objective without the need for additional maintenance or as needed medications. 

When a new symptom emerges or intensifies, we are left to try and figure out if it is a progression of the illness or a side effect of the medication interacting with the medication, or the humidity of the dark side of the moon on every other Thursday evening. Every medication is tolerated differently at different times for different reasons in different people. All over the place. 

It's a frustrating pool to learn to swim in. Using 'traits' as the key to unlock Pandora's box is very irresponsible from a community sworn to uphold the principle of "First do no harm".

I am not against medication at all.. for those who truly need it. I am thrilled to hear of people who found the needle in the haystack and have learned to utilize medication as a tool to tame the beast.

There is a difference between I haven't slept well lately and.. I impulsively hooked up with 8 random strangers, emptied my bank account buying clothes for my non-existent pet goldfish, and haven't slept in 8 days.

There is the difference between Traits vs. Symptoms.

It bothers me how effortless the entire process has become. All it takes is a 10 minute visit to a walk-in clinic. Answer a few questions by somebody you have never met. 3 days later, you have a blanket diagnosis full of 'traits' - no established pattern - and 3 new prescriptions in the cabinet. The medical professionals can so easily exploit the reality that no test available provides a definitive result to prove the presence of any mental illness.. all with no fear of consequence for any damage done.

So, where is the accountability? It got replaced by job security and profit. And, thanks to marvels of suggestive advertising, there will be a steady stream of blank checks walking into that same clinic daily. 

Traits are a very slippery slope that can easily be manipulated against your best interest. Tread carefully. 

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There are some people. Who survive on monotherapy. I kno someone well who only takes lithium, and my doc has people on only clozaril. I agree about the stigma, but sometimes it sounds like it's either no meds or a ton of meds...but there is a middle ground of one or 2 meds, just many of us aren't lucky enough to be there 

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I was diagnosed with BPD like 15 years ago the first time I was hospitalized. About 10 years ago, a Pdoc I worked with for a long time said he called me Borderline because he didn't know what else to call me, and that I didn't seem to fit the diagnostic criteria for anything.  Since then I've been diagnosed with  Schizoaffective and Bipolar but have been told that I have some traits of BPD. Most clinicians seem to say that I don't seem to fall neatly into one diagnostic category. I've been told also that I am borderline in the old fashioned definition in that I am on the borderline of neurosis and psychosis. I often wonder if they are just not telling me that I am Borderline or trying to soften the blow.  I was told by one Pdoc that some people can grow out of borderline. Who knows?

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/27/2017 at 1:09 PM, trainwrek said:

 I've been told also that I am borderline in the old fashioned definition in that I am on the borderline of neurosis and psychosis.

I know this is a couple months old but I was recently told this too. I also don't fit any neat diagnostic category. Nice to know I'm not alone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To continue the necroposting, I received a BPD dx and told my clinician I didn't feel like any of the symptoms applied to me. He admitted I just had a "touch" of it. Maybe not coincidentally, he also taught a DBT class which I attended and found helpful, but not particularly relevant to my problems. 

That said, I do think I have something wrong with me that is more akin to a personality disorder than other things. I have a pattern of relating to the world and myself that is dysfunctional. I also feel like there's something fundamentally wrong with me, that I'm fundamentally broken; that profound and chronic sense of emptiness is the only part of BPD that I identified with, and it's also the one that seems the least treatable. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/10/2017 at 6:49 PM, Syzygy said:

Was told I had traits in childhood and was diagnosed as an adult. Got a new therapist and (apparently misdiagnosis of it is common) I actually have ASD.

I have been told I had "traits" in my teen years as well, with doctors in hospitals looking in vain for trauma that wasn't there to explain my self harm and ED symptoms. I was an "enigma" to quote one doctor. Thirty years later, I have a daughter diagnosed with Aspergers and in doing research, found that like you posted, women on the spectrum are more often misdiagnosed with Borderline PD. The same could be with ADHD as well, since both disorders are diagnosed more in boys and contain the impulsivity and emotional dysregulation found with Borderlines. My current psychiatrist hasn't diagnosed me with either, and stressed that having borderline traits does not come anywhere near a diagnosis and shouldn't be treated as such.  A diagnosis of BPD should be taken with a grain of salt since a lot of clinicians will assign it when they see self harm alone. Traits, like my doctor said, can be found in a huge portion of the population and don't constitute an actual diagnosis. Like Narcissistic PD,  BPD is difficult to diagnose and should not be given simply because a client has some trouble with emotion regulation and impulsivity.  That's laziness on the doctor's part, in my opinion.

Edited by Lauliza
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BPD is so strange. (Not people with BPD- the actual disorder and diagnosis of). It's amazing how pdocs etc tell us frequently about the dangers of over diagnosis or self-diagnosing (even when you are asking for a consultation, not demanding a label). Yet from quite a few cases it seems to just be stuck on people like they have a quota to fill. I haven't SH-ed in years and when I did it wasn't compulsive, more punitive, but there was little consideration for nuance during diagnosis. I find it interesting and sort of sad how many people have said 'it wasn't BPD, it was bipolar/ASD/etc'.

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I wouldn't put much faith in doctors who diagnose someone with BPD after a 5-10 minute consultation. It takes a while to get to know someone's personality. And if you're in hospital at the time other factors should come into consideration afterall no one is themselves when they've been hospitalised for mental health issues and it can affect your behaviour at that time.

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I was going through my room recently and found the documents from a extremely brief (literally one day long) psych hospital admission a year ago. When I was there I saw a psychiatrist all of once, who said “the only medication that works for treatment resistant depression is Effexor”, then got irrationally pissed off when I politely disputed his laughably incorrect claim and indicated that I was reluctant to take venlafaxine in particular because of its well-known severe withdrawal symptoms. He accused me of being unwilling to be treated at all (rather amusing, given how I was there voluntarily in the first place, had been voluntarily seeking out psychological and psychiatric help for quite a while, and voluntarily trying medications even after some spectacularly bad experiences (like my little encounter with serotonin syndrome the very first time I tried a SSRI!) and entirely too many therapeutic failures, etc) and promptly discharged my still-very-suicidal ass. I obviously ended up back in the hospital within days (this time at the significantly better psych ward that I usually got sent to). What a utter waste of time and money. Anyways, I was surprised to notice that the documentation for that extremely brief stay had a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder on it. Schizoaffective disorder? I don’t even come close to meeting the DSM-V criterion for that! And of course they never bothered mentioning this diagnosis to me.

The first time I was ever in a psych hospital I was diagnosed with BPD. I was never told, it wasn’t until I saw the discharge paperwork that I found out. When I saw my regular long-term psychologist and told him about it, he thought it was a hilariously inaccurate misdiagnosis and said I was nothing like the BPD patients he had. When I eventually switched to a different therapist and we reexplored the borderline diagnosis, she took a different approach, looking at it more strictly from the DSM-V criteria. Eventually we concluded that I did actually technically fit the diagnostic criteria, but not in a very typical fashion at all. We started DBT and I was referred to a DBT group in the hopes that DBT would help with it, which was all somewhat helpful, and thankfully my psychiatrist didn’t give up on treating me or treat me any differently because of the BPD diagnosis (which both my therapist and psychiatrist agreed was only one small part of a complex diagnostic picture, each part of which should be addressed individually). However I remain painfully aware of the stigma associated with BPD, and always cringe when I get to that point in my list of diagnoses.

Edited by JustNuts
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Urgh, wow that sounds horrible. Sometimes pdocs just sound like production lines, no real understanding, just moving on to the next diagnosis. Of course, there are good ones (I had therapy today and it was great) but shouldn't patience be a pre-requisite for this profession? Glad to hear you seem to be with people who actually want to help. Also I looked at your signature and you have OCPD too? 

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