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BPD misdiagnosis?


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Wondering if anyone has been misdiagnosed, either with BPD when it's something else, or with something else that you suspect is actually BPD? I feel kinda stupid because I've posted about BPD stuff here that I'm now thinking isn't accurate, so hopefully you can all forgive me :P I'll be an ally to the BPD cause, whatever that is.

I suspect that I was mostly diagnosed with BPD traits because 1) I already met the criteria for another PD and 2) I'm part of That demographic. If it's young, female and messed up, gotta be BPD somewhere. Sorry, having just said I don't think I have BPD anymore I'm now being sarcastic. But equally, I've done enough research that it sounds like BPD misdiagnosis is SUPER common, from both sides. This might also be part of the UK/NHS diagnostic system being a random doctor who gets an hour with you to determine ALL of your problems. It would of course be better if it was someone who knew you and your history/patterns. And who didn't just ignore your abusive relationship by asking about your parents instead.

FWIW, 99% of the reasoning behind me questioning this diagnosis is that I have almost no BPD traits now, nor have I for some time. The OCPD is as strong as ever, but I somehow managed to trump BPD, which seems very unlikely. Or maybe BPD works differently to other PD's? Let me know

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I was misdiagnosed with bipolar in the past when I felt (and other clinicians felt) that PTSD with borderline traits fit better. I never really had mood “episodes”, more like emotional lability and mood reactivity to environmental triggers. I also deal with abandonment fears, dissociation  and unstable sense of self, which are way more borderline than bipolar

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Sam, I hope you were able to get a second opinion (though it sounds like others agree that you were misdiagnosed). Have you been able to get more appropriate therapy/etc now?

NotLoki, are you talking to me? If so then like I said I'm not BPD symptomatic, though I have other things I'm working on in therapy at the moment. I don't take any medication, I'm not a good candidate for it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't think borderline personality disorder is a necessarily a black or white thing. It is defined that way, but perhaps only useful in determining what type of treatment would be best for you, and for insurance billing purposes.

For example, you may have none, all, or some symptoms some of the time, and they wax and wane in severity.

I have found it useful in arriving at a common understanding with other people regarding one's experience. Like a common language for communication with peers and doctors.

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I've always said that it is the symptoms that are the important thing and not necessarily what label you get. Although, the label can help ease fears of not knowing what is "off" or "wrong".  

I first got diagnosed in 2006 with PTSD. I've had docs over the years(I've had mental health issues for quite some time.), tell me that I was bipolar or schizo-affective or borderline. I had one doctor tell me I had bipolar disorder with borderline traits and PTSD. Now, years later, the newest psychiatrist has told me I fit the criteria for  bipolar disorder AND borderline personality disorder AND PTSD(which with the PTSD, I'm now debating whether it is PTSD or CPTSD as I have had a lot of repeated trauma in my life and not necessarily just a one time thing. I'm going to mention it to my doc in a couple of weeks). 

I think the important thing, is that whatever your condition or ailment is, you can get it treated or to the point that it is manageable so you are feeling better. 

With regards to the BPD misdiagnosis, I would not be surprised if you were misdiagnosed. I believe it is something that is super common across the board with a lot of different conditions. Add to the fact that different symptoms overlap, its hard to say.

I will say that I have BPD and when I first had it, I fit pretty much all 9 of the criteria to a T. High abandonment issues, impulsivity like crazy, unstable sense of self, being reckless, and a bit of paranoia/dissociation among other things. I was diagnosed with it in 2010 and rediagnosed in 2013, before my current diagnosis now. If you would ask me if I fit all of the criteria now, I would say that I am not sure. I would think I would given history but a lot of my symptoms are less severe. My abandonment issues have lessened, my anger is at a more controlled state, I'm not as suicidal at all, I've really done a 180. But not all conditions have a type A either and everyone is different so its hard to say. 

I hope you find the answers you are looking for!

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Symptoms are important, but the diagnosis can mean so much, in terms of treatment, self understanding, explaining your situation to others. Especially when it's as heavily loaded as a personality disorder. I only felt it like the symptoms were being addressed when they were treated more like trauma that a PD. Sorry I feel like I sound defensive and angry when I'm really not, just tired!

It also doesn't help that symptoms can look similar to the observer (i.e. the pdoc) but feel different to the person experiencing them. 

This has been an interesting conversation though. I really just want us all to be happy with rainbow farting unicorns, with or without BPD, but that's not very realistic. martina I also hope you find your answers! Papas, the communication with others has been very important to me. This board has been a lifeline at times.

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