Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Do Borderlines Know That They Have BPD?

I've thought about this quite a bit and wondered this -- do borderlines know that they truly have Borderline Personality Disorder?

I think it depends on the person. Few doctors will actually diagnose a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. They will tell someone that many of their behaviors fit that of a borderline, but they won't put someone in that bucket.

The reason is because it is just that, a bucket that you put the person in when you give them the diagnosis. Most borderlines won't acknowledge such diagnosis anyway, part of their illness.

How Can You Tell If Someone Has Borderline Personality Disorder?

First, check the DSM IV Criteria and see if these behaviors seem familiar. If they do seem familiar, the person may have BPD. Of course, if you're quite close to the person, you're not objective, so it is difficult to tell. Professionals take multiple visits before diagnosing someone with BPD.

Anyway, I digress. Do they know that they have BPD?

Probably. The BPD that I was with had seen a professional that specialized in trauma. This person knew their BPDs, I bet. They eventually released the BPD, which most psychologists do with BPDs. Borderlines eventually start trying to manipulate professionals as well.

The BPD that I was with also had a friend recommend that she go on Effexor, from what she said. The BPD indicated that her friend was on Effexor and highly recommended it, so she said that she took it.

Research indicates that Effexor is one of the best drugs for treating BPD, but she said that she was on it for generalized anxiety. Anyway, she stopped taking it because she said that it made her fat.

When I told the BPD that I thought she had Borderline Personality Disorder, her response was, "I don't. You do."

She was so convincing that there was some time where I really thought that I had issues. Now, don't get me wrong, we all have issues, but we deal with our issues in normal ways. She made me believe that I was a headcase. They're good, those borderlines, very convincing and very good.

They bring you into their world, then unleash their anxiety and rage. Not fun.

So, I think that most Borderlines, especially older borderlines, know that they have something wrong with them. Seriously wrong. Many of them have grown up in highly dysfunctional houses, so they know no different and they don't know how to get out.

It's just a shame for us Non's. Our lives get turned upside down. I now know why I entered into such a relationship, which I will describe in more detail in a future post.

Stay tuned.


  1. Id venture to say that most borderlines dont know theyre borderline. Since its a personality disorder its so deeply ingrained in WHO they are they cant even see it. I also think in some cases they simply CANT face the possibility that maybe its them and not us. To admit that would fracture what small control they have of their own chaotic self image. To discover it really is them would turn them inside out and that cant and wont happen.
    Seems like there was some old Indian proverb about a snake and an owl. It was about the futile conversation of a snake and an owl. The snake swears he's an owl, the owl tries to convince the snake he's really a snake. Never having seen his reflection the snake argues to the point of frustration that no he is an owl. The owl points out to the snake that he has no feathers, no beak, cant fly how could he be an owl? The snake doesnt listen, only continues that he is an owl.
    Its the same when trying to convince someone they have BPD. You can show them all the evidence in the world but their sense of self and normalcy DEPENDS on their reality being normal and YOU being off. They MUST be the owl, for being a snake would shatter them.

  2. If borderlines don't /can't know they are borderline, then why are there so many of them who enter into recovery programs? Why are there websites run by them to help look for solutions? This is one helluva broad brush stroke you're painting.

  3. I think some do. At least that was my experience with one. He diagnosed himself. Still had problems accepting responsibility, but he knew he was miserable and wanted desperately not to be, so he tried different therapies, meds, etc.

    Of course this ended the way it always does--everything you said about the craziness is true. He did all the things you talk about. However, he is trying some new therapies, and I hope they work, because I can say after spending so much time talking with him that he is more miserable than he ever made me. (And don't get me wrong, I've cried many a tears over this.) I pray for his recovery, because I learned that underneath it all, he wants to be a good and kind person. At the moment, he just can't be.

    Thanks for the blog. It's enlightening and helpful.


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