BPD and Bi-Polar: The Differences

BPD and Bi-Polar: The Differences

Further to my recent post Misconceptions of BPD I would like to elaborate on another common view people have on the illness, it IS NOT Bi-Polar, there is a difference, now its easy to understand why people connect the two because there are similarities, in this post I would just like to establish how the two differ for those of you who have difficulty understanding.

For one thing, they’re technically different types of disorders. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, whereas BPD is a personality disorder

BPD & Bi-Polar both feature unstable moods.

Bipolar disorder:  The person can go from depression, “the lowest of lows,” to mania, “the highest of highs,” and back again. In mania, the person could “take on the world.” They feel great, they don’t feel a need for sleep, and their activity level could wear out a three year old. (Hypomania is similar to mania, but less severe.)

BPD: People with BPD can feel fine one minute, and be completely upset five minutes later. It’s like watching a tennis match between mood swings.

Both: Impulsivity is another common trait. People with these disorders can be like children about to dart out into a busy street, unless you catch them.

And now…drum roll please…the differences.

Bipolar disorder: affects your moods, but it’s not a function of basic personality development.

BPD is classified as a “dramatic” disorder, along with antisocial, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders.

The mood swings in both can be compared to the weather.

BPD: Mood swings are more unstable. They often last a few hours, at most. It can be “sunny, rainy, windy, and calm,” all in one day. Borderline is considered a part of a person’s make up.  It’s not episodic. Symptoms tend to be a constant- though they can come and go in many different degrees.

Bipolar disorder: The moods may change, but the person stays in them longer–a few days, weeks, or more. It may rain steadily, or be sunny, but it’s a “consistent weather pattern” for a time. Bipolar is an episodic mood disorder. When not in a mood swing, the symptoms are not present

Another difference is how they start.

BPD: it’s usually something “external,” like an argument with a spouse or something that happens to trigger the episode.

Bipolar disorder: it’s more “internal” — happening “simply out of the blue.”

Another difference between bipolar and borderline personality disorder is the types of emotions people with these disorders experience. People with BPD may view themselves as fundamentally bad or unworthy and are more prone to feelings of loneliness, emptiness and a severe fear of abandonment.

What is BPD?

Common Misconceptions And Myths Attached To BPD, Lets Get a Few Things Straight!

Common Misconceptions And Myths Attached To BPD, Lets Get a Few Things Straight!

I’ve always been quite open when it comes to my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder but after it being repeatedly used against me I am finding it harder to be an open book, I mean, when is the right time to tell someone? When does it become their business? thus I decided that the next time I met someone I would try to keep it to myself so that they couldn’t pre-judge me before they got to know me.. which was all well and good, then I met someone who I thought I could trust, I thought would understand me because he also had a personality disorder and I understood that and I could relate to his feelings and behaviors .

It turns out I was wrong 😦  and the minute there was a bit of a problem, my disorder was to blame. because a man would obviously never be to blame when things don’t go his way would he? 😉  I don’t think he intentionally tried to hurt me by saying that it must be my disorder that made me think he was in the wrong, it was just the easiest explanation for him. But to me because of past hurt around my diagnosis being used against me, It was like a stab in the stomach, something I will not tolerate again.

True to my textbook Bridget Jones type lifestyle, the whole thing was a disaster and it didn’t go anywhere unfortunately, but there was definitely a valuable lesson to be learnt from it.

Not only this but I also had a conversation with an acquaintance, who is aware of my diagnosis, but uneducated on it.., I mentioned BPD in conversation in which my opinion differed from hers, and her words were ‘Yeah, that’s why I don’t always listen when you don’t agree with me coz youll probably change your mind in the next breath because of it’ AHEM no I wont, just because I don’t agree with you but still respect your opinion might not be the same, doesn’t mean its because I have a personality disorder and I would agree otherwise. If anything that is more of a reflection on your personality.

I also witnessed a conversation where someone stated a girl was ‘acting all bipolar’ because the girl had recently lost her mother and was upset about it, which to me is just plain ignorant on many levels.. but that’s another blog post.


Upon reflection of the recent incident’s and how  things panned out in  the end, also remembering how others have reacted to my disorder and common misconceptions I have had to explain to people, I began thinking about the myths and stigma attached to  BPD, I wanted to iron out a few creases so decided I would do that in a blog post, I read a few articles but came across one that I couldn’t have put into words better myself, So here it is…

One of the hardest things about coping with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (other than the condition itself) is the stigma attached to the condition.  A lack of understanding coupled with misinformation, unhelpful content on the web and even the attitude of some professionals mean it can be hard for those of us with BPD to get access to the help and support we need as our label puts us on the trash heap of life. In this post I hope to dispel some of the top myths surrounding the condition…

I want to try to discuss some of the more negative traits associated with BPD, including being called ‘attention seekers’ ‘manipulative’ ‘deceptive’ ‘demanding’ ‘destructive’ ‘obstructive’ and ‘dangerous’.  It’s hard not to find these words bandied around to describe BPD sufferers, so-called experts and therapists supposed to ‘help’ us use these words themselves, and often will do ‘anything’ to avoid getting a BPD patient on their list as we are considered ‘un-treatable’ ‘uncooperative’ and ‘non-compliant’ for treatment.  Websites that are meant to help and support us even use the same terminology – is it any wonder we feel victimised and like ‘no-one’ gives a crap!?

Well excuse me just a moment,  for all you so-called ‘normal’ people out there, you don’t have the ‘reason’ or ‘excuse’ of BPD but excuse me, just how many of you are all of the words listed above!?  I can’t count the number of ‘normal’ people I’ve met that lie, cheat, steal, abuse, deceive, endanger, attention-seek, and manipulate others!  So, come on tell me why is it OK for you?  But, because we have the label ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ attached to our behaviour we are to be ‘abandoned’ ‘disowned’ and thrown on the trash heap of life as useless wasters not worthy of help, support and compassion?  Please, I really would like to know why we are the bad ones.  After all, in the majority of cases the reason we have this diagnosis is because of the MISTREATMENT of all the above kinds and more we have received at the hands of others (abuse, rape, emotional, physical and mental suffering, bullying, torment, and psychological torture… the list goes on)

Okay, so now I’ve had my rant let’s examine these traits. Each of these could be a post in its own right as there is much more to say, this is just a brief overview of each myth with sources for further information

1.) Borderlines are attention seekers…

Dictionary definition: “seizing the attention”

There are many people with personality disorders; they may be considered attention seekers but let me ask you, if you had a cold, what is it you look for from your partner or friends? Isn’t it comfort, reassurance and attention? So why would it be any different for someone suffering from severe emotional distress? Self-harming behaviours may trigger responses from others but they are rarely intended as attention seeking, they are very real expressions of an inability to cope and desire to escape the daily torture of BPD, the intent is to punish oneself or relieve some pressure, attention from others is not the reason for engaging in these behaviours

2.) Borderlines are manipulative…

Dictionary definition: “To manage or influence skillfully, esp. in an unfair manner: to manipulate people’s feelings”

This is a very harsh comment to make about someone who is using the best skills they have available. Try to imagine what someone with a personality disorder has gone through, and then think about what extremes you would go to protect yourself. Isn’t it true that life is a fight for survival or would it be seen that way through the eyes of someone with a personality disorder?

3.) Borderlines are deceptive…

Dictionary definition: “designed to deceive or mislead either deliberately or inadvertently

This is linked to the discussion about manipulation, the borderline can be considered a convincing liar, who sets out to intentionally mislead others with their manipulative and deceitful behaviours. However, a Borderline is highly unlikely to intentionally do these things due to the knowledge and fear that such behaviours increase the risk of rejection and abandonment, which of course are to be avoided at all costs. In fact due to the childlike nature of a borderline at times of pressure they actually find it difficult to lie at all, except for lying by omission (not revealing something, but not denying it either)

4.) Borderlines are demanding…

Dictionary definition: “requiring more than usually expected or thought due; especially great patience and effort and skill”

Imagine having a broken leg, you know there is treatment and with a little patience you will be better before you know it. With a personality disorder you are likely to experience the problem for many years with no real hope of a cure but your symptoms are likely to lessen as you grow older. Unlike a broken leg, you can not exactly see what is wrong but you can definitely feel it. I am sure everyone will agree this would make anyone quite demanding and impatient.

5.) Borderlines are destructive…

Dictionary definition: Causing or wreaking destruction; ruinous

This is true, if you consider it as ‘self-destructive’ rather than destruction aimed outwards. Reports of people with BPD  destroying the property of others or other destructive behaviours aimed at others are rarely true.  A person with BPD is likely to act impulsively when triggered, this includes a variety of self-destructive behaviours from unprotected sexual promiscuity to destruction of owns own property (punishment as you ‘don’t’ deserve these ‘nice’ things). Rachel Reiland describes how she burned her childhood awards, certificates and high school diploma in ‘Get me out of here: My recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder’ as she felt they did ‘Mean anything’ and this is typical of what can happen when a Borderline loses ‘control’ our achievements can become devalued and we can destroy things once held dear.

6.) Borderlines are obstructive…

Dictionary definition: “To impede, retard, or interfere with; hinder”

People with mental health issues have been often through mental health services for years. People with a personality disorder are likely to be involved with services for much longer than the standard mental health patient. They are offered so many services and therapies that have different names but often mean the same; they often end up feeling like a bit of a guinea pig, and reluctant to continue with another service or therapy.

7.) Borderlines are dangerous…

Dictionary definition: “Being able or likely to do harm.

The few films and TV representations of people with BPD tend to portray us as violent and at high risk of harming others. This is completely untrue, we are more likely to do ANYTHING to avoid hurting others, at great risk to ourselves.  Borderlines will sacrifice their own needs to try to make others happy and avoid any possibility that they would leave or reject us.  The only way in which we are dangerous is to ourselves, directing our anger inwards rather than outwards – this actually distinguishes BPD from Antisocial Personality Disorder, where sufferers anger is more likely to be directed outwards. For many BPD sufferers our own experiences on the receiving end of danger, violence and anger mean we avoid such expressions at all costs having witnessed the damage it can cause first hand.

8.) Borderlines are un-treatable…

Dictionary definition: “Incapable of being treated; not practicable.

Until recently mental health professional struggled with treating people with BPD and concluded it was untreatable, in fact it was just that the treatments used were ineffective and with improvements in research and understanding (particularly the work of Marsha Linehan) people with BPD now have a greater chance of recovery than those with Bipolar disorder – so long as they can get access to treatment, which is still the biggest barrier for most BPD sufferers.

9.) Borderlines are uncooperative…

Dictionary definition: “unwilling to cooperate.

If you were faced with a professional whose job it is to help you, but who has prejudged you (based on the BPD label) as all the words defined here, and additionally ‘needy, time-consuming and difficult’ how would you feel?  You would be able to sense those negative attitudes even if they were not verbally expressed, and they would become apparent very quickly in the relationship. Would you feel able to cooperate with someone who clearly doesn’t really want to be around you? of course not! Well this is what people with BPD experience all too often. we are not deliberately uncooperative, any more than the next person, but it is hard to cooperate with something when you can tell that your best interests are not at the heart of the issue, that getting rid of you as quick as possible is the key priority.  Given a chance the majority of people with BPD are willing to try ANYTHING to get better, how can that be uncooperative?

10.) Borderlines are non-compliant…

Dictionary definition: “a person who refuses to comply.

Linked to the previous definition this is about the notion that people with BPD are unwilling to comply with treatment, not taking medication prescribed, not turning up for therapy sessions etc.  As before it is hard to comply with something that does not feel aimed at helping you, but in fact due to the intense need to recover, avoid abandonment and rejection a person with BPD is actually more likely to ‘overdo’ it creating the ‘boundary’ issues that sometimes come up instead. Arriving too early for therapy sessions is one of my personal issues. All these things can lead to a person with BPD believing they are untreatable, beyond help and become filled with shame and self-doubt to the extent that they become non-compliant due to feeling the obstacles to change outweigh the possible benefits and chances of success. Thus, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and for the BPD  sufferer to be able to change the attitudes of others needs to change.

Source: showard76.wordpress.com

Narrow Minded People, Do You Fit The Bill?

Narrow Minded People, Do You Fit The Bill?

It has come to my attention recently that I know a few people who are sadly, very narrow minded, its hard for me to look at the world through their eyes and to be honest, I pity them because they seem to be missing out on so much. I personally would describe myself as broad minded, but  I have  found myself  generalizing on occasion though I am quick to remind myself how I would feel if I were being judged in such manner? would EVERYONE agree with my choices? Most certainly not!

The difference between broad-minded and narrow-minded according to the dictionary online.



Lacking tolerance, breadth of view, or sympathy; petty. 
-Having a biased or illiberal viewpoint; bigoted, intolerant, or prejudiced
Tolerant of opposing viewpoints; not prejudiced; liberal
-Not easily shocked by permissive sexual habits, pornography, etc

Narrow-minded people are not evil. They just have a limited sphere of thinking. While some of these people become narrow-minded after being exposed to harsh realities of life, others just lack education, varied experiences and most importantly – unconditional acceptance and love they deserve. Narrow-mindedness is not a permanent condition. You just need to do an honest self-analysis and start working on your thinking habits, one step at a time.

Here is the list of  signs that may show you you’re a narrow minded person.

You tend to generalize everything:

Every human being has the tendency to generalize an opinion. For example, if a handful of people from Italy were unkind to you during your trip to the United States, you may or may not generalize that all Italians are rude, dangerous and obnoxious. A narrow-minded person almost certainly chooses to generalize in such cases. Some common examples are – Everyone in Pakistan is a terrorist, all gold medalist athletes used performance enhancing drugs, all political leaders are corrupt and all government officials take bribes.

You tend to generalize everything - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

 Your Judgemental:

Having pre-conceived notions about people, events and several other things without valid reasons is a common sign of narrow-mindedness. If you judge a person, movie, book, leader, officer or anyone else very quickly, it’s possible your mind has become habitual to ‘presume’ than to analyze and discover. A narrow-minded person tends to see a dozen things the same way he found the first one.

You’re judgmental - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

 You do not discuss your core beliefs with everyone:

While some people just like to keep their core beliefs and ideas about life to themselves, there are many others, who keep them from friends, family members and relatives simply because they cannot stand contrary arguments. If you’ve never discussed such things with ‘anyone’ in your life, you’re probably rolling down a narrow lane in your mind, unwilling to ride on a wide highway with others.

You do not discuss your core beliefs with anyone - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

You enjoy pin-pointing the shortcomings:

A large number of people enjoy pin-pointing wrongs in the society a lot more than they appreciate things that are just as they should be. Even if you consider the last 48 hours of your life, you can easily analyze if you’ve been mostly whining or feeling grateful. If you have been complaining about corruption, public callousness, poverty, crimes etc. 20 times a day, you’ve probably narrowed down your thinking to everything negative in this world. This is one of the easiest signs of narrow-mindedness that you can recognize.

You enjoy pin-pointing the shortcomings - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

 You’re not open to new ideas:

A narrow-minded person may appear conservative, liberal, religious or spiritual on the surface. Deep down, however, such a person lives inside a closed shell, unwilling to expose himself to new opinions even if they’re based on facts and obvious realities. A religious person, for example, may just refuse to accept that his religion is not the ‘best religion’ in the world.

You are not open to new ideas - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

You contact your friends only when you’re sad:

If you’ve a tendency to contact your ‘close’ friends only when you’re depressed or frustrated, chances are you have been paying little or no attention to them. It is possible that you do not seek their company in happy-times. It is not wrong to reach out to people you think you love and trust when you’re physically, mentally or emotionally weak. However, it is certainly a sign of narrow-mindedness if you feel the need to call or meet friends only when you’re not happy.

You contact your friends only when you are sad - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

 You fail to interact well with someone after you discover a negative part of their personality:

It’s not easy to recognize this tendency, especially when you’re doing self-analysis. The best you can do is to recall some incidents when a friend acted stupid, selfish or childish. If the nature of relationship between the two of you changed after just one incident, chances are you focus more on the negative side of your friend’s personality.

You fail to interact well with a friend once you discover a negative part of his personality - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

 You do not like anyone that disagrees with you:

If you like everyone to be in perfect agreement with everything you believe in, it is possible you haven’t rationally considered their life experiences. There are very few people in the world who are either 99% selfless or 99% selfish. If you find it hard to stand disagreements, whether at workplace, family life or in personal relationships, you’re almost certainly becoming narrow minded. It’s important that you learn to disagree happily.

You do not like anyone who disagrees with you - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person

 You’re obsessed with righteousness:

Some people like to be right on all occasions. Even if they’re aware of their wrongdoings and blunders, they try to tuck it deep in their hearts and pretend being righteous in front of family members, friends and colleagues. If you cannot recall occasions when you apologized for something, laughed at your blunders with near and dear ones or openly accepted your mistakes, chances are you’ve spoiled your mind!

You’re obsessed with righteousness - Signs You're a Narrow Minded Person