BPD Criteria and Me

Yesterday, I came across someone going through the BPD criteria and describing how he met them. I thought I would do the same, so here goes. My diagnosis was based on DSM-IV-TR criiteria because the Netherlands has not yet implemented DSM5. You need to meet at least five criteria out of nine. I meet at least six and most likely two more.

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Well, I have a huge fear of abandonment, but my attempts at coping with it tend to lead to actually being abandoned. I often can predict when someone is going to abandon me, but am not sure whether this is a self-fulfilling prophecy, good empathy, or magical thinking.
  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. This is the one criterion I mostly don’t recognize. Oh well, I do on occasion push my husband away by saying I don’t love him anymore. In this sense, I am the stereotypical “I hate you, don’t leave me” type. My husband says his presumption about borderlines is that people fight tooth and nail then five minutes later are cuddling.. I don’t do that.
  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. This is definitely me. As I pointed out in a previous post, I have no sense of self at all beyond the labels I carry, and in fact am just learning to use my own labels rather than those stuck on me. I tend to have my identity depend on how others see me.
  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (eg. spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Binge eating an running off into dangerous situations for me (ie. going for walks without watching for traffic). This is not suicidal behavior. Spending when in a hyperactive mood.
  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior. Well, I self-harm and often make suicidal threats. when talking on the phone with my sister about my new BPD diagnosis, she said that mild self-injury like I do does not really count and that I make suicidal threats for attention. Well, I disagree with the “for attention” bit but really it doesn’t matter.
  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days). This is so true for me. I have rapidly shifting moods from irritable to anxious to hyper etc. My sister got talking of manic depression, but then moods have to last for a couple of days to weeks. Mine don’t. I return to “normal” (ie. slightly depressed and irritable) or another mood episode within a day or so.
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness. I’m not really sure about this one as I have good reason to feel empty, ie. no job or extensive day activities. Then again, the feeling of emptiness can come for no reason and go with another perseveration or impulsive action.
  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (eg. frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights). I don’t physically fight but I do have recurrent temper outbursts. For me, I’m not too sure whether they’re meltdowns or outbursts, but I do have them in situations other than when overloaded too.
  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms. Well, duh. I have both actually. I get terribly paranoid when under stress and obviously have dissociative symptoms, ie. feelings of not being myself, chronic depersonalization and derealization, occasional amnesia.

I have been trying to find DSM5 criteria, but can’t. I know a new model for diagnosising personality disorders has been proposed, which bases the diagnosis on a combination of impairments in personality functioning and personality traits, but this model is used for research purposes only.

7 thoughts on “BPD Criteria and Me

  1. We deal with a lot of "I hate you, don't leave me" in my home. Bless my husband, he is extremely patient with me through all of this. I can't wait for you to really start implementing #3. I think you will find out just how awesome you are beyond your labels and it will surprise you! πŸ™‚ I also found this site, I'm not sure how much it will help: http://www.dsm5.org/


  2. I really have no idea what your talking about, but I know that you are trying to figure out what is wrong with you? LOL…no really I feel you and I think the "I hate you, don't leave me", part are in these relationships b/c of trust issues and getting abandoned while we were children. I applaud yuo for coming out about this b/c I think a lot of women go though this sort of behavior every day, even the angelic looking women who everyone thinks they have it all together, when in fact they don't. I am a Jesus freak and I beleive God/Jesus can help us in this area of trust and anger issues. ❀


  3. Good, solid, and thorough Aspie-style analysis. ;-)Your sister's comment made me a bit angry. It's so often a mistake that people make, "Your case is not severe enough, get over it." Funny thing: the criteria don't say anything about the *type* of SIBs or whether you *mean* it about killing yourself. (And seriously? Doing it for attention? Makes me want to slap people). You can make jokes about your own suicide and self-harm by pinching your skin, as long as it's repetitive and recurring. That's all the criteria say. Of course there's a scale of intensity, but that doesn't mean you're not "worthy" of a diagnosis if you fall on the "light" end.Rant over. Good luck with your journey!


  4. How many of these answers could also be due directly or linked to a problem caused by an ASD? I mean your answers to the criteria. Not saying you don't have BPD or anything, but One of the uk PD charities has made a mention of how often ASD can be dx'd as BPD especially in females.


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