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 Marcia Purse

Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

By July 14, 2006

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Is there a relationship? John G. Gunderson, M.D., medical director for the Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Center at McLean Hospital, recently reported on the results from a long-term study. The findings seem to indicate that borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder do not commonly coexist. The study's name is a mouthful - Descriptive and Longitudinal Observations on the Relationship of Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.

In our forum and chat we have encountered many members who say they have been diagnosed with both of these conditions. Have you? Do you think the diagnosis is correct? Leave your thoughts in a comment.

January 27, 2009 at 8:46 am
(1) Katya says:

I was diagnosed with both of them and don’t know why they couldnt coexist…..my psychiatrist explained that borderline is more or less just the inability to make decisions for myself and being codependent…is this incorrect??

January 27, 2009 at 9:50 am
(2) stinkerbell72 says:

Yes, from what I understand, BPD as it is now called is going through a change in terminology in the new DSMV; they are toying around with the term Emotional Dysregulation Disorder. What that means in a nutshell is that those with BPD have no means of regulating their moods or reactions on a regular basis even if they are ‘stable’, and it can’t be medicated, reallly because it’s a personality disorder…there are also a whole host of other conditions that must be met to be considered BPD. Look it up online.

January 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm
(3) Marsha says:

I was called “extremely borderline” in my 20′s
and 30′s…
Now, I aam in my fifties and my BPD”was corrected” by long term therapy and I now have
diagnois of BiPolar disorder which does respond to proper medications…

January 31, 2009 at 10:11 am
(4) Gail Skowron says:

My daughter’s diagnosis was changed from bipolar 1 to BPD. That definition suits her situation better but I feel like I let her down so much…like I caused it, as well as my husband. We were a blended family with both original families so dysfunctional. I probably am BPD myself, yet my original diagnosis is Unipolar and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Everthing about BPD is environmental. That explains why no medication worked for her with the BP diagnosis.

July 21, 2009 at 1:59 pm
(5) joyce says:

I am currently involved with someone who has been diagnosised with bipolar II and borderline personality disorder. I am in the field of pyschology but am having problems following the patterns of his behavior. One minute I am wonderful and things are great, while the next minute there is a nagging uncertainty, avoidance as though a pulling away. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

October 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm
(6) tom says:

I am diagnozed for BPD and Bipolar Personality. And the doctor told that borderline is under spectrum of Bipolar.. (I dunno what it means, but who cares? I am having lots of pills and I even do not know where I am, what I am doing…)
People says “You could’ve worse illness”.. Yeah, that’s true, but believe me this illness is also serious… Just think about this: You don’t have a stable life… I recently fired from my job because of I have a bipolar personality… So people says, everything will be OK.
Yeah, without any social insurance, with expensive meds and therapies…
Sounds nice?

October 5, 2012 at 11:19 am
(7) fantasiatulip says:

was diagnosed with BP I and BPD 7+ years ago.. literally tried out every single psych med. there are available for prescription, but condition with BP 1 was never stablised for more than 2 weeks. Huge mood fluctuations in a “day”, and wasn’t responding well to any medication. Then “BP rapid cycling” was labelled on. I was constantly changing my medications. It was only 3 weeks ago, after switching to yet another Psychiastrist who told me, he doesn’t think I suffer from BP I at all… I am purely just BPD and PTSD, and that’s why all the med. failed to stablised my condition. I should focus on “psychological therapy” (which I’ve neglected for quite a few years now) rather than “medication”. Now, i’m all confused !!! Huh? how could someone said to have BP I, then all of the sudden, NOT have it ??

April 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm
(8) Anna says:

I have been diagnosed with several different conditions, depending on the expertise level of the professional. Some weren’t even doctors and making their decision on a 45 minute session from the basis of a three hour bipolar seminar. This doctor’s assistant didn’t listen to me- the previous meds were working but she wanted to try me on some bipolar meds. They’ve never worked. She ignored my risky behavior- one of the criteria for BPD such as being self destructive in order to obtain revenge- and that I don’t have manic episodes…. It took an older psychologist twelve hours to come to his diagnosis and he even laughed at the interpretation of the young psychiatrist’s observations. Anyway, I believe I am BPD with PTSD. The most effective cure for me is ongoing counseling or cognitive therapy techniques and learning ‘life skills’ over, and over again.

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