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Having lots of bpd traits but possible to not have full diagnosis?

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Soladel

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Hi, last year i found out about borderline personality disorder and it seemed to make alot of things i was struggling with make sense, especially when looking at quiet type borderline. The black and white thinking(i can go from thinking highly of someone than one bad thing happens, in my head or not and i'll think they hate me causing me to run to avoid rejection), constant need of reassurances, feelings of emptyness, sudden kind of out of nowhere mood shifts, and having very intense emotions towards things good or bad(but bad ones are really bad), and i use to be suicidal(attempted once), and very reckless with money although the last two i don't struggle with as much anymore.

So i went to a new psychiatrist(it had been a few years since i saw one) told them about my depression and social anxiety issues and asked if they could give me an evaluation on if i had bpd. They never gave me a full evaluation but just asked me some questions and had me explain my symptoms and told me they see alot of borderline traits in me but never gave a full diagnosis that i'm aware of but did go about treating me for it and suggested i seek therapy, and put me on risperidone for the bpd symptoms. So i explained all my issues to my new therapist and how i was being treated and she at the very least saw alot of traits as well and was starting my therapy with the goals of improving depression, social phobia, and interpersonal relationships.

Now it's been a few months of me going to therapy and i guess i just wanted final verification on if i have a bpd diagnosis so asked her what all she would diagnosis me with, but didn't seem to want to go with a full diagnosis of bpd but did say how she saw alot of the traits(we had been discussing issues that are tied to bpd, so we knew i had atleast some of the issues in our talks) but that i should just focus on symptoms as with time those can change and thus change a possible diagnosis. She seemed kinda like she didn't want me to worry about having a bpd label.

So basically i'm curious if this is any common of a thing where you'll be treated for alot of traits of bpd but maybe not being given a full diagnosis. I guess in my head i just wanted a yes or no answer but am kinda in a mixed area where i'm not sure if there's a full diagnosis or not, and just kinda worried that if i do have full diagnosis i'm only being treated for having traits, although maybe that's ultimately the same thing? So sorry for the long ramble and history lesson on myself when i just needed to ask how other people came about getting diagnosed and if my situation is possibly common. Thank you for reading.
 
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Girl interupted

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For my experience the black and white thinking, not the pedestal, but X is bad and Y is good was the definition. My therapist is trying really hard to make me see the grays, but this is the one fallback I constantly return to to protect myself.


The more you read about bpd, the better equipped you will be in therapy. You can’t do bpd alone. You need a professional that you trust to not edit yourself.

its the only way through I have found, outside of the practical skills you get in dbt sessions.
 
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Soladel

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For my experience the black and white thinking, not the pedestal, but X is bad and Y is good was the definition. My therapist is trying really hard to make me see the grays, but this is the one fallback I constantly return to to protect myself.


The more you read about bpd, the better equipped you will be in therapy. You can’t do bpd alone. You need a professional that you trust to not edit yourself.

its the only way through I have found, outside of the practical skills you get in dbt sessions.
Thank you for the response, i do struggle with the black and white thinking especially when it comes to interactions with people. I tend to jump to the extremes alot.

I have done a decent amount of research and feel fairly comfortable and trusting of my therapist so far(as far as someone with social anxiety can really get to at this point) but it's still hard for me to explain or get my true thoughts across but i'm trying to improve in that regard in my sessions with them.

I'm not sure how i'd go about getting dbt as my insurance is fairly limited in what it will cover so i'm just hoping for the best with my therapist right now.
 
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Girl interupted

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The dbt classes aren’t horribly expensive, mine was $50 a class, and there are seven to eight classes per module. You can take up to four modules.

I call them classes because you don’t discuss any personal therapy, so I saw it more as a lecture series than group therapy.
 
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Soladel

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The dbt classes aren’t horribly expensive, mine was $50 a class, and there are seven to eight classes per module. You can take up to four modules.

I call them classes because you don’t discuss any personal therapy, so I saw it more as a lecture series than group therapy.
That does sound pretty affordable, i figured it would of been similiar to how therapists work. Thanks for the info, if i can get the courage i will try and look for dbt classes available near me.
 
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Girl interupted

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And fwiw, my therapist is the same, refuses to give a definitive yes bpd diagnosis and instead says I’m firmly rooted in cluster b.

He or she is right. Nobody is 100% bpd. Often there’s other things like anxiety and depression, which have to be untangled and dealt with separately.

Focus on the symptoms and work hard in therapy being ruthlessly honest and doing the hard work of dealing with your traumas. The end goal is to come to a place of acceptance where you are rooted in reality. This happened and I’m still here kind of thing.
 
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Soladel

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And fwiw, my therapist is the same, refuses to give a definitive yes bpd diagnosis and instead says I’m firmly rooted in cluster b.

He or she is right. Nobody is 100% bpd. Often there’s other things like anxiety and depression, which have to be untangled and dealt with separately.

Focus on the symptoms and work hard in therapy being ruthlessly honest and doing the hard work of dealing with your traumas. The end goal is to come to a place of acceptance where you are rooted in reality. This happened and I’m still here kind of thing.
Thank you very much for the advice. I can definitely understand nobody is 100% bpd, and with me there is a long history of depression and social anxiety which are tied in there as well. I will try my best to work hard in therapy. I do like my therapist so far i just need to push harder to be able to get a complete level of comfort so i can work better at reaching those goals and facing my issues.

Thanks for your responses, you have made me feel better about dealing with everything.
 
Schitzoaffective007

Schitzoaffective007

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Yes my doctor said the same thing...BPD traits but no disorder. I too wondered if she was being honest with me...or if she was taking it easy on me or didn't want me to know. To this day, I'm not sure...that sucks...however, I don't self injure myself or anything like that so maybe she was telling the truth. I'm not sure what constitutes self harm for BPD...over drinking or drug use? Does this count? I think by self harm they are referring to self mutilation...any feedback would be appreciated... although that might be a question for a professional.
 
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Girl interupted

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Anything self destructive falls into the self harm category, including drinking.
 
Schitzoaffective007

Schitzoaffective007

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Anything self destructive falls into the self harm category, including drinking.
Google:
"Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue, done without the intent to commit suicide."

Show me a source that says "anything self destructive"
 
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Girl interupted

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I’m not sure why you are arguing that abuse of alcohol isn’t self harming.
 
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Until

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I've researched a lot disorders as I realised over the years I have a problem, I read about BPD and then researched about it a lot, I believe for sure I have it, even though I don't have every single thing on the list, but I do have a lot of traits of BPD, I've decided I don't want a diagnosis, this is enough for me to know and explains a lot of my behaviours.

I for example have never self harmed myself. I have never tried to commit suicide, however I have thoughts about it a lot over the years, like feel like I don't want to be here etc, but not acted on it. Now that I know I have BPD I can look into what can help me with it, so for me I don't want the official label of it, but some people need that diagnosis and either way is not wrong.
 
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Soladel

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I've researched a lot disorders as I realised over the years I have a problem, I read about BPD and then researched about it a lot, I believe for sure I have it, even though I don't have every single thing on the list, but I do have a lot of traits of BPD, I've decided I don't want a diagnosis, this is enough for me to know and explains a lot of my behaviours.

I for example have never self harmed myself, such as cutting which I think is the main self harm action for people with BPD. I have never tried to commit suicide, however I have thoughts about it a lot over the years, like feel like I don't want to be here etc, but not acted on it. Now that I know I have BPD I can look into what can help me with it, so for me I don't want the official label of it, but some people need that diagnosis and either way is not wrong.

I understand what you're saying, i should just be focused on getting the symptoms treated rather than worry about a full diagnosis, especially since both my therapist and psychiatrist say they see alot of traits so i can work with them to help those symptoms/traits. Thanks for your feedback.
 
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WhySoSerious

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The problem with the diagnosis is that to get it you should be deeply impaired in multiple areas of life. It gets banded around a huge amount because psychiatry tend to not know what to do with some behaviours and so they lump people into the BPD criteria. I would say that (anecdotally) there is a huge % of people with a BPD diagnosis that if they were fully assessed wouldn't meet the criteria.

Having emotional intensity/dysregulation doesn't mean you have BPD but many seem to believe that is the case. Anxiety and depression can look like BPD but wouldn't come close to the criteria. I personally wouldn't diagnose anyone with BPD without 1) a SEVERE fear of abandonment that leads to significant behaviours that cause problems in relationships 2) high level self-injury -multiple days of hospitalisation on at least 2-3 occasions in a year 3) impulse control difficulties that lead to problem in at least TWO areas of life including work and home and 4) chronic problems with self-identity or sense of self.

Some professionals will see self-injury and emotional intensity and see it as enough for a diagnosis. Personally I'm not happy with that at all, especially as half the teenagers in CAMHS services would meet that definition.

The problem is that to get a formal diagnosis you should really be assessed by a psychologist (NOT a psychiatrist) and have a full work up with the SCIDII (Diagnostic Interview) that takes several hours and goes into minute details and examples of impairment.

Not sure if this helps.
 
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Until

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you don't have to have every single trait to have BPD. So there is nothing wrong in looking for help with the problems you have that are BPD traits, if it is something that can help you to manage those problems.
 
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