Identity Disturbance

Crow King

Crow King

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I'm highly interested in this area of BPD because it seems to be my most prevalent symptom. I have absolutely 0 sense of who I am at all times. It never goes away.

I'm newly diagnosed and have yet to begin therapy, so I'm inquiring about others' experiences with development in this department, and what others have been taught in therapy that was an effective countermeasure against the identity disturbance in BPD.
 
Luci

Luci

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Hi :) I have never suffered much with this myself as I have much stronger traits i struggle with. I think because I became a parent at a young age, and my strongest trait is putting others before myself, I based my identity on my idea of a good mum. This happens to be the exact opposite of what my mum was so I just focussed on making money and being a good mum. I didn't 100% understand myself until recently. I was only diagnosed in February. I have had CBT twice, counselling 3 times, anger management, seen 2 psychiatrists and a psychologist and was given a CPN after I was diagnosed. This is over the last 12 years. This doesn't necessarily answer your question, but hope it it helpful in some way?
 
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EstherRose94

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Hey Crow King.

I used to feel like I was two polar opposite people in one body that would take turns “driving”. I always thought whichever I was at the moment was the “real” me and the other needed to be banished. Then it would switch and i would think the opposite. Now that I’m on meds one side sorta went away/ the extremes melded into one average kinda boring but still cool person hah. I still don’t know exactly who I’ll become but I’m at least like one stable personality most of the time now.
 
Crow King

Crow King

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Hey Crow King.

I used to feel like I was two polar opposite people in one body that would take turns “driving”. I always thought whichever I was at the moment was the “real” me and the other needed to be banished. Then it would switch and i would think the opposite. Now that I’m on meds one side sorta went away/ the extremes melded into one average kinda boring but still cool person hah. I still don’t know exactly who I’ll become but I’m at least like one stable personality most of the time now.
I see. I feel like I am more than just 2 and am constantly just in a state of motion; shifting, changing, like a constant flow, simultaneously multiplicity and nothingness. There is no me, there is only a shifter...like a shapeshifter with no baseline appearance of their own, not knowing who or what to shift into without adapting to the external. A chameleon that is empty and devoid of any self.

If you dont mind sharing, what meds led to that? Ive been on a few kinds and none of them have had this effect on me.
 
NWiddi

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I used to feel like I was two polar opposite people in one body that would take turns “driving”.
Funny you should say that @EstherRose94, My main belief as a voice hearer is that we are all two people, we have another mind sharing our body with us, I call them the 'twin within', the 'hidden people' or 'passengers' as we're the driver of the body.

A book I'm reading calls them Daemons and claims scientists have discovered back in the 1960's that our mind occupies the left dominant hemisphere of the brain and this second mind occupies the right hemisphere and under certain circumstances can take control of the body.
 
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Sarabi_Gyarados

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I find I tend to mirror other people a lot.

I'm also a Gemini (I believe in astrology).

I think in my quiet moments, I am a sensitive, reflective, caring person who can be worried and a perfectionist.

But I can feel like there are many versions of me who come out at different times.

In terms of a solid identity that's harder, but I think if you have solid things that you do, that can become your identity, i.e. you have a certain job, you volunteer, you are a parent, these become aspects of who you are and can help.
 
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EstherRose94

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I see. I feel like I am more than just 2 and am constantly just in a state of motion; shifting, changing, like a constant flow, simultaneously multiplicity and nothingness. There is no me, there is only a shifter...like a shapeshifter with no baseline appearance of their own, not knowing who or what to shift into without adapting to the external. A chameleon that is empty and devoid of any self.

If you dont mind sharing, what meds led to that? Ive been on a few kinds and none of them have had this effect on me.
Funny you should say that @EstherRose94, My main belief as a voice hearer is that we are all two people, we have another mind sharing our body with us, I call them the 'twin within', the 'hidden people' or 'passengers' as we're the driver of the body.

A book I'm reading calls them Daemons and claims scientists have discovered back in the 1960's that our mind occupies the left dominant hemisphere of the brain and this second mind occupies the right hemisphere and under certain circumstances can take control of the body.
That is really interesting. Reminds me of studies with a man whose hemispheres are not connected. His left half could know info that the right half didn’t. It’s hard to explain here I’ll have to link a video.
 
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EstherRose94

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I find I tend to mirror other people a lot.

I'm also a Gemini (I believe in astrology).

I think in my quiet moments, I am a sensitive, reflective, caring person who can be worried and a perfectionist.

But I can feel like there are many versions of me who come out at different times.

In terms of a solid identity that's harder, but I think if you have solid things that you do, that can become your identity, i.e. you have a certain job, you volunteer, you are a parent, these become aspects of who you are and can help.
Same here and also Gemini. Interesting!
 
Crow King

Crow King

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Not a gemini and believe in science rather than astrology, still feel like multiple selves because of identity disturbance. What I'm referring to is not normal, it is a symptom of borderline personality disorder.

It started with the theories popularized by Erik Erikson. Erikson argued that adolescents in many cultures experience a period of identity crisis, from which they emerge with some balance between identity achievement and identity confusion. A healthy identity includes the ability to choose an appropriate avenue for industry, achieve intimacy with another, and find a place in the larger society. The opposite pole of identity is identity confusion, which Erikson originally called identity diffusion. Identity confusion manifests itself in a number of ways: 1) in a subjective sense of incoherence; 2) in difficulty committing to roles and occupational choices; and 3) in a tendency to confuse one’s own attributes, feelings, and desires with those of another person in intimate relationships and hence to fear a loss of personal identity when a relationship dissolves.

Reviewing both the empirical and theoretical literature on self and identity, Westen summarized the major components of identity as being a sense of continuity over time; emotional commitment to a set of self-defining representations of self, role relationships, and core values and ideal self-standards; development or acceptance of a world view that gives life meaning; and some recognition of one’s place in the world by significant others.

Many empirical studies later, some professionals believe that identity disturbance lies at the core of borderline personality disorder. Out of all of the borderline symptoms, identity disturbance has the most overlap with sexual abuse, but not every borderliner who experiences identity disturbance also experienced sexual abuse.

There are many theories about why borderline personality disorder often includes identity disturbances. One is that patients with BPD inhibit emotions, which causes numbness and emptiness. Another theory is that patients with BPD identify fully with the affective state of each moment, leaping from one moment to the next without the continuity of a narrative identity.

There is so much more to be said on the topic, but it most certainly has nothing to do with the time of year a person was born in (if you really need evidence, it's simple: those who are not Gemini also experience it and are diagnosed with borderline because of it), it is not healthy or normal as it would be if it was just a part of being a personality type, and studies reveal that it's got nothing to do with brain hemispheres or simply having a second person in your brain.

What I'm talking about when I refer to "Identity Disturbance" is the symptom of borderline that causes them to not know who they are. In the DSM-V it is described in this way:

A. Significant impairments in personality functioning manifest by:
1. Impairments in self functioning (a or b):
a. Identity: Markedly impoverished, poorly developed, or unstable self-image, often associated with excessive self-criticism; chronic feelings of emptiness; dissociative states under stress.
b. Self-direction: Instability in goals, aspirations, values, or career plans.


Identity disturbance in borderline may manifest itself clinically in different ways depending on whether the patient is more emotionally dysregulated and dysphoric, or more histrionic. These were the two subcategories that empirical studies have shown those diagnosed with borderline can be divided into.

Identity disturbance is a deficiency or inability to maintain one or more major components of identity. Identity disturbance is a multifaceted construct that distinguishes patients with borderline personality disorder from other patients. Some of its components are related to a history of sexual abuse, whereas others are not. Identity disturbance appears to be characteristic of borderline patients whether or not they have an abuse history.

Identity is defined differently in social sciences than it is in everyday terminology.
According to the APA (American Psychological Association), which is behind the criteria in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), identity is an individual’s sense of self defined by:

(a) a set of physical, psychological, and interpersonal characteristics that is not wholly shared with any other person
and
(b) a range of affiliations (e.g., ethnicity) and social roles.

Identity involves a sense of continuity, or the feeling that one is the same person today that one was yesterday or last year (despite physical or other changes). Such a sense is derived from one’s body sensations; one’s body image; and the feeling that one’s memories, goals, values, expectations, and beliefs belong to the self.


THERE ARE 4 FACTORS OF IDENTITY DISTURBANCE:

PAINFUL INCOHERENCE:
A subjective and painful sense of lack of coherence comprising feelings of unreality, emptiness, and lack of continuity in the experience of self.

ROLE ABSORPTION: Patients define themselves in terms of a single role or cause.
For instance, a person might put all of their eggs in one basket: "I'm a dancer" and then everything they are revolves around their idea of how a dancer is or should be.

INCONSISTENCY: An objective incoherence in thought, feeling, and behavior.

LACK OF COMMITTMENT: e.g., to jobs or values.


As you can see, personality type or brain hemispheres have nothing to do with this topic, with all due respect.
 
Crow King

Crow King

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In addition / as further elaboration...identity disturbance is behind people with borderline being chameleons. It's the part of borderline involved in the person making drastic changes such as suddenly cutting all their hair off or changing their name. I personally have changed names like that at least 3 times if not more that I can't remember.
 
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