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  1. #1

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    In BPD, at least for me in my emotional expereince

    transference-in all relationships imcluding of course therapy

    flashbacks to childhood-and birth-traumas/physical memory

    psychosis (being out of touch with reality--in another time of my life, the past)

    all seem overwhemingly the same.
    I have studied theory to the extent of a therapy training foundation course a few years ago, so I know a fair bit about theory etc,
    but I still can't emotionally logically understand if I'm
    just processing
    traumatised
    or plain 'crazy'.

    I am getting a lot of flashbacks recently, and semi-dissociative episodes where I 'flip out' and know what I'm doing but cannot control myself from an adult conscious level. (e.g hitting out at someone who invades my space-this has happened twice recently)

    Anyone have any clues?
    Thanks.

    braveheart

  2. #2

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    BPD = bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder?

  3. #3

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    Borderline

  4. #4

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    flashbacks to childhood-and birth-traumas/physical memory

    psychosis (being out of touch with reality--in another time of my life, the past)
    I am getting a lot of flashbacks recently, and semi-dissociative episodes where I 'flip out' and know what I'm doing but cannot control myself from an adult conscious level. (e.g hitting out at someone who invades my space-this has happened twice recently)
    These don't sound like borderline p.d. -- they sound more like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), assuming you're using the term "psychosis" loosely up there.

  5. #5

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    These don't sound like borderline p.d. -- they sound more like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), assuming you're using the term "psychosis" loosely up there.
    Your response is interesting to me, because I have seen this interpretation in relation to another elsewhere recently, and it surprised me. I started to think aha my pain is more legitimate.
    Because I clearly also have Borederline traits---if not the full thing when its really 'bad'.

    My confusion arises partly because of my insecure unclear personal boundaries. A characteristic of BPD and related to my incubator isolated early days with lack of touch and safe bonding, as well as living later in a dysfunctional family with unclear boundaries--a depressed cling mother and a father who was paranoid if not fully Borderline himself.
    I frequently project and use projective identification, et al.

    And also because in a group I was in I had a panic attack because of someone sitting too close to me physically (as well as what was being discussed), and the group facilitator ignored me completely, and when I confronted her about it later - at the time I was totally 'frozen' - she said that to her I was 'acting out'.

    I am not sure what you mean by 'using the term psychosis loosely'?
    Let me describe something that happened last month.
    I was walking into a building, around some people. A man in the group suddenly stepped back and trod on my foot. It didn't hurt that much, but it was such a shock, and he had violated my space.
    It was then I flipped. I screamed, hit him repeatedly on his arm, shouted out "leave me alone" and then ran and escaped into the toilets where I'd been heading anyway. There I had to stop shaking and try and come to terms with what I'd done. I could have been arrested for assault.
    (though my therapist later assured me that it wasn't so serious what I had done, and empathically understood. I was on a 3 and a half week Easter break from therapy at the time of the incident..)

    At such times, I do not yet have conscious control of what I am doing, though its not like DID or ?psychosis where one does something but cannot later remember it.??????

    The PTSD idea does work in terms of the fact that I was severely bullied by my peers from 7 to 17 years old, including occasional physical attacks like having a chalky board rubber thumped on my back, ink flicked over my blouse, once having chairs thrown at me across the classroom.
    There are so many other factors though...It seems I'm one of those people with multiple traumas (I have read Babette Rothschild's book)though they are traumas that others may ot recognise as such, being ostensibly not so life threatening. And that they come out in a form that may be seen as Borderline.

    Thank you for your comments, it has helped to deepen my self acceptance and gives me further pause for reflection and self-compassion.

    braveheart.

  6. #6

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    First, I'd say that you're on the wrong track with the "incubator isolation" and "birth trauma" notions -- if you can remember that far back at all, it may be in the form of emotional triggers but an adult memory usually cannot retrieve memories earlier than about age 3 -- furhtermore, many babies are born ill or premature and have to be kept in incubators for a period of time and most of those grow up psychologically healthy.

    You are describing some characteristics which seem to fit with borderline p.d. and with an attachment disorder but I'd say these are more likely to be related to later experiences as a young infant and child in the dysfunctional family you describe.

    There is no reason why borderline personality disorder (which if you are familiar with DSM-IV is an Axis II diagnosis) cannot coexist with other disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (which would be an Axis I diagnosis). Thus, my comments about PTSD should not be interpreted as a rejection of the dorderline PD diagnosis at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by braveheart
    I am not sure what you mean by 'using the term psychosis loosely'?
    Because, while not impossible, "true psychosis" isn't a very common occurrence in PTSD, although it isn't out of the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by braveheart
    At such times, I do not yet have conscious control of what I am doing, though its not like DID or ?psychosis where one does something but cannot later remember it.
    Yes. This isn't a "psychotic episode" or a true "dissociative episode" because although it feels as if you do not have conscious control (1) that may not be entirely true - it may be that you have not yet learned sufficient skills to inhibit the behavior or to fully identify what is triggering it, and (2) you do remember the events afterward and you are aware of what you are doing at the time.

  7. #7

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    First, I'd say that you're on the wrong track with the "incubator isolation" and "birth trauma" notions
    I know that I'm not, from my own experience in therapy. Having done much regression work within body process analytic therapy, as well as attending to my own feelings, I KNOW they are true. I accept if you don't accept those theories. Though I do have strong feelings.

    -- if you can remember that far back at all, it may be in the form of emotional triggers but an adult memory usually cannot retrieve memories earlier than about age 3
    My BODY remembers.
    I don't remember it rationally.

    -- furhtermore, many babies are born ill or premature and have to be kept in incubators for a period of time and most of those grow up psychologically healthy.
    But I didn't. remember also that this was 1970. pre bonding and kangaroo care. My mother's waters broke a week or so before I was born. they tried to stop me being born. and then it was via forceps because I was having difficulty 'breathing'.
    It is difficult to describe because you don't know all my background.
    My mother was extremely anxious, possibly with post natal depression.

    Winnicott says what I experience, that feeling of falling forever, of having no skin, nothing noone nowhere holding me and keeping me safe..

    You are describing some characteristics which seem to fit with borderline p.d. and with an attachment disorder but I'd say these are more likely to be related to later experiences as a young infant and child in the dysfunctional family you describe.
    I don't have a diagnosis as such.
    I have been researching attachment disorders, and would be interested in more perspective on that. In my --and my very experienced psychotherapist's- view, I suffered early attachment failure, lack of deep recognition and bonding, that was continued throughout my 'growing up' years. Grof's idea of the co-ex.

    There is no reason why borderline personality disorder (which if you are familiar with DSM-IV is an Axis II diagnosis) cannot coexist with other disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (which would be an Axis I diagnosis). Thus, my comments about PTSD should not be interpreted as a rejection of the dorderline PD diagnosis at all.
    after heart searching and struggles with labels, searching for identity but not wanting to repeat the taunts of my childhood of 'spas', 'brace face', 'shrimp' 'beanshoot', 'E.T.' etc (I am only 5 foot and weigh only 43 kilos even now, at 35)with a DSMV equivalent.
    .....I don't want a diagnosis, I want to be recognised as the unique individual that I am, with the specific needs that I have. And they come from many different 'diagnostoic labels', a bit of this, a bit of that, I'm ME...

    Attachment Disorder though I am fairly comfortable with.
    I accept I have Borderline and PTSD (and Avoidant and Dependent, and Schizoid, and...of course full Depression and Anxiety---havehad pretty much all my life.) traits.
    And I am more than that...

    Yes. This isn't a "psychotic episode" or a true "dissociative episode" because although it feels as if you do not have conscious control (1) that may not be entirely true - it may be that you have not yet learned sufficient skills to inhibit the behavior or to fully identify what is triggering it, and (2) you do remember the events afterward and you are aware of what you are doing at the time
    In therapy I am starting to be able to be with and watch the feelings of when my boundaries feel violated , where I feel like I have no skin, so any proximity can be unbearably raw so that I feel I could fall apart. So I rage to protect myself, and to 'show them' what its like to feel so vulnerable, to hurt so.
    It is safe there, to be with the feelings, a safe container.

    I have taken some time to think about my response as it brought up strong feelings in me. I hope that I have kept them aprropriately moderated.

    Thank you very much for your responses.

    braveheart

  8. #8

    ashamed-- and BPD/Complex PTSD

    I apologise if I came over agressively and self defensively yesterday...

    I wanted to really make it clear how my earliest experience produced core wounding and started the path of my not feeling ready for or safe in the world.

    Today I also realise that, although I 'fit' many BPD traits I am kind of 'proud' if that makes sense, of not having a formal official label medical diagnosis of it.
    I am ashamed of being Borderline.
    It adds to a lifetime of shame, rejection, humiliation, to see myself as Borderline.
    ITS NOT MY FAULT.

    Please can I settle on Complex PTSD please???? I know its not in the DSM (yet?) but I found a list of symptoms today online and I could tick ALL 27...

    I DON'T WANT THE WORLD TO REJECT ME ALL OVER AGAIN.

    braveheart

  9. #9

    Trying to understand the difference between these in BPD

    I don't think any one here is rejecting you, braveheart, or even upset with you.

    There is always more than one way to look at an issue or problem... i didn't respond to your previous post because personally I don't agree with the conceptual framework within which you are seeking to understand what is happening to/with you. That doesn't make you wrong or me wrong. It just means we look at things a little differently.

    If it is working for you, as far as I am concerned that's great.

    As a more common example, group therapy works wonders for some people. As a patient/client, it would not work for me because that's not my personality. As a therapist, I have run groups in the past but I don't anymore because I didn't enjoy the experience and I think I am a much more effective therapist in individual (or couples/family) counselling or psychotherapy.

    Just different strokes for different folks, that's all.

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