Dating someone with borderline personality disorder reddit

Stages of a Relationship with a Person With Borderline Personality Disorder : BPDlovedones

Many of us who have found ourselves drowning in one of these relationships have at some point asked the question "what now?" or "what can I expect?". I believe that often this is a stage that comes right before "what should I do?"

While most of the folks in the BPDLovedOnes community will recommend getting out of the relationship, some of us need(ed) some supporting information before we could make that choice. We still had hope and wanted a glimpse at our possible future.

Like the Stages of Grief that is commonly referred to after losing a loved one, my list is not a set of hard-and-fast certainties that will always occur. Nor will these things always happen in the order in which I've presented them here. I am not an authority on BPD or on relationships. But I do have my own experience to call on to try to help others understand as well as an even greater resource... all of the great people in this sub.

I believe that all of us have at some point experienced many of these stages, so I created this to present to those that come in from the storm that first time, have no idea what to expect, and might need a slightly less direct suggestion than "get out". Ultimately that is the best advice, but for anyone that's like me there was a need to process through where I was at that moment of discovering BPD and then a need to know what I should expect before I could decide where I needed to go. This is not an account of just my relationship, there are a lot of things in here that I've picked up from others in this sub and from online sources that seem legitimate.

  1. DESTINY - You meet. Things seem very casual, natural, like you’ve known each other for a while already. You seem to have very similar tastes, interests, and habits. It’s easy to connect. They will probably seem to have all many (or all) of the same interests as you. They may even start to display similar or identical physical mannerisms as you. This is called mirroring. You will likely feel a very strong attraction early on, but what you are attracted to are things you like about yourself that they are mirroring back to you. This is not the 'real' version of them, this is simply what is displayed. You may start to feel as though you’ve finally met your “soul mate”. They start to make you feel like you’ve been really missing out in all your past relationships. If you’re having sex, it’s probably very good and/or very frequent. You feel satisfied, relieved maybe, to have finally found such a compatible companion. Even if you’re not inclined to rush into relationships, you feel so good about this that you ignore your inner voice and follow along at their pace. Of all the stages, this one seems to have the most definitive time frame, usually 4-6 months. Often referred to as the honeymoon phase or the love bombing phase.

  2. DISMISSAL - They start seeming more forward (and more erratic) about their feelings and less attentive to your boundaries. “Love” comes up early in the relationship, maybe even marriage and children. They may talk about their exes, and normally it's all bad. They likely will recall all of their prior partners as hurtful, abusive, unhealthy, crazy, etc. But they seem to be totally connected with you... they tell you you're different, better, special... and it makes it easy to dismiss these things and tell yourself it's enthusiasm and true love and actually think it’s exciting and healthy. This also helps you gloss over the fact that they are probably starting to isolate you from your friends and family. This may also be where the gaslighting starts - they begin to say and do very subtle things that make you doubt yourself. You start to notice that their version of events changes or isn’t consistent with what you feel is reality, but they are so convincing that you feel you should believe them and you don’t want to upset them by questioning their account of reality. You notice that they will say something very clearly, then moments later deny ever saying it or recall a different version of what they said. You may also notice that they start reacting very negatively to things you’re not aware you’re doing like facial expressions, voice inflections, or lack of any visible emotions at all. Here is where it may be clear that they don't process their emotions well and that they cannot process simultaneous emotions at all, but you may also start to doubt your own sanity and version of reality because they are very, very convincing when gaslighting you.

  3. DENIAL - You start to see them snap at the smallest things. You’re a bit surprised at the dramatic displays over such harmless issues, but you rationalize that with “hey, everyone has bad days” or even “hmmm… I wonder what I did to cause that?”. You might even empathize and try to convince yourself that they are justified in overreacting. They might be more jealous than before, accusing you of having an affair even if there’s no evidence of it. They may start to be less subtle about their desire to separate you from your friends and family. But they will continue to do this in a way that makes you feel like you want to or should, and sex may have now become the means to reward you. The sex is still good and by now you may feel addicted to it, but now you also notice that you are not as involved in deciding when to do such things, and it becomes somewhat of a currency or even a weapon in the relationship. They may not initiate sex like they used to so you’re left to repeatedly guess as to if/when you’re going to have sex again. Then it can be 'granted' as a reward for behavior they deem acceptable, and later withheld again as punishment for behavior they deem unacceptable. This is called intermittent reinforcement and it is extremely harmful. But even as you witness these behaviors more frequently and start to question your own motives, behaviors and desires, you continue to deny that it’s wrong or unhealthy for them to behave this way. You continue to hope that it’s just a phase that will pass, but you start to notice a nagging feeling that things are not normal or healthy. If you bring this up with them, they will likely be defensive and shift the blame to you, further causing you to doubt your own mental health.

  4. DEVALUATION - The fighting may seem almost constant by now, with relatively short periods of time (days or even just hours) in between battles. These will often go in circles, where your person will constantly evade any resolution to the issue at hand by leading the argument back around to the beginning or switching to victim mode without acknowledging anything you've said. They will likely “paint you black” or "split you black" suddenly, or devalue you as a part of their life or as a person altogether. This can come during relatively peaceful times, or during a struggle over something completely unrelated to your relationship. When it happens you are stunned. You cannot believe that the person you love, the person that just seemed to love you too, could discard you so easily. You may feel as though it’s your fault, because they will often tell you that. You may feel as though you need to work harder to regain their favor. One of you may suggest couples counseling at this point. If you go to counseling together, you find that the focus ends up being on the things you do wrong or that you do not do at all. You see that they rarely, if ever, accept blame or hold themselves accountable for anything negative that happens in the relationship. They may also say that they are the one doing all the work to keep things together and you are undermining that. Often at this point it feels as though they are focused on amassing a list of reasons that you don’t deserve them, which causes you to try even harder to regain their favor. It's also common to be painted black one minute, then the next be treated as if nothing happened. This is sometimes called Splicing. At this stage, trauma bonds often begin to form. This may not be apparent while they're forming, but can manifest in devastating ways if/when the relationship ends. Here is a link to a survey to see if you have developed trauma bonds (betrayal bonds)

  5. DIVISION - They break up with you or leave unannounced. This can happen during/after a fight or seemingly out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s because they are finding intimate companionship elsewhere while you are devalued (and maybe have been all along), but it can be for many reasons or for no apparent reason at all (ghosting). Often times this is when they will start to convince you that you are the one with a problem or disorder. You may start to question your own sanity. You may also be the one that feels you need to leave at this point. If you try to leave, you see them change their disposition to one of extreme neediness or they threaten to harm themselves if you leave. At this stage it's not uncommon to witness clearly the push/pull dynamic of the disorder, or "I hate you, don't leave me". You see the cycle of their two greatest fears (engulfment and abandonment) at constant war in the relationship. When you get close, the move away. When you back off, they desperately want you back. You may also feel at this point that you can’t leave them because you’d be responsible if they hurt or killed themselves. Frequent break ups and make ups are common in these relationships. It will likely feel very odd and confusing, feeling them push you away one minute and then do whatever they can to get you back the next. We codependents can get stuck here because we continually try to find new ways to “break through” to our pwBPD and prove once and for all how much we love them, thereby breaking the cycle. We also feel that the affection and love bombing is a direct response to something "good" we've done, but then we are crushed when we continue to do that same thing and they suddenly pull away. Many people find themselves stuck in this stage #4 - #5 cycle for long periods of time, even decades. Sometimes the relationship ends here. The pwBPD leaves, finds another "supply" and never returns. But in most cases, they will reach out to you later to try to reconnect and keep the cycle going.

  6. DETACHMENT - At some point you (hopefully) realize you do not want to live this way any more. You realize you cannot keep fighting. You feel lifeless. You no longer feel hopeful for the future. You settle into simply trying to navigate the destruction and you may have found ways to limit the highly emotional drama in daily life . You’re not happy, but you feel you are stuck (or so addicted to the sex and "good" times that you don't want to leave), so you simply get through the days mechanically. If you have children with your person, this makes you feel even more stuck, and you feel as though you have to stay together for their sake. You start to feel little or nothing about your situation other than despair or utter hopelessness, only responding to fires as they are lit and then settling back to coping with daily life and trying to keep them happy, which never seems to happen. But you probably don’t feel sure you can leave yet, because you can’t accept the thought of them hurting themselves because of you or you are still convinced that "if you just do this one thing right, you can turn things around". You have probably taken responsibility for not only their happiness, but for their physical and emotional health and safety as well. They will certainly feel your detachment and in many cases they will choose to discard you before you can leave them. This takes the cycle back to stage #4, and things can end up in a seemingly endless loop that never gets past this point. This may be the point where you Google something like "I feel like I'm walking on eggshells" and you end up on several mental health websites and ultimately on Reddit discovering BPD. Maybe you've gone to see a counselor and BPD gets mentioned there.

  7. DEPARTURE - You find yourself either completely drained or so angry that you start to look for ways out. Things you didn’t think you’d ever be open to doing (like leaving the relationship) now seem not only possible, but necessary. You slowly start to put more weight on your own well being than on continuing to try to please your person. You likely have stopped talking to your friends and family about the specifics of why you’re unhappy in the relationship because nobody seems to quite understand what you’re going through, and sometimes that even leads you to more doubt about the validity of your feelings. You feel more isolated, manipulated, and abused. If your person hasn't already left you, you may finally decide to leave the relationship. Many people find the strength at this point to leave and leave for good. Many others leave, resolve to be done, and then end up back at stage #4 or #5 because their person finds a way to draw them back in. This is called Hoovering. If/when the relationship does end "for good", many people then find themselves then moving through the Stages of Grief because the emotional involvement/investment in the relationship can make the loss feel similar to when a loved one actually dies. Many nonBPD's that have successfully left one of these relationships have expressed their shock at how easily their BPD partner moved on to a new partner and became what seemed to be a completely different person.

  • BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder

  • pwBPD - Person with BPD

  • exBPD - Ex girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse with BPD

  • stbexBPD - Soon-to-Be Ex with BPD

  • uBPD - Undiagnosed BPD

  • SO - Significant Other

  • FP - Favorite Person

  • NFP - New Favorite Person

  • MC - Marriage Counseling

  • LC - Low Contact

  • VLC - Very Low Contact

  • NC - No Contact

User describes what it actually feels like to be in a relationship with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder : bestof

User describes what it actually feels like to be in a relationship with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder : bestof

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How to live with borderline personality disorder

Daria Batyrshina

lives with BPD

Author profile

I couldn't get a correct diagnosis for several years, and then it completely changed my life.

To describe borderline personality disorder, or BPD, the well-known saying of psychologist Marsha Linehan is perfect: “These people simply don't have 'emotional skin'. Even the slightest touch or movement can cause the most severe suffering.” nine0003

Share my path to getting the correct diagnosis, symptoms, and tips for dealing with people with BPD.

Go see a doctor

Our articles are written with love for evidence-based medicine. We refer to authoritative sources and go to doctors with a good reputation for comments. But remember: the responsibility for your health lies with you and your doctor. We don't write prescriptions, we make recommendations. Relying on our point of view or not is up to you. nine0003

What is borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by permanent changes in mood, self-image and behavior. This can lead to problems in relationships with other people and impulsive actions of all kinds.

BPD - Mayo Clinic

BPD - National Institute of Mental Health, USA

In the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision, or ICD-10, there is in fact no diagnosis of "borderline personality disorder", there is an emotionally unstable personality disorder, which two types: borderline and impulsive. In ICD-11, this is already a separate diagnosis, which is called borderline personality disorder. nine0003

The disorder has several main features.

So what? 01/12/22

Transition to the new International Classification of Diseases has begun in Russia: what will change and when

Self-injurious and risky behavior. For example, a person may injure themselves or use psychoactive substances - borderline disorder increases the risk of developing various addictions.

Black and white thinking: it seems to a person that there can only be good and bad, there are no halftones. nine0003

Criteria for diagnosing BPD - Medscape

Problems with self-esteem. People with this disorder are overly sensitive to the opinions of others, enter into dependent relationships, have a strong fear of being alone, and may take desperate actions to keep a loved one or get their attention.

The manifestations of borderline personality disorder are similar to those of adolescence: outbursts of anger, mood swings, aloofness, so this diagnosis is made after 18 years. nine0003

What are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder

Alexey Pribytkov

psychotherapist, psychiatrist, Ph.D. It happened.

  • A tendency to intense, tense and unstable relationships, with a slight transition from one extreme to another - from idealization to devaluation of a partner: "I love and hate. " nine0060
  • Fuzzy, unstable self-image: "Who am I?", "What do I like?", "What do I want?" - and pronounced fluctuations in self-esteem.
  • Impulsivity, unexpected actions that carry potential danger, self-destructive behavior: substance abuse, waste of money, sexual excesses, overeating and others.
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions. Repeated self-harm, such as cutting hands, without suicidal intent, "to relieve emotional stress." nine0060
  • Emotional instability, mood swings. Usually these are short, from a few hours to a few days, but intense emotional experiences. Depression and depression can be replaced by an upbeat, euphoric mood. Such drops can occur for no apparent reason or in minimal life situations. For example, the partner did not respond to the message.
  • A constantly experienced feeling of inner emptiness, meaninglessness of life.
  • Excessive manifestations of anger, difficulty in controlling it. nine0060
  • Under stress, suspicion easily arises, there may be thoughts of persecution and bad treatment from other people, as well as a feeling of “unreality” of the environment.
  • Why borderline personality disorder develops

    Why borderline personality disorder develops is not exactly known.


    Biological factors. There is evidence that the development of personality disorders, including BPD, may depend on genetic factors. nine0003

    BPD may also be associated with changes in some parts of the brain responsible for controlling emotions. Its development can be affected by disturbances in the functioning of the system of neurotransmitters - compounds with the help of which brain neurons communicate with each other, in particular serotonin.

    Social factors. For example, unstable relationships with significant adults, lack of love in childhood, neglect by parents, loss of a loved one.

    Emotional or physical abuse, as well as intense fear experienced in childhood, greatly increase the risk of any psychological problems. In this case, BPD can be combined with another diagnosis - post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It is manifested by constant frightening memories of a traumatic event and increased anxiety. The more unstable the environment around and the more traumatized the child, the more likely it is to get PTSD. nine0003

    How I treated depression and anxiety for several years

    I first saw a doctor almost eight years ago. I had an eating disorder - it often accompanies BPD, but I didn't know about it yet.

    My gastroenterologist at some point realized that my constant pains in the abdomen were most likely connected not with physical problems, but with mental ones. My mother took me to a government clinic, where I came across incompetent doctors.


    How to cure eating disorders

    The psychiatrist said that I have anorexia, I look terrible and I won't be able to find a partner because "men don't throw bones." Then I realized that it was not worth waiting for help from him.

    I dealt with eating disorders myself, having gone through all the stages from anorexia to bulimia and compulsive overeating in two years. After solving the problem with food, depression came. Here, I couldn't manage on my own.

    My days were similar to each other: constant fatigue, apathy, I didn’t even have enough strength to eat and brush my teeth, and there was only fog in my head and no thoughts. My circle of contacts narrowed greatly, because those around me saw only aggression or received no answers at all. So several years passed, then I realized that I needed help. nine0003

    On the Profi-ru website, I found a psychologist who lived next to me. Then I did not yet know how psychiatrists differ from psychologists and psychotherapists, so I did not receive the necessary help.


    How to choose a psychotherapist

    Psychologists usually do not work with mental disorders, besides, in the sessions I just told what was bothering me, there was no other support. Sometimes I couldn't find words and we just kept silent.

    I went to the specialist for about a month and paid 1300 R for each meeting. In total, we held nine meetings. The only thing I got was the fog left my head. Despite my condition and the fact that the psychologist could not do anything about it, she persuaded me to stay in therapy. She said that it helps, although I did not feel any relief.

    11,700 R

    I spent on a psychologist who did not help me

    As a result, I did not want to spend more money on myself and lost confidence in doctors. Then I learned that in Moscow you can get free psychological help at the Moscow Service for Psychological Assistance to the Population. nine0003

    Moscow Service for Psychological Assistance to the Population

    I had to wait there for an appointment, but I had nowhere to hurry. About six months later, I was able to get to a psychologist. I told her what worries me - at that time they were symptoms of depression and apathy. She immediately said that I should talk to a psychotherapist, and I made an appointment with another specialist in the same clinic.

    The psychotherapist referred me to a psychiatrist, suggesting several doctors she trusts. She said that I most likely had depression and needed medication. Psychiatrists are not accepted at MSPPN, so I went to a private clinic, where I had to pay 4000 R for an appointment.

    The amount of free assistance in the ISPP is limited, but it is enough to get started. Source: MSPPN

    A psychiatrist at a private clinic diagnosed me with depression, prescribed an antidepressant and a tranquilizer. I was lucky that my doctor saw not only in a private clinic, but also in a state one, so I went to all subsequent appointments for free.

    The second time I managed to find the right medicines. We fixed the changes not only with the help of conversations. The psychiatric clinic had a simulator on a computer, where the patient was asked to pass several tests: attentiveness, reaction speed, the ability to distinguish faces, and much more. I took tests at intervals of about once a month. nine0003

    This testing is not necessarily and does not always reflect the effectiveness of the treatment, but I liked that the results got better every time. At that time, about 1,500 R per month was spent on medicines.


    8 myths about antidepressants

    During the same period, I tried cognitive behavioral therapy. In a year I started and quit three times, nothing worked out for me. The mood diary was empty, because I do not distinguish between emotions, the diary of situations that concern me and their analysis, too. I did not understand why this or that situation became important to me. In total, I had five meetings with a psychotherapist, the cost of one was 3000 R.

    Diary of emotions to fill out

    At that time, the doctor and I did not yet know that I had more than just depression with panic attacks and anxiety, so we did not follow my emotions and feelings much, which is important in BPD.

    At some point, I abruptly stopped taking the prescribed pills and coped with the withdrawal syndrome for another week. I refused the pills, because it seemed that I could manage without them, besides, they helped for a short time, then everything started all over again.

    /panic attack/

    How to cope with a panic attack: recommendations from a psychotherapist

    A month or two after the withdrawal, I felt fine and even started to exercise. Then anxiety and depression symptoms returned, I suffered for a few more months and went to a new doctor.

    Over the next one and a half to two years, I changed three doctors in one private clinic, I was prescribed different types of medicines in different combinations and dosages. Primary appointments cost 4000-5000 R, repeated - 2400 R. I went to psychiatrists once a month to control my condition. I bought medicines either generics or original ones, they spent about 2000-3000 R per month. nine0003

    The pills made me feel better for a short time, about a month. During this period, I was already diagnosed with "emotional personality disorder", but they did not tell me about it. I later found out from the medical record, which I requested before changing the clinic.

    At the same time, I also turned to Gestalt therapy for help - this is one of the areas of psychotherapy aimed at developing self-awareness. For me, the sessions were an opportunity to cry, acknowledge problems, and receive support. For three months, I called a psychologist every two weeks. One session cost 2000 R.

    107,100 R

    I spent on specialists before I was given the correct diagnosis

    I spent on treatment before the correct diagnosis was made 177,100 R

    Medicines in the last two years of treatment 55 000 R
    Regular visits to psychiatrists 50 400 R
    Drugs in the first year of treatment 15 000 R
    Cognitive behavioral therapy, 5 sessions 15 000 R
    Three initial appointments with the following psychiatrists 14 000 R
    Gestalt therapy sessions, 6 sessions 12 000 R
    Psychologist sessions with "Profi-ru" 11 700 Р
    First psychiatrist appointment 4000 R

    Medicines in the last two years of treatment

    55 000 R

    Regular visit to psychiatrists

    50 400 R

    Medicines in the first year of treatment

    15 000 R

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy, 5 sessions

    15 000 P

    Three initial appointments with the following psychiatrists

    14,000 R

    Gestalt therapy sessions, 6 sessions

    12,000 R

    Psychologist sessions with Profi-ru

    R 11,7000002 Appointment of the first psychiatrist

    4000 Р

    How borderline personality disorder is diagnosed

    Alexey Pribytkov

    psychotherapist, psychiatrist, candidate of medical sciences

    There are no specific studies in psychiatry that would help to make a diagnosis. In the first place is always the clinical picture, that is, manifestations of mental disorders.

    There is an interesting story with borderline personality disorder in Russia. We still use the International Classification of Diseases of the 10th revision, where in fact there is no such diagnosis, which means that for a long time it was out of sight of psychiatrists. But the absence of a diagnosis in the classification does not mean the absence of violations, because more than 30 years have passed since the adoption of the ICD-10 - it was adopted by WHO in 1990 - and the understanding of mental disorders during this period has noticeably changed.

    Now many modern doctors are guided by other criteria when making a diagnosis. They are most clearly formulated in the American classification of psychiatric disorders DSM-5. Similar criteria are used in ICD-11, which is adopted by WHO and should come into force in Russia in 2024.

    The nine criteria that are specific to BPD are listed above. The task of the psychiatrist is to identify them during a conversation with the patient. The basis for the diagnosis of "borderline personality disorder" is the presence of at least five of the nine criteria. nine0003

    How I was correctly diagnosed and treated

    After many unsuccessful attempts at treatment, I decided to change doctors again and went to a new psychiatrist at another clinic. The first appointment there cost 7,000 R, and repeated appointments cost 6,000 R.

    The drug treatment was corrected for me. And with the final diagnosis, they rushed between bipolar affective disorder, or BAD, and borderline personality disorder.


    How much does it cost to treat bipolar affective disorder

    They are similar in symptoms. BAD also occurs with alternating periods of depression and high spirits, but they are usually long and can last several months.

    In BPD, periods of different moods change over several hours, less often over several days, that is, the mood is constantly unstable. Moreover, these two disorders can occur simultaneously in one person.

    As a result, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder. Now, once every one and a half to two months, I go to him to monitor the condition. nine0003

    Since that time, I began to go to schema therapy - this is a therapy focused on making a person change their behavior patterns. I go to a psychotherapist every week, one session costs 6000 R. I feel that it helps me.

    BPD - MSD Handbook

    My maladaptive patterns of behavior that my therapist and I identified at our first meeting. In the lower left corner are the schemes to be achieved

    It is difficult to treat BPD. My doctors never know in what condition I will come to them and whether I will come at all. Meetings are held online from time to time. I am often late, I call specialists from different places: it can be a park or my workplace, a stop on the street or someone else's apartment, a noisy highway or a food court. Sometimes I don't want to see my doctor because it seems that he is wrong about everything. nine0003

    I used to feel disgusted and decided that I needed another doctor: I abruptly go from idealizing a person to hating him. For this reason, many doctors refuse patients with borderline disorder. In addition, people with BPD tend to discount their own problems, so many may not seek help for a long time.


    10 things to know before taking antidepressants

    Over the years, I have developed several rules for choosing a doctor for myself:

    1. At the reception, they listen to me attentively.
    2. Everything that I consider important is important to a doctor. He should not wave his hand and say that there is no point in talking about something.
    3. The doctor speaks honestly about the diagnosis, does not hide anything, describes the treatment regimens.
    4. I am informed about the drug I will be taking. They explain exactly how it works, why it was prescribed, what side effects.
    5. If I don't like something, I change doctors.

    Unfortunately, there are no rules that help fight mood swings. I try to turn to the facts at such moments and tell the doctors how I feel. Psychiatrists, as a rule, treat the frequent change of doctor normally. I have never faced condemnation. nine0003 One of the latest treatment regimens My prescriptions for drugs, there are a lot of them due to different dosages

    How borderline personality disorder is treated

    Alexey Pribytkov

    psychotherapist, psychiatrist, PhD in medicine

    The main method of treating borderline personality disorder is psychotherapy. It is necessary to achieve a stable result. Medications only alleviate some of the symptoms of the disorder.

    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, has the most evidence of effectiveness in treating BPD. Other directions can be applied: schema therapy, transference focused therapy - TFP. nine0003

    However, medications are also prescribed for most BPD patients. Three groups of drugs are usually used:

    1. Mood stabilizers, or mood stabilizers, are drugs that smooth out emotional fluctuations and help maintain an even mood.
    2. Antidepressants - they help reduce the severity of emotional instability. BPD often accompanies depressive and anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder - antidepressants are also used to treat them. nine0060
    3. Antipsychotics, or second generation antipsychotics, are prescribed in low doses to correct impulsivity and aggression.

    The choice of treatment regimen depends on the symptoms of the individual patient. Drug therapy usually lasts at least a year, more often several years.

    How do I deal with borderline personality disorder

    Insomnia. I have suffered from sleep problems since childhood. I tried everything: from hot milk at night to being very tired during the day. nine0003

    Unfortunately, I don't have a universal solution to this problem. I only save myself with pills: psychiatrists prescribed tranquilizers for sleep, now I have an antidepressant with a strong sedative effect - or I just don’t sleep.


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    Anxiety and panic attacks. It often overtakes unexpectedly and at the most calm moments. Just talking to a friend, I can start twitching my leg, nervously breaking my nails, scratching my skin with my nails, or sticking to my phone. This is also manifested by a rapid heartbeat, trembling in the body, a desire to move, and strong fear. nine0003

    To get rid of this feeling, I knit, switch to TV series, listen to meditation practices, start moving more, turn to metaphorical associative cards or Tarot. Metaphorical associative cards are cards with pictures that you can interpret based on your experience.

    I use cards when my anxiety is about the future. I am extremely afraid of uncertainty, and this is a chance to decide at least a little, albeit somewhat irrational.

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    Feeling alone and abandoned. Feels like an unfilled hole in the chest. At such moments, I am sure that I have no one to turn to, no one will help. The feeling that I am alone in the whole world.

    Saves background noise such as a movie or TV series. I also have three cats that periodically ask for attention, and I am no longer alone. During periods when I feel very lonely, my friends help, who, if they cannot come, then at least call or write.

    Sometimes, in order to feel that I am not alone, I look for meetings with different men. I tend to dive into the person who gives me attention, as if I'm trying to close the inner "hole". If I don’t get enough attention, then I show aggression, and subsequently I change the “victim”. I'm trying to deal with this with the help of psychotherapy. nine0003

    Mood swings, anger and aggression. In an hour I can experience a huge range of emotions, it is very tiring. Moreover, anything can become a trigger: an incorrect statement on the part of the interlocutor, just an action that seemed wrong to me, or an opinion that is the opposite of mine. I can be aggressive even to banal questions about my well-being.

    I try to warn people about the peculiarities of my behavior, I leave the dialogue if I feel that I am jumping into aggression, I try to distract myself. My psychotherapist advises to live through aggression and give it a way out: tear a sheet of paper, go in for sports, beat a pillow, shout. nine0003


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    Changes in interests, hobbies and desires. I don't have one hobby, they are constantly changing. I can't say what my favorite movie or music is. Because today I like one thing, and tomorrow I'm already interested in absolutely polar things. I never know in advance what awaits me the next day.

    Suicidal thoughts and destructive behavior. For the first time I thought about suicide at the age of 14. Then these thoughts haunted me throughout my life. Somehow I lived with a gas leak in my apartment for several months, knowing full well about it. I drown my negative emotions in alcohol. I used to cut myself, but then I replaced this ritual with getting tattoos on my body. nine0003

    Such thoughts are difficult to deal with. Medication, mindfulness and constant support from a psychotherapist help a little. I also sometimes go outside in the cold or take a shower: it's sobering.

    Unstable self-esteem. I need a permanent evaluation from the outside. I doubt whether I am doing the right job, whether I look right if I do not receive feedback from people. Every mistake is a tragedy for me, but from praise I can feel capable of anything. I can spend weeks thinking that I did some wrong action, although it did not suffer consequences. nine0003

    To cope with this, I try to compliment myself, remind myself what I'm doing and why, and look at the results of my work. This does not always work, but here you need to take small steps and learn to focus on your feelings, and not just on others.

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    Communication difficulties. I'm thrown from love to hate. I often conflict and change because of this place of work. In no relationship have I lasted more than a few months, and communication with friends is reduced to a couple of meetings a year. If I feel that I may be rejected or denied something, then I do it first to avoid emotions. nine0003

    Everything that happens is always a disaster: vivid emotions, strong feelings of guilt. If I feel like I'm getting less attention, I'm hysterical. I immediately feel abandoned and abandoned. Considering my peculiarities of behavior, I always try to warn friends and relatives about my condition and tell how not to run into even more negativity.

    How to better communicate with people who have borderline disorder

    As with many people with BPD, the SET-UP method works well for me. There is about him in the book “I hate you, just don’t leave me. Borderline Personalities and How to Understand Them by Kreisman and Strauss. nine0003

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    SET stands for support, empathy, truth - support, sympathy, truth.

    It is important that none of the parts can be thrown out of this communication triangle, otherwise the person with BPD will go into conflict or stop communication altogether:

    1. Support should be expressed in the form of concern in the first person: “I worry about how you are you feel." The main thing is to express your own feelings and sensations. nine0060
    2. Sympathy: "You must be feeling upset." It is important to validate the feelings of the person with BPD. Don't try to show pity or talk about how you feel the same way. Most likely, this is not the case. And the phrase "I know how bad you feel" will only cause ridicule and anger.
    3. Truth: you need to rely on the facts about the situation and not go into accusations. For example: “You quit, you have enough money for a couple of months. I can help by preparing your resume, and you will look for a new job.” nine0060

    UP is understanding, perseverance, or understanding and perseverance. These are goals that both participants must achieve.

    A person with BPD must become aware of the causes of his actions and their consequences. Understand that he influences his life and can change it. He needs perseverance in order not to give up treatment, because any changes are difficult.

    For those close to a person with BPD, understanding is the recognition of a person's feelings and emotions. That is, the acceptance that negative statements and aggression are behavioral features. They need perseverance in order to continue communicating with a person with borderline disorder, not to stop reminding him of his readiness to help, to sober him up and help him find the true cause of events, rely on facts, and not let him focus only on emotions. nine0003


    How much does it cost to support a relative with a mental disorder

    Communication with a person with BPD is always stressful, so people around need to take more care of themselves. It will take a lot of patience and strength to withstand sudden mood swings and maintain relationships.

    The main thing is to understand that it is not your fault and you cannot influence BPD. However, if you remain in a stable state and support a person with a disorder, he will eventually cease to see his relatives as a potential threat, which means that there will be fewer outbreaks of aggression. nine0003

    There is a resource center "Borderline Personality Disorder" in Russia. It is designed for Muscovites, but on the site you can find personal stories of people with BPD, literature on the topic and features of this disorder.

    How much does it cost to treat borderline personality disorder? The psychotherapist told me that we would manage in a year.

    I need to visit a psychotherapist every week, an appointment costs 6,000 R. In addition, every one and a half to two months I visit a psychiatrist, whose appointment also costs 6,000 R.


    How much does borderline personality disorder treatment cost? Since I have severe depressive episodes, I need to take pills for a long time: from the moment my condition becomes stable on the background of psychotherapy, it is another 6-12 months.

    Now about 2000 R per month is spent on drugs. I often change pills, so the cost is approximate. nine0003

    Drug treatment can remove symptoms that interfere with a normal life, and with the help of a course of psychotherapy, it will be possible to go into remission and significantly improve the quality of life. Relapses are extremely rare and are associated with affective states.

    I spend 372,000 R per year for the treatment of borderline disorder

    Treatment Expenses
    Weekly psychotherapist visit 312 000 R
    Psychiatric visit every 2 months 36 000 R
    Medicines 24 000 R

    Visiting a psychotherapist every week

    312 000 R

    Visit a psychiatrist once every 2 months

    36 000 000 000 000 2 24 000 24 000 R

    Is it possible to cure a border personality disorder

    Aleksey Profitkov


    psychotherapist, psychiatrist, MD

    We cannot completely eliminate the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. However, its manifestations can be smoothed out: pronounced negative traits can be corrected, some stability achieved, and social adaptation improved.

    At the same time, the essence of personality cannot be changed, the characteristics of a person are preserved. In fact, the task of treatment is not to completely eliminate these features, but to teach a person to live with them, to clearly understand and manage them. nine0003


    1. Borderline personality disorder is characterized by unstable mood, fluctuations in self-esteem, dependency on the opinions of others, and an acute fear of being alone.
    2. The risk of developing BPD is increased by genetic factors, stress and violence in childhood, and poor attitude towards the child by significant adults.
    3. Borderline personality disorder is usually treated with psychotherapy, but medications may also be needed to relieve some of the symptoms and make life easier. nine0060
    4. It is difficult for close people to communicate with a person with BPD, you need a lot of patience to maintain a relationship.
    5. With the help of a course of psychotherapy, it can be possible to go into remission and significantly improve the quality of life.

    Borderline personality disorder: what it is, symptoms and signs of BPD

    Borderline personality disorder is characterized by emotional instability, impulsive behavior and low self-control. Forbes Life figured out what causes this disease, how to diagnose borderline personality disorder and how to help people who have experienced it

    Mental personality disorders differ from other types of disorders in their intensity. They cannot be treated like an ordinary illness, as a temporary mental disorder, because personality disorders affect a set of personal characteristics formed in childhood. There are a number of problems with diagnosing such diseases: their symptoms are quite individual, although there are a number of common signs. For borderline personality disorder (BPD), these may include difficulties with self-image, extreme mood swings, risky behavior, and self-harm. The good news is that personality disorders can still be managed—there is a cure. nine0003

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    Now officially: BPD is a diagnosis

    Borderline personality disorder is one of ten types of personality disorders in modern psychotherapy, which is expressed in problems of awareness and formation of personal identity. Psychologist, Gestalt therapist Valentin Oskin notes that this mental illness is associated with strong, uncontrollable and often painful emotions that lead to a distorted sense of self and unstable interpersonal relationships. nine0003

    People with BPD are reverse solipsists: they are convinced of the inviolability of the surrounding world, but doubt the reality of their own existence - their image of the inner “I” is so mobile and unstable. In addition to depersonalization, "borderguards" are characterized by impulsiveness, dependence on other people, unstable behavior, a tendency to a chaotic life, and even a need to harm themselves and injure themselves. "Border guards" are characterized by chronic suicidality: 75% of people with BPD try to commit suicide, of which about 10% die as a result of suicide. Moreover, a third of all completed suicides were committed by those suffering from borderline personality disorder. nine0003

    Despite the statistics, until 2022, the diagnosis of BPD in Russia could not be officially diagnosed - borderline personality disorder in psychiatry was defined as a disease only in foreign classifications of diseases. It was often called impulsive personality disorder or generally diagnosed as sluggish schizophrenia: the diseases are similar in symptoms, among the signs of BPD there are no hallucinations and delusions. BPD also resembles bipolar affective disorder (up to 40% of "border guards" get an erroneous diagnosis of bipolar disorder), only periods of depressive and elated mood are replaced with bipolar disorder less often. The transition to the International Classification of Diseases of the 11th revision will finally allow doctors to make an accurate diagnosis for Russian citizens and prescribe the appropriate treatment. nine0003

    Diagnosis is not a sentence, the boundary between the norm and pathology is very flexible: “Each of us has borderline responses. For some, they are deeply hidden and appear only in crises, traumas, stressful situations. And for some, life as such is stressful, and therefore the ways of responding turn into what psychologists could call the borderline organization of the personality,” notes Irina Mlodik, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, in the book “House of Cards. Psychotherapeutic assistance to clients with borderline disorders. nine0003

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    Most people with BPD are unaware of their diagnosis and do not seek medical attention. And it's not just that BPD in psychology does not have a clear definition. The disease does not allow you to objectively assess your mental state and understand that the indomitable monster inside is raging not because of the permanent retrograde Mercury and the fatal force of circumstances. The absence of obvious mental abnormalities like hallucinations makes it possible to attribute emotional behavior to character traits. Colleagues, friends and relatives often believe that behind the disgusting behavior of such a person is hysteria and selfishness. Therefore, systematic treatment of borderline personality disorder begins in most cases after a suicide attempt. nine0003

    The most striking and obvious sign of borderline personality disorder is a craving for auto-aggression, or self-harm. This is not only the infliction of bodily harm (cuts, blows or burns), but also the intention to deprive oneself of sleep, nutrition. This practice is not necessarily a consequence of suicidal behavior: physical pain serves as a way to drown out inner pain, to switch attention from uncontrollable emotions to those that have become the result of an effort of will. The problem is that self-harm is either carefully hidden by people with BPD because it is not normal in our culture, or they perceive it as controlled behavior (eg, exhausting workouts in the gym, striving to do work tasks in their free time). nine0003

    Borderline personality disorder may be accompanied by alcohol, drug, gambling and a number of other diseases. “For example, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders are common in people with BPD. Often, a history of PTSD or CPTSD is found, ”notes Valentin Oskin. That is, constant panic attacks or overeating in the evenings can be a sign of more serious mental disorders than just a reaction to stress.

    Mind, a British mental health resource, highlights the following symptoms that may indicate borderline personality disorder. If they last long enough and have a negative impact on your life, it makes sense to consult a psychotherapist or psychiatrist:

    • Fear of being alone. You constantly worry about people leaving you and are ready to do everything to prevent this from happening.
    • Impulsivity and affectivity. You are overcome by strong emotions that last from several hours to several days and can change quickly (for example, from feelings of happiness and confidence to sudden depression and sadness). This is especially evident in a state of anger, which is difficult to control. In a state of severe stress, you may also experience paranoia or dissociation (as if everything is not happening to you, but to someone else). nine0060
    • Depersonalization. There is no clear idea of ​​who you really are: the sense of self and behavior changes radically depending on where and with whom you are. As an option - a constant feeling of emptiness inside, boredom, misunderstanding of one's true desires and values.
    • Communication problems. It is very difficult for you to create and maintain stable relationships, you are prone to masochistic communication, cyclically idealize and devalue even the closest people, and do not always correctly interpret the motives of the actions of others. nine0060

    “Borderline personality disorder can manifest itself in a wide range of signs,” says Valentin Oskin, “the symptoms of borderline personality disorder are most fully described in the DSM-5 and ICD-11 reference books. If grouped together, the symptoms will reflect a lack of control in the emotional, behavioral, cognitive spheres, as well as a distortion of the sense of self and a violation of interpersonal relationships. According to the psychologist, it is extremely difficult for people with BPD to break off relationships, even those that need to be broken off. Instead, they may go to great lengths to keep the people who matter to them around them. nine0003

    At the same time, “border guards” tend to involuntarily throw out their emotions on those who are dear to them: “Often this ends with an interruption in communication, because not everyone is able to endure such a bolt from the blue. And even more so if this thunder rumbles once every couple of months, ”Ksenia Ivanenko notes in her Telegram channel, where she describes her personal experience in dealing with BPD.

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    To determine if you are at risk, you can take several tests for borderline personality disorder that are publicly available. It is important to understand that the result obtained is not a final diagnosis, it can only be made by a qualified doctor after analyzing the symptoms. nine0003

    The Root of the Problem: What Causes Borderline Personality Disorder

    Effective treatment for most mental illnesses requires the cause to be identified. Borderline personality disorder is problematic in that it arises from a number of factors and affects the basic components of the personality. That is, there is simply no specific reason that triggers the PRL processes. “While BPD is one of the most researched personality disorders, there is no consensus on what exactly causes it. Severe stresses experienced by children and adolescents, such as neglect, prolonged painful separation, loss of a parent, violence, are common in people with BPD. There is also evidence of a genetic predisposition: among first-line relatives of a person with borderline disorder, the likelihood of developing a similar disorder is 3-5 times higher when compared with the general population,” notes Valentin Oskin. nine0003

    Any person can be at risk, especially if he is going through a difficult stressful situation. It is known that this diagnosis is made more often in women than in men, and that in almost all cases of BPD it is driven by a deep emotional shock. Most researchers agree that the development of BPD is promoted by a combination of two groups of factors:

    • Stress and traumatic life situations. For example, sexual, physical or emotional abuse, persistent feelings of fear or abandonment in childhood, family problems, repressed feelings of anger, anxiety, and sadness. Stress or trauma in adulthood can trigger the onset of borderline personality disorder. nine0060
    • Genetic predisposition and environmental influences. The disease can be inherited, but more often borderline occurs as a pattern of behavior unconsciously borrowed from parents or close people, reactions to external stimuli.

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    No reason to break ties

    If there is a “border guard” in your environment, you can build constructive communication with him, although this will require a lot of effort. “It is important to understand that a person with borderline personality disorder takes criticism extremely hard, for him it sounds like rejection, which he is terribly afraid of. At the same time, emotional jumps do not allow him to get the desired intimacy. Relations with such a person are usually like a swing between the poles "I love you, don't leave me - I hate you, I'll leave you." It is important to understand that with borderline personality disorder it is impossible to consciously change your behavior, thinking, emotional reactions and response patterns to certain situations, ”says Valentin Oskin. nine0003

    Many "border guards" live with a constant oppressive feeling of guilt, they feel broken, bad and unworthy of normal communication, which they badly need. They are unable to correctly read the reactions of others and the motives of their actions. This determines their strange behavior and repels potential partners and friends. Often, people with borderline personality disorder have a Favorite Person - a person on whom the "borderguard" is extremely dependent and who replaces not only everyone around him, but also himself. If this person is busy or there is a conflict with him, the “border guard” literally collapses the world: he drowns in a storm of emotions, reflects on death and looks for thousands of reasons why he was rejected. nine0003

    There are a number of rules that psychologists have developed for those who seek to communicate as “border guards”, minimizing chaos, conflicts and the possibility of a tragic denouement: could end in disaster.

  • Designate your personal boundaries, which are unacceptable to cross. For the “border guard”, formal frameworks are important that will help contain his emotional storm and not pour it out on others. nine0060
  • Do not take words spoken in a fit of emotion as a confession in a true relationship. This is a consequence of the fact that in people with BPD, periods of deification/devaluation change very quickly.
  • Explain rationally the motives of one's actions. A person with borderline personality disorder will need your presence 24/7 and perceive certain actions as dismissive towards him. Take care of yourself: specify the time you spend separately, and try to logically explain why you are doing this or that and do not intend to devalue or leave the “border guard”. nine0060

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    How to get rid of BPD

    The main way to deal with borderline personality disorder is psychotherapy, in which work is done on the accompanying manifestations of an unstable mental state (depression, addictions, eating disorders, etc.) and syndromes (it is often necessary to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms). syndrome). This is a long and complicated process, but statistics show that 70% of the “border guards” get rid of the main symptoms during therapy within six years, and remission occurs in a third of patients after two years. nine0003

    “In therapy, people with BPD are primarily trained in emotional control, responsibility, and interpersonal skills. Dialectico-behavioral psychotherapy, a specially developed method for the treatment of BPD based on cognitive behavioral therapy, is well suited for this. No less effective is schema therapy, which also has special developments for the treatment of BPD. In the course of treatment, pharmacotherapy can also be prescribed, for example, for the treatment of associated depression or anxiety disorder, ”says Valentin Oskin. nine0003

    Comprehensive treatment may include the following therapies: