The Unique Link Between Borderline Personality Disorder And Relationships
People living with BPD tend to experience greater levels of mistrust, even with those closest to them, and have a heightened sensitivity to perceived threats. Studies have suggested this is due to a hyper-active fear response in the brain and is also linked to environmental factors such as childhood trauma.
Dr. Perry D. Hoffman, president and co-founder of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, explained the definitive link between BPD and interpersonal relationships in an interview with HellaWella:
occurs in the context of relationships. Unlike other psychiatric diagnoses, if you put someone with schizophrenia on an island all by themselves, their mental illness would still be evident. If you put someone with BPD on an island, you wouldnt necessarily see the symptoms whatever happens, happens in the context of with someone else.
Mood Disorders Vs Personality Disorders
Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a personality disorder.
Both of which are mental health conditions.
1. Mood Disorders
Severe changes in someones emotional state that impede their ability to function properly.
Start at any age and may run in families.
A recent study suggests that nearly 10% of adults living in the United States suffer from some form of Mood Disorder.
Some symptoms include:
2. Personality Disorders
Persistent emotions, behaviors and thoughts that are not in line with societal norms and ultimately cause suffering.
The majority of sufferers develop symptoms of BPD by their early adulthood.
A recent study suggests over 12% of adults living in the United States suffer from some form of Personality Disorder.
Some symptoms include:
Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder
Symptoms of borderline personality disorder usually appear in the late teenage years or early adulthood. A troubling event or stressful experience can trigger symptoms or make them worse. Over time, symptoms usually decrease and may go away completely.
Some people have a handful of BPD symptoms, while others have many. Symptoms can range from manageable to very severe. Because BPD symptoms are similar to those of bipolar disorder, people sometimes confuse the two conditions. The most common signs of BPD include:
- Frequent and intense mood swings: If you have BDP, you may experience sudden changes in how you feel about others, yourself, and the world around you. Irrational emotions including uncontrollable anger, fear, anxiety, hatred, sadness, and love change frequently and suddenly. You may be quick to lash out at others and have trouble calming down when youre upset.
- Fear of abandonment: Its common for people with BPD to feel uncomfortable with being alone. They have an intense fear of being abandoned or rejected. They might track their loved ones whereabouts or stop them from leaving. Or they might push people away before getting too close to avoid rejection.
- Difficulty maintaining relationships: People with BPD find it challenging to keep healthy personal relationships. Their friendships, marriages, and relationships with family members are often chaotic and unstable.
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Characteristics Of Borderline Personality Disorder
While borderline personality disorder resembles bipolar disorder when it comes to impulsive behavior and mood swings, BPD is different because it is characterized by patterns of unstable relationships. Those with borderline personality disorder are very sensitive and struggle with managing their emotions. Often they turn to ineffective coping mechanisms, such as self-harm.
A person with BPD is often tortured by an intense fear of abandonment, leading to unstable relationships or staying in relationships that arent working. They experience intense emotional reactions to upsetting or disappointing life events. They are typically very self-critical and may engage in self-harming behavior.
How Variable Are The Emotions
For diagnosis purposes the individual with bipolar II must experience at least a single manic episode, characterized by high energy, euphoria and high self-confidence among other things. The person may demonstrate impulsive behaviors, have trouble controlling their speech or engaging in high risk activities. When they are not in the midst of mania impulsivity is not a problem.
For the person with borderline personality disorder sadness, irritability, anxiety and emptiness are chronic states of being. The person with this disorder does not experience euphoria or a sense of grandiosity and, for them, controlling behavior is an ongoing problem.
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Bipolar Vs Bpd: How To Tell The Difference
The two mental health conditions are sometimes confusedbut treatment depends on which diagnosis a person actually has.
When it comes to successfully treating a mental health disorder, its important that you have the correct diagnosiswhich is easier said than done. As if struggling with symptoms isnt hard enough, in some cases, these symptoms may overlap with other conditions, making it tough to nail down the right diagnosis.
While bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder might sound similar at first, aside from a few symptoms the two have in commonimpulsivity, promiscuity, and ragethe conditions are actually very different, Kathleen Cairns, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Connecticut, tells Health.
Bipolar I Vs Bipolar Ii
Bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder are two of the three major forms of bipolar disorder. While both involve shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and concentration, BP-I and BP-II have two key differences. These differences include the intensity of manic episodes and the prevalence of major depressive episodes.
One major difference between BP-I and BP-II is the intensity of manic episodes. BP-I involves periods of severe mania whereas BP-II involves periods of less severe hypomania.
Mania and hypomania are both marked by persisting elevated, expansive or irritable mood that is uncharacteristic of the person at baseline. These periods may also involve abnormally elevated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, increased talkativeness, flight of ideas or racing thoughts, abnormal distractibility, increased energy or goal-directed activity and abnormally risky behaviors.
Mania lasts for at least one week and is considered a medical emergency, often requiring psychiatric hospitalization. Its effects on ones personal life and ability to work are debilitating. Hypomania lasts for at least four days. It does not cause impairment in functioning, require hospitalization, or have psychotic features.
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Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood. There are three main types bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder each with different characteristics.
In bipolar disorder, you may have periods of extreme ups, known as mania or hypomania, or extreme downs, known as depressive episodes. Many people have both ups and downs.
The symptoms of mania and hypomania include:
- higher activity and energy levels
- a decreased need for sleep
- inflated or grandiose self-esteem
- engaging in harmful or self-destructive behaviors
- making plans youre unable to keep
- thinking and talking faster than usual
While symptoms are similar between mania and hypomania, how long the mood episode lasts and the severity are where they differ.
During a period of depression, you might:
- have a down, depressed mood
- lack interest or pleasure in enjoyable activities for at least 2 weeks
- have less energy
Mood Disorders Versus Personality Disorders
The key difference between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder is that bipolar disorder is a mood disorder while BPD is a personality disorder. Mood disorders are a category of disorders distinguished by serious changes in mood. Depression falls in this category along with bipolar disorder.
Personality disorders are characterized by ways of thinking, feeling and behaving that are different from social expectations, causing problems functioning or distress. If you have a personality disorder, you have difficulty perceiving and relating to people and situations.
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Key Differences Between Bipolar Ii And Borderline Personality Disorder
Bipolar II disorder and borderline personality disorder share several common symptoms, enough that differentiating between the two conditions is tricky. Both are mood disorders, meaning that the emotions are severe enough to create disruptions in daily living. Yet there are key differences between the two.
What Is Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is also a mental illness. This is characterized by mood swings where the individual experiences manic as well as episodes of depression. Such a person would feel extremely happy and full of life during one period and feel extremely sad and hopeless in another. This is the main characteristic of Bipolar Disorder.
During manic episodes, the individual feels extremely energized as if he could even conquer the world. He also feels very confident and excited. Some individuals even engage in reckless and impulsive behavior during manic episodes. Some even go to the extent where they become delusional.
On the contrary during depressive episodes, the individual feels very sad or even depresses. He would feel that he is unable to do anything and that he lacks energy. Also, he would have difficulty in enjoying things that he previously loved and would feel that they are completely worthless. Another key symptom that can be seen during depressive episodes is recurrent suicidal thoughts.
Bipolar disorder consists of mood swings
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What Are The Key Things To Be Taken Care Of While Doing A Diagnosis
When diagnosing either borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder, it is important to rule out other potential causes of symptoms. Like thyroid problems, head injury, alcohol or drug abuse, and medications. It is also important to differentiate between symptoms that occur only during depressive or manic episodes.
Why Are Bipolar Disorder And Borderline Personality Disorder Often Confused Or Conflated
Sometimes interacting with someone with a bipolar diagnosis compared to interacting with someone with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder may feel similar. You may feel like you never know what to expect from one day to the next, with the persons mood or behavior being extremely variable. The origins of that unpredictability are different, but the effects on communication and relationships can be comparable.
If you have a relationship with someone who has bipolar disorder, when they experience an untreated manic or hypomanic episode, they may be euphoric, feel like theyre on top of the world, theyre the life of the party, they express love for you, etc. But when that episode ends, or maybe even transitions into a depressive episode, your interactions with that person may change dramatically.
Similarly, relational interactions with people with untreated borderline personality disorder may feel extreme. When they feel safe and secure in the relationship, they may express love for you, seem excited to spend time with you, and be very supportive. That behavior could look a lot like someone experiencing a manic or hypomanic episode. However, if the instability in the relationship emerges, that behavior can quickly flip into a very negative social interaction.
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Whats The Difference Between Bipolar And Borderline Personality Disorder
Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder have some symptoms in common but are actually two different conditions with different approaches to treatment. It can be challenging to diagnose mental health conditions, because there are no biological tests that can distinguish one from another.
Both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder involve mood swings and impulsive behavior but there are some distinguishing characteristics of each.
Bpd Vs Bipolar Disorder
A borderline personality disorder is a kind of personality disorder causing people to behave, feel, relate, and/or think differently compared to those without it. Based on the National Institute of Mental Health, around 1.4% of adults in the USA are diagnosed with BPD.
Those with BPD experience ongoing cycles of self-image, behaviors, and moods that vary. Such patterns cause problems that affect their life, relationships, along with how they understand and relate with other people.
Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, is a kind of mood disorder causing severe mood changes. It affects ones mood, energy, activity levels, thoughts, and overall functionality in various cycles that can last for a few days up to months at a time. This condition is more common compared to BPD, affecting around 2.6% of adults in the USA.
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Mood Disorder Vs Personality Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorderit primarily involves changes in your mood. People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of mania and depression. Mania involves feeling extremely energetic and excited. Sometimes people with mania lose touch with reality . Depression is feeling extremely sad and exhausted for several weeks at a time. In between bouts of mania and depression, people with bipolar disorder may feel relatively stable.
Unlike bipolar disorder, BPD is a personality disorder. Personality disorders involve patterns of thinking and behavior that affect all aspects of a persons life. People with BPD often have an insecure attachment stylemeaning that they have a hard time trusting other people to stick around. Their emotions and even their identity can depend heavily on their relationships with other people.
How Different Are The Emotions From Normal
One way to separate the two is to assess how different the emotional episode is from the persons normal, or baseline, behavior. For example, a person with bipolar II experiences extreme emotional states. Sometimes the person lives with a manic high and sometimes with a depressive low. But these states are uncharacteristic of the person for long periods when they are asymptomatic. In other words, the person has a baseline personality that is quite separate from their mania or depression.
By contrast, the emotional state of the individual with borderline personality disorder is rather constant. The challenges the person faces because they have trouble interacting with others or responding appropriately are ever-present because they are part of their baseline personality.
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Characteristics Of Bipolar Disorder
Formerly known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is characterized by wide swings in mood and energy level. Periods of extremely high energy, euphoria, and feelings of grandiosity are some of the symptoms of mania, while extreme sadness, low energy, and hopelessness indicate the depressive cycle of this disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia: Whats The Difference
More than 11 million Americans experience a serious mental illness in a given year. While the terms borderline personality disorder , bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are often used interchangeably, Dr. Bella Schanzer, a psychiatrist with Baylor College of Medicine, says its important to know the differences between these conditions.
Borderline personality disorder
BPD is a personality disorder in which a person experiences many mood fluctuations.
One of the core elements of the disorder is seeing the world in black and white, so everything is an extreme. Often, people with this disorder have dysfunctional relationships.
Symptoms of BPD include:
- Engaging in maladaptive and harmful behaviors
- Emotional instability
- Having rigid views of people and the world
- Chronic suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide
Although this is a lifelong disorder, there are ways to manage, control and treat some of the behaviors.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder composed of altering mood states with periods of time where a person is manic or depressed.
Being manic means that for a sustained period of time, usually four to five days, a person is either extremely happy or irritable. In this state, the mind is racing, there is little sleep, and oftentimes a person will exhibit pressured speech.
Symptoms of a major depression in the context of bipolar disorder include:
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Treatment And Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder And Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder, are both mental health issues with dramatic symptoms, which can impact the sufferer and the lives of those close to them heavily.
The two conditions have different causes, symptoms and treatments, but the reason you are here, , is that often, the disorders can have similar traits, that cause confusion amongst those who are impacted.
Here we lay out the difference between Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder, key symptoms, how to gain an accurate diagnosis and the available treatment options available to you.
What Is A Borderline Personality Disorder
A borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. People with a borderline personality disorder may experience intense emotions and have difficulty regulating their thoughts and feelings. As a result, they may act impulsively and engage in risky behaviors. They may also have problems maintaining stable relationships.
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What Is The Difference Between Bpd And Bipolar 2
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How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated
Once properly diagnosed, bipolar disorder can be extremely well-managed, Cairns says. You probably know someone whos bipolar and you dont even know it, she says of treatment success.
Bipolar disorder is usually treated with a combination of medications and talk therapy. Following a regular sleep routine is also crucial, Cairns says. Once a sleep cycle is thrown off schedule, it can trigger symptoms and lead to a depressive or manic state, she sayswhich can make traveling across time zones risky for people with bipolar disorder.
Like many health conditionsphysical and mentalhaving a support team is also important. People with bipolar disorder who successfully manage their condition often count on friends, family, a significant other, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist, Cairns says.
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Causes Of Bipolar Disorder
The exact cause of the bipolar disorder is unknown, but several factors may be involved, such as:
- Biological Differences: People with bipolar disorder appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
- Genetics: Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing bipolar disorder.