• Emotional Wellness

    A Brief History of Borderline Personality Disorder’s Name

    This article was originally published on Psychreg.

    The term “borderline personality disorder” (BPD) is interesting in psych nomenclature. Usually, psychosocial illnesses are named after their most prominent symptoms. For example, bipolar disorder (formerly, manic depression) refers to the “two poles” of mania and depression.

    Many medical conditions have carried different labels throughout history; even now, official diagnoses change every so often. But sometimes these designations have incorrectly described illnesses and contributed to misinformation. This is unfortunately still the case with schizophrenia (with “schizo” meaning “split” and “phrenia” referring to “mind”). And just as there have been efforts to change the name of schizophrenia, the same is true of BPD.

    But why exactly was it called borderline personality disorder in the first place? In this article, I’ll briefly cover the conceptual history of BPD, including its name and classification. I’ll also touch on why many people would prefer to call the BPD construct by a different name – or to reclassify it altogether.

    Originally, I was only going to discuss the “borderline” aspect, however, there’s also the quite popular view that BPD should not be deemed a “personality disorder” at all. So, I’ll explore both parts of the diagnosis.

    At the end of the day, it’s essential for us to remember the power held by words. We should be mindful that words can be used to discriminate and disempower, especially if we are writers and editors.

  • Living With BPD

    Borderline Personality Disorder and the Church: Christians with BPD

    Trigger Warning:  Christianity in a favorable light, struggles with belief in God, fitting in at church, splitting, BPD symptoms. Read at your own discretion.

    You can’t understand me without understanding borderline personality disorder.

    I’m still wrestling with feeling like I don’t fit in and that I’m misunderstood. I don’t know anyone who can relate to me on the level I so deeply desire. I know of one other person with BPD, and they’re not even a Christian. I don’t know a single Christian with BPD. Imagine that for a second—countless individuals struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and so on, but rarely are individuals diagnosed with BPD who still pursue the Lord.

    I crave a community that I’ll never have–one that truly understands and can relate to me. I have to mourn that. It’s like I have no one with whom I can process the intense feelings and emotions I experience. Yes, I have a counselor, but her role is to help me process my trauma. Obviously, that will help with these emotions/feelings over time, but my counselor can’t make BPD disappear. She can’t make the symptoms I battle daily disappear. She can’t relate to me and understand how much harder it is for someone with BPD to follow the Lord than for someone who doesn’t. I can’t even believe the nice things people say about me. Can you imagine how much harder it is to believe that a God I can’t see loves me and calls me His? It’s nearly impossible.

  • Living With BPD

    An Overview of Avoidant Personality Disorder

    avoidant personality disorder avpd quiet bpd social anxiety disorder

    If you’re a reader of BPD Beautiful, you most probably either have borderline personality disorder (BPD) or know somebody close to you who has it. Or perhaps you’re just interested in the topic of personality disorders and want to know more. BPD is one of the best-known of these conditions. Much research in the personality disorder field has focused on it. On the other hand, avoidant personality disorder (AvPD) is a lesser-known and studied disorder. However, it frequently co-exists with BPD. Due to this common co-occurrence, it’s great to learn about this related condition.

    In this article, I provide an overview of avoidant personality disorder. I also describe how BPD can present when it co-occurs with AvPD (including a look at the “discouraged borderline” and “quiet borderline” concepts). In addition, I share thoughts on the differences between AvPD and social anxiety disorder. And finally, I share other thoughts on personality disorders, discussing how they’re diagnosed and the stigma surrounding them.

    If you believe you have BPD, AvPD, or both disorders, please don’t lose hope! There are so many sources of support, insight, and comfort out there. Many people have recovered from BPD and AvPD and have gone on to lead fulfilling and peaceful lives. (Bear in mind that there are lots of acronyms in this article! Hopefully, you’re okay with that.)

  • Q+As

    Books About BPD: “Book of Thoughts” by Adrianna Rangel (Q+A)

    bpd-diagnosis-books-about-bpd-bpd-beautiful

    Trigger Warning: BPD stigma, stigma by mental health clinicians

    Living with BPD Stigma

    Here’s the real truth about living with borderline personality disorder: you are going to be stigmatized. By people online. By film or TV producers. By mental health clinicians. By strangers. Maybe even by your own family and friends. There’s no way around it. 

    However, as someone who lives with BPD, one group in particular stands out to me: mental health clinicians. Why is it that almost every single person I know with BPD (& I know lots) has a story like our featured guest, Adrianna Rangel? 

    Why is it that mental health professionals—people we should be able to get treatment from, are refusing to call us back, abruptly ending their services with us or are otherwise brushing us off when we only just admit out loud, ‘I think I have borderline personality disorder’ or are up front about our BPD diagnosis?

    As hard of a condition as borderline personality disorder is to both live & deal with, it’s treatable. Contrary to old beliefs in the medical world, recent studies of BPD have confirmed that not only is treatment is possible but BPD also has a high recovery success rate.