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Are you a mental health doctor? if not you can't try to diagnose your wife as having bpd.
if you're talking borderline personality disorder,it's a very hard thing to diagnose.

A lot of people don't and won't admit when they're wrong.It isn't a trait exclusively associated with bpd...borderline or bipolar.
 

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Are you a mental health doctor? if not you can't try to diagnose your wife as having bpd.
if you're talking borderline personality disorder,it's a very hard thing to diagnose.

A lot of people don't and won't admit when they're wrong.It isn't a trait exclusively associated with bpd...borderline or bipolar.
If I were a meantl health doctor would I be asking the question? I am just trying to recognize traits.
 

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If I were a meantl health doctor would I be asking the question? I am just trying to recognize traits.
my point is, ask a mental health doctor.you'll get answers all over here and they will probably steer you in the wrong direction when it comes to self diagnosing your wife bc they don't know her and it's impossible to accurately diagnose someone without doing in depth sessions with the person.
 

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Are you a mental health doctor? if not you can't try to diagnose your wife as having bpd.
if you're talking borderline personality disorder,it's a very hard thing to diagnose.

A lot of people don't and won't admit when they're wrong.It isn't a trait exclusively associated with bpd...borderline or bipolar.
You rock!xxx
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I heard that avoiding any kind of diagnostics with one's partner is best avoided. All you need to know is how it affects you and how you can cope with it (or not). Of course, you *have* to cope with it. In the end, it doesn't matter WHAT it is, what matters is how it presents itself with regard to your life and your own mental health.
 

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I am trying to determine if my spouse has BPD traits. Thanks.
Cavenger, welcome to the TAM forurm. I applaud your willingness to learn more about your W's BPD traits. She definitely has them. As Pidge pointed out, we ALL do. Every adult on the planet occasionally exhibits all nine of the BPD traits, albeit at a low level if the person if emotionally healthy. Because we all have had these traits since childhood, we know how they look and feel from the inside as well as the outside. This is why it is so easy to spot them if you take a little time to learn which behaviors are on the list.

Finding "The List" is easy because hundreds of the best health centers, hospitals, and universities describe BPD traits -- in terms the lay public can understand -- on their websites. They want the public to learn how to spot these traits -- as well as the symptoms of diseases -- because they know people are far more likely to seek professional help (and do so more quickly) when they know how to recognize the red flags for disorders. See, e.g., the Mayo Clinic's description of BPD symptoms at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/borderline-personality-disorder/DS00442/DSECTION=symptoms. Similarly, the National Institute of Mental Health describes them at NIMH · Borderline Personality Disorder.

Importantly, this symptom information is not dangerous and won't burn your house down. On the contrary, your lack of such information may put you at great risk of remaining in a doomed, toxic marriage for many years -- as I did for 15 years. Knowledge is power. This is why the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously decided in 2008 to promote such knowledge by declaring May of each year to be "Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month." See Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month Celebrated.

As Scarlet correctly observes, you cannot diagnose your W. That is, you cannot determine whether her traits are so severe that they meet 100% of the diagnositic guidelines for having full-blown BPD. Only professionals can do that. Yet, there is a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE between diagnosing a disorder and spotting the red flags. There is nothing subtle about traits such as temper tantrums, strong verbal abuse, always being "The Victim," vindictiveness, irrational jealousy, and very controlling behavior.

Before you graduated high school, you already could identify the girls you didn't want to date because they were too selfish and grandiose -- without knowing how to diagnose Narcissistic PD. You could identify the class drama queens -- without being able to diagnose Histrionic PD. You could spot the kids having no respect for laws or other peoples' property or feelings -- without diagnosing Antisocial PD. And you could recognize the very shy and over-sensitive classmates -- without diagnosing Avoidant PD. Similarly, you will be able to spot strong BPD traits when they occur.

An easy place to start reading -- here on the TAM forum -- is my brief description of such traits in Maybe's thread at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description rings a bell, I would be glad to discuss it with you and point you to good online resources.
 

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To the OP its also ok that you came here to ask that question. This is a forum where people discuss things and ask questions. And yes even though you must actually find out from a mental health specialist or doctor if your wife has that, its still ok you came here to ask. I don't know to many people who don't come here with a question or wanting info about something it doesn't mean they are looking to diagnose someone. Let us know how things go.
 
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To the OP its also ok that you came here to ask that question. This is a forum where people discuss things and ask questions. And yes even though you must actually find out from a mental health specialist or doctor if your wife has that, its still ok you came here to ask. I don't know to many people who don't come here with a question or wanting info about something it doesn't mean they are looking to diagnose someone. Let us know how things go.
It could be because Scarlet and I are both BPD'ers and are both quite capable of admitting when we are wrong. Does that mean all BPD'ers can? Nope. Just because someone cannot admit they are wrong doesn't mean they automatically have a PD. If the OP has a backstory, I missed it and I apologize. I cannot link to other threads on my phone.
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To the OP its also ok that you came here to ask that question. This is a forum where people discuss things and ask questions. And yes even though you must actually find out from a mental health specialist or doctor if your wife has that, its still ok you came here to ask. I don't know to many people who don't come here with a question or wanting info about something it doesn't mean they are looking to diagnose someone. Let us know how things go.
Thank you for posting this. I deliberately do not ask questions here because it comes across at times that people should not ask questions Online or via PM.
My situation is different to the OPs in that I have recently found out that my SO ex is Bi Polar so while it does not affect me personally I am trying to be the best person I can be for my SO. I want to understand what he has been through without pushing him as I know he in return is trying to protect himself and me.
I expected that an anon forum would be a good place to ask but have been scared off doing so.
 

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My SO ex is Bi Polar....
Holland, an important issue is whether she also suffers from BPD. I mention this because a recent study found that half of bipolar-1 sufferers (who exhibited such illness in the past 12 months) also have BPD. If she does suffer from both disorders, it is unlikely her therapist would have told her about the BPD part (for her own protection and because treatments generally will not be covered by insurance if BPD is mentioned in the diagnosis). And it is more unlikely, still, that they would have told her husband (your SO). Hence, your SO likely would have had no way of knowing about the BPD aspect unless he knows how to recognize differences in the traits.

In many ways, BPD traits can be far more difficult to live with than the bipolar traits. If you are interested, you may want to check out my discussion of these differences at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/55435-long-distance-trust-issues-best-sex-ever-cant-live-without-you-fighting-help.html#post1051089.
 

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No one says people can't ask questions but all too often you see one spouse go online for answers to why their partner is a certain way,they look to hang a the problems on some mental disorder rather than go to counseling and work the problems out as a team. Also these armchair psychiatrists seem to feel they don't have to share any of the responsibility for marital issues after they see their spouse shows "red flags" for a mental problem.
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Um. Sometimes.

Feel free to check out DSM IV or V for typical diagnostic criteria. You aren't qualified to diagnose*, but can definitely get a good guess as to whether or not she fits. There's no harm in that.
However, I advise caution. Personality disorders are fairly non-specific. (NPD, for example, has about 30% co-morbidity.) In addition, an autism spectrum disorder + high sensitivity can look an awful lot like, or even be co-morbid with BPD or NPD. (Suspicion of one of our MCs.) Bipolar can look similar too.

If there is uncertainty, then you probably, at most, are looking at traits. Diagnosis is intended for _significant_ impairment. For example, having a meltdown and throwing things occasionally is not _significant_ impairment. Repeated assault and battery on a passive target, followed by threatening the police officers who arrive, may be evidence of significant impairment.

That said, BPD tendencies are more than enough to create significant R/S issues and a perfectly valid reason for divorce. The difference is that, with effort and communication, there's a reasonable expectation that BPD tendencies can be worked around by a rational, flexible, hardworking person.

I am a bit dubious about trying couples counseling with BPDs. Most people report pure failure and recommend separate counseling. My wife and I have had some limited success. (5 counselor's later...most of whom ended up yelling at my wife within a few months.) If you try, I recommend finding a PhD psychologist. I also recommend keeping your expectations strongly limited. The main benefits were:

(a) An awareness in my wife that her behavior was abnormal. (5 MC's later.)
(b) Modest behavioral changes.
(c) Some useful advice applicable to practically any R/S that helped me eliminate issues that were within my power to change. (scheduled dates, et cetera)

I am modestly in favor of MC. However, this is largely because I'm a pessimist and believe that outside documentation of significant behavioral issues is potentially useful in a divorce - particular for custody. Besides, you never know until you try. However, if you try MC, and your spouse spends the first 10 sessions evading responsibility and demanding you make changes until the MC starts yelling, then there is some reason to suspect that MC may be less urgent than focused therapy.

If your spouse has significant BPD tendencies, and assuming you choose to stay (a dubious proposition), you will most likely need to bear most of the burdens in the marriage. (If you can't, you should probably not stay, though there are always exceptions.) You will need to find a balance between adjusting to minimize unnecessary conflict and setting firm limits to safeguard yourself. Boundaries (Townsend) is a decent guide to maintaining those limits. Many books exist on non-violent communication. BPDFamily is an excellent resource. Be a bit careful - if your wife has significant NPD tendencies, BPDFamily's advice may not be ideal. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists isn't bad. Bear in mind that, even if you are doing an excellent job, BPDs will remain difficult to live with.

--Argyle
*If you suspect that a S/O is BPD, by definition, you're unlikely to be rational enough to make a truly unbiased judgement, even ignoring the fact that you're in a R/S. If they actually are BPD, staying indicates that you have some sort of issue - usually codependency or narcissism, although YMMV. If they actually aren't BPD, then crazy people tend to diagnose a lot...
 

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I'm glad you're looking into what may or may not being going on. Everyone has a right to know what they may be up against as far as what might be going on with a loved one. Diagnoses from a professional is always best, as is asking questions and learning about what may be going on. Hang in there, let us know what is going on.
 
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