And how can you begin to free yourself? Others find eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) helpful (find a qualified therapist). High-functioning may mean that you can make it through the day with BPD while hiding your turmoil from others. She is also critical of so many little thing tha it has made intimacy difficult (including some intimacy events!). Even when you try to seek help, you may be let down by the system. Thank you for this article!!! In addition, it is hard enough for people with CPTSD to find helpful treatment, and not all of them will benefit from the treatments that have been found effective for BPD, especially compared to treatments found effective for CPTSD and PTSD. He trains practitioners in this approach. Tap to unmute. Some people find Somatic Experiencing (SE) helpful for CPTSD, Dr. Peter Levine, Waking the Tiger (book). Due to having dysfunctional or immature parents or siblings, you might have been burdened with too much too soon. My childhood was tumultuous where my parents fought all the time until they divorced when I was 11. Your BPD tends to only come out in "pockets," such as when you are triggered by certain people or situations. Like a hungry child, they sometimes cry, sometimes yell, and sometimes protest to get your attention. Contact us to take your first step toward a healthier, happier life today. i.e: Why I do what I do and why I find it so hard to change. But is that really enough? I was diagnosed 3yrs ago with EUPD and am now 41. Woman face portrait. The only way to not feel pain was to dissociate. Unfortunately, by being "anorexic" to love and affection, you are neglecting to see the gifts and qualities that others see in you. Basically, you have borderline, but … Putting up a brave and pleasant face can be exhausting and confusing to your complicated sense of self. High-functioning BPD is the result of trauma—an overwhelmingly painful experience in your life. Below, we will discuss some of the psychological dynamics behind the screen of high-functioning BPD. On the surface, you are calm and collected. What a 'High-Functioning Borderline' Actually 'Looks' Like Appearances can be deceiving; a big smile and makeup can hide days of non-stop crying, a toned body from hours of hard training for boxing can cancel out the effects of massive sugar binges, laser treatments kill the ongoing acne caused by overwhelming emotional stress. I also recognize that some people do have both disorders (but not everyone LOL). I have been told that I'm a high functioning borderline and it can be both a blessing and a curse. We can also guide you in approaching a loved one who needs treatment. Even though you feel lonely, rather than risk being hurt again, you would rather stay in a state of deprivation. Ungrounded shifts from excessive love to distrust compromise one’s ability to develop real bonds. Or stronger. This trauma may not be visible but comes in the form of chronic emotional abuse or neglect. From a young age, you were always the one who loved too much, gave too much, and trusted too much. You zeroed in on and described the high functioning aspect of BPD so perfectly. Emotions are ever-changing, like … I imagine both involve reparenting the self and befriending the emptiness and harsher inner sides of the self that probably saved our lives long, long ago. People with borderline personality disorder, your relationship with yourself and others. Regardless of how much praise you receive, you tend not to recognize your own gifts. Another core mechanism that drives high-functioning BPD is "emotional anorexia"—in which, consciously or unconsciously, you refuse to internalize nourishment from love and kinship. Imi Lo is a psychotherapist, art therapist, coach, and author of the book Emotional Intensity and Sensitivity. Dr. John Briere does a lot of work in this area, as do others. They diagnose high functioning depression and talk about self-care and medication and while those things do offer some relief it is never close to moving me toward any significant level of healing. The problem with assigning either high-functioning or low-functioning to a person with BPD is that the very nature of the disorder debunks these categories. What others might not kno… Borderline Autism can be termed as Asperger’s Syndrome or High-functioning Autism.It is one of the most complex developmental disorders to be diagnosed by any specialist. You see a dog-eat-dog world in which you must stand on your own two feet to survive. Like a brave warrior, this part of you has advanced you into adulthood and thrust you into life with a stoic outlook. Both books helped me tremendously. Despite your heart’s yearning to feel alive again, whenever you try to open, you hit a wall. However, i'd like to think that those are the C-PTSD, not a personality disorder. As you do this, however, you pay the hefty price of forgoing spontaneity, intimacy, and creativity. Having to be dependent on anyone makes you feel unsafe and overly exposed. You may also have resorted to using substances or addictive behaviors as a part of your dissociative strategies. I have been in hospital. The burden continues to grow heavier and I’m not getting any younger. Treatment for BPD helps you to become more grounded, to better manage your emotional journey, and to get what you really want out of life. Just like a house that has festered, no one sees what has been slowly crumbling until the pillars break and the ceiling falls. Dr. Chiquitha Cornelius answered. Many days I feel like I could take on the world and run the country and yet other days I struggle to even remember how to wash up! So i'm very successful in life in certain respects, but my smaller self is still traumatized with stuff that he didn't understand a half century ago. So, this article may lead to some confusion. You may even be attracted only to people who are non-committal. Your main task in life is not to repeat what has once been done to you—the cruelty, misunderstanding, and neglect—but to become a better parent, friend, and companion to yourself. Hi, I am a licensed psychologist, and I believe the description in this article is CPTSD and not high functioning BPD. In counter-dependency, you become incredibly self-reliant; so much so that it is unthinkable anyone would be there to take care of you and to comfort you. Hi. High-Functioning Borderline Personality Disorder. I’ve always suspected this was me but the fact that so far (at 58) I have had a successful life - I think that’s made it difficult to get a professional to really see what I deal with everyday. How to Get Things Done When You Have No Motivation, The Trauma of Having a Parent With Borderline Personality Disorder, Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC, Neuroscience Study Shows Memory Can Improve with Training, Unresolved Arguments May Nibble Away at Your Well-Being. The Brain Science Behind Emotions in Borderline Personality. I encourage anyone who believes this article describes their personal experience to look at online sources of information about complex posttraumatic disorder, including the CPTSD Foundation. Intense emotions tend to rise to the surface so friends, family, co-workers, and others nearby will experience the pressure and volatility. There are also online communities for CPTSD, which you can find by searching (try blogs and podcasts and Facebook pages). Unfortunately, while it was a temporarily useful strategy at some point in your life, ultimately this pattern only sustains your pain and aloneness in the world. What does it mean to have high-functioning borderline personality disorder? For now, i'll avoid the temptation to add another label to my mix. As a child, there was little you could do about your circumstances. This is by far the best and most helpful article I’ve read on PT. Reviewed by Gary Drevitch. These symptoms erupt when you are on your own or when you put your guard down. I just wanted to thank you for this very helpful comment. Symptoms can be greatly reduced with strategies such as dialectical behavior therapy or DBT. Also healthline and other medical sources have information on complex posttraumatic stress disorder. You might be able to hold a job during the day, but crash into a depressive, anxious, or dissociative state when the day is over. Taking things more personally than they are intended. Even though borderline intellectual functioning is not a disorder, nor a disability in itself, it is an impediment in diagnostics and treatment when a psychiatric disorder develops. I am the ultimate people pleaser(which i find is a problem) so need to fix that (or maybe not). This article not only explained ALOT of things that I have only wondered about. Couldn't be best described. Learn more about our treatment programs, admissions process, and pricing. At a minimum, this is a very controversial characterization that does not represent the thinking of the entire field of psychology. As a result, you would rather not let your high-functioning facade crumble. What Are Typical Behaviours of Narcissistic Abuse Survivors? So you're not a "10" in every which way. Moods can change with the slightest trigger. It can feel as if you’re just along for the ride of your reactive thoughts and feelings. Abstract watercolor. What's more, your social schedule also seems busy and full. I have both. The predicament of someone with high-functioning BPD can be summed up in a poem by British poet Stevie Smith called "Not Waving but Drowning": As it is poignantly put by this poem, you may be drowning in sorrow, but when others see your arm thrashing above water, they think you are "just waving.". Unfortunately, these experiences may reinforce the subconscious belief that you are not worthy of help, or even make you feel guilty or ashamed for having reached out. The part of you that has been split off—your "splinter personality"—is waiting to be remembered and re-accepted into your inner family. This trauma may not be visible but comes in the form of chronic emotional abuse or neglect. A part of you even fears that as soon as a crack is revealed, a floodgate would open, and you would not be able to recover yourself. What Is More Important to Fans: Winning, or How You Win? It brings me closer to comfort and acceptance of this diagnosis! A really bad, disheartening, self-destructive day can turn into an upbeat day the next. I am hopeful that I will finally heal from my trauma. This finding is interesting, because it means that people with these conditions not only have difficulties (in dealing with the social world), but also have strengths: both grou… It is an illness that makes you struggle with your emotions and this can affect your relationships with other people. It does not mean that you escape the shame and suffering. Borderline personality disorder, commonly known as BPD, is a mental disorder usually diagnosed in young or early adulthood and affecting between 1.6 and 5.9 percent of Americans, according to Psych Central.It is commonly misdiagnosed or missed altogether as some of the symptoms can mirror other disorders, and BPD often coexists with another disorder. If ever there were a time to stop beating yourself up for being human, it is now. What's the practical difference between CPTSD and high-functioning BPD in terms of treatment? The symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are characterized by a long-standing pattern of unstable relationships, an effort to avoid abandonment, and impulsivity in … THANK YOU so much for writing this article! If you want to pursue treatment, it might be important to meet with an expert and get recommendations for what will work for you as an individual. Perhaps on the surface you are friendly and social, but on a closer look, you do not allow anyone to truly get to know you. I do thank the author of the article for framing some important symptoms in such clear terms--the emptiness, the different parts of the self that are at war with the other. Residential Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. Thank you again! Think of quiet BPD as a mask. Quiet BPD is also sometimes called “high-functioning” BPD. Once you have adopted a befriending stance, these crying demons will be transformed. 11 years experience Clinical Psychology. Weeped as I read it, but instead of weeping of anger and sadness as whenever being confronted by my therapist, it made me finally felt understood. You may resent and reject your own vulnerability and wish it would just go away, but that would only perpetuate an unhealthy, dead-end cycle. Like an ever-present barrier, borderline personality disorder stands between you and others, between you and the life you really want. Therapists will work with children to improve social skills, communication skills, and develop ways to manage their emotions and actions, all of … All results are completely private. While your borderline personality disorder won’t go away altogether, it is entirely manageable with the right guidance through treatment. Perhaps you keep others at arm’s length in order to avoid conflicts and loss. High-functioning BPD is a complex issue that involves multiple psychological mechanisms, such as dissociation, splitting, and experiential avoidance. As you cut off from your painful feelings, you also forgo the ability to feel excitement, love, joy, or other positive feelings. Borderline intellectual functioning, also called borderline mental retardation (in the ICD-8), is a categorization of intelligence wherein a person has below average cognitive ability (generally an IQ of 70–85), but the deficit is not as severe as intellectual disability (below 70). I knew immeadiatley i read this article that it totally describe what BPD sufferer like me faces all the time. It’s complicated and foreign, and it’s the home you can’t escape from. High-functioning BPD is the result of trauma —an overwhelmingly painful experience in your life. Without any support or guidance, this was the only way you knew how to survive. Unexpected and destabilizing mood swings. Warm thoughts to you out there who are struggling with this issue. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Many of us with C-PTSD already pathologize parts of ourselves when it was, in reality, others in our early lives that were the truly sick ones, not us. The behavior of people with borderline personality disorder is often interpreted as emotional manipulation. Until the day you collapse in a crisis, most people do not see your vulnerability and how much it takes for you to put on a stoic outlook. Dips in self-esteem, along with mood swings, can provoke impulsive and self-destructive behavior. Everyone knows what it is to suffer. High-functioning Borderline Personality Disorder (High-functioning BPD) is the result of multiple defence mechanisms such as splitting, dissociation, counter-dependency and avoidance of feelings. If treatment could be helping to improve your symptoms, your relationship with yourself and others, and your lease on life, wouldn’t that be better? Appearances can be deceiving; a big smile and makeup can hide days of non-stop crying, a … Dudas and his team expected to find some similarities between the two conditions, as both autistic people and people with BPD can find social interactions challenging. But the pain of borderline personality disorder is excruciating and long-lasting. When you are operating in this mode, you are productive, charming, effective, and hyper-independent. Someone with high functioning anxiety may be the picture of success. People with borderline personality disorder often don’t know what they would really need in order to feel better. Most succinct summary of the damage I have carried for 75 years. I will eventually get a NHS psychologist (if I still want / need one by that point, long story). Glad the clarification helped :). Repeatedly, however, the depth of your feeling was not reciprocated. And, just as importantly, you can feel empowered in your progress and, ultimately, feel less shame and negativity. I felt as if she wrote this about me; exactly. When your borderline personality disorder is taking a destructive turn, you know that it is time for treatment. Borderline Personality Disorder Test Complete the following to get an assessment on the likelihood that you or a loved one is displaying symptoms of borderline personality disorder. High functioning Borderline sufferers may “rage” or expose symptoms only in front of their significant other, for example. Reactions are disproportionate to the reality of a situation and can include depression, anxiety, insecurity, jealousy, anger, paranoia, resistance, and attachment. i totally disagree to say that these systopms are for CPTSD even though they are correlated in some ways yet are far differ where BPD ruminatiing, avoiding and splitting CPTSD on the other hand hangs on to a particular past event to ruminate and traumatize self. As a result, the only way you could cope was to create a "split," so a part of you was given the task of carrying and containing the unthinkable pain, while the rest of you could go on with life as though things were normal. You may be popular and friendly amongst friends, and appear energetic and optimistic. They are, in essence, what your inner child is going through. Never in your life had there been anyone you could lean on, as experiences have taught you that entrusting anyone with your heart will only lead to further hurt and disappointment. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. You may fall into black-and-white thinking, experience extreme abandonment fears, and feel as though you cannot go on with life. Coworkers may know you as driven in your work—you've never missed a deadline or fallen short in a given task.1 Not only that, you're always willing to help others when asked. It is possible to have both C-PTSD and BPD. Relationships feel shallow, and underneath the surface of an apparently normal life, you feel empty on the inside. Instead of erupting as depression and rage, they are now friendly messengers from your psyche, signaling you to slow down when you need to rest, reminding you to soften when you want to wall up, allowing you to be spontaneous when your soul wants to be expressive. It walls you in and makes it possible to feel overwhelming emotions and unsettling emptiness at the same time. This is another potentially misleading term that indicates a person with this type of BPD … In my case, i was exposed to violence by my father and other caretakers when i was a tiny kid, including when my mom was pregnant with me. because that would have been helpful to those who suffer with this condition as well as go a long way towards supporting the efforts being made to create a DSM classification for this disorder. Professionals or institutions may render you as not "sick enough" to fit into their diagnostic criteria or dismiss your pain just because you don’t show it enough. “ High Functioning Borderline– The High Functioning Borderline Personality shares many core aspects of the low functioning borderline personality, except for the fact that they can manage their lives, appear to be productive, and generally keep their relationships civil (even diplomatic in nature). Behind the screen, however, you suffer from intense loneliness, shame, and may be extremely critical of yourself. Hello, I am a psychologist who specializes in personality disorders and trauma, and I believe this characterization is CPTSD and not high functioning BPD. 7 Simple Habits to Protect Your Mental Health. At the end of this alchemical process, you would have regained your ability to love, to soften, to connect with others, and to feel alive. Members of the low functioning group of people with BPD are more likely to threaten to commit suicide, cut themselves, develop severe eating disorders, and … Although in recent years, public awareness of borderline personality disorder (BPD) has increased, many people afflicted with this painful, invisible diagnosis remain misunderstood and misjudged. Behind the scenes, you may suffer from social anxiety, uncontrollable rage at yourself or others, or chronic depression. In fact, they may question whether they deserve help. I found that many other people had similar concerns and/or agreed with me that this article conflates BPD with CPTSD. Ironically, the deep sadness and loneliness that come from such a non-living state can be as painful as, if not more painful than, the original emotional turmoil you were trying to avoid. I always hesitate to criticize a writer in public like this, but I felt another point of view was essential here. This article touched on important symptoms, but it is properly viewed as Complex PTSD, not Borderline Personality Disorder. When you have high-functioning BPD, you may not have stereotypical symptoms like anger outbursts or self-harming behaviors. Eating, alcohol, compulsive behaviors, and repetitive rituals can become addictive because they function to fill an inner void. You must start believing that unlike the helpless child you once were, you are now capable of much more. Indeed, when you love someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD), it can feel as if you are walking on eggshells, never knowing what might trigger them. False Self-True Self: The Perils of Living a Lie to Fit In, How Adults with ADHD Can "Manufacture" Motivation, Why the Longing to Couple Can Feel Natural When It Isn’t. High-Functioning Borderline Personality Disorder - YouTube. You now have the ability to seek resources, protect, and support yourself. As for books, I highly recommend Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker, and The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. A “high-functioning” BPD may be more adept socially and able to perform in a work environment. You have dislodged the part of you that is vulnerable, hurt, and angry to the basement of your psyche and pretended that it was never there. I've always understood myself having complex PTSD from very early childhood trauma/neglect. When you’re living from day to day, it isn’t really possible to have big goals for your life and to pursue them with steady progress. Treatment considerations? What Is High-Functioning Borderline Personality Disorder? Self-harm—including thoughts of self-harm, Impulsive and risky behaviors (perhaps around spending, eating, driving, gambling, or other areas of life), Relationships suffering—with family, friends, significant others, and coworkers, Worsening co-occurring mental health disorders, Episodes of unsettling emotions that don’t abate, Performance issues at work or school or with other responsibilities, Disconnection with oneself, one’s body, or with reality. CPTSD does not currently have a DSM code, so if a client or patient needs therapeutic services and does qualify under the criteria for BPD, that diagnosis may help provide a justification for insurance reimbursement. Perhaps you keep others at arm’s length in order to avoid conflicts and loss. But on the inside, the storm still rages, and you suffer in isolation. If your parents were cold, unemotional, and neglectful, you would have learned from an early age that there is no point in reaching out or seeking help. Your aloneness then becomes a self-sustaining cycle. It is sometimes called below average IQ (BAIQ). But you're probably pretty spectacular in some way, and definitely good enough in most areas of life. What Is High-Functioning Borderline Personality Disorder? Having been hurt so many times, you now opt to restrain your passion. Your inability to trust people and allow them in may be a shield developed against disappointment. Why work so hard to deny and resist your own suffering? There are wonderful support systems available to you, people who understand what you are going through. One of the top symptoms for this is a chronic feeling of boredom or emptiness, as well as a distorted self image. From where you are now, it may feel like enough to just get through the day. I now have a better understanding to these things that I cannot/have not found myself! No one I spoke with shared the view of this author, although I only spoke to those within easy access. BPD is chiefly an emotional disorder (with impulse control issues). Many keep it so well hidden that non-BPD friends and family do not even believe the diagnosis – how invalidating! I agree with this in theory but I am also a high-functioning borderline (with a dx), and to the outside world quite a high-functioning one at that. What is high-functioning borderline personality disorder if not a trap? There was an early rupture, separation, or abandonment, and your wound remains hidden or unhealed. You may be highly competent at work, and perhaps many look to you for leadership and advice. But you get through your days. Most information on BPD focuses on its classic symptoms but having high-functioning or "quiet" BPD could mean your suffering remains unseen and missed by most. She specializes in emotional intensity, childhood trauma, Personality Disorders and Complex PTSD. BPD is a type of ‘personality disorder’. i have been much better to my wife after reading the BPD article. The main concern I heard is that people who do have CPTSD but do not have BPD (even in its most high functioning form) will overly pathologize themselves and believe they are sicker than they are because they recognize their experience in this article. And, whereas they might not have been in the mindset or had the capacity to seek treatment the day before, on this good day, they don’t even feel the need for it. When you had dropped into a child-like mode, they did not know how to handle that and left you feeling abandoned and rejected.