Borderline Personality Disorder (desc & diagnostic crite

Often those with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) work to keep sets of friends from meeting or knowing one another due to the fear that by talking with each other they will find out that the BPD not only isn’t who they say they are, but is a “bad” person. Friendships often don’t last for extremely long times and usually combust in anger.

BPDs start their romantic relationships by trying to be everything they think their partner wants in a life partner. They adopt the interests and views of those around them, sometimes even appearing to be more passionate about those interests than the people they are copying themselves. Unfortunately, trying to keep up this false personna is an effort and over time, BPDs lash out in rage as their self control slips.

Diagnostic Criteria for BPD from the DSM IV:
BPD is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotion, as well as marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1.)Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (e.g. if you start to leave the relationship, they either become ‘perfect’ or they lash out in anger.)

2.) A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by extremes between idealization and devaluation (i.e. “I love you, you’re wonderful” vs “I hate you, you’re a terrible person, no one else would put up with you”)

3.) Identity disturbance: Markedly or persistently unstable self-image or sense of self (e.g. change appearance often, change careers often, gain and dismiss friendships frequently.)

4.) Impulsive behavior in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

5.) Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-harming behavior (e.g. cutting, bulimia, anorexia, etc.)

6.) Emotional instability in reaction to day-to-day events (e.g., intense episodic sadness, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

7.) Chronic feelings of emptiness (bored, have no purpose, no worth, social detachment, etc.)

8.) Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

9.) Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms (e.g. feeling like their spouse is having an affair, no one cares about them, etc. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated.)

Another resource article is at bpdcentral_com/images/Ihateyou.pdf

All sounds too familar. Now if it was only easy to prove!

Yes, and it’s also the unfortunate nature of the illness that most who have it will never be treated for it. It’ll wreak havoc on all their friendships and romantic relationships, however, their issues are always someone else’s fault because it is too painful to acknowledge that there might be an illness there.

We have suspected for sometime this is BM’s issue but she won’t go talk to anyone because as she puts it “she’s smarter than the doctor’s”.

Everything is ALWAYS someone else’s fault. I hope for the childrens sake she gets the help she needs.

Yep. If someone tells you about how this BF/GF abused them, and then another one did something terrible to them, and yet a third, and so on…there’s ONE common denominator there…THAT PERSON who is telling you about how all their BFs/GFs abused them or took advantage of them. Some people choose abusers because it is what they are comfortable with, but many others are the source of their own problem and not the BF/GF they accuse of treating them poorly.

In my BFs case, his Ex talked so much about how her earlier BFs abused her and mistreated her. Funny, but she’s now accused my BF of the same exact things. And, horribly enough, although I know for a fact they aren’t true about my BF, they ARE true about her. She accused him of being physically and psychologically abusive, however, I’ve been with him for a while now and he’s not either, yet I’ve seen her become violent and she has been nothing but psychologically abusive towards him. (Both his family and his friends confirm this too, so it’s not just my observations.) BPDs like to project their own faults on to others a fair amount.

Unfortunately, I see some of the same manipulative behaviors in some of the kids. I pray that they won’t end up with BPD themselves. I don’t think the boy will, but I worry for the girl. It is also sad that because mom is so afraid of abandonment, she has pretty much made the kids helpless to look after themselves. It will be a very rude awakening for them when they go to college because their roommates will most likely be put in the position of pointing out to them that they’ll have to carry their own weight. It’ll be traumatic for us because the mother will probably flip and wreak havoc with the kids as well as us when empty nest sets in.

She sounds EXACTLY like BM!

I came across a blog when googling “psycho ex wife” , sad there are so many of them out there and sad still that the court system doesn’t see it.

Who is BM?

BM commonly stands for biomom or biological mother.

Hey my wife was diagnosed with BPD. My 13 marriage, now ending, has been pure hell. Constant verbal abuse. I actually used the term back in the late 90’s that I felt like I was always walking on eggshells around her, then I found the book, Stop Walking on Eggshells. It was like reading a biography. She has had multiple affairs and is now an alcoholic.

The switching they do is so maddening. One minute you are the greatest, the next you are the worst.

I can say yes to all 9 of the criteria with a pretty long list of examples for each. The jealousy also was insane. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV or go to the grocery store because I might see a pretty girl (even the magazine racks, sigh). I would go from the greatest dad alive, to a terrible father in the blink of an eye.

And through all of this, the amount of self-centeredness was insane. Her affairs were little “mistakes” and everyone makes “mistakes”, but if I forgot to call her in the morning to say “hi” the world was coming to an end.

Sadly the prognosis for BPD is grim, very grim. :frowning: Only those who really really want to get better and acknowledge their problem will. And its a huge effort.

Yes, my wife has “always been abused” by every man she has ever been with. She is a continual liar as well. She did have a very rough childhood, alcoholic parents, mom’s boyfreinds who sexually abused her, given up for adoption, etc.

Don’t get me started about the jealousy. Husband’s ex made him throw away every picture of every female in his collection, even those who he never dated. She also used to stalk him at work, even to the point of leaving the kids unattended at home to come spy on him while he was working late or at professional meetings. At one point when they were separated, she accused him of having affairs with both women AND men! Not true of course, but it was just the insanity talking.

BPD is so hard on the spouses, because the one with the disorder is really good at manipulation and warping reality when they choose to do it. For the spousal victim, it can take a long time to recover from such an entanglement.

I’m sorry. Hopefully yours will get a BF and pipe down. (We used to joke about paying people to date my husband’s ex just so she’d not be harrassing us.) Sometimes they still don’t quite let go, but usually getting that fix of having a romantic attachment calms their anxiety.

We are at a loss and feeling very helpless. Is there any help for my husband’s children, my stepchildren? The BM has been diagnosed with BPD, and it’s untreated. We share 50/50 custody. Not only does she have it, her mother and father have diagnosed and “sometimes treated” mental health issues. She dumps the children on her unhealthy parents on her weekends and lies to us about it.

She is constantly lying, teaching the 3 and 5 year old to lie (of which we have many recordings), emotionally and mentally abusing the children, providing no structure/consistency/schedule for the children, medicating them without discussion, lying to the teachers, co-parenting therapist, children’s therapists, etc. We are so scared for the children. Everything is about her and how things make her feel and never about the children. She is very manipulative and convincing to those that do not know her. It’s scary and we are sick about it.

What can we do, short of paying $10 of $1,000s for court-ordered psychological evaluations, of which we do not have? Is it worth getting social services involved to evaluate her? The children need a solid, safe, structured enviroment to thrive. They need protection from her and her family. We are the only chance they have, and we don’t know what to do.
Please help!

My ex-boyfriend is like this. No wonder we didn’t last.

Wow does this hit close to home. My wife told me mid-January that she wanted to get separated. I had to go to a doctor because it felt like she died. I lost 40 lbs. and started getting anxiety, which I had never had before and damn if that isn’t crippling! I subsequently hired a private investigator which caught her with three different men over a three month period (one of them at our home, while our 4 kids were there sleeping).

Her own mom and stepdad, my doctor and the therapist I spoke with, all believe she has had undiagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder with borderline tendencies since she was a kid. She’s lied to me, all three guys, her family, her friends, her lawyer and herself (in her journal, which I found while looking for her wedding rings).

Its spooky because I always thought that maybe my memory was poor or that there was something wrong with me. All she ever said about it (after 8 years of marriage and 12 years of being together) was “sorry I hurt you.” She doesn’t even resemble the woman I married, like in the last year all of these traits, while there but subtle, really manifested themselves in a crazy 34 year old mid-life crisis.

She is more ticked off that I violated her privacy by hiring an investigator than she is remorseful about how her behavior affects the family. She of course has attempted to make everything difficult since I “outed” her and filed complaints for primary physical custody and divorce from bed and board. She’s now attempting to get her 2nd extension to answer the complaints, which I hope she doesn’t get because having her in the house really is making my “life burdensome”.

Unfortunately, its unlikely that she’ll ever seek counseling, and she’ll try to make my life as difficult as possible, likely forever. More importantly, I already see “the blank look” come across our oldest daughter’s face when she’s confronted about something she’s done wrong. Hoping that my STBX’s traits aren’t being passed down.

Good luck to all of us!



You need a new doctor and a new therapist. By all ethical rights neither can diagnose or give a “suspected diagnosis” without first speaking to the person because there are always 2 sides to every story and the truth usually falls right in the middle.

Both docs made sure to note that it was an “opinion” based solely on what I was telling them. Under no circumstances were either of them issuing diagnosis. It just lended a little credence to what several people on both sides of the family already thought…


FWIW, I posted the original post on BPD. It was more for self-protection than clinical diagnosis and was definitely not meant to be used as a weapon against the STBX.

Borderlines can “turn on the sugar” when there is something to be gotten for it, only to explode later from anger. It’s even worse during a divorce where they have to face true abandonment. It is not uncommon for a BPD STBX act as though they are cooperating in a divorce proceeding only to change colors in the actual courtroom and go completely on the offense in an attempt to get even for being hurt.

Wow… My husband was Diagnosed by 3 different therapists for this mental disorder. Each time he found a new therapist he would come home and tell me his therapist thought I was the one with the disorder. Nothing like blame shifting! The first time he was diagnosed he was receptive to getting help, but soon he was blaming the Doc for being controlling and trying to “change” him. He felt he was “labeled incorrectly”. Then a year later he saw a new one, this time refusing to take anti-depressants, and after 3 weeks, he was told the same thing. That lasted 2 months. Then after leaving me for another woman he later ended (or she did) the relationship and he claimed with all his heart it would be different this time. He loved me and was going to get help. Well… now steps in therapist number 3. This time he did not disclose any previous counseling. Guess what? Same diagnosis. So, of course he stopped going entirely.
Although my heart loves and cares for him after such a long relationship, this time for me, I will not go through any more abuse, (he self harms too) manipulation,betrayal or threats and OH THE LIES!
Wow… he is great at lying. One of the best… I just hope one day, he really gets the medical emotional help he needs. I also hope, the person that was discussed in this topic also receives the help she needs. Mental illness really can be a family shredder if not treated. My heart breaks to see love between two people die, and eventually like an invisible plague, it spreads through the family. Family, friends, children, all find themselves choosing sides. Marriage shouldn’t be like this… ever