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"The Difference Between BPD And Bipolar Disorder"

By Michael Weisz

 

For today I decided to talk about a quite common ... I would say "trickiness" many BPD people are going through.

Over the past six months since I started to write the Weekly Q&A's I got countless emails from my readers writing that they have been diagnosed with bipolar but they are also "suspected" for BPD too, or that they have been diagnosed with BPD and they also might have bipolar.

For instance Rain sent me an email last week writing me that he was diagnosed with Bipolar, "and possibly BPD as well" to use his words. However the symptoms he mentioned were quick mood changes and intense irritation... So what is the right diagnosis here?

I mean, both BPD and Bipolar have mood changes, but what sets them apart? And more importantly, what is their appropriate treatment or intervention considering that both have mood changes?

On one hand, bipolar is characterized by moods changes that shift back and forth between depression and mania. In bipolar, these mood changes happen once every few weeks or months. Mainly they are caused by unbalances of the emotional hormones in the brain, like serotonin and dopamine. This is the reason why usually the outside events and stimuli rarely have significant impact on the frequency and depth of these mood changes.

These polar emotional states of Bipolar Disorder can be kept under control with medication. A correctly diagnosed BPD person can have a fairly normal life if the right medication is prescribed and with the right doses.

On the other hand, BPD has mood changes too, BUT from apparent emotional normality/balance to anger/fury or intense frustration. Also, the mood changes in BPD happen very quickly, usually in a matter of seconds or minutes. This is the first set of essential differences between BPD and Bipolar.

So if you have mood changes, and if you tend to get easily angry or frustrated, this could be a major signal that it might be BPD, not bipolar.

Moreover, the anger/intense irritation episodes are usually followed by impulsive behaviors, sometimes violent acts, and even paranoid symptoms during the time frame when the intense distress is on.

Another main difference between BPD and bipolar is that the episodes of intense anger last only a few hours or days at the most. The BPD mood changes are highly reactive to outside events and stimuli.

Authentic BPD sufferers who are treated with medication usually experience alleviated symptoms, but only for as long as they take the pills. If they stop taking them, they shortly start manifesting again anger, impulsivity, the inner void, the emotional pain. This happens because the REAL CAUSES of BPD cannot be "treated" with medication. The REAL CAUSES of BPD are represented by a set of self-defeating thoughts that have become automatic over many years. So the REAL treatment for BPD can only made up by techniques and strategies that help the BPD sufferer RELEARN his/her perceptions of self, of people in general, and about the world.

So using just this information you can have a fairly clear idea whether you have BPD or bipolar.

From my experience I can tell you that there are small chances for a person to have both BPD and bipolar at the same time. Why? Because their specific types of symptoms tend to "eliminate" one another from the equation. A BPD is almost always anxious, worried, tense, while bipolar people are either depressed or maniac.

For instance a depressed person is unlikely to get angry in just a few second like BPD people do (unless you are in the "Detached Protector Pitfall" or "Abandoned and Vulnerable Child Pitfall"). Also, maniac people are "too" optimistic, a mental and emotional state that is incompatible with getting angry in just a few seconds.

When you'll do the self-analysis to determine whether you have BPD or Bipolar, take into account the last 6 to 12 months. Try to remember what was the dynamic of your emotions over that period of time, and look for patterns, for emotions and manifestations that tend to repeat over time. Draw your conclusions based on these patterns.

This is it for this week's Q&A.

But if you want to take your healing from BPD on the fast track, my "Borderline Personality Begone!" Program is what you need. It is the program that can make your BPD-free in the next 1-2 months. It contains the exact step-by-step system that I used to treat my BPD. This is what makes me to be sure that it will help you too.

Get all the details here: "Borderline Personality Begone!"

Talk to you soon,
Michael


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