Misconceptions About Borderline Personality Disorder

Hi, everybody!

I’m being interviewed by a woman who writes for Psych Central about living with BPD and my recovery process. One of the questions she’s asking me is, “What are some misconceptions about borderline personality disorder?” Even though I’m the one being interviewed, I’d like to have your input. What are some misconceptions that you’ve heard about BPD? Leave a comment! 🙂



28 Responses

  1. Misconceptions:

    We are all really manipulative.
    We all need a carer to resuce us.
    We all self-harm.
    We’re all act impulsively.
    We’re all numb to our emotions.
    We all have substance misuse problems.
    We aren’t good parents.
    We aren’t able to prioritise the needs of others above our own.
    We are all emotionally dysfunctional.
    We all need medicating.
    We are inferior to others.
    We are unloveable.
    Recovery isn’t possible.
    We all have dichotomous thinking.
    We are all highly unstable.

    • Awesome, thanks!

    • Well the one about not being able to put others above ourselves, well for me at least, it is totally wrong. Hell I haven’t put myself first in so long I don’t know if I could.

    • I really love this
      So many misconceptions out there due to ignorance and stigma
      By standing up and having a voice we become liberated and empowered and people cannot walk all over us
      We fight to set the record straight sooner or later people everywhere will hear us and realize their own biasis
      Buy dispelling the myths we are peacefully holding those who discriminate accountable

    • well my expereince is the label is used to explain self harm without looking at why it is happening, for example I went through terrible abuse that has now came to light with me reporting it to the police.
      The mental health system were blinded by the self harm and BPD and did not question whether or not I was still in an abusive relationship with my Mum, which I was, which cuased the self harm. But it is too common just to put everything down to BPD and unstable realtionships.

  2. BPD is untreatable

  3. I don’t know if this is a misconception – that the majority of people with BPD are female – but I can tell you it has been a hurdle in terms of obtaining proper treatment for myself, as a man. Case in point. I was told I could not join the BPD group at the hospital where I am receiving outpatient treatment because the group was all female and that they would not feel comfortable with a male in the group.

  4. […] Misconceptions About Borderline Personality Disorder « On The Borderline's Blog […]

  5. In addition to the ones already mentioned,

    That all BPDs are explosively angry and violent
    That getting involved with a person diagnosed as BPD is a sure disaster
    That BPD isn’t a “real” disorder, people who have it just need to pull themselves together and grow up!

  6. A common misconception is that BPD is a type of bipolar. Another common misconception is that it is not a “real” disorder.

  7. All BPD’s are immature, attention-seeking, time wasters.

    All BPD’s are emotionally & psychologically stuck.

  8. BPDFamily have the answers to that one it is so prejuduce

  9. That you can’t have a personality disorder and be self-aware – that one was from a therapist!

    That there is only one kind of manifestation of BPD.

    That DBT works for every person with BPD – I hate DBT!

  10. People with BPD are manipulative and selfish – that is SO not true!

    Some people don’t think it’s a “real” disorder.

  11. To northyorkshiresocialservices, quote

    BPD is untreatable
    All BPD’s are immature, attention-seeking, time wasters.
    All BPD’s are emotionally & psychologically stuck.

    First thing I was say maybe social services should stop vulnerable children being abused, killed and raped and keep their own houss in order! In fact maybe if you spotted the abuse I wnet through as child they maybe I would not have BPD now!

    It this kind of futile attitude of prefessional, social workers, psychiatrists CPN’s etc, that make BPD untreatable.

    Your attitude that it is untreatable means that your clients will think that is the case and give up. Therefore it is self furfilling prochephy, oh behalf of the system not the client or patient with BPD. Psychology not only applies to your charges but the indivudals that run the services themselves. This is Psychology 101!

    I have a psychology degree and a publication with leader in particular field in that particular branch of psych and I have a professor how thinks very highly of me that has been aware of my difficulties regardess of the label. They still recommend I do the PhD.

    Do you know why I can not do psychology anymore as when i left my degree to get better member of the system like that thought I was untreatable refused me atypical anti psychotic, or any medication to stabilise me, I struggled for two years and then in 2006 I went back to my degree after my Dad dying and gritted my teeth and got on with it.

    This drug I have been on since october 2008 that actually treats my implusive emotional reactions and my psychotic like illness and calms me down and enables me to live stable life. From 2004 to 2007 I was unstable and all over the place but still managed to finish my degree.

    If we follow your fualty logic that BPD is untreatable , therefore the same medication at 175mg of atypical anti psychotic for schizoprhenic person with mild symptoms like myselve and BPD, would be untreatable to if they do not take away all there psychotic symptoms?

    Yet they get services poured on them. So if you started expereincing schizoprhenia in teenager years of early twenties therefore that indivudal could be argued would be immature to?

    However it is seen as an illness, the devil is the misconceptions of BPD and the name itself, and ignorant professionals like yourselve. How does it feel to feel under attack from someone? As your statements no matter if we react badly sometimes, does not mean it is any less than an attack on another human being!

    With support from support workers, and working voluntray now and I plan to go back in Physio therapy this year.

    I also know from honest input from my support workers and my GP that I am getting better, Mainly by avioding useless futile idiots like you in the mental health teams, that like to say everything is borderline. Were it is not.

    I say to you if you really represent social services, that social services and the mental health system and psychaitry need to stop being borderline about borderline personaility disorder and grow up.

    The problem is not indiivudals with what is called borderline personailty disorder it is those professionals that have the pathetic futile way of looking at things that make us virtually untreatable!

    By labelling us as untreatable and creating conditions in which we do not get help and are left to rot and become borderline to satisfy uneducated biggoted idiots like yourselve in the social and mental health systems.

    Furhtermore the wieght of profesional opinion both in the people that publish the DSM (V) under review for 2012, and here in Scotland are against that kind of thinking. Also the current clinical guidelines under the new Mental Health Act (2003) in Scotland classify BPD as mental illness.


    • She was just saying some misconceptions that she’s heard…she wasn’t saying that’s what she believes.

    • Craig I was NOT implying I represent the comments I made, I was replying to Laurens post for misconceptions about BPD and listing them as bullets points as Lauren so rightly pointed out.

      I am NOT a biggoted idiot and am far from an idiot, I am in fact a highly intelligent, articulate, unique individual who too suffers from the affliction of BPD in addition to other co-existing conditions.

      If you look at my blog you will see I am children and family rights campaigner, not a member of social acre staff.

      It is a shame you misunderstood my comments and that you misinterpret my blog.

      If you take a look at my latest post it is about the proposal by North Yorkshire & York PCT proposals to axe one Community Mental Health Team and it’s support services in the South Sector.

      • northyorkshiresocialservices

        Sorry I misunderstood you. But what I said in general stands, Perhaps it should of not been directed towards you, sorry if I caused you any offence. I really should apologise, my bad. I am not even going to use BPD as an excuse. I am just over sensitive to seeing such comments.

        I have just realised what I been through with the stigma and lack of treatment due to BPD and having my PTSD my mixed depression and anxiety ignored, I have been truamatised by this. This made these conditions worse, which makes any BPD traits worse and harder to manage.

        It is something I have now realised after trying to start my Physiotherapy course, I have to work on my BPD personality traits. Especially learnt problematic coping mechamisms, at least time the Dept have giving me the motivation to do something about them in therapy. Been offered DBT.

        As someone that does seem to know his stuff, you will be aware of how BPD label can lead to stigma and ignorance of other potentially more serious mental illneses that run together with BPD and physical health conditions also.

        The good news is I am getting care and treatment now, and the ignorant nurses in mental health crisis teams will have their day when I meet there managers later this month.

        To discuss how to tackle the fact they think it is great idea to confornt me with problematic engagement with services when I am in crisis. When as I stated to them how can engage with system that say I have BPD but not specific in what way exactly so I would engage with therapy and services? Where talking last weekend, and they went back to 2008.

        I have a hospital appointment tomorrow and I am not looking forward to it it is for my bowels potentially imflammatory bowel or very severe IBS.

  12. Misconceptions?
    1. That it is not possible to heal from this
    2. That it is not possible to heal from this
    3. That it is not possible to heal from this

    Thanks and you go!

  13. If only more than 90 people could hear this.

  14. Id just like to say thankyou for all your comments, i am a fellow BPD sufferer and am doing a paper on the common misconceptions of personality disorders. i have found this site truley inspiring and would just like to say thankyou for all your input and hope that it is ok for me to put some of your answers in to my paper, anon of course.

  15. that theres no cure or is there
    that its sexy to have bordeline personality diorder
    where people just after attention
    we dont care for are loved ones
    we cant love

    they are the ones that keep poping up for me or the ones ive seen on blogs the one that really gets me with having bpd is that someone or person thinks its sexy to have bpd

  16. Another misconception:

    ‘That each crisis is a cry for help to illicit a care giving response rather than a true depression in which a person would really like to end the suffering of their life.’

    We all know that is most certainly not true as, some of us at some point have experienced such depths of depression and it is so despariging when others cannot understand our immense suffering.

  17. well at this point myself to end my suffering, and no point speaking to mental health they think talking to them will somehow stop this urge to do it. Then you sit and think I will not speak to them as they will just say or somehow imply it is borderline.

    But in fact admiting that serious abuse happened to me and the police are involved now, after giving them a 1 hour and 40 minute statement on Friday.

    Maybe it is about time mental asked themselfs what damage this label can do with helping someone with BPD in true crisis?

    It is a question they only ask after a tragic event and they make the same mistake time and time again.

    I will probably find a way to survive anyway but it is not the point.

  18. me and the police have had quite a few run ins in the past one officer down south absolutely hated me and told me to take my self to the top car park and jump off i dont think they really belive in mental health even when they sectioned me he was moaning that he could of been helping eveyone else out rather than me

  19. sorry to hear your experiences with the police, the police have been fantastic with me recently, however beng arrested for my own welfare in 2008 was hell treated like a criminal for having BPD. But the police made sure it will never come up on enhanced criminal check as I want to train to be a physiotherapist in the future!

  20. wow … what an interesting and informative site.It is so very sad to read that so many people have pre concived ideas about personality disorders. There is such a stigma attached to those words and so many people have limited knowledge. i wish you all the best and hope that one day people will be better informed before they do anything. xx

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