9 Tips on How to Recognize Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

The proverb: “No good deed goes unpunished” is a good introduction to understanding the much misunderstood condition known as borderline personality disorder. Any personality disorder is a fixed, lasting pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that usually leads the person into emotionally and/or physically dangerous situations.

I’ve been treating a 43-year-old woman for 20 years. Because of our long-term history, one would think that she would know and trust me. However, the complexity of BPD became very clear when I volunteered to go with her to help her interpret the results after her uterine cancer was removed. She was scheduled to get a follow-up visit with her ob-gyn doctor, but she was so terrified of what she’d hear that she couldn’t bring herself to go. I was in the hospital that day so I offered to stop by during her visit and help my patient deal with whatever results she obtained. She said she was grateful and would go if I were present.

That day I went into the ob-gyn’s office with her and sat across from the doctor who reported great news that the patient was cancer-free. I nodded happily and felt good for her and the positive results. Out in the hallway, out of the other doctor’s hearing range, my patient yelled and cried.

“You colluded with her! I can’t believe how you doctors were so self-satisfied. You didn’t even consider me. You and that doctor talked down to me like I was a moron!”

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