borderline personality disorder test
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6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
(When I felt triggered, it was so intense that it would sometimes last for several days. During this time I would act out and then feel enormous shame and guilt. This is because my emotions were so high, not because I didn’t care. I cared more than anyone you’ve ever met. Ever. -Tami)
The first affective criterion is the presence of “affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood … that lasts hours to rarely more than a few days.”These frequent mood changes may appear to overlap with bipolar disorder, but there are several clear distinctions. First, the duration of the fluctuations is shorter than in bipolar disorder. In bipolar disorder, mood changes must remain consistent and persist for at least 4 days to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode and 7 days for a manic episode.
A second difference is the persistence of affective lability throughout life, rather than during a discrete mood episode. Moreover, symptoms of borderline personality disorder gradually improve with time. In contrast, bipolar disorder has discrete periods (lasting on average 3 months) for both mania and depression that cause patients to present and function distinctly differently from their baseline, and these episodes can occur at any point during a patient’s life.
(This one is key to understand. -Tami) 👉 The third difference is reactivity of mood. The mood symptoms of patients with borderline personality disorder are triggered by external events and are particularly sensitive to perceived rejection, failure and abandonment. Moods usually shift between depression and anger, and euphoria is transient. Shifts between depression and euphoria are more frequently seen in bipolar disorder. Most of the data on affective lability are derived from ecological momentary assessment studies, in which patients are asked to record mood fluctuations and psychosocial stressors several times each day. This technique provides results that are consistent, different and more valid than when patients are asked at a later point to recall their experiences.* According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition by the American Psychiatric Association, this is one of the nine criteria used to diagnosis BPD.
Conclusion: In recovery, these intense periods start to fade in intensity, duration and frequency. Mine usually lasted about three days. I no longer suffer in this way. There really is hope! I promise 🙏.
"Tami Green…is to be applauded for her banner of hope… that a happy, meaningful life with BPD is possible."
— PERRY HOFFMAN, PHD
PRESIDENT, THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ALLIANCE FOR BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (NEA-BPD)
"Tami is supportive of others, listens carefully, and provides excellent information”
— ANTHONY W. BATEMAN, MD
CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST IN PSYCHOTHERAPY AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON