1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
2. Patterns of relationships that are intense and unstable; repeated tendencies to shift between extremes of loving and hating another person. This is referred to as splitting, people with BPD have difficulty experiencing two feeling states at one time. An example would be that some is all bad and ungiving versus all good and idealized. It may happen without any provocation or even any interaction.
I've seen this happen over the years with different family members and not to an extreme sense with her partner. It has also been demonstrated in her work in the medical field.
4. Impulsive, often reckless, self-harming behaviors in areas such as substance abuse, binge eating, overspending, promiscuous sex, reckless driving, shoplifting, etc. All of these are addictive behaviors and temporarily fill the emptiness. There is a very high connection between BPD and substance abuse.
Denial can be quite powerful as I completely thought of her behavior as normal and not problematic in this area. I believe that she eats emotionally. She has always spent beyond her means and has had serious consequences as a result. She definitely has had problems with road rage to a point that she really scares me. Also, all the family tells of the incident where she became so enraged with her brother that she threw a knife at him intending to kill him...denial what a concept.
5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior. The suicide rate is high for this disorder at 8%-10% of those diagnosed with BPD. People with BPD have many, many, many periods of overwhelming uncontrollable emotional pain. Self-mutilation is a coping mechanism used to release or manage these emotions. Usually they are feelings of shame, anger, sadness and abandonment. Self-mutilation may release the body’s own opiates, known as beta-endorphins. These chemicals lead to a general feeling of well being. Self-mutilation may include, but is not limited to cutting, burning, breaking bones, head banging, needle poking, skin scratching, pulling out hairs, and ripping off scabs – all without suicidal intent.
To my knowledge this does not seem to fit her, but I don't know her as well as I thought.
6. Frequent mood swings and intense emotional reactions, irritability or anxiety of changing duration – anywhere from a few hours to a few days. A Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde situation with switching from happy and loving to furious, fearful, or depressed within hours or less. Often, the person himself doesn’t remember–or claims not to remember-what was said or done during this state. When most people feel bad, they can take steps to feel better. They can also control, to some extent, how much their moods affect their relationships with others. People with BPD have difficulty doing this.
7. Ongoing or frequent feelings of being hollow, empty or fake; chronic feelings of emptiness. People with BPD commonly report a deep sense of boredom or a profound emptiness, which is why they may turn to drugs or alcohol, become obsessed with money and possession, or harm themselves. Lacking a strong core, a sense of self they can trust, they feel out of control and dependent upon others, forever victimized. Despite their sometimes larger than life, hard to ignore exterior, those with BPD are sometimes described by loved ones and clinicians as seeming hollow and as putting up a façade.
I think that she fills herself with her relationship with her partner who basically gives her a role to play, just as she did with my mother and myself.
I think that some of things that I've already mentioned fit this criteria. Additionally, at work, they know her as very sweet, a hard worker, patient with others and gets along well. However, the whole family speaks of her TEMPER and she is extremely sarcastic!!!
I generally think that she mistrusts others and is protective of herself mostly when not necessary.
In general, ironically, I am disconnecting and becoming numb writing this. It is painful to realize that she really has pushed me out of her life and that her above behavior is actually problematic and that she doesn't even realize it. Her partner reinforces this by not seeing my aunt as having problems...it is always someone else's responsibility or that it is just circumstances.