What is Borderline Personality Disorder? | Kati Morton

What is Borderline Personality Disorder? | Kati Morton

Hey, everyone! This week’s video is coming by popular demand. Borderline Personality Disorder, eating disorders and self-harm, how do they relate? So stay tuned towards the end of the video ’cause I’m gonna give you the dirty little secret about therapy. ^(soft piano music plays) So I know a lot of you have asked me about Borderline Personality Disorder or otherwise known as BPD, which is easier for me to say, to be honest, ’cause Borderline Personality Disorder’s like (mumbles) I’ll probably mess it up. So BPD is something that a lot of us struggle with. We may have been told by one person that we’re diagnosed with it or we have BPD-like symptoms. And a lot of us just wonder: “What the heck does that mean? “And if I do have it, “why does everybody act “like it’s such a bad thing?” Right? Now, just to give you a little background on what Borderline Pers. Disorder is, it’s really, in my opinion, it’s our mind’s way of coping with things. And I’m going to read to you a little bit of the DSM, so that you know, when someone says you may have BPD-like symptoms or you actually have BPD, what they’re really talking about. Okay? And I’ll try to make this very clear and concise ’cause a lot of times people throw words around that don’t really pertain to us. And I want to make sure you understand what BPD really is. So the DSM states that we have to have 5 or more of the following. And this the older DSM ’cause the new one isn’t quite out yet. So when the new one comes out, I’ll get it and then we’ll see if there’s any changes, but I don’t think there is to this. So the first one and the one I’ve talked about before in another one of my videos ^is frantic efforts to avoid real ^or imagined abandonment. ^This was in my Fear of Abandonment video. ^And this one is probably the most common that I see in borderline patients. But like I said, you have to have 5 or more. That’s only 1. ^The second: A pattern of unstable ^or intense interpersonal relationships ^characterized by alternating between ^extremes of idealization and devaluation. Now, in the therapy world we talk about people putting us on a pedestal or throwing us under the bus. So you either love me or you just hate my guts and you wish I go away. Right? It’s that extreme up and down. That’s usually… What people will notice first is that because they’re in relationships with you. So if you’re hating them and loving them in 2 days, they’re like: “Oh!” You know? And that can be really hard. Now, the third one is identity disturbance ^markedly and persistently unstable ^self-image or sense of self. Now we’re all like: “Wow. Well, “that applies to a lot of people”. And that’s why you have to have at least 5 of these. But I think that one point is why it’s so linked to eating disorders. Okay? Because we don’t think very highly of ourselves. We have a very distorted vision of who we are and what we’re about. That can lead to a lot of other things Like eating disorders, right? ^And the next one is impulsivity ^and at least to 2 areas ^that are potentially self-damaging. This can be anything from spending habits, like we’ll go on spending sprees or it could be sex where we have sex with a bunch of different strangers and it’s not really, we’re not safe about it and we just act impulsively. Right? It can be any kind of thing like that. I think in here they say… Yes, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating. So again, connected to eating disorders. Right? Then the next one, the fifth one ^is recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures ^or threats, or self-mutilating behavior. Now, this was my frustration with the new DSM ’cause self-mutilating behavior or self-harm doesn’t just occur when we have Borderline Pers. Disorder but the DSM only puts it in here. So we’ll work on that. Right? But a lot of us struggle with suicide and I find with my Borderline patients, many of them use suicide and suicidal ideation as a way to work on that abandonment because they’re afraid someone’s gonna run away, so then we act out and we say: “Well, I’m gonna commit suicide or I’m gonna hurt myself”. And that gets people back in our lives. Right? And that makes sense. I can see the connection. Can’t you? So that’s kind of how that’s used. ^The sixth thing is effective instability ^due to a marked reactivity of mood. ^So this is like, ^you’re intensely irritable or anxiety. It usually lasts a couple of hours, so our mood is just unstable. It’s all over the place. I might be really happy one minute and then really mad and sad the next. It’s like: “Aaah!” It’s all over and it feels really crazy. So that, but it doesn’t usually last more than a couple of hours, at the most a day. If it lasts longer than that, then it might be Bipolar, which I’ll talk about in another video. Let’s not get distracted. Okay? On to the next one! ^So #7 is chronic feelings of emptiness. And I know we’re all thinking: “Well shit, Kati. I feel like that. “That’s me. Ugh!” But remember we have to have 5 of these. You may feel like a lot of these pertain to you. “Oh, I can really connect with that”. And that’s why you may have heard: “Oh, you have Borderline tendencies or Borderline-like symptoms”. Right? ‘Cause we don’t meet all the criteria. So that was the seventh. There’s 2 more. I’m almost done. ^Now the eighth is inappropriate intense ^anger or difficulty controlling anger. Now this is, I feel like a lot of these kind of go hand in hand with the eating disorders and self-harm. You know how I just talked about in my PTSD video how we’re anger out or we’re anger in? Well, this is saying that we have inappropriate intense anger. So we really don’t have a place to put it and we don’t really know why it’s there, but we feel it and it’s bad and, you know? So that’s another way it relates. ^The last one is transient stress-related ^paranoia or paranoid ideation ^or severe dissociative symptoms. Now, that also kind of goes in line with my PTSD video, because remember how I talked about the ways that we kind of deal with a situation and some of us can actually dissociate. I’m trying to think of what I’d even talk- My binge! When I talked about binging and Bulimia when you’re kind of in an out-of-body experience, like: “I can’t handle this. I’m stepping out!” And you, like watch yourself doing stuff. That’s kind of what dissociation is because we’re too intense. Everything is too intense that we can’t even be present, like fully present in the moment. Okay? So that’s what Borderline Pers. Disorder is and you can see how it ties into our self-harm behaviors and our eating disorders. But remember we have to meet 5 of those criteria to be properly diagnosed and we may go in and out. We may meet some sometimes and some not the other times, but that gives you an idea of what it is. Now the dirty little secret of therapy and kind of something that I think is really important for you to know. I feel like many therapists might be like: “Oh, thank God! Somebody’s finally “telling people this” because I know a lot of you tell me all the time: “Yeah! I keep getting passed around”. And people will say: “I don’t really deal with that”. And we don’t know what to do! We’re like: “Holy moly! I’ve been looking “for therapy forever “and I finally get to see somebody “and then you’re like ‘I don’t see you’ “Great! Thanks for nothing!” Right? And it’s really frustrating. That can happen a lot. And that even perpetuates our struggle with abandonment if we are Borderline. Right? We’re like: “Holy moly!” So why does that happen? Why? Why do we feel like we’re so like the black sheep? And that’s really because even in school as a therapist they tell us how difficult it is to treat someone with Borderline Personality Disorder. I almost feel like, yeah, they should let us know. But instead of saying that and just making it like: “You don’t want “a lot of Borderline patients! “They’re really hard to deal with!” And yeah, because you’re volatile. Your mood’s all over the place. You feel completely out of control. You’re afraid people are gonna hurt you and you want to hurt yourself. I mean, it makes sense. Right? But as a therapist I’m not afraid of Borderline patients. It’s really not that hard to deal with and that’s why, to be honest, why I tell you all get a DBT workbook. Join a DBT group. DBT which stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is the best thing. It’s the saving grace for people who struggle with Borderline because it helps us get in control of our emotions a little bit more instead of feeling like they control us. So that extreme fear of abandonment, the mood volatility, the suicidal ideation and all of those characteristics, that intense anger, can all be calmed. We recognize it coming in. We can feel it. We use our Mindfulness. There’s a lot of techniques that they use and it can kind of bring us back down. So that’s why people avoid Borderline and people get a bad stigma, and it’s really not so bad. We just have to work together. We need to get our DBT workbook. We need to start working on it. I know it’s hard and it’s intense. You feel it and ah! Right? But then we’re calmer. We feel better. And therapists will be more willing to work with you. I just hate that it’s given such a bad rep but people don’t talk about it. They don’t let us know. They don’t tell you other than: “We won’t see you anymore” or “I need to refer you out”. That just makes us feel like shit. Right? So that’s kind of a little insight into why that happens. So I hope that makes sense and I hope that that kind of clarifies what BPD is, why it’s given a bad rep, how we’re diagnosed with it and how we can work on it. So hop online! There’s a great workbook for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy by Marsha Linehan. She’s the one who did all of the research on DBT. She’s actually the one who I think even coined the phrase “DBT Therapy”. Check it out! Take time! Look into it. Look into DB… (mumbles) See? (mumbles) DBT groups in your area. We can get a hold of this. We can work together. And then we can get the help that we need. Right? So stay tuned for my next videos. Don’t forget to subscribe. Give us a thumbs up if you like it. I plan on covering this topic more and I want to make sure if you like this topic and you want more. You give me a thumbs up and let me know ’cause I will take that into consideration when I’m putting together my next video, as we work towards a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

100 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I went to amazon to look for a DBT workbook but the market is flooded with bad reprints.. what is the copy I should be looking for or, do they all do relatively the same thing? Please answer, something has to change in my life and this is my only option right now.. I need to start this ASAP

  2. Can this be related to people having large amounts of parasites in GI tract. The parasites cause the body to release neurotoxins blocking those from connecting with their brain appropriately and not having ability to gain identity as they should. I believe that it all comes back to gut whether parasites, heavy metals, or other toxins found in environment that our bodies cannot get out of GI tract that block our detox pathways. I genuinely believe this. I know of a family member who detoxed parasites and detoxed body doing enemas and stuff and they are a different person. It’s been years now and they are so stable and have their identity. Now my sister won’t do this detox stuff and I have to just put up with her issues it’s frustrating and sad so I’m trying to understand why she acts the way she acts. I believe these parasites which are passed down maternally or through sex partners cause a great deal of mental health issues.

  3. Is this the book…there was nothing listed on katimorton.com...that i could find.

    Marsha M. Linehan

    DBT® Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition

    Second Edition, (Spiral-Bound Paperback) Edition
    ISBN-13: 978-1572307810, ISBN-10:1572307811

  4. I feel like I have all of them to an extent. Is that bad?? My therapist doesn’t talk about my diagnosis ever so I’m not sure. But a lot of what Kati said made sense to how I feel.

  5. Hello Kati, I was wondering if you could make a video about bpd directed towards family and friends of those who suffer from bpd? This video offers a lot of information but it does not describe the everyday struggle of someone suffering from bpd. I have tried several times to explain to my loved ones what is bpd and how it effects me but they always brush it off as if its normal. For example, I tried to explain to someone that I have extreme mood swings on a day to day basis. They said " oh that's normal, almost everyone has depression these days, I also get depressed when something bad happens". I said exactly, you feel sad or angry as a result of something bad happening to u, sometimes there is no reason for me to feel these emotions. I also tried to tell them that I have a big anger issue and I can explode on anyone at anytime without a legitimate reason. It is hard to control it. My friend responded that its normal. "I get anger as well, so does everyone else. Its not a big deal". If you could interview 2-3 people who suffer from bpd and ask them to talk about their day to day struggle than maybe my family and friends can understand that bpd is a disorder and not a normal behavior. Perhaps you can talk about it using examples but I feel someone who struggles from it can explain it better. Especially self-harm and why we do it. I know I do it to feel something when im numb emotionally. Thank you for raising mental health awareness.

  6. I have the DSM. Borderline Personality Disorder to me is multisymptomatic of many disorders ranging from mild to severe. It can be cultivated environmentally like Bipolar or PTSD with little traumas and stress that ultimately imprint on the individual as triggers or the manifestation of clinical symptoms.

  7. Something to add…having these symptoms don't mean you have BPD. You MUST have had significant trauma in your life. If you just think "well I feel this way" you need to do some self-examination as to why or reach out to a therapist and delve into what traumatic abuse you've gone through but are ignoring/minimizing.

  8. Question for you. I strongly believe I have DBT and probably anxiety and depression too (not diagnosed but am seeing a psychologist.) I have recently been diagnosed with cancer and this has ramped up everything to an extreme level. I am trying my hardest to work as much as possible because I believe it helps me. However, I am a trainer. I train first aid and have not trained since my diagnosis due to lack of confidence more than anything. I have a massive fear of failure too. I also feel that my manager IS supportive deep down toward my cancer but he's starting to think I have a mental health issue too. That scares me. He says he's looking out for the signs therefore I feel scared to breath almost at work. I don't want to be told stay at home because I know that'll destroy me, I'd never go back and I'd end up leaving a job I love which will devastate me asides the fact that it'll probably upset my manager and the team because my manager told me just yesterday he wants to see the me he knows and loves back. My manager has got a history!!!! He was a foster child and people tell me he's turned his life around. He tells me that he 'wont blur the lines' and that he's my manager and I'm a paid employee and he isn't a therapist. Yet he will sit with me having very personal discussions with me during work time. He's also said that he doesn't know if his boss is telling HR to tell him he needs to stop spending so much time with me. So his support feels inconsistent sometimes. I can't help feeling like there's more to it and my situation is hitting a nerve for him. I so badly want him to understand me. I can see the effect my situation is having on him. He's lost weight and keeps getting run down/colds. I don't want to stress him out because I care about his wellbeing. How can I help him, help me? Or has he accepted that he can't and won't.

  9. When she says you need 5 of these symptoms to be diagnosed with BPD and she's up to 9 and your brain is thinking…

  10. I feel like a freak. I was seeing someone and as soon as he saw I cut he left. It made it so much worse. I tried a workbook and I had a hard time trying to do this by myself. Please continue with this topic. Your wonderful you help me not to feel like I am alone in this

  11. I've tried to bring this up to my father and his words were ," listen mickaela, you DONT want this disorder. People with borderline personality disorder are VERY difficult to deal with." "You think you know everything just because you looked at videos." That was after I said it felt like he was talking about it as if he knew everything. I felt belittled. It's the most frustrating thing ever and he wonders why I dont come to him for things. Just because you dont "see" it happening doesnt mean the person doesnt have whatever it is.

  12. Does anyone else find themselves laughing like who ever you're with at the time or that day? I catch myself doing this all the time, and then I don't know how I actually laugh

  13. At the end of the day – the only person who can help you is yourself. There’s so many great books but awful therapists.

  14. My mom has diagnosed BPD and I show symptoms of it and have a eating disorder, how would i know that i actually have it and im not just moody?

  15. I have bpd but i dont threaten to kill myself to get people to stay.
    I used to be clingy but i'm forcing myself to stop with that bullshit.
    if I care about someone for real, my disorder doesn't work on them.

    I know all people with BPD are different.

  16. Interestingly as one with BPD, I’ve had the constant need to drastically change my style and image. I’ve been a chameleon all my life and to many people I am a different person, depends what clique I’m absorbing at the moment. Can’t say I really know for sure what my true self is. It’s amazing how good you get at blending into groups.

    I’m not sure I understand the feeling of emptiness that is associated with us. I have many strong emotions and feel a lot of them often. Sometimes I feel absolutely lost and I get depressed but I wouldn’t describe it as empty. Anyone care to clear it up?

  17. A previous therapist mentioned bpd but chalked it up to bipolar thats what they told me and my mom i am diagnosed with a mood disorder and take a low dose medication i tried getting a therapist for months from them but i never received one i need to find someone and sort my shit 🙃

    I love this girl 🙂

  18. Unfortunately, BPD-symptomatic people dont give us enough time to help them. By the time we, us people who care about them, realize and understand their illness, they are gone. Many of the symptoms are either random or they are hidden. Once you realize, there's actually something wrong with her, you go into investigative mode by reading, watching videos, etc. Months go by and the relationship roller coaster keeps going. Finally, after sharing a really nice unremarkable weekend, she is gone. Forever. I have come to terms with the fact that I didnt abandon her, she pushed me away. BPD people need to learn to connect their actions, and how those actions impact their relationships.

  19. People should never pretend or act out suicide, I really can't emphasize this.

    I told the hospital I was suicide and the police took me back to a 3 story flat.

    I broke my back.

    Blpd is not fun it's something most people dont understand.

    I've listened to what you've said but you have to have blpd to understand that everyone who suffers mental health is not a one drug/talk or a wellbeing course fix

    I've been under cmht for over 11 years.

    Get blpd recover from it then post a YouTube video with true meaning.

    Put the book down

    I was abused as a kid by children.

    YouTube students with nothing but reading experience.

    How many more really. ????????

  20. Another Student posting for a degree.

    I know more on human behaviour from trauma than you could even imagine

    Drop you study books and case sleeves, I really don't get how someone can pretend to know trauma impact and or the mental side effects of the above by reading a book. ???????.

    Not a clue.

    No I am not going to type what I've been through.

    I won't give you student course work.

  21. There is NO cure!!!!! How can you find a therapist who deals with this when you live in a hick town? I've had this since I was a young teenager, I'm now 52 years old. And my live is a living HELL!!!!!

  22. I experience all of these symptoms and I don't know how to start getting help with it. I hate that I love the people I'm in a relationship with one second and then I'm mad at them for no reason. I feel terrible but I have a very hard time controlling myself.

  23. Always having to apologise even though I can't do very much and trying to explain why I'm mad but not actually if that makes sense.

  24. Put the book down.

    Go through it, you would not be able to post a video online due to massive emotional issues.

    DBT ??? What's with the WE.

    Shut up. BTW it's called Emotional Personality Disorder Now.

  25. I have every symptom you said. Going to my 3rd therapy appointment today. I don’t want to go, but I’m making myself…

  26. You left out so much. Especially that their is a quite a long spectrum of BPD. I hear you say how hard it is treating people with BPD, but those of us who have it are suffering way more. You couldn't survive a day in my head or body.

  27. 😳😳😒🖐️ nope all personalities in order down here 👇👈 we all object to YouTube project on my mind were all in Afight mode👍👌

  28. Love her honesty… Just browsing through the comments though wondering what is the ratio of Young girls VS men of all ages, is this a sexism thing ''men are not allowed to talk about their emotions''?

  29. Omg you totally get it and are so cool. I’m really happy to have found you.
    Note I need to find these workbooks you’re talking about.

  30. I find it funny how many people in here THINK they have it . I have had it since 1994 and did not believe the doctors when they told me I had it . I did not read a book and say that sounds like me.

    Its horrible to live with it. Stop thinking you have it and be thankful that you don't have it .

  31. I’m still trying to understand BPD after watching many videos, and I feel like I can’t get a real grasp or proper answer.

    I wonder if I have BPD, but I don’t really relate to all the things that are mentioned of it.

    For example, I feel like I have no real place, purpose or identity. I mirror peoples behaviours, though not all of the time (if they have a strong personality).

    Abandonment I don’t feel I have that feeling, I don’t really have unstable relationships or class that I do because I am capable of having very healthy long standing relationships. Except I lose friends because I push them away because of my anxiety – I’ve been working on treating it.

    I don’t know some of these I feel like a relate to when I am depressed, inactive or not treating my anxiety.

    The ONLY thing that really feels like a permanent fixture to me is I feel empty 100% of the time, even when I’m happy. I don’t feel like I have purpose or reason to live. Like everything is always a distraction until death.

    I don’t know if it’s unresolved depression/anxiety on a deeper level. But I feel like something is wrong and I can’t quite relate 100% to anything

  32. I know it is most likely no one with respond, as this video has been out for a long while BUT…If I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Depression, Major Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD, could it be possible that I actually just have BPD? I dont feel like I have the correct diagnoses, and i feel like this might be why. I relate to every single criteria, to the point that my boss has actually said "I dont know what to do with you, because every time you approach me you act like a completely different person." How do I go about getting a proper diagnosis?

  33. I'm glad you're putting these out here. I'm trying to keep an open mind and be understanding but I was verbally and emotionally abused by someone with BPD and CPTSD. Am I a terrible person for wanting to not get involved with someone with those diagnosis out of fear that I'll be abused again? For those of you with BPD who have to deal with this: I'm so proud of you for trying to understand and help yourselves by watching this. I'm sorry you struggle so much with this and I hope you all have lovely, fulfilling lives.

  34. If u have memory loss like not remembering your childhood and was diagnosed with this does that mean another symptom or possibly another disorder or mental health issue?

  35. Hi there I have b.p.d. and bipolar #2 I've been thru alot of tragedy in my life, from losing my mother and my sister and other relatives.. they say it happens when u are really young .I didn't find out I had b.p.d. till I was in my 30s..I'm 47 now, been to therapy since I was 7.

  36. I have all of those traits and my therapist says I have borderline traits but I’ve gotten somewhat better and I feel like I have it but I’m not 18 and in some cases you’re legally allowed to diagnose a minor but not in my state

  37. I have been diagnosed with BPD I am currently taking a course of DBT it is helping me greatly I have all the symptoms I have been diagnosed with it plus I have bipolar 1 PTSD anxiety disorders I sometimes feel as though I am just a mental health mess

  38. Told someone that my first wife had Borderline Personality Disorder and he kept saying, "Either she's got it or she don't!" Sigh!

  39. Kati, another homerun!

    One thing…… DBT-PE to me is much more effective than the "strip mall" watered down DBT that is so prevalent today.

    Can you address DBT-PE in a future video if possible?

    Also, what is your feeling on Schema, Mentallization and Transference Focus Therapy instead of DBT for BPD?

  40. That is NOT what suicidal ideation is at all! omg. no. It's wanting it to stop. It's not true suicidal want, it's a wanting of stopping from the pain. If a BPD type person is saying they feel like killing themselves if someone is leaving *quote*… is BECAUSE they are feeling in such pain that that seems like the thing. what else is there? You can't be in that amount of pain and not think that's the logical next thing to happen. It is not used in the manipulative way that is being presented here at 4:02 That said, self awareness and CBT and DBT get you not to say that shit out loud and to , eventually, be able to deal with it in a mentally healthy way where you don't feel in physical pain from any sort of real or perceived stimulant.

  41. Katie… I've bent struggling for 19 years. I was just diagnosed borderline. It was a light bulb moment for me. But talking about getting better…. I have no insurance and was denied government insurance in Tennessee despite not being able to work. The cheapest treatment I can find is $170 for a dbt therapist and $60 a week floor a DBT group with a 13 week commitment and 50 % up front.

  42. I have been alone for a few days thinking about what's wrong with me, why I feel the way I do. I stumbled upon BPD and it fits me almost perfectly…. I believe that I'm a borderline male, I just don't know how to tell anyone without making them think less of me or think that I'm dangerous because I'm not

  43. The person I was dating was splitting but never was actually like 'I love you/I hate you'. It was more like 'I love you, please don't leave me/I don't think I can see you anymore, please go away, I still love you & I'll always care for you, but I can't do this anymore''. Then she'd come right back & it would happen again. Would that still be considered splitting?

  44. i have BPD and it honestly ruins my life sometimes. i can be totally stable and happy to all of a sudden being so depressed and upset that i could end my life or self harm without thinking twice. 1/10 people with BPD commit suicide, even it we don’t want to die, we have the feeling of impulse to do this just to make the pain go away. i wouldn’t wish this illness upon anyone & if i could take it away i would. please remember not to glorify or self diagnose yourself & stay safe! don’t forget your coping mechanisms❤️

  45. can anyone personally recommend a good dbt workbook? id like to get one but bad reviews worry me and im yet to find one that doesnt have any

  46. for me, the worst part of BPD is that i am usually aware of my actions during an episode, i can understand and feel everything, but i can never take control and stop myself from doing it anyway; i am sentenced to watch my own self destruction without being able to help, no matter what i try. this adds up a whole new level of desperation and helplesness that only makes everything worse and harder to control, making me even more unstable. it's why i get sad when people tell me to just stop acting like this or that – because i am trying, and it hurts because it brings a feeling of failure and shame at my own inability to function as i should.

    ps:i'm glad to see someone talking about how the demonization of BPD starts with the ones who were supposed to be helping us to get healthy again. the stigma is suffocating, and people just stop treating you as human. it's nice to see someone on the other side has caught on to this sad tendency when it comes to this disorder.

  47. Wished I had any one therapist who could help me. I can’t keep my head above water anymore. My bpd is worsening, no one understands, and I’m literally done. This, on top of an eating disorder for about 2 decades??? End me.

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