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Other CPTSD = Borderline?

Rose White

MyPTSD Pro
This has been rolling around in my head lately and I want to lay it out and examine it with help from y’all. I have heard more than once (no sources) that some clinicians put CPTSD and Borderline in the same category. As in, they are two words for the same thing.

What are your thoughts about this?
Is it helpful to think this way? What are the shared symptoms, and are there any symptoms not shared by the two?

It’s come up more than once on here that PTSD folks can be like tantrum-throwing toddlers sometimes, but the CPTSD folks (🙋‍♀️) can perhaps be more… entrenched in behaviors that would be classified that way?

It seems borderline has a stigma attached of the person being a monster. Perhaps calling it CPTSD would help reduce the stigma and make someone more willing to do the therapeutic work?
 
tomato potato. In years of work I have never heard the statement that CPTSD and borderline are the same, more often i hear that CPTSD is not an accepted diagnosis in the DSM. Seems to me that saying a DSM accepted diagnosis (borderline) is same/same as a non listed diagnosis is a second level of out of bounds.
that said, I have no doubt there are people making this comparison, you hear all kinds of stuff all the time.
 
They are NOT the same so I’d be wary of any clinician who said that was true.

It is possible to have both disorders but borderlines tend to have extremes that not all CPTSD sufferers have. So while I’d agree there is overlap in symptoms I’d disagree they’re the same and since many disorders have an overlap in symptoms it wouldn’t make anymore sense to group these two together than it would bipolar and CPTSD or ADHD and CPTSD.
 
are there any symptoms not shared by the two?
Potentially… all of them.

Borderline-TYPE-symptoms (without enough symptoms to actually qualify as borderline, or it would be a a double diagnosis of both) are just one of many many maaaaaaany ways that CPTSD, and complex trauma more generally speaking, can diverge off to.

- Borderline AND borderline-TYPE-symptoms are very common amongst people who have childhood trauma & CSA in their complex trauma histories. So are NPD traits, but there’s so much crossover it’s usually not worth mentioning.

- Avoidant TYPE symptoms are more commonly seen in childhood trauma without sexual abuse, especially if there was a lot of targeted/focused attention on them (not just in a victim/perpetrator sense, but media attention or medical or family or, or, or), as well as childhood trauma involving forced imprisonment (think child labor caps, refugee camps, trafficking, child soldiers, etc.).

- People with complex trauma from combat tend more toward antisocial & paranoid TYPE symptoms. So are children raised in orphanages.

- Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Et Cetera.

^^^ NONE of these are causal, just correlational, as well as quite complicated. But also? They’re “just” trends. Like people with abuse backgrounds TEND to knee jerk into flight, rather than fight, but? Some abuse victims are fighters. Some freeze. Some fawn. It’s not as simple as “if this then that”.

What’s more??? When people’s complex trauma histories involve several different kinds of trauma, there are often ASPECTS of several different personality disorders in play. A little from here, a little from there… this lesson learned in that trauma, that lesson learned in this one, etc.

The TYPE-Symptoms & ASPECTS I keep mentioning? Is because there simply are not enough of them to rise to the level OF that personality disorder. Or there would be a double diagnosis (PTSD + PD).

The whole CPTSD=BPD nonsense is just a byproduct of walking into a church and asking how many people are Christian, and extrapolating how many people in the world are Christian off of that.

Many practitioners in the us are just so up to their eyeballs in CSA flooded with BPD traits, that it’s what they come to expect. Jump across the pond into Europe, or any refugee portal, or country in conflict &/or transition…and one sees complex trauma & CPTSD with wildly different “flavors” / accompanying traits and symptoms.
 
Many practitioners in the us are just so up to their eyeballs in CSA flooded with BPD traits
Whaat?? Why is this a US thing? Simple answers welcome here and I don’t consider it deflecting the thread.

Appreciate all the responses so far. Prof Friday, you are so good at “PowerPoint-ing” your responses.
 
Whaat?? Why is this a US thing? Simple answers welcome here and I don’t consider it deflecting the thread.
LMAO… I would posit it’s “because” Canada, UK, & Oz not only have waaaaaaay smaller populations, AND have state sponsored healthcare, AND take in a tremendous number of refugees, especially considering their small populations (as well as the do tremendous global outreach, both state sponsored & NGO based), AND use the ICD instead of the DSM… so there’re actually seeing a lot more people (percentage wise) with varied trauma histories, as well as keeping records, and teaching based off different experience & records we simply don’t have here.

38 million CA
67 million UK
25 million AU
332 million US

Also? The US is wacky.

Like we’re the only country in the world that is notorious for diagnosing every symptom in ONE disorder, as unique disorders unto themselves. Not just psych, but also medical <<< That’s mostly a byproduct of wrangling insurance companies to pay for necessary treatment, or to authorize more than one medication, etc. But, again? That’s just …wacky… that doctors have to make shit up, in order to treat their patients.

But I could also be totally wrong.
 
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Is it okay to post a link to an article here? My apologies if not. This article seems to provide an answer lots of questions about diagnostic differences and it answers the question on this thread too. ICD-11 complex post-traumatic stress disorder: simplifying diagnosis in trauma populations | The British Journal of Psychiatry | Cambridge Core

Whaat?? Why is this a US thing? Simple answers welcome here
From here in UK, the number of multiple diagnoses given out in US is sooo different. From what I understand, that's a lot to do with the insurance system needing a name for a mental health disorder before a claim can be made for treatment. Here the NHS is kind of like... We don't want to diagnose and give it a name because then we might have to justify why we're not offering the recommended treatment.

My personal view of diagnosis- when I look back at my behaviour and emotional reactions n my teens and twenties, IF I'd have sought help, I would likely have been diagnosed with BPD because I would have likely denied any trauma and my inability to handle relationships and emotions were primary features. But I was too messed up to ever admit that I needed help.

When I was diagnosed with PTSD in my thirties, I was a different person. CPTSD wasn't a diagnosis back then. At diagnosis, I only talked about the most recent trauma and symptoms in relation to that. Then when I went for treatment, the therapist recognized that there was multiple traumas and noticed dissociative symptoms and splitting that she felt the treatment wasn't right for. She gave me the choice of going on an NHS waiting list of up to 2 years for further diagnosis or to get treatment more quickly with a charity that specialized in rape and sexual abuse.

I do think that in the uk we don't have a problem with therapists diagnosing when they not qualified to do so. But sometimes I struggle on with being me and sometimes I think a diagnosis that explains how I experience life could help me understand and feel less weird.
 
It seems borderline has a stigma attached of the person being a monster.
is there a mental illness with no stigma attached? i believe i can easily stretch stigmatizing to cover stereotypes, fashion statements, politics, etc. a stigma or fifty for all.

when i went to my first usa therapy appointment in 1972, therapists were even more problematic in qualified diagnostics. combat ptsd was still being called, "shell shock" and bipolar was still being called, "manic depression." i'll let you do the research on what borderline was being called in 1972. despite all the misdiagnosis that went into my recovery from child sex trafficking. i'm glad i didn't wait around for all the proper names/stigma for psych symptoms attached.

despite all the recovery work, this person still has her monstrous days.
works still in progress, by whatever name.
 
research on what borderline was being called in 1972.
Title of a Hitchcock movie starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins?

IF I'd have sought help, I would likely have been diagnosed with BPD because I would have likely denied any trauma and my inability to handle relationships and emotions were primary features.
Similar for me. Prior to my PTSD diagnosis I had a firm diagnosis of OCD, suspected Schizoid Personality Disorder, label of Highly Sensitive Person, and I tried to enter a University Depression Study but was disqualified because my symptoms matched BPD rather than Unipolar Depression.

I was in denial of any trauma at all until I was around 40–my memories were repressed and garbled.

Once focused on a single event of sexual abuse, the rest began to unravel. So that I could knit my sense of self back together.

is there a mental illness with no stigma attached?
No but some have greater stigma than others. There is another thread just popped up (sorry don’t know how to link threads yet) and I don’t want to tag the poster because they are distraught and I don’t want to stress them out (please go show them some love, the thread is called “Who Am I”), but the gist of it is that they had been accepting a diagnosis of DID but recently their T said they actually have BPD and that shift spiked their SI significantly. Having DID (for them and I would wager for a good number of others) has less stigma than BPD.
 
I tried to enter a University Depression Study but was disqualified because my symptoms matched BPD rather than Unipolar Depression
Also when this happened I was shocked and the person running the study offered to walk me to my car because I was obviously shaken. BPD hits different.
 
Forgot that BPD is getting phased out now for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, according to a doctor friend of mine whose sister has it.
 
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