The extremes of Borderline Personality Disorder can cause havoc on the person suffering from the personality disorder and those trying to help the person. The fluctuation between high and low can be seen as a form of manipulation but in actuality the person suffering from BPD is trying to protect their false self image. The sudden switches also tend to cause confusion of the diagnosis between BPD and Bipolar disorder. Both disorders do have their high and low periods but the main difference is time where someone with Borderline may experience several mood switched though out a single day someone with Bipolar may enter the one mood frame for up to months at a time. I really have not studied Bipolar in great depth so if I am wrong again someone speak up but I am pretty sure this is right.
Keep in mind the Borderline Personality Disorder highs and lows are not really emotions but based off of perception that comes from a false self image. I think the easiest way to do this is to bring up a number of different situations and show it from both the high and low perspective as it relates to BPD.
Relationships - A) High - The person I am with is the most beautiful, intelligent, caring, understanding woman I have ever met and I will do anything to maintain this perfect relationship. The other person should be thankful for having someone like me in their life B) Low - This person is nothing but an aggravation to me who is constantly looking for ways to bring me down and add to the misery in my life. If I could handle being alone than this woman would have been kicked to the curb a long time ago.
- This is all talking about the same person but just a different perspective so when things are going well they are really going well but when they are bad they are really bad. I have been a number of relationships that can be measured in years that were going absolutely amazing on all levels until my brain saw something it took as a threat and I ended up in a low BPD perspective then watched the relationship crumble unless I could figure out what I saw as a threat really was not a threat at all.
Me - A) High - I am always right, I understand the situation better then anyone else in my life especially the so called `professionals`. I walk into any room and I am immediately the center of attention for I am that good. I can walk through fire and not get burned as I am basically invincible. B) Low - I am always wrong so it is better to lock myself in the house and stay away from people so they don`t have the opportunity to hurt me. I walk into the room and everyone stares because I look like cousin It. If a situation is bad chances are I will get the short end of the stick every time. My doctors are all against me and they keep adding more and more bricks to the wall so there is no chance of recovery.
- I am also diagnosed with Severe Major Depressive Disorder so it tends to make the low perspective very low. Neither of the above perspectives are safe as the high level I don`t think I can be hurt so I take all sorts of stupid chances. The low perspective on the wrong day has led to more then one suicide attempt.
Therapy - A) High - My therapist understands every little thing that I deal with on a daily basis and together we have made great strides in my recovery. B) Low - My therapist surprises me that she/he remembers my name. I have spent countless sessions detailing my life yet no progress has been made of any kind. All the sessions are a paid form of torture as all the therapist does is attack me and destroy my self esteem. I am better off on my own.
- This is how someone with Borderline Personality Disorder destroys therapists as one session they are God and the next session they are the Devil all from a different perspective of the client. The problem is even on high BPD moments nothing is being accomplishes as it is not real.
Everything in recovery is about finding that nice stable place right in the middle of the high and low where the real self image is. The first step for me was to recognize the stage I was in and doing what it took to get to the neutral position and learning how to stay there. With a lot of effort I put a buffer between someone else`s actions or words and my response to make sure my actions are coming from a neutral state and not a high or low false perspective which to be honest is a royal pain in the ass but it is getting easier as time goes by. There are still certain situations that will put me into a negative state but like I said I am in recovery and not recovered.
Living with Borderline Personality Disorder is like being drunk standing on a see saw some days and you never know which way you will lose your balance but your pretty sure it is not going to be good. When it comes to confrontations the person with BPD is more then likely in a high BPD stage and will fight like hell to stay there as the other side or the low end usually means your fighting yourself and in my case a battle to keep breathing.
I hope that this post helped cleared up the differences between the two stages and remember this is my perspective and chances are it will differ to a certain degree from other people cursed by this disorder.