BPD and Psychosis

Sorry in advance. This will be long but informative.

WHAT IS PSYCHOSIS? (http://www.cedarclinic.org/index.php/understanding-early-psychosis/what-is-psychosis)

Psychosis is a set of symptoms that involve a person’s mind “playing tricks on him or her.”  The person experiencing psychosis may have difficulty telling the difference between his or her own thoughts and perceptions and those that come from the outside world. Although real to the person experiencing psychosis, psychotic experiences are not experienced as real to others. In fact, as a medical term, psychosis refers to a loss of contact with reality, or difficulty telling what is real from what is not real.

Psychosis is more common than many people think. Symptoms may come and go or be relatively constant. It is often associated with mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  However, psychosis can also occur for many other reasons, including substance abuse, brain injury, seizure disorders, or conditions of extreme sleep deprivation or isolation.


SYMPTOMS OF PSYCHOSIS (Mayo Clinic and Others)

People may experience:
Behavioral: disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, hostility, hyperactivity, hypervigilance, nonsense word repetition, repetitive movements, restlessness, self-harm, social isolation, lack of restraint, or persistent repetition of words or actions
Cognitive: thought disorder, belief that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, belief that thoughts aren’t one’s own, disorientation, memory loss, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, thoughts of suicide, unwanted thoughts, difficulty thinking and understanding, or false belief of superiority
Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, excitement, feeling detached from self, general discontent, limited range of emotions, loneliness, or nervousness
Psychological: fear, hearing voices, depression, manic episode, paranoia, persecutory delusion, religious delusion, or visual hallucinations
Speech: deficiency of speech, excessive wordiness, incoherent speech, or rapid and frenzied speaking
Also common: confusion, nightmares, or tactile hallucination
Other than many (or all) of the above items relating to my personal episodes of BPD, there are a couple of other things I read that I feel also relate.
Other similar difficulties between Psychosis and BPD:
1. Withdrawal from the outside world, including from one’s family, friends, and even one’s own self (often due to a drop in or “absence” of interest or ability to relate to others)
2. Trouble thinking clearly and communicating with others (the person may talk very little or very rapidly)
3. Trouble interpreting social cues of others
Other research:
1. Someone with severe BPD can have brief periods of some symptoms which are similar to some of those experienced in schizophrenia (in regards to phsychosis).(http://aapel.org/bdp/BLschizophreniaUS.html)
2. Based on information from the National Institute of Mental Health, some sufferers of BPD often have psychotic episodes as well, and three-quarters of the BPD population are thought to practice self-injury. (http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/borderline-personality-disorder-and-addiction/signs/)
3. When stressed, people with borderline personality disorder may develop psychotic-like symptoms. They experience a distortion of their perceptions or beliefs rather than a distinct break with reality. Especially in close relationships, they tend to misinterpret or amplify what other people feel about them. For example, they may assume a friend or family member is having extremely hateful feelings toward them, when the person may be only mildly annoyed or angry. (https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/borderline-personality-disorder.html)

4 thoughts on “BPD and Psychosis

  1. Thank you for this. It was not too long for me 🙂

    I wondered if you have any positive experiences of antipsychotic medication (where the benefits outweigh the side effects)? Also I think of anti psychotics as being for hallucinations but could they also help with distorted perception and beliefs as described in your last paragraph. I understand that you are not an expert in this but I would be interested in your thoughts.
    Thank you

    1. I do take an antipsychotic and it wasn’t until that, that I noticed a huge change in my symptoms. I also take a mood stabilizer. The two together are like magic really. I’ve done my fair share of medication research too and though I’m no expert, I feel like I know quite a bit from that and my own experiences. I also am bi-polar so again, I’ve had my share of experience with meds and mental shit overall. The first antipsychotic I ever took was Abilify which was amazing but is very expensive; even the generic brand. Now I take Geodon and it’s amazing also combined with lamictal. I have little to no side effects and same with abilify. It helps to take the intensity down a few notches, shortens the length of my episodes, my episodes are less frequent and the range of my moods is much smaller.

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