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Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?

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From the U.S..: I come from a family with a mom who suffers from major depression and would purposely withhold affection so that I wouldn’t turn out gay. My dad was diagnosed schizotypal, and depressed. They were both addicts of drugs, alcohol, tabacco, and my dad was a sex addict. My father’s addictions ended up killing his liver and after spending eight years in and out of hospitals from the damage he’d done, he finally died when I was 15 years. I had a girlfriend whom I loved very quickly, then I would break up with her because I felt suffocated then I would love her again and want to get back together. We did this over and over until we got married at 21 years old.

I went through about a dozen employers from the time I was 16 until 19. That’s when I joined the Army. I went back and forth about whether to stay in or get out. I did two deployments one in Kosovo (2002-2003) and one in Iraq (2004-2005). I came back a depressed wreck. That’s when things got really messy. I would have fits of rage that were beyond control, I would go into a crippling depressive state.

My wife has threatened to leave me for years. Every since she started doing that I have completely shut her out. I don’t mean to, but there’s a voice in my head that says she hates me. So I push her away. I haven’t any friends because they all just leave so I don’t want them. I push everyone away.

I, like my parents, am addicted to everything: drugs, alcohol, tabacco, sex, sugar. These addictions become exasperated when I’m depressed or angry. If I can’t find some form of gratification when I feel too much then I will cut my self. The latter scares even me because I dont feel in control during these times.

I have been I therapy for a year. I have gone through three therapists in this time because all I ever hear for feed back is “stop doing that” or “look at it more positive” and my favorite ” you’re just wired different”. I know these platitudes are because they know I messed up but don’t know what to say.

I have so much more bet I’m constricted by the word count. Please let me know what you think. Thank you.

Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?

Answered by on -


Although some of your behaviors meet the criteria for BPD, I doubt that is the problem. I could be wrong, of course. I have very limited information. But there are other factors that need to be considered as well: As the child of addicted parents, you have a history that may have left you ill-prepared for coping with life. You have also been in the military and served in Iraq. Many vets report similar thoughts and behaviors.

For that reason, I urge you to seek out a therapist who has considerable experience with veterans. It may be that the therapists you’ve been seeing don’t have enough experience with returning soldiers. On the other hand, if they do have that experience, it may be a matter of therapist-client “fit.” It’s not at all unusual for a person to try therapy a number of times before finding a counselor he trusts and can talk to.

That you are thinking about these things and looking for help tells me that you are ready to do some serious therapeutic work. Please don’t give up on finding the right counselor for you. If you haven’t already, contact your local VA for recommendations for therapists and a support group. You could also call the Army’s Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline at 1-800-984 8523 for guidance.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 14 Feb 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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