Originally Posted by dark side king View Post
So is the opinion here that BPD traits may crest during seasons of one's life?
DarkSide, there is growing evidence that the traits are the worst at puberty and subside somewhat by 18, at which time they level off. Then, it is believed, they subside a little more at about age 44. See, e.g., the 2008 study results at Prevalence, Correlates, Disability, and Comorbidity of DSM-IV Borderline Personality Disorder: Results from the Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions
. The result is that there is much ballyhoo about BPD not being as "chronic" as previously thought. Well, that certainly is good news for the BPDers.
Yet, from the point of view of a "Non" having to deal with all the abuse, I don't think that "mellowing" gives much relief to the abused spouses. For one thing, does it really matter that a BPDer drops from meeting 100% of the diagnostic criteria to meeting only 80% or 90% of the criteria?
To the statisticians
, this improvement means A LOT because, given the absurd binary system now being used for diagnosis, the implication is that lots of people have switched from the "has BPD" category to the "has no BPD" category in their old age. To the abused spouses,
however, this improvement may mean only a reduction in temper tantrums from once every two weeks to once every two-and-a-half weeks. The misery index, then, barely changes. (What makes a radical change to the misery index is when that 1% of BPDers work hard in therapy, as Pidge and other BPDers on this forum have done.)
Another thing that bothers me about these studies is that I've never seen a distinction made between the BPDers who are high functioning
and those that are low functioning.
This is troubling because, if nearly all the improvements are being made by low functioning people who are becoming high functioning, there may be little or no improvement happening with the folks who were high functioning to begin with.
This is troubling for two reasons. One is that we Nons would not date the low functioning BPDers, much less marry them. Hence, if we are married to a BPDer spouse -- as I was for 15 years -- she is already
high functioning. So our lives will not improve AT ALL if the improvements are generally being made by only the low functioning BPDers.
The other reason it is troubling is that, because LF BPDers are in such severe pain, they are far more willing to seek help and work hard to make improvements. In contrast, HF BPDers are extremely resistant to therapy and rarely have the self awareness to even acknowledge having the issues. For these reasons, I remain very skeptical that an abused spouse is going to see any substantial improvement when his BPDer partner reaches middle age.
Certainly, I didn't even though I spent a small fortune taking my BPDer exW to a team of psychologists and MCs for weekly visits for 15 years. At the end, she had me arrested and thrown into jail on a bogus charge of "brutalizing her." If you would like to read about some of my experiences with a middle-age "improved and mellowed" BPDer, please see my post in Maybe's thread at My list of hell!