Trying to educate myself... ideas welcome

I’m trying to educate myself about Borderline Personality Disorder.

My youngest little brother has been reading websites and has diagnosed himself with Borderline Personality Disorder just yesterday. I know one can not diagnose them self from a web site… But he’s sure you can.

He has since left about 5 letters on my sisters car saying that because he is BPD now, she has to put up with the hell he’s putting her through.

It’s not his fault, he had no control when he trashed her car, punched her in the face, tried to get her fired from her job, torments her non-stop about her anorexia, and she should be more understanding and realize that distancing herself from him makes his fear of abandonment all the worst.

So by rejecting his physical abuse, she’s hurting him emotionally.

I’ve quietly taken these letters off her car and I’m going to be handing them over to our parents like I have been doing.

How ever, around anyone else in the world, he’s humble, and nice and trying to recover from Alcohol addiction and going to AA.

But this is getting silly. Plus it’s starting to really upset me.

Links, ideas, info welcome…

I didn’t keep any of the bookmarks from when I was researching BPD to help my daughter.

I can only tell you what I saw in my daughter’s actions. Never did she blame her actions on it. Her entity would show herself when my daughter was stressed not just when one person stressed her. So everyone would be open to the same type of treatment if a disorder was the culprit. She didn’t have control over when this happened so it didn’t just come out around only one person. I know how much my daughter has struggled and she has never used it as an excuse.

If he really does believe that he has BDP then he needs to go to a pdoc and get diagnosed and start treatment/therapy. I’m sorry I wish that I could be nicer but I see someone finding excuses to continue to treat your sister like a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for his own negative actions.


If this is the case then I would think it would manifest itself when he is dealing with you, your parents and his wife as well. No where does it indicate that it is usually only directed at one person but all interpersonal relationships.

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Thank you for this. He punched his fiancée once… the day before he ended up in rehab and she packed up and went back to her family right then and there. That was her line the sand. I was really proud of her for that.
Odd, but he’s been rather understanding about that.

So if he can be rational about loosing his fiancée, then in retrospect, I’m not sure I’m buying this about my kid sister’s distance causing him abandonment anxiety. Thank you for this.

Any links, ideas, still welcome. I know it as well as everyone else… he can’t self diagnose in one evening from a web site. But he is 20 years old and of course knows all there is to know in the universe.

I don’t really know anything about BPD so can’t offer any good advice on that subject. But as a parent, I am curious about how your parents weigh in on what is going on with him, and in particular how he treats his sister. Does he still live at home? Have there always been issues between him and your sister or is it something that has recently cropped up? Seems he has a lot of displaced anger, perhaps some type of anger management classes might be in order along with his AA? I feel bad for your sister, she does not need to be putting up with that kind of treatment and she is doing the right thing by removing herself as best she can.


Hi, @lovemyson I do like the idea of an anger management class. It sure did help me. The trouble is getting him to see he needs it.

John used to live with his fiancée until that relationship recently ended and she packed the apartment and left. So, he now lives back at my parents house.

The two chipmunks (kid sis and youngest brother) were tightly bonded as young ones. What’s been going on now is very new and confusing. She stood up for him and stood by him through some very ugly stuff.

As far as how our parents weigh in… I’m sure they don’t like it. I don’t know if they’ve confronted him or tried to set boundaries them self… They have the mass letters from the youngest brother that I’ve given them, and they look defeated and sad when I show up with another stack of them.

But they might be waiting for my kid sis to come to them. Which she won’t. She’ll have 26 back up plans and if those don’t work then and only then she “might” hint to Dad that she’s having a wee spot of slight difficultly.

Something happened and she doesn’t go to them. She thinks they are too busy with us four boys. So she never seems to figure they would be there for her.

She interacts with them and keeps in touch, and talks of them fondly. She calls at least every other day, and goes over for dinner and never misses a family engagement, but to fall back on them? To ask for help? No, not even when she was coughing up blood.

Here are the symptoms most commonly present in BPD. It’s a thorough list of the diagnostic factors used to diagnose BPD.

BPD is a large cluster of symptoms and complex to diagnose. I recommend you give this list to your brother and then follow up with a psychiatrist. Therapy is also highly effective for symptoms of BPD.

Source: epocrates online, 2014

"Key Diagnostic Factors

  1. paranoia
  2. odd thinking:
    A cognitive-perceptual feature characteristic of personality disorders.
  3. Schizotypal personality disorder: experiences ideas of reference, magical thinking.
  4. restricted range of emotions:
    A mood feature characteristic of the affective dysregulation of personality disorders.
  5. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: prefers rational to emotional expression.
  6. Schizoid personality disorder: restricted range of emotion displayed; may delay seeking medical care because of unwanted contact and may appear cold/indifferent.
  7. anger and irritability
  8. Mood symptoms characteristic of the affective dysregulation of personality disorders.
  9. Antisocial personality disorder: often appears irritable.
  10. Borderline personality disorder: episodic, intense anger states; may reflect history of trauma and mild dissociation.
  11. Paranoid personality disorder: often appears angry.
  12. excessive emotionality and unstable mood states
  13. Mood symptoms characteristic of the affective dysregulation
  14. anxiety and tension:
    Anxiety symptoms characteristic of the affective dysregulation of personality 15. impulsive behaviors:
  15. Borderline personality disorder: impulsive, recurrent self-destructive behaviors such as cutting, substance abuse and drug overdose, sexual promiscuity.
  16. grandiosity
  17. evidence of self harm (e.g., scars, burns)"



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Thank you a lot for this, copy pasted and already hit print.

I’m gong over to deliver the new huge stack of “Midnight car letters” to the parents. I will be giving this to him.

I would love for him to go to a pro. I wonder if he will.

That’s a great idea. Only a pro can accurately diagnose him. And while I’m not sure he has BPD, I do see that he has some troubling symptoms that need to be treated.

I’m wishing the best for you and your family!




On a lighter side, my brother Jack has lightly joked that it could also be… rectal/cranial inversion syndrome…

Aka, head up the butt.

But on a real side, John needs to talk to a pro.


Only doctor can diagnose effectively but even they might be wrong. When i was first sick they diagnosed me with psychotic disorder NOS with borderline personality disorder. Self diagnosing can cause more harm than good.

  1. You can’t diagnose yourself, ever. Even if you are right, it’s not to be taken seriously. 2) My sister was diagnosed with BPD and Bipolar II, and she is quite selfish and can be plain hateful. She is also clingy to people she doesnt outright hate, and then she temporarily gets in these moods where she hates them too, then goes back to being clingy to them. It’s rather obvious. She loves drama, is always being overly dramatic while I just raise one eyebrow like “please, I’ve lived in hell, whatever it is, it’s nothing”. I usually just go outside an smoke a cigarette if I cant stand being near her.

She seems to have a grip on the downside of her Bipolar with the antidepressants she takes, but she doesnt take a mood stabilizer. She gets hypomanic and I am so used to it that I dont even bat an eye. She gets really dramatic, says bizarre jokes, laughs at everything and drinks tons of coca-cola when she is hypo. She also stays up late and wakes up early.

But her borderline PD is rather harmful. She gets seriously hateful and its hard to love her when she acts so hateful. In my opinion, her hypomania doesnt hurt anyone and she seems to enjoy it and still does her work in that state, but her borderline PD is disruptive and causes arguments and is good for nothing.

Unfortunately, she does not have strong insight and outright refuses the appropriate medications for her disorders, but she is engaged so her fiance is gonna be her new victim, and as of now they are talking about moving out of state once they get married, so to put it simply, I don’t care, it’s not my problem. She just got an accounting degree (but isnt employed, she “doesnt like” accounting) and is engaged, so she is on her way out of the house.

I on the other hand was evaluated and came up with a florid case of paranoid schizophrenia, trauma and psychopathic tendencies. I have profound insight, I am a psych major, I read even more books on my own time about my disorders, and I take the appropriate medications. (plenty of pills, believe me)

In my opinion, Boderline is more simply the selfish personality disorder. It includes a lack of empathy and a strong tendency to manipulate others, but is unlike the other cluster B personality disorders because they then want empathy from others- not respect or submission from others, but empathy from others- very curious. But when they arent looking for sympathy and doting, they are often hateful, which is one of the reasons why the cluster B personality disorders are called “Dramatic/Erratic”.

But enough about me, I know a bit about borderline because it was in Psychology of Evil and Abnormal Psychology. I’m not gonna write an encyclopedia article about it right here, but if you have specific questions, I know it inside and out, I live with a person who has been diagnosed with it and I have studied it formally in school. Just feel free to ask me whatever, I am delighted to answer.

But the one piece of advise I would give right now is “Don’t care about what they say” because people with Borderline change their minds like they’re doctor Jekyll, so don’t listen to them when they get really dramatic, that is what they want, and paying them too much attention fuels their disorder. It’s for their own good to recognize when they are having mood swings so you know when to disregard what they say. If you actually try to reason with a borderline person while theyre being dramatic, clingy or hateful, you wont get anywhere, its like taking to…a crazy person!

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Chipmunks, lol. Your sister seems very self reliant and mature for a 17 yr old. But I suspect she needs them more than she is willing to admit (hence the self cutting)? idk just my perspective looking in from the outside. Seems she thinks she has been put on the back burner, but it’s possible this could be the farthest thing from the truth, just her perception. She may want to consider really opening up to them about her fears and needs.

At 17 I was still so dependent on my parents and living at home until 22, so I’m amazed at how independent she is. I was dependent even though my parents had ZERO parenting skills. Have you ever seen the movie “Matilda” with Danny Devito and Rhea Pearlman? My parents were about as plugged in as they were, seriously. Mom was addicted to prescription drugs all my life, always sick and chronically depressed, and Dad was an alcoholic and traveled a lot in his career, but somehow in spite of it all me and my sibs managed to turn out ok. Don’t know how we did it, looking back:)

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Wow, I did see the movie “Matilda” you did great considering… I’m sorry you had to go through that, but you seem very strong for what you have been through. :smiley:

My kid sis some how just declared herself an adult at 12. I tried to leave this life, she’s the one who found me, did CPR, called 911 and after that she decided… I’m the adult around here.

She doesn’t hang with kids her age at all. I’m thinking her maturity comes from her “young at heart” friends at the senior center.

Well, I’m very glad your sis declared herself an adult and didn’t let you leave this world:)

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People like using the Internet for all sorts of harmful things. It goes to show how many harmed people we have today. Self diagnosis is harmful.
If your brother continues to use violence, the police are going to intercede. That will be the end of him.
Encourage him to talk to a therapist a psychiatrist. It might help him.
He will eventually have to work things out in his own mind for anything external to have any effect.
Show him love if you can. If not love then sympathy and understanding. Remember you affect him by your behavior toward him just as he affects you with his.

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Your brother isn’t two years old and needs to start acting like an adult. You’re not doing him, or any other person he interacts with any favors by allowing him to manipulate you into accepting his crappy behavior aimed at your sister, and blamed on whatever he wants to call it.
I don’t care what he thinks he has, he is just being a brat. No one likes a brat, and it’s like you are all watching him bully your sister and doing nothing but hoping someone else will step in and stop him.
He is hurting your sister and you are not standing up to him.
As long as you let him do this he will act like a brat, and your sister will suffer more not from him, but by watching everyone around her allow this.
It hurts to know you wont stop him…and you can, by simply not allowing him to behave like this. He knows full well what he is doing and knows he can stop.
If he is smart enough to try to self dx himself then he is smart enough to have enough insight to know he is wrong by hoping you will believe his label is all that is needed for you to allow his selective abuse.
Don’t let your sister down, and don’t reward bad behavior, unless you want more of the same to follow.
Stand up to him and make him stop, or if he don’t, make him do it somewhere else.
But to allow your sister to be hurt like this sends the wrong message that anyone will be allowed to cause her pain as long as they have a reason.
This situation is really not fair to her.

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that is funny if you don’t mind i will be using that one on a few people !?!
take care

I am completely open to ideas.

I get up before my sis and get the letters off her car before she sees them.

I’ve been blocking his calls and not letting him in the apartment.

My sis is no longer working with him. She’s withdrawn from family gatherings that he will be at.

I’ve tried to use a calm conversation with my brother. I’ve tried empathizing with him hoping that if he thinks someone is on his side he’ll cool off. I’ve just recently quit meeting him so I’ve been fading from him too.

I am 100% stuck for ideas. I really can’t see the forest for the trees. I think we’re all trying to give the youngest brother time to settle because he is just out of rehab and no one wants him to relapse. He says he feels like he’s going to relapse if things get too stressful for him. People are trying to be supportive of his new found sobriety.

He hasn’t laid a finger on our kid sis since he got out of rehab. Just angry letters and insults. I did try and get him to back off, and think about what he was doing… that is when he decided he was B.P.D. How can I of all people have no patience or sympathy for a person suffering with a mental illness.

What can I do to make him stop it? Any ideas welcome.

No one knows for sure if he does have BPD yet. That needs to be diagnosed first. Just be careful that he is not playing on your sympathy. What keeps going through my mind and from what I have seen, you don’t usually see someone using a mental illness as a reason for treating someone badly. I don’t see that with my son or my daughter or with you. I don’t know how to say this nicely… My daughter has never said I have BPD so it’s ok that I called you a B that day. My son has never said I have sz so it’s ok that I slam doors. My husband doesn’t say I have GAD so it’s ok that I raged. I don’t say I have menopause so it’s ok that I was short tempered. Regardless of diagnoses there comes a time when we have to accept responsibility for our own actions when possible. If he really believes that he has this then I would think his next step would be getting diagnosed and getting help. I really hope that he does this.