Reply To: Introducing Myself/On BPD and The Definition of Love

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Donna Andersen

Junebug – Welcome to Lovefraud. We’ve had readers before who said they were on the Asperger’s spectrum and had to deal with psychopaths. It was really interesting, because they were able to identify the predators very quickly. In fact, one person said she could smell them.

I will echo Stargazer in that growing up with disordered parents and family members affects you. Quite honestly, most therapists do not understand the effects, especially if there is no physical abuse or crime involved. They don’t get the depth of the effects on a child and young adult. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you have been misdiagnosed.

About your concern – antisocial, narcissistic, borderline and histrionic personality disorders are grouped together as “Cluster B” personality disorders. They are considered “externalizing” disorders. this means that when people have the disorders, they tend to take it out on the people around them, rather than on themselves.

Borderline personality disorder is absolutely different from antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders in origin. In women, it is often associated with sexual abuse. In men, it is associated with being shamed, especially by the father. People with this disorder also tend to have high levels of anxiety, which narcissists and antisocials typically do not have.

So why do we talk about borderlines along with narcissists and antisocials? Because people with all three disorders tend to be exploiters. The cause of the exploitation is different, but the result to other people is the same — deception, manipulation and abuse.

The problem with terminology in the mental health field is that there is no official term for people who have personality disorders that makes them exploiters. This becomes very difficult from a communications perspective if you need three paragraphs just to explain who you’re talking about. So Lovefraud is using the word “sociopath,” which is no longer a clinical diagnosis, as a collective, categorical term for people who have these exploitative disorders.

I hope this answers your question.

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