View Full Version : Online BPD

2013-May-05, 07:19 PM
Was just perusing this nice piece (http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/05/book_of_woe_the_dsm_and_the_unmaking_of_psychiatry _by_gary_greenberg_reviewed.html#comments) on the limitations of psychology over on Slate. Apart from being relevant to some current comments in threads here regarding the limitations of certainty in public pronouncements on science, and to some recent threads sharing some of our perceived or diagnosed conditions, I found another item possibly relevant to how and why posting can often get so heated. As a tangent from the article, I went off to look at borderline personality disorder on the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_personality_disorder#Interpersonal_rela tionships).

I confess to feel somewhat well-portrayed in the part regarding interpersonal relationships in BPD, but especially so on online forums; to wit:

People with BPD can be very sensitive to the way others treat them, feeling intense joy and gratitude at perceived expressions of kindness, and intense sadness or anger at perceived criticism or hurtfulness. Their feelings about others often shift from positive to negative after a disappointment, a perceived threat of losing someone, or a perceived loss of esteem in the eyes of someone they value. This phenomenon, sometimes called splitting or black-and-white thinking, includes a shift from idealizing others (feeling great admiration and love) to devaluing them (feeling great anger or dislike). Combined with mood disturbances, idealization and devaluation can undermine relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. Self-image can also change rapidly from very positive to very negative.

Nothing like posting a statement or question regarding a scientific fact on a forum like this and finding you can hear the virtual ahemming between the lines of responses. I remember a couple of years ago a rather na´ve post about light and gravity whose responses led me to stay off board for a few weeks. I think I am getting a bit more thick skinned, but it still happens.

Anyway, I think a lot of us may suffer somewhat from "online" BPD, though the rest of the condition may not apply at all (tho it does for my youthful risk taking with cars and motorcycles.) Maybe it's the lack of mitigating body language and facial expressions to smooth the rough edges of discourse.

Ring any bells, or any nice additions to kindly assist me in avoiding the virtual cricket nightmare of no responses?

2013-May-05, 08:59 PM
I admit, online comments tend to stick with me longer, possibly because verbal responses are fleeting and normally get immediate feedback from my reactions; but the next time I click on a link, even much later, usually the same online dazzling repartee that got to me before is still there.

2013-May-06, 01:21 PM
But I overreact a lot. Just last night, my memory of the opening post slowly grew more monstrous in my mind. I thought, oh-oh, another crazy post no one is going to like. Started thinking, "well, time for another time off the board." Hesitated when tempted to come check. Then I got an email advising of a PM, and came back. Didn't seem so weird in the reading as I'd feared.

It's an odd experience to get blown about by a storm in a teacup of your own devising.

2013-May-06, 03:24 PM
I'm hesitant of the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder at the best of times, but at least this version of it doesn't seem to be the modern equivalent of "hysteria."

2013-May-06, 09:01 PM
There are some pretty deep thinkers here, I've learned to not assume too much by the apparent lack of immediate response to some of the stuff I post. My challenge is to remember what I have posted and make sure I check for responses, my memory isn't the greatest anymore I worry about missing the responses of people who've taken the time to think about what I've posted.

2013-May-06, 09:59 PM
Hey, is that a new avatar, or was I just not seeing it before, starcanuck64? Lookin' good!

Gillianren, the article over on Slate is all about the hazy borders around any classification, and what to do about it. Made me think of recent discussions here about our own travails, and how inadequate it is in a sense to have any sort of diagnosis, since it's probably off in some degree, and might mislead almost as much as guide. My guess is that maybe someday we'll find out that much of the human mind is as unique as the DNA we carry, and needs personalized treatment.

Meanwhile, I'll settle for a diagnosis of "just as nutty as the next guy, only more so."

2013-May-06, 10:03 PM
Unfortunately, the history of BPD tends to be "thinking differently than I believe they should while female." You see the relation to hysteria, I trust. I do think there are some people with real problems in there, but it's not the world's most helpful diagnosis, even leaving aside the fuzzy nature of psychological diagnoses. (Which was the one thing Graham really got out of his abnormal psych class, unfortunately.) I know there are some real issues in the background of the upcoming DSM-V, but I still think it's better than any replacement anyone has developed.

2013-May-06, 10:14 PM
Hey, is that a new avatar, or was I just not seeing it before, starcanuck64? Lookin' good!

My old one disappeared for some reason so I replaced the wolf howling at the moon with an active galactic nucleus.