BPD vs CPTSD: What’s the difference? | Kati Morton


– Hey everybody, happy Thursday. Now, today, we’re gonna
talk about the difference between BPD or Borderline
Personality Disorder, and C-PTSD or Complex Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder. But before we get into that,
are you new to my channel? Welcome! Make sure you’re subscribed
and you have your notifications turned on because I put
out videos on Mondays and on Thursdays and I
don’t want you to miss out. But let’s jump into this topic. Today’s question is: “Kati, I was wondering if you
could do a video describing the differences between
CPTSD and BPD in regards to the diagnosis since they
have such similar symptoms. I’ve been told by my
therapist that I have CPTSD, (is that even a diagnosis in the DSM V) with DID features, yet the
therapist and psychiatrist from the residential center
told me that my diagnoses are BPD, DID and PTSD. I don’t usually get hung up on the labels but I do find it confusing
since these two conditions are quite similar. I’m sure others have had
a similar experience, so please explain. Thanks! Let’s start by defining the terms. Now CPTSD or complex post
traumatic stress disorder, occurs when someone is
repeatedly traumatized. This could happen if someone grew up in a really abusive household
or if they went to war. Either way you can see that they’re being repeatedly traumatized. And it can make relationships and life afterward very difficult. They state that those who
suffer from Complex PTSD have more issues and they’re
comparing this to people with PTSD versus complex,
just so you kinda know what they’re differentiating between. They say that people with
CPTSD have more issues with emotion regulation, forgetting traumatic events completely, meaning they have no
recollection of things that happened to them, self-perception, so they’ll feel ashamed
and guilty for struggling with this and maybe not
feeling okay like everyone else that that they know. Four, they’ll struggle
with distorted perceptions of their perpetrators. Many people I know, especially
my patients who’ve been traumatized as a child
and abused repeatedly often care for the people who
harmed them and love them. They could be parents or
other members of their family and it’s really difficult for
them to rectify what happened versus how they feel about it. And the fifth is relations with others. Many isolate or struggle
to trust people in general because if you think
about it, in the past, people haven’t been very trustworthy. And six, their own sense of meaning. Many say that they feel
hopeless and they struggle to have any faith in people or life. Now, treatment is pretty much
the same as it is for PTSD, however, there is an intense focus on interpersonal difficulties. They focus on this because
those with repeated trauma have more trouble trusting,
not lashing out, feeling safe, and managing their feelings
of shame and guilt. Now BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is a pervasive disorder
where we can show patterns of instability in our relationships. We can struggle with self image and have a lot of impulsivity. In order to be diagnosed
with BPD, you must have five of the following nine criteria. The first is fear of abandonment. This means that we’ll make
frantic efforts to avoid real or even imagined, abandonment. Two, we may have a lot of
unstable relationships. Three, we’ll have an
unstable sense of self, which can lead us to change
jobs quickly and frequently or break up with people,
get together on a whim, change all the ways that
we define ourselves. This could even be our
sexuality, career focus, religion, etc. Number four, we can be really impulsive and utilize self destructive behaviors. Five, we can have recurrent
suicidal behavior, gestures or threats or even
self injurious behavior. This is why a lot of people
attach any type of self injury that we may struggle
with with this diagnosis. But we know now that there are efforts to make self injurious behavior
its own separate diagnosis, which I believe is a step
in the right direction. And number six, we can
have extreme mood swings. Our emotions can be all over the place. Number seven, we can have
chronic feelings of emptiness, just wondering what it’s
all worth and if we’re even doing anything that we
love or people even care. Number eight, we can have
inappropriate or intense and explosive anger. And number nine, feeling
suspicious of people or out of touch with reality and I believe that this comes along with
severe dissociative symptoms. By simply going through the two diagnoses, you can see how much
symptom overlap there is, unstable relationships, difficulty with emotion regulation, etc. Therefore, many people
get misdiagnosed with BPD when it should be CPTSD and vice versa. Also many people could meet the
criteria for both diagnosis. A recent study showed that
24% of those with PTSD also had BPD and 30% of
those with BPD also had PTSD. So you can see the symptoms overlap and many people struggle with both. Now let’s get into the main
differences between the two. Number one, BPD does not
require a traumatic event to be diagnosed and CPTSD does. That’s a very big differentiation. Number two, the treatment
plan for CPTSD is to focus on healing or processing
through the traumatic events that occurred, while
BPD’s goal is to resolve any injurious urges and learn how to better manage our emotions. And that, in and of itself,
is so important to note, the second differentiation, because if treatment
is gonna be different, it’s vitally important that
we get the proper diagnosis. The third difference is
that while both diagnosis do show symptoms of emotion dysregulation, they are expressed very differently. In CPTSD, it’s expressed
through emotional sensitivity, reactive anger and poor coping skills. Many people with CPTSD struggle
with drug or alcohol abuse. But BPD, on the other hand, while it may show some of those signs, it’s much more common for someone with BPD to struggle with suicidal thoughts and self injurious behavior when experiencing emotion dysregulation. So it’s almost like those
with CPTSD can lash out more, more quickly maybe, than those with BPD. They often have anger in first,
before they explode outward. And number four, in BPD,
most patients do experience some fear of abandonment. That’s the most common symptom that I see. That has no part of any
criteria associated with CPTSD. I could honestly go on and
on about the differences and the similarities between the two, but the important thing to remember is that only you know your symptoms best. So keep track of them. Bring that information
into your next appointment with your therapist or your doctor. That way, we can ensure that
you are getting the treatment that is right for you, because,
just as I mentioned before, the goals of treatment
for BPD versus CPTSD are very different. Therefore, we need to make
sure our diagnosis fits. Also, if you’re worried
that you struggle with BPD, please look into dialectical
behavior therapy, otherwise known as DBT. If you’re concerned
that you may have PTSD, please look into seeing
a trauma specialist, that could be talk therapy
based, trauma based CBT, EMDR, schema therapy, etc. This video has been brought to you by the Kinions on Patreon. If you would like to support the creation of these mental health videos, click the link in the
description and check it out. And I also have a lot of
videos about different types of treatment related to BPD and CPTSD, so I’ll link those in the description. And as always, let me know
what your experience has been. Have you been misdiagnosed? Do you think CPTSD and BPD
are more alike than we think? Please let me know in
those comments down below and I will see you next time. Bye!

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