Since you are reading this post, you are probably searching for borderpolar symptoms. Is there a “borderpolar test”? Well, look no further then, as this post aims to address exactly that. First of all, “borderpolar” is not an official term, and it does not describe a mental illness. Instead, it is an unofficial term that classifies patients with comorbid bipolar disorder (BD) and borderline personality disorder(BPD). What you are looking for instead of signs that you are borderpolar is whether you are bipolar and have BPD. Now, it's important to note that you should not self-diagnose any of this. But first, let's see what a “borderpolar” would look like.
Borderpolar Symptoms = Bipolar Symptoms x BPD Symptoms
The table below presents most of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.
|BD (Hypo)manic State Symptoms||BD Depressive State Symptoms||BPD Symptoms|
|Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired||Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability).||Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety.|
|Increased activity, energy or agitation||Either restlessness or slowed behavior.||A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn't care enough or is cruel.|
|Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)||Fatigue or loss of energy.||Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours.|
|Decreased need for sleep||Either insomnia or sleeping too much.||An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection.|
|Unusual talkativeness||Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt||Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don't exist at all.|
|Racing thoughts||Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness||Ongoing feelings of emptiness.|
|Distractibility||Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide.||Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection.|
|Poor decision-making — for example, going on spending sprees, taking sexual risks or making foolish investments.||Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship.|
I have bolded several symptoms in the above table, which are similar or identical to one another, and I have classified them with the same color. This is one of the biggest challenges when diagnosing a patient. That is, even psychiatrists that will admit to the inaccuracy of psychiatry. So, getting a diagnosis right is not always easy. Of course, it largely depends on the patient's understanding of their experiences and the therapist's expertise. However, in the case of borderpolar, we have the comorbidity of two conditions with several overlapping symptoms.
Borderpolar Symptoms: The Overlap
Firstly, to be considered a person challenged with BPD, you need to demonstrate at least 5 out of 9 symptoms. Secondly, the 5-symptoms rule is used for bipolar. But now imagine all the possible combinations of 9 choose 5, 7 choose 5, and 9 choose 5 symptoms. That's a lot of “borderpolar symptoms”! When the symptoms are similar, it's even harder to figure things out. For instance, if the patient considers a hypomanic state as “feeling good” and omits it, they look like a just depressed person. Are spending sprees, unsafe sex, and general impulsive behavior part of the hypomanic person, or is it BPD instead?
Personally, I also had a hard time distinguishing hypersexuality with needing to be in a romantic or sexual relationship all the time. Yet, I think some trademark symptoms of bipolar disorder in the manic phase, such as the decreased need for sleep, are clear indicators if stressed enough. Meanwhile, for BPD, the constant fear of abandonment and being alone is also very representative, in my opinion. Still, BPD is quite the bag of tricks in terms of disorders, so maybe I'm completely wrong here, and it's just my own experience.
Due to the overlap of symptoms (and the fact that many psychiatrists treat BD and BPD as mutually exclusive initially), borderpolars are first diagnosed with one of the two disorders. Also, keep in mind that BPD is still considered highly stigmatizing, so there may be a pattern where a patient is diagnosed as bipolar despite some clear signs of BPD. Take all this with a grain of salt, of course, but I am a person who manifests every single symptom on the table, and yet it took my therapists and me a long time to figure it out.
Don't Go Looking for Borderpolar Signs
When there are no clear-cut symptoms for the two individual disorders, you cannot expect to find clear-cut borderpolar symptoms either. It's the therapist's responsibility to guide the process and determine whether you are bipolar or your personality has borderline personality traits, or both. That's why you shouldn't go looking for the answer by yourself. But it would be best if you also found the right therapist. As with most things in life, there are no shortcuts here. No borderpolar symptoms and no borderpolar test as of November 2020. We don't know what the feature holds, whether there will be a borderpolar test or any other way to get a borderpolar diagnosis right from the start.
Are You A Diagnosed Borderpolar?
If you are a borderpolar, feel free to share your experience and how you got this diagnosis. The omissions and the difficulties you encountered during your diagnosis may be valuable for someone else.