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my friend copies my symptoms. help!

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my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby Bettyboop » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:30 pm

Basically I have a friend who has BPD. She does not like that she is diagnosed BPD because she think it is a an attention seekers illness (her words not mine).

I have in the past been very ill with and ED and hospitalised many times. I am thankfully now very well with my eating. I have recently however been diagnosed with , due to a few manic episode I have had.

Anyway my friend, She does not like her diagnosis. When I had my first manic episode she asked me loads of questions about how I felt, what I was doing, what I was saying to my GP to diagnosed as manic. Then earlier this year when I had another manic episode she said she was manic too and copied my symptoms. But only the ones I told her about?!
Since she has been asking things like: what did you do to get into hospital with your ED? how many times a day did you purge? ect. THen sure enough the next few days she was "saying" she was purging the same amount. I wouldnt have told her if I thought she would copy!

There is other stuff too; like one of our friends has epileptic fits and my friend said that she did but was undiagnosed. I have never heard her say this before so she cant have just developed it.
When she found out about my BP diagnosis she suddenly started saying how X,Y and Z in her family have BP but are undiagnosed. She had never mentioned that before either.
Sometimes her description of the "symptoms" she says she has are a little too text book and not real enough.

she has a psych review coming up soon because she has challenged her diagnosis.
I feel like she wants to be diagnosed as BP because I tend to get a lot of attention for my issues (but only because Im newly diagnosed and still adapting) and she maybe wants that attention.
I personally think her BPD diagnosis is correct as I have known her years and years and she never had a manic episode till I had my very public one. Also she fits most symptoms and I believe she would respond well to BPD treatment, esp as she has PTSD too.
Is this normal BPD behaviour? Is she looking for love from the health service?

I really do feel for her and hope she can just concentrate on her own symptoms rather than other peoples and get the help she need to be safe rather than what she thinks would be the "best" disorder to have.
Problem is now I can talk out loud to my good friends about my symptoms because Im afraid she will copy. Like when I have a bad day I just want to be able to say but I cant any more because she copies and might do something silly then it would be my fault for mentioning it.

I wonder if this is BPD or something else like factitious disorder?
Either way how do I cope with this?
If I tell her how I feel She will get really depressed because she reacts really badly to negative conversations. she sometimes self harms if you say bad stuff.
God I dont want to hurt her but dont know what to do?


Thanks
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby jilkens » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi Betty,

This doesn't sound like typical BPD behaviour. It sounds like a factitious disorder or perhaps an aspect of histrionic personality since she doesn't sound too comfortable with not having the spotlight on her. She could still have BPD and another disorder at the same time.

Whatever she does, don't blame yourself. Your bipolar is real and you need support from others. If your friend happens to overhear you describing an aspect of the illness, it's not your fault if she chooses to copy it.

Is it possible to take a break from her?
Blame it on me, but know that I won't regret one iota.
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby Bettyboop » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:33 pm

Not really she is part of my good friends group.

Thanks for your reply though. It is interesting how you said it does not sound like BPD. I dont really know much about personality disorders and just wondered if this was a symptom.

What is histrionic PD?
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby yoa » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:36 am

that is so not BPD...that's all i can tell
maybe she has BPD, but not only BPD...
yesterday will never be tomorrow
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby Bettyboop » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:25 pm

is there anyway I can help her without hurting her feelings?
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby SillySugarGliders » Wed May 30, 2018 11:34 pm

the same thing is happening to me... kinda. My friend has no history of panic attacks or any sort of anxiety or depression until I told her that I have anxiety and depression. So she faked the symptoms to get her mom to sign her up for therapy... so now she defends herself by saying that. She jokes about suicide, and it makes me really upset because I am really suicidal. She tells me she has panic attacks when she gets a wee bit nervous over something typical such as a big test. She said to the entire class that she goes to therapy and sort of rubs it in everybody's face. Now, she is faking being sad all the time and when we ask her why she is sad, she says that she doesn't wanna talk about it. I said "why are you still on hangouts then?' and she said "I feel bad if I don't tell anybody" so I feel like she is just doing this all for the attention just because I have it. Any tips?
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby fracturedenby » Sun May 02, 2021 3:12 am

I know this is an old post, bit I'm having a similar problem. My friend has stated they're dx'd with bpd, but at this point who really knows.

They've been copying my symptoms & claiming all my Dx's for the past two years, around the same time I got put in the position to have to disclose all the time to explain my constantly needing to fundraise. Now I spend a lot of time terrified to discuss my medical issues irl or online. They've made point to friend all my friends, & follow me to every social site I use under my regular pseudonym.

They keep wanting me to tell them how to get Dx'd with things, but even I don't have every darn thing Dx'd. I have what could still be considered Mystery Illnesses.

They keep wanting to borrow my wheelchair, even tho they have no actual need for it. It's so weird, & I hate it cuz they rent from the same ppl I live with. I have no way to get away from them, except for sitting in the bathroom when I can get away into here.

They also have a have of emotionally dumping on me all the time, then getting angry with me when I give suggestions on how to resolve issues at work. For the longest they kept telling stories wherein they're the only one who works or does anything right, but they're on their 3rd job in 2 years, & I find it hard to believe that between 3 different places they were always the only one working & never making mistakes.

There's just a lot going on here, & I know other ppl who are Dx'd with bpd, none are like this. I'm also frustrated cuz they've recently decided they are a system, cuz many people online they talk to are systems, & apparently that "gave" them DID, & I don't think that's how DID works.

I tried to overlook it in the beginning, but now people are thinking I'm the one copying them, & I'm not getting any help to see Dr's or get medications filled, & mutuals (who were my friend first) are acting like I have no right to fundraise. I'm overwhelmed all the time, & I don't think I have it in me anymore to want to help them. I'm just feeling one of us needs to move out.
It's exhausting.
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby Remember Ronni » Sun May 02, 2021 11:47 am

I have BPD and there are times when I know that I mimic other people. I don't mean I sit and copy them deliberately. It's also usually stupid stuff not someone elses symptoms. So I will probably start to talk how they do, if they have an accent I will pick it up and I find myself using words they use. So instead of saying horrible I start using their term horrid.

This stuff for me is not deliberate or intentional it just kind of happens but for me it's probably more the Favourite Person kind of thing. It feels almost natural when you're with someone you like.

Symptoms of illnesses. I think it is certainly possible that someone hearing or reading about symptoms might just think - OMG I do that. Or I certainly recognise it. My first diagnosis was BP. I read a lot about BP and yes I recognised a lot of the symptoms. So someone could decide well that's what I have and so start acting that way.

For the record, for me anyway, I am not an attention seeker. For me it's more like infatuated with a friend, maybe to the point of wanting to be more like them. But it isn't anything like what your friend is doing. I'm not looking for attention and certainly not from the NHS

This is of course me being very generous. And your situation doesn't sound like it's a very healthy or helpful place for you to be right now. Honestly I think that would freak me out a bit too. Maybe it is time to think about moving on. Right now it doesn't sound as if this is going to be helping you or her to carry on like this.

Anyway I am sorry about what you're going through. I hope you manage to sort it out.
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Re: my friend copies my symptoms. help!

Postby 1PolarBear » Sun May 02, 2021 1:45 pm

It's simply narcissism, sometimes psychopathy.

I see it all the time. Mimic someone's identity, and try to starve and eventually kill the original.
They are often diagnosed BPD at some point, but they will all say they are not sure or they don't like it.

I suppose in this specific case, it could be called factious disorder, but there are more general cases.

There was that woman in the news, Elizabet Holmes, she was that type. Copied Steve Job, made a company that was based on a fiction. Stole from a bunch of investors. It's highly delusional, and in this case antisocial. They just learn real early in life that pretending to be in hardship can give you benefits, and shield you from criticism and scrutiny. Some are small scale and not particularly into gains and exploitation, so they would simply narcissists. One of them actually claimed to be a good psychopath and got famous, because he was a biologist and found "psychopathic" genes in himself. So he was going around, saying he had no feelings, which shocked people seemingly. Was making a bunch of claims. But overall harmless, with no criminal or violent history.

But given the history of a diagnosis like BPD, it is normal that this overlap would occur because those diagnosis all share the same origin if you look let's say a hundred years ago. Today they are more differentiated, but there will be border cases, which may go one way of another. One of the reason people don't see it is because being a victim is not seen as narcissism, but false claims of victimhood is a grandiose delusion just the same as thinking you are a celeb while you are not. It's just plays on different registers, and the payoffs are pretty similar.
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