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C-PTSD misdiagnosed as BPD? Trigger warning. (Trauma.)

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C-PTSD misdiagnosed as BPD? Trigger warning. (Trauma.)

Postby WorkingOnIt1013 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:33 am

(Sorry that this is long.) About 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with BPD right after some serious trauma where I thought I was going to be killed by my ex and there was rape and what was almost kidnapping/holding me hostage. I had to go along with whatever he wanted because I was scared.

When I was diagnosed, I didn't understand yet I had been through trauma, but I was later diagnosed with PTSD after I did. I also didn't understand that at the other time of my life when BPD symptoms showed, I was going through trauma. Like at 14 when I started cutting and acting out, I had just been molested and also a victim of child porn. I have had several other traumatic experiences throughout life too, some worse than others.

What struck me about the BPD label was the way people interpreted me and a lot of what I've read about it... I occasionally struggle with romantic relationships, yes, and my emotions can be hard for people (and me) at times. I went through a rebellious, "empty" phase where everything lost meaning. When I get triggered, (usually related to trauma,) my anxiety and fear put me in fight or flight mode.

But a lot of my relational difficulties are more like C-PTSD than BPD. It's usually a fight or flight response. I avoid people like crazy because I'm scared of being too much. The interpretation of BPD as "evil" has had me constantly questioning myself and trying to better myself, nobody who really knows me thinks I'm evil. I'm usually the one to end relationships out of fear and I just do not trust people, and... So many things people say about BPD just don't seem to be accurate.

The biggest thing is that most of my BPD-like symptoms relate to traumatic experiences, not my personality... which isn't BPD-like at all if I'm not triggered. As far as I've read, the difference between C-PTSD and that is the first relates to trauma.

I guess too, all the material on C-PTSD is compassionate and helpful, making me believe I can change and get better with hard work. What I read on BPD accuses me of basically being a monster that's evil and can't change because it's my personality, it makes me want to die and feel like I shouldn't be alive because I'll always be a terror and that's the last thing I want. I want to help people and have healthy relationships and be good to people...

I want to believe i can heal and I think the C-PTSD label is so much more helpful. I really believe it's more accurate, I don't want to feel hopeless.

Has anyone with C-PTSD ever been misdiagnosed?
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Re: C-PTSD misdiagnosed as BPD? Trigger warning. (Trauma.)

Postby Terry E. » Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:13 am


Answer is yes, and I guess I am not alone. My wife was a non practicing Pysch Grad who strongly believed I was BP, and it was hard to argue as my mother certainly is.

But what was manic was a workaholic coping mechanism and what was depression was simply working to exhaustion.

Another thing to consider is that for many of us who have suffered trauma, the PTSD does not show strongly until we are caught up in another trauma. We then seem to have a higher than normal reaction to the second trauma. A sort of compound effect.

Looking at what you described I suggest you consider looking at that first trauma again against what the PTSD markers are.

take care
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