Response to a FC Participant Who Admitted to Possessing BPD Traits

Dear Participant,

It was very brave of you to share your concerns about how many traits manifest themselves in your own life. I particularly liked your wording, “On a good day I have four traits and on a bad one, five.” [Editor’s Note: The DSM requires the presence of five traits to diagnose BPD.]


Many parents notice this at FC, but few admit it. That takes some courage. I am very glad that you felt comfortable doing so.


In addition to what we said yesterday about “medical students suddenly worrying that they have every disease under the sun,” it occurred to me that in so far as some of these traits are present in your own life, this  is very much a blessing in disguise because it allows you to understand your daughter’s pain and anguish so much better. You can use the compassion and comprehension this brings to help both her and yourself by using the skills we are learning most effectively.


It goes without saying that the intensity and duration of the feelings you have are not as great as your daughters or else you would not be functioning as well as you are. So I would not jump to self-diagnose! But I would observe these traits at work in you and learn to manage them effectively, which is what FC is all about!