difference between a mental health problem and a personality disorder.

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helpmeplease

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I have been looking at Mind's website. It states bipolar is a mental health problem and bpd is a personality disorder. I don't understand the difference so I am going to try and study what it says on the website to try and understand. Can anyone help with the difference between a mental health problem and a personailty disorder? Thank you

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helpmeplease

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I have read the pages and I find it all very hard to understand. It must be awful to live with either one. I find it so difficult to follow. I will keep trying to get my head round it. I am looking at the tips for family and friends but there is nothing about what to do when someone is being unreasonable and cruel. It says "Some symptoms of BPD can be very similar to other mental health problems, including: bipolar disorder
complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),depression,psychosis and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)" It must be difficult to diagnose sometimes. I find it all very confusing. So is mental health problem an "umbrella" term for everything? Is bipolar an up and down temporary mood thing a feelings thing and is BPD like a long term different way of thinking. Help!

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11JB68

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I just looked at that website and under both 'personality disorder' and 'bipolar disorder' it says 'is a mental health problem'.... Bipolar and personality disorders are all in the DSM. My experience is that this site ootf is much more about developing healthy coping strategies than about diagnosis....more about behaviors and traits than about labels....it's very helpful to look at it this way.

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moglow

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From American Psychiatric Association:"Personality is the way of thinking, feeling and behaving that makes a person different from other people. An individual’s personality is influenced by experiences, environment (surroundings, life situations) and inherited characteristics. A personality disorder is a way of thinking, feeling and behaving that deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time." [https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/personality-disorders/what-are-personality-disorders]

There are any number of documented personality disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM] and Lord knows how many variations of each within those defined by the mental health community.  I remember years ago a young lady diagnosed and recovering from borderline personality disorder [BPD] stated that there were 273 different presentations of BPD.  Her theory - take the nine traits of the diagnostic criteria and understand that seven of nine are required for a definitive diagnosis [some might exhibit this seven, some THAT seven, some eight, some all nine, mix and match as it were], multiply it out with all the possible variations of all the criteria.  273.

A personality disorder IS a mental health problem, but it's by no means the only mental health problem out there. To me, mental illness isn't about apples and oranges, per se, but the whole mixed bowl of fruit. There is the very real difficulty that personality disorders and other mental illnesses are often comorbid and exacerbated by still other health problems, substance use [and abuse], nature vs nurture, etc etc.  It's not always [to me rarely is] as cut and dried that "here's what's wrong, you take this pill and it's all sorted."  Who wants to be told they have a mental illness??  Who among us would quietly and meekly accept this "diagnosis" from a layperson?  And if one is in denial [as many appear to be] what's to be done then?

Long story short - that's why we're here.  I neither know nor care who among us may have personality disorders or any other mental health issues.  We're here to serve the loved ones, friends and family of those who are presumed to have disorders that are wrecking those relationships.  That doesn't mean it's one-sided or we're not responsible for our own stuff, far from it! We're all reaching out for help and will hopefully address our own issues along the way. Sometimes instead of looking at another and asking "what's wrong with them?" it honestly serves us better to ask "why am I in this misery and what can I do to change it?"

We will never be able to change others, but with time and effort, we can always change ourselves.  :bigwink:
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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athene1399

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Re: difference between a mental health problem and a personality disorder.
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 10:01:59 AM »
A PD is a type of mental health problem. There are many different categories of MH issues in both the ICD10 and DSM5. There are also many different types of PDs, and the DSM and ICD don't agree on all of them. Makes it very confusing. The DSM5 categorizes PDs into A, B, and C clusters dependent on certain shared traits. 

Experts aren't necessarily sure what causes a lot of MH issues in people. Few disorders can be linked to genetic/neurological problems. A lot of it could be epigenetic, meaning a person has a trait or gene for the disorder, but certain conditions (environmental events) can activate the gene. If you're interested, the ACE (adverse childhood experiences) studies have a lot of good information in regards to MH and physical health. For the most part, a lot of MH disorders are maladaptive learned coping mechanisms, especially in regards to PDs (meaning it's a learned behavior- but that doesn't make it any less of an MH disorder). Most of it goes back to the old "nature vs nurture" argument.

I find that understanding why  a person acts the way he or she does helps me to empathize with them.

I hope this helps to answer your question. :)

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Absent Minded Artist

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Re: difference between a mental health problem and a personality disorder.
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2018, 11:41:46 PM »

Can anyone help with the difference between a mental health problem and a personailty disorder?


Thank you so much for making the effort to understand this.

I have Bipolar Disorder, as well as Borderline traits. In an effort to simplify things I'll use myself as an example. I take medication and go to therapy to manage my Bipolar. My Borderline Personality traits can only be treated with therapy.

In some ways, like others have mentioned, the labels don't matter. Having a "chemical imbalance" does not give me a right to treat others like crap. There have been times in the past where my behavior was beyond my control. It doesn't happen anymore because I recognize the signs way before I reach that point. Sometimes, if I'm not aware that my mood is going haywire, my therapist or maybe my fiance will point it out, and I address it much like any other medical problem (see the doctor).

Bottom line - My behavior, my responsibility.

I hope this makes sense and helps answer your questions.
"A manipulator makes you fear everyone around you so you don't see the monster right in front of you. They may have tied your blindfold, but you can take it off"
Erin Van Vuren

"Owning our story & loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we'll ever do"
Brenè Brown