The boy in my story often accused me of being Bipolar, Borderline, and depressed. He would blame his rages on what he liked to call my mental instability. After escaping, I asked my counselor about the differences between depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. I wanted to know how a person knows if he/she has Bipolar Disorder or is Borderline.
My counselor explained that there is no blood test or brain scan to determine any of these conditions. However, he assured me that based on our many sessions and conversations, I was depressed…nothing more.
Not that I was relieved to learn that I was JUST depressed, I was relieved to learn that the boy’s rages had NOTHING to do with me. The boy’s rages had EVERYTHING to do with his own disordered mind. Nothing more. (But even if I were Bipolar or Borderline, doesn’t give him the right to blame me for his shitty treatment of me.)
The boy’s rages would come out of no where and were not influenced by alcohol or drugs. The boy was completely sober. We’d be talking about something and then BAM!! I was always caught off guard and rendered speechless and frozen, similar to a deer in headlights.
Interestingly, I recently read the following on a blog by Joseph Burgo, Ph.D:
“Most of the clients I’ve seen who demonstrated features of Borderline Personality Disorder or presented with Bipolar Disorder symptoms also displayed features of narcissistic behavior, often involving outbursts of rage.”
Dr. Burgo goes on to explain that an episode of rage, whether by a person with Bipolar Disorder, Borderline, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is an intense form of blaming, one of the primary defenses against shame.
Dr. Burgo’s message makes it clear to me that the boy’s rages were a combination of blame, shame, and projection. I’ll never know why the boy was so ashamed of who he is, and I honestly do not care to know anymore. Finally, the boy is dead to me and only his actions and treatment live on in my writings and posts in hopes others will learn from my misfortune.
If someone is raging on you, you need to find the strength and courage to walk away. If they have Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, bless them and wish them the best. How much more of your life and happiness are you willing to sacrifice for someone who refuses to face their own disordered mind?