This week, my BPD support group has been discussing whether Aspies and BPD’s are linked. Personally, I don’t think they are. There is nothing that jumps out at me when looking for a correlation between Aspies and BPD’s.
The literature they have presented indicates that there are aggressive Aspies, but I think this is a manifestation of frustration. Aspies are gentle and kind souls. They have a lower threshold for some things though and just as any normal person would, they have their breaking points. I can see how the combination of being very sensitive and particularly vulnerable to stress and/or abuse could push some of these sweet and often brilliant souls over and into a place that’s not good, especially if they are exposed very young. This in turn could manifest traits and behaviors similar to BPD.
By the time Aspies reach adulthood, most have developed good coping skills and have learned how to read others better and have found niches that work for them, like finding a field that limits the social interaction, etc. The key to diagnosis often comes from looking back over their childhood. However, it seems that it is much harder to detect Asperger’s in girls, for various reasons, but one of them is that the girls appear to figure out and manage the social aspects earlier and better.
As is with any disorder, people will fall into the spectrum to varying degrees. For some, it may be obvious that something isn’t right… for others, it may not be apparent and therefore won’t be investigated unless it’s seriously effecting their lives or those around them.
There are many autism spectrum disorders where it’s been found that what and how they eat greatly effects their moods and coping abilities. They seem to do even less well than “normal” people at managing on a poor diet, especially if it’s high in simple carbs. This rings true for BPD’s as well. It was pointed out to me several months ago that a low carb diet may be a contributing factor on the BP in my life. That is something to think about…
One woman I talked to said that she didn’t think her BP husband had Asperger’s, but that she could see some traits that are similar or parallel. Things like discomfort or avoidance of social situations, difficulty interpreting the emotions of others by facial expressions and body language, imposition of routines and interests on others, etc. She thinks there should be more research to see if they are really related in some way. She pointed out that there have been correlations drawn between ADHD and Tourette’s. And also with bi-polar and BPD. It’s almost like they overlap it seems.
The major difference I see is that people are born with Asperger’s and BPD is something that is developed from childhood or adolescent trauma. Asperger’s can’t be prevented, BPD can!
Asperger’s usually makes for some very brilliant, awesome, sweet and endearing people. These people are not born bad, but they are born different. Although some with the most extreme forms might have a great challenge at being “normal” and having healthy intimate relationships.
Most Aspies, it seems, are very sweet people! (I should know, I married into a family of them!) Although I have heard of Aspies that choose “the dark side” and express behaviors and traits that can easily be confused with BPD. I’m sure there are Aspies that actually have BPD, but I do not think there is a direct link between the two. But that’s just my opinion… Any thoughts?