The Va Says I Do

The VA says I have BPD, I am not so sure. When I was in the military and later when I worked for state VA, I saw several persons who had been discharged from the military for a personality disorder. Having that on your discharge papers is stigmatizing, especially if you have to provide a copy to an employers etc. You can't get service connected benefits if discharged for a personality disorder. Fortunately I finished my enlistment and received an honorable discharge. Yes I did get mental health services while on active duty but was never diagnosed then for a personality disorder. THe military and VA look down upon personality disorders, unless of course you are veteran of OIF/OEF. I served during Desert Storm, back when it was taboo to even say the word depressed.
So right now I am not sure about everything. When I look up BPD, i find lists of persons who have it and they are all criminals. I am not a criminal, but am I now going to be prone to becoming a criminal? I do have a strong sense of right and wrong and have never gotten in trouble.
I have also been with my husband going on 12 years. I dont have impulsive behaviors either. This whole thing is very confusing.
An Ep User An EP User
3 Responses Jan 18, 2013

I get the 'you cant have PTSD, you werent in combat' statement from people all the time. I was not in combat but just being a woman in the Navy when I was in the Navy was combat all its own. When I was on active duty an incident happened, i reported it but they said it was my fault. I was also in an abusive relationship too at the time, which my command refused to do anything about.

Have you looked into the book Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman? She claims that BPD might be a form of PTSD. BPD is more often diagnosed in women, while PTSD is more often diagnosed in men. The theory is that BPD is stigmatized and not usually associated with PTSD because the qualities of the symptoms (emotional dysphoria, lack of strong sense of self, "inappropriate" anger) are traditionally feminized, even when those symptoms overlap for PTSD (e.g. "Irritability or outbursts of anger"). So men end up with the very "manageable" and event-specific diagnosis of PTSD that can be worked with and "fixed" and woman end up with the "PERSONALITY disorder" that, until recently, was deemed incurable. I write this because you say you are in the military and I'm wondering if perhaps you have PTSD symptoms, and maybe because you're a woman you've been slapped with a BPD label. Just some thoughts.

It might be worth you reading up on the symptoms and see if anything fits first. I doubt very much it pre disposes you to criminal behaviour, I also have high morals but am still BPD.