Note- This is my personal perspective of having Autism and a PD
In previous posts I have come to the conclusion that my Autism doesn’t define me, but in my early twenties and when I was in my first job which was awful, two Personality Disorders came into the forefront which were “extremes” of my “normal” personality traits.Donna Williams has done extensive research into these areas of personhood (including extremes) and the developmental aspects of Autism and how they co-exist.
Borderline Personality Disorder- Extreme/Disordered Version of the Emotionally Sensitive Personality
It is characterized as:
A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
- A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
- Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
- Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
- Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
- Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
- Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms
This was extracted form Wikidpedia with the DSM-IV TR Diagnostic Features Copyright World Health Organization
Can Autism and Borderline Personality Disorder Co-Exist?
The answer to your question is yes it can. I had the features of self-harming behaviors which involved cutting, suicidal thoughts, over eating which included binge eating and under-eating, Feelings of emptiness, paranoid delusions, anger issues which made me snappy, problems with self image and the sense of who I was and my identity to the world, high levels of uncontrolled anxiety. This was due to problems with bullies in the workplace and not being able to fight back. However I will say this a strong controlled loving household (my parents) got me through this with positivity and self belief and convincing me that I wasn’t a victim!
Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014