Hi all not a sufferer but due to a recent event I am looking at various symptoms that some of you may have experienced or heard of etc I have posted my recent experience of a friend who has MS and who is/has acted rather wierd with anger and nastyness

Has anybody experienced Borderline Personality Disorder or heard of anyone that has MS has suffered from this ? As reading on this forum there are lot of folks that have noticed a change in personality along with emotions and cognitive problems.

Also read on here of several heartbreaking stories of partners that have left there partners/spouses etc because of the MS.

Also once I sort myself out I may become a volunteer at our local MS service. So looking to be as well informed as possible. I would like to help those that I can

Hi Worried, are you sure you mean borderline personality disorder, and not bipolar?

A personality disorder is not technically a disease or condition, and certainly not one caused by MS. Although it is “diagnosable”, it’s still controversial in the sense it’s arguably part of the person’s actual personality, and not something that has “gone wrong” with them (i.e. not like PTSD).

The very existence of borderline personality disorder is controversial, with not all psychologists accepting it. I have a friend - actually a penpal (we’ve never met) who is so diagnosed. I suppose you could argue it’s hard to tell just from correspondence, but we’ve been exchanging e-mails some 15 years, so I feel I know her. I do not recognize the anger or nastiness you speak of, but she is prone to extreme insecurity - for example, despite the long-lived nature of our correspondence, she is sometimes seized with the conviction I would not want to write to her any more.

“But I’ve been doing it 15 years! What’s brought this on?”

“Dunno, sorry, nothing… I think I might be being silly.”

It’s even more apparent in her intimate relationships - she fears abandonment by people close to her, and tends to form volatile and sometimes inappropriate (i.e. illicit) relationships. The paradoxes around BPD are sometimes summed up by the phase: “I hate you, don’t leave me!”

My friend is impulsive but fragile. She sometimes has thoughts of self-harm, but not anything she has put into action. They are more like morbid thoughts she might be seized with a sudden urge than actual intentions.

None of this sounds like what you are describing, and anyway, MS would not cause a personality disorder. Someone either has one or they don’t. If they have one, it’s likely their personality was either always like it, or at least from a very early developmental stage. It’s not “brought on” by disease or trauma - or if it is, it would have to be extremely early trauma, at a time when the personality was still forming. Not adult onset MS. Sorry, doesn’t fit. MS doesn’t cause PDs.


Hi Anitra thank u for the reply…maybe im reading it wrong…let me know what u think

11 people out of 203,000 ?? Am I reading this wrong coz it seems pretty rare to me ?!!

Having A+B does not mean A caused B. Simply counting how many patients in a “study” had both does not prove cause and effect. How many people with cancer have telephones? That does NOT prove telephones cause cancer. I put the word “study” in inverted commas, because I’m not sure anyone studied anything, but simply collected figures of how many patients SELF-REPORTED having both. That is unscientific in itself, because we don’t know if all/any of the people contributing had received formal diagnoses of either, or were self-diagnosers. If the latter, they might be way off track. I agree that, if anything, the figures seem low, although I’ve no idea what the prevalence of BPD is in the population at large. I would hazard a guess, though, that it’s slightly more common than the 1 in 1000 to 1 in 800 with MS! So the argument could be made, that if anything, BPD looks to be protective against MS! I say that, rather than the other way round, because BPD is a lifelong thing that would almost certainly be established at least by adolescence, although it cannot (as far as I know) be diagnosed younger, because the personality is still forming. Hence, someone with both would almost certainly have had the BPD first, whether diagnosed or not. Please, before you volunteer your services to help people with MS, make sure you aren’t assuming the difficulties of ONE person with the disease (which may or may not be related) are commonplace. I’m afraid the last thing I’d want from an MS support service is for it to be staffed by people who believe we’re LIKELY to have mental health problems and/or a personality disorder! Reported rates of depression and anxiety are higher in the MS population, but that’s perhaps not surprising, given the nature of the disease. How many people wouldn’t be depressed or anxious, in the face a disease that either has, or could deprive them of sight, mobility etc. with no warning? But I don’t think there’s any evidence that serious psychiatric disorders (more than depression or anxiety) are a common complication of MS. Let alone personality disorders, which, as I’ve said, can be viewed as part of someone’s core personality. They’re not something an otherwise psychologically “normal” adult suddenly develops in response to sickness or stress. It is, of course, possible for people with a PD get MS, and given the law of averages, it’s almost inevitable some will. It still doesn’t make the two connected. As a PD goes to the very core of the personality, it’s likely it would have some effect on how they deal with serious illness, just as it affects how they handle everything else in life. I couldn’t begin to predict exactly what the effects might be, though. It’s possible existing Borderline traits might become more extreme or pronounced, but I honestly don’t know. Tina

Hi again Anitra

Interesting subject and reply but youmake valid points and figures. Like I said I am just looking for knowledge and its always a good idea to ask if not sure???

Depression, which I think they call it “Clinical Depression” there term not mine btw…yes very much so when faced with the uncertainty of where the MS may leave an individual. Thats what really grinds on me its all individual symptoms. Again I have seen Bipolar used in the same bracket as MS, Pscycosis etc the list is endless all mental health kind of thing.

Now we get to the emotional side of things. I have read on here that some become completely “emotionally flat” and again it points to depression. There is not enough money around for research on this illness. Plenty for HIV…no offence to HIV sufferers btw…Same for cancer there billions chucked into the pot…MS, well they get the scraps of a few grand.

MS ruins lives young and old. Changes people that once were leading “normal” healthy lives into a mentality of uncertainty. One person differs from another in there symptoms cant they at least bring out meds that do not have side affects that mess people up…angers me no end


i have MS and boarderline pd along with depression and anxiety too.

your notb on your own. all those conditions are tough to try and live with but you can learn to cope with them , with support



As the post you responded to is more than 18 months old, please don’t be surprised if ‘worried’ doesn’t respond further !!