Dear Dr. Heller,
"Angry" is the first word I think of when describing my husband since his retirement from the military. He can still be utterly charming but "anger" is the first word that comes to mind when I think of him. His irrational rages are painful to live through, and along with them comes a torrent of emotional abuse that I understand is splitting and projecting. I can't get into his head to know whether or not he feels "empty" and he vehemently denies he is a person with BPD. Doctor, how can one tell the difference between BPD and Explosive Mood Disorder?
First the BPD doesn't begin at retirement. Secondly there isn't an official
"explosive mood disorder."
He's likely depressed. Many individuals place their identity on their jobs, and lose that identity at retirement. He's likely suffering from a clinical depression due to this. Counseling and getting to work at something that makes him feel important is crucial.
The screening test that I use for my patients may give you some clues to any underlying biologically treatable disorders. The depression Newsletter I give my patients may give some additional information to him about depression.