Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Let’s talk Borderline Personality Disorder ( BPD )
BPD was my third diagnosis but it was the one that struck home with me the most. It was the connection of so many dots. The answers to so many questions of mine. For me, receiving my diagnosis’s brought me peace. It made me feel less alone, less in the dark with my thoughts and feelings. I could now point to some definition and reasoning as to why I was the way I was. I’m going to do my best to explain what it’s like living with borderline personality disorder to shed some light on it to those who don’t understand and wish to know more about it. Also, for my fellow borderlines I want to remind them they’re not alone.
Borderline Personality Disorder is an emotional dysregulation disorder. It is still being studied to fully identify where this disorder stems from. Some studies say that it comes from trauma endured during the ages of 0-6 and some studies show it can also be hereditary. In my case, I believe it to be a bit of both.
Here are the 9 symptoms of BPD ; 1. Fear of abandonment 2. Unstable relationships 3. Unclear or shifting self image 4. Impulsive and self destructive behaviours 5. Self harm or suicidal attempts 6. Extreme emotional swings 7. Chronic feelings of emptiness 8. Explosive anger 9. Dissociation ( feeling out of touch with reality )
BPD stems from a deep fear of abandonment and is often most apparent when an individual with BPD is in a romantic relationship. People with BPD also feel emotions more intensely and have the ability to switch their moods quickly. Which is why we’re usually often mistaken for bipolar. I once heard a very accurate analogy of what having BPD feels like. It’s as if our emotional nerve endings are open with no protection so we feel everything very deeply. The good feels euphoric. The bad feels like hell. Breakups can leave you feeling suicidal and affection can make you forget you have ever felt pain before.
With this disorder when the pendulum swings it swings very drastically and our episodes can last anywhere from minutes to days. BPD feels like having very little control over your emotions. It is feeling a trigger with your entire body. It is constantly struggling to be rational. It is one day feeling as though you’re on top of the world and the next day doubting if you’re enough. It is trying to make sense of our very loud emotions and actions to others. It is copious amounts of feeling misunderstood. It ( in my case ) is battling with self harm & suicidal thoughts. It is fearing being left by everyone you ever love. It is feelings of distrust towards your own brain and fearing what you could be capable of. It is overthinking, anxiety filled, sleepless nights. It is in some cases hard to keep jobs. It is especially hard to maintain stable relationships because the fear of them leaving consumes the relationship.
I’ve listed a lot of what it feels like to struggle with BPD but now I want to share some of the positive sides of having this disorder. I feel things more intensely so when I’m having a good day, mark my words it feels like the best fucking day of my life. When someone does an act of kindness for me, it almost brings me to tears of joy every time. When someone is hurting, I cry with them because I can usually empathize with the depth of pain they feel. When I’m in love it feels like magic. I have built friendships that would last 10 lifetimes because of the depth I can love at and the empathy I have to offer. You will never be loved harder than by someone with BPD. We know loss, deeply. We will value the ones who stay. We are loyal and we are fighters.
There is no cure for this disorder nor is there a specific medication that can help all who suffer from BPD. However, therapy helps immensely. Also there are certain medications that can help relieve some of the intensity we feel our emotional pain at and help regulate our emotions. A doctor or licensed therapist can help with deciding what could be the right medication to help. I myself have tried a few different types of medications but so far the biggest positive change has come from receiving Dialectal Behaviour Therapy. A therapy designed to help people with BPD tap into the skills we don’t have naturally because of this disorder. It helped me tap into my logical brain and use fact over fear based thinking. It gave me skills to help when I’m in distress. It taught me mindfulness and how to activate that way of thinking in some of my most intense episodes. My therapy was done through the Canadian Mental Health Association and it was free. I highly recommend if you suffer from this disorder you seek out this therapy. It has truly changed my life for the better.
If someone you know suffers from this disorder I encourage you to share this blog with them. It may give them a sense of comfort to know they are not alone in this. I’m also hoping this blog will help educate those who don’t suffer from this disorder but wish to understand it more.
Thank you for reading, Xx