Trigger Warning: Mention of suicide ideation
Borderline Personality Disorder, or B.P.D. is a common mental health illness affecting roughly 1-4% of the population. It is often called Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, which better reflects what it is. B.P.D. is a long-term disorder which directly affects how a person manages their emotions and relationships. It is treatable and it is possible to live a normal, happy life with it. However, it does need psychotherapy to diagnose and treat. There are currently no medications to cure this disorder, but some medications may help with some of the symptoms. As always, speak to your doctor, therapist, psychiatrist or health professional and never self-diagnose or self-medicate.
B.P.D. is diagnosed more often in women than men, and usually starts during late adolescence and early adulthood, and although it is unclear what causes it, experts believe that a variety of factors could contribute to someone developing it, including genetics, environment, culture/social and biology.
Disturbed sense of self
Chronic fear of abandonment and frantic efforts to avoid abandonment
Low self esteem
Self-harm or threats of suicide
Bouts of anger, irritability or moodiness
Impulsive or reckless behaviour
Intense and uncontrolled emotions
Extreme emotional switching
B.P.D. is very difficult to live with and the sufferer often feels very alone and misunderstood. They can try their best to be a good person, but constantly feel they have failed and need to prove themselves. They perceive even the slightest emotion from people as abandonment and rejection and will go to great lengths to avoid that at all cost, usually pushing that person away in the process, which then restarts the cycle of self hate and fear of abandonment. It becomes a "self-fulfilling prophesy"
People with B.P.D. are not bad or evil, and the majority of them are not attention seeking. A lot of the time they have no idea why they behave the way they do and are confused and distressed because deep down, they don't want to be this way, but they don't know how to fix it. People with B.P.D. deserve love and care as much as anyone else and should not be punished for their behaviour, rather, encouraged to seek counselling to learn the tools to cope with their unstable emotions. People with B.P.D. are often very sensitive, and although that can mean they are easily hurt, it also means they are often very sensitive to the needs and emotions of others. This positive trait can be nurtured along-side teaching them how to manage the intensity of their own emotions.
HOW IS BPD DIFFERENT FROM DID AND HOW ARE THEY LINKED?
B.P.D. is a personality disorder, but contrary to popular (and misinformed) belief, D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is a Dissociative disorder. Many people get the two mixed up, which is understandable, especially considering up until the early 90's, D.I.D. was known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Both disorders seem to affect a person's personality, but in actual fact, D.I.D. is a form of dissociating and splitting off, or disconnecting, from reality. Someone can have Borderline Personality Disorder without having Dissociative Identity Disorder, and vice versa. However, it is very common for people who have D.I.D. to also have B.P.D. along with other mental health disorders. If you'd like to know more about D.I.D. please read my blog on that incredibly complex and fascinating disorder here.
B.P.D. is definitely treatable and if you suffer with it and are feeling lost and hopeless, just know that there is hope with the right therapy. As I stated above, see your doctor or therapist if you think you have B.P.D. for a proper diagnosis.
If you, or someone you know is suicidal or threatening suicide or self-harm, phone for an ambulance immediately. You can also access various helplines in your country if you need a safe and anonymous place to talk.