As most of you know I suffer with BPD – borderline personality disorder, amongst other things. I have spoken briefly about it and how it effects me, but I have always held back just a little bit.
Scared of peoples reactions. Being judged, Or that awful thing I seem to get a lot from people – “Oh you’ve got that, that explains soooo much!” God I hate that!
In this post I am just going to go over BPD symptoms from my point of view and how it effects me personally.
Borderline personality disorder. My overview;
- Low self – esteem; I have this in abundance! I do struggle almost constantly with self doubt and feeling inferior to everyone else. I rely heavily on praise and approval from others to help to define me and give me an identity.
- Overwhelming anxiety; I have this in many forms. I have an extreme and almost desperate need to be liked by others, It’s almost debilitating at times. Anxiety about leaving the house, answering the phone, doing the shopping, meeting people and almost anything you can think of can at times bring crippling anxious thoughts and feelings. When anxiety is bad it’s all consuming and it can make my emotions be felt intensely. Leading, sometimes to inappropriate or explosive outbursts. I suffer also with panic and anxiety attacks, which have, in the past been seen as me exaggerating or ‘a cry for attention’, but I can assure you they are neither!
- A constant fear of abandonment; This links a little with the anxiety of wanting to be liked by people. I must be wanted. I must be needed. I may and have resorted to threats and inappropriate behaviour in the past in a desperate attempt to avoid being abandoned! It sends me spiralling out of control at times.
- Clinical depression; BPD can sometimes be misdiagnosed as chronic depression, I have seen this happen. Clinical depression is very common in people with BPD. It’s almost a deeper and heavier feeling depression and for me it’s full of feelings of me having no value. Being worthless. Empty and numb. The feeling that nothing really matters at all. Nothing will ever get any better and I don’t deserve it to.
- Erratic mood swings; Because of these mood swings BPD is often mistaken for bipolar disorder. In fact I was thought to have this in the beginning before my diagnosis was changed (one of my Psychologists is still convinced I may have it?) The Moods swings for BPD are much more erratic. They are constantly changing. One minute you could be laughing and having fun but within minutes feel the most angry you have ever felt for no real reason at all. Bipolar tends to have longer lasting mood changes. I do tend to over-react to things often. I’ll become very stressed, agitated, anxious and even angry. These mood swings can ruin happy occasions and make me feel that when I am happy or excited it’s not going to last as those mood swings are just hovering on the horizon.
- Impulsive; This is definitely something people with BPD are known for. I am extremely impulsive at times. I can spend lots of money without giving it a second thought. Redecorate the house. Book a holiday. Move house. and even in the past book in for plastic surgery – at the last moment I didn’t go through with it, thankfully! I have also been known to engage in risky behaviour. Driving to fast, drinking too much etc. Having BPD means I have hyperactive thoughts and it’s very difficult to stop them!
- Self harm; A very high number of people suffering with BPD self harm. It;’s very common as it tends to act a release of built up feeling or even as a kind of proof that you’re still here when the illness makes you feel so numb. This is true for me. I have in past gone for long periods where I was feeling completely detacthed from the world. Floating along in my bubble not sure if I was even there and self harming was my proof that I was. As I mentioned before I often get such a huge amount of emotion all at once the feeling like I can’t cope and desperately needing a release. This is where self harm became my daily occurrence a few years ago.
- Obsessive behaviour; Similar to the impulsive behaviour this is something most people with BPD can relate to. I really do obsess about things a lot. Sometimes it’s ok. If I’ve got a deadline for something or a project to complete but most of the time it’s really a nightmare to live with. It can be anything. Once I have it in my head that I am going to have this product or do that thing I will not rest until I do it. Really. It doesn’t matter the cost, the size, the compatibility! Nothing matters but ensuring I get what I want. It will consume every single part of my life! Then, in the blink of an eye, it’s gone. I don’t think about it anymore and in most cases I couldn’t care less!
- Suicidal thoughts/actions; There is an alarmingly high suicide rate for those who suffer with BPD. It’s 10% of those diagnosed will commit suicide! I was very nearly one of that 10%. I have written previous posts on my suicide attempts (http://amysboarderlineworld.com/life-suicide-attempt/) and how they have changed me and how I was extremely lucky to be here today. I mentioned that people with BPD are very impulsive so it’s no surprise that suicide is mentioned but add in the depression, obsessive, perfectionist nature and it’s no surprise that suicide is a huge risk. It can often be seen as a way to ease the unbearable pain, the logical thing to do to help our friends and family or simply that don’t believe they are worthy of this life and better off dead. I unfortunately have felt all three.
So that is it. Borderline personality disorder. My overview. My diagnosis and how it has and does effect me. It is pretty scary posting this as I am being open about some of my behaviours that I hate and am really embarrassed about but as always I am doing this to help you. So if this helps just one person then I have done the right thing.
Lots of love