OK, so chances are you’ve heard of Boarderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It seems to be one of the more ‘popular’ mental illnesses of the last few years. You’ve heard of it, you know it’s a mental health problem you might even know that it effects your moods but do you really know what it is Boarderline Personality Disorder. What is it like to live with and what is it like to live with a loved one who has it?
I guessing the majority of you do not know what Boarderline Personality Disorder is. And that’s fine. That’s what I am here for. To help people understand how mental illnesses really do effect people just as severely – if not more severely – as physical illnesses.
Firstly, how do you ‘get’ it? Well it’s caused by a combination of factors but mainly due to difficult/traumatic childhood and teenage experiences and genetic factors.
Trauma in your youth includes; fear or distress, family instability (alcoholic parent) sexual or physical abuse or neglect.
Without having a parent to help regulate or teach you about emotions you have no idea whether what your feeling is right or wrong and you tend to keep a lot of emotions inside through fear of being judged.
Secondly, What are the symptoms? Well I know from experience that these can differ from person to person but I’ve taken the information from the Mind website as I found this information invaluable.
* You feel very worried about people abandoning you and would do anything to stop that happening.
* You have VERY intense emotions that last from a few hours to a few minutes.
* You don’t have a strong sense of who you are and it can change depending on who you’re with.
* You find it very difficult to make and keep stable relationships .
* You act impulsively do things that could harm you.
* You have suicidal thoughts and/or self harming behaviours.
* You feel empty and lonely a lot of the time.
* You get very angry and struggle to cope with the anger.
* When very stressed sometimes you might; feel paranoid , have psychotic experiences or feeling numb/ checked out and forget things.
As you can see it is quite a broad range of symptoms and apart from psychotic experiences I suffer with them all.
It is important to say here that if you recognise five or more of these symptoms – to the extreme – please seek help from your GP or other health professional.
This covers the basics of ‘What is Boarderline Personality Disorder’ but what is it like to live with?
Well as the image above suggests, its a roller coaster! A roller coaster of feelings, emotions and behaviours. Never knowing from day to day or even hour to hour how you are going to feel and react to things. I can literally blink and my moods will change.
Being like this really takes it toll on the people close to me. I can be acting, for want of a better word, ‘normal’ one minute, then the next I’m withdrawn, angry, severely anxious, or very low. I can barely keep up with it let alone my family and friends.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of BPD is the questions I am asked A LOT!
Why? Why do you feel like that?
Well, I have absolutely no idea why 99.9% of the time! It just happens. An instant shift from within for no apparent reason! Bloody annoying! So if I am answering with an “I don’t know?” then let me reassure you, I am not being awkward or shy. I genuinely don’t know.
This just scratches the surface of BPD. There is so, so much more to explore and I will delve deeper in my future blogs but as an introduction I’m sure you’ll agree that it is definitely a complex and difficult illness.
Stay strong and keep fighting.
lots of love,