BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) or EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) as doctors and psychiatrists now call it, is a disorder where individuals have unstable relationships with others, an unstable sense of self and have unstable emotions, causing long term abnormal behaviour characteristics.
So, I was diagnosed with this disorder after years of being told I had Depression and Anxiety from my GP—which obviously I still have but only as a trait from the BPD. This was a good thing for me as it now all made sense, all the times when I felt like I was overreacting majorly, when I knew something wasn't right and there was something more than just "hormones" and "mood swings." It was a relief and now I can find ways to help myself improve in the way that's right for me and the disorder......still trying to find the best way to help myself.
There are 9 main characteristics of BPD, these being listed below. Some people who have BPD may experience little or more of each characteristic as every diagnosis is different to each and everyone. Here's a little information of how to possibly pick up signs that someone has BPD and maybe you'll then realise they're not overreacting or being dramatic.
1. Fear of Being Abandoned
For me this is a massive problem, it effects my everyday life—at home, at work, in relationships and in friendships. There's a constant voice in my head that reminds me that there's always a chance that someone will leave, this had led to me doing some weird and embarrassing things to try keep someone in my life...things that other people would judge me for, such as; begging, clinging, starting fights and arguments, constantly checking social media for their online activity and in some situations physically not letting someone leave the room. This is all impulsive behaviour for me and afterwards I always always end up pushing the person away anyway, despite my efforts. Most people don't understand why I'm doing it. The fear of abandonment has been with me my whole life as far as I can think back, and I think it may have stemmed from when my "dad" (aka sperm doner) left me and my mum when I was 6 months old—more about that another time.
2. Unstable Relationships—Friends, Family and Partners
Well...at the moment for me I have about 2 friends and one of them is my mum. I can't keep friendships for a long period of time, I either end up pushing them away, getting fed up of their company or wanting to be alone. Whereas when finding a guy it's different, if a guy gives me the tiniest bit of attention or treats me nicely, I believe they're a good person and with my caring nature I believe I can help them become a good individual and we could be happy and whole...only to get hurt a few months down the line when the BPD convinces me they're going to leave me anyway so I end up pushing them away. Most of the time people who I get close to can't cope with my mood swings and the lack of effort I make with them, which ends up in no contact at all and me being left alone. It's basically all or nothing.
3. Unclear or Unstable of Self-Image
This is a difficult one, my sense of self is strange. Sometimes I have great days and manage to convince myself I'm losing weight, my hair looks good, my skins fine. Whereas other days I hate everything about me and I hate my personality and I think of everything I've done wrong to people, how I make people feel in my presence. I can't decide on what I want from life or what I want to do with myself—resulting in constant job changes, change of friends, change of hobbies, change of physical appearance, etc.
4. Impulsive or Self-Destructive Behaviours
Having BPD can be the cause of self-destructive behaviours, such as self-harm, suicide attempts, dangerous behaviours especially when feeling down and upset. Impulsive behaviours occur regularly—spending money you can't afford, overeating, driving dangerously, drinking or doing drugs, having unprotected sex or sex in a risky manor. These things help to distract you from the shit mood you may be in but afterwards it can lead to anxiety, depression and more damage in the long run.
This is highly common with BPD, self-harm could stem from torturing yourself by thinking about self-harming or attempting suicide to actually self-harming and attempting suicide. Self-harming yourself could be overeating til you're unhappy with your appearance, eating til you're sick, misusing drugs and alcohol, physically cutting and/or burning yourself.
6. Extreme Emotional Swings
BPD is also known as EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) so it's in the name really...someone with BPD typically struggles with their emotions and processing them. One minute someone could be feeling on top of the world, next minute they could be at an all time low—this usually passes quickly, within minutes or hours.
7. Chronic Feelings of Emptiness
One of the main feelings for someone with BPD is "emptiness," as for someone with BPD it's how we feel...we have an unstable sense of self and find it hard to deal with emotions resulting in feeling empty. It's hard to find the words to describe how we feel and unless it's an extreme feeling it's hard to explain. The feeling of emptiness is usually the cause of doing drugs, drinking a lot of alcohol, overeating or having a lot of sex to see if we can actually FEEL...although there's never really that fully satisfying feeling or emotion.
8. Explosive Anger
Dealing with anger is a massive problem for me, I'm known to be aggressive and snappy to my friends and family. I have a very short temper and the little things could trigger me to blow. Once I'm angry this could go on for a while and I tend to hold grudges a lot. This then leads to me overthinking...did I overreact? Was that a valid reason to be angry? Should I forgive them? Should I say sorry?
9. Feeling Suspicious or out of Touch with Reality
A lot of people with BPD experience dissociation, this could be triggered when someone gets stressed so they lose touch with reality. A lot of people describe it as taking themselves out of their body. Leading to feeling "foggy, spaced out and dizzy."
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