Let's Talk About BPD

Living with borderline personality disorder

Let's Talk About BPD

There was a Facebook post going around... not too long ago called "BPD awareness." It talked about how hopeless someone with BPD can feel, how guilty they feel on a daily basis, how it destroys their relationships with everyone they love—and I shared it. Because, that's what you do when you relate to something on social media, right?

Well, I shared it. I felt happy that my peers would know how I felt on a daily basis, and get a small glimpse into the many other complicated struggles that come along with this disorder.

Not even an hour later, I was pretty horrified by the results I was seeing. My close childhood friends were sharing it saying things along the lines of; "ughhh yesss" or "omg me!!!" I was pissed. I mean, I was livid. I was seething on the inside.

All of a sudden all of these people I loved so much and felt close to, I wanted to hit them. Borderline Personality Disorder is not something you "ugh yes" or "omg me." It has caused me to have a suicide attempt, destroy the relationships with my family, have an unstable relationship with my (now) husband, and made me feel like a shit-bag for the way that I interact with other human beings.

When my friends read this, they'll know who they are, and honestly, I hope it opens their eyes to what those kinds of actions can do to people who are actually suffering. Because, no, Bridgette—you crying while you eat toast and watching Pit Bulls and Parolees does not diagnose you with BPD and no, Sarah, having an unstable relationship with your mom because you're an ungrateful ass to her doesn't make it so you have BPD.

If you have not been diagnosed with BPD, chances are —YOU DO NOT HAVE IT. Let me tell you why.

Let's delve into some of the symptoms of BPD, and I'll give you an insider look into how that looks on a day to day basis.

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Engagement in impulsive or risky behaviors
  • Angry and antagonistic behaviors
  • Engagement in physical fights
  • Self-injury
  • Frequently changes jobs
  • Difficulties maintaining friendships
  • Suicidal behaviors

Physical Symptoms:

  • Scars, bruises, cuts, burns, or other signs of self-injury
  • Weight fluctuations

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Difficulty control emotions or impulses
  • Unable to see grey areas; only thinks in terms of black and white
  • Stress-related thoughts of paranoia

Psychosocial Symptoms:

  • Intense episodes of anxiety or depression
  • Feeling misunderstood, neglected, or alone
  • Excessive fear of being alone
  • Self-hatred and self-loathing
  • Rapidly changing self-identity or sense of self
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Unstable self-image
  • Feeling as though one does not exist at all
  • Sierra tucson

--------------------------------

Let's go into a little more detail, because that's a lot to swallow.

I can only talk about my personal experiences with BPD, and keep in mind I do not have all of the symptoms, and this is a disorder that effects every person VERY differently!

Behavioral

1. Engagement in risky behavior: Basically, I do not have any self-preservation skills. Things that normal people would be like, "Okay no, that obviously isn't safe" to, don't affect me. I'm constantly putting myself in danger, but luckily, only for animals. It's not something that I seek out otherwise... but my love of animals and feeling the need to save them causes me to act out.

2. Antagonistic behavior: Normally, unless you're just an ass who gets off on seeing people upset, you'll avoid trying to fight with people. Why fight with people when you can just simply get along? Sometimes, it's not that simple. Something snarky or snappy that I know will set someone off comes out of my mouth before I even realize it was a thought in my mind.

3. Difficulties maintaining friendships: I connect very strongly to people. I like to say that I have a set of relationship standards completely different from other people. I don't know if it's because of the BPD or a mix of all of my diagnosis, but I have a grey-space between "relationship level" and "friendship level." I bond myself "too strongly" (I don't personally think this way, but people who I'm in a relationship do) to some of my friends, and it makes those who I'm committed to extremely uncomfortable.

4. Suicidal behaviors: While I've had a slew of suicidal thoughts, I've only ever had one suicidal attempt. I do not however relate that back to BPD. There were a lot of traumatizing things in my life happening at that time, and while BPD probably played into my mental health declining, it was not the only thing leading me forward.

Cognitive

Difficulty control emotions or impulses: I used to have extremely bad impulse control issues regarding aggression. If someone aggravated me even slightly, I would hit them. Only family members, and typically only my younger sister Morgan. We would get into some really bad fights because of my control issues.

Psychosocial

  • Intense episodes of anxiety or depression
  • Feeling misunderstood, neglected, or alone
  • Excessive fear of being alone
  • Self-hatred and self-loathing
  • Rapidly changing self-identity or sense of self
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness

Unstable self-image: I'm going to put these all in one, because they're all interconnected, and I don't know how to explain them separately. I suffer from SEVERE anxiety and depression: major depressive anxiety disorder, unbelievable mood swings, the works. When you have a label such as BPD, it's really hard not to feel misunderstood. You think you act one way, you think you present yourself one way, and in reality—it's entirely different. This may not be relatable to everyone with this disorder, keep in mind. Everyone's experiences are different. I have a hard time loving myself because of how much self-hate I hold due to not being able to function as a normal human being on a day-to-day basis. I don't think I'll ever not feel that way about myself, but at the same time, I will go through week-long periods where I suddenly feel perfectly fine about my self image and believe I'm pretty, worthy, etc.

I'm going to add in something that wasn't mentioned in the above.

Manipulation. It actually kind of scares me how easy it is to manipulate people. I can get people to say whatever I want them to within an hour of working on them. I can get people to think whatever I want, and because of that, I always find that I run circles around therapists and psychologists. I don't mean to lie, I don't mean to get inside of their heads, I just do... and I'm good at it. While I may not realize I'm doing it with people like that, I DO have control when I manipulate my loved ones. I mean CLOSE loved ones. Not just acquaintances or friends I hang out with sometimes, but my nuclear family and the people I'm in a relationship with. I wonder if they think I'm manipulating them even when I'm not. I do feel guilty when I don't realize that I'm doing it, and look back at a situation afterwards and say, "Oh heck, those weren't their actual thoughts, that's what I put in their head."

It's a gift that would be good if I could find a way to use it to help people instead of harm them, but unfortunately I'm not at a point in my life where I can achieve that yet.

--------------------------------

Now, you may remember me previously stating:

"If you have not been diagnosed with BPD, chances are—YOU DO NOT HAVE IT. Let me tell you why.

Let's delve into some of the symptoms of BPD, and I'll give you an insider look into how that looks on a day to day basis."

If you haven't had your loved ones being extremely concerned about your well-being and the self-destructive tendencies that you show, if you haven't been in counseling or therapy where the therapist or psychologist truly has no idea what to do with you (or what to label you as for awhile), or if you haven't ended up in meetings because of self-destructive tendencies caused by BPD (for example, ending up in AA, staying in a psych ward for self-harm, suicide attempts, etc.)—you most likely DO NOT have BPD.

For those of us with it, it's a daily struggle and people notice. It's not an easy thing to hide, and your loved ones are going to want and push you to get help.

So please, save us the frustration and the anger that comes along with having you pretend to have BPD because you have a screwed up perception that labeling yourself with diagnosis that you see in a meme or have self-diagnosed without actually seeing anyone for them or being treated for them and just stop.

If you really think you have a problem, go see someone. BPD can be cured. It does not have to be a lifelong thing. It is pretty rare to see in men, and generally much more associated with women, and comes around in the teen years-young adult stage.

BPD doesn't have to be a death sentence, so don't let it be.

personality disorder
How does it work?
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Emmeline Reader

My name is Emmeline, I'm 19, and I rescue animals

See all posts by Emmeline Reader