What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that generates significant emotional instability. This can lead to a variety of other stressful mental and behavioral problems.

With borderline personality disorder, you may have a severely distorted self-image and feel worthless and fundamentally flawed. Anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you may desire to have loving and lasting relationships.

If you have borderline personality disorder, don’t get discouraged. Many people with this disorder get better with treatment and can live satisfying lives.

What are the symptoms?

Borderline personality disorder affects how you feel about yourself, how you relate to others and how you behave.

Signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder may include:

Impulsive and risky behavior, such as risky driving, unsafe sex, gambling sprees or illegal drug use
Awareness of destructive behavior, including self-injury, but sometimes feeling unable to change it
Wide mood swings
Short but intense episodes of anxiety or depression
Inappropriate anger and antagonistic behavior, sometimes escalating into physical fights
Difficulty controlling emotions or impulses
Suicidal behavior
Feeling misunderstood, neglected, alone, empty or hopeless
Fear of being alone
Feelings of self-hate and self-loathing
When you have borderline personality disorder, you often have an insecure sense of who you are. Your self-image, self-identity or sense of self often rapidly changes. You may view yourself as evil or bad, and sometimes you may feel as if you don’t exist at all. An unstable self-image often leads to frequent changes in jobs, friendships, goals and values.

Your relationships are usually in turmoil. You may idealize someone one moment and then abruptly and dramatically shift to fury and hate over perceived slights or even minor misunderstandings. This is because people with borderline personality disorder often have difficulty accepting gray areas — things seem to be either black or white.

When to see a doctor?

If you’re aware that you have any of the signs or symptoms above, talk to your doctor or a mental health provider. Proper treatment can help you feel better about yourself and help you live a more stable, rewarding life.

If you notice signs or symptoms in a family member or friend, talk to that person about seeing a doctor or mental health provider. But you can’t force someone to seek help. If the relationship causes you significant stress, you may find it helpful to see a therapist yourself.

What can cause BPD?

As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren’t fully understood. Experts agree, though, that the disorder results from a combination of factors. Factors that seem likely to play a role include:

Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental disorders among family members.
Environmental factors. Many people with borderline personality disorder have a history of childhood abuse, neglect and separation from caregivers or loved ones.
Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.

What are the risk factors?

Personality is shaped both by inherited tendencies and environmental factors, as well as experiences during childhood. Some factors related to personality development can increase the risk of developing borderline personality disorder. These include:

Hereditary predisposition. You may be at a higher risk if a close family member — your mother, father, brother or sister — has the same or a similar disorder, particularly a mood or anxiety disorder.
Childhood abuse. Many people with the disorder report being sexually or physically abused during childhood.
Neglect. Some people with the disorder describe severe deprivation, neglect and abandonment during childhood.
Also, borderline personality disorder is diagnosed more often in young adults and adult women than in men.

What are the complications?

Borderline personality disorder can damage many areas of your life. It can negatively affect intimate relationships, jobs, school, social activities and self-image. Repeated job losses and broken marriages are common. Self-injury, such as cutting or burning, can result in scarring and frequent hospitalizations. Suicide rates among people with BPD are high.

In addition, you may have other mental health disorders, including:

Depression
Alcohol or substance abuse and dependency
Anxiety disorders
Eating disorders
Bipolar disorder
Because of risky, impulsive behavior, you are also more vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, motor vehicle accidents and physical fights. You may also be involved in abusive relationships, either as the abuser or the abused.

If you find yourself relating (strongly) to any of the symptoms listed in this post, please go and speak to your doctor about this so you can get the proper help. Don’t leave it untreated as it can only make things worse. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to see a doctor/psychiatrist. They are there to help.

Any questions? Feel free to comment on this post or message me privately!

**This text was taken from the Mayo Clinic website. I do now own this text.

Rejection

That one thing that everyone has experienced at least one time or another in their lives. It’s never much fun and it really sucks, to be honest.

So a few days ago I did something that terrifies the hell out of me, I asked a guy for his number.

It was after midnight and I was standing at the train station when I saw a train conductor that was just getting off work. I was having a smoke when he started chatting me up. People (read: men) chat me up all the time and I generally walk away but he was cute so I stayed.

Dude was talking and talking. Asking questions and basically showing an interest in me. So yeah, my brain then picks up certain signals (or was I imagining them?!) and we both got into the train. We got separated because his coworkers saw him and they all went off to sit together.

After 10 whole minutes of pacing the train’s corridor I finally walked up to him and asked him if I could borrow him for a second. “You can do this!! Worst case scenario: he says no and you just go to the other part of the train, you won’t see him ever again! Come on! You can do this! Let’s be all YOLO about it!” Is what I kept repeating to myself as I walked up to him.

“May I ask you something? May I have your number?”, I asked while barely being able to look him in the eyes.

“Oh, wow! Really?! Oh wow! Sweetie, I am so sorry but I already have a girlfriend, otherwise I really would have given you my number!! Definitely!! You’re so sweet, thank you!” He replied.

It’s a good thing that my caramel skin hid the fact that I felt like my entire head had turned red. I just nodded and walked away as fast as I could without it seeming like I was running away.

That’s when it kicked in. “What were you thinking? Of course he has a girlfriend”. And my all time favorite kicked in as well: “Of course he turned you down, nobody wants you. Just another rejection to add to your life. Nobody wants you, you’ll forever be alone”.

As these thoughts haunted me while I paced up and down that train corridor, I could feel the tears welling up behind my eyes. Within a matter of minutes (2 minutes!!) this quickly turned into pure anger. “What the fuck is wrong with you?! Why are you fucking crying right now?! Crying is weak! You can’t be weak!!!”.

Next thing you know I was walking home at 1.30am with a million thoughts in my head and dried up tears on my cheeks.

I still can’t believe that I asked him for his number. My fear of rejection is right up there with my crippling fear of abandonment and my social anxiety. It took all of the courage that I had in me to do what I did. And it’s funny because I am 24, turning 25 in less than a month, and I can’t even ask a guy for his number. At least not face to face, online is much easier. Go team Introvert. #IntrovertsUnite. Lol.

But hey, just another night, just another rejection….

Oh look, I’ve ventured into Social Media. Yikes!

Hey!

Journey Through BPD now has a FB page AND a Twitter account. Kudos for me. lol.

Go ahead and look, it’s still a bit empty but I am working on it! And in the mean time, like, comment, share!!

https://twitter.com/JourneyBPD

https://journeythroughbpd.wordpress.com/

Trickle

TRIGGER … TRIGGER … TRIGGER

If you’re a Borderliner like myself, the odds of you having self harmed are pretty high. Let’s not pretend that you haven’t done it at least once, shall we?

I used to cut. I used to cut a lot and very deep. Even now, nearly 8 years later, you can still see and feel my scars.

In the winter of 2006 I got up one morning and told myself that I would stop cutting, that I would get out of the deep darkness that was my depression.

I (somehow) managed to do it. I became “stabley unstable”, as I like to put it. Was I “normal”? Was I “fixed”? Was I “happy”? No. But at least I was no longer cutting, smoking too much, mixing my prescription meds with alcohol or taking sleeping pills. Spoiler alert: I replaced cutting with the above, plus more, a while after I quit cutting. .

I kept this up for quite a while. I was going to school, I was working and I had my own place. Therapy, meds, all of it. I however slowly slipped back into just being “unstable”. But enough about this particular aspect of my life.

I may have stopped cutting but I was still self harming, albeit in different ways. I was all over the place. From being extremely impulsive to reckless spending, being promiscuous to being unsafe with my medication and alcohol. This was back when my meds still worked on me. To be honest with you: I can’t remember most of this period. It’s a mixture of 1) my brain blocking it out because it was somewhat traumatic and 2) I mixed a lot of my medication with alcohol. This all has created somewhat of a gaping hole in my memory. I don’t like thinking back to that time, I did many things that I am ashamed of and will most likely take to my grave. Hence number 1 and my brain blocking it out.

Fast forward a bit. I was 1 month shy of reaching my 5 year “cut free” anniversary but then I relapsed. It was a tiny cut but a cut none the less. I was so sad because it was almost my birthday and my Liberty (my doggy) wasn’t there with me, I was in Norway at the time. Mix in some of my regular depression issues, a dash of winter depression, a pinch of an identity crisis and I was good to go!

After I did it I felt like such a schmuck. I felt like the last 5 years all went in vain. But I went back on the wagon! Sadly I fell off once more on October 17th 2012 and once more just a month ago.

A part of me feels bad and another part of me is like: “So what? I’m not in a good place right now but I can’t afford to break down or process anything right now so what does it matter if I cut? Who am I hurting with it? If it helps me to cope, fine!”. I told my therapist the exact same thing. I also told her that I am not stupid and that I know that I shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

But right now and for the past year I have been carrying the weight of the world, along with my own pain, on my shoulders. I put my own needs and desires aside for everyone and I do it without complaining, so who am I harming by cutting?

I guess you could say that this is my way of justifying it to myself, making excuses for it. But who bloody cares? I consider myself smart enough to know when enough is enough and when that time comes, I’ll stop.

For now it does me good, it helps me “feel better” to just put some music on and cut. I don’t feel any pain when I do it, I just feel relief. Like the pain pours out of me as I watch the blood trickle down my thigh…

It may not be the best solution but for now it seems better than letting go and letting it all out. Because a storm’s a brewin….

I should add the following message in case anyone is reading this: I am in no way telling anyone to self harm. This is my blog and I use it mostly to vent. I am in no way encouraging others to self harm!!!