How borderline personality disorder affects me.
Since may is the borderline personality disorder awareness month, I chose to write about the symptoms of borderline personality disorder and how it impacts everyday life. I know it is one of the most stigmatized mental illness so it’s not gonna be easy.
1 . Fear of abandonment- yes, any person struggling with bpd has an intense fear that everyone will leave them eventually. And they do frantic efforts to avoid being abandoned wether the fear is real or perceived. It’s like having a constant state of panic that your friends , family , significant other don’t like you and they can leave you randomly in any given moment. So in order to save that the person will beg, request , throw tantrums or get impulsive. The root cause is for most of them they were left upon, neglected or abused by their primary caregivers at crucial stage.
For me personally I always have this intense fear that if I slightly annoyed someone , they would abandon me. And it results in people pleasing habits. Doesn’t matter if someone is my family member , close friend or someone I met once.
2. Splitting- for a person with bpd , splitting is very common. It seems our life is divided in white and black. Either we love something or we detest it. There is no in between. We find it hard to see the situations under different circumstances. We forget the concept of two dialects of a given situation. And this creates a lots of chaos and confusion. We become indecisive to what to actually believe.
3. Unstable self image- people with bpd due to their fear of abandonment try to mix up with their surroundings a lot to not to upset anyone. And lots of time to survive through it pick up behaviour of different people . It leads to identity confusion. We lack the clear idea of who actually are we?
For me it is like being fragmented into different parts. I sometimes am mature and understanding, other times childlike and sometimes full of rage and not caring for anything.
4. Impulsive behaviours – people with borderline personality disorder struggle a lot with impulsiveness. Rash decisions and leading to impulses is common.
For me – being short tempered and instantly concluding the worst possible outcomes is the result of impulsiveness.
5. Suicidal behaviour and self harm- this is a big part of bpd. Most of us have passive thoughts of suicide and have ended up self harming.most often it is a cry for help. We cut, burn, purge, hit and intoxicate ourselves.
For me yes since childhood I have passive suicidal thoughts. I may not actively try it. But I would rather not care if I die tomorrow. And yes under extreme stress I have self harmed myself numerous times. I know it becomes embarrassing in front of others . But this is something that is not under our control.
6. Intense emotions – people with BPD are considered having no emotional skin. When we are happy , nothing can be better than the present moment. It’s almost euphoria. And when we are sad , it is like the end of world for us. And anything can trigger it. Marsha linehan says that bpd people are like third degree burn victims so any slight remark can lead us to despair for several days. We experience the highs as well as the lows. And yes, this create total chaos in our life not having emotional regulation.
7. Emptiness – we can’t stay still. The main reason is we will do anything to avoid our inner fears and feelings. But at the end we have the chronic feeling of isolation and emptiness. Like at the end we feel that we don’t relate anywhere so often we isolate ourselves in order to protect ourselves from getting hurt.
8. Anger – yes we struggle with impulsive behaviour. Some of us will outburst in anger and others may turn anger inwards. For me it is turning inward. Rather than hurting anyone, I get extreme loathe for myself. And that is very unhealthy.
9. Dissociation- we struggle with dissociation and detachment a lot. It is the feeling of being foggy and zoned out. Like observing from far away corner or we don’t belong to our body. It’s a state of not being in present. This is a defence mechanism by mind when it feels it can’t deal with trauma , it turns to safe place and not staying in the moment. It is the flight or flight response.
These are the major symptoms of borderline personality disorder. And unfortunately lots of people struggle with it on a daily basis. But it’s not a life sentence, with therapy and constant practice you can heal and be more emotionally regulated.