: a disordered behavior pattern that has an onset during adolescence or early adulthood and that is marked by unstable, intense emotions and mood with symptoms including instability in interpersonal relationships and self-image, fear of abandonment, and impulsive or unpredictable behavior.
“Like others with borderline personality disorder, she had intense and unstable relationships with people that veered from adoration to intense hatred and jealousy the moment she felt the merest slight.”— Richard A. Friedman
That’s essentially all I had to go off of for the first three years of having this diagnosis, because I didn’t know where to look. Mayo clinic, wikipedia, mirriam-webster– they all said the same thing. Feelings of recklessness, impulsive behaviour and extreme emotions. But I feel like that definition teaches people with BPD to believe that none of their emotions are real, and everything is heightened because of the disorder. Clearly that isn’t the case, your emotions are still valid and very much real, and to believe that they’re all bullshit is as terrifying as it is draining.
If I had to define BPD, it would be something like this;
Borderline personality disorder is a disorder based on perception. It CAN manipulate the words you hear and the body language you see into an extreme negative or an extreme positive. It CAN cause you to believe that people are talking about you, or that people don’t like you. You can believe it so wholeheartedly that you hear people saying your name, or see people trying to fuck you over. It can cause job losses, alienation, and some messy friendships. It can cause great turmoil. You can go from absolutely loving someone to despising them in mere minutes– thats called splitting, which we will discuss in detail later. It can make for a lot of big life changes.
However, these changes can be good as well! BPD is a disorder that helps you find people worth caring for, because with all of the over-analyzing and overthinking going on, it’s easy to suss out when people are being fake or harmful, leaving you with some of the purest and best people you’ll ever know. It allows you to fall in love, hard. That can definitely lead to some heartbreak, but when you find your person, I imagine it’s some of the greatest love in the world– straight out of a fairytale. BPD takes away your filter if you let it (meaning if you don’t keep it all pent up inside– which I have been guilty of for years and have suffered hugely for in hospital stays and suicidal tendencies), and when you don’t have a filter its easier to just cut the shit and be real with people– and isn’t that what everyone wants anyways?
BPD can definitely be a gift on good days, and can be a major hindrance on others. But isn’t that the same as anything else in life? Just with a few more quirks? Someone once compared having BPD to being a third degree burn victim in that every breeze is excruciating. But then is it not also comparable to someone living in complete ecstasy, where every little thing is absolute bliss? It definitely helps if you looks at the good and bad in balance with some another.
This is what I wish the doctors would have told me. I wish they would have sat down, taken the time to explain exactly what I was in for, instead of providing a list of things that might happen to me. The explanation is in the big picture. I hope this definition can help shed a little more light to some people, and if not, we’re just getting started! I wanna touch base on things like;
splitting – feeling one way for someone and then having those feelings do a complete 180.
anger – BPD anger is a lot different than regular anger in that it comes quicker and more intensely.
discerning real feelings from reactive feelings
episodes – what they look like for me, what i usually do
and more stuff like that. We’ll be covering it all, and it’s all happening.