Borderline Personality Disorder: 10 Things I Want People Who Care for Me To Understand

borderline personality traits

Suffering from a mental disorder is like standing on shifting sands. Your feet constantly move and shuffle, and there are many chances of being thrown right off balance. That is what borderline personality disorder (BPD) feels like. There is instability in everything. Moods, relationships, thinking, behaviour, jobs and even identity. It is a very frightening way to live.

Suffering from BPD is like sitting in a rollercoaster. There is a constant shift in your sense of being. Some people with BPD tend to be over-sensitive. Small issues can trigger incomprehensible reactions. Once upset, it takes a lot to calm one down. A person suffering from BPD may say hurtful things or act dangerous with loved one’s. It is a painful cycle that is seemingly impossible to escape from.

Living with a person suffering from BPD requires patience and understanding. You must be aware of what their state of mind is, what their mental limitations are. There are some things you can expect from them, and some you cannot.

Below are 10 things that a person needs to understand about BPD.

  1. It causes behavioural instability. There is often an impulse to act on urges. Emotions are unstable. There are suicide thoughts, and actions involving self harm. There are manifestations of actions like over-spending, binge eating or problematic substance abuse.
  2. Unstable relationships. A constantly shifting state of mind means the person cannot maintain relationships like a normal person would. Because there are the chances of an outburst, a person with BPD must be handled carefully.
  3. Unstable sense of identity. Sometimes, you don’t know who you are. There is a sense of “emptiness of being”, as described by many people suffering from BPD.
  4. Awareness problems occur from time to time. It is not uncommon to experience psychosis in the form of delusions or hallucinations and dissociative symptoms. Mental health clinicians usually look for patterns of behaviour that last a long time, so to begin diagnosis and treatment.
  5. Frantic effort to avoid real or imagined abandonment. People with BPD often feel as of they are going to be “left alone” in this world, abandoned by the people who love them. This results in clingy behaviour on the patient’s part, which may be very difficult for the recipient to understand.
  6. Medication that may or may not work. During treatment for any mental illness, doctors try out various combinations of drugs and pharmaceuticals. In the beginning, you may not see any results, but once the doctor hits the right combination of drugs, things begin to change provided the dosage is taken regularly.
  7. Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality. People with BPD often experience paranoia w.r.t to other’s motives. Suspicion creeps in. One may feel foggy or spaced out, something like an out of body experience.
  8. Sleep patterns may change dramatically. For a person suffering with BPD, sleep is a luxury. Nights may be spent awake, dreading the moments to come. Due to the constant shifting in moods, sleep is difficult and becomes a luxury.
  9. Intense anger. The person suffering from BPD may lash out at loved one’s, with inexplicable anger. It is important to know that changes in mood affect a person’s psyche. Especially if these changes are not uniform or normal. A person suffering from BPD will have alternating mood swings. This causes anger and disbelief, which cause them to lash out at others around them.
  10. The smallest thing can be a trigger. The smallest external or internal stimuli can cause the most spectacular of mood crashes. Similarly, it takes another small incident to bring about a state of mania or unexplained happiness.

When suffering from BPD, a person needs the support of his/her loved one’s. Battling a mental illness requires the combination of patient’s and doctor’s efforts, together with the support of the loved one’s and constant consumption of required medication. With ample help and support, there is no mental disorder that cannot be managed.

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