Borderline Personality Disorder is a very intense disorder of behaviour and intensified emotions, often described by medical professionals as a roller coaster. Trauma and other factors contribute to the formation of ones personality, and borderlines experience extremes daily. Though the disorder may not be seen on the exterior, it is very real and is hard for anyone to understand, even one living with the condition.
The following are common daily occurrences for the average borderline, and may help you to understand the condition better.
Fear of Abandonment. The most common Borderline trait is the fear of abandonment, and it is an everyday occurrence. As people grow older, they realize that people leave their lives, but we have witnessed it repeatedly in unnecessary forms. It could just be assumed abandonment or, other situations may feel like it. Having to leave a phone call, a coworker leaving work or having to say goodbye to a guest, though inevitable, can feel like abandonment. It is a repetitive pattern we’ve experienced which may seem irrational, but is a true fear.
Unstable and Intense Emotions. It is no secret that borderlines can climb the emotional ladder and come down again in a matter of seconds. It may be an overwhelming trait, but it is hell to live with. Our emotions fluctuate and they lean so far to extremes that we may not be able to cope. A negative comment from a friend can upset us at first, and then spiral out into self-harming thoughts and behaviours. In very intense cases, the individual may not be able to function in everyday activities and may require disability funds.
Feelings of Emptiness. Our intense emotions unfortunately includes emptiness. We may lie there, emotionless, trying to muster up reason for our living and life itself. Being empty can lead someone to risky behaviour and dissociation to retrieve feeling. Dissociation cannot be entirely controlled, but ones body resorts to this to escape trauma and an overflow of emotions. Emptiness can quickly lead to suicidal thoughts and actions as it can be mistaken as worthlessness, thus being a very dangerous emotion.
Anxiety. Not all borderlines have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, though most do experience it. We constantly experience fear and worry. We stress over other people’s thoughts and emotions in response to our own, becoming terrified of what they could do. We understand that our vulnerability can be used against us and we may end up hurt. Not to mention, there is anxiety revolving everyday activities, along with overanalysing everyone around us. We are apprehensive of the possibility of someone not liking us along with their ability to harm us, which is ultimately terrifying.
Self-Doubt and Self-Hate. Everyone doubts and judges parts of themselves they don’t love, but those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder experience it on an overwhelming level. We are uncertain about ourselves, our capabilities and our talents. Most of us have been continuously reminded in childhood of our wrongs, with our goods taking a back seat. The lack of acknowledgement of accomplishments in our childhood make it hard for us to see how amazing we really are. This self-doubt can affect our everyday functioning as we may not believe we are capable of handling phone calls, writing something down or preparing something for someone. When these emotions intensify, we become extremely self-destructive and implode, causing dangerous outcomes and needs for hospitalization. Understanding that we are valid human beings takes time, but can be achieved with constant Dialectal Behavioural Therapy.
Boredom. Enduring boredom with Borderline is a complicated struggle. It is just as intense as any other emotion. Our response to this can be very unhealthy. To cope, we respond in extreme ways that are often self-destructive. Commonly, we turn to alcohol, drugs, risky sex, overspending, gambling and poor career decisions, all to reach satisfaction.
Suicidal/Self-Harm Thoughts. It will never be easy to swallow, but we face this daily. It is agonizing to fight, but most of us manage to see the end of the day due to our strength and resiliency. We often consider these as options as a way to cope, but we fight our hardest not to resort to them.
Identity Struggles. Have you ever noticed someone with Borderline hop job to job, getting invested in multiple hobbies, trying to start a career under a specific light, but quickly switching to a new approach? It isn’t strange for diagnosed BPD individuals to do this, and it can be draining to do. We may crave a label to identify us, so we can understand ourselves better, but it usually leaves us lost. It is a way to combat emptiness and boredom.
Paranoia and Sensory Overload. Borderline Personality Disorder may not be a psychotic condition, but we are subject to slight psychotic symptoms. In states of worry and fear, we may become overly aware and paranoid, believing that we are being stalked, or someone’s next victim. When out at a local store, we can stress over the amount of noise and crowds, along with vivid colours and brash movements. This could be a subconscious way to cope with anxieties and mistrust.
Rejection from Medical Professionals. The majority of borderlines who have sought out medical attention can tell you that you will be denied and stereotyped at one point for your disorder by mental health and medical professionals. There is a large stigma around BPD and most professionals do not want to work with us because of the intense emotions, dependencies and constant suicidal feelings.
As sad as it is, they would be liable for our actions, especially if we threaten suicide and they don’t take us seriously. BPD individuals make many threats because of emotional intensity, and they cannot send us to the hospital every appointment, but a misassesment could cause them an upheaval of legal problems. It is possible to find a therapist that will work with Borderline, but it may be a struggle if you haven’t begun recovery as they will refuse to engage the comfortable Borderline behaviours we are accustom to.
Being refused treatment can bring us down and make us believe that we aren’t worthy of help, but we are, and we deserve to feel better. Attending Dialectal Behavioural Therapy regularly and practicing healthy coping mechanisms can be the path to a healthy and happy lifestyle.