Updated: Aug 27, 2019
May is borderline personality disorder (bpd) awareness month, and as someone who has bpd, I feel that this disorder is heavily misunderstood. There is so much stigma surrounding this disorder that I can't help but feel hurt by everything that everyone has to say about it in the media. I type in bpd on the internet and I find people telling each other how dangerous bpd people are, to never be in a relationship with a bpd person, how we will destroy and mentally scar others. Even some mental health professionals refuse to treat bpd because they say we are "treatment resistant". But that is FAR from the truth!
So what is borderline personality disorder? Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness characterized by difficulties regulating emotions leading to impulsive behavior, intense ups and downs in relationships, poor self-image, (potential) suicidal behavior and self-harm. It can be described as having exposed nerve endings - even the smallest thing can cause an intense reaction.
Statistically, about 70% of borderliners will make at least one suicide attempt in their life, in which about 10% complete it. Over 40% of borderliners are misdiagnosed with other mental disorders such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. So bringing more awareness to it is so crucial so less people have to go through misdiagnosis. Want to read more about the symptoms? Click here to read my bpd symptoms blog post!
Despite the severity of this illness, the long-term prognosis is actually very good! It is a very slow and difficult, usually a life long treatment journey but findings have shown that about 88% of people who were once diagnosed with bpd and went through treatment, no longer met the criteria for diagnosis ten years later!
What else? People who have bpd are not dangerous, they deserve just as much love as any other human, if not more because people who suffer from bpd are often people who went through emotional, physical or sexual abuse, neglect or distress as a child, or have been separated or lost one or both of their parents. In other cases, it is due to genetics or imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain or problems with the development of the brain. But either way, just because borderliners have difficulty regulating emotions, and having it clash with our relationships doesn't justify the fact that we deserve any less love than any other human.
But where does all this stigmatization around bpd come from? Bpd is a very confusing, often unpredictable, and sometimes manipulative disorder. Personality disorders in general are very complicated and confusing, yet they are still pretty straight forward when it comes to identifying the problem. However, when it comes to bpd, it is a mental disorder that comes with many problems. Since it usually derives from childhood trauma, problems such as, lack of coping skills, extreme self-doubt deeply rooted in the lack of self-identity, impulsivity, very low self esteem, loneliness, difficulty feeling and being understood, and a bunch more come with it. It's like with bpd, a whole bundle of disorders come with it, and it gets overwhelming and difficult to treat.
The truth is, borderliners feel like an empty shell of a human who don't know their place in this world, and look for people and things that can fulfill this emptiness. We feel and believe that we are not capable of being happy, or feel that we are not worthy of any of it. We find it easy to give up on ourselves because we don't value ourselves, because we don't believe our existence means anything. We are sensitive to even the slightest criticism because we already deal with the constant self-hatred and negativity in our head. Anything tires us, drains us, because we feel everything at such an intense level. This is why we lash out, we act on our impulsive behavior to fulfill this hole inside of us. We try to hold onto anything that gives us love because we were under loved and are not capable of giving ourselves that kind of love. We find it hard to trust and truly open up to others because people have hurt us in our past. We have no self-identity because we weren't given that time to build ourselves when everyone else was, because we were dealing with childhood problems and trauma. But I promise you that, when treated with proper professional care, and when loved, understandingly and patiently, we are very worth all the complications. Because again, we feel everything so deeply and so profoundly. When we love, we love a thousand more times than a regular human.
So let's please stop all this stigmatization around bpd! Borderliners have survived through too much negativity and hardship. It's time to give them love and acknowledgement!
Thank you for reading.
Lots of love,