borderline personality disorder

People With Borderline Personality Disorder Deserve Empathy And Understanding

What do you know about borderline personality disorder? Today’s guest contributor, Natalia Hero, shares her personal insights into the often stigmatized mental illness, usually referred to as BPD.  If you have BPD, please comment below and tell us about your experiences. 

May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month – it’s also my birthday month, and the month during which I was diagnosed with the disorder. I like to think that that reinforces the connection I have with my illness – that BPD is very much a part of me, to be accepted and even embraced rather than demonized or ignored. To me, this has been an important part of the healing process. But the way BPD is perceived by others is another matter entirely. The disorder is highly stigmatized even within the field of psychiatry – it’s been described in some of the literature I’ve read as “incurable” while its sufferers are often labelled as inherently “treatment-resistant.” There was even a Time Magazine article from 2009 that called BPD “The Disorder That Doctors Fear Most.” Things are slowly changing as researchers learn more about the illness, but once a stigma or stereotype is out there, it can be tough to turn the tide. There is a general lack of empathy embedded in most people’s understanding of the disorder, which can be extremely harmful to those of us who suffer from it.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a chronic mental disorder of hypersensitivity and emotional dysregulation, characterized by unstable moods and relationships. Basically, borderlines are highly sensitive emotionally, and any emotion experienced will quickly spiral into a chaotic extreme. When we’re happy, we’re euphoric, ecstatic; when we’re sad, we’re devastated and depressed. Added bonus: we swing between those extremes several times a day, provoked by the slightest external trigger – something as benign as a rude bus driver can have me spiralling into intense despair like I’ve just had my heart broken. Dr. Marsha Linehan, a leading figure in the research on and treatment of BPD, describes the disorder thus: “Borderline individuals are the psychological equivalent of third-degree burn patients. They simply have, so to speak, no emotional skin. Even the slightest touch or movement can create immense suffering.”

To make matters worse, one of the main diagnostic criteria for the disorder is chronic suicidal thoughts and behaviours. What that means is that these emotional extremes are quite literally unbearable – 8-10% of people with BPD commit suicide (more than 50 times the suicide rate in the general population), and 70% of us attempt suicide at least once. So contrary to popular belief, BPD sufferers have more of a tendency to fold into themselves rather than lash out at others. Other fun symptoms of the disorder include paranoid delusions, dissociative episodes, depression, mania, psychosis, self-harm, and intense impulsivity in areas that are often dangerous – all things I’ve experienced myself. It’s my mind’s way of coping with these emotional extremes, of trying to make sense of it as best it can. But I need to develop new coping skills in order to shut those symptoms down before they impede my ability to function and burn every bridge in sight – and that is the basis of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which was designed by Dr. Marsha Linehan (who has the disorder herself) to treat BPD specifically. The treatment has a high success rate, but is often costly and difficult to access, and recovery can take ages – leaving a lot of us feeling discouraged and hopeless.

To add insult to injury, BPD is commonly misunderstood and even vilified. We’re often associated with the ‘crazy ex’ trope in media representations – think Fatal Attraction. And then take this recent tweet by J.K. Rowling, in which she engages with the unfortunately popular and extremely ableist #DiagnoseTrump hashtag, suggesting that the U.S. president’s hateful policies fit the diagnostic criteria for a personality disorder – essentially equating racism and straight up evil with mental illness while also implying that people with PDs are inherently unqualified to hold public office. But this tendency doesn’t only manifest in public discourse. Most of the resources available concerning the disorder are aimed at friends and family members of the borderline, which sends an implicit message that BPD is something that happens not to the person suffering from it, but to the people that have to put up with them. And so BPD is – let’s say unconsciously – seen as an illness affecting society at large, rather than individual sufferers. Try your best to imagine what it’s like to already suffer from chronic thoughts of suicide, and to frequently see first-hand the negative effects your symptoms have on your loved ones. Now imagine that when seeking help, the literature focuses mainly on people surviving you, rather than you surviving at all. We do a huge disservice to a demographic that is suffering tremendously with the way we frame the narrative surrounding mental illness and recovery.

Because the reality is that people with BPD and other mental illnesses are well aware of the effect they have on others. We’re not walking around innocently thinking it’s up to everyone else to adapt to our needs with zero effort on our part, and we’re not seeking absolution from all our harmful behaviours and denying any personal responsibility. We didn’t ask to be this way, we’re not hard-wired to hurt people, and we’re likely doing a lot more work than you are at figuring out how to exist in society without being a danger to ourselves and others. When I’m stable, I’m either spending my time doing damage control for my last episode or trying to figure out a plan to avoid my next one. No one is more concerned about the harm I’m causing than I am, just trust me on this one. And yet, because of prevalent ignorance, BPD is treated by many as a character flaw rather than an illness.

And that’s a serious problem. Ignorance isn’t innocence – it can harm people who are clinically vulnerable. For one thing, public perception of the disorder is intensely gendered because the majority of those diagnosed are female. This stems from that classic stereotype of women as hysterical and needy; of emotional sensitivity as a strictly female trait. Furthermore, the suicidality experienced by borderlines is also very misunderstood, not only by the public but also, until recently, among mental health care practitioners. Because of the intense and frequent mood swings presented in BPD, threats of suicide are often not taken as seriously, because they don’t resemble other suicidal cases – the way suicidal thoughts manifest in Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder, for example. Because of their frequent extreme mood swings, a person with BPD will often spontaneously bounce back from a serious crisis episode and seem totally fine mere minutes later, which can be really confusing for someone unfamiliar with the disorder. These kinds of misconceptions lead to a general dismissal of the pain that BPD sufferers experience – it gets written off as dramatic or attention-seeking instead of being treated as the serious condition it is. It’s worth noting that a significant number of people with BPD have suffered trauma and have co-occurring PTSD – so many in fact that it’s been suggested that BPD may be an extended form of PTSD.

It felt important to me to write something about this awareness campaign, because the harm that stigma causes can be devastating. While borderlines are certainly capable of harming others – we’re human, believe it or not – there seems to be a pervasive idea in people’s minds that we are inherently abusive and manipulative. I’m not saying it’s easy having a relationship with someone who has borderline, but having the disorder definitely isn’t a walk in the park either (and also, let’s be real, exactly zero relationships are easy). I do plenty of hard work to manage my disorder and its symptoms – I read every book about it, go to therapy, take meds, and am on an ongoing journey of learning about my specific behavioural tendencies and the way in which they affect my interpersonal relationships.

To me, awareness alone doesn’t scratch the surface of how we should be talking about mental illness. People can do their basic Google homework and get the general idea of my disorder and its characteristics, while still viewing me through a lens of resentment that’s informed by deep-rooted, harmful beliefs. My own diagnosis provided me with more understanding of myself, and with the tools to manage my illness. It allowed me to be honest with those close to me about my needs and boundaries, which for the most part successfully improved the relationships in my life; however, some people inevitably read my openness about my disorder as me trying to make some blanket excuse that absolves me of all accountability for any harmful behaviour on my part. And that kind of accusation is really hurtful when you’re trying your best, every day, to cope with your pain and heal on your own without being a burden to anyone.

Research actually suggests that people with BPD are hyper-empathetic – a study showed that sufferers can detect a change in someone’s facial expression and corresponding mood significantly earlier than someone ‘healthy’ can. Without taking it to that level (because being that sensitive to other people’s moods isn’t fun, believe me), I invite you, this month, to consider adding a little empathy to your current view of BPD sufferers and of people with mental illnesses in general. Since BPD affects 5.9% of adults at some point in their lifetime, it’s entirely possible that someone you know is struggling with it. But even if that’s not the case, having an illness should not disqualify anyone from being deserving of empathy and understanding.

 

 

41 comments on “People With Borderline Personality Disorder Deserve Empathy And Understanding

  1. Reblogged this on MAKE BPD STIGMA-FREE!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beverly Low

      Hi Joyce, thank you so much!!! My sister suffers with BPD, if people don’t know about it they can be very cruel. This has affected my family in such horrible ways..want to say more but getting emotional, sorry!😧

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      • I’m not sure if it’s posted below but I use CBD at medicinal level after seizures took over my life. I’d be happy to answer any questions. I started my own company so I could help others. CBD is excellent for mental illness. NIMH was one of the first to study the two and found amazing results. I’m working with a few mental health people and have found some great, affordable and quality CBD solutions. I’m here anytime for questions. Everyone’s unique so not claiming cures but it’s helped me with my own mental health and now I get to help others. It’s really gratifying. With Love always Sarah MyHempNow.

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    • I’ve been suffering from depression for as long as I can remember but only got treatment in 2001. With suppressed depression , I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Couldn’t understand what was happening to me. So emotionally distressed. Always thinking of committing suicide. Tried taking pills, but no luck. I’m married with tree kids. My husband has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s since 2007.
      I’m assuming I’ve had BPD long before I was diagnosed. It has been an overwhelming emotional day to day rolllercoaster life.
      I cannot express the feeling of hopelessness, alone, etc….I’ve tried to explain to my family what’s happening to me but refused to accept what i have.
      My husband would constantly tell me it’s all my head or just my personality. Although I think about dying, I’m also a coward.
      But I’ve tried several times. Took pills, but not enough. I guess it’s not my time yet. To my husband and kids, I come across as an aggressive bully. Because I am full of hate, anger…etc. I have a sister whose dying of cancer, and a brother who just had a stroke, and as I mentioned before, a husband with Parkinson’s. No one in my family truly understands what I’m goin through.
      They managed to dragged me down over and over again. And this is when I think I’m better off dead.
      NO ONE IN MY FAMILY UNDERSTANDS ME, SHOWS ANY KIND OF EMPATHY NOR UNDERSTANDING.
      Desperately seeking advise. Thank you.

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      • I’m so sorry for everything that you’re going through! It must be so difficult to deal with. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but all I can say is that I’m here for you, to listen any time.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Ending stigmas is crucial!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tarnishedsoul

    I have always had the opinion that everyone needs compassion and understanding, but there are those that can’t handle life very well without it and they are the ones that others find it most difficult to give.

    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

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  5. That was not only well said and written but absolutely true. I was diagnosed with PTSD and BPD with a side dish of Anxiety. Not only is it true that we are less likely to harm others and in most cases we actually harm ourselves. I know I did attempt and what was so bizarre was that as I was planning it out the day I chose it was as if something just triggered in my mind “like this is what we are doing today” not able to recognize that “what we are doing today is the end of all our days”. I was fortunate that my husband found out and came to check on me as I only had another 30 minutes or so. I was unconscious and unresponsive, I don’t remember anything after I took god knows how many pills and woke up in the ICU. While I still have thoughts now and again, it’s different. And thank you for pointing out the Woman factor, it’s soooooo true. My ex husband uses that exact comment, even in front of our daughter and around other people, she tells me every time he does that. It confuses her because she was young when I was diagnosed and he was able to get custody of her due to my diagnosis and the attempt. It’s still very rare that I talk about it but I did find a way to for all intensive purposes heal myself and get down to about 1/8th of the meds I was on by taking a medicinal dose of CBD everyday. My psych was shocked and not only continues to take my doses down or remove an unnecessary med all together but I fear less about the long term side effects and have never felt better in my life. I will never stop taking CBD. I started a company because of what it did for me. I love helping people find something that helps them feel better, heal better or just feel “normal” if there’s such a thing. My BPD was extreme and I was hospitalized because my body just kept shutting down. It was in such an overload that I had to stop working, exercising, pretty much everything. Then those “shutting down” episodes became very severe seizures. I had at least one concussion when I couldn’t get a pillow under my head in time and multiple times they did an MRI to make sure there was no bleeding or damage because the EMT’s would see and feel all the bruising and massive lumps on my head. I couldn’t talk, was in full convulsions and even though I have an amazing husband who is always supportive and read every book I did on BDP, we knew I was going to need a live in nurse or live in a home with full time care. The ER doc who considered me a “frequent flyer” told me to try CBD and where I could find it near me. Had no idea but living in an assisted home at 40 or give it a try. Not a symptom since. It’s been shocking but I’m so grateful for that doctor and even stop by to give him treats sometimes. I well up just thinking about it. I thought I was a pariah and embarrassed and scared to death for years. Now not even close. I have to be careful about over doing it sometimes just to be cautious but symptom free for nearly 3 years. I do know that NIMH had was one of the first to study CBD and mental illness and their findings though I didn’t realize they were doing so at the time but they were right. A friend has ADHD is not only on CBD and able to return to college after having to leave and my Dad takes it for PTSD (that started while fighting for our country) and Psoriasis, which also took away the beginning of arthritis in his knee. Sorry for my ramble but I love hearing others speak up, it’s not easy I know. Thank you so much Sarah

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    • Michelle

      May I ask what CBD is? Or where I can get more information? I have never heard of it before. I also have BPD. As well as ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar, Depression & Anxiety with panic attacks. I’m a friggen hot mess most of the time & have been for as long as I can remember. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    • I really appreciate your post. I recently had a friend recommend CBS and while I can’t afford it, she’s going to send me some. I was skeptical honestly until I read your posts I’m going thru hell right now with the various crap going on in my life. The last month I’ve been more suicidal than ever, having attempted 3 times. I can’t tell you how much hope you’ve given me! Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • CBD! Auto correct!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Call me, I can find something in a budget that can help. I don’t sell I find solutions. Big difference. Only I waste money on CBD so I can share with others what not to do. No matter what your do or where you get it, as long as the efficacy is there (very important) you want the benefits you need the right product, then I’m so happy I helped. That’s all I want is to help others and I get to everyday. I’m working closely with a breast cancer, 23 yr old epileptic young man, a mental illness and a brain tumor patient. I love working closely with them and many times their doctors. I found my calling. Good for you. Let me know how you feel after you start using. I love hearing people say they feel better. You may be surprised when something you don’t even realzie was bothering you is gone and that’s when you actually see it. That’s my favorite part. Those are the real side effects of CBD, additional unexpected positive changes in your health. So happy for you! Sarah Wilfley Owner of MyHempNow. Be well, I’m always here for questions and thanks for the reply. That’s great to know the education is helping people. It’s the most important with CBD.

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  6. rainicorn

    Thank you for your excellent essay. I’m curious what treatments benefited you, and if you’d care to comment. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing your story! I used to be a freelance copywriter, and one of my first clients was a therapist specializing in BPD who focused on EMDR and other trauma work. It was really interesting to realize that there was a sort of logic behind BPD, once you realize that sufferers are acting from a place of such deep hurt. I hope that society will continue to develop more compassion and understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I often feel misunderstood and unloved by others especially in relationships and I also feel every ones out to get me some days im feeling really good then life seems terrible I wonder sometimes if it will ever get better

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    • Just focus on you and your needs. Easier said than done but it does work. I also watch “The Secret” (its on Netflix) sometimes it helps others I’m too lost to hear the message but it is always something that stays with you. The more I watch even just a bit of it. The more peace I find. I hope it gets better for you. No one should have to feel that way. It’s hard but because we have to fight everyday to keep going, some days more than others. With Love Always Sarah MyHempNow ❤️ Being here reading others struggles can help identify that we really aren’t alone.

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  9. Reblogged this on Fight to Live and commented:
    This is a good definition of BPD and helps me understand my disorder even more.

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  10. Really helpful in making me feel less crazy. I suffer from BPD also and this post is the first I’ve seen that really describes the levels of intensity I feel. I reblogged at fightolive.blog

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  11. I touched on some of the same points in an article of mine–great minds and all that! My amazing and awesome daughter has BPD. ❤
    https://themighty.com/2017/04/bpd-borderline-personality-disorder-not-hopeless-diagnosis/

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  12. That you so much for putting this so beautifully. I recognise everything you say. I recently ended up in an argument in Facebook as to whether people with BPD are fundamentally incapable of being in a relationship. I feel strong at such moments, thinking of myself as fighting for others but if I’m honest it still hurts, it still knocks me, to be told I’m so defective as to be useless, when I have to fight my own sneaking suspicions everyday.
    Perhaps it is worth acknowledging that your description depicts those who are fighting back against their illness. Those undiagnosed don’t have the insight they need to begin to recover in this way. More funding for mental health services and education, and less stigma, seems the obviously necessary response.
    Thank you again

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  13. Lisa Meola

    I cried reading this! It is so aligned by how I am feeling. I bought the book “I don’t you, don’t leave me” which quotes the “third degree burn” comment and I was so personally offended that I never opened the book again. I talked to my DBT therapist and we had to have a conversation about the stigma. Personally I feel that, that took away from my own healing to have to deal with society’s issues and that upsets me and reminds me of the stigma so attached to who I am. I shared this with my friends to more accurately express the diagnosis and am incredibly thankful.

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  14. That was very well said! I was diagnosed with BPD 3 years ago, however I believe I’ve had it since I was a teenager and was misdiagnosed at the time with Dysthymia. I am currently trying to get into Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and just got on meds that work to bring down the intensity of my emotions. I’m constantly reading articles about others with BPD, mostly to assure myself that I’m not alone in this struggle. Thank you again

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  15. I had this Diagnosis, I began my remission after many types of psychotherapy, psychodynamic, for 18 months, then a years break, then 6 months in group mentalization based Therapy, this is seen as helping reduce Borderline and anti-social traits thus helping the individual understand themselves in relation to others more clearly, regulation of emotional reactions, and empathy also increase . So it was and is crucial to show empathy with a clinically significant BPD patient as to teach it also, and what better way than by example. I have spoken on this subject for the Royal college of psychiatry (scotland) and i have contributed to a NHS care pathway for BPD. evidence based research is on going, its not about finding the magic therapy that works, any therapy you work hard in will help, I am med free and have been for 10 years, I do analytical group work now to help maintain my mental health. Taking responsibility for your self care is step one on the road to remission. I see my self as more of a warrior than a victim nowadays, a BPD warrior, like a Klingon but I mentalize.

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  16. I lived with a woman who I strongly suspect had undiagnosed BPD, among other PDs. She terrorized me. It was like she was hurting lots on the inside but it made her feel better to torment people around her through psychological and verbal abuse.
    I feel better about BPD after reading this, because now I feel like it wasn’t her illness causing her to behave that way — she’s just an evil person.

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  17. laurenstorm

    Reblogged this on A Borderline Life Worth Living?.

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  18. me me me me me me me

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    • Gloria EStrada

      I sympathize and everything but you have to admit that it’s very hard to deal with people who suffer the disease. It drives family members crazy, so to speak. Not only you have to walk on eggshells when you are around them, so you don’t hurt their feelings. They are also expert at manipulation and everything is about them. I believe that a person has the right to protect their own mind and well being, without being cruel to the BPD sufferer. My mother had it and she was the meanest person on earth and we grew up screwed up because of her.

      Like

  19. Stefano

    When I have a breakdown, they just ignore me, waiting it will pass by itself.

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  20. Jasmine Yates

    I was diagnosed BPD with OCD and Self harm tendencies after a 30min questionnaire by a Pysch with questions such as “Does the TV talk to you” my snide sarcastic response being “Yes when it’s turned on!Duh!” Born out of pure frustration that I had to be “tested” once again cause the last Pysch “got it wrong”, by now 8yrs later not only am I the black sheep in the family that “can do better with my life” and is “wrapped in cotton wool” cause they are afraid I might break (their choice not mine) with only a handful of aquatintances and partner who forgets that I am BPD and I constantly feel alone cause as soon as you mention that you are BPD A chorus of “No that’s not possible ” or “you just made that up” or my fav from drs “that just a label we give when we don’t know what to call you”
    I prefer the label of Empath with quirks, living with hand she has dealt, constantly learning about BPD and fighting to quiet the voices telling me I’m not good enough, I have already stopped self harming after years of trail and error and working with an Awesome Pysch who in her words says “I have been handed the keys to a car and told to drive with no previous knowledge on how to do so. So I made my own rules!”, still medicated but working towards a reduction in meds.

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  21. Arthur langille

    It is 1 thing to be in a relationship where you both are aware of bpd. It is quite another where neither are aware of bpd. The second category is causing the stigma. By the time a non pwbpd figures out the train wreck he just got butchered in, the relationship is long gone.
    Another thing is bpd is in the cluster b personality disorder class. Which has 3 other personality disorders in it. Narcissist pd, antisocial pd, histrionic pd. It is very common for people to have traits of all 4 of these pds. They may not have enough to be diagnosed with another pd, but that is saying a dog with a few fleas is OK. We agree that pwbpd really suffer. And is very complicated for either side to understand because person is different. We agree that awareness for everyone is essential to finding and getting these people help the younger the better chance they live a more fulfilling life and cause less pain in their relationships.
    When a pwbpd is having an episode with you. It’s not you. They are reliving a painful experience from there past. They don’t hate you but the other person that is being projected onto you.
    See told you it was complicated. Another tide bit. The more you love them, the less they like you. They are fake. You see what they want you to see. They believe if you really knew them you would reject them. So they believe you love the false image they show you, which makes them feel bad about themselves.
    Pwbpd that are aware of it and are actively getting therapy are true warriors and deserve high praise, because they are the strong ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I really appreciate your thoughts…my daughter is 37, and has bpd. It is a daily struggle for our whole family. I never know what to say or do, and its hard to dodge her moods. I am going to therapy just to try to find a life for myself, and to learn coping skills and to avoid enabling her. The tough part for her and for our family is that she is self medicating, alcohol and drugs to try to quiet her brain. I feel like she needs a dual program to help her. I stay full of anxiety. I cannot imagine how she must feel. thanks for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Lets not ignore the mental harm that particularly those with extream cases can cause those around them. Everyones is different I understand but growing up with a sibling suffering from the disorder I was tormented and at times terffified by them. I remember having a real fear shared by a parent that in the future we could find out that my sibling had taken the life of another human being. Also when they used to hit me and confronted by a parent for thier actions they believed it was all my own fault for `making them so angry’. I never saw any signs of guilt they felt for their actions, they have never ever appolgised to me. When once the impact of thier ilness was put to them, that it had caused me harm by thier own words this was something they had never thought about. As I saw they were so caught up how they felt that there was no room to even consider thier impact on others.
    I do need to say as an adult they saught help and a diagnosis completely by themselves and the positive change they have gone through in so great it is inconsievable from the person I knew growing up. Statisticly for their severity of my siblings illness (and when diagonsed they were told they were very much at the sever end) they were told by a medical professional that they were more likely than not to of taken thier life in thier youth. So I am very proud of my sibling for not only enduring but taking the steps and showing incredible growth and have to say guts to change who they are.
    But until my sibling can come to me unpromped and honestly appologise to how I was treated and really ask how their actions affected me I will never forgive them. Most likely I feel this will never come.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’ve been dealing with BPD for a good 6 years now, and besides being suicidal for most of that time, it constantly destroyed relationships that I had to rebuild. My friends got used to my tendencies, but I always asked them to give me a good rain-check when I was done swinging out. As much as BPD does need more understanding and acceptance, I had to learn that whatever the reasons behind my actions, I had to take responsibility- I couldn’t just hide behind the fact I had a mental disorder. Last year I lost someone I loved an unreal amount because I couldn’t control myself, and I’ve devoted myself since then to be more controlled and stoic. It is hard and counter-intuitive, but it’s already shown great results in my relationships and my own self-image. Acceptance is very important, but determination to overcome is just as essential. My heart goes out to anyone who is trying to come to terms with their demons, and good luck.

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  25. I book marked this page..thank you for this..you described me to a t

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  26. I read your article and admire the courage you have for writing this. I am sad to hear the treatment is ling and expansive, but as I was reading this, there was something I’d wanted to share.
    I have had a relationship with a person who has BPD. Yes, was, it didn’t survive.
    A lot of examples from your post vame around, mood swings, extremes from left to right. Suicidal, conflicts.
    The articles (for me personaly) sounds like all BPD people are the victims, and that people need to learn how to act to these fellow humans.
    Thing is, if people with BPD accepted the fact that they have it, really “try” to work for it, yes we: family, friends, colegues etc could try to co-op with that.
    You accepted this, you are saying: “we’re not walking around innocently thinking it’s up to everyone else to adapt to our needs with zero effort on our part and we’re not seeking absolution from all our harmful behvaiours and denying any personal responsibililty”.
    Well, my ex was. 6 years I have worked for her, really try to help her. I worked my job, paid the bills, listened to her, try to understand her, try to help her make contact with others.
    But in those 6 years, I was confronted with blame, excuses, anger. She always tried to hit me where it hurts, always trying to pointout my flaws, and being on the winning side of every discussion.
    Multiple times I pointed out she needed to get herself diagnosed with BPD, but everytime I was the one imagining things “where the hell did you make up this BS”.
    One could say that I should have tried harder, others could say I should have ended the relationship sooner.
    I tried to believe, and I am certainly not a person who gives up easy on these matters. So I tried and tried, but allas.
    For 6 years she has been without work, always faking the job interviews, saying she reacted to a job applicant, but the last 90/100 were never even sent.
    My friends tried to connect to her, tried to helped to get her involved. But all she did was pushing them away, pushing me away and blaming me for her faults, everytime.
    She didn’t (like you did) blame herself one bit, she had literary zero adaptive skills from her part and always demanded that others needed to understand her, instead of her try to afapt to others.
    After I burnout in my relationship it ended from my past unexpectedly. I was done! Financially I was broke, Emotionally I was a shade. One year in treatment and a new girlfriend helped me back on my path.
    What I try to say is, yes its hard for people with BPD. But aslong as these people try to work on themselves, it becomes more easy to work around them. It certainly isn’t easy for people around them, when the BPD people are ignorant and naysayers.

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  27. I myself have BPD as well as two of my closest friends. Our experiences are wildly different as is to be expected with a disorder with as many different symptoms and such as BPD has. I had the good luck of having an amazing father who, still even to this day, may not understand what I deal with fully and puts a lot of the blame on himself but he was there for me when we were fighting for a diagnosis and even through my vile moments when everyone else left me. Without him I wouldn’t know where I would be. My other friends however had very different experiences, one is currently recovering from a break up that was very difficult for her. Her ex refused to even acknowledge the existence of BPD never mind look it up and since the break up has taken to calling my friend manipulative and emotional abusive which is clearly just rooted in refusing to acknowledge the existence of BPD and how it effects my friends daily life.
    I am very lucky that my current partner is willing to learn as we go as I’ve asked him to stay away from googling in fear he will get hate filled posts about ‘survivng living with someone with bpd’ which I want him to stay well away from as it has destroyed past relationships within days of them finding these sorts or accounts. Thank you so much for this post and spreading the awareness.

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  28. As a mother of a child with BPD I can relate to all that has been said. I think I would take it one step further. Being a parent of a daughter who suffers daily from this horrible syndrome is an ongoing challenge. From the time my child was small I heard, “she needs a good spanking, why do you put up with this behavior, she wouldn’t act like that if she lived with me”. First thing, society as a whole as no idea of what BPD is and that punishment isn’t the answer. Next as a parent it was very difficult to watch my family disintegrate when they became adults because they just couldn’t take anymore abusive behavior. I understand that limits must be set when dealing with my child, but I cannot and will not turn my back on her out of anger, fear, or embarrassment. I will however lurk in the background and try to pick her up when she needs it, love her when she wants it, and be there to hold her hand when she falls. There needs to be more services and information for families who struggle daily and who feel the same grief and sadness as the BPD sufferer. I am 70 years old and am so afraid that my girl will be alone once I die and no one will be there to love and hold her.

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  29. Thank you for the fresh perspective on BPD and your courage to tackle same. I was curious if you experienced angry episodes along with the depression? One of my sisters and possibly my mother also have this. I grew up with a ton of craziness and it still exists by the truckload with my sister. They both also suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. I have been so hurt by their actions that I have to stay far away from them. While I am sure my sister has depression after angry episodes, I am not sure about my mother. As far as I know, my mother has not had suicidal thoughts, but my sister has. Yet, they are both very much alike physiologically and emotionally in behavior and physical attributes. Please see my memoir at https://lyraadams.wordpress.com/about/

    Good luck to everyone recovering from this and to those who are trying to support them.

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