If you have it, do you really know about it? I had bipolar disorder, worked with people with it, and had a brother with that diagnosis. But I didn’t really understand it, and still find I’m learning from it now. And for those of you who wonder what it’s all about, perhaps because you know someone with it, or think you are someone with it, read on. Knowledge is power, especially regarding mental health.
BPD: The Symptoms
A person with borderline personality disorder often has unsound relationships, low self-esteem, and problems with hasty behaviour. These generally begin in early adulthood.
Typical of this disorder is a fear of being abandoned or being alone. The fear is always there even if the threat of being abandoned is not. It could lead to anxious attempts to seize those people in your life, causing dependency issues. If you’ve ever wondered why you reject people you like, it’s probably a subconscious attempt to ‘get in first’ – believing that you reject them before they reject you, even though the threat of their rejection was not real. This unpredictable behaviour will often lead to uneasy relationships.
People who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have at least five of the following symptoms. They may:
1) Frantically avoid real or imagined abandonment.
2) Feelings towards others (in relationships) tend to rotate between extremes of intense esteem and disgust.
3) Are impulsive in ways that are harmful to themselves; excessive spending, frequent/ unprotected sex with numerous partners, substance abuse, eating issues (binging or starvation), and even irresponsible driving.
4) They generally low self esteem and an unstable sense of self.
5) Temporary episodes of psychosis with borderline personality disorder, especially during a personal crisis. But if it lasts longer than normal, the doctor may consider whether it is another condition, such as schizophrenia.
6) Have habitual suicidal thoughts, make repeated suicide attempts, or cause self-injury through mutilation; cutting or burning themselves.
7) Have recurrent emotional overreactions or powerful mood swings, including feeling depressed, cross, or nervous. The mood swings typically last hours at a time. Rarely, they might last a few days.
8) Have explosive, fierce anger and/or problems controlling anger. They often display temper tantrums, perhaps involving physical fights.
9) Have temporary episodes of paranoia or losing their usual sense of reality.
10) There is a general feeling of emptiness, lasting a long time, which comes and goes.
N.B: Not everyone who has five or more of these symptoms is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. For such diagnose, the symptoms will be severe and last long enough to cause noteworthy emotional anguish and problems of performance within all relationships.
Oh, and symptoms of BPD aren’t caused by a medical condition or medications. Neither are they the result of long-term substance abuse.
Also, this disorder can sometimes be confused with other conditions with similar symptoms, such as other personality disorders. It’s even been confused with bipolar disorder (though if you look at those symptoms you can see why).
NOTE: I was actually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder before bipolar disorder. It took three psychiatrists to work out which diagnosis they’d write in my notes. I sat there being picked over like a roast dinner!
Well that’s enough from me – Now watch this beautiful yet haunting video to really see what BPD is like…
Here are some books
you might need to gain more power over this disorder.