BPD – BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER…
To my friends and family who have put up with me for so many years and still remain in my life…I owe you the greatest debt of gratitude I can muster. My entire life people have said to me, “Your feelings are hurt too easily,” or “You take everything to heart,” or “You’re way too sensitive,” but to name a few. Having this diagnosis of BPD has given me an understanding of who I am and has helped me come to terms with it. It is something I can never get rid of, but hey, I’ve had it for almost 52 years now and in a sick sort of way I don’t know who I would be otherwise.
For those of you who want to understand this disease or those of you strong enough to live your life with one of us, I wanted to post the following information. For me, I post it with the hopes that those of you who have stayed in my life, can finally understand my “crazy” side.
Living with Borderline Personality Disorder
Living with borderline personality disorder is not easy. Intense emotional pain, and feelings of emptiness, desperation, anger,hopelessness, and loneliness are common. These symptoms canaffect every part of your life. However, despite the suffering that borderline personality disorder (BPD) can cause, many people learn ways to cope with the symptoms and lead normal, fulfilling lives.
How Does Living with Borderline Personality Disorder Affect You?
BPD can have a major impact on your relationships. In fact, having difficulties in relationships is one of the primary symptoms of BPD. People with BPD have lots of arguments and conflict with loved ones, or a lot of relationships that break up repeatedly. The way that they feel about their family, friends, or partner can change dramatically from day-to-day or hour-to-hour. These patterns can be very difficult both for the person with BPD and those who care about him or her.
Work, school, or other productive pursuits can give us a sense of purpose in life. Unfortunately, BPD can interfere with success at work or school. Because BPD has such an impact on relationships, people with BPD may find themselves in trouble with co-workers, bosses, teachers, or other authority figures. The intense emotional changes may also impact work or school; people with BPD may have to be absent more often due to emotional concerns or hospitalization. Some of the symptoms of BPD (e.g., dissociation) can also interfere with concentration, making task completion very difficult.
Unfortunately, BPD can also have a major impact on physical health. BPD is associated with a variety of serious health conditions, including chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, and serious health problems. BPD is also associated with less healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking, alcohol use, lack of regular exercise).
BPD and the Law
Some of the behaviors associated with BPD can lead to legal problems. The anger associated with BPD can lead to aggression (e.g., assaulting others, throwing objects, or acting out against others' personal property). Impulsive behaviors, such as driving recklessly, abusing substances, shoplifting, or engaging in other illegal acts, can also lead to trouble.
People with BPD do not have to resign themselves to a life of emotional pain. Below are some things you can do that can help. These are just the beginning. Getting help from a licensed mental health professional, and learning more about how to manage the symptoms of BPD, can alleviate the impact of BPD on your life.
BPD is a very serious disorder. The intense experiences associated with BPD are not something that one person should face alone. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatments for BPD. Finding a professional you feel comfortable with is one of the most important steps you can take for your health.
Have a Safety Plan
BPD causes very painful emotions, and as a result, it is not uncommon for mental health emergencies (for example, active suicidality) to arise. For this reason, it is critical you to have a safety plan in place before a crisis happens. If you are in danger of harming yourself or others, what will you do? Can you call 911? Is there a hospital nearby with an emergency room that you can go to? If you have a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or social worker, talk this plan over with them. Learn more about what to do in a crisis so that you can keep yourself (and others) safe.
Having the support of your family, friends, or partner can be a big help. But, not everyone has someone to turn to when things get difficult. You may need to find ways to connect with others, and to build a support network for yourself. BPD is not an uncommon disorder; it occurs in about 1.4% of the population. That means that there are roughly four million people with BPD in the U.S. alone. Many of those people are looking for support, just like you.
Take Care of Yourself
It is important that individuals with BPD take good care of themselves. Good self-care can reduce emotional pain, increase positive emotions, and help reduce the emotional ups and downs experienced by people with BPD. Good self-care includes eating nutritious and regular meals, practicing good sleep hygiene, getting regular exercise, taking time for relaxation and stress-reduction, and scheduling enjoyable activities.
How to Live With Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder
Living with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder can be difficult--especially if you don't have any previous knowledge or experience with the disorder. Follow these tips to ease your experience of living with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder.
Accept that a Borderline Personality Disorder sufferer has an illness. Don't be quick to judge or hold their behavior against them.
Read up on Borderline Personality Disorder. Learn as much as you can about the illness and ways to cope with it as a person who doesn't have it. Find ways to make understanding Borderline Personality Disorder and the person with whom you are living an ongoing process.
Get objective about the person's illness and his behavior. Recognize symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder versus other personality traits. Validate your reactions and feelings to the Borderline Personality Disorder sufferer's behavior as much as the behavior itself.
Support as much as you can without compromising your own needs. Realize that you need to care for yourself while attempting to contribute to the well-being of another.
Be ready to be disappointed in the sufferer's behavior. Borderline Personality Disorder is not an illness that completely goes away due to your efforts. However, learn how to be compassionate and forgiving of the person.
Find balance within yourself. Living with a person who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder will be much harder if you do not feel stable yourself.
Learn how to take breaks from your living situation. Living with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder can be exhausting on many different levels. Take time to regroup.