Borderline Personality Disorder: Living in Black and White
Extreme emotions, recurring thoughts of self-harm, suicide attempts, intolerance of frustration, and chronic feelings of loneliness are just a few symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD).
There are many people who deny the existence of this disorder. This is because BPD is difficult to identify due to the wide range of symptoms. It also shares symptoms with other illnesses like depression and anxiety.
“It’s very easy to lose control…”
People who move from extreme to extreme
People who suffer from borderline personality disorder move between two extremes: feeling really good and feeling really bad. They can’t maintain true balance in their lives, and if they do it’s for a very short period of time.
It tends to appear at an early age, usually adolescence, although sometimes it’s not diagnosed until adulthood, because the changes in mood and emotional ups and downs can be justified by the hormonal cycles of adolescence.
But BPD doesn’t disappear by itself. Without a proper diagnosis, the disorder will progress and cause a lot of torment. Would you like to learn more about the characteristics of people who suffer from disorder?
- When they feel abandonment coming, whether it’s imagined or real, they make a desperate effort to stop it from happening. This is when the self-injuring behavior and threats of suicide begin.
- The relations they maintain with other people are intense and involve an initial idealization of the other person, which later turns into contempt.
- They have problems of identity in which they don’t know who they are, and they desperately try to find their place in the world.
- They’re extremely impulsive, which leads them to hurt themselves, suffer from eating disorders, and take drugs.
- Many people with borderline personality disorder say that they feel a chronic inner emptiness that they try to fill in various ways.
“A constant level of intense destruction…”
These are some of the realities experienced by people with borderline personality disorder, although its necessary to focus on the most striking one: self-harm. People who suffer from BPD can’t deal with their emotions, and they feel them so extremely that their only escape is to inflict physical pain upon themselves.
This often takes the form of behaviors like eating disorders (refusing to eat, or binging and purging).
Chaotic relationships and unstable emotions
In addition to the inner emptiness that they feel and the intense emotions that they try to deal with, people with BPD also struggle with interpersonal relationships. This is where they constantly hit a wall that they can never jump over.
This disorder kicks off during childhood. The factors that can influence its development are childhood abuse, poor communication in the family, the family falling apart, abandonment in childhood or adolescence, etc.
All of this marks a before and after in their relationships. A continuous search for the person who will free them from the emptiness they feel inside, but the constant frustration of not finding them. This does nothing more than cause all of their relationships to become toxic sooner or later.
“I was afraid, I was fragile…my relationships never ended well and it was all my fault.”
-Anonymous testimony of someone affected by BPD-
Even in their friendships, a lie or deceit can result in a spiral of disappointment that leads to rage, and afterwards, sadness. The situation becomes unsustainable, and sometimes, people with BPD start to isolate themselves to avoid more disappointment.
It’s normal that, in the face of all these circumstances, they develop anxiety disorders and depression, which can confuse the diagnosis of BPD.
With proper treatment, this disorder can be controlled and you can live a normal life. The ups and downs aren’t so frequent anymore, and relationships improve. Also, you’ll be able to be responsible at work (many people with BPD leave their jobs, or weren’t able to get up one day and fulfill their obligations).
Borderline personality disorder is more common than it seems.
Life is not only black and white; there are many subtleties that people with BPD don’t perceive. Their high sensitivity and emotional overload causes them to move between extremes. Although it’s very difficult, proper treatment can help them move forward.