Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) is a condition that affects how you see yourself, other people and the world around you. People with BPD tend to experience intense emotions, mood swings, fear of abandonment and a lack of self identity.
This diagnosis has always been seen as controversial and there are many misconceptions about what it is and how it can affect someone. That’s why I decided to write this post. I explain what the condition is in my blog post ‘What is Borderline Personality Disorder?‘ and wanted to follow it up with this one. This has been inspired by the Time to Change ‘Storycamp’ which is helping people with mental health conditions to write about their experiences in a positive and honest way.
So, the 4 things I want people to know about BPD are:
- I don’t have multiple personalities
- Sometimes I don’t know who I am
- Life can be really exhausting
- My impulsivity isn’t for attention
I don’t have multiple personalities
Sometimes people with BPD are asked if they have multiple personalities. The answer is no, we don’t. I think the word ‘borderline’ confuses many people who are probably asking ‘on the borderline of what?’. In this way, BPD can be confused with Dis-associative Identity Disorder (DID) which used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. This is when you experience severe changes in your identity. Although people with BPD can feel like they don’t have a strong sense of who they are, it’s not the same.
Sometimes I don’t know who I am
As mentioned above, not having a strong sense of identity is one of the points of BPD I can identify with (the irony in this is not wasted on me!). For years I would radically change my appearance, my hair, get tattooes and never felt like I fitted in anywhere. I still get this now. It’s a weird feeling and it can be that I wake up one day and have confidence in myself but other days, none at all. It’s tricky not knowing which mindset you’ll wake up with.
Life can be really exhausting
Thanks to the violent mood swings and the intensity of emotions, it can be exhausting being awake. Not only do you have to deal with what happens in reality, you also have to try and firefight what’s going on in your head. I’m constantly battling the ‘you’re not good enough’ demons and Imposter Syndrome, which is when you live in a perfectionist mindset and nothing is ever good enough. You spend your life thinking that you don’t deserve good things and comparing yourself to others. This, alongside ‘fight or flight’ makes for a tiring existence. But, we don’t give up. We’re fighters and we make our way through things.
Being compulsive is not for attention
It’s common for many people with BPD to show signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Throughout my life, I’ve gone through stages of irresistible urges. At one point it was going on dates, another time it was spending more money than I had, another time it was setting up my own business and more recently, it’s been setting up this website. It’s great because I get productive but it doesn’t stop there. It becomes obsessional. I can’t stop thinking about it, I need to do something about it otherwise bad things will happen. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and need to spend money, write a blog or message someone. It goes in cycles and the urge can be stronger at different times. But it’s not something I do for attention.