Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness characterized largely by the inability to regulate emotions, which can cause a person with BPD to have painful and unstable interpersonal relationships. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), BPD is associated with nine “classic” symptoms, which you can read more about here.
Though the DSM lays out each symptom in a clear and diagnostic way, it gives virtually no insight into how these symptoms play out in real life. We wanted to know what it’s really like to live with the nine classic symptoms of BPD, so we reached out to artist and Mighty community member Charmaine Selwood, who lives with BPD, to show us what these symptoms really “look” like in her life. Charmaine made visual depictions of the nine “hallmark” symptoms of BPD, and shared her commentary on what each piece of art means to her. See her artwork and read her responses below — if you live with BPD, you might be able to relate. To view more of Charmaine’s work, check out her website here.