Many people with mental health concerns have been stigmatized by labels and misconceptions. One of the most misunderstood mental health issues is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), which is frequently mistaken for bipolar disorder. However, BPD is its own unique mental health condition.
When asked what everyday tasks borderline personality disorder (BPD) unexpectedly affects, Mighty community member Alicia M. said, “I’ll just be the person to openly admit this: everything.”
She’s not the only one. When you live with a condition like BPD that affects your emotional regulation, it’s hard to keep it from affecting your daily functioning. Classic symptoms like frantic efforts to avoid fear of abandonment, “splitting” and dissociation undoubtedly affect daily parts of life like getting chores done, communicating with others and your job.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an often profoundly misunderstood mental health condition commonly conflated with bipolar disorder. In reality, it’s an entirely different mental illness. Take a few minutes to read the facts below and better understand borderline personality disorder, along with the people who live with it.
I’m sure you do everything you can for your friends — you help them through breakups, drag them out for a good time after work, and show up with pizza on moving day. But never is help (and understanding) more necessary than when a friend has borderline personality disorder (BPD).
The thing is, you might not even know they are suffering from a disorder. You may simply be convinced your friend is kinda dramatic, or kinda depressed. It may not seem like a big deal; simply part of their personalty. And yet true BPD symptoms are nothing to ignore. “BDP is a serious mental illness that manifests through personal relationships indicated by severe emotional dysregulation and instability,” says Dr. Michele Barton in an email to Bustle.
‘I was on an unending emotional roller-coaster’
It was Saturday night, date night: I was 21, and I couldn’t wait to spend time with my new boyfriend, Steve. But when I arrived at his parents’ house, he was still in the basement working on his computer and barely looked up at me when I walked in. “Just a sec,” he said. As I stood there, I began to feel insignificant and stupid for getting so excited when he clearly didn’t feel the same way about me. The panic was overwhelming. I got back into my car and drove laps around the neighbourhood, crying, until he’d sent enough texts apologizing and begging me to come back.
What is borderline personality disorder?
People with borderline personality disorder deal with instability in almost every area of their lives—their relationships, their identity, and their actions. They have a hard time holding back their emotions, which means glowing positivity can quickly turn to outrage. BPD can be confused with bipolar disorder, which affects mood rather than personality, says Jill Weber, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and author of Building Self-Esteem 5 Steps: How To Feel “Good Enough” About Yourself. But BPD goes way beyond seeming like a moody or difficult person. “Personality is a habitual way of being in the world, the way you interact with people in life most of the time,” she says. “It’s disordered because it’s self-defeating and constantly causing problems.” Here’s how to tell if you have signs of bipolar disorder.
I am struggling with a paradox. How come theories of borderline personality disorder (BPD) recognise that there may be good historic reasons for mistrusting figures of authority, yet brutally insist on submission to certain potentially quite toxic ideas to get any help?
Borderline personality disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis given to people who experience things like a fear of abandonment, unstable relationships, extreme emotional turbulence, rage and disconnection. As a diagnosis, it lacks scientific reliability and validity to such an extent that even psychiatric nosologists (those who classify disorders) are somewhat embarrassed that it continues to be used.
Yet this is not the only reason why so many wish to bin this label. BPD has always been a synonym for the “difficult patient” in psychiatric speak. It is connected with terms like “attention-seeking” and “manipulative” which allow staff to paint a picture where patients “wilfully” pit people against one another. People who have been diagnosed with BPD are positioned as too sexual, too clever and too aware of their actions to deserve care, interest and respect.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition you may have heard of, but perhaps don’t fully understand. Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson has helped to spread awareness, since he’s publicly discussed what it’s like to live with the disorder. But the truth is this illness affects far more women than it does men — indeed, about 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women — which is why we decided to amplify the voices of nine women here. They revealed to HG how living with BPD affects them, explaining powerfully how the condition has changed (and not changed) their lives.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines borderline personality disorder as:
There are nine criteria to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder — and I want to explain them as someone who has experienced them in an “internal” sense. A lot of these do not apply to me anymore due to my hard work with recovery, but I sometimes struggle with a couple of them.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) is arguably one of the most misunderstood mental health diagnoses. The myths surrounding BPD are not just annoying for those who experience it, but can also be harmful.
Here are just five of the most prevalent myths surrounding BPD and those of us who live with the diagnosis.