I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). AMA, please.

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Mark from Brisbane

“ Boomer still Booming”
Premium Member
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Hey @Ryan only just caught with this as I don’t inhabit the general forum discussions.

Always up for a chat on messages if you need a shoulder.

Stay strong brother and plenty on here to talk to if you need.

PS: that was indeed a brave post you put up, and maybe you needed to do that so we get to understand what you have gone through.
Is there a way to explain BPD without people getting confused or scared?

Is there a way to explain BPD without people getting confused or scared? - Quora

Written by Monique Beyer (Published Writer, INTP & Polymath married to a pwBPD/DID)

My enlightened friend with BPD said it best when describing it to one of her suitors; “It’s extreme people pleasing, perfectionism, inability to regulate emotions, fear of abandonment so you run away behaviors.” I can appreciate her explanation on so many levels.

First and foremost, that she is honest about her disorder and she is consistently doing the self work daily to re-center herself and try to live a meaningful life to have connections with people. She is very much like a cat in her “come here, go away” behaviors (even with her daily mindfulness). Now that I understand BPD from her treated perspective and having a husband with untreated BPD, I have learned so much about BPD from her as she communicates effectively and articulates her emotions clearly.

I met her through my group fitness activities at the local gym, while I was going through the beginning stages of devaluation with my untreated BPD husband. I did not know at the time she too, was also previously diagnosed BPD. She waited until a few weeks of meaningful and in depth conversations, before admitting her diagnosis.

As we have gotten to know each other past a superficial level, she has been so helpful to me in understanding my husband’s BPD. In discussing his behaviors, I now know that he has a long road ahead of him and years of self work before he can ever get to her level of awareness. She had been diagnosed years ago and refused her diagnosis, as she did not agree with it. I asked her why she refused the official diagnosis years ago. She said it was because she thought her eating disorder (anorexia/bulemia) was causing her extreme crazy behavior, not realizing that in all actuality it was a symptom of her BPD. In our conversations, she has also realized that some of her behaviors are not considered “neurotypical” and that also has given me great insight that even the most aware pwBPD can still not realize that how they behave is a result of BPD until it is pointed out to them.

For example, she was in the process of telling me about a situation where she had gotten upset with her kids and made them go stand outside and locked them out of the house. Until we talked about that not being “normal” behavior, she thought all parents did that at some point with their children. It also made me realize a comment that my husband made to our therapist about his fear of being locked out of our house, was probably because his mother did the same to him.

The advice I would give to someone wanting to explain BPD to a friend or significant other, is exactly in the way that she did with her potential suitor. It is a simplified explanation that most people would understand. It is better to have that shortened summary than what they could read on Quora from embittered exes or clinical explanations that may scare the layperson just learning about the disorder. If you have BPD and want someone to understand and not be scared, full disclosure is key. When I first started suspecting that my husband had BPD, I read the clinical version explaining BPD, but it was only until I joined support groups and forums online with people with BPD, that I truly started to understand the disorder from the pwBPD’s perspective. I have spoken with many people that have been diagnosed with BPD and throughout our conversations, I have realized what are consistent triggers of the disorder. As a result, it has made the relationship with my friend easier, in that I understand her behaviors.

As a result of our friendship and her willingness and comfort to explain BPD thoughts and emotions, I have learned to better understand my husband’s behaviors.

As Zig Ziglar stated, “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” Watching my friend do the work to heal her childhood trauma and ingrained patterns of behaviors, shows me that people with BPD can get better, but only with acceptance of a diagnosis and the ability to recognize and reflect. BPD is a series of behaviors/ways that pwBPD have learned to adapt in life because of childhood trauma and/or ineffective parenting, in most cases. Over 14 million Americans suffer from BPD and up to 1 in every 16 Americans will suffer from BPD at some point in their lives. It is not uncommon and not a hopeless situation. You just have to put in the work consistently with a good support network of friends, family and therapy.
Not specifically about BPD, but it relates to something very similar that I've been going through this year.

How to Survive a Breakup with an Addict and Heal Your Heart

By Rebecca Hillard

“The positive cannot exist without the negative.” ~ Alan Watts

You will feel guilty and you will be tempted to go back. You are leaving the person you love alone in the most vulnerable stage of their life. But you have to understand that you are not responsible for what they do with their life. You are not doing anything for them by staying with them while they choose to do this to themselves.

In many cases, people make the best decisions when they are at their lowest. The only thing you have to do is to make good choices for yourself. You should never feel guilty about removing yourself from a situation that is harming you.

You will feel anger. It’s been hiding underneath that unconditional love for a while, and it will surface. It is completely natural to feel angry. You hear all these stories about addicts who quit for love, who quit to save the relationship. But this is not always the case.

Just because this doesn’t happen to you doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. To a person looking from the outside into the addiction it’s frustrating, because it seems like such a simple solution that benefits both sides—all they have to do is quit. But to someone that is in the addiction it’s so much more than that.

It’s as though the addict is blind, and he or she is the only one who can decide whether to see again. Quitting is a scary decision and it will be one of the hardest things they will ever do. The honest truth is it has nothing to do with you. You can beg and plead with them, but it’s still up to the addict to get help to release himself from the addiction. You are just an unfortunate casualty.

Through all the pain I felt from the breakup there was not any part of me that regretted the decision I made for myself. All of my experiences have made me who I am, and I have learned to love that person more than I ever thought possible.

Here are four tips on how to heal and become the best version of yourself.

1. Take the time you need to heal and get past the relationship.

I think a lot of people have expectations on how long it takes to grieve a relationship, but we all heal at our own pace. I often felt that my healing process was taking too long, but every step was necessary for me to become the person I am today.

I don’t care if it takes you years, as long as you realize that you will get over this.

Take time every day to meditate and allow yourself to feel anything you want, without guilt. These thoughts and feelings do not define you, these are things you can experience and then let go.

Express your concerns and fears to the people you are close to, who will listen to you. Talk to yourself, even out loud. Sometimes talking it out can help you work through your inner struggles and make sense of it all.

Be kind to yourself. Some days it may feel like you are not making any progress, but you are. Even if the healing is slow, you are moving forward with each day.

Listen to your needs and question your fears. Take the time to invest in you. Take the love you have and pour it back into yourself and your life. You will start to see your mind set changing as you allow yourself to be your true self.

2. Forgive them and create closure for yourself.

Everyone deserves forgiveness, and holding onto anger is only hurting yourself. This anger you feel toward the person, and the addiction that is consuming them, will make relationships harder in the future.

I learned this the hard way and carried a lot of resentment into potential new relationships. I also pushed a lot of people away because I was scared to open up. I had put so much of myself into my past relationship and I wasn’t sure if I could go through the heartache again.

Assuming that every new relationship would be like the last one was ruining anything that was potentially positive.

If you want to eventually find a healthy new relationship, it’s important to work through your feelings from your old relationship.

One thing that really helped me was telling my ex-partner how I felt. When I realized this, I was halfway across the world, but I knew I had to do something. So I wrote him a letter. There was something really freeing about writing everything I felt to him, and then hearing his response helped me heal on a different level.

Sometimes I think we are afraid to tell people how we actually feel, but it can be necessary for our growth. Be kind and be honest and let go of the outcome. You may get the response you’re hoping for, but it’s possible you won’t, and that’s okay. Even if your ex doesn’t give you closure, it is important to create closure for yourself.

3. Let go.

I believed for years that my ex would be in my life for the rest of my life. I had this idea in my head about the happy ending we would have. The addiction felt like a roadblock that I couldn’t tear down. I was frustrated that I couldn’t control it. I didn’t realize I was spending my energy trying to remove a roadblock from the wrong path.

We spend a lot of time and energy trying to control things when in fact it is impossible. We have this idea of how we would like things to be, but sometimes that is not the best path for us. Learning to let go of things I wanted to control freed me from the anxiety I was feeling and lifted a big burden from my shoulders.

Learning to let go takes time. We are wired to control and plan everything in our lives. For me, meditation, traveling, and writing helped.

By traveling, I was able to face my fears and get out of my comfort zone. Traveling put me in situations that I could not control. It helped me learn to trust the flow of life, knowing that there would be good things and bad things, and no matter what happened I would be make it through.

Mediation helped even when I was still struggling in my relationship. It brought me to a world beyond the stress and helped root me when I felt my world was spinning in all directions. It helped me to understand that releasing control was the key to peace. It meant that I no longer was tied to worry about what was going to happen, or what happened in the past, and helped me focus on the present.

Writing has always been an outlet for me. When I write my worries and fears out, they seem to transfer from me to the page. Sometimes reading back after I’ve written them, the problems don’t seem so big anymore and I can take a step back and see more solutions.

Everyone has a different outlet that helps them let go. You just need to find what works for you. Whatever your outlet is, make sure you are passionate about it and you will you watch your worries fade away.

4. Follow your dreams.

It’s time to get excited about life! There’s a good chance that you put your personal growth on hold while in this relationship. Go back and find yourself again.

About a month after the relationship I realized I was so focused on the negative aspects of the breakup that I wasn’t seeing the potential path in front of me. Realizing that there may be something better out there for me was important for moving forward.

Separate yourself from the path that you had with your ex-partner and focus on the new path in front of you. Don’t worry too much about finding another relationship. Focus on finding purpose and passion, and love will find you.

Be someone who is hopeful and excited about the future. Remember, your experiences have made you strong and capable of creating endless possibilities for yourself and the future.

About: Rebecca Hillard is a poet and fiction writer. Rebecca quit her job in immigration law two years ago to travel the world. She is currently in Australia and is the soon-to-be-author of an upcoming book. Diagnosed with a panic disorder at a young age, Rebecca is passionate about sharing her experiences with others and taking a creative approach to dealing with anxiety, depression, and addiction. Please heck out some of her writing here: instagram.com/becca_hillard.
"Y'all, sometimes it's not your trauma or the disorder or the way you process information. Sometimes you're just in the wrong and you could have behaved better. Sometimes you're just a jerk and you gotta recognize it and own it.
Knowing the difference is tough, but it really does help you on the road to recovery or on the road to managing your symptoms. Taking the time to recognize that in myself helps me know when I can give more or when I really do need help and understanding.
Sometimes we are just jerks and that's when you gotta go, 'I'm sorry, what can I do moving forward?' And in that asking, you get to explain where you need help."
Why do narcissists never give you closure?

Answered on June 12, 2019 by Susanna Bush (Television Producer).

There are two main reasons why narcissists never, ever give closure, but there is actually something positive you can take from this. First, here are the reasons (after I will give the positive on this subject.)

1. They will not give closure because that limits their chances of a successful future second, third, four (and up) renewal of the relationship. They will not give you a firm, heartfelt goodbye and hope you have a great rest of your life because they want you to go into a massive shelf with the rest of their former partners they are keeping track of in case they want to attempt a return.

2. They also don’t give closure because they have the stunted, fleeting emotions of a 2 or 3 year old. Picture a toddler with a new puppy (you). One minute they’re squeezing it with “love” the next minute they’re ignoring it out of boredom, the next minute they’re pulling it’s tail to see what it will do. They don’t understand the concept of a truly mature, reciprocal relationship. The world revolves around them to serve their needs NOT yours. They are an adult toddler, completely oblivious to the needs of others.

Here is the positive:

There are only three types of people who refuse to give closure: narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. This is the dark triad of personality types, who are all extremely talented manipulators. They are consumers of people’s kindness.

If someone refuses to give you closure— that in and of itself is closure. It tells you who they are: a dark personality type. I once read an excellent definition of closure: closure is when you fully understand why your relationship will not bring you fulfillment and happiness. So the choice now rests with you: do you want to spend more time turning yourself inside out, trying to find closure outwardly from them—or do you want to do the more important work of trying to figure out why you were attracted to, and served the needs of a dark personality type? This is the work that is far more complicated and more important. It’s looking inward and trying to understand yourself instead of looking outward.

None of this is our fault. Chances are we grew up with a narcissist for a role model. It is a bitch to deal with this. I am dealing with this. It took me forever and a day to understand all of it—after a terrible 25 yr marriage to a narcissist, and 2 back to back 3 yr relationships with narcissists. I believe we will continue to attract narcissists until we fully understand our childhoods and then consciously choose a partner very different from who we have known. Good luck to all of you reading this. I wish you so much happiness. You deserve it.
PSA: Ghosting, what it means, and how to deal with it

This is a topic I've seen come up a lot lately and I'm hoping a a public service announcement will be helpful here:

If you are writing to someone and they are not writing back to you, or are writing back a day or a week later you are being ghosted to some degree. It means that the person is trying to get you to go away without actually telling you that. Even if you think they're into you, even if they started the relationship. For whatever reason, you're not a priority for them anymore.

It happens for any number of reasons. It could be that you screwed up, it could mean that they've found someone they like more than you, or it could have nothing to do with you in any way. It is NOT occurring because they are busy or sick or tired. If they wanted to talk to you they would take the two seconds to write to say they are busy and that they would text you later. So stop thinking that way. They're just not into you.

If you are being ghosted here is how you deal with it.

1. Do not continue to text them. You can't dig your way out of a hole. You're making yourself look pathetic and clingy which makes them less likely to write you back. If they want to get back in touch with you they will, so just let go.

2. Do not ask them if you did something wrong or try to get validation from them. They are ghosting you because the thought of telling you to leave them alone is uncomfortable. They sure as hell lack the directness to tell you what went wrong. In general, don't look to dating partners as a means of validation. The only person who needs to validate you is you.

3. Don't take it personally. It sucks, we've all been ghosted. Just forget it and move on.

4. Learn to walk away. There are a lot of posts asking what they can do to salvage a relationship when this starts. Don't try, walk away. You deserve someone who is delighted to see you and spend time with you. Go find someone who's eyes light up when they see you. Don't go chasing someone who doesn't feel that you're worthy of the 5 seconds it would take to text you.

Hope this is helpful in some way.

"A lot of children - especially mentally ill children - end up traumatized not because someone was specifically hurting them but because their needs weren’t being met, or because their problems weren’t being seen, or because they were rendered particularly vulnerable by other aspects of their identity, like queerness or race.
And it can be hard to look at your childhood and go “I was hurt” and also know that the hurt wasn’t deliberate. it’s uniquely painful to not have someone to blame.
You do not have to excuse the people who hurt you, even if it was unintentional. & acknowledging your own pain does not necessarily entail blaming them for it.
You are allowed to do what you need to do in order to recover."
Source: https://tenderwiki.tumblr.com/
Via: The Artidote
How do I keep a meaningful relationship when I have borderline personality disorder?


Written by Joe Jacobs (former Consultant Child Psychotherapist at National Health Service, 1980-2015) on August 24, 2019.

Question: “How do I keep a meaningful relationship when I have borderline personality disorder?”


Some of us experienced our first meaningful relationship in infancy as turbulent, insecure and unpredictable.

In those circumstances and later in life we may unconsciously seek relationships with an element of turbulence in them, and if we find it settles down, we may unconsciously introduce turbulence into it.

A relationship without turbulence might seem to lack the meaning that we crave.

Unfortunately, turbulence often leads to a break down of that relationship, so it is harder to keep such loving relations together.

Changing such a personal dynamic seems impossible, and cannot usually be achieved on the spot, but insight over time can do this.
“Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.”

Brianna Wiest

Via: Nepenthe
Are people with personality disorders mentally ill?

Written by Antonieta Contreras (Psychotherapist, Trauma, Neurofeedback, EMDR, Priv.practice) on March 29.

In my job as a psychotherapist, I deal with a lot of people that struggle with their expression of emotions and behavior, and the impact that they have in their relationships and performance in society; they really struggle with the idea of being mentally ill, emotionally unstable, and socially inadequate. I see the way these ideas affect their self-perception and identity, and I also see how their personalities and behavior change as soon as they feel and believe they are “normal.” The idea of being “crazy” is absolutely debilitating and carries a centuries-long stigma.

In the last version of the DSM, personality disorders’ first criteria states that a person should be considered “mentally ill” if they present “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture.” How could an illness be determined by culture?

There is something intrinsically wrong with that way of assigning mental disorder labels to members of society. I have observed again and again in my clients that people’s behavior gets affected by being told they suffer from a personality disorder. Just being called mentally ill could be traumatizing for many individuals, and trauma creates personality anomalies that can become really problematic and even pathological. Maybe the label will trigger a traumatic reaction that ends up making their personality dysfunctional.

The medical model and psychiatric agendas keep “blaming the victim,” judging, shaming, rejecting, and making individuals feel irreparable defective if they don’t adhere to the norms established. Maybe the reports on the media about so many people lacking empathy and behaving so erratically are the result of the pharma industry financial agenda that has overmedicated us, and the psychiatric way of classifying behavior that makes it so easy to meet the criteria of a personality disorder. Maybe that’s why we are becoming more dysregulated, which is modifying our behavior and our personalities.

Even the definition of mental illness that the APA (American Psychiatric Association) gives is so generic that we may all have one. They say that “mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.”

According to that definition yes, a person with a personality disorder is mentally ill.

I don’t consider people suffering from a PD mentally ill. I consider them survivors in need to regain control of their emotional system, in need of help to free up from the strategies they developed to survive that modified the sense of who they were, and that they may not need anymore. Maybe some of those strategies make them dysfunctional in some aspects of life, but that doesn’t make them mentally sick. They may be emotionally unstable, but they can regain stability and become fully functional.
"I’m Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To React To Everything That Bothers Me.

I’m slowly learning that the energy it takes to react to every bad thing that happens to you drains you and stops you from seeing the other good things in life. I’m slowly learning that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and I won’t be able to get everyone to treat me the way I want to be treated and that’s okay. I’m slowly learning that trying so hard to ‘win’ anyone is just a waste of time and energy and it fills you with nothing but emptiness.

I’m slowly learning that not reacting doesn’t mean I’m okay with things, it just means I’m choosing to rise above it. I’m choosing to take the lesson it has served and learn from it. I’m choosing to be the bigger person. I’m choosing my peace of mind because that’s what I truly need. I don’t need more drama. I don’t need people making me feel like I’m not good enough. I don’t need fights and arguments and fake connections. I’m slowly learning that sometimes not saying anything at all says everything.

I’m slowly learning that reacting to things that upset you gives someone else power over your emotions. You can’t control what others do but you can control how you respond, how you handle it, how you perceive it and how much of it you want to take personally. I’m slowly learning that most of the time, these situations say nothing about you and a lot about the other person. I’m slowly learning that maybe all these disappointments are just there to teach us how to love ourselves because that will be the armor and the shield we need against the people who try to bring us down. They will save us when people try to shake our confidence or when they try to make us feel like we’re worthless.

I’m slowly learning that even if I react, it won’t change anything, it won’t make people suddenly love and respect me, it won’t magically change their minds. Sometimes it’s better to just let things be, let people go, don’t fight for closure, don’t ask for explanations, don’t chase answers and don’t expect people to understand where you’re coming from.

I’m slowly learning that life is better lived when you don’t center it on what’s happening around you and center it on what’s happening inside you instead. Work on yourself and your inner peace and you’ll come to realize that not reacting to every little thing that bothers you is the first ingredient to living a happy and healthy life."

Rania Naim (via: Nepenthe)


Reserve Grader
"A lot of children - especially mentally ill children - end up traumatized not because someone was specifically hurting them but because their needs weren’t being met, or because their problems weren’t being seen,
Thanks for bringing up the subject Patrick, much appreciated and read with interest. So many Ah Ha thoughts.
How are mood swings triggered with borderline personality disorder?

Answered by Alanna Bellic (In therapy since 2019 for BPD, Mood Disorder, C-PTSD) on March 14, 2021.

Mood swings in BPD are typically triggered by something social or environmental, as opposed to chemical changes (as in bipolar disorder or other mood disorders), although comorbitities with Major Depressive Disorder and other Mood Disorders are common.

Criticized by your boss or husband? Sudden massive depression, crushing shame.

Text from your crush? Butterflies and hypomania!

Saw another girl's name pop up on your spouse's phone? Jealous murderous rage!

PwBPD lack the ability to regulate their emotions due to damage sustained to the amygdala during formative years. The mood swings aren't random, they have specific triggers, but due to the lack of ability to naturally regulate emotions, a mood may sustain and become more dysregulated throughout the day. For example, a series of minor inconveniences causes a build-up of anger that doesn't get released in a healthy way, triggering a massive blowup at the end of the day when the unlucky spouse says something wrong. The reaction is out of proportion to the final trigger because the emotion has gone unmanaged for a long period of time. In the same way, an important text doesn't get replied, a minor criticism at work, and a poor social encounter then suddenly trigger a self-harm episode and suicidal thoughts.

To others, it seems like a dramatic overreaction --this person behaves immaturely, they have to walk on egg shells around them. The reality is the pwBPD has done their best to behave as normally as possible throughout the day, coping however they have learned to cope, but without specialized treatment and therapy, there is no way to avoid those blowups and emotional highs and lows, because their brain never learned to make the connections necessary to self-soothe. They have to learn skills to reprogram their brain to self-soothe and stop seeing threats where there aren't any before dramatic mood swings can be managed.
5 Positive Traits I Attribute to My Borderline Personality Disorder

By Kelly M on 15 September 2021.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an incredibly challenging diagnosis to live with — I would know. I have been diagnosed with it a few times by various doctors, a result of the interaction of genetics and traumas.

However, today I do not want to talk about the challenges so much. I’m not saying this to invalidate by any means; having BPD and my many comorbid conditions, is so far from easy. In many ways, I consider this my most challenging set of symptoms, or at least, the most difficult to treat. What I do want to share today is that there are positives of living with BPD, at least for me.

Here are my top five positive traits I attribute to having BPD:

1. Empathy.

I feel very deeply because of my BPD. Oftentimes, this leads to pain and struggle; however, I also think it can lead to deeper friendships and other kinds of relationships. This is from a brain chemistry that involves intense emotions and reactions to situations, as well as the inherent empathy one has for others when they come from a history of trauma (as many with BPD do have a trauma history).

2. Creativity.

I have a creative mind, something I was told from a young age. This may or may not be directly associated with borderline personality disorder; however, I feel that myself and others I have met with BPD think outside the box or have a proclivity for art, writing, photography or unique ideas. This may come from our unusual wiring (especially as many of us are neurodivergent too — born autistic, with sensory processing disorder or with ADHD), or perhaps from our trauma histories, in which we have learned to rely on creativity to cope.

3. Passion.

I am passionate about my hobbies, my issues, learning, helping others, my pets, my friends and family. I find my BPD, likely because of the intensity of my emotions, has led to going through the world with a fire in my core. While my lows may be debilitating, my natural highs, typically in reaction to positive situations (this is not to be confused with bipolar mania, a separate condition), are strong. I glow when I am happy and I shake when I am excited about something. I want to learn or make a difference or love with an intensity that is hard for some to comprehend.

4. Resilience.

This a big one. It is also a word tattooed on my right wrist. As I said before, BPD can be roller coaster to live with, a painful one at that. And so, while relapses have been common for me, I find I always bounce back. I always come back stronger after each episode, breakdown or moment of hardship.

5. Mental health advocate.

I am a proud mental health advocate and extremely knowledgeable about mental illness and borderline personality disorder. Because of my diagnoses, including BPD, I strive to share my story with others and to make a difference, even if it is a small one. If I reach one person with each story I share, that is enough for me. Many with BPD even enter into helping professions like nursing, social work or teaching — this is because we know what it is like to need help and to struggle.

BPD for me has required a lot of treatment, ranging from intensive therapies and several medications to stabilize mood and regulate my comorbid diagnoses, to trauma work, to a long list of coping skills I practice regularly. It is not an easy journey for me, nor anyone else who has challenges with emotion regulation, self-harm, interpersonal relationships, abandonment issues, impulsivity and so on. That being said, I think the positive aspects of BPD are rarely acknowledged. I hope anyone reading this who feels down about their diagnosis or symptoms can remember that they are not alone.

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16 9 7 65 24
16 9 7 48 24
17 9 8 -56 24
17 9 7 67 23
17 9 8 1 22
17 8 9 -91 22
17 8 9 -81 20
18 7 10 -34 19
17 7 10 9 18
16 6 10 -59 18
16 6 10 -104 18
17 4 13 -153 14
17 4 13 -203 12
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