Written by Srinidhi Gadiyaram
Have you ever felt like you were being alienated? Left out? Insecure about the people around you and how much they like or dislike you? I’m sure you’ve experienced these sensations at least once or twice in your life, whether it be with a stranger or a long-time friend/family. So, what is it like living with those thoughts 24/7? Borderline Personality disorder is a mental disorder that impacts your mind, body, and personality; you lose your sense of self in a long-term pursuit of validation or a sense of belongingness. Symptoms include emotional instability, rapid and vigorous insecurity, impulsivity, and deformed relationships stemming from feelings of worthlessness.
So, How Does BPD Affect One's Day-to-Day Life?
Stress-related paranoia that develops into existential crises
Shifting your goals and dreams as you also change your self-image
Reinforcing the mental idea that you have no existence or that your existence holds no purpose
This can lead to legal issues and jail time because of impulsive and violent behaviors
Attempting suicide at any turn of conflict or doubt or inflicting self-injury or hospitalization
Continued involvement in abusive relationships following multiple separations and/or violent encounters
Leading to marital issues and large amounts of conflict
Such effects on one's life are both unrealistic and terrifying to imagine; no one acts in such a way and feels so many negative emotions at once, as a result of their free will. BPD can also stem from Depression, Anxiety disorders, substance, and alcohol abuse, Bipolar disorder, OCD, childhood trauma, PTSD, etc. All of these mental illnesses carry powerful conditions and reverberations that connect to the sole feeling of mental instability.
So, now that we know all of that, how can you be helpful and respectful to someone with BPD, whether they’re performing as normally as possible or during an episode?
Be patient with their feelings, their words, and their expressions; we all get choked up, and having someone to listen regardless of inconsistency is helpful.
Avoid judgment; avoid making faces or faking sympathy
Motivate them to seek treatment and extra support, they deserve to feel heard but you cannot be that constant support
Take care of yourself! Being a therapist for someone who is mentally ill is exhausting, be sure to set boundaries and stay calm
Borderline Personality disorder accumulates 3 million cases per year in the US, which is approximately 9.04% of the United States population. This means that you are not alone. Seek support on your schedule. Your mental health is yours only, and no one else can tell you how to take care of it or what to do. Everything is your decision; YOU ARE ENOUGH.