This young lady emailed me and gave me an in-depth look at Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I honestly thank her for this. I have been a psychiatric nurse for as long as she’s been alive and I can say this. I’ve asked probably hundreds of people with borderline personality disorder why they do what they do and this is the best answer I’ve ever seen. I hate she has to live with this personality disorder because many people are under the misconception that they are attention seekers and they are manipulative. It does have to do with coping which I will let her story speak for itself. I will pray for you and ask GOD to ease your mind. I know its hard for you when you have a thousand different thoughts in a matter of minutes. My words cannot express how grateful I am you shared your story.
I am 17 years old, a senior in high school, and from the Cincinnati area. I want to tell you about a mental health/personality disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This is how I describe my life on a daily basis living with it, even if it’s not diagnosed…I know what’s going on inside my head even if it seems like I don’t or possibly couldn’t because this is a disorder that often gets overlooked on the spectrum. Parents (incluing my own) chalk it up to teenage angst/hormones/struggles/you name it. But it’s more than that. It doesn’t have to do with being a teenager, it has to do with the receptors in your brain that are overactive when you experience an unpleasant experience and they over work and can’t turn off all the negative chemicals that make you feel anxiety, anger, sadness, guilt, impulsivity, etc.
I’ve recently started looking into this disorder more and more because I’ve noticed how much it affected my social life my junior year. Junior year, for me, had ended in extreme fights and disagreements with people who I never meant to hurt at all, the impulsiveness just gets the best of me every time. Ever since I was little, I’ve always been way over sesitive to every little thing. If friends said something regularly normal, I would take it to an extreme and blow it out of proportion. Being around people makes me super uncomfortable, being friends with people gives me anxiety because I’m always scared I’m going to ruin it by overreacting when I can’t help it. I have two friends. I keep the pool down to only two, but I am super lonely. I am lonely because I choose to be. Even though I don’t choose to have BPD.
The black and white thinking is so random, so on and off. One moment I’m loving someone and think so highly of them like they’re the best person in the whole world and I’ll never let them go, never let them down…the next moment, out of no where or if they say something and my brain takes it to an extreme, I suddenly hate them more than anything in my life, they are suddenly the devil. But this only lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 weeks. That’s why it’s called Borderline Personality Dosorder…it’s often misdiagnosed as Bipolar Dosorder, Depression, or Anxiety, although those can all be a part of it as well in smaller portions. It’s one of the most overlooked mood disorders ever.
Let me tell you a little bit about my high school history (where the impulsively got worse). I went into high school having a boyfriend, someone who I truly consider my first love. We were super super close because I honestly never liked having many friends around, it always made me uncomfortable. I over valued him to the extreme. And by extreme I mean telling him over and over agin how he was my religion, how I would basically sumbmit and do anything he wanted, let him hurt me, anything. He never would hurt me of course, he was really a perfect first boyfriend, but freshman year I also noticed something was extremely wrong with my moods. I started to feel EVERYTHING all at once, but I still felt nothing at all because I never knew what I was feeling, just an extreme mix of emotions on different topics that had multiple sides to them and I still struggle to this day with it. I’m always deep in thought. I’m always not there, because I’m pondering everything, I’m over sensitive, I couldn’t let anything go. As long as I can remeber even speaking in class would result in me repeating and rethinking about what I had just said, down to every last detail. I could never focus either, my mind wonders constantly.
It got to the point that I couldn’t control the extreme polarized thoughts jumping around, the outbursts and the feeling of the wrong emotions at the wrong time. I am either emotionless, or I have inappropriate emotions. I started self harming. Not necessarily cutting, I wasn’t harming with the intention of suicide, I would find sharp objects like safety pins or notebook spirals and I would use them against my numb skin and I would feel better…but the guilt after hurting myself was so extreme too…along with the almost hoping chance that someone would see the lines on my arms…it was like I wanted attention but I wasn’t knowingly aware I was trying to get attention. I eventually lied to my boyfriend when he asked me about the marks, then admitted to lying and ultimately ruined our relationship. Sophomore year was an entire all time low in my life.
He broke up with me the day after Sophomore homecoming. That’s the only serious relationship I’ve ever had and maybe my last because I don’t handle breakups well at all…I destroy myself. I (am) always having outbursts at people, my ex, my family, etc. I self harmed more, I developed an eating disorder in the process. I would go days full of binge eating or some days barley eating, then for at least two months straight I made myself throw up two or three times a day. I actually starting going anemic where I would wake up every couple mornings burning up, cold sweating, dry heaving into the toilet before blacking out around the edges of my vision, lying on the tile floor waiting for it to pass. I didn’t do it because I thought I was fat…I did it because I was discusted at myself, I felt like I didn’t deserve to thrive, I deserved to struggle.
And then there was also the other risky behaviors. Putting myself out there for guys because I felt worthless (I’m always negative and say things that are pessimistic or degrade myself without even realizing what I’m doing fully). I just wanted to go around with guys all the time, it was supposed to take away the numbness in my body, but it was falseness. The guilt I felt after doing all that to myself. I have so much guilt nowadays that it manifests itself into OCD. I turn on and off light switches, open and close doors, unlock and lock my phone, etc…at least 20 times before I can leave a room or go to bed at night. It is a daily occurrence that if I don’t do these things that there is impending doom coming for me. I am paranoid 24/7. I always feel as if nothing can get better or nothing can help me because while I try for attention and don’t mean to…I always want to deny trying to help myself get better because this is the norm I’ve excepted for so long now.
I don’t really do everything that I used to do anymore…even though I get extremely triggered still. Now it’s more of a compulsive spending and OCD Parinoia combination. I see something and I buy it, but I feel guilt at buying it. Once again…I feel EVERYTHING. Oh, and there’s the weird out of body experiences I have DAILY. I will sit still, emotionless really, and it’s just like a numbness fading over me that lifts me out of my sitting or lying position and into the air but it levitates and pulls itself up and down, in and out of me. I don’t feel like I’m there, I feel like I’m floating, I feel like I can see myself even outside of my body.
I just think this issue needs to be made way more aware. People can live with it, grow up with it for decades and never have it diagnosed or receive help for years…this is also because people with BPD are the most difficult to treat. We don’t like accepting help at all…we deny, we are stubborn, we are inconsistent, and this is just us and we don’t mean to be this way.
So that was my story with BPD.