Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder which impacts the way you think about yourself and others. This can cause problems functioning in everyday life. BPD includes self-image issues, as well as difficulty managing emotions and behaviour.
The first few months after my diagnosis, I had a lot of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, Google wasn’t the right place for me to get those questions answered. Personally, I felt I needed people in the same boat, the same experiences and this is why I reached out online. Asking complete strangers to help me, to share tips and tricks with me – to share their experiences with me. Along with my therapist, medication, and the support I got from the community, I started to become proud of who I am; this is where I started to become an advocate.
Symptoms based from my own experience
- Black and white thinking. It’s everything or nothing. They’re an angel or the devil; I am a brilliant success or an absolute failure; I feel everything or nothing at all.
- Splitting. ‘I hate you, don’t leave me’ this is a phrase I use when I feel the need to explain what splitting means in my experiences.
- Fear of abandonment. This can include fear of rejection. partly because I don’t want to feel lonely, this can cause me being needy.
- Attachment to a favourite person. People with BPD often experience intense attachment to one single person. they determine our mood, identity, and self-worth.
- Self-harm. Intentionally harming yourself. also, abuse of drugs, or alcohol.
- Overthinking. Overanalysing, thinking the worst about any situation, making up things that are never there. It’s a form of fear. Anything you think more than it deserves can be considered overthinking.
I used to be ashamed of my BPD. I felt like I was looked at different. It’s like everyone had their judgements ready; I felt like they felt the need to throw their opinions at me. Once I stopped caring about other opinions it made me realise I was not ashamed of myself. I was and still am ashamed of those who contribute to the stigma that takes so many beautiful people away from us every single day.
We tend to only thing at the negative sides of BPD, but what we don’t need to forget are the positives sides; we don’t realise that people with BPD are the most passionate people. Also, we value every relationship we have. We are so passionate & we feel love very deeply. We appreciate life’s beauty as well.
How to live with BPD?
These are my opinions and coping mechanisms due to previous experiences.
- Self-care. This is one of the most important things to do. it doesn’t have to be a major task. I love to go to the sunbed, or treat myself to a McDonalds, paint my nails, get my hair done, etc. I feel like self-care is the foundation of healing, we tend to make everyone happy and content; this is where we often forget ourselves.
- Any form of healthy stress relieve. This can include going to the gym, taking walks outside, listening to music, etc.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Based from my experience, the longer I isolate, the harder it took for me to pick up my daily activities such as going to the shops, or work. We need to interact and especially being occupied. If I keep on isolating myself, this is where my brain starts overthinking, and my other symptoms gets worse as well.
If you recognise yourself in one of those situations, please reach out to a mental health professional. No single stigma is worth suffering for.
Lorenna Losa is a mental health advocate. You can connect with her on Twitter @lifewithlorr
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