Living with borderline personality disorder can make a person (and their loved ones) utterly miserable. And oftentimes, the person suffering from this disease does not even understand why they feel or act the way that they do. But help is available.
- People with BPD live daily life with an unhealthy intensity.
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is often misunderstood – here are 7 tell-tale signs.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental health issue. Statistics vary from one country to the next, but a surprisingly high percentage of people suffer from it. BPD affects anywhere from 1.5% to nearly 6% of the population, and significantly more women suffer from it than men. But unfortunately, many people with BPD have no idea why they are constantly in such a severe emotional state, and most do not seek treatment for borderline personality disorder on their own.
BPD often gets misdiagnosed as other mental health problems, including bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and major depression. This is because some of these diseases have symptoms in common with BPD – but they are still fundamentally different. With that in mind, it is important that those suffering from BPD are properly diagnosed, as this allows them to get proper treatment.
People with BPD live daily life with an unhealthy intensity. They care deeply about those they love, but can turn on them quickly for no apaprent reason. Furthermore, they often fundamentally believe that they are not worthy of love or respect. Needless to say, their relationships are invariably volatile.
These Are the Main Traits and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
As the name suggests, BPD is a type of personality disorder – which means that it affects a person’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. It is an excruciating mental health condition that leaves a person feeling angry, confused and often misunderstood. For those on the outside, it can be extremely difficult to understand the pain and despair that a person with BPD suffers.
Here are seven common symptoms of borderline personality disorder:
1. Intense Fear of Being Abandoned
Everyone has experienced fear of abandonment at some stage in their life, but those with BPD go through this on a regular basis. They are likely to believe that their friends and loved ones do not really care about them and may leave them or forget about them at any moment.
2. Unstable and Often Intense Relationships
The fear of being abandoned by loved ones fuels what end up being intense and unstable relationships. This means that their relationships often toggle between euphoric bliss and scathing conflict.
3. Poorly Developed Sense of Self
Sufferers of BPD will often feel that they have no real identity. Some find themselves frequently switching religions or even sexual orientations in a struggle to find out who they really are. Many describe themselves as chameleon-like – taking on the traits and characteristics of those they are with. This, in turn, leads to feelings of phoniness or emptiness.
4. Impulsive Behaviour
A person with BPD is likely to have a difficult time discerning what the right thing to do is in a given situation. This leads to impulsive behaviour, ranging from binge eating and promiscuous behaviour to substance abuse. These are all veiled attempts to alleviate the pain.
5. Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts
As you can probably see at this point, people with BPD usually have a low opinion of themselves. For this reason, self-harm is a common (but often hidden) trait for sufferers of this condition. Suicidal thoughts – in some cases leading to actual suicide – are also extremely common.
6. Emotional Instability
Irritability leading to severe mood swings, uncontrolled rage and intense sadness are part and parcel with BPD. This can be extremely challenging for loved ones, which in turn makes the sufferer feel even more worthless and deserving of punishment.
7. Anxiety Bordering on Paranoia in Social Situations
Simply being around others, especially strangers, can be a source of intense stress for people with BPD. This can manifest in many ways, but it is common for them to disassociate or ‘zone out’, making them feel that they are not even participating in the life unfolding around them.
There is a repeated motif in the experience of people with borderline personality disorder. They feel worthless – even worthy of pain and punishment. They act out against those who love them most, because deep down, they cannot help but feel that they are actually not worthy of love.
This leads to a painful cycle of desperately seeking love and affirmation, only to turn and attempt to drive away those who care about them. Needless to say, this creates feelings of utter hopelessness.
People with BPD Have a Distorted View of Themselves
For those suffering from borderline personality disorder, it can be difficult to achieve an objective view of oneself. They often apply extraordinarily unrealistic standards to themselves and define their own self-worth through a series of black-and-white tests that no person would be able to pass.
These unrealistically high standards they enforce for themselves end up reaffirming their belief that they are fundamentally worthless. In order to shed light on the thought processes of a person with BPD, here are a few common thought patterns that people with this illness report:
- The only way that I can ever be happy is if I find an absolutely perfect person to love me and take care of me.
- I feel the way I do because of environmental factors that I have no control over. In other words, I cannot change the way that I feel.
- My self-worth is based entirely upon the love and acceptance of others. If even one person thinks poorly of me, I am worthless.
- Human beings are either purely good or thoroughly bad. Bad people should be punished.
- If someone mistreats me, it is because I deserve it.
- If I am alone, it is because I have been rejected. I deserve to be alone.
- The people I care about do not care about me in the same way. Everyone I love wants to leave me.
- I know that I am bad and that people should not love me; therefore, if someone does love me, then something must be wrong with them.
For close friends and family members, it is important to understand that people with BPD hold themselves to impossible standards. This means that they are constantly letting themselves down, reaffirming the sense of worthlessness that they already feel.
Personality Disorder Treatment in Dhaka
Persons with BPD are usually aware that their experiences are not typical, but they feel helpless to change their lives. It is critically important that those suffering from this mental health issue seek professional help and guidance. At The Cabin Dhaka, our mental health professionals can help you establish a more realistic view of yourself.
If you are ready to leave the despair behind and reclaim your mental and emotional health, The Cabin Dhaka can help. We recommend that our clients with BPD meet with us at least once a week over a period of two to three months to establish new, constructive behaviours and thought patterns. Contact us today to learn more about our holistic mental health treatment programme in Dhaka.