Borderline Personality Disorder is also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. It is characterised by intense unstable relationships, chaotic thoughts and beliefs regarding others, fear of rejection and abandonment, self harm and suicidal tendancies.

There are 9 main indicators/symptoms but only 5 are needed to form a diagnosis. Typically a diagnosis will only be made in a person over 18 years old however provisional diagnoses of traits of the disorder can be made in adolescents.

Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment this can include threatening suicide or self harm to stop a person from leaving the sufferer, if a partner has to go away say on a work related trip the sufferer may believe that their partner is never going to come back.

A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation the classic saying “I hate you please dont leave me” is a typical phrase that many sufferers feel.

Identity disturbance, such as a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self have you every been comfortable being yourself? Someone with identity disturbance doesn’t know who they are, they are charmealon like, fitting in with their surroundings/people. Always trying to be someone else, never knowing their own style, likes etc or rather not realising that some things they do,like are their own.

Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating) this is kind of self explanatory but in a bid to make yourself liked or feel loved having sex with multiple men trying to fill a hole a gap, running the risk of pregnancy or sti’s. This often just brings more rejection as you realise that the guys only want a quick one and nothing more. Spending money you can’t afford on useless junk or trying to buy others. Drinking and/or doing drugs just to numb the emotions.

Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behaviour Self harm takes many forms which I will not share as can give ideas which self harmers sometimes seek when their original method isn’t working anymore. When the emotions get too extreme the self harm just doesn’t do it anymore so a sufferer will make an attempt on their life in some form and sadly 10% will succeed. BPD sufferers are very likely to be regulars in A&E and “revolving door” patients in acute psychiatric wards.

Emotional instability due to significant reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days) extreme mood swings basically can be happy and joyful one hour and despairingly suicidal the next. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a trigger for the mood change but a lot of the time there is, those closest to the sufferer will bare the brunt more as they tend to hurt those who they love the most.

Chronic feelings of emptiness how to explain this, Inside you is this lack of feeling/aloneness, your hollow. You can’t feel and as a result of this you self harm you want to feel something even if it is physical pain just to know your actually alive still.

Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms when experiencing extreme stress a person may have paranoid thoughts about the situation, sudden noises which usually wouldn’t bother a person now trigger thoughts of “someone’s broken in I’m going to be hurt” delusional beliefs that no one likes them occur when under a threat of abandonment or rejection. The word transient means short term or temporary meaning in a BPD sense that the episodes only last minutes or hours and are not symptomatic enough for another diagnosis. Dissociative episodes occur when the mind feels the only way to deal with a situation is to shut down. Abuse sufferers may have dissociate to block out what was happening to them. It is a coping mechanism. Mild dissociation can be being on autopilot or just going through the motions not feeling just doing.

So what does it all mean really?? It means hell. It means living everyday struggling to hold on to everyone who means everything to you whilst fearing they will walk out of your life and never come back. It means being in the wrong friendships/relationships just because your too scared to be alone to be without someone, and if it means being abused again you will stay because least your not alone. Frequent trips to A&E because you have self harmed/poisoned yourself/are in danger. Contact with the police because you have been found in a public place and are a danger to yourself, taken under a police section to a place of safety. In and out of psych wards. Never knowing if tomorrow you may just go a little further and take your life of wake up feeling refreshed.

Living with BPD is horrendous, whilst there are no medications designed to treat BPD as a disorder, meds used for other psychiatric disorders are commonly used to help with symptoms, these are hit and miss. What helps the most is a therapy called dialectical behavioural therapy or DBT for short and a supportive therapist who is there every step of the way. Being shown that people will stay in your life no matter what helps to change the thoughts that everyone will leave.

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