For those who do not know what Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is, then do not try to decipher the meaning as the name does not signify what the disorder really is. Another name for it that is a bit more fitting is Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). In a nutshell it is a disorder that has a lot to do with not being able to regulate emotions. If you want to read a bit more about it, you can do that here, or alternatively you can watch a video here.
The nine symptoms you will see in borderline are as below*:
- “Others Act Upon Me, Therefore I Am”. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
- The Relentless Search for Mr./Ms. Right. Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, with marked shifts in attitudes toward others (from idealization to devaluation or from clinging dependency to isolation and avoidance), and prominent patterns of manipulation of others.
- Who Am I? Marked and persistent identity disturbance manifested by an unstable self-image or sense of self.
- The Impulsive Character. Impulsiveness in at least two areas that are potentially self-destructive, e.g., substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, gambling, reckless driving, shoplifting, excessive spending, or overeating.
- Self-Destruction. Recurrent suicidal threats, gestures, or behavior, or self mutilating behaviors.
- Radical Mood Shifts. Affective instability due to marked reactivity of mood with severe episodic shifts to depression, irritability, or anxiety, usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days.
- Always Half Empty. Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Raging Bull. Inappropriate, intense anger, or lack of control of anger, e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights.
- Sometimes I Act Crazy. Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or symptoms of severe dissociation.
*These symptoms have been taken from “I hate you – don’t leave me” written by Jerold J. Kreisman, MD, and Hal Straus.
I don’t want to get into how BPD has been for me or how it all started – just yet. It is not an easy topic to talk about especially when there is such a negative stigma surrounding depression, let alone personality disorders. I am not crazy. There are chemical imbalances as well as parts of my brain that don’t work the way they should. I am wired differently. That does not mean I need to be treated different. Think of it as a broken leg, just because you can’t see a mental illness does not mean it does not exist.
It’s interesting how many people think the stigma does not exist or think that no one will judge you for the way you are but the truth is, you will always encounter someone that you are too much for. People are awkward about depression and usually don’t know how to reply to “I don’t want to be alive”. They feel like they cannot help so they ignore the problem, or they feel like they need to help and list all the things wrong with you that needs to be fixed. (It doesn’t help, trust me).
Life is volatile. It is sometimes hard to accept that not everyone thinks the same way as we do. It is difficult to not know what to say to someone going through so much, but I had to learn the hard way that humans cannot deal with things that seem broken to them. We are all in the search for happiness but we are not in complete control of our life and everything that affects it.
I have been tried to be fixed by close friends, family and even been given ridiculous advice from psychologists. Telling someone to “just go do some exercise” or ”just get out of bed, it’s not hard” or even “you’re not even trying” does not help and it is so much easier said than done
People with depression find the easiest tasks impossible. I lost 10kgs in the first year of my depression, I was 45kgs – the last time I was that small was when I was 12. Most days I didn’t feed myself but that wasn’t always the hardest thing to do. Getting out of bed became impossible some days. A lot of people don’t understand this. They think people with depression are lazy or just wanting attention or wasting people’s times. The fact is that there are a lot of days that you give up. I still have those days, There are days that things become too difficult, it feels as death is easier. It feels as if the whole world has turned on you.
You feel alone. You feel unloved. You feel afraid. You feel empty.
Now reread that line but substitute ‘feel’ for ‘are’. One word is the difference between life or death. If they were just feelings then we could possibly get over them, but it’s much more than that. Thoughts taking over your mind is only the start of it…