Borderline Personality Disorder or Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) is a condition which means that people suffering from it have an inability to manage their emotions effectively.
They say that BPD is considered to be a serious mental illness.
Relationships for people with BPD can prove to be very difficult, this can either be with everybody, or just certain people, I am assuming it is how we view each individual relationship, well I guess thats how it is for me, and what I expect to either contribute to it or gain from it. If my expectations are not met, then my responses are not for the faint hearted.
For me personally there is a third relationship, which is way more scary, and that is the one I have with myself, I think that this is the most volatile and unpredictable.
I would not treat other people the way that I treat myself without a second thought. I would not say the words I tell myself over and over again to another human being, or my dog for that matter.
BPD is a mood disorder, it is also the most commonly recognised personality disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder is characterised by a pattern of instability in mood, behaviour, self image and functioning. Impulsivity and unstable relationships kinda go hand in hand with this.
Sometimes, I have really extreme episodes of anger or rage, which is nearly impossible to prevent. Or chronic feelings of emptiness, and low self worth.
The trigger, well the tigger for such an episode may be very insignificant to others, but for me it is an unmanageable set of emotions hitting me all at once with a force of a hurricane. When the dust does finally settle depression and anxiety can set in, because I am so scared of the repercussions of my latest outburst, and depression because of the paranoid thoughts behind the trigger, or being completely shamed by my behaviour.
The thing that sets borderline personality disorder apart from other personality disorders is the speed of onset, onset can occur in seconds or fractions of a second, and the duration of an episode – it can range from minutes, to hours onto days.
It is worth noting that it is not unusual for people with borderline to have co-occurring mental illness such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, self harming behaviours and suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
I view borderline personality disorder as the bowels of all other mental health disorders. its the worst part of all other diagnoses rolled into one untreatable life sentence of turmoil.
A diagnosis can only be give from a psychiatrist, and I am informed that they do not particularly like diagnosing because they do not feel that it is always helpful, well thats what she said to me. However for me, it was helpful, although it was a double edged sword. Initially I felt a relief that there was actually something wrong with me, I wasn’t crazy, there was help available but it kind of felt like a death sentence, and sometimes still does.
It is the dirty secret that I have not been able to speak about openly. It is a reminder of the past that I had to endure, and an unfair burden on my children.
In order to be given a diagnosis of BPD, you must have at least 5 out of 9 traits listed, over a period of time, so it takes time to be diagnosed, it is not something that is done without great consideration.
Borderline Personality Disorder
According to the DSM is;
A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, a marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated from 5 or more of the following:
- frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
- a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterised by alternating between extremes of idealisation and devaluation.
- identity disturbance; markedly and persistently unstable self image or sense of self
- impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (eg. spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating);
- recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures or threats, self mutilating behaviour
- affective instability due to a reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days);
- chronic feelings of emptiness
- inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g.,frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights);
- transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or sever dissociative symptoms.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association 2000)
Being truthful I have not read through the criteria since I was diagnosed, and I am rather scared to say that I feel that I now present more symptoms than I did at diagnosis.
Thats certainly a concern for me, and something that I will discuss with my team of therapists. the positive that I can take from that revelation is that I am not as impulsive as I once was and not acting on my many suicidal ideations as I was both undiagnosed and newly diagnosed.
It feels a bit shit to be honest, I feel that I have put in so much work in my therapy and rehabilitations, but more criteria being met. how is that even possible?
I guess that I may be more willing to accept the condition now than when I was when I was diagnosed.