Mental health awareness month - Borderline personality disorder

Mental health awareness month – Borderline personality disorder

Last month was maternal mental health awareness week and I got an amazing response from my blog post of my battle with postnatal depression, maternal mental health awareness week is part of mental health awareness month so I thought I would share my experience with borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is still not really talked about and still has a massive stigma attached, people often don’t understand it and it’s something people don’t like to admit that they have. Like everything on this blog I am open about my personal struggles, but I do struggle to write about BPD myself, so I will try to do it justice by being open and honest.

BPD has affected me since my teenage years, but was only diagnosed in January after a suicide attempt. It is thought that around 1 in 10 people diagnosed with BPD will complete suicide, many more will attempt suicide. People really don’t like talking about this and it makes people very uncomfortable. For me I just wanted to end the pain I was feeling in that moment not necessarily end my life, but like most stuff BPD related I act on impulse. Many people who suffer with BPD also self-harm and it’s something that has effected me mildly on and off since my teenage years, again this is something I find very difficult to talk about and so do others.

Since I can remember I’ve had a real fear of abandonment and have taken extreme measures in relationships to stop that happening, which has made things worse and often left me alone. My emotions can me very intense from very happy to very sad and can change quickly. I can start the day feeling elated and end the day with negative, dark thoughts. It’s like being on an emotional rollercoaster and I struggle to predict my own moods. Antidepressants do seem to have made this much more balanced than it used to be, but the dark, intrusive thoughts do creep back in.

BPD affects people in different ways and sufferers usually have problems with impulse control, there are continuing studies into why this part of the brain seems to be wired differently with BPD sufferers. Often PBD sufferers will have an eating disorder, for me I binge eat, I binge so much I physically feel sick, I know if I could be sick I would force myself to be, but I am unable to (I have a strange phobia of being sick and am sick very little even with a sickness bug). My impulse doesn’t stop just at eating it also is a problem with spending, which I am learning how to control. Often drug addiction and alcohol can be become problems for BPD sufferers and it’s something I am very aware of, I did have a mild problem with prescription drugs and have used alcohol in the past to numb emotions, luckily I don’t actually like the taste of alcohol.

With PBD I feel lots of paranoia, this is constant and even amongst good friends, I am forever trying to rationalise these thoughts and worry about what others think of me, It’s pretty exhausting, but I’ve made good progress at coming to terms with this. Questioning these thoughts has helped me understand them better.

Many people still think BPD is a lifelong mental condition and there is no cure, I know I did when I was diagnosed. Luckily with so many advances in treating mental health over the last twenty years there has been a talking therapy developed to help BPD suffers called dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), which is a form of the better known cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) that is specialised for BPD patients. I started DBT recently and have found it really helpful, I hope to write a blog post once I have learnt more.

Unfortunately many people with BPD often feel empty and alone and I think the fact that this disorder like many other personality disorders are not talked about just makes the problem worse. Don’t be scared by someones condition, be mindful, open and always caring. People with BPD usually always have great empathy which to me is my greatest personality trait. I understand people and appreciate people for who they are and am great at listening and trying to help people.

Many people with BPD are also diagnosed with another mental disorder at the same time like depression, addiction, eating disorders and anxiety. It might not seem like it at the time but having more than one mental disorder can help work out what care will work best for you.

I hope I have been able to describe how BPD has affected me, but my experience may be different from someone elses, to learn more look at the Mind website  for a full list of symptoms. Keep spreading the love and do everything you can to help mental health awareness month be as powerful as it can be.

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23 thoughts on “Mental health awareness month – Borderline personality disorder

  1. I did not know anything about BPD so thank you for educating me and for raising awareness on such an important illness. I hope you continue to make such good progress. This was a very inspiring post! Thank you for sharing with #FamilyFun 🌸

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I knew very little about this, I was only aware of the bits that relate to OCD in some ways (dark, intrusive thoughts). It’s so important to keep the chat going about mental health, way beyond mental health awareness week. We need to normalise the conversation surrounding these issues and burst the bubble of isolation and judgement. Big love to you x #brilliantblogposts

    1. I’ve found it fascinating to learn about, but there is some many disorders I still know very little about. Mental health should be taught at school.

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I didn’t know anything about BPD until I read this, and it all sounds so familiar so I think it is something I am going to do a bit more research into. I have had depression and anxiety for over a decade now, but it just feels like it’s more than just that…does that make sense? I used to be convinced I had Bipolar Disorder but having seen a psychiatrist they said no. Hopefully as our children and grandchildren grow there won’t be as much of a stigma surrounding mental health.
    Thanks for linking up with #MHLinky, look forward to seeing you next week!
    Rachel recently posted…Mental Health Linky #3My Profile

    1. That’s exactly how I felt. I always thought there was something more, but when I did read about bipolar it didn’t fit. I was diagnosed knowing nothing about it and it now makes so much sense.

  4. BPD sounds horrendous and I’m s really sorry to read your suffer from it. Thank you for being so honest about your journey and experience. I believe this will help others that also suffer or know someone that suffers from it. Than you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

  5. This is so helpful and honest, a lot of people worry about sharing this kind of information but I think it’s so important because it allows for open conversation about our feelings. This in turn helps people feel better about what they are going through! Thanks so much for sharing with #GlobalBlogging!
    The Mum Project recently posted…#GlobalBlogging Link Party No. 28My Profile

  6. Well done for writing about this, I commend you for raising awareness. I’ve often wondered if I have BPD and was screened for it a couple of years ago but it turned out I don’t. I’m still not convinced I don’t have it, I can recognise myself in this piece – a lot . Thanks for sharing with #globalblogging
    Rach recently posted…(Baby) Boom or BustMy Profile

  7. I applaud you for sharing your story and speaking out about BPD. I didn’t realise how little I knew about the condition and the way in which it affects so many people until I read your post. I will be really interested to read about DBT when you write your post about your experiences of it. I really hope that it helps. Thanks so much for sharing with #DreamTeam lovely xx

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