Perceiving actions or words as impending separation or rejection, or loosing external structures, can lead to profound changes in their self-image, emotion, thinking and behavior. Someone with BPD will be very sensitive to things happening around them in their environment. They experience intense abandonment fears and inappropriate bouts of anger, even when faced with a realistic separation or when there are unavoidable changes in plans. For instance, becoming very angry with someone for being a few minutes late or having to cancel a lunch date. People with BPD may believe that this abandonment implies that they are unworthy. These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with them. Their frantic efforts to avoid abandonment may include impulsive actions such as self-mutilating or suicidal behaviors.
People with BPD may idealize lovers as “caregivers” at even the first or second meeting. They may become extremely “clingy”, demand to spend a lot of time together, and share the most intimate details early in a relationship. However, they may switch quickly from idealizing the person to devaluing them, feeling that the other person does not care enough, does not give enough, is not “there” enough. Individuals with BPD can empathize with and nurture other people, but only with the expectation that the other person will “be there” in return to meet their own needs on demand. They are prone to sudden and dramatic shifts in their view of others, who are seen as perfect and then suddenly evil.
There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, such as shifting goals, values and aspirations. There may be sudden changes in opinions and plans about careers, sexual identity, values and types of friends. These individuals may suddenly change from the role of a needy supplicant for help to a leader. Although they usually have a self-image that views themselves as unworthy, individuals with BPD may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all. Such experiences usually occur in situations in which they feel a lack of a meaningful relationship, nurturing and support. In other words, when there is no significant other to mould themselves around they lose their own identity.
Individuals with BPD display marked impulsivity in behaviours in at least two areas that are considered self-damaging. They may gamble, spend money irresponsibly, binge eat, abuse substances, engage in unsafe sex, or drive recklessly.
Individuals with BPD may also sometimes display recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats, or self-mutilating behavior. Self harm (eg; cutting or burning) and suicide threats and attempts are very common. Recurrent suicidality is often the reason that these individuals present for help in psychiatric settings. These self-destructive acts are usually triggered by threats of separation or rejection. Self-mutilation may occur during dissociative experiences.
Individuals with BPD display massive emotional instability due to reactive and unpredictable moods (eg; intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety). Unlike bipolar disorder, these mood swings usually last a few hours and only rarely more than a few days. Most common mood disturbances of those with BPD are periods of anger, panic, or despair that is rarely relieved by soothing feelings.
Individuals with BPD may be troubled by chronic feelings of emptiness. Easily bored, they may constantly seek something to do and are often obsessed and warped by keeping themselves occupied. Many report an inability to tolerate being alone and in their own company.
Individuals with BPD frequently express inappropriate, intense anger, rage, or have difficulty controlling their anger. In confrontations, they may display extreme sarcasm, enduring bitterness, or verbal outbursts. The anger is often triggered when a caregiver or lover is seen as neglectful, withholding, uncaring, or abandoning. Such expressions of anger are often followed by shame and guilt and contribute to the feeling they have of being unworthy of affection.
During periods of extreme stress, “transient paranoid ideation” or dissociative symptoms may occur, but these are generally of insufficient severity or duration to warrant an additional diagnosis such as schizophrenia. These episodes occur most frequently in response to a real or imagined abandonment where the brain is overwhelmed by fear and in consequence shuts itself off from reality in order to remain stable. Symptoms tend to be transient, lasting minutes or sometimes hours. The real or perceived return of the caregiver’s affection may result in a remission of symptoms.
While it goes against every fiber of my being to be so open about this (this blog was actually anonymous for the best part of a year and a half) I will indulge in some stats and figures and facts, because, this doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I have said this to a few people, and whilst it is a selfish thing to ask of someone, it does make my life (and others) a hell of a lot less stressful and easier if you KNOW the signs to watch for and how to avoid getting into messes.
I just wanted to put a thank you out to people, for helping me lately. I have been slightly unbearable for a little while, and I apologise for that. I have been struggling again, and .. I have no idea why. It is infuriating to not be able to describe why, or how, but it is there, and it is unbearable, and it crushes me, and I cannot possibly ask anyone to understand if I don’t understand myself. I have walls that are too high for anyone to climb, but I try my best to be open and straight with people. I’m not particularly closed about my problems, but I am full of HUGE anxiety whenever I mention them to someone. I know it is incomprehensible to ask, but I just need people to understand that you cannot just make it go away. I am physically and emotionally exhausted .. and it makes me act out in strange ways. I cannot with all my strength control them at all times, and I apologise so greatly to those that are caught on the brunt of my emotions. I try very hard every day to deal with them. Like everyone else who struggles, we put on a massive front for everyone, and its only when we are comfortable we wind down and show ourselves for who we are and what we feel, which is INCREDIBLY frightening to let someone that close to us. Sometimes these feelings and thoughts cannot be explained away or fixed, they just exist, I would only ask that people acknowledge that, and comfort where you can, you do not need to speak, just EXIST and that is enough. I plead because part of my problem is that I mask all my shit with other shit, and I’m trying with all my will to be as straight and as open as I can, but it is difficult, it takes a lot of my energy to focus myself, and hide and tuck that all away in public, and to sort through it all later where I feel safe. Sometimes it is overwhelming, and sometimes (all the time) I cannot fathom the right things to say, or the right way to ask for help. So once again, this is just a thank you to the people I’ve no doubt annoyed with my emotions and my presence, its a really fragile time for me, and I slip and I stumble more often than not. Please understand that I’m trying my best. x
Many people with BPD fear abandonment above almost anything else. Yet, at the same time, they don’t believe they’re worthy of getting what they really want. They can hardly imagine that another person truly does love them.
Borderline Personality Disorder for Dummies
I’ve been hurt so bad and I still love so hard. I admire my heart for that.Alexandra Elle, Words from a Wanderer (via mourningmelody)
Lately I’ve had an odd time being with myself. I haven’t really been with myself, because I realise that I find myself unbearable to be. I’ve been a lot happier then I have ever felt in the last ten years in myself, but I literally watch myself from another perspective be destructive, and impulsive, and moulding into everyone, and latching onto everything. I’m really no better at coping with my own behaviour, I just do so in a typically borderline way, rather than depressive way. I’m back to my seventeen year old narcissistic self again. I’m going to crash again , I’m just not sure how, or when, or how hard it will be.
"Would you believe me at all if I told you that bipolar was the most tame of my problems?"