December 16, 2016

When I was diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder/ borderline personality disorder earlier on this year there was a strange sense of relief. I finally knew what was going on with me. I knew that depression didn't explain some of my symptoms. I had too much going on for that to be true. The symptoms include can include eating problems, impulsiveness, self-harm, mild psychosis, and hectic unstable relationships. All of these I experience at least 3 times a week.

However, the strongest of them all is intrusive thoughts and mood swings. These happen several times a day. These intrusive thoughts can range from, "you're ugly”, "you should kill yourself", "punch that person", or my favourite "you've got a broken personality, you should just kill yourself", these thoughts like to cover all bases. The worst of these however, are not the ones about myself, they are the ones that are about others or what others are thinking.

Thoughts like "he hates you", "you acted so stupid, she probably thinks you're an idiot", "why did you say that? you probably upset her". These ones lead me to have horrific anxiety and this just adds to my likelihood of mood swings. Moving onto the mood swings, these can happen every hour or half an hour. They happen regularly and are intense.

One thing about BPD is that the emotions we feel are extremely intense, if I'm happy then I am "bouncing off the wall" happy, if I'm angry I'm "punch a wall and scream" angry, sad then it's "lets jump off a bridge". There is no balance, it's all extreme, weirdly enough though most of these feelings always result into the same thing and that is suicidal feelings.

These mood swings can often lead to a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder. The difference is bipolar mood swings seem to take place over periods of months, whereas BPD mood swings change rapidly within hours and don’t just consist of mania and depression.

Now anyone reading this probably thinks with these intrusive thoughts that I'm a danger, but even though I have the thought to punch that person I'm not going to, or even if I have that thought to shout at someone I'm not going to. Chances are I'm not going to hurt anyone else, just myself. I have too much guilt to hurt another.

There are different types of "borderlines" and I'd be described as "quiet borderline" due to the way I act inwards rather than outwards. I have impulsive actions to hurt myself and to do self-destructive things. I have never been sectioned and I’m grateful for that but I completely understand how it can happen to others.

There's a positive to having such intense emotions, and that’s because if I am doing something I’m passionate about I’ll give it my all. When I do volunteering or my job working with young people, I put all my heart into it. I get a high that is just incredible and feel absolutely on top of the world. Us borderlines are amazing. We love strong, feel intensely, and live on another level. I do not have a disordered personality, I have a loving one. 

Read more personal stories >

Share your story

Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.

Comments

Well written. I have a

Well written. I have a daughter with this condition. I find that being straight with her and challenging some of her thinking helps us both. I love her unconditionally.

Not alone!

I was diagnosed with BPD in 2014 and what I have read here is the truest thing I have ever come across! No matter how I try to explain it to psychiatrists, social workers, GPS, family and friends no one gets it and I can never explain what it's like, what you have written here is the perfect way to explain what is happening in my head and for the first time I don't feel alone, so thank you!

Loved reading this, I'm 35

Loved reading this, I'm 35 and I'm the quite type. I have spent years of fighting myself, and trying to please those around just prove to myself that I'm not an evil. Last summers I found out I'm EUPD. It is a really lovely post and made me smile

Not a disorder

Thank you for putting it so clearly. I wish I had my son back and that I would have fought harder against the system and been more patient with the difficulties. They had him all wrong and I knew it. I'm so glad you are doing so well with so much insight! Thank you.

So accurate.

I've never read anything that describes my experience of BPD so accurately. The different being that when I was diagnosed it was such a shock that I attempted suicide. However thanks to a wonderful therapist I was able to come to terms with things. Since my therapy finished I have changed my life totally, learning to harness the positives and put aside the negatives. My moods are now a lot more stable. I do still get the erratic swings but they are usually fleeting. I have learnt to let go of my past hurts and now focus on helping others. My life is extremely happy although I don't think that I'll ever share my life with anyone again. I lost my sons due to my instability & had 3 horrendous marriages. I am gregarious, happy, loving and giving. Before diagnosis and therapy I trusted no one, especially myself. Like you I would never harm anyone but blamed myself for everything. Your account of the mood swings and feelings is uncannily accurate. Thank you for your post, it has helped me realise that I wasn't so alien.

Inspired

Hi - Thank you for your story and for describing your emotions. I was also diagnosed earlier this year by a psychiatrist. I had no idea EUPD existed until he told me, but I'd read about BPD and thought 'that sounds like me'. I remember saying to him that I thought that I may have BPD! I think that EUPD is relatively unknown in the UK, although many people have heard of bipolar disorder or PTSD. Not that I'm trying to belittle those problems at all, just tying to raise awareness of all mental health issues. Your story was very moving and much of what you have described is similar to my experiences. The only difference may be that I was an extrovert EUPD. I would hide my issues by being happy, life and soul of the party, and would absorb everyone else's problems to make them feel better. Ultimately, this pretence cost me my marriage, family and home because of my contrasting behaviour. Maybe more usually, I am a male, but I recognise that EUPD affects everyone. I agree with your comments about the positivity of many of our characteristics, but I've found that the the negative parts of our disorder seem to affect our loved ones more than the good bits. You are very brave for sharing your thoughts, but I'm inspired by your comments.

Mental illness & Substance Abuse

Great Post! Yes, Few things which you explained above like: "he hates you", "you acted so stupid", "you're ugly”, "you should kill yourself" etc. Really it happens with many of us.

Thank you

Thank you for sharing this. Like many of the other posters, I too have BPD and you post reflects the way it effects me. So much so that I am going to print it off and show it to other people when I need to explain the condition and how the impact it has on me.

Personality disorder

Read this post about Personality disorder which was quite interesting. I was assessed for Bi-polar then I was diagnosed with ADHD with emotional elements of BPD then just ADHD. Many people with ADHD have emotional regulation issues and there is a current push to include it in the ADHD symptoms. I am staring a course tomorrow called STEPPS for emotional intensity normally targeted at BPD. I looked at BPD but don't think I really meet the criteria for a diagnosis. However, looking at many of the different condition I can see that it would be possible for someone to diagnose me with nearly all of them. Don't quite fit all the elements but quite a lot of them. This worries me a bit that it could be easy to be wrongly diagnosed. I also think that people with co-morbid condition present slightly differently and there should be more research into co-morbid condition diagnosing instead of this trying to find the best fit to give someone a diagnosis.

Borderline Personality Disorder Blog

I found this blog well written and enabled me to have a less clinical perspective of BPD. The most powerful was the line about having a loving personality. That really makes sense of the symptoms. I am soon giving a presentation on BPD to some workers at a children's centre and this Blog will help me give the perspective of someone with BPD. Thanks & I wish you well. Lee

BPD

The article was indeed well written & showed a balanced attitude to the condition. I too have been diagnosed with BPD although thanks to excellent talking therapy with a compassionate therapist, I am not 'cured' although I believe that I will always bear the scars. I also found it difficult to wear the label of BPD. I too am a compassionate, caring person who was deeply hurt by my own reaction to / and by other people. Once I was able to understand why I reacted in the way that I did, particularly in pushing people away, I was able to work at overcoming that trait. I now have many great friends and am an open book. I'm not ashamed of my horrific past & my part in it. It is regrettable but I was unable to cope in any other way. In my case any anger was turned in on myself, so no one was able to see the bubbling well of anger & frustration within me. Thankfully that is all in my past. I now spend my life trying to help others, especially people who are coping with this barely understood condition. Sufferers are mainly affected because they are deep & caring, if they weren't the emotional heartache wouldn't hurt so badly. Well done. If more people speak out, it can only help.

Wanting the Correct Diagnosis

My name is Victoria, and I am 34 years old. I can relate to what you wrote in your article. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression while in college when I was 20 years old. My doctor put me on Effexor for 10 years, which worked to alleviate my anxiety but not my moods.      At the age of 30, I wanted to have a child, so I got off of Effexor cold turkey because of the potential harm it could have to the fetus. Unfortunately, I never did have a child because my ex husband said that I was too unstable to be a mother, which crushed my spirit. When I got off of the medication, I decided to switch careers from being a teacher to becoming a nurse. I had promiscuous behavior and told my husband that I wanted a divorce.      Once I got off of Effexor, I experienced a euphoric high. I would go to the gym at 2:00 in the morning, be promiscuous, try pot and my brain was thinking so rapidly. This happened from spring until the end of summer, and then I got into a depressed slump and suffered extreme anxiety. I went through a rollercoaster relationship with my boyfriend.      At age 32, a dear friend, who has bipolar disorder, recommended that I see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnosed me with Bipolar, but he did not say which type and that frustrated me because I wanted more information for my own peace of mind. I made him angry by questioning his judgement in the diagnosis. He put me on Lamictyl for 2 years, which helped somewhat, but I still felt moody and very anxious.      Two days ago, I went to a new psychiatrist and told her of my tumultuous childhood of some abuse, my parents divorce, switching households from my mom and stepdad to my dad and stepmom's house. I was very honest with her because that is the only way to get the proper help. She said that she thinks I might have either Bipolar 1 or Borderline Personality Disorder. A lot of the traits for BPD fit me except for hurting myself. I have a terrible self image, negative thought process, severe anxiety, a fear of rejection or being misunderstood, irritation at not being heard or given respect in certain situations, and when I am upset about something, I harp on it for days.      I might have both Bipolar 1 and BPD, or one or the other. I believe I have Bipolar 2 after some research. At least my psychiatrist did not judge me. She seemed to accept me and to want to help me, which meant a lot.      Thank you for writing the informative article and for all of you sharing your stories.:)

Possible BPD

Congratulations for being so honest about your past. It's easier to get help & help ourselves if we face things honestly. I found that once I had the diagnosis of BPD although it originally distressed me, I was eventually able to face up to it & work things out. I was lucky, I had a great psychologist who helped me through it all. Once I was able to see why certain things & behaviours happened I was able to tackle & eventually overcome them. I hated the diagnosis but it turned out to be the best possible thing to happen. My life now is full & happy. I can now trust people ( & myself.) Good luck for your future x

Not sure

I don't know what's wrong with me i have a living man and beautiful children but I don't always feel happy although I have everything i need, I suffer from anxiety and this effects my ability in relaxing,I constantly question my self and can easily think negatively,I don't seem to get excited about things anymore and I'm ruining my relationship as I can isolate myself and be moody i seem to ruin any good times we have as a couple

Spot on

This describes so much of what I am it's untrue. 'We love strong, feel intensely, and live on another level.' This sums it up. Thank you so much for writing this.

What did you think of this blog? Tell us in the comments