I have mentioned on my entry, BPD Month, that I will be discussing about borderline personality disorder all of May. For all of you that doesn’t know what this is, it’s a mental illness that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others. This type of behavior causes problems in someone’s everyday life, because a person will have a pattern of unstable intense relationships, distorted self-image, extreme emotions and impulsiveness. With borderline personality disorder, you have an intense fear of abandonment or instability, and you may have difficulty tolerating being alone. Yet inappropriate anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you want to have loving and lasting relationships. Borderline personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood. The condition seems to be worse in young adulthood and may gradually get better with age.
People between the age of 30 and 39 more often has borderline personality disorder. In the United States, 1.6% of people has BPD. May not seem alot, but that’s actually 4 million people. Imagine world wide? Approximately, 75% of people who has BPD attempts suicide. Most suicide attempts occur before the age of 40. Unfortunately, 10% of people with BPD commits suicide.
What causes this? Number of reasons! Genetics being one of them. Another is brain abnormality. Some studies show changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly. For some people it’s a stressful childhood. I have mentioned mine on my entry, Let’s Start From the Beginning, which it’s one of the reasons why I have BPD. Yes, anybody that suffered being sexually, physically, and/or verbally abused or neglected tends to have BPD. Sometimes it’s being exposed to hostile conflict and unstable family relationships can be another cause.
People with borderline personality disorder face a lot of challenges. For example, repeated job change or loss, not completing an education, multiple legal issues, conflicted relationships, self-harm, risky/impulsive behavior, and attempts or complete suicide. In addition to all that, people with BPD would have other mental disorders like depressions, alcohol/substance abuse, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other personality disorders.
So how can you tell if you or loved one has borderline personality disorder? There are some signs that can indicate it. Fear of abandonment. We’re talking about the fear is so strong, the person will take extreme measures to avoid it. The person will have a pattern of intense unstable relationships. Like almost idolizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care or is cruel. Hasty changes on self image that includes shifting goals and values. Comes to the point the person see themselves as a bad person, or even worse, better off they don’t exist. Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality. This can last for a couple of minutes to a few hours. Impulsive and risky behavior. We’re talking about gambling, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship, ore reckless driving. I can definitely relate to the reckless driving. I’m responsible when I have passengers in the car, but since I don’t really value my life so much, when I’m alone in the car I will go fas and the furious. Then I always quote Top Gun, “I got the need… for speed!” Lol!
Anyway, wide mood swings is another way to tell. When I mean wide, I mean wide! Really intense feelings of happiness, irritability, shame, or anxiety. This can last for a few hours to a few days. That reminds me of intense feeling, let’s not forget feeling like Hulk all the time. Just always angry. Losing temper, being sarcastic or bitter, having physical fights and so on. Let’s not forget the ongoing feelings of emptiness. I think that’s worse than anger and mood swings.
Do you have Borderline Personality Disorder? If so, comment below. Let me know what’s your difficult about having it and how do you manage it. If you have someone you care about that has it, let me that too. What are actions you are taking to manage it? I would love to hear your experiences. We can all learn from each other, just have to adult one day at a time.