Good news: it's treatable.
Borderline personality disorder, also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder, is a long-term mental health disorder that affects the way you think and feel about yourself and others. People living with this disorder experience a severe fear of abandonment, which causes problems functioning in everyday life.
Borderline personality disorder often begins in early adulthood and may worsen with time. A few early symptoms of BPD include:
- Intense fear of abandonment
- Pattern of unstable relationships
- Impulsive and risky behavior
- Wide mood swings lasting from a couple hours to days
While there are different treatments to make BPD more manageable, those who live with the disorder suffer daily. Here’s what 17 people living with the disorder had to say about it:
1. Knowing you have the disorder changes your life forever.
"Recently I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. It means that I leave or push away the people closest to me because I assume they'll abandon me. I feel like I'm a bad person."
2. It feels like no one understands.
"I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder last month. I feel alone in the world with no one to talk about it because no one understands."
3. It's hard having an illness no one can see.
I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder today. I really hope I can overcome my constant struggle. It's hard having an illness nobody can see."
4. It destroys relationships.
"Borderline personality disorder has destroyed every relationship I've ever had the chance to be in. Friendships or dating, it doesn't matter."
5. Sometimes it's refreshing to put a name to the feeling.
"I was just diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and I'm happy about it...it gives a name to my craziness."
6. Sometimes it feels like there's no hope.
"I have borderline personality disorder and I honestly feel so let down by the mental health professionals."
7. You can survive it.
"I have borderline personality disorder. I'm not a monster. I'm not manipulative. I'm not broken. I'm a survivor."
8. You're not worthless.
"The amount of stigma around borderline personality disorder makes me feel so worthless sometimes. It's hard to remember that I'm not a monster."
9. It's difficult to find people who understand your struggle.
"No one understands what it's like to have borderline personality disorder. It's more than just 'mood swings'."
10. It hurts those closest to you.
"I have borderline personality disorder and for some reason, it's hard to be in a relationship with my boyfriend...it hurts the both of us but I don't want to leave him"
11. It's a confusing journey.
"I'm just starting to navigate my borderline personality disorder, and it's so extremely confusing."
12. It's hard to navigate through life.
"I hate having borderline personality disorder. I can't understand emotions like normal human beings."
13. It gets lonely.
"I hate that I have borderline personality disorder. I'm afraid no one will ever be able to handle my ups and downs. Seems like a lonely life."
14. You sometimes feel you'll never be able to love someone fully.
"I have borderline personality disorder and I'm not sure if I'm capable of truly loving someone the way emotionally healthy people do. I eventually outgrow the love I feel towards someone and move on."
15. It helps to put a name to the illness.
"I could never put a name to my mental illness, it's a mix of so many things. I have now been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder...suddenly everything makes so much more sense."
16. People make wrong judgments.
"I have borderline personality disorder. I'm mislabeled as a criminal, a psychopath and a crack head by 99.9% of people."
17. You don't always feel normal.
"Having borderline personality disorder has and continues to ruin my life. Wish I was normal."