Borderline Personality Disorder - Experience

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What is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that is part of the group of mental illnesses called personality disorders. Like other personality disorders, it is characterized by a consistent pattern of thinking, feeling, and interacting with others and with the world that tends to result in significant problems for the sufferer. Specifically, BPD is associated with a pattern of unstable ways of seeing oneself, feeling, behaving, and relating to others that markedly interferes with the individual's ability to function. Also, as with other personality disorders, the person is usually an adolescent or adult before they can be assessed as meeting full symptom criteria for BPD.

Historically, BPD has been thought to be a set of symptoms that includes both mood problems (neuroses) and distortions of reality (psychosis) and therefore was thought to be on the borderline between mood problems and schizophrenia. However, it is now understood that while the symptoms of BPD may straddle those symptom complexes, this illness is more closely related to other personality disorders in terms of how it may develop and occur within families. BPD is now understood to occur equally in men and women in the general population, while mostly in women in groups of people who are receiving mental-health treatment (clinical populations). The frequency with which this disorder occurs is also thought to be considerably higher than previously thought, affecting nearly 6% of adults over the course of a lifetime.

Return to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Matthew, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: May 22

I am 19 and have been recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). At the moment I am only just coping. I still find it really hard to control and hide my emotions from society, especially as I am in college at the moment. This makes it harder to cope as it builds up and I can't let it out as I am scared of what will happen. I have had reacquiring suicidal behavior and rage because of the strong emotions that sometimes leak out. I am a very introverted person and also suffer from social anxiety on top of the BPD making it harder for me to seek help. Although I have made that step and am now on medication for the anxiety as well as the delusions (voices) I hear. I find it really hard to talk to people and to admit to myself that I am mentally ill. I have also had unstable and damaging relationships in the past which have included impulsivity towards sex and over spending money. I need help!

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Comment from: LLL, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 16

I have borderline personality disorder. I do not know who I am. When I try to reconstruct my history, I have blanks in memory, sometimes entire large chunks of time. For example, I cannot remember childhood. Between birth and age 17, I have seventeen memories, some only because I was told what happened, by others. The memories from 17 to 24 are more, but they are scattered. I cannot remember my life in accurate sequence. I do not have a consistent self. It is as if the experiences of my life did not happen to me. They are events but are not attached to a constant me as if someone else experienced them. My beliefs, understanding of life, my wants and needs, what I enjoy, desires for the future, plans, etc., have changed multiple times. I have not orchestrated the changes. I know things have happened, but is like they have not happened to the same me over time. I have an ever changing internal self to the point no one self has been on this journey. I have always not wanted to be alive. Suicide attempts no longer occur. Cutting is a thing of the past with no urges for maybe three years (that is a guess.) I seem to be able to give love, but I do not fully receive love.

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