Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a personality disorder that is very closely linked with Bipolar Disorder. The main characteristic is an inability to accurately perceive relationships around you, including interpersonal relationships and relationships with yourself.
Borderline Personality Disorder is most often seen in early adulthood, possibly because this is the time when most people start to get into more serious relationships. Often those with BPD sabotage their own relationship, either because they do not believe that they are worthy of the feelings that are directed at them, or because of their intense fear of abandonment. This fear of abandonment can be real, as in based in reality from early development, or a fear that has been developed over time. This feeling of abandonment, or rather the extreme desire to not be abandoned can lead to extreme behaviour, such as suicide attempts. These attempts can occur after large fights in a relationship.
Another main characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder is the relationship that comes with oneself. It’s a bit difficult to explain to anyone unless you’ve been through it. Basically, it’s a disconnect between how everyone else sees you and how you see yourself, to the point where the person with BPD often changes their identity. Sometimes they can appear to be needy and reliant on others, and other times they can appear overly independent. During the change in personality the change in values often occurs as well. Part of the reason for the changes in self-identity is the fact that people who have BPD often have a lingering feeling of emptiness. This feeling of emptiness can lead them to search for different ways to fill it, and it often is an extreme measure. While a person without BPD might go from not going to church,to suddenly returning the religion that they used to enjoy, those with BPD may suddenly turn from atheist to devout catholic on a dime, and then back again. It’s the extreme in behaviour that is important to note.
That extreme behaviour carries on to how they conduct themselves. Often those with BPD are considered to be very impulsive and partake in risky behaviours. This can include something as simple as buying things that they don’t need, at prices they know that they can’t afford, to using drugs and alcohol to excess, and engaging in dangerous sexual behaviour. It can also manifest in self-harm behaviour, such as cutting, burning, or biting.
BPD is difficult to treat, but it is possible. It’s also impossible to explain everything that someone needs to know about borderline personality disorder in one article. Also like any other illness out there, the person that has been diagnosed may not have all of the symptoms or behaviours described. It can present differently in different people. It’s important, however, that everyone understands that there is help available.