In this guide, we will discuss how a person lives with BPD and how important is to get to know about the disorder.
Living with BPD
Human beings will always have situations to deal with. Some people have to deal with divorces, other illnesses, lost money, etc. When it is the case of a disease, the person suffering from a physical or mental illness, and depending on what it is, will be in a state of suffering and negativity.
Mental disorders in the world population have been increasing. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that half of the mental disorders develop before age 14 and the figure increases to 75% before age 18. An alarming figure as it reveals that at an early age people begin to have various mental illnesses that can disrupt their daily life. Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolarity and borderline are some of the ones that most affect the community. The last one, according to research, affects 1.6% of the adult population and can reach 5.9%, mostly affecting women.
A person who is living with BPD disorder lives a life in an unstable way, affecting their daily activities. The person living with BPD has problems regulating emotions and thoughts, has impulsive and reckless behaviour and unstable relationships with other people. These behaviours interfere in a way where the person has difficulty doing activities such as working, cleaning or simply being with family and friends.
The person who is living with BPD usually has a variable self-image that is usually based on how they are perceived by others. If someone criticizes them about something, the person feels “bad, dumb or not valid” and if someone tells them something beautiful, it feels “good, great and like a good person.” Also, before those thoughts that come according to the opinions of others, there are mood swings. The person living with BPD usually has tremendous insecurity and a low capacity to perceive in his person positive qualities and also feels that when someone compliments them for something good they have done, they self-sabotage and believe that the bottom line they say is not true.
Instability in interpersonal relationships is present in the life of someone living with BPD. The person may sometimes need others desperately and at the same time feel the need to avoid that intimate contact to avoid further emotional damage. Behaving that way can cause people around them to move away due to the behaviours they manifest towards others. How it manifests its behaviour to receive affection and in turn to reject it, makes others feel uncomfortable and pressured.
A person living with BPD is someone very functional and possess multiple skills that he is not able to use successfully. They are people who can achieve what they set out, but their instability and insecurity do not allow them to take advantage and end up practising “self-sabotage”.
The person living with BPD usually acts in very different ways, oscillates a lot between the extremes. when it comes trusting this happens; The person has moments where it distrusts extremely, arriving at paranoia and there is a moment in which they trust in an excessive way of the person, even the first one that crosses its path.
Living a life where the person goes to both extremes is not healthy, affecting both the mental and physical health of the person suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder.
What is BPD?
BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness. It is distinguished by moods, behaviour and unstable relationships. The BPD appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V). People who suffer from BPD suffer from problems to regulate emotions and thoughts, impulsive and reckless behaviour and unstable relationships with other people.
A person with Borderline Personality Disorder may suffer in their behaviour of social, compulsive, self-destructive and risky isolation, in addition to a lack of immobilization, hostility, impulsivity. In his mood are symptoms with emotional ups and downs, anxiety, guilt, discontent, anger, sadness or loneliness. Psychological symptoms include depression, negative self-image or narcissism.
A person with Borderline Personality Disorder has high rates of recurrent disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse. Also suicidal or suicidal behaviours. 7 of 1,000 people in the UK have BPD, according to a 2006 study.
The symptoms that a person living with BPD are the following:
- Extreme reactions, such as panic, anger, depression or frantic actions
- A pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends and loved ones, which generally changes between extreme closeness and extreme love
- Impulsive and often dangerous behaviours, such as crazy shopping, unprotected sex, substance abuse, reckless driving and binge eating
- Self-image or self-esteem distorted and unstable, which can cause sudden changes in feelings, opinions, values or plans and goals for the future
- Recurring suicidal behaviours or threats or self-mutilation behaviours, such as cutting yourself off
- Intense and very changeable moods, with episodes that last from a few hours to several days
- Inadequate and intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Intense and very changeable moods, with episodes that last from a few hours to several days
BPD risk factors
Research concerning BPD expresses what factors and environmental factors are involved in its appearance. Studies have shown that the disease has a high hereditary component. Other studies express that the person can inherit their temperament and specific personality traits.
There is a possibility that social or cultural factors increase the risk of suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. A person who is part of a community or culture where unstable family relationships are common can increase the risk of a person suffering from the disorder. Adults with BPD are more likely to be victims of violence, including rape and other crimes.
What treatments exist for a person living with BPD?
For a person who is living with BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder to receive treatment, the intervention of a mental health professional is necessary. The professional will rule out whether or not the person suffers from BPD and other data that will help to give the most successful treatment. Because each person manifests in some way the symptoms of the mental disorder, needs a treatment according to how is the illness is affecting the person.
One of the most used treatments for a person living with BPD is psychotherapy. The psychotherapies used in the Borderline Personality Disorder are Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy and Scheme-centered Therapy. The therapy sessions can be individual or in group sessions.
Among the medications used for BPD, there is currently no approved medication for the treatment of the disorder. Some are used to treat specific symptoms. For some people, medications help reduce symptoms such as depression, anxiety or aggression.
How can a person help a friend or relative who is living with BPD?
If the person is aware that they have a friend or family member living with BPD, the best thing they can do is help that person receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. If the person decides to seek professional help, the next step would be to motivate the person with BPD to continue their treatment.
Other aids that can be given to a friend or relative living with BPD are:
- Offer emotional support: the person must be understanding because for those who suffer from the disorder it is difficult to deal with the changes that the disease brings
- Seek information about BPD: a person who knows about this mental disorder can better understand the situation that the person with the mental disorder is going through
FAQs about living with BPD
How serious is it for a person to live with BPD?
For the person who is living with BPD, it is a serious mental illness. This disease negatively interrupts how the person relates to others. It makes their relationships difficult because of their mood swings abruptly, causing others to move away. Its emotional instability makes it difficult to return to a level of stability.
Is the BPD hereditary?
Scientific studies have been done to check if this type of personality disorder is hereditary and it has been found that yes, but not only through genetics the person can develop the Borderline Personality Disorder.
At what age is BPD usually diagnosed?
Borderline Personality Disorder is usually diagnosed in early adulthood, although it is believed that symptoms may be present earlier in life. Although there is no rule against the diagnosis of BPD before the age of 18, most health professionals hesitate to do so. According to a study published in the Psychiatric Times, adolescents who meet the criteria for BPD are aged between 15 and 18. Some research is done on adolescents with BPD. If a person who is under 18 and thinks it suffers from BPD and maintains symptom patterns for at least one year, he or she could be diagnosed with the disorder.
Can a person living with BPD get worse over the years?
A person with BPD may get worse over the years, but research shows that 15% -20% of people with a personality disorder remain stable. In general, personality disorders do not appear for the first time in old age, behaviours begin at a younger age.
Can a person with BPD have a normal life?
The person who has BPD and who has not been treated may have difficulty having a normal life. The emotional and extremist changes that a person with this disorder has leads to not have stability in the things it does and with the people it relates, causing to not fulfil its obligations and moving away from the people around them due to their behaviours.
Living with a mental disorder is not an easy thing for a person. Having to deal with the symptoms in daily living makes it harder to enjoy what you do. Knowing about BPD helps to get an idea of why a person with the disorder behaves or expresses itself in a certain way. If someone knows or lives with someone who has BPD, the best thing to do is research about the disease and provide support. For the person who is living with BPD and is not being treated, it can be to live life like on a roller coaster, finding it exhausting.
- The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living with BPD
- Sometimes I Act Crazy: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder
- I Hate You Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality
- Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying Your Relationship
- What It’s Like to Live With Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
- Living with Borderline Personality Disorder