Border Personality Disorder is a mental health illness but not many people speak about it. Even though the writer of this story wants to remain anonymous, she wants to share her experience and encourage others to speak up.
“I feel that this has been completely left out of a lot of mental health talk because it is so harsh, but that’s why I am writing this.”
It is amazing to see in today’s society far more mental health awareness than ever before, with a lot of help and services available for those suffering. Illnesses such as depression and anxiety are thankfully discussed a lot more these days, however, it’s surprising to find that there are a lot of other mental health issues that are never conversed, and are mostly unheard of.
I have decided to share my personal story to bring more awareness to mental illnesses that are not widely known about in society, I hope I can bring understanding about other types of mental health, and how difficult it is to get through every day. You never know who is silently suffering.
I have had a difficult time with my mental health for over five years, it has been a constant battle that only few people know I am fighting. I have BPD. That stands for Border Personality Disorder. It is similar to Bipolar Disorder, yet Bipolar has severe mood changes every few days, BPD has a change every few hours. My switches are commonly depression and anxiety- occasionally neutral- and can go into mania and at its worst, suicidal thoughts. It is so quick and uncontrollable- in one mealtime I went from normal, to anxious, to laughing out loud, to suddenly crying and feeling extremely depressed. I feel every emotion a lot deeper and harsher than most, if I’m sad, I’m so depressed I can physically feel a weight in my stomach. When I’m anxious, I’m so physically sick that sometimes I do not eat for days and my weight drops dramatically.
“I hope I can bring understanding about other types of mental health, and how difficult it is to get through every day.”
It is so difficult to live through every day, and there is no cure. There is absolutely no indication for me to what mood will be next, sometimes I wake up feeling content, and other times I wake up on edge and really tearful.
There is a harsh reality to the illness, I have hurt myself and I often loathe myself. Part of the illness is revenge suicide- the concept of “you’ve hurt me, so I’ll kill myself and hurt you because you will think it is your fault and you will have to live with that”. That is a huge part of BPD and it is so awful, I feel that this has been completely left out of a lot of mental health talk because it is so harsh, but that’s why I am writing this. I don’t want it to be romanticised with the severe but realistic parts left out.
The best coping strategy for me is distractions. I throw myself into a lot of social situations and work very hard, surrounding myself with people brings me calm. The worst possible thing with a mental illness is to be alone. I personally cannot stand to be alone as I am then swamped with my own thoughts, and that becomes terrifying if I slip into a suicidal state.
I know I will not get better from this, but I can cope with it. It’s a chemical imbalance in my brain which I cannot change. I know now what to do when I am having a bad episode and I have taught myself how to live my daily life without it affecting me too much. Confide in some friends, see a counsellor to chat to, keep busy. There are so many ups and downs, but recently I have been having far more ups, I am not going to let it win and control myself and I want to make something out of my life.
Mental health is not black and white, there are so many forms out there. Just as I feel like Border Personality Disorder is mostly unknown, I wish for all illnesses to be understood and addressed. Nobody should suffer alone anymore.