Understanding BPD can end the fear and stigma around it

I’ve been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) this year and it affected me a lot. I’m in a friendship group where we talk a lot about mental health, so I know the basics about depression, ADHD, PTSD etc...but I almost never heard a thing about BPD.

My first thought about my diagnosis was fear. People with BPD were just “crazy people” to me.

That fear turned into a feeling of being lost and kind of empty. But in some ways it was good for me because I started to seek more knowledge on the condition. Although I was afraid, I didn't reject my diagnosis or try to ignore it.

I read a book on BPD and it changed my mind about people with the condition, while I recognised different aspects in myself. As with everything in life, unknown often means fear.

I’m still not soothed yet but I’m at the beginning of therapy and many things have changed.

BPD is not about being a “psychopath” or a “crazy” person. In my experience, it’s more about mood swings, poor control over emotions, and irrationality.

My BPD is expressed with intense and incomprehensible sadness, anger or a great feeling of being nothing but void. Sometimes I’m very joyful and excited for very few things, but in one moment I can collapse. My mood is like a dice, it’s black or white and rarely in between.

It’s really difficult for others since even I don’t really notice when I get upset for a tiny little thing for example. When anxious I can be very unpredictable.

People with BPD can be really easily triggered, so it's important to be mindful of your language and possible misunderstandings. BPD can lead me to misinterpret the actions of others - a friend who doesn't say hi, or people making plans together without me, might have normal reasons for doing so but my fear of abandonment can lead me to take it personally.

When someone with BPD has a conflict or an argument with a friend, our tendency to misinterpret things might lead us to have an irrational point of view - but it's important to listen to us and try to understand our point of view. It might be irrational but it has been felt in that way.

I'm open with most of my friends about my diagnosis, as we are all very aware of mental health. It's helpful to get an outside point of view on how BPD affects me - I never thought I was impulsive, one of the main traits of BPD, but they all agreed that I am. It was useful to get that insight. And it's also helpful for me to be able to empty my feelings a bit by talking about it, and to become more accepting of my condition.