There are many things you may not know about borderline personality disorder (BPD). Like how it affects 50 percent more people than Alzheimer’s disease. Or how research has shown people with BPD who engage in treatment have good outcomes. Or how just because you’ve seen one media portrayal of someone with BPD, doesn’t mean you know what someone with BPD is actually like.
To shine some light on this misunderstood mental illness, we asked people in our community who live with borderline personality disorder to tell us what they wish others understood.
Here’s what they want you to know:
- “I feel everything, all the time. It’s exhausting. But it also makes me passionate, which is beautiful.” — Aliçia Sarah Raimundo
- “Please don’t point out when I overreact. It’s not easy to get over it myself. I beat myself up over my words and actions fine on my own.” — Tatauq Helena Muma
- “We feel more intensely. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re more sensitive. Depression just isn’t depression for us; it’s rockbottom. Happiness isn’t just happiness; it’s the greatest high ever.” — Heather Yonkers
- “My mind and heart could be telling you I love you while my words are the direct opposite. Don’t take it personally. Allow me to take a nap or write down my thoughts for better communication.” — LeChondra Sapp
- “Don’t believe the stereotype. Not everyone with BPD has anger outbursts and manipulative behaviors. That’s the type of BPD often portrayed to the extreme in the media, but not everyone with BPD is the same! Just because I don’t fit the stereotypical borderline doesn’t make my illness less valid. — Alyse Ruriani
- “BPD is the best curse. To be able to feel every emotion to the fullest can often be very rewarding. However, we feel the bad to the fullest, too. The smallest problem could feel like the end of the world. Personally, I have lost a lot of people because I’m ‘too much to handle.’ The struggle is real, but guess what? Without stuggle there is no progress.” — Tia Marie
- “There’s no reason to be afraid of me.” — Jennifer Davis
- “I’m not trying to start drama.” — Mary Hannah Cleve
- “My moods change constantly. I have zero control of my own emotions. If you think it’s a roller coaster knowing me, imagine how hard it is being stuck in my own head. I promise you that I’m trying hard to keep myself in check, it’s really difficult though.” — Sam Thayer
- “I wish people understood the fear of abandonment. It’s so hard to trust.” — Aunt Sam
- “I’m not ‘difficult’ — even psychiatrists assume this! I’ve had doctors make up excuses not to see me when I mention borderline. I’ve learned not to even talk about it.” — Jenna Bagnini
- “We are not all manipulative, selfish people.” — Maureen Damico
- “I’m just as confused by it as you are.” — Vikki Rose Donaghy
- “Please don’t say, ‘It’s because of your BPD’ all the time. My opinion matters even if it doesn’t line up with your opinion. I am not my diagnosis.” — Victoria Torgerson
- “Sometimes my constantly switching moods may seem conflicting and make you frustrated, but I’m the one experiencing it. Sometimes I can’t make sense of it either.” — Christina Chalgren
- “When I say my moods switch within seconds, I mean literally seconds. That’s why I always say ‘I’m OK’ — because I’ve been called a liar when my mood changes from an extreme high to an extreme low in two seconds. It’s like being on a roller coaster I can’t get off of, no matter how badly I want to.” — Dylan Jonathen Kirchhoff
- “We’re not all lying, attention-seekers. Sometimes we’re just doing our best to survive with the limited skills we have.” — Mirella Joy
This is for my fellow BPD’s out there yo.