When I was diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder/ borderline personality disorder earlier on this year there was a strange sense of relief. I finally knew what was going on with me. I knew that depression didn’t explain some of my symptoms. I had too much going on for that to be true. The symptoms include can include eating problems, impulsiveness, self-harm, mild psychosis, and hectic unstable relationships. All of these I experience at least 3 times a week.
However, the strongest of them all is intrusive thoughts and mood swings. These happen several times a day. These intrusive thoughts can range from, “you’re ugly”, “you should kill yourself”, “punch that person”, or my favourite “you’ve got a broken personality, you should just kill yourself”, these thoughts like to cover all bases. The worst of these however, are not the ones about myself, they are the ones that are about others or what others are thinking.
Thoughts like “he hates you”, “you acted so stupid, she probably thinks you’re an idiot”, “why did you say that? you probably upset her”. These ones lead me to have horrific anxiety and this just adds to my likelihood of mood swings. Moving onto the mood swings, these can happen every hour or half an hour. They happen regularly and are intense.
One thing about BPD is that the emotions we feel are extremely intense, if I’m happy then I am “bouncing off the wall” happy, if I’m angry I’m “punch a wall and scream” angry, sad then it’s “lets jump off a bridge”. There is no balance, it’s all extreme, weirdly enough though most of these feelings always result into the same thing and that is suicidal feelings.
These mood swings can often lead to a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder. The difference is bipolar mood swings seem to take place over periods of months, whereas BPD mood swings change rapidly within hours and don’t just consist of mania and depression.
Now anyone reading this probably thinks with these intrusive thoughts that I’m a danger, but even though I have the thought to punch that person I’m not going to, or even if I have that thought to shout at someone I’m not going to. Chances are I’m not going to hurt anyone else, just myself. I have too much guilt to hurt another.
There are different types of “borderlines” and I’d be described as “quiet borderline” due to the way I act inwards rather than outwards. I have impulsive actions to hurt myself and to do self-destructive things. I have never been sectioned and I’m grateful for that but I completely understand how it can happen to others.
There’s a positive to having such intense emotions, and that’s because if I am doing something I’m passionate about I’ll give it my all. When I do volunteering or my job working with young people, I put all my heart into it. I get a high that is just incredible and feel absolutely on top of the world. Us borderlines are amazing. We love strong, feel intensely, and live on another level. I do not have a disordered personality, I have a loving one.
You can read more of Abbie’s writing on her blog, Searching for a Stronger Me.