Some people have borderline personality disorder (BPD) and do not even know it. You might be able to recognize some of the signs, or you might feel like your life is falling apart without knowing why. Maybe you’re just curious about what it’s like to live with BPD, and that’s fine too. If you are curious, there are self-diagnostic tests that you can take. We’ll take a look at what life with BPD feels like from the perspective of someone who has it.
It’s Incredibly Isolating
Living with BPD can be incredibly isolating. You may feel like you’re the only person in the world who feels this way, or that no one understands what you’re going through. It might feel like you have no one to turn to, and that even if someone did understand, they wouldn’t be able to help anyway. This can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. It’s important not to dismiss these feelings as just being part of BPD or “just being dramatic.”
Rejection Cuts to the Core
Rejection can feel like a personal attack. It may make you feel as if you are a bad person or not worthy of love. If you have BPD and are dealing with feelings of rejection, it can be hard to accept that your loved one isn’t rejecting you, they might just not understand what you need. This can lead to a lot of feelings of anger or fear caused by the disorder itself.
It Can Make Relationships Feel Exhausting
It’s not that people with BPD are inherently bad or lacking in empathy. It’s just that they can be very draining to be around. This can be especially true when you’re trying to explain your feelings over and over. As a person with BPD, you want to feel understood, but your loved ones might not understand what it feels like for you to experience their words or actions as hurtful.
This is why relationships can be so draining for someone with BPD. It’s difficult for them to explain themselves. Others might not get why that person acts the way they do. When others don’t understand what is happening to you, it makes it harder for you to trust yourself and your intuition about your own needs.
Friendships and Romantic Relationships Are Often Intense but Short-Lived
Like any other person, you probably crave connection. Unfortunately, BPD can drive connection such that friendships and romantic relationships are often intense but short-lived. You can feel intense love for someone, only to suddenly get mad at them. You may be very clingy and then push people away or become angry when they try to help or support you. You may be very loving and generous, only to suddenly become stingy with time and money if someone doesn’t do what you want them to do in the way that you want it done.
Feelings of Loneliness Can Be Unbearable
If you have BPD, even a small amount of social disconnection can lead to intense feelings of loneliness. This is because people with BPD are dependent on their relationships for validation and self-worth. Without it, you can feel isolated and unable to cope with the world around you.
This loneliness can be very difficult. It can also be hard on your friends and family of that person because they are the ones you rely on for constant validation. The strain can lead to feelings of abandonment which then starts the loneliness cycle all over again.
Lashing Out in Anger Is Common
People with BPD often have outbursts of aggression and anger, which may be directed at loved ones or even strangers. For example, you might suddenly yell at a store clerk because you were waiting too long to check out, or you might become enraged after being cut off while driving on the highway.
Being prone to angry outbursts can make it difficult for you to maintain healthy relationships with family members, friends, and co-workers. However, that doesn’t mean you are inherently “bad” or “violent.” When you experience an outburst, you may feel embarrassed or ashamed afterward. This can make it hard for you to apologize for your behavior or explain yourself.
It’s Easy to Get Stuck in a Rut
When you have BPD, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. For example, if you have a pattern of entertaining negative thoughts about yourself, your body, or people around you, you may start believing those thoughts more strongly over time. This can lead to depression and even more self-sabotaging behaviors.
How do you avoid this kind of vicious cycle? First and foremost is to take care of yourself. There are also plenty of treatment options available. If any friends are also struggling with BPD or other mental health issues that can make recovery difficult, make sure they’re doing well too. Your close friends’ health suffers when yours does and vice versa. The most important thing is that everyone involved feels supported enough to keep moving forward on their journey toward recovery.
If you’re struggling with borderline personality disorder, know that you’re not alone. You aren’t a bad person and there is hope for your future. You can and deserve to be happy and live the life you always dreamed of. You are not damaged beyond repair. If you have BPD, the best thing you can do is seek treatment from a mental health professional. Here at Acera, we want to help you deal with your diagnosis and teach you ways to manage it. We have a highly trained staff that can help you overcome this. For more information about BPD and the help we offer, please call us at (949) 647-4090.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.