Monday, March 19, 2018

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER

I got diagnosed with borderline personality disorder a long while ago. I thought that diagnosis was the cure, that once I knew I had it, that was it, but then I went right ahead and did exactly as people with BPD are predicted to do: 

"BPD, like other personality disorders, is linked to increased levels of chronic stress and conflict in romantic relationships, decreased satisfaction on the part of romantic partners, abuse, and unwanted pregnancy."

I know I am not normal. Sometimes I can be not normal, in a good way, and sometimes, I am not normal, in a bad way. I know sometimes I assume that what I know, everyone must also surely know, but of course, that is very far from the truth. I don't know if even my best friends know that I have BPD, even if they do know that I engage in reckless behaviour, more than a little occasionally.

I don't want to dwell on it, and it's not like it manifests itself all the time, but oftentimes, when symptoms of my BPD surface, I really am not able to recognise it because I am caught in the middle of the situation to see clearly, and also because one of the symptoms is repression, which means I will frequently repress negative feelings and force myself to think of something else besides the present situation.

The Wikipedia page for BPD is very informative and most of it describes me to a T. I'm going to be lifting whole sentences and sections of it that I feel pertain to me, and hopefully I will keep coming back to this post, the next time I want to engage in such behaviour. I'm not asking y'all to keep tabs on me, but sometimes, it might also help if you call me out on it, if I can't be my own devil's advocate.
Borderline personality disorder, also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder, is a long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour characterised by unstable relationships with other people, unstable sense of self, and unstable emotions. There is frequent dangerous behaviour and self-harm. People may also struggle with a feeling of emptiness and a fear of abandonment. 
People with BPD may feel emotions with greater ease, depth and for a longer time than others do. A core characteristic of BPD is affective instability, which generally manifests as unusually intense emotional responses to environmental triggers, with a slower return to a baseline emotional state.  
People with BPD often engage in idealisation and devaluation of others, alternating between high positive regard for people and great disappointment in them. In Marsha Linehan's view, the sensitivity, intensity, and duration with which people with BPD feel emotions have both positive and negative effects.  
People with BPD are often exceptionally enthusiastic, idealistic, joyful, and loving. However, they may feel overwhelmed by negative emotions ("anxiety, depression, guilt/shame, worry, anger, etc."), experiencing intense grief instead of sadness, shame and humiliation instead of mild embarrassment, rage instead of annoyance, and panic instead of nervousness. 
Impulsive behaviour is common, including substance or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, unprotected sex or indiscriminate sex with multiple partners, reckless spending, and reckless driving. Impulsive behaviour may also include leaving jobs or relationships, running away, and self-injury. People with BPD act impulsively because it gives them the feeling of immediate relief from their emotional pain. However, in the long term, people with BPD suffer increased pain from the shame and guilt that follow such actions. 
The often intense emotions experienced by people with BPD can make it difficult for them to control the focus of their attention—to concentrate. In addition, people with BPD may tend to dissociate, which can be thought of as an intense form of "zoning out". Dissociation often occurs in response to experiencing a painful event (or experiencing something that triggers the memory of a painful event). It involves the mind automatically redirecting attention away from that event, presumably to protect against experiencing intense emotion and unwanted behavioural impulses that such emotion might otherwise trigger. Although the mind's habit of blocking out intense painful emotions may provide temporary relief, it can also have the unwanted side effect of blocking or blunting the experience of ordinary emotions, reducing the access of people with BPD to the information contained in those emotions, which helps guide effective decision-making in daily life. Sometimes, it is possible for another person to tell when someone with BPD is dissociating, because their facial or vocal expressions may become flat or expressionless, or they may appear to be distracted; at other times, dissociation may be barely noticeable. 
Evidence suggests that BPD and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be related in some way. Most researchers agree that a history of childhood trauma can be a contributing factor, but less attention has historically been paid to investigating the causal roles played by congenital brain abnormalities, genetics, neurobiological factors, and environmental factors other than trauma.

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