In the woven tapestry of the human mind, emotions, behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs weave together to create patterns that define our personalities. Sometimes these strands tangle up or divert in such a way that it becomes important to find help to make sense of the pattern. Borderline personality disorder represents one of these instances.
Emotional instability and mood swings are the typical telltale symptoms. However, these are not simple outbursts. These feelings come at an intensity that would seem alien to a neurotypical individual.
Sadness is not a whisper; it is a howl. Annoyance doesn’t pinch; it stabs through you. Emotions don’t just fade away; they linger and take center stage in life.
What are the signs of BPD?
While everyone experiences emotions, not everyone has the same level of control over their emotions. On the far end of the emotional control spectrum is a mental illness called borderline personality disorder, or BPD. Someone with BPD will struggle to control their emotions, often acting impulsively. The following are key signs that you or someone you love may have BPD.
Emotional Instability and Mood Swings
People with BPD feel emotions very intensely. A situation that makes most people sad may cause someone with BPD to be inconsolable. Instead of being mildly annoyed, someone with BPD may become very angry. These negative moods and emotions often linger, and the person has difficulty breaking free of them.
Intense, Unstable Relationships
In relationships, people with BPD find a litany of highs and lows. Anger, despair, joy, and happiness are very close to the surface. This is why many describe it as a bit of a roller coaster. This means relationships typically take a lot of work to maintain—or they fall apart.
People with BPD often have a distorted opinion of themselves. They may see themselves entirely differently than their friends see them. Or, they may have a lack of self-image. Someone with BPD may claim they don’t know who they are or who they want to be.
Impulsive and Self-Harming Behaviors
The mood swings and poor self-image that come with BPD can lead to impulsive and self-harming behaviors. These can present in many different ways. Some patients with BPD may cut themselves. Eating disorders, shopping addictions, and kleptomania are all quite common.
Feelings of Emptiness and Abandonment
A person with BPD may say they feel empty and abandoned. Sometimes this results from their struggling relationships, but it can also be related to their lack of self-image. Chronic feelings of emptiness may perpetuate more impulsive behaviors. The individual may need to act impulsively to “feel something.”
Borderline personality disorder can make it difficult for someone to learn, hold down a job, and form meaningful relationships with others – but there is hope. Several types of psychotherapy, including schema-focused therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), have proven helpful. Some patients also find relief with antidepressants and mood-stabilizing medications.
Hope for People With BPD
Uncertainty, impulsivity, and intense emotions don’t have to dominate the scene. Instead, they can be restructured—shaped into a vibrant, well-managed life—a testament to resilience and determination.
Relationships once filled with volatility are now blossoming with trust and understanding. The intensity of emotions that often led to strife and disconnection has become a source of empathy and profound connection. Bonds become stronger as those with BPD learn to communicate their feelings and needs, transforming their relationships into safe harbors, their lighthouses in moments of emotional fog.
Imagine the sense of emptiness and abandonment replaced with a sense of belonging. The aching void gradually filled with a newfound understanding of self-worth and acceptance. The individual begins to appreciate solitude without feeling abandoned, feeling content in their own company.
So, what does a well-managed life with BPD look like? It looks like human life’s complexity, colors, and emotional richness: resilience, growth, and embracing one’s unique emotional landscape. If you’re walking this path or know someone who is, remember—t’s not just about surviving but thriving and celebrating wellness existence in its entirety.
Want to talk more? Call Lido Wellness today for a free BPD consultation.