The Burn of Borderline Personality Disorder
Check out this article on what it’s like to have Borderline Personality Disorder from Mind, a mental health charity in the UK.
The burn of borderline personality disorder – Mind
Posted Friday 25 January 2013
Marsha Linehan, an American psychologist and author uses a great analogy to describe what Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is…
” People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90 percent of their body. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement”.
Try to imagine that third degree burn, over 90 percent of your body, a physical wound, one that is painful, raw and sensitive; suppose someone tries to put a lotion on that wound, a wound that cannot be touched without causing intense agony. Imagine the pain that you would have to endure just to begin the healing process.
Now imagine the same for an emotional wound.
Physical wounds heal, some may leave a scar; emotional wounds leave scars too, but sometimes emotional wounds don’t heal, they are left, open to infection, open for others to touch, open to cause the most intense pain.
Try to visualise a world which consists of only black and white; a world where grey ceases to exist. A world which has no middle ground; it’s either all or nothing, good or bad.
For some people with BPD, good days are overflowing with beauty. They become creative, inspired by life, they live in a world of complete and utter perfection. They are on a high, living in a euphoric state, the world is unblemished; their life is flawless.
And then come the bad days, they overflow with anguish and suffering. Their once perfect world has now become empty and broken. They are lonely and frightened. The inspiration they once had has disappeared and they feel like a complete failure. The good days are now so distant; they can no longer be remembered.
They over analyze words and actions. They lose control of their lives; they become self destructive, unreasonable and paranoid. They can’t focus, can’t concentrate, can’t sleep and they become irrational in their thinking and behaviour. They believe that everyone around them will leave; abandon them. They can’t ever see it getting better, they feel trapped, suffocated; they can’t breathe.
They have no self-esteem, no self-worth; they hate themselves.
They feel that they no longer have a place in the world; they no longerwant a place in the world. Life is unbearable. They want to die just to stop the pain.
Then, they feel elated, euphoric, back in the perfect world and the cycle continues.
People with BPD are very often misunderstood, they are categorised as over-sensitive, dramatic and attention seeking. Everything they say or do is misconstrued.
Have you ever looked at someone with BPD and thought exactly the same?
Imagine having BPD just for a day. Imagine seeing life through the eyes of someone with this disorder…
Someone thinks you’re ‘needy’, with BPD; you just need to know you’re loved.
A person points out your flaws, with BPD, you already know your flaws, you obsess about them, all of the time.
Someone tries to encourage you by pointing out how you could improve on something, with BPD, you only hear the words, ‘you’re a failure.’
Somebody doesn’t ring you when they said they would, with BPD this means they’ve abandoned you.
Somebody asks what you could possibly have to be depressed about, with BPD, you now feel ashamed for feeling this way.
Someone tells you to stop being so negative, with BPD, this only intensifies how you feel.
People tell you that the bad days will pass; with BPD you feel that they don’t understand.
Someone tells you that they’re too busy to see you; with BPD it means that you have become a burden on them.
Someone changes your routine; with BPD they’ve upturned your world.
Look again at somebody with BPD, what is it you see now?