17 things to never say to a girl with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
“You’re not ill, you’re just being an attention-seeking arsehole.”
17 things to never say to a girl with Borderline Personality Disorder
By Charlotte Dingle
2 March 2016
Going to bed on an argument isn’t our style. Whilst you’ve casually dismissed it as a minor disagreement and all but forgotten about it, we’re worrying that you hate us and will never speak to us again. So please, stay awake long enough to text us back and tell us it’s OK.
2. “Aren’t you overreacting?”
BPD has been described as having no “emotional skin”. We’re psychologically raw and exposed and as such we feel things, good and bad, very deeply. You might see it as an overreaction – to us, it’s an honest expression of what we’re feeling.
3. “OMG, is that like the woman in Fatal Attraction?”
Ahem. I’m not going to boil Flopsy alive, I’m a vegetarian. Unfortunately, BPD has become a one-size-fits-all label for “dangerous” women. This is an incredibly unfair stereotype: BPD sufferers are a lot more likely to hurt themselves than they are to hurt anyone else.
4. “But you were so happy this morning – what changed?”
BPD sufferers can experience rapid mood swings which appear irrational to the outside observer, often triggered by seemingly insignificant events. If getting a “B” in our coursework or flunking a job interview seems like the end of the world to us, imagine how we feel when something really serious like the death of a loved one occurs.
5. “Oh, so you’re bipolar?”
Bipolar Disorder and BPD are two different diagnoses. In Bipolar Disorder, mood swings occur but the moods tend to last a lot longer, with weeks or even months of intense mania or deep depression. These moods are also less likely to be influenced by external events than they are in BPD. The two disorders can co-exist, however, meaning that traits individual to each disorder occur or have occurred in the same individual.
6. “I’ve heard that BPD is impossible to recover from.”
BPD is often hard to manage and treat, it’s true. But people can and do learn to live with it. It’s unhelpful to keep telling people with BPD that they may not recover, because it risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy and may prevent them from seeking help. Please encourage us to travel hopefully, even on the darkest days.
7. “I would never date a girl with BPD, they’re way too clingy and needy.”
When we love, we love deep – ’tis true. We take arguments to heart and we need a lot of reassurance, which can unfortunately sometimes cause more arguments. We can’t promise an easy ride, but if you’re a sucker for hearts and flowers then we’re the girls for you.
How about a list the other way around with things a BPD should never say to their partner?
That list is too long.