Emotions are often intense, and anger can seem explosive and reactive at times. Those with BPD tend to function in the extremes, especially in relationships.
Confronting Stigma: Borderline Personality Disorder
For many, getting the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) comes as a relief. Finally, something to explain the mood swings, constant fear of abandonment, and relationship challenges. For others, it becomes an obstacle to treatment. Understandably, working with someone with BPD can be quite challenging, and often therapists allow only a few in their caseload. But new treatment approaches and an improved understanding of the disorder are giving sufferers and family members hope.
According to National Education Alliance: Borderline Personality Disorder, 14 million adults are struggling with BPD. Traits or symptoms include:
- Intense fear of abandonment
- A pattern of unstable and intense relationships
- Unstable self-image
- Self-destructive impulsivity
- Recurrent suicidal behavior or non-suicidal self-injury
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
Emotions are often intense, and anger can seem explosive and reactive at times. Those with BPD tend to function in the extremes, especially in relationships. He or she might struggle to see gradations in people; a friend or partner will be idolized one day and hated the next. At the core is an intense fear of rejection and abandonment.
Diagnosis is difficult, especially since BPD tends to co-occur with other conditions, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, or anxiety disorders. And often the individual is consumed with shame, self-hatred, and hopelessness, so seeking help does not feel like a viable option. Additionally, the chaos and drama is often so ingrained that it feels like his or her identity. The BPD sufferer cannot imagine who he or she is without those traits or behaviors.