I have spent the last hour browsing different Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) articles online while Benidorm plays in the background. It’s rare I learn something new in these, but today I did, not particularly about my illness but about raising awareness of it. Apparently, May is Borderline Personality Awareness month.
I haven’t blogged on here for a while, mainly because I write more when I’m struggling as a way to process what’s going on and recently, for a while now (luckily) things have been pretty stable. When I read it was BPD awareness month I thought about how if I’d know i’d of written something new each day on statuses to explain what BPD really is but seen as I missed the majority of the month I thought I’d take to the blog again.
Here are 31 things about BPD, one for each day of the month. Some are specific to me, some are general facts and some are things I wish people knew.
1 – There are 40 different terms that are used when talking about BPD which all mean BPD, some of these are BPD, emotionally unstable personality disorder, emotional disregulation disorder and complex developmental trauma.
2 – These different terms make it harder for clinicians and patients to understand what is been talked about and diagnosed, BPD is still the most commonly used name despite the official name of the disorder changing to emotionally unstable disorder several years ago
3 – There are 9 diagnostic criteria for BPD, a person who has 5 or more of these can be diagnosed however all the criteria are blanket terms which branch into different issues, meaning a group of people with BPD could sit together and not one of them experience the same symptoms
4- The only symptom all people with BPD share is emotional intensity/instability
5- BPD is normally comorbid with other mental illnesses, the most common of these are depression, anxiety, substance misuse and eating disorders
6- It is common, in times of emotional stress to experience psychosis and disassociation.
7- Disassociation is difficult to describe, the best thing I can compare it with is being in a dream like trance, you’re on auto pilot, you don’t know what’s going on around you and things done feel real, but somehow you can still do things
8- People with BPD can experience flashbacks
9- No one is really sure what causes BPD, it has been suggested that it is a mixture of genetics and traumatic experiences
10- BPD is highly stigmatised, people with BPD are labelled manipulative, attention seeking, not worth the effort and hopeless cases, this stigma has caused funding to be withdrawn from treatment plans
11- the emotional extremes of BPD are not triggered by huge events, one word can trigger severe depression, one tiny change to a day can trigger mania
12- this emotional unpredictability has been classed by professionals as “unbearable” and “too much to handle.”
13- BPD has one of the highest suicide rates of any mental illness. 70% of people diagnosed will attempt suicide, 10% will succeed.
14- For people with BPD suicide and self harming thoughts can become obsessive and intrusive
15- Over 40% of people diagnosed with BPD are initially misdiagnosed with something else first
16- BPD can have some strange symptoms caused by the umbrella diagnostic criteria, these include
18- Emotionally shutting off / refusing to have close friendships or relationships
19- Appearing emotionless or cold hearted
20- being tired or physically ill
21- People with BPD diagnosis’s make up at least 20% of patients in inpatient units in the UK
22- People with BPD make up almost 10% of A and E presentations
23- BPD is classed as a sever mental illness which needs long term treatment, group therapy, one to own therapy and crisis management. There are currently 3 places in the Uk which offer this, despite 0.7% of the population having this diagnosis, that’s 448,000 People.
24- BPD and bipolar are often confused as the same thing but they are very different, the key difference relates to how quickly moods and emotions cycle and the thought processes behind these
25- there are no medications specifically to treat BPD
26- Splitting or Black and white thinking is a common and misunderstood symptom of BPD An explanation of what this is can be found here
27- the focus of BPD treatment is not how to get rid of it but how to learn to live with it having less of an impact on day to day life
28- personality disorders are there own category of mental illness, they are not mood disorders, anxiety disorders or psychotic disorders by so share some of the same symptoms
29- People with BPD share some positive traits, it has been proven that generally they are more creative, expressive, compassionate and can pick up on others emotions easier than neurotypicals
30- early 20s are the most common time to be diagnosed
31- Despite the common myth, it is possible for people with BPD to go onto live a normal life with the right treatment and support
If you are worried about you or someone you know having BPD Click here
If you want to learn more about BPD, try this amazing explanation Video
If you or someone you know are in crisis call 116 123
If you or someone you know is an immediate risk to themselves or others dial 999