As a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I noticed a lot of negative comments about BPD now fully disclosure before people say I have no idea what I'm talking about: I have had BPD most of my life, I'm actually a psychology major. I'm in a relationship, so I thought this might help someone else out or even help someone else figure out if they have the disorder.
Now before you start reading here's a fun video on BPD :))
Dating people with BDP crash course
- We get overstimulated: Imagine being in a room with a little kid. You and the kid are having a good time until they start to cry, you try and calm the kid down but for some reason with the kid is evil and starts screaming bloody murder in your head. (kind of sucks to imagine, right?) Well, that's what it feels like to some people when they are overstimulated, it's an annoying moment/ feeling they have no real control over and can't change. How to fix that: notice what triggers them, for me, I can't handle too many people talking at once, so I carry around headphones everywhere I go. EVERYWHERE. You have to understand that they'll calm down in time, but it's better to avoid it.
- They will be self-destructive: It's sad, but, true in the past, I have blown up my many of my own relationships in the past just because I don't want to be hurt and abandoned. It's like being a child having your first crush over and over again; it's fun, but the reality that you're not a child and that this could make you depressed for months if this person leaves you. It sucks... a lot.
How to help: communication, yes communication is critical in any healthy relationship but especially when dating someone with BPD, they need to be told when they may be trying to ruin things for themselves (they also need to be told you care a lot because of abandonment issues, but I'm not going to get into that).
- They may experience extreme rage and anxiety: Grantedddd not everyone is the same. I remember when I was 16, I was always mad at everyone all the time until I grew a little older and realized being angry all the time gives you wrinkles. As for the anxiety, it displays itself in different ways and differs from person to person. You can fix it the same way you fix anxiety :)
- They may show a weak ability to manage the relationship: Sadly, yes, it's not your fault or theirs. If you feel your partner is doing this, maybe have a serious discussion about how your relationship is going because, oddly enough, they may not even know it's going to shit.
- They will be impulsive, and you will probably think it's hot ( yahhh be careful): BPD and bipolar I disorder are incredibly similar because of this. Have you ever dated some who loves to keep you guessing, they like to surprise, they never know what they're doing till their doing it, then maybe that person is bipolar or has BPD (maybe). It sounds entertaining you may think it is until it's time to be serious and get things done or till you find out they just spent 400 dollars on DNA kits at 4 am... How to fix it: easiest way, ask them if they know what they're doing and why. I learnt in therapy, if I can't explain to myself why I'm suddenly trying to buy five new binkies on this shady website, then I don't need it, and I shouldn't be doing it. Easy-ish fix :))
- They may be suicidal or practice self-harm: It's a scary thought to see a loved one hurt themselves especially your significant other, the good thing is they can be talked down like a lot of people who are suicidal. It's incredible how much the love of someone special can change someone's life for the better
- They may not react to medicine: Therapy and medicine is the medical way to treat BPD, so good news there's treatment, the bad news is they don't work for everyone. I've been off my medicine for about five months. I have started therapy. I would recommend DBT. It's got an excellent track record for helping out a lot of BPD patients The thing is you can't force someone to go to therapy if you do they may not respond to well or even be mad at you for it, which is why I recommend the talking game. You sit and breathe, then talk about your day, your favourite things, anything else, then try slowly brings up why you want them to go to therapy if they become anxious, talk about anything else. The point of the game is to try and keep your partner's emotions balanced, which is hard for people with BPD.
- BPD also comes along with a few other things sometimes;
- An eating disorder
- Selective mutism (yah, this is an actual thing)
- Chronic depression ( not to be confused with regular depression) :))
To a lot of people, this probably seems like a lot or like your babysitting this person, but the thing is you need to realize a lot of people who have BPD have most likely suffered some abuse or neglect. Thus they feel like they don't deserve to be loved and that's not proper everyone deserves to be loved :) Plus, there's a lot of good thing about people with BPD
- they are usually great with babies
- More likely to be great friends
- They love extremely intense ( and that's not always a bad thing :) )
- They usually are great artists and tend to seek to care for others more than themselves.
I hope someone finds this helpful, BPD only affects 2% of adults and mainly women tbh but I hope even if you aren't dating someone with BPD that you learned something new today.