Experts agree that Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is itself a predictor of suicide.
If you have BPD, everything feels unstable: your relationships, moods, thinking, behavior—even your identity. But there is hope and this guide to symptoms, treatment, and recovery can help.
What is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?
If you have borderline personality disorder (BPD), you probably feel like you’re on a rollercoaster—and not just because of your unstable emotions or relationships, but also the wavering sense of who you are. Your self-image, goals, and even your likes and dislikes may change frequently in ways that feel confusing and unclear.
People with BPD tend to be extremely sensitive. Some describe it as like having an exposed nerve ending. Small things can trigger intense reactions. And once upset, you have trouble calming down. It’s easy to understand how this emotional volatility and inability to self-soothe leads to relationship turmoil and impulsive—even reckless—behavior.
When you’re in the throes of overwhelming emotions, you’re unable to think straight or stay grounded. You may say hurtful things or act out in dangerous or inappropriate ways that make you feel guilty or ashamed afterward. It’s a painful cycle that can feel impossible to escape. But it’s not. There are effective BPD treatments and coping skills that can help you feel better and back in control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
BPD is treatable
In the past, many mental health professionals found it difficult to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), so they came to the conclusion that there was little to be done. But we now know that BPD is treatable. In fact, the long-term prognosis for BPD is better than those for depression and bipolar disorder. However, it requires a specialized approach. The bottom line is that most people with BPD can and do get better—and they do so fairly rapidly with the right treatments and support.
Recognizing borderline personality disorder
Do you identify with the following statements?
- I often feel “empty.”
- My emotions shift very quickly, and I often experience extreme sadness, anger, and anxiety.
- I’m constantly afraid that the people I care about will abandon me or leave me.
- I would describe most of my romantic relationships as intense, but unstable.
- The way I feel about the people in my life can dramatically change from one moment to the next—and I don’t always understand why.
- I often do things that I know are dangerous or unhealthy, such as driving recklessly, having unsafe sex, binge drinking, using drugs, or going on spending sprees.
- I’ve attempted to hurt myself, engaged in self-harm behaviors such as cutting or threatened suicide.
- When I’m feeling insecure in a relationship, I tend to lash out or make impulsive gestures to keep the other person close.
Insurance will pay for the long-term treatment. For complete help with this, go to the BPD Resource Center