Mental illness has been around for decades, but it has only recently started to receive the attention and awareness it deserves. Though we are well on the way to a more aware, accepting culture, we still have a long way to go. As a licensed online therapist, I am privileged to dedicate my practice to helping further abolish the stigma associated with mental health issues.
People with mental illness face any number of unique, specific challenges, depending on the particular condition they’re dealing with. Since May has been designated Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, I am taking this opportunity to look specifically at this largely misunderstood (and often misdiagnosed) mental health condition and how it impacts its victims.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex mental illness. It is primarily characterized by consistently unstable behavior, moods, impulses, and relationships. People who suffer from BPD often have an intense fear of isolation, loneliness, and abandonment, but their turbulent emotional states often make it challenging for them to connect closely with others.
Borderline personality disorder gets its name from the fact that it often correlates with (or “borders”) other mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and more.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
The symptoms displayed by individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder are vast and often varied. Here are several examples of the types of behavior these individuals may exhibit:
- Suicidal urges
- Self-injurious behavior
- Intense feelings of emptiness or isolation
- Volatile personal relationships, often shifting abruptly from deep love to strong hate
- Impulsive, risky behaviors
- Strong mood swings
- Intense emotions and moods that may last anywhere from a few hours to several days
- Quickly changing career goals and aspirations
- Intense fear of (both real and perceived) rejection and abandonment
- Low self-esteem or distorted view of oneself
- Anger management issues
- Lost touch with reality
- Inability to cope with stress
Samantha M. Ruth, Transformational Psychologist
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