It can be very difficult to be in a romantic relationship with someone with a borderline personality disorder. For anyone...
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is largely defined by an instability that extends to moods, behaviour, relationships and sense of self. While it’s common for us all to experience changes in the way we feel at some point, for those with BPD, it occurs with far greater intensity. This kind of emotional turbulence makes for challenging and oftentimes chaotic relationships for both the individual and those close to them. Due to these changes in mood, BPD can sometimes be confused with bipolar disorder. However, it differs in that these changes occur much more frequently, usually taking place during a single day andsometimes over the span ofan hour compared to the weeks at a time cycle of mania and depression with bipolar.
BPD always comes from early in life – from childhood experiences. This is a result of growing up in an environment where people’s emotions are not attended to. If someone has experienced childhood emotional neglect or even worse, childhood trauma, where they are left to deal with very difficult emotions on their own or their emotions are neglected or ignored, they may go onto develop BPD or BPD traits. However they may not meet the full criteria for the disorder.
That’s not to say that somebody who grows up in an environment with emotionally neglectful parents, abusive parents, or traumatic circumstances will always go on to develop BPD, as there is a natural innate personality element that has a part to play as well. However, there is a strong chance that somebody may go onto develop those symptoms or other emotional struggles, behavioural difficulty, or interpersonal difficulties if they grew up in an environment where their emotions were not understood, attended to, and nurtured.
In order to know whether you have BPD or not, you want to ask yourself, did you come from an environment where your emotions were attended to, understood, supported, and your parents really tried to connect with you emotionally. Perhaps, you might think of an instance where you did something wrong, do you remember the punishment or were your parents people who sat you down and said, “We love you very much, but this is why the behaviour was wrong…” and rather than labelling you as “bad,” they, in a loving caring way, explained why the behaviour you did was wrong.
This leads to a big problem for people who have BPD or BPD traits. They end up receiving, from quite an early age the message that emotions are not important, and therefore, they shut these emotions off. They sweep them under the carpet, they learn not to feel very much, or to try not to feel very much which is an impossible task. By the time someone has reached 5 years old, they have learned to suppress their emotions if they’ve grown up in this environment where their emotions were not being attended to.
The symptoms of BPD are closely intertwined with one another, with each one often informing the appearance of the next, functioning almost like a domino effect.
What are the symptoms?
Misconceptions about Borderline Personality Disorder
Who can I speak to about Borderline Personality Disorder?