How Borderline Personality Disorder Complicates My Insomnia


It’s 3 a.m. when I write this article. I haven’t slept in over 24 hours and I’m tired of staring at my ceiling. I don’t know what the cause of my inability to sleep is; it might be a hormonal imbalance of melatonin or a standard sleep disorder, but the reality is that my borderline personality disorder (BPD) only makes insomnia darker and more difficult.

Fighting feelings of emptiness, trying to keep a solid mood to not get angry at my teammates and restricting impulsive behavior takes its toll on a daily basis. The issue arises that a lot of my work is completed in the evenings and switching off when it comes to bedtime is a struggle. For not one second do I think I am the only person who feels this way, and I have complete sympathy to those who are in my situation. Twist, turn, look at the clock, twist, turn, look at the ceiling and repeat; this is a process which I go through many times every single night. The bottom line is: it has made me enter into a vicious cycle. I know it will lead me into a dark chapter of my life in the near future. As each day passes my sleep deficit increases, my body feels weaker and my energy levels decrease. Even now I feel deflated as if I’ve run a marathon.

BPD is a disorder which you cannot switch off, as much as I believe any person who struggles with it will try. I can try to convince myself it’s not so bad, or I might be having a good day, but I will always be brought back down to earth at some point. The physical and mental energy which is expelled on a daily basis trying to present myself as a “normal” employee in a sector where a great stigma to mental health issues still stands is exhausting. To then come home to prepare agendas for my next day, send emails and study for two qualifications should mean I sleep like a baby every night. Instead, I roll into bed at a reasonable time, body shaking and in pain, only to be greeted by my brain being wide awake. I know this is a condition which is tragic for my system.

What does the future hold? Well, a week in the hospital at a sleep clinic is the next step in the process. Is this satisfactory? Not really, but what is another set of daily pills or weekly visits to the hospital? Becoming a person who runs off medication is something I’m sure a lot of readers are familiar with, but it is important to remember you are not alone; we are together and we will come through this stronger and better for it.

Insomnia is a real problem many people struggle with. The complications are nasty, and while my BPD is not to blame, it definitely contributed too many sleepless nights for myself.

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Thinkstock photo via tommaso79

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