How I've Learned to Cope With the Emotions of Borderline Personality Disorder


Borderline personality disorder — wow that’s a lot to take in.

What does this mean?

Am I “crazy”?

I had no idea what BPD was before I got diagnosed. When I saw a doctor and reviewed the criteria, I easily matched up and there was no doubt in my mind it was the right diagnosis. Now everything makes a little bit more sense. How I react to situations. The way I respond to people.

BPD for me is having overly-sensitive mind with a lot of emotions. I will overanalyze how you say what you say, how your body language is, the tone of voice you use, if you are in a rush etc. BPD causes my brain to start looking for protection so I don’t get hurt. It was my automatic response for a long time. Now I understand what it is.

I am now able to catch myself before I have a BPD response and really think about think the situation. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are wonderful in helping change my thought processes so I am not always in fight or flight mode.

What causes BPD?

In my experience, I believe it is the environment I grew up in. Sometimes, home life, school, friends and other social groups can affect someone being predisposed to BPD. Maybe constant invalidation of your feelings caused you to be afraid to speak out and voice your opinion.

I was always the quiet one, the shy one, the one who struggled with friends. Negative coping strategies like self-harm reinforced the fact BPD responses were the only way I knew how to respond. Years later when I grew up and got diagnosed, it all made sense like a light bulb went off.

CBT and DBT are in the works of changing my thought processes. It is a lot of work, but worth it in the long run. Going to support groups, a psychologist, a psychiatrist and having your own network of support can help in BPD recovery.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Grandfailure


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Borderline Personality Disorder

Pete Davidson Talks BPD and Depression on SNL's Weekend Update

On Saturday night, a new season of “Saturday Night Live” premiered, and comedian Pete Davidson took to the Weekend Update desk to talk about borderline personality disorder and depression. Davidson only recently opened up about his borderline personality disorder diagnosis on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. “As some of you know, I was recently diagnosed with [...]

When Borderline Personality Disorder Makes It Hard to Identify Your Emotions

Although I am now in a very different place, I still have an odd relationship with my emotions. My borderline personality disorder (BPD) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) meant that I entered therapy with no language to name, describe or express my emotions. This took me by surprise because I had always considered myself [...]
Beautiful Young Woman in Forest - vector illustration. Female Face, Trees Trunks, Forest and Animals depicting Mother Nature. Mother Nature. Woman Tree. Mother Earth. Portrait. Environmental Conservation or Ecology concept

What a Breakup Feels Like When You Live With Borderline Personality Disorder

Breakups are different for everyone. So many mixed emotions, tears and in some cases, relief or calm. Any emotion felt during this time is valid, and it may be different for you each time you experience it. Breaking up when you have borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be a traumatic experience, upsetting for all parties [...]
Fairy forest girl, vector illustration

Why 'Triggered' Jokes Hurt Me as Someone With Mental Illness

People may call me a “special snowflake” or say I’m being too sensitive, but something about “triggered” jokes really winds me up. Maybe it’s because any slight against millennials (those who bear the brunt of these jokes) makes me feel defensive — or maybe it’s just simply because I don’t find being triggered a fun [...]