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

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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.

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Thinkstock photo via Grandfailure

Originally published: October 10, 2017
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