The Mighty Logo

The Odd Symptom of BPD I Didn’t Realize I Had

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Sometimes my brain feels like AM radio static. It’s really loud, kinda scratchy and overall uncomfortable. I try to tune into something, anything at all, but I’m only met with more static, higher bursts of static, and other bursts that could maybe be words if I spoke another language.

When I get radio-static brain, I know something is off. Having borderline personality disorder makes figuring out what that is extremely difficult. Was it the way my husband got out of bed that morning? Was it the tantrum one of my kids threw? Was it the breakthrough I made in therapy last week? Maybe it’s a combination of all of those! Seemingly minor things to most people are earth-shaking for me. The way my husband gets out of bed can set me on edge for the rest of the day.

I remember the erratic behavior I used to engage in before I was diagnosed with BPD. I would go to a store, fill my cart with random items, way overspend, and go back the next day to do the same thing. I think this is the first time I’ve realized this as a symptom of the disorder I have. In the past, if I didn’t spend money I didn’t have to spend, I would spiral and end up suicidal.

Now I know what to ask myself in these instances. Finding ways to ground and get back to using my wise mind is interesting. Lately, everything in my body is telling me to self-destruct. Go spend a lot of money. No, that’s not a good thing to do right now. OK, then sleep all day and completely ignore the rest of the world. Also no, I have commitments to keep. OK, then you should die. I’m pretty sure that’s not in the cards right now. Fine. Radio static it is. Looking back at the past couple weeks, I’ve been able to identify how I’m feeling, and instead of running away from those feelings I’ve let them manifest however feels right. BPD also makes that incredibly difficult, so on bad days I can’t identify emotions, let alone allow them space. This kind of disconnected behavior is also difficult to explain to people.

I have made amazing progress in my recovery the past year. Using the skills I’ve learned from DBT has been very helpful. I’m not perfect, and I’m still a work in progress. But now that I know what to do with the static I can manage my life just a little better.

Getty image by SPmemory.

Originally published: July 16, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home