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A man with borderline personality disorder describes the BPD symptom of “chronic emptiness.”


“Out of all the symptoms of borderline personality disorder, the one I experience the most intensely is a chronic feeling of emptiness.”

“The feeling is not exactly just emptiness – which implies a nothingness or void where something is supposed to be.”

“Rather, there is an element of something missing inside of me.”

“I think a better term than emptiness might be longing.”

“The feeling that the emptiness should be filled with love, connection and fulfillment.”

“While many might be able to relate, the difference is that having borderline personality disorder amplifies the desire, making it sharper and more persistent.”

“Because of this, I make desperate attempts to fill in this emotional, mental or spiritual gap.”

“In my own past, this has exhibited itself through changing jobs, apartments, and partners – as well as a complicated relationship with food.”

“The incessant, nagging, empty presence takes its toll, and can drive people like me to impulsive and self-destructive behavior.”

“But it’s also the water in which many of us little BPD fish swim.”

“I am often the one to go for the ‘big talks’ about life, because as part of my borderline personality disorder, I have learned to bear that emptiness and understand longing.”

“When they come to me, I can help.”

If you live with BPD, what does chronic emptiness feel like to you.

Originally published: May 16, 2018
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