Join the Conversation on
28.6K people
0 stories
7.1K posts
  • About BPD
  • Note: The hashtags you follow are publicly viewable on your profile; you can change this at any time.
    Don’t miss what’s new on The Mighty. We have over 20 email newsletters to choose from, from mental health to chronic illness.
    Browse and Subscribe
    What's New in BPD
    Community Voices


    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Emotional Chaos #BPD #Depression

    Emotional chaos.
    I don't know what I feel, but it's strong and it throws me to the ground.
    There is sadness, despair, exhaustion, fear, insecurity and above all: emptiness.
    Everything is screaming in confusion, no one can decide which feeling is there at the moment; I cannot grasp a clear thought,
    not to mention concentration.
    I'm sweating, shaking, can't hold myself still and just want to get out of here, just go home.
    I can no longer do this today.

    1 person is talking about this
    Megan Glosson

    How to Help When Someone You Love Has Borderline Personality Disorder

    When someone you love lives with a mental illness like borderline personality disorder, it’s only natural that you’d want to help them and support them as best as you possibly can. Unless you also live with BPD, though, it’s hard to know how you can best support them without hurting their feelings or making the situation worse. So, here are some suggested dos and don’ts when someone you love lives with borderline personality disorder. Don’t: Make assumptions about their diagnosis. Between online forums and mainstream media, there are lots of false narratives about BPD that people can use to quickly make assumptions about their loved one’s diagnosis. However, a lot of these fallacies don’t have any factual basis, and more importantly, BPD can manifest in different ways for each person. Do: Make an effort to learn about their illness. Borderline personality disorder is a highly stigmatized, often misunderstood mental health condition. However, you can change the narrative around the disorder and connect with your loved one in a more meaningful way by learning about BPD. There are several great books about BPD written by people with lived experience and by experts, not to mention there are lots of great online resources (like The Mighty). Don’t: Call them “crazy.” When we don’t understand a person’s feelings or actions, it’s easy to place labels like “weird,” “crazy,” or “abnormal” on the person we don’t understand. However, calling someone you love crazy just because their perspective doesn’t align with yours isn’t supportive or helpful. This invalidation is hurtful, and it can ultimately make a person with BPD feel even worse about themselves and their diagnosis. Do: Validate their feelings. Psychologist Marsha Linehan once said, “People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” In other words, what may feel like a minor sting to you can feel extremely painful to your loved one with BPD. Although you may not always understand how they feel, you can listen to them explain their emotions to you and validate their feelings. Validation is a simple, yet powerful tool that helps people with BPD feel seen and heard. By simply showing someone you care, you may encourage them to open up more and continue working towards recovery. Don’t: Walk out on them if they’re genuinely trying their best. Fear of abandonment is a common symptom people with borderline personality disorder experience. Unfortunately, this fear of abandonment can drive a lot of other maladaptive behaviors and grows even more intense each time someone “walks out” when times get tough. In many cases, the person is simply trying their best and doesn’t always realize the full extent of their actions, especially if they’re still in denial about their diagnosis or in the early stages of recovery. Do: Set healthy boundaries if needed. As I mentioned, walking out on someone who is trying their best is incredibly defeating. However, your emotional health matters just as much as theirs. So, don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries with your loved one as needed. Some examples of healthy boundaries include setting limits on phone conversations, making reasonable requests regarding behavior, and refusing to do something that goes against your morals. Sometimes, boundaries can be clearly communicated in a calm, matter-of-fact way, such as, “I will be silencing my phone at 10 pm every night. If you call after that, I will respond in the morning.” Other times, you may simply create boundaries for yourself like, “I will not get in the car and go to their house every time they seem upset. I will offer a list of suggested coping skills instead.” Boundaries can be tough at first, but they are also important for both you and your loved one. Just remember: boundaries aren’t a weapon or threat you can use against someone (i.e. “I’m setting a boundary until you get your feelings in check.”). They’re just a measure you can put in place and uphold to take care of your own needs. Don’t: Ignore mentions of suicide or self-harm. If you spend any time on the internet, you have probably seen all of the posts in online forums about how people with BPD are “attention-seeking” and “fake” their distress. However, that’s not really true at all. In fact, approximately 80 percent of people with BPD make at least one suicide attempt during their lifetime, and close to 10 percent die by suicide. For this reason, all mentions of suicide or self-harm should be taken seriously, even if that means you contact a hotline or your local crisis support center. Do: Encourage them to get help. Although you should always take mentions of self-harm seriously, you are probably not an expert trained in crisis stabilization — and that’s OK. The best thing you can do for your loved one when they are in crisis is offer support and help them contact the appropriate resources to get professional help. Many times, people who live with BPD have already created a crisis safety plan with their therapist, and you can reference that as needed. If they don’t have a safety plan already in place, encourage them to create one when they are no longer in crisis so it’s available for the future. Don’t: Blame everything on their diagnosis. Phrases like, “Quit being so borderline!” and “Your BPD is showing!” feel so common in modern society. However, these phrases can be quite damaging because they tie everything about a person back to their diagnosis. This can make people who live with BPD feel like they aren’t a person, but rather just a disorder. I have had several friends and loved ones connect my behaviors to my diagnosis over the years. While I sometimes understood their point, I don’t think they ever realized the way their words affected me and inhibited my progress. But once I recognized the connection between their words and my self-esteem, I was able to (with the help of my therapist) reframe these negative views and see the difference between my behaviors and my worth as a person. Do: Hold them accountable for their actions. As I mentioned, connecting a diagnosis to everything a person does can be damaging. However, accountability is an important part of the recovery process for BPD because it provides awareness. Oftentimes, a person’s maladaptive behaviors occur automatically, so pointing them out and holding someone accountable to the changes they’ve committed to can help them in early recovery. For example, splitting can be a maladaptive behavior that the brain jumps to automatically as a means of protection and a “fight or flight” response. It’s not a helpful way to cope, though, and should be replaced. If your loved one splits on you, you can point out the behavior, then encourage them to use skills they’ve learned in therapy to work through it. You can even say something like, “I’d love to talk to you about what you’re feeling right now, but I need you to remain calm while we talk. Is that something you can commit to?” Most of all, love them unconditionally. Most people with borderline personality disorder just want someone to care about them the same way they care about everyone they love. By following these suggested dos and don’ts and taking the time to learn more about ways you can make your loved one feel supported, you’ll go a long way towards helping them feel loved just the way they are.

    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    If Only I Could Care Less, Though I Care Too Much

    It has been almost a week and the words are still echoing inside of my head. That I am inconsiderate and don't care enough. Its plays in a constant loop and it comes and goes. I play it off like it doesn't affect me...it did and it still does. Emotionless on the surface but a hurricane inside my brain. I am exhausted from the way my mind works. Constant over-thinking, over-analytical suppression. It bothers me a lot that a single person can speak words that affect my whole mood, my hour, my day, my week. I will be fine eventually, just really needed to vent. #BPD #overthinking #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

    4 people are talking about this
    Megan Glosson

    Being LGBTQIA+ and Living With Borderline Personality Disorder

    A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a research study about people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) within the LGBTQIA+ community. It really made me stop and think because, although I am a bisexual woman who also had a BPD diagnosis for years, I had never really connected the ways in which those two aspects of my identity correlate. However, as I read through the study and thought about my life, I realized these two aspects of my identity coincide in the most painful ways. Living as a bisexual woman comes with its fair share of rejection and ridicule. People have distanced themselves from me upon learning my sexuality, while others have simply denied the validity of bisexuality. I’ve received emails filled with “fire and brimstone” religious ramblings and social media comments about my “lifestyle choices.” I even lost decade-long friends from college after I made the decision to “officially come out” in my late 20s. The same thing happened with my borderline personality diagnosis — people either ran for the hills because of the attached stigma or questioned the validity of my treatment team’s assessment. Complete strangers on the internet said I’d be better off dead and used words like “monster” and “evil” to describe me. Even friends I met who also live with mental health conditions have weaponized my diagnosis or used it as an excuse to belittle me years into my recovery. As you can imagine, this type of treatment regarding multiple aspects of my identity merely fuels my severe fear of abandonment, unstable sense of self, and suicidal ideation. There have been days when I wished I could simply “choose to be straight” or “stop being borderline,” but of course, it’s not possible to simply discard yourself like a pair of old socks. For better or worse, both of these parts of my identity aren’t things I chose to live with, which means I can’t just toss them out. (Believe me, I tried.) However, in true Marsha Linehan fashion, I don’t think that living with BPD and being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community is an entirely bad thing, either. In fact, I think that for all the pain and problems these aspects of myself create, they also bring a lot of light to my life. For example, I think that both of these “labels” have helped me connect with people who have truly enriched my life. Because people with borderline personality disorder face a significant amount of judgment and ridicule, they frequently find ways to band together as a community and care for each other. I’ve seen it happen across social media platforms and right here in the BPD Safe Zone group. The same thing occurs within the LGBTQIA+ community like within the local lesbian bar my partner and I frequent. For all the rejection and abandonment I’ve faced, I’ve also counteracted it within these amazing, safe spaces. I have also found that embracing these aspects of myself has ultimately helped me live a more authentic, fulfilling life. Hiding who I am felt necessary for so long, but it was emotionally draining and the cognitive dissonance caused severe emotional distress. Now that I’ve learned to accept myself entirely, I feel lighter and happier than ever before, and it’s really an amazing experience. You may not fit into both of these communities I mentioned, but I think that many of us experience these dichotomies of “good and bad” or “darkness and light” within many aspects of our identity. And although it can cause pain and distress at times, I also think that embracing who we are can ultimately bring us joy — but you have to be willing to show up for yourself day in and day out. Because, as Brené Brown says, “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging…” even if you are a queer person with BPD, like me.

    Megan Glosson

    Types of Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

    I have spent nearly 1,000 hours in therapy since I first received a borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis nearly five years ago. Although it has by no means been a walk in the park every single week, I have reached a point in my life where I no longer meet the criteria for BPD and feel (mostly) satisfied with my day-to-day routines. Like many people who receive a borderline personality disorder diagnosis after a hospitalization, I was given the contact information for local dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) treatment facilities and therapists trained in this modality who may be able to help. What I didn’t realize at the time was that DBT isn’t the only option out there for people like me. In fact, there are a total of five different types of therapy that all have a proven success record with borderline patients. 1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapeutic modality designed specifically for individuals with borderline personality disorder. Psychologist Marsha Linehan designed DBT in the 1980s. Linehan, who spent years researching clients with extreme emotion dysregulation and suicidal urges, felt like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) caused these clients to experience burnout, lack of motivation, and invalidation. So, she combined some of the aspects of CBT with the ideas of acceptance and mindfulness practice to create a modality that was more fitting for this clientele. Fully-adherent DBT includes weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly skills group education sessions, and phone coaching between sessions. A full course of DBT takes around six months to complete, and clients are encouraged to complete two cycles to master the skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal communication. 2. Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) Mentalization-based therapy is another evidence-based practice created specifically for people with borderline personality disorder. It’s highly beneficial for people who experienced early childhood trauma that caused abandonment issues or people with insecure attachments to one or both of their parents. The modality borrows some techniques from other common types of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, social-ecological and systemic therapies. However, the main focus of this specific modality is to enhance each person’s ability to differentiate between their own emotional state and the emotional state of those around them. This concept is called mentalization, and it is something that many people with BPD struggle with. By learning how to separate your own emotions from others, you can regulate your emotions more effectively and spend less time trapped in a dysregulated state. Like DBT, people who enroll in MBT with a therapist typically attend weekly individual sessions as well as weekly group sessions. Unlike DBT, though, members in groups often interact with each other to offer advice and learn from one another. 3. Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) is a specific type of psychoanalytic treatment in which the focus is on the relationship between the therapist and the individual client. The idea is that by focusing on the interpersonal dynamics that occur between the therapist and the client, the therapist can gain insight that will help the client improve. According to therapists who use TFP, most people develop BPD because of dysfunctional relationships with parents and other caregivers during early childhood. For people who live with borderline personality disorder, TFP is used to uncover the underlying causes of a person’s borderline symptoms so they can build new, healthier thought processes and behaviors. 4. Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) is a manual-based, 20-week group therapy program designed specifically for people with borderline personality disorder. Like dialectical behavior therapy, STEPPS combines cognitive behavioral elements and skills training in a group setting. The skills group programs meet once per week for two hours each session. The groups are typically led by a pair of therapists, and the groups are kept fairly small, with around six to 10 participants at a time. Within STEPPS, individuals learn how to identify automatic thoughts through schema work, monitor their symptoms, and how to problem solve situations in healthy manners. STEPPS also teaches the importance of self-care, and how to better manage overwhelming emotions. Although it has not gained as much recognition as other therapeutic modalities for people with BPD, it is still an evidence-based approach with studies that show its success. 5. Trauma Treatment Studies show that people with borderline personality disorder are 13 times more likely to have experienced early childhood trauma. Because of the strong links to trauma, many clinicians have started using trauma treatment with BPD clients to see if processing the trauma helps lower emotional intensity and other symptoms. In fact, some preliminary studies show trauma work as a viable option for people who have BPD and a trauma history. There are several notable types of trauma treatment that work well for people with borderline personality disorder who also have a history of trauma. Some trauma treatment methods that may work include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), skills training in affective and interpersonal regulation (STAIR), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). While each approach is a little different, they are all methods of processing trauma, which can help decrease symptoms over time. Like most other mental health conditions, treatment options for people with borderline personality disorder shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” approach. However, many people with BPD don’t realize just how many viable treatment options exist for them, and instead they give up when one recommended method doesn’t work. If you are looking for a path to recovery from borderline personality disorder, I hope this list gives you some options to pursue. Recovery from BPD is possible —  it’s just a matter of finding the treatment method and lifestyle that works for you.

    Community Voices

    How do I calm down? #DV #Bipolar #BPD #PTSD #Incest survivor #Depression #panic attacks #Anxiety

    So I am at DV shelter and for the last two days another client in the house has seemingly singled me out to abuse?! I think she's on speed or something too? So she is screaming and yelling at me calling me names etc and the staff at shelter felt that I should go in my room? I am capable 100% of not talking to or being around that person! She just will not leave me alone? After having another attack from her maybe an hour passed by and she started talking to me like we were old friends asking me what time I had to work today? I at first didn't respond after 4 more times I just said I don't wanna talk to you and then she starts right back in on me!? Telling me she wants me kicked out and that I don't follow the rules just not making any sense?!? So my question is how the heck do I not think about it and go about my day?! I left the shelter very early so I could avoid that person entirely but I feel unsafe unprotected and I feel like I am allowing this person to run me off?! Its just that in the past due to my anti social bpd ways I can be violent after all the abuse I have been handed I guess I have used that to get my way?! Just the way my abusers always have? So I don't trust that I will be able to control myself I am so angry I haven't slept or showed or kept my appts today I'm sitting in my car in front of a friend's house bawling!!! How an this be happening and how do I make it stop!!! Do I just run or get a ppo?? The thing is I am moving out in less than a week and have great things a new apt job to look forward to but I am jot handling this drama well at all!! I'm trying not to beat myself up but I am mad that she is getting to me! I feel like I am being mistreated all over again!! I cry more when I am mad than ever! I dislike crying very much! What really bothers me is missing everything work! physical therapy! I just can't do it!! Staff at shelter told me to just let it go dont let it bother you so much?! Which made me more mad!!! If I fuck this up before the shelter helps me move out I will lose all of the household items and furniture the shelter is providing me and all of my transition help from them as well?! That cannot happen!!! Well fuck!! Not sure what I am gonna do now but I do know that I am taking my meds now! Help and please don't say just let it go!?!? Please?

    6 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    What now!?

    #BPD #Upallnight #Bipolar #PTSD #DV OK so I am still at this womens shelter and everything has been going well until yesterday this woman who is also staring here has been trying to talk to me then spewing hate and accusations at me saying she is going to get me kicked out and I am dangerous to kids and nasty and racist?!? Wtf??? I have had zero problems with anyone I share my pop cigs whatever I try to be kind and helpful so now I can barely come out of my room with her here!?! I have spoken with those in charge here and they say to stay away from her so I do but have accidentally run into her in kitchen so after all the drama she again talks to me and asks me what time I have to work tomorrow and I say I have nothing to say to you so then she lost it! I think she's on meth because it's belligerent and strange and makes no sense??? Any ideas???

    6 people are talking about this
    Megan Glosson

    Boundaries You Might Find Helpful With Borderline Personality Disorder

    “Boundaries” has become a big buzzword in recent years, yet boundaries are difficult to conceptualize. Once you start using them, though, you will find that they can be a helpful tool in your recovery. In fact, several therapeutic modalities for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) explore boundary setting and its benefits for emotion regulation and interpersonal relationships . If you want to set boundaries but aren’t sure where to start, consider some of these helpful boundaries you can set with work, loved ones, and yourself. Boundaries With Work Work can be a stressful place for anyone who lives with a mental illness . However, for people with BPD , work can be a source of extreme panic and dysregulation. There are deadlines to meet, people to communicate with, and lots of places to let symptoms creep in. But, if you commit to specific boundaries with work, you can at least somewhat avoid these issues. Some boundaries you may want to set with your work or coworkers include: Only checking work emails at one or two set times each day. Using “block scheduling” to keep yourself on track and help you know what to expect each day. Holding yourself accountable for working your scheduled hours, not more or less. Establishing smaller milestone deadlines or creating a daily to-do list to make work feel more manageable. Saying “no” to additional commitments if you know they will cause you stress or impact your well-being. Not discussing your mental illness with coworkers candidly. Taking a mental health day when you know you won’t be able to focus on work or you notice an uptick in symptoms. Boundaries With Loved Ones Dealing with friends and family members can be very emotional at times. You may even struggle with things like “splitting” or extreme emotional dysregulation as a direct result of things your loved ones do or say. However, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries can really help with this. Some boundaries that may help you regulate your emotions when interacting with your friends and family include: Maintaining a two-sided conversation where you listen as well as talk. Asking people if they have the emotional bandwidth to talk to you before divulging something serious or telling them you are dysregulated. Not answering phone calls or text messages during your work or sleep hours. Pausing before you respond in conversations when you feel yourself growing dysregulated. Taking certain situations to your therapist for coaching before simply reacting emotionally. Creating a list of “off-limit topics” (i.e. politics or therapy) with family or friends who do not agree with your perspective. Saying “no” to requests that feel uncomfortable or may lead to poor decisions on your part. Asking people to not use your diagnosis as a weapon or excuse to treat you poorly. Boundaries With Yourself Unfortunately, some of the hardest boundaries for any of us to maintain are those we try to establish with ourselves. This can be especially true when our emotions quickly envelop our thoughts and push us to break commitments we’ve made to ourselves. This is why personal boundaries are so important. More importantly, though, setting firm boundaries with ourselves can really help our mental health . Oftentimes these boundaries help us regulate our emotions and care for ourselves the way we deserve, which is a critical part of recovery. Some boundaries you may want to set with yourself include: Sticking to a budget. Waiting 24 hours before sending more than one text message to a loved one. Not speaking negatively of yourself. Maintaining routines that help you regulate your emotions (i.e. going to bed at a certain time, eating three meals per day). Practicing coping skills when you feel dysregulated. Avoiding or limiting your exposure to known triggers. Not falling back into “old habits” on hard days. Boundaries don’t have to be extravagant, and they aren’t a proclamation you need to always make out loud. In all actuality, boundaries like the ones mentioned above are simply little lines you draw in the sand to help you stay on track as you create a life worth living.