Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP) is a mental health issue that affects 1.6% of the world’s population every year.
It’s characterised by intense emotions that are sometimes hard to regulate, and unstable interpersonal relationships.
I was diagnosed with BPD at 22 after I had moved to London, but I’d suffered from the symptoms from around the age of 12.
I felt so strongly for everything that it was quite difficult to cope at times.
I come from a long line of highly strung, overachievers; I don’t know a member of my family that isn’t a perfectionist in some or all areas of their life.
Despite this, I lived in a loving, supportive home growing up, but the perfectionist gene was strong.
If I didn’t get everything I did exactly right when I was a child then I would feel a deep sense of self-loathing and was prone to outbursts of anger.
That self-loathing would often segue into depression and despair, a common trope being ‘I’m not good enough’.
The behaviour of the people around me would cause such strong emotional shifts in me that I would suffer from intense anxiety.
At the age of 14 I was hospitalised for such a severe panic attack they were concerned about the stress on my heart and I was given intravenous sedatives to calm the anxiety response.
Relationships could also be terrifying.
My tricky brain would convince me my partner wanted to leave me – the old ‘you’re not good enough’ feeling back again – and I’d act out in ways to try ‘keep’ them that actually pushed them away.
Finally, feeling actual abandoned I lapsed into substance abuse to dull the emotional chaos going on inside my head.
Not all people with BPD will end up that low, while others will end up lower.
The disorder is different in every person, but one thing we’ll all tell you in that our emotions can sometimes rule our lives.
The quick fixes we turn to can often be self-destructive so over the years we need to learn a healthy programme of self-care
Here are some of the things I do to manage my BPD.