We all feel a little numb and disheveled from time to time. We all get lost in the grand scheme of the world and become unsure of who we are.
But, for people with borderline personality disorder, these instabilities become a daily part of their life. It creates a home in every sphere of their lives – from work, relationships, thoughts, actions, behavior – and pretty much everything else.
Even though we are all trying to understand and comprehend the impact of mental illnesses on people’s lives, there exists a sense of social disapproval, discrimination, and stigma around people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Personality disorders are often misrepresented in the mainstream, which in turn, creates an unhealthy space for individuals dealing with the condition.
May is marked as Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month every year. It is a month-long global initiative to spread important information about BPD. First started by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD), Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month aims to debunk the false perceptions regarding the condition in the mainstream notion.
This Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, let us dive deeper into what having BPD means. We will also debunk the most widespread myths about the condition. Let’s get started.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Health experts define borderline personality disorder as a form of social disorder. It emerges due to biological issues but is strengthened by a person’s social environment. People with BPD are highly sensitive and emotional. They feel things more intensely and immediately as compared to other people.
Borderline personality disorder develops and manifests when an emotionally and mentally vulnerable person is put in social environments that make them feel unheard and unseen. And once these powerful outbursts are triggered, it takes a lot of time for them to get back to their regular selves.
Symptoms of BPD
The symptoms of BPD include the following:
- fear of being abandoned,
- unhealthy relationships,
- a highly unstable sense of self,
- rapid and intense mood fluctuations,
- impulsive and hazardous thoughts and behaviors,
- constant self-harming tendencies,
- feelings of emptiness,
- anger management issues, and
- paranoid thoughts.
Debunking The Common Myths About BPD
Now that you have a basic understanding of what BPD is let us take the agenda of Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month further. Here are the most widespread myths about borderline personality disorder debunked.
#Myth 1: Borderline personality disorder is the same as bipolar disorder.
Fact: Many people confuse BPD and bipolar disorder because both conditions have emotion-related symptoms. However, it is important to understand that both these conditions are distinct. Bipolarity is a mood disorder, whereas BPD is a personality disorder. Bipolarity is characterized by extreme mood swings from depressive to manic states. BPD, on the other hand, is marked by severe emotional dysregulation.
# Myth 2: People with BPD are manipulative and cunning in nature.
Fact: As mentioned above, people with BPD struggle to manage their emotions and impulses. This way, they can come across as manipulative and self-sabotaging in their relationships. The person on the receiving end of their mood swings and symptoms can feel that the concerned individual is manipulating them.
However, it is important to note that this manipulation is not intentional. Instead, their inability to manage emotions stems from the environment they were exposed to in their early years, which made them feel invalidated. This way, their behavior is a representation of their personal struggles and not a toxic or manipulative mind.
#Myth 3: People with BPD are highly violent and dangerous.
Fact: The false representation in mainstream media has led certain people to believe that individuals struggling with BPD are inherently violent and dangerous. They are impossible to work with and should not be allowed in social interactions.
However, the critical point here is that there is no proof that people with BPD are more violent in nature or dangerous. Yes, with their struggle to manage emotions, they might get worked up more frequently than others. But these are usually one-off incidents and, therefore, cannot be used as a precedent to judge others. Initiatives like Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month aim to dispel misconceptions like these.
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Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month is marked every year in May to spread awareness around BPD and provide adequate support and a safe space to people dealing with the condition. It is the perfect opportunity to shed stigma around the condition and improve our understanding of the same.
Apart from bipolar personality disorder, there are other forms of personality disorders that affect people. To know more about them, click here.
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