borderline personality

Borderline Personality Disorder

Picture yourself on shifting sands — the ground beneath your feet constantly changing, throwing you off balance, leaving you scared and defensive. That’s what it’s like to have borderline personality disorder (BPD). For people with BPD, almost everything is unstable: their relationships, their moods, their thinking, their behavior, and even their identity. It’s a frightening and painful way to live. But there is hope. There are effective BPD treatments and coping skills that can help you feel better and back in control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

If you have (BPD), you probably feel like you’re on a rollercoaster—and not just with your emotions or relationships, but your sense of who you are. Your self-image, goals, and even your likes and dislikes may change frequently in ways that are confusing and unclear.

People with BPD are extremely emotionally sensitive. Some describe it as feeling like an exposed nerve ending. Small things can trigger intense reactions. And once upset, you have a hard time calming down. It’s easy to understand how this emotional volatility and inability to self-soothe leads to relationship turmoil and impulsive — even reckless — behaviour. When you’re in the throes of overwhelming emotion, you’re unable to think straight and stay grounded. You may say hurtful things or act out in dangerous and inappropriate ways that make you feel guilty and, later on, ashamed.

It’s a painful cycle that can feel impossible to escape. But with the right help, it's not.

BPD is treatable

In the past, many mental health professionals had trouble treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), so they came to the mistaken conclusion that there was little to be done. But we now know that BPD is treatable. In fact, the long-term prognosis for BPD is better than those for depression and bipolar disorder. However, it requires a specialised approach. Bottom line: most people with BPD can and do get better — and they can do so fairly rapidly with the right treatments and support.

Healing is a matter of breaking the dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are causing you difficulty and distress. It’s not easy to change lifelong habits. Choosing to pause, reflect, and then act in new ways will feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first. But with time you’ll form new habits that help you maintain your emotional balance and stay in control.