Most people don't know much about Borderline Personality Disorder or the people who live with it, like me. But, 1.6 percent of the US population is diagnosed with BPD, so there's a chance you may encounter, or even become close to, someone with the disorder. Here are just a few facts and educational tidbits to help you learn more about the BPD community.
1. They care A LOT about their loved ones.
This could be parents, siblings, a significant other or a best friend. People with BPD don't have an abundance of people in their circle. But, the ones they do have, they smother with affection.
2. They can also be quick to snap on said loved ones.
Because they adore their people so freakin' much! BPD's biggest fear is losing someone close and getting emotionally hurt. A borderline has much stronger emotions than a neurotypical, so all that love can feel like too much sometimes.
3. They experience intense emotions for long periods of time.
This can include depression, anxiety, and anger. Trust me, they would rather not be having this downpour of feels, so be patient with someone who is experiencing prolonged emotions.
4. They can be impulsive, which makes them really fun to be around.
While impulse control can be a weakness to those with BPD, it can also be a strength! People with BPD are often unafraid to try new things and dive into different experiences. If you're looking for someone to help you try new foods, churches, tattoos, or hair colors, befriend a borderline!
5. While they are the first to encourage others, their self-confidence is low.
Because people with BPD are so giving, they often forget to give some of that love to themselves. Self-care is a vital part of a borderline's daily routine, but they also need encouraging words from others to feel truly worthy of the love in their life.
6. They may not trust you right away, and that's okay.
The reason why borderlines may not have many friends is because they take their time in building bonds with others. They are very patient in cultivating trust and loyalty. While some may call this "being picky" or "having high expectations", in reality, people with BPD just want meaningful relationships.
7. They are often trauma survivors.
Many people with BPD have also experienced traumatic events in their lifetime, especially as children. This means there can be overlapping symptoms like suicidal tendancies or PTSD. With this in mind, be gentle with borderlines. They may be working through a multitude of things you don't know about, so some TLC is always good.
8. They (usually) don't have bipolar disorder.
When people hear "Borderline Personality Disorder", they often go straight to "Bipolar Disorder" which is not the same thing. Bipolar people suffer from manic episodes, whereas borderlines usually don't. However, there have are cases of people with both disorders! It's just uncommon.
9. They're pretty creative!
Because borderlines experience such intense emotions, they often choose to express them through art! Through their unique experiences, they can create deep, thought-provoking work.
10. They have a lot in common with some celebrities!
There are many successful celebrities, living and not, that were known to have BPD. Some on the list include: Pete Davidson, Angelina Jolie, Marilyn Monroe, Britney Spears, Courtney Love, Amy Winehouse, Lindsey Lohan, and Princess Diana.
Though they struggle and survive, people with BPD are the most loving, invested, creative people ever. I encourage you to sit down with a borderline (if they are comfortable with talking) and have a conversation about the ins and outs of their life. What you find may surprise you, and even bring you some joy.