I told you I was diagnosed with BPD, but I never told you anything about BPD. BPD or borderline personality disorder is like people with third-degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, we feel agony at the slightest touch or movement. I literally need hours..alone..everyday..in silence, and while I am asleep does not count. You know how a newborn baby gets overstimulated very easily? So do I!
But, let’s talk about what the medical criteria are that makeup BPD. There are a total of nine criteria, which are:
- An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection.
- A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel.
- Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all.
- Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours.
- Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship.
- Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection.
- Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety.
- Ongoing feelings of emptiness.
- Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights.
Now to be diagnosed with BPD you do not have to have all nine of these criteria. You actually only have to meet five of the nine criteria. Generally, people with BPD are not able to maintain long term relationships or keep a job or an extended period of time. Most people with BPD have a criminal background, and BPD has the highest suicide rate of any mental illness.
So let’s talk about me and how I fit into all of this. I have never been arrested, I have been married for almost nine years and I held the same job for ten years. You will be surprised by how many of the criteria I fit.
I basically fit all of the criteria. I struggle big time with abandonment. I literally cried the other night because my husband was going to bed. Self-identity is a big struggle for me as well. I am expressed to my therapist I need to figure out who I am before my children become adults because so much of my identity is in my children right now. I have terrible mood swings and a horrible temper. One thing I struggle with a lot is what they call black and white thinking so things are either all good or all bad there is no in the middle. I either love you or I hate you. I have struggled a lot with the feeling of emptiness. I am not the best when it comes to money. My bills are paid, but saving money is not something I can do. If I see something in a store I want I will buy it. Self-control is not my strong suit. The one criteria I don’t struggle with a lot is self-harm. I have attempted suicide twice in my life. However, I have never cut myself.
But now I am ready to start working through each of these struggles with Jesus. Over the upcoming days, weeks, months and years I am going to dig into God’s Word and I am hoping to share with you how through God I am healed from my BPD. My desire is to write books and bible studies to help others with mental illnesses and I am going to start right here. I hope you will stay with me through this journey.