The journey from mental illness to mental wellness is an interesting journey. When I first started, I chose to shift my perspective and begin to see the positive in everything. This has helped me in many situations that I have encountered on this road. Especially when things get tough. Finding gratitude in the little things makes them big and the bad look small.
So today I want to do just that. Make the little big. I will share some interesting facts about borderline personality disorder and how those same traits… or borders that this disorder creates can become the same weapon that helps us cross over those borders and outshine others. We can not allow the stigma to dim your light. Learn to outshine!!
Here are some interesting facts:
Scans revealed that in many people with BPD, 3 parts of the brain were either smaller than expected or had unusual levels of activity. These parts were:
- the amygdala – which plays an important role in regulating emotions, especially the more “negative” emotions, such as fear, aggression and anxiety
- the hippocampus – which helps regulate behaviour and self-control
- the orbitofrontal cortex – which is involved in planning and decision making
Problems with these parts of the brain may well contribute to symptoms of BPD.
The development of these parts of the brain is affected by your early upbringing. These parts of your brain are also responsible for mood regulation, which may account for some of the problems people with BPD have in close relationships.
- More people have Borderline Personality Disorder than Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined.
- Recent research shows that although 75% of those diagnosed with BPD are women, men are almost as frequently affected.
- Studies suggest that approximately 60% of the risk of developing BPD is genetic and due to differences in the structure of the brain.
- Many people who have BPD are exceptionally intuitive and able to accurately “read” other people, especially when it comes to emotions.
- Borderlines tend to be very creative and artistically talented in areas such as acting, singing, writing, dancing, drawing, painting, filmmaking, photography, architecture, sculpting, ceramics, etc.
- People with BPD very often experience all emotions to an extreme level and have frequent, unpredictable mood swings. They feel everything intensely, which can be good or bad. It has been compared a person with third degree burns on 90% of the body.
- Borderlines tend to put people in their lives into two categories, “good” or “bad.” Which category you are in is subject to change suddenly as well.
- Borderlines can love and hate to a degree the average person can’t understand.
This means the person develops an intense interest in new things to the point of becoming fixated and even obsessed with them for a period of time which can vary from a couple of days to many months.
Of course, having BPD can be a daily struggle but when managed correctly there is the flip side of a borderline. The side that makes us outshine. Here are just some of the positive traits that borderlines exhibit:
- Resilience – Many people with BPD have battled struggles with drug and alcohol addictions, self-harm, suicidal behaviour, and eating disorders. Many are survivors of trauma and therefore the ability to manage the emotional dysregulations on a daily basis is nothing short of being warriors.
- Empathy and compassion – People with BPD experience greater internal and external turmoil. However, this in turn allows for the ability to recognise and have greater insight for others in similar situations. Sharing stories of lived experience about emotional pain encourages others to open up and gives a sense of belonging and freedom from stigma. For instance, a study has shown that people with BPD are able to read facial expressions and emotions better than those without BPD.
- Curiosity – Being extra sensitive and connection emotions, senses and surroundings allows for greater curiosity in the minds of those with BPD.
- Bold – Impulsivity is a BPD trait that can be positively linked to being bold, courageous and having the ability to speak one’s mind.
- Creative – The high intensity of emotions can be released into creative endeavours. Many people with BPD put their entire emotional expression into music, art, performance and writing.
- Intuition – High sensitivity to surroundings learned from childhood means people with BPD are more aware of other people’s emotional states. Sometimes the intuition may be overwhelming but when managed, people with BPD can help others in distress rather than exacerbate the pain.
- Passionate and emotional – When a person with BPD loves, the love is deep, highly committed and loyal to the relationship. Even though there may be struggles with attachment and fears of abandonment, these are ultimately manifestations of love. When the emotions are managed, liveliness and wittiness become the dominant qualities.
- Protective – The care and intensity a person with BPD feels towards another person or situation may be translated into high aggression as a method of protecting others and the self.
- Hope – The negative symptoms of BPD are indeed manageable with a combination of psychotherapy, a support network and long-term commitment. This is worth fighting for each day!
The intensity and irrationality from BPD symptoms is equally matched by happiness, creativity and empathy for others. People with BPD are healers, lovers and most of all are fighters of their internal pain. No individual with BPD is the same and it is time to see more than just the diagnosis.
For more info on BPD, click on the links. Knowledge is power. https://www.borderlineintheact.org.au/living-with-bpd/strengths-and-qualities-of-bpd/https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-most-interesting-facts-about-borderline-personality-disorder-BPDhttps://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/causes/