Embrace the Benefits of Borderline Personality Disorder

Tuesday, April 19 2016 Emily Eveland

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has its benefits. Here are five ways in which we can enjoy the benefits of borderline personality disorder.

Believe it or not, you can embrace the benefits of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Borderline sufferers know the drawbacks of the diagnosis. On top of experiencing the difficult symptoms firsthand, we're also bombarded with BPD stigma, insults, premature judgment and ostracization. Most of what’s written about BPD is negative in nature -- borderline sufferers are portrayed as dangerous, irrational, impulsive, and hopeless. This is not one of those articles. This article is about embracing the benefits of borderline personality disorder.

Benefits of Borderline Personality Disorder

We are resilient.

If you know someone with BPD, you can bet they’ve been through the wringer, battling things like drug and alcohol addictions, self-injury, suicidality, and eating disorders. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the majority of us are also trauma survivors. If non-borderline people were given a day to walk in our shoes and feel the emotions, thoughts, and urges we experience on a daily basis, we’d soon be regarded as warriors.

Living with BPD is a full-time job. If you consider how much borderlines accomplish on top of managing their symptoms, you would see that our survival is nothing short of miraculous.

We are empathetic.

The internal and external turmoil borderlines face leaves us poised to empathize with those in similar situations. Behind the scenes, we flock to each other, offering one another a sense of belonging and freedom from stigma. Once we learn effective coping skills, we can pass them on and advise those who remain stuck in the muck of the disorder.

We are creative.

High emotional intensity needs a release. Some turn to substances and self-harm to soothe themselves. Once borderlines learn to manage their emotions, however, they’re better able to channel their intensity into creative endeavors. My borderline friends are musicians, painters, dancers, performance artists, writers, and actors who put the entirety of themselves into their work.

We are intuitive.

Borderlines notoriously pick up on other people’s emotional states quickly and, often, inadvertently (The Anxious Empath: Anxiety And Other People’s Feelings). This tendency is generally learned in childhood when sensitivity is coupled with an unpredictable environment. Our intuitive natures may overwhelm us, but should be regarded as a gift. We’re more aware of people in distress and can treat them accordingly instead of accidently bulldozing over their pain.

We are passionate and loyal.

Getting on an unskilled borderline’s bad side can cause a world of problems, but when someone with BPD loves you, they love you deeply. Yes, many of us struggle with attachment and fears of abandonment, but these are ultimately unskilled manifestations of our love. On our good days, we are lively, sexual, funny, and intelligent. The more skilled we become, the more these qualities tend to dominate our personalities.

A Final Note on the Benefits of Borderline Personality Disorder

Please trust that people with borderline personality disorder are well-intentioned. The sadness and anger we sometimes exhibit are equally matched by our exuberance, happiness, creativity, and compassion for others. We are healers, we are lovers, and, above all, we are survivors. Strip off the stigma and give us a chance. Remember: there’s no such thing as a one-dimensional being. We are always more than a diagnosis.

Find Emily on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and at her blog.

Author: Emily Eveland

View all posts by Emily Eveland.

Embrace the Benefits of Borderline Personality Disorder

Heather
says:
April, 19 2016 at 5:18 am

Thank you. I really needed to hear this, right now in this moment.

Ann
says:
April, 20 2016 at 9:04 am

Excellent! I was diagnosed with this 34 years ago. I experienced much stigma , which was even more traumatizing. So glad to see something POSITIVE written about it, and yyes, we are much more than a damn diagnosis. I only wish many of our mental health professionals understood that!

Fiona
says:
April, 21 2016 at 8:24 am

This is wonderful. Thank you so much for writing this, I really needed to read it just now. I'm in the UK but I just stumbled across this blog today and it's fantastic!

melissa henley
says:
April, 21 2016 at 9:13 am

This is me to a tee. It is so nice to know that someone understands the right way .

etherial
says:
April, 21 2016 at 2:12 pm

Thank you, something positive for us BPD battlers for a change. Good stuff! A real boost.

Mary K. Deane
says:
April, 27 2016 at 7:08 am

*THANK YOU* for sharing this! As a sufferer of BPD, along a/a myriad of other mental & physical health issues, it's good to be reminded that we're *NOT* alone in this! One part which stuck out was that when we L

Mary K. Deane
says:
April, 27 2016 at 7:14 am

We love deeply. When wronged, we hold onto it. My Psychologist recommended a great book, "The Angry Heart". 'Overcoming Borderline & Addictive Disorders',
by Joseph Santoro, PH.D, & excercises by Ronald Cohen, PH.D. gentle {{HUGS}} to all!

Alexie
says:
June, 26 2016 at 5:40 pm

Hi there, it's always comforting to also acknowledge how BPD (or other diagnoses) can contribute to making us special! Your bullet points are so on point with how I see the positives, and as other people have said, we truly have deeply loving souls with so much compassion to share. I appreciate how you highlighted our empathetic nature, so true - picking up on emotions all around, it can be so difficult to filter or channel it sometimes, but it's a remarkable trait.

Thank you for reminding us that there is good in us, a lot of it, and with some fine tuning, we have a lot of potential out there in the world :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Brad
says:
June, 26 2017 at 10:35 pm

completely agree ??

Bill
says:
April, 3 2017 at 9:24 am

Loyal? You've got to be kidding me. BPD's are the most disloyal people on the face of the earth. BPD's commit infidelity at higher rates than the general public. They lie to get out of what they perceive to be trouble. They don't apologize when they've hurt you, and instead turn it around and make it all about their hurt.

I'm sorry, but there are no positives to having BPD

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Brad
says:
June, 26 2017 at 10:32 pm

Bill, you are so incredibly wrong. I have always owned up to my mistakes in what I "perceived to be trouble". No matter what the circumstance. Everyone is different, that's like saying every Asian person is a terrible driver, simply a stereotype. Although, I realize stereotypes are in place because they are partially true, there are many great Asian drivers as well, along with good-loyal people who suffer from BPD. There are positives to BPD. I am extremely artistic -whether it's writing, singing, drawing.... I'm more mechanically inclined than many of my friends as well, completely self taught where as they grew up around it. I'm simply making the point that not all of us are as you say, and yes, there are benefits to BPD. Everyone deserves a fresh slate no matter what their condition/race/gender. positivity is key with changing the stigma around BPD, it's not all negative.

Dredimadre
says:
April, 17 2017 at 4:18 am

Is all of these supposedly positive traits indicative of grandiosity and denial?

stacey
says:
April, 23 2017 at 7:43 pm

i love this so much that i wanna share it out in the open with anyone and everyone. but i won't, because my boundary-blindness scares the bi-jesus outta me. : ) thank you, i hope you're doing well today < 3

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Valerie
says:
June, 11 2017 at 5:45 pm

This article is remarkable, I just recently been diagnosed with BPD and am having a extremely hard time taking it all in .how ever this is helping to soothe some pain :) thank you so much !If any one has any other helpful tips or anything please let me know asap !!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

marc maclellan
says:
June, 23 2017 at 9:52 am

do you still use xxx or have you to cope .but not too much i wnet too the docs ..i sufferd 14 years .i just hang it out as im strong...when it first hit me i wanted too kill myself...i cant writ as much as i wish as it goes on dailyxxxxxx.stay strong we have strong ming=ds

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Miss Kriss
says:
July, 10 2017 at 9:33 pm

You are a sweet person to always put others first. You are worthy and beautiful and kind. Please love yourself. I hope you can see the beauty within yourself that I can. Don't ever regret the things you do. You are powerful and others know it.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Miss Kriss
says:
July, 10 2017 at 9:31 pm

Don't be hard on yourself. You are a beautiful person. Don't let psychiatry tell you what you are. You are a lovely person who can literally feel the pain of others. This is not a common or easy feat. You are special. Embrace your difference, love yourself. I love you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Miss Kriss
says:
July, 10 2017 at 9:29 pm

Be proud of who you are. Be proud that you feel strong emotions. You are a beautiful person, my love. Love yourself.

B
says:
June, 26 2017 at 10:07 pm

I was recently diagnosed with BPD as well. Thank you for this. Been a hard transition, and not an easy thing to tell people, but this gives a more positive view on it. Finding the positives in things is key!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Miss Kriss
says:
July, 10 2017 at 9:28 pm

That is no one's business but your own. Stand tall and be proud of who you are. Live (safely) with no regrets and know that people love you for who you are-disorder or no disorder. It is not your fault.

Traci
says:
July, 11 2017 at 2:50 am

Thank you so much! It gives me hope Im often criticized and im working so hard to change. Im exhausted and hurt by mean ppl. I really live this and feel like this is more how I feel then the opinions of what ppl post that have no clue what i experience and so intensely passionate about the feelings of others i have. Ty

Zoe
says:
July, 11 2017 at 6:58 pm

This is just what I wanted to read and start seeing more of. I hate all the negative things people say about people with bpd o was told I had it when I was 19 im now 28. I've bin threw hell but now im started to see a light. Not get so up and down . Come off my meds and feel a meaning to life. This is the one mental disorder you can grow out of and not have the trates to fit it anymore. Anyome reading this I just want you to know it gets better and you get stronger. It's just learning how to cope better when bad things happen. This made me smile . Ignore all the negative things focus on positive. Evan when times go dark remember the sun always will shine again xx

john
says:
September, 9 2017 at 8:42 pm

My wife has the highest qualities of a BPD, but due to my depression and PTSD from military, my rejection, insufficient affection & itmacy and rage because of frustration, she left me a year ago and has had multiple online relationships, for which she would disappear for weeks at time and life a double life of adultry. How can I lovingly tell her about her BPD HAS created this false sense of worthiness, abandonment and need to get affection from any other man without regard we are married and she needs help?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Anastasia
says:
March, 12 2018 at 4:46 pm

I would suggest marriage counseling as well as one on one counseling. It seems like both of you could use help.

Kurtshelle
says:
October, 14 2017 at 10:20 pm

At the age of 19 I was diagnose with BPD. Before than I was diagnosed with Major Depression at the age of 15 my emotions were so overwhelming I tried anything I could think of to take away whatever it was I was feeling. Now that I look back I believe it really started in my youth-childhood years. I can remember at the age 8 how depressing life became when my parents divorced. Seemed as if everything went down the drain. My step dad molded my mother and siblings life with the false promise of what is a family. Good times turned hard and heavy. Sometimes sleeping without lights and water. Yet going to school with a stench and getting picked on and having to handle what people assumed of you. Transitioning from private to public school wasn't easy. Taking on more responsibilities with a single mother working double shifts were the worse and painful watching her cry when things are due and not really Understand how who was once beautiful inside can turn so mean but I didn't understand the pain from the point she was standing in. having to remain the backbone of them all created something different inside. You never really realize that you fall into a disorder until someone else has done notice what is not "normal", which I thought was . My mother believe in letting us go places or leaving without her being around or without notice, half the things my old friends experience I was forbid never went to a teen club or things in such manner that my peers would do. Church was what I knew until that stopped. I drifted away from reality into isolation little by little never really realizing. I started cutting myself to replace emotional pain with physical pain crazy as it sounds but if felt good then you would have something to distract you from what you really feeling. I remember how much I use to relapse and the feeling of hopelessness most had me the edge, I could remember my big cuz telling me that if I keep doing that I'll hit "that main artery and bleed out, it'll be over after that and no coming back," the cuts and my arms were filled with them and this particular night I wanted too I cried and prayed telling god I'll do what he want me to do if I COULD JUST MAKE IT THROUGH I didn't want to go to hell for taking my own life and the thought of never coming back for good. You want a break but you can't have it doing it that way . Normally many people wouldn't know much of what you keep behind closed doors because you supposed to keep it together and have things going accordingly in the sight of the people who doesn't live with you but even the ones who sleep next door to you wouldn't know much about what's going on with inside of you . Negative thing about bpd you find yourself very sexually active just to replace much of ptsd and Mdd . But it's true once you awaken from illiteracy you learn how to cope with life and the pain it may bring at times. It's really how can you survive through great matters in life. Everyone is different, unique and beautiful in their own way. Everyone body function and fluids are operated in its own nature. I do believe God Makes and gives battles in life to the ones who can handle what life throws at you . You can bend but it's up to you if you let it break you. Rejection (getting played) on isn't something I care for. I grew up to give even if it's my last because once you been somewhere you can relate and understand the sorrow of the other person. But my problem that I learned is giving too much of and not enough in return but then again when it's truly coming from the felt of your heart that's the best feeling when you can contribute without looking for anything from in return but knowing you gave to give a good reason. Wash away naysayers although they have purpose to teach you how to ignore & still kill with kindness (not intentionally thought, your still coming from a negative aspect if you really think of it) and focus on what keeps you going and alive . Life is meant to be felt, experience , expressed, and LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY!

Ashley
says:
December, 23 2017 at 12:33 pm

I have borderline personality disorder and schizo affective disorder and recovering from post partum psychosis. Life is a struggle but I try my best to stay happy, think positive, smile, make people happy, help good kind loving people who think they bad when they might just be struggling with there own issues. I am gonna be a survivor and I need everyone with borderline personality disorder to try to be survivors because we deserve to survive and be happy. Fuck the demons and shit witches bitches do making us suffer. How dare anyone make us people with borderline personality disorder suffer and feel like we don't deserve to live our life's because we do deserve to have a life. I'm really wanting to learn more about borderline personality disorder so I can help myself to get better. Also BPD people should try get into dbt (dialectical behaviour therapy) it really helped me I did stop self harming for years. I have now stopped again. Its hard and I love the song silence by marshmello featuring khalid I relate to that song by feeling like I keep the way I feel from everyone. Please get help you deserve help. And look for Marsha linehan she is a miracle survivor and she is a really kind helpful intelligent lady who is beautiful and she helped with dbt. Worth researching she even has abit of her own story. Take care everyone. Try your best when yous can because we can't do better than our best and that's perfect enough for me. You are all beautiful and deserve to live your life everyone with borderline personality disorder. Ashley

Anastasia
says:
March, 12 2018 at 4:48 pm

“Some of the main symptoms of BPD may generate some positive responses or features.
Specifically, with research, analysis, and observations, some hallmark features may be:

-Passionate: As the level of psychological reactions highly differ in those with BPD compared to those without, individuals with the condition experience a higher extremity scale and baseline. For instance, this includes: Depression instead of sadness, humiliation instead of embarrassment, panic instead of nervousness, rage instead of anger, and euphoria instead of happiness, to name a few. Individuals with BPD have been observed to be especially very passionate and reactive as they often react and express this passion and euphoria.

-Lively: Intense reactions may also result in high euphoria and engaging/active behavior and energy.

-Insightful: Studies on BPD indicated that because of their own hypersensitivity and pain, some people with BPD may easily connect to what is around them. For instance, they were able to easily read facial expressions, behavior, and emotions of those around them in an expression test. People with BPD may take experiences like these and emotions and turn it into insight and understanding, for one example.

-Curious: Observations and studies show unusually high curiosity is common in some people with BPD from the hypersensitivity and connectivity with their emotions, senses, and surroundings.

-High awareness: As a result of being hypersensitive and easily connected to surroundings and outside stimuli, some people with BPD have been observed have high awareness.
Such strong emotions and connections may call for or reinforce high awareness.
For other examples, Marsha Linehan also states they may have higher levels of spiritual experiences more often. Furthermore, people with BPD have been observed to have a high level of comfort, security, and connection to nature and animals, such as pets, as stated by the DSM.

-Compassionate/empathetic: As a result of their own hypersensitivity and pain, many with BPD may portray a high level of empathy and understanding to others.

-Dependent: Dependency is a hallmark symptom of BPD. One main reason for this is the extremity of the hypersensitive emotions, which often generate a huge fear of being alone and abandonment and rejection. Identity symptoms, such as a lack of sense of self, may also result in dependency. Yet, dependency can be a good thing with the proper balance, like for support, closeness, affection, and interconnectivity.

-Protective: This reaction may be common as a result of the intensity and care someone with BPD feels towards a situation or person. It also relates to the high aggression noted in BPD symptoms. Aggression isn’t always a bad thing- aggression can mean protective of someone or the self.

-Loving/appreciative: Idealization is a main symptom of BPD. Some people with BPD may idealize and glorify another individual in their life because of such strong emotions, reactions, and needs, and they may also be very appreciative because of hypersensitivity and painful experiences.

-Loyal: Idealization, dependency, hypersensitivity, etc- such reactions and features may prompt strong loyalty and devotion.

-Creative: The intensity and hypersensitive highs and lows may generate creativity and expression. An unusually high amount of writers have BPD. High levels of creativity were linked to some individuals with BPD in research cases- new ideas, artistic or musical ability, writing, or other areas of creativity. Fantasizing is a common feature in BPD as well as daydreaming.

-High nociception (pain tolerance): Studies indicate alterations between pain processing in over half of those with BPD, as opposed to individuals without. It has shown an alteration in acute pain processing- they have a higher tolerance for such. Individuals with BPD were far more likely to tolerate it, despite being hypersensitive psychologically. The result of this comes from different systematic responses and antinociception and may be a result of long-term self harm behavior in some cases.

-Discipline: Obsessive compulsive features are on a spectrum amongst many disorders, and some are quite common in BPD. This includes intrusive thoughts in the thought pattern/processes, repetitive behavior as a result of anxiety and distress, and perfectionism, to name a few.
Research observes that with the proper balance and use, people with BPD may also display high levels of self-discipline, work orientation, and drive connected to these features of perfectionism, repetition, etc.

-Sarcastic/funny: The DSM and other observations state some people with BPD may often express sarcasm and humor.

-Bold: One of the main symptoms of BPD is impulsiveness; however, research states this may be tied to a positive trait in some individuals with BPD- boldness, bravery, and ability to speak their mind.

-Spontaneous: Living free, acting on the moment, open minded, adventurousness, which is all related to the connections, reactions, and impulsiveness.

-Alluring/Interesting: Such extreme reactions and expressions are shown or felt to others. Because of the intensity, many people note the interesting and/or alluring behavior or energy of someone with BPD in observation.
There are books and other psych writings noting individuals with BPD as “sirens”- Interesting and intense, yet, impulsive, aggressive, and hypersensitive.
Other studies have stated foundings of “physical attractiveness” patterns-however, not entirely realistic, hormonal differences found amongst BPD individuals may relate.

-Individualistic: BPD is a complex disorder that has hundreds of symptoms and features. There is a lot of depth, changeability, intensity, and reactions.
Furthermore, some features may allow one to cultivate such individuality.

-Strong: On a psychological level, people with BPD are often described as feeling the some of the most intense, agonizing reactions, and one needs to be quite strong to handle them.

-Intense: Overall, people with BPD are intense and hypersensitive individuals. The listed^ features may be noted with intensity. BPD is also called, “Emotional Intensity Disorder.”

Marsha Linehan states, “Although it is likely that emotion dysregulation is most pronounced in negative emotions, borderline individuals also seem to have difficulty regulating positive emotions and their sequelae.”

~ From Mind Of A Borderline - Tumblr ~

(Marsha Linehan is a leading expert on BPD)

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