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.