What to Do After a Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis
Receiving a borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis can be both relieving and overwhelming. There was a name for this thing bubbling inside of me? Suddenly, my world made sense when I learned about BPD. Once my initial relief subsided, I was left with the same set of BPD symptoms and fears I’d always had. I thought I would share a few words of wisdom I wish had been passed to me when I first learned about my borderline personality disorder diagnosis.
Words of Wisdom for Your Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis
For starters, take a deep breath, pause, and remind yourself: "I am enough.”
You might be confused. You may be scared about your borderline personality disorder diagnosis. And I know you may be tired. I know it doesn’t feel this way right now, but you’re going to be okay. You have a long road ahead of you, but you are enough and you’re not broken (The Issue with Feeling Unlovable When You're Mentally Ill).
Press your feet firmly into the ground and take a deep breath in. I like to imagine I'm inhaling in peace and exhaling out fear. Remind yourself that you are complete and whole just as you are. Having “personality disorder” at the end of a diagnosis doesn’t mean you are bad or need fixing. “Borderline” is just a word some psychologists made up to try and describe a common set of experiences. It’s pretty outdated and it doesn’t have to mean anything other than being helpful to find the right kind of treatments (Are Mental Illness Diagnostic Labels a Good Idea?).
Know When to Stop Googling ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ After Your Diagnosis
In those early days, I went on a lot of deep dives on Google searching for answers to deal with my borderline personality disorder diagnosis. Some of my favorite things to Google were: “how long until I feel better,” “can this go away,” “borderline rage,” and “what kind of therapy do I need?”
I started writing this blog to be a voice that could stand out amongst the negativity flying around the digital abyss. There are some excellent borderline personality disorder resources out there, but there are also many disgruntled lovers of borderline sufferers that have used digital spaces to bash BPD. When you come across these things, try and remind yourself that none of us are “bad.” What the disgruntled ex-lover on an Internet forum has in common with you and me is this: we’re all looking for answers, tools, and better information for a deeply misunderstood illness (Borderline Personality Disorder Relationships). There’s just not enough helpful information out there and we’re all doing the best we can with what we have.
Also, while it may be tempting to read something someone wrote while suicidal, it can also be extremely triggering. I watched some very dark YouTube videos in my early days. While I found solace in them, I now prefer to read and watch messages of hope and recovery. Protect yourself and know when to walk away from your device.
Reach out to those who write positively about the borderline personality disorder diagnosis and BPD experiences for resources. There are hopeful books about borderline personality disorder out there. I enjoyed The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating. If you find a piece you like, check the references listed at the end for more BPD resources and try to find resources written by those suffering from BPD. If you're reading this, please keep reading mine and other authors' writing here on More Than Borderline.
Commit to Your Recovery After Your Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis
“You already have the precious mixture that will make you well. Use it.” -Rumi
Borderline personality disorder is an exaggerated response to feelings that all people feel. Anger, abandonment, sadness, and excitement — these are normal human emotions. Those of us with BPD just have more intense responses to them, feel them quite deeply, and we have to learn new ways of channeling them constructively and coping if we are to heal. We have generally been through a lot, but we are also extremely resilient.
While there is no magic pill or wand that can make your BPD go away in the blink of an eye, recovery from borderline personality disorder is possible and there is support out there if you are willing to seek it. Start with one actionable step today, like researching a therapist if you don’t already have one or asking your doctor about group therapists she may know. BPD is fundamentally an impairment in how we relate to other people, so it makes sense that we will also heal within the context of relationships and groups of people. Take that same passion and intensity that I know is deep inside the borderline sufferer and commit to channeling it to your own recovery and wellbeing.
Lyons, D. (2018, February 11). What to Do After a Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, October 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/borderline/2018/02/what-to-do-when-youre-diagnosed-with-borderline-personality-disorder
Author: Daniel Lyons
Your statement that "Borderline personality disorder is an exaggerated response to feelings that all people feel" makes me angry. We do not "respond" to the feelings to make them stronger, we have stronger feelings in the first place. Hence the "Emotion Dysregulation" and "Extreme Emotions" that are tied to Borderline Personality disorder. We are not "responding to the emotions in a more extreme manner, we are having more extreme emotions. Yes, they are emotions that other people feel, but no, other people do not feel the intense emotions that we do. and have to deal with them. Yes, you go into a little more detail in the paragraph but your opening statement for that paragraph is offensive. Not all of us "respond" to those extreme emotions in a more exaggerated way than any normal human being would. It's the difference between lightly touching a hot oven and getting a 3rd degree burn over most of your body. We aren't exaggerating the burn.
I'm Danish and I wanted to write you a long message. but it's gonna be a hell in english and a lot of google translating. So instead I just wanna thank you for your blog. And tell you that your blog really is helping me! You're super strong and a big inspiration.
so easily confused with Bi Polar, depression , narcissism etc. I can see now why I have had so many different diagnoses over the years.
Hi June! It can really be so confusing and took me a while to land with the right diagnosis. I hope you find yours helpful, too. Wishing you all the very best on your road to recovery and healing. Please keep reading! -Whitney