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The Symptoms of Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

The borderline personality disorder is similar to standing on the shifting sands as the ground is continuously altering under the feet, misbalancing the whole body, making any person feel terrified and defensive. In fact, practically everything appears to be unstable for people with a borderline personality disorder. It includes their tempers, their relationships, their mentality, their conduct, and even their personalities. It is obvious that such an unstable lifestyle appears to be highly painful and appalling.

Thus, as the borderline personality disorder appears to be the shifting sands for a person, it is important to analyze the moving forces, meaning symptoms of the disease, which stimulate sand movements and provoke imbalance of the whole inner and outer world of an individual suffering from the disorder.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

If a person has a borderline personality disorder, his or her life becomes similar to riding a rollercoaster. Their objectives, preferences, likes, dislikes, and even self-image might alter on a regular basis making individuals suffering from the disease be confused and unconfident (Bowen 491). Borderline personality disorder stands for a mental disorder (Dobbert 24). Individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder regularly experience disturbing emotional conditions, adversities in regard to other people, and self-harming conduct. The major characteristics of borderline personality disorder stand for a diffusive frame of volatility in personality, which leads to unstable self-image, connections with others, feelings, and emotions (Manning 17).

This is the main reason why people suffering from this problem frequently appear to be highly effusive and reveal self-injurious and self-harming conduct. The facts demonstrate that the range between approximately two and five percent of the populace are impacted by borderline personality disorder at some stage of their lives (Hoffman and Steiner-Grossman 47). Typically, the initial symptoms of this condition originally appear in the range between mid and late teens or during early adulthood (Sadeh et al. 218). In addition, females are three times more probable to be diagnosed with this condition than males.

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Individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder reveal a tendency to be exceptionally sensitive. Some scholars describe this feeling as similar to an exposed nerve ending. It practically means that even small minor things can provoke extreme reactions (Bowen 493). If an individual suffering from this condition appears to be upset, they have hard time calming down. Therefore, it is easy to comprehend that this emotional inability and volatility are soothing the results in the relationship turbulence and impulsive or even reckless conduct.

In a case when a person appears in the throes of overwhelming emotions, he/she will be incapable of reasoning straightly and stay grounded. This is a reason why a person might voice painful things or react in hazardous or inadequate manners, which make this individual feel blameworthy and abashed afterward (Manning 57). Thus, it appears to be a painful cycle, which might feel unfeasible to escape.

Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

Borderline personality disorder manifests in numerous discrepant methods, but for the objectives of diagnosis, mental health professionals categorize the symptoms into nine main groups. In fact, a person should display a minimum of five of these symptoms in order to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Moreover, these symptoms should be long-established (typically starting during adolescence) and penetrating across numerous spheres of life.

The first category of borderline personality symptoms regards to fear of abandonment. People suffering from this condition are frequently frightened of being left alone or abandoned. In fact, even something as inoffensive as a loved one getting home late from work or going away for the weekend can stimulate saturated anxiety (Manning 59). This results in a panic-stricken desire to keep the other person as close as possible (Manning 59). Therefore, a person might cavil, start fights, beg, jealously trace the beloved one’s actions and movements, or even physically impede the other individual from leaving (Mondimore and Kelly 91).

Nevertheless, this conduct usually tends to have the opposing impact, meaning that it actually drives other people away. The facts also demonstrate that people with the analyzed disorder experience intensive abandonment feel fears together with inappropriate anger when facing a realistic time-restricted separation or when there are inevitable alterations in plans, for instance, unexpected despair, panic, or fury when someone crucial and significant to them is merely a few minutes late or has to cancel a meeting or appointment (Sharp and Tackett 82).

People suffering from the disorder typically assume that the above-mentioned “abandonment” insinuates the fact that they are “bad” (Manning 61). Nevertheless, it is important to understand that these abandonment fears are connected to the bigotry of being alone and an extreme requirement to constantly communicate with other people. This instability leads to the fact that the individual’s emotions and relationships are observed and characterized by others as being shallow (Dobbert 74). This will be further outlined in the analysis of the second category of disorder-connected symptoms.

The second category concerns unstable relationships. People suffering from borderline personality disorder reveal a tendency to have relationships, which are intensive and fugitive (Manning 63). A person might fall in love rapidly assuming that each new individual is the one who will make him/her feel as a whole. Nevertheless, it leads them to merely be quickly disheartened and disappointed. Therefore, a person’s relationships might either appear to be perfect or appalling due to the fact that there is nothing in between (Manning 63). Therefore, the lovers, friends, or family members of the person suffering from borderline personality disorder might feel as if they have emotional whiplash from the impetuous changes between devaluation and idealization, hatred, and anger.

When a person suffers from a borderline personality disorder, he/she might feel as if others neglect or abandon them when they need them the most. In addition, they can feel that others get too close and regard them as children. In fact, when an individual suffering from the analyzed disorder fears abandonment, it can provoke feelings of intensive anger and anxiety (Manning 63). Thus, people with a borderline personality disorder might make panic-stricken and aggressive moves to impede being left alone, including constant phoning or texting others, unexpectedly calling others in the middle of the night, physically begging others to stay and refusing to let them go or even making threats to harm or kill themselves if people decide to leave them (Bowen 494).

On the other hand, when a person suffering from a disorder feels that others are smothering, controlling, or crowding him/her, it actually provokes intensive fear and anger. This is a situation when a person will react by behaving in manners, which stimulate others to go away, including emotional withdrawing, rejecting them, or using verbal abuse (Sadeh et al. 219). In fact, the above-mentioned conduct patterns will typically lead to a volatile “love-hate” relationship. In addition, numerous people with analyzed disorders appear to be stuck with a highly firm “black-and-white” perspective of relationships (Hoffman and Steiner-Grossman 162).

It stands for the fact that either a relationship is viewed as perfect while the partner appears to be wonderful or the relationship is regarded as a doomed one while the partner is characterized as terrible. Thus, it is obvious that people with the disorder appear to be incapable or reluctant to acknowledge any type of “grey area” in regard to their personal relationships and life (Hoffman and Steiner-Grossman 162). Thus, emotional relationships (incorporating professional career relations) encompass “go away!” and “please do not go!” frames of mind, which obviously results in break-ups (Hoffman and Steiner-Grossman 162).

The third category stands for unstable or unclear self-image. When a person suffers from a borderline personality disorder, his/her sense of self is usually inconstant and volatile (Manning 67). There are times when people might feel good regarding themselves when they unexpectedly change their feelings to hatred the other second. In addition, they might even view themselves as evil (Manning 67). It typically means that a person does not probably have an expressive and distinct idea of who they actually are or what they want in life (Manning 67). This is a reason why a person suffering from borderline personality disorder reveals a tendency to regularly alter jobs, religion, values, friends, lovers, objectives, and even sexual recognition.

The fourth category concerns temperamental, unrestrained, and self-destructive conduct. People suffering from the analyzed condition might engage in adverse, sentiment-seeking conducts, particularly when they feel upset (Livesley, Dimaggion, and Clarkin 247). In fact, people might impetuously spend money they cannot actually afford, drive negligently or hastily, engage in hazardous sex with strangers, or get engaged in drugs and alcohol abuse. Despite the fact that these dangerous conducts might assist in feeling better at the moment when they are realized, they can and will definitely hurt an individual and people surrounding him/her in the long term (Livesley, Dimaggion, and Clarkin 247).

Therefore, when a person suffers from the analyzed disorder, there are two major categories of impulses that he/she might assume extremely difficult to control (Dobbert 209). The first one concerns the impulses to self-harm, typically regarding the arm cutting with razors or skin burning with cigarettes (Livesley, Dimaggion, and Clarkin 247). There are some situations, especially when a person feels extremely sad and depressed when this impulse can stimulate the suicidal feeling and individual attempts of committing suicide, which will be discussed later in the paper (Dobbert 209).

The second one stands for a solid impulse of engaging in unreasonable and irresponsible operations, including binge drinking, drug abuse, etc (Dobbert 209). The facts demonstrate that impulsive conducts are particularly hazardous in cases when people appear to be in brief psychotic states due to the fact that they might be more probable to act impulsively as if their judgment is impaired.

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The fifth category regards self-harm. In fact, suicidal conduct and intentional self-harming appear to be common and prevailing for people suffering from the analyzed condition (Manning 73). Suicidal conduct incorporates speculations regarding suicide, different attempts, gestures, and threats of committing suicide, or even actual execution of a suicide attempt (Vaillant et al. 825). On the other hand, self-harm stands for numerous other desires to hurt oneself without practical and vivid suicidal intent (Livesley, Dimaggion, and Clarkin 247). Burning and cutting can be outlined as common and prevailing types of self-harm (Sharp and Tackett 291).

The sixth category stands for extreme emotional swings. Changeable emotions and tempers are widespread for people with the analyzed disorder (Manning 82). They can feel happy and contempt and rapidly change their mood to despondent feelings and sensations. Some minor things or actions, which are typically neglected by other people, can result in an emotional tailspin for people with borderline personality disorder (Manning 82). These mood changes are intensive and saturated, but they typically pass sufficiently quickly, which stands for the major discrepancy between this disorder and bipolar disorder, where emotional swings are depression-based (Manning 82). Thus, extreme emotional swings usually last in a range between several minutes and several hours.

Extreme emotional swings are typically provoked by disturbed thinking. In fact, there are three major levels of disturbed thinking, which can negatively impact an individual with borderline personality disorder (Selby 946). They are typically ranked in accordance with severity. The first one concerns upsetting thoughts, including the assumptions that this individual appears to be a terrible person or inner feelings supporting the extreme idea that this person does not exist, which will be discussed later in the paper. The facts demonstrate that an individual is not sure of these thoughts and might look for the reassurance that they are not true (Selby 946). The second level concerns short episodes of strange experiences, encompassing hearing voices outside an individual’s head for minutes at a time (Livesley, Dimaggion, and Clarkin 247).

These voices frequently feel similar to instructions to harm oneself or even other people (Selby 946). A person might or might not be definite whether they are genuine or not. The third level regards prolonged episodes of abnormal experiences (Selby 946). This is a time when a person might experience both hallucinations (outside non-existing voices) and distressing beliefs that no one can actually dissuade, for example, assuming that a person’s family secretly attempts to kill this individual (Selby 946). These kinds of beliefs might be psychotic (standing for delusions) as well as vivid signs that disorder is becoming more severe.

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The seventh category incorporates chronic feelings of emptiness. People reveal a tendency to frequently talk about feeling empty, explaining that there is a hole or a void inside them. In addition, they might even feel as if they are “nothing” or “nobody” (Manning 89). Due to the fact that this feeling is uncomfortable, a person might attempt to fill the hole with drugs, alcohol, food, or sex (Manning 89). Nevertheless, these things will not provide a feeling of complete satisfaction.

The eighth category concerns explosive anger. Thus, people with borderline personality disorder might struggle with intense and extreme anger, which is combined with a short temper. In addition, a person might have troubles controlling and regulating oneself during the periods of explosive anger. This may lead to yelling, throwing things, or becoming entirely consumed by rage (Manning 93). However, it is important to mention that this anger is not constantly directed outwards (Bowen 496). These emotional rashes typically reveal a serious and extreme level of anger directed to oneself.

Finally, people with borderline personality disorder reveal a deep feeling of suspiciousness or behave out of touch with reality (Manning, 101). They frequently struggle with suspicious thoughts or paranoia regarding the motives and actions of people surrounding them. Being stressed, they often lose connection with reality, which can be outlined as a dissociative experience (Bowen 496). Thus, people might feel spaced out, foggy, or as if they appear to be outside their own bodies.

The analysis of borderline personality disorder demonstrates that this is a complex disorder, which is frequently misunderstood, especially because of some symptoms. Firstly, not all individuals who self-harm appear to have the analyzed disorder (Mondimore and Kelly 298). Despite the fact that self-harm is widespread among people with borderline personality disorder, it is obvious that not all who perform these actions have the disorder. People might self-harm because of low self-esteem, in order to instantaneous release and express emotional ache, or even to punish themselves (Sharp and Tackett 183).

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This might also be connected to some mental disease, emotional issues or disorders, which are not connected to borderline personality disorder (Sharp and Tackett 183). Secondly, it is important to understand that people suffering from analyzed disorders cannot be regarded as bad. Due to the fact that people with borderline personality disorder frequently display the anger and rejection, others have a tendency to label them as manipulative or even attention-seeking band (Livesley, Dimaggion, and Clarkin 67).

A lot of things and actions that people suffering from the analyzed disorder perform result frequently in confusion, distress, or inconvenience for others. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that this conduct appears from such feelings as loneliness, fear, despondency, or despair, which are known as vivid symptoms of borderline personality disorder (Livesley, Dimaggion and Clarkin 67). Finally, it is highly important to mention that individuals suffering from analyzed disorder can actually realize the problem and learn how to cope with disorder-related symptoms. This idea opposes the common belief regarding the fact that people with this issue cannot recover. They can recuperate if they have relevant and appropriate continuous support and treatment (Manning 159). Despite the fact that there is no cure, borderline personality disorder is regarded to be a treatable issue.


The current paper vividly demonstrates that borderline personality disorder stands for a serious mental problem, which makes person suffer from it in regard to his/her own personality, emotions, feelings, and relationships. People who surround a person with this disorder should understand that the individual’s behavior is not caused by the inner nature but by specifics of the mental problem.

Therefore, it is important to know about the symptoms, which characterize this disorder for being capable of dealing and behaving with the person appropriately. In fact, there are nine major categories of symptoms of borderline personality disorder, including extreme emotions, feeling of abandonment, emotional swings, impulsive conduct, relationship issues, inside emptiness, self-harm, etc. A lot of people are afraid of the persons suffering from a borderline personality disorder, regarding them as ‘bad’.

Nevertheless, it is highly important to understand that this is a mental illness, and a person requires a specific attitude and understanding in order to cope with numerous signs and symptoms of the analyzed disorder. As borderline personality disorder can be compared to shifting sands, a person suffering from it requires a stable ground in a form of understanding and supportive friends, partners, and family.

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