eli5 borderline personality disorder?


There are a lot of bpd people on my discord server. I respect them, I don’t understand what bpd is.
Their speech pattern is normal, their behavior is normal, their EVERYTHING is normal.
Clearly, they’re hiding something over their “normality mask”, but what?

I tried reading some articles about it. No dice – the articles were either very clinical to the point where I understood every third or fourth word, or very “this person basically has mood swings.”
I tried talking with them. Again, no dice – “I have mood swings, basically.”
I tried talking with my neurologist. “They have bad mood swings, basically.”

I once tried to kill a dude who was honking for straight 45 minutes (kepprage) while other shit was piling up on me. TBF, that was one occurrence. That didn’t land me in the bpd zone.

Just how bad are their bad their mood swings are?!
What does it take to get to the bpd zone?!
What is this bpd?

Explain like I’m legitimately 5, but with a larger vocabulary.

In: 6

Emotional extremes & a capacity for profoundly deep (/intense) connections, negative & positive.

This question has been asked before in this sub, go check out the post [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/9kztuw/eli5_borderline_personality_disorder/)

People with borderline personality disorder are basically describes with “intense” and “unstable” modifiers. Their moods can swing from intense joy to intense rage in a few seconds. Also there tends to be a fear of abandonment and negative self imagery (usually with suicidal thoughts). They also do what is called “splitting” which is where you see things in very black and white terms, either all good or all bad.

I knew a young child who was adopted from an abuse situation. She had borderline personality disorder, and was having difficulty adapting. She would go from hugging her adoptive mother to literally attempting to stab her because she said that she was going to the grocery store.

They aren’t “I got mad after 45 minutes” type of folks, they tend to take minutes or seconds for moods to shift dramatically.

I have BPD – it’s caused by extreme instability or abuse/neglect from childhood or adolescence. Essentially it is a personality disorder where you cannot handle big emotions correctly and have extreme abandonment issues. Everything is difficult with BPD, but personal relationships are where it hits the most.

For some reason when we meet someone who has mood issues we assume it’s something like bipolar. If you meet someone who is happy, sad, angry, depressed, and then happy again all within an hour or two that is usually a sign of borderline personality disorder. A neurologist will do nothing when it comes to diagnosing BPD. If anyone suspects that they may have it, they need to see a psychologist. The DSM diagnostic criteria is this: (you must have 5/9 of the characteristics to be diagnosed and experience those characteristics consistently for more than 6 months)

1. Fear of abandonment
2. Unstable or changing relationships
3. Unstable self image; struggles with identity or sense of self
4. Impulsive or self damaging behaviors (excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, binge eating, reckless behavior)
5. Suicidal behavior or self injury
6. Varied or random moods
7. Constant feelings or worthlessness or sadness
8. Problems with anger
9. Stress-related paranoia or loss of contact with reality.

Anger issues alone are not enough to be diagnosed, and BPD has similar characteristics to bipolar disorder, ADHD, and Autism- a lot of us have been misdiagnosed prior to the correct BPD diagnosis. It’s important to find a therapist if you believe you might fall under the BPD category. BPD is extremely hard to treat and usually difficult to diagnose. It is much, much more than “oh I have mood swings” and it can ruin relationships so quickly if it goes untreated. My therapist told me the average age of death for those of us that have BPD is 27 years old because it has the highest suicide rate out of all the personality disorders. There is no such thing as a “BPD zone”.


So what is a personality disorder? Personality disorders are where the person’s personality greatly differs from the norm in areas such as being able to control their emotions and react to big and small things typically in the same way. So their personality is not able or has great difficulty in adapting to whatever the current situation is.

So did a loved one die or did you drop a spoon you were washing up? You may react the exact same way. It’s the end of the world in both instances. Now, yes, people flip out from time to time over small things due to a build up. This isn’t the case in a person with a personality disorder and they can and will flip out over something small quite a lot even if everything was going swimmingly 2 minutes earlier.

Borderline Personality Disorder takes that and multiplies it by like 100. A person with BPD has a lot of fears around things like being abandoned but are usually the cause of being abandoned, not just through other people being unable to handle them but because they will actively push others away and then have a break down over being abandoned. It quite often becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

During their emotional outbreaks they actively engage in self harm and other destructive behaviours such as drug taking.

Their views of reality are usually quite different from those around them to the extent that their recollection of events is entirely different than others who also experienced them with them.

Outcomes are usually not good. People with BPD quite generally end up abandoned by their family and friends. It’s not uncommon for them to abuse their partners and children. Children of people with BPD quite often grow up themselves with many psychological issues such as anxiety and others that you see in abused children.