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Explains borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD), including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
Your experience of living with BPD will be unique to you, but this page describes some common experiences that you might recognise:
"My experience is that I have to keep my emotions inside, because I get told I am overreacting. So I end up feeling like I'm trapped inside my body screaming while no one can hear me."
"My BPD diagnosis affects every part of my life… my relationships, identity, career choices, moods etc. I’ve had such identity issues that I’ve changed my name twice by deed poll… it’s a terrible, painful feeling to not know who you are. It is a real struggle some days to battle everything that is going on."
See our page on self-care for BPD for some ideas on how to cope with difficult feelings.
"It feels like there is something missing from inside me and no one understands when I try to explain how I feel."
Some people with BPD might be more likely to misuse drugs and alcohol as a way of trying to cope with the difficult emotions they experience. You can find out more information, including where to get support, in our pages on the mental health effects of recreational drugs and alcohol. You can also access confidential advice about drugs and alcohol on the FRANK website.
"BPD can be exhausting. My mind is a constant rollercoaster of emotions but when the emotions are happy and exhilarating it is the best feeling in the world."
"It took a long time to get my BPD/EUPD diagnosis because of also having other disorders, but I'm at a happy place now in life thanks to a variety of factors."
Because BPD is a complex diagnosis that not everyone understands well, you might find some people have a negative image of it, or have misconceptions about you.
This can be very upsetting and frustrating, especially if someone who feels this way is a friend, colleague, family member or a health care professional.
But it's important to remember that you aren't alone, and you don't have to put up with people treating you badly. Here are some options for you to think about:
Find out more about BPD and stigma on the Time to Change website.
"The stigma is the worst for me. I'm a caring and empathetic soul who would do anything for the people I love."
This information was published in January 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
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