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Take a ride: a look at borderline personality disorders
Blazing Fury. Cyclone. Boomerang. Chances are, you will quickly realize that these are names of roller coasters. You know the kinds of rides I am talking about. The ones that can hurl you, in seconds from a few feet off the ground to a hundred feet in the air. Those heart pumping, pulse pounding rides that can suck the air from your lungs, while you are screaming, leaving nothing but silence to proclaim how you are feeling! The ones that leave you feeling as if you don’t know whether or not you are coming or going. All you do know is that you are moving fast and can do nothing but try and hold on for the ride!!!
Great for an amusement park ride. Not so great when it is your emotions that cause you to feel that way. Individuals, who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, often experience their emotions like that. It is as if the emotions control the person, and not the other way ‘round. That is called mood or (affect) instability. Your emotions feel like that roller coaster ride, but without the thrill. It is as if they have control of you, and all you can do is hang on for the ride, if you can. It can be exhausting. And… at times scary.
Relationships with other people can also feel like that roller coaster ride. Many times those relationships never feel stable. There always seems to be constant ups and downs yet the relationship itself can feel very intense. Sometimes you feel like that person can do no wrong, yet at other times, it seems as if that person is totally against you. Fears of being left alone, or abandoned can be almost overwhelming, especially if you think a break-up is coming or is occurring.
Other indicators of borderline personality disorder are feelings of intense anger, sometimes with little provocation, towards other people. People diagnosed with borderline personality disorder find they are quick to anger and slow to settle back down. Feelings of emptiness inside that may always seem to be present are another possible indicator. Thoughts and/or actions of wanting to self injure or commit suicide along with feeling like you are not as worthwhile as everyone else, may also be present. Others thoughts that may not have a basis in reality might seem very real to you, especially if you are feeling under extreme pressure.
All in all, having a borderline personality disorder can feel scary and make you feel very alone and isolated. If you feel like the characteristics that have been described fit you, try not to feel as if there is no hope. The first thing you need to do is share what you are feeling with someone you trust and who is safe. Talk to your doctor, call your local crisis clinic or school counselor. If you are feeling suicidal or want to hurt yourself, get to the emergency room, so you can be helped to stay safe.
There is help available, but you have to reach out for it. The only good place for rollercoaster rides is in an amusement part. Keep them there, and not inside of you. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Dawn White is the Coordinator at theLondon Mental Health Crisis Service.
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