Through my experience, PTSD and BPD go hand in hand. Sadly, this combination adds a dash of depression and a sprinkle of anxiety.
Bare with me through these statistics.. Research suggests that 1.6% of the U.S population has BPD. Think, 1.6% of the entire population of the United States…it’s a big number which doesn’t include the many that are left undiagnosed. Between 25% and 60% of people with BPD also have PTSD. A study also shows 83% of participants in one large study also suffer from depression. OK, enough statistics before you fall asleep..
When I relate those statistics to myself, I like to think it’s a mix of cheap tequila, vodka, rum and gin. Yes, you heard me right.. a Grateful Dead. Pretty looking, fun at first and then shit get me the fuck out of here. I’d like to think as I age I’ll turn into a Clase Azul, Belvedere, Ron Zacapa, and Hendricks but let’s not get ahead of ourselves- I’m working on it OKAY! Nevertheless, it’s not a fun mix for you and I. The way it plays out for me is.. buckle up..
- Experience multiple bizarre/violent events before you turn 7 years old
- At the 7th year; go through one major traumatic experience
3. Continue to grow up avoiding everything and anything that revolves around emotions — disassociation is key to your survival
4. Once high school hits; commence the explosion of uncontrollable emotions
5. Engage in irrational fears, drug use, unstable relationships, shifting self images, self-harm, hyper sexuality, intense anger & guilt, and don’t forget my favorite: eating disorders
6. Now, repeat steps 3 through 5 over and over and over again from 15 years old until present date pandemic..
This sums up most of the issues I dealt with when denying I had BPD. I left out the gory details- we’ll get to that later. The interesting part of the story is - the hardest part wasn’t my behavior or uncontrollable emotions but the stigmas of BPD. I, of course, portrayed the stigmas as my own damn fault. Who wouldn’t?
Look, we all know high school fucking sucks (minus the a-holes who peaked in high school) but my generation and the media from my high school era and on kept pushing me to think.. “this is just me” it’s my own fucked-up personality.
Promiscuity — “You’re a slut”
Falling in love — “You’re easy”
Passionate — “You’re dramatic”
Getting what you want — “You’re manipulative”
Being bold — “You’re an attention seeker”
I devalued every symptom and invalidated every emotion I could and circulated these negative thoughts through my head 24/7. I was my own worse enemy. At times, I genuinely thought I was a psychopath (minus the Charles Manson vibe) because I would bottle up all this negative energy inside me until .. yeah I’ll admit it, I popped the fuck off at anyone who looked at me — especially those I loved the most. You know the saying, we push away those we love the most. I eventually wrote myself off as unlovable and incapable to give love.
Man, I haven’t even gone to the most concerning part of this. So many people suffering from BPD including myself, don’t get the help they need because of the stigmas. These stereotypes can cause yourself to invalidate the emotions and actions caused by BPD. That is hella confusing for anyone — let alone someone growing up with an unknown mental illness. Sadly, many professionals would not take your symptoms or fears seriously and this has a HUGE negative impact on a person’s health. As TikTok would say; the volume on this bus is astronomical.
I’m so cheesy..
I’ll keep it real for those wondering why I’m putting my life on blast — This crap is so terrifying to open up about but.. I am more terrified of those still out there suffering and thinking “this is just me.” Please know that if you’re not OK — I fucking believe you. You are not alone. We will figure this out and get help. This disorder will not define you..
Throughout reading these articles, please remember to take breaks and know that you’re not alone. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1–800–273–8255
Beatson, J., & Rao, S. (2013, October 29). Depression and borderline personality disorder. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2013/199/6/depression-and-borderline-personality-disorder
Matthew Tull, P. (2020, March 25). Symptoms and Diagnosis of PTSD With Borderline Personality Disorder. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from https://www.verywellmind.com/having-both-ptsd-and-borderline-personality-disorder-2797510
Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, P. (2020, January 21). Striking Statistics About Borderline Personality Disorder in the U.S. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from https://www.verywellmind.com/borderline-personality-disorder-statistics-425481