General BPD

Living With BPD

Living Everyday With Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often described by mental health professionals as one of the hardest mental health conditions (Kulacaoglu & Kose, 2018).  This could be because the condition is riddled with so many emotional dysregulations and shifts to self-identity. A BPD individual may be considered fragile, erratic, unpredictable, a loose cannon, an emotional wreck, and untrusting.  This is ironic considering the BPD patient typically appears to place a lot of trust in others rather quickly. One day, someone with BPD may be a best friend, the next, they may be a worse enemy.  This change in perceived value a BPD person has in other people may even seem hasty to say the least.

Understanding what it is like living with BPD means further elucidating on the condition itself.

What’s it Like to Live with BPD?

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder can be classified through a number of everyday factors. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Erratic Behavior that is often unjustified in terms of the situation
  • A chronic fear of abandonment
  • Regular substance use dependency
  • Patterns of unstable relationships
  • A Childhood exposure to trauma
  • Rapid and uncontrollable changes of self-identity
  • Quick changes to goals, morals, or values
  • Risky behavior (substance use, gambling, unprotected sex, fighting, reckless driving, etc.)
  • Regular self-sabotaging behavior
  • Regular irritability
  • Exaggerated feelings of guilt or shame
  • Idealizing an individual one day and devaluing them another
  • Sudden or irrational anger
  • Feelings of intense jealousy
  • Feelings of Emptiness

If you have any of these symptoms or factors present in your everyday life, we encourage you to take our BPD test to help you determine if you have BPD.

How BPD People Feel About Themselves?

The average BPD individual has mixed feelings about themselves. Like their emotions, the thoughts and feelings about themselves can be fleeting and temporary. This is because BPD is often marked with a condition of unformed identity (Bateman and Fonagy, 2015). In other words, BPD people may act one way one moment, and another way another moment. Sometimes they may be the life of the party, so to speak. Another day, they might be the party’s worse villain.  Understanding that this is an outward expression of their lack of identity is imperative in treating the illness (2015). Furthermore, it is often true that BPD people feel their emotions far greater than normal people, which can cause them to act out or display inappropriate emotions and responses when they are feeling down (Dixon-Gordon et al., 2017).  Likewise, they will idealize people and ideas when they are feeling positive (Stepp et al., 2009).

How BPD People Feel About Other People?

BPD is about feeling and a dysregulation of emotion (Gratz et al., 2016). Some of this is not all so bad, as BPD people are like having a sensographic machine (like that which detects earthquakes miles away before they happen) for feelings.  They can be loving, they can be caring, and they can be incredibly empathetic beyond words.  Usually, the BPD individual does not realize the damage they are doing to those around them in their everyday lives.  Firmly understanding this concept can help a BPD person transform and come to terms with the fact their condition needs to be better managed, as ultimately, they typically seek companionship and stronger relationships with other people.

Can BPD People Have Good Relationships?

Borderline Personality Disorder is often characterized by tumultuous relationships. This meaning, their relationships (be it friendships, romantic relationships, or otherwise) are often met with trauma, disagreement, controversy, and disaster. This said, it can still be possible for a BPD person to feel close to someone quickly due to their intensity of emotions and significant empathy.  Finding a balance in thought versus behavior can play a large role bettering the development of BPD individuals and their relationships. In short, it is most certainly possible for BPD people to have good relationships.

For more information on this topic, we encourage you to read our other article “How BPD Affects Our Loved Ones.

Final Words on Living with BPD

Unfortunately, living with Borderline Personality Disorder is not easy. It can wreak havoc on your life and the people around you.  This is especially true for those who are closest to you. It is one of the hardest conditions to teat (Kulacaoglu & Kose, 2018). And while it may be a rarer condition, it is still true that at least 1.6 percent of Americans are diagnosed with BPD and fighting it every single day (Chapman et al., 2022). Admitting that you may suffer from this condition is the first step. Understanding the illness is the second step. Treating the condition and its symptoms, including finding coping mechanisms and skills to help combat the unwanted behavior is the third step.  That said, following the roadmap that has worked for thousands of people before you is the smartest play.

Finally, if you, or someone you love, is suffering from BPD, we encourage you check out our BPD courses for more information on how BPD can be managed and even put into remission.

Important Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is having a medical emergency, experiencing a BPD episode and needs help, or exhibiting parasuicidal or suicidal behavior, please contact emergency services immediately. Additionally, there are many free suicide hotlines including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


Bateman, A., and Fonagy, P., (2015), Borderline Personality Disorder and Mood Disorders: Mentalizing as a Framework for Integrated Treatment, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 792-804. DOI:

Chapman, J., Jamil, R., and Fleisher, C., (2022). Borderline Personality Disorder, National Library of Medicine: StatPearls, Treasure Island, FL, Retrieved from:

Dixon-Gordon, K., Peters, J., Fertuck, E., and Yen, S., (2017). Emotional Processes in Borderline Personality Disorder: An Update for Clinical Practice, Journal of psychotherapy integration, 27(4), 425–438. DOI:

Gratz, K., Moore, K., and Tull, M., (2016). The role of emotion dysregulation in the presence, associated difficulties, and treatment of borderline personality disorder, Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7(4), 344–353. DOI:

Kulacaoglu, F., and Kose, S., (2018). Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): In the Midst of Vulnerability, Chaos, and Awe, Brain sciences, 8(11), 201. DOI:

Stepp, S., Pilkonis, P., Yaggi, K., Morse, J., and Feske, U., (2009). Interpersonal and emotional experiences of social interactions in borderline personality disorder, The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 197(7), 484–491. DOI:

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