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What is a
Borderline personality disorder


Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning

to dance in the rain.


Living with borderline personality disorder

In order to learn to live with borderline, I read everything I could get my hands on. Here I have to say that the point is not to find further symptoms and slide even deeper into the disease - I speak from personal experience. It's about understanding what's going on inside us and why.

If you suspect that you are affected by a borderline personality disorder, do the self-test . Important: The result is not a diagnosis, but can be an indication and asks about the symptoms of the personality disorder.

BPD (Boderline Personality Disorder): Questions and Answers


At first it was almost a relief for me to get the diagnosis because I wasn't "abnormal", it was actually a disorder. I could work better with it. I started therapies, I observed my behavior, I read about symptoms and learned to differentiate: I - borderline.


If I rested, I tried to find out in retrospect what exactly had happened and noticed a pattern: Overload - not taking it seriously - tension - even more tension - explosion.


Once I understood that, I tried to identify the triggers for this pattern and to change it step by step. So slowly I was able to cope with it better by observing and understanding.


Here I answer the questions that I have heard and read over and over again, these are the following:

The following are all researched -  Sources are attached at the bottom.

In addition, I still add my own feelings .  

Borderline Disorder: What Is It?


I always thought that borderline was the name because I always crossed borders or walked between life and death. The name borderline personality disorder came about because the symptoms of those affected fall into a transition area between neurotic and psychotic disorders.


Borderliners can easily lose their emotional balance. They barely have access to feelings and find it difficult to classify them. Most of the time they do not notice when something makes them sad or angry, but inner tension builds up more and more. Pent up tension  then discharges very suddenly and regardless of the consequences:


Overwhelming aggression, anger, sadness up to panic and despair have an irritating and disconcerting effect on the environment. Borderline people cannot control the rapid changes in feelings and their impulsiveness, the mood swings are enormous. Those affected are often seen as unpredictable, unreasonable, aggressive and moody.


My feeling: 

To me, borderline feels like I was riding a roller coaster and not having any influence on the ride. Or as if a bomb explodes in me and everything in my body rips and tears, but I cannot get out of my body.

It happens in quick changes and is incredibly exhausting . My sudden fits of anger were actually very bad. I devalued at a very hurtful level and left a field of rubble.


The pain because I didn't want to hurt and the loneliness afterwards  hardly bearable . Just like the horrified faces when I had a "seizure". I could read directly in the facial expressions and gestures: "What kind of monster is that?"

Borderlinestörug was ist es
Symptome von Borderlinern

Symptoms of borderliners  

The symptoms of people with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) are according to the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders):


  • extremely unstable emotional world , moods change in a very short time

  • no "sense of identity" - not feeling / perceiving yourself

  • extreme inner tension that is experienced as unbearable

  • high impulsiveness 

  • self-harming behavior to relieve tension 

  • inner turmoil and emptiness

  • disturbed self-image and disturbed body awareness

  • extreme fear of abandonment

  • unstable relationships

  • repeated threats , allegations or attempts of suicide

  • Stress-related paranoia or severe dissociative symptoms (e.g., depersonalizing, flashbacks, dullness)

Not all people with borderline personality disorder are addicts or self-harmers. But more often than not, the disorders occur together.  

My feeling: 

This feeling of not being myself was a big issue for me. I really didn't notice when someone exceeded my limits or when something made me sad.


In retrospect, there were small stitches in the body that I ignored. I became increasingly lost - by that I mean, I became more tense and at the same time I was no longer in my body .


Most of the time, the triggers for my "exploding" were small things from the people who were closest to me. On the one hand I wanted to keep up appearances with "strangers" and on the other hand I was even more thin-skinned with people close to me.


From one second to the next, one moment smiling but tense, the next moment an all-destructive monster . That's how I perceived myself. My body image was also always disturbed, I always found myself too fat and too ugly. I hardly dared to go out on the street because I didn't want to expose myself to others. I'm glad I went through therapies for borderline disorders  and books about borderline learning to deal with me better and to accept me more.

Wie kommt es zu der Persönlichkeitsstörung?

How does the personality disorder come about?

On the one hand, genetics play a role. In addition to predisposition, severe trauma (such as abuse, mistreatment, or emotional neglect) in early childhood are also triggers. Strongly contradicting statements and feelings of the parents overwhelm the psyche of children and favor the development of a personality disorder. Neglect also makes children believe that they cannot trust anyone.


But BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) also occurs in “normal” families. Researchers are investigating whether borderliners have organic brain changes , for example emotion control is less pronounced in those affected in the brain.  

My feeling:

I experienced some trauma and got to know different people with borderlines because of my therapies.


Here I want to emphasize: If you see them separately from the disorder ("human" - "Boderline personality disorder") all have such a lovable core , humor, intelligence, creativity and liveliness. It always touched me so much because I knew what struggles they were also having inside.


In conversations I noticed that we all had similar experiences , which were very often related to massive transgressions of boundaries as well as strong, emotional and / or physical abuse.​​

Sind Betroffene von BPD gefährlich?

Are people with BPD dangerous?

In the case of a borderline disorder, a black-and-white thinking prevails: Either / or, jubilant / sad to death. The high level of impulsiveness and the willingness to take risks at the same time, acting without considering the consequences, can lead to dangerous situations.

My feeling:

Whether borderline is dangerous for fellow human beings can only be answered by myself and with my kind of borderline. In my highest tensions , I was no longer in control of myself. I threw objects, threatened my counterpart and had very dangerous thoughts at these moments. But not only fellow human beings are affected by this, I especially harmed myself. With self-harm and increased suicidal thoughts, conscious search for dangerous situations, I was always afraid of myself. That is why I advise: seek help , do not hesitate. Borderline is a serious personality disorder that we need to take seriously.

Beziehungen und Borderline

Relationships and Borderline

Due to the disturbed self-esteem, a wrong body perception and the serious effects of borderlines, relationships are very difficult for borderliners. They are often very insecure. The change between self-love and self-hatred, as well as idealization and devaluation , or even contempt for the other, usually happens spontaneously. Relationships aren't easy for people with borderline personality disorder.


People withborderline personality disorder seek intense closeness , but at the same time this is also threatening. People with BPD are often possessive and jealous, they want their partner all to themselves. They have a massive fear of being abandoned or betrayed . This fear can be unfounded, but even the smallest “mistake” offends those affected and leads to mistrust. Initial idealization and excessive affection now rapidly changes into the opposite, from idolatry to hate.

My feeling:


Relationships are very difficult for me. I've been doing different types of therapy for almost twenty years now, but relationships are my top class .


In the meantime I can gratefully see the people around me and trust them (that was a lot of work, a lot!). I know that they won't judge me if I'm "borderline" - at the same time I know that it still hurts them when I am. I try to say early on when something is too much for me or when I have to be alone.  


I also say I'm sad and then sometimes I start crying without being able to say exactly why. In my relationships I broke a lot and demanded a lot - some people said goodbye to my life because of it. It hurt a lot, but I tried to learn from it. I made an effort to maintain my relationships because they carried and carried me . When someone told me that I was hurtful when someone said goodbye to my life, I thought, what did I do? What was my part? Why did I do it and how can I change it?  


I watched myself, when do these situations happen? They came and still come often, but each time I learn something new - pain is also my teacher.  


My relationship behavior was also influenced by the rapid loss of contact . Here I tried increasingly to face things . I learned: it is seldom as bad as I imagined it to be in my head. I learned not to run away anymore and found more and more support. My relationships grew in depth .​ On the relationships and borderline side: love​ I go back to this topic in more detail.

Therapieformen für Menschen mit BPD

Forms of therapy for people with BPD

So a therapy for people with BPD  is successful, the disease must be recorded in all aspects and classified according to importance .


Dangerous patterns such as suicidality or self-harm must be treated with priority and treatment agreements made accordingly. These are clear rules on how to deal with crises.


A combination of several forms of therapy such as individual and group therapy as well as crisis intervention can be useful. Although there are no drugs specifically for those affected by borderline personality disorder, mood stabilizers, certain antipsychotics and so-called SSRIS help with additional anxiety disorders or depression.


Borderline can be treated with psychotherapy. The following forms of therapy are considered to be very effective:


  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy integrates methods from various areas, such as mindfulness training, Zen, cognitive therapy, as well as gestalt and hypnotherapy. Affected people learn to use different exercises, "skills", depending on the degree of tension.​ Through this control you prevent destructive behavior and learn to stay in the “normal range”. It was founded by Dr. Marsha Linehan , who had borderline personality disorder herself and who developed the method to “get others out of this hell”.

  • Scheme-focused therapy (SFT) traces the development of a personality disorder back to difficult childhood experiences. From this, those affected develop schemata that are difficult to access and associated with very negative feelings. In therapy, these unconscious patterns should be changed so that those affected can act in a “healthy” manner.


  • A mentalization-based therapy (MBT) suspects the main problem to be a lack of subject-object differentiation. The subject is the person with BPD and the object is the partner or the opposite. Borderliners cannot put their own experience into an understanding context. The form of therapy improves this own perception through affect and impulse control in order to improve the ability to relate.


  • In transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) , disturbed subject-object relationships from childhood are transferred to the psychotherapist. These projections should come through in the here and now  Symptom-oriented working through can be reduced.


  • Trauma therapy also supports coping with and integration of the life story. These include, for example, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) . Patients remember the traumatic experience and at the same time concentrate on an external stimulus, such as eye movement.


My feeling:

I've been in therapy for my borderline disorder for a long time  and I had a lot of therapists with different approaches. The important thing is: do therapy! I mostly did research on Google to find out who had good ratings in my place of residence (which changed often). I checked out the website and many offer a free initial consultation. I used that and was very honest about it. I talked openly about what was wrong with me.

I always thought: the sooner I put everything on the table, the sooner I will be helped. In addition, I pay this person to help me AND: They are used to it. This attitude took away my inhibitions.


There are several of us, and fortunately several of us do psychotherapy. As bad and shameful as some things are for us (I know what I'm talking about) - my therapists left  very carefully with my topics and me.


Helped me make a list of the topics that were important to me. So both sides knew whether a collaboration could work. I was honest and felt exactly whether I could be with the other person. I've tried pretty much everything myself, following the motto: It can't get worse .


In the beginning, talk therapy helped me to understand what was wrong with me. I took medication regularly, which helped me a lot. It took the tips of my mood swings away. This enabled me to better engage with the therapy and implement inputs. DBT helped me a lot  to deal with difficult situations differently. I can now feel, assign and address my tension better. I also read everything about Marsha Linehan including her biography "Build a life Worth living" . Read this - she is one of us :)


EMDR helped me a lot, but I didn't do it until later. For that you need a certain stability.


You can do all of this under "My Survival Aids"  and read through my "lifeline" even more closely.  


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