Borderline Personality Disorder
You may not be familiar with Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder yet but you most likely have heard of Borderline Personality Disorder. According to Psychiatry.org a person with Borderline Personality Disorder has a pattern of instability in relationships, intense emotions, poor self-image and impulsivity. They may go to great lengths to avoid being abandoned, make repeated suicide attempts, display intense anger that seems inappropriate to the situation or have ongoing feelings of emptiness.
Over time there comes to be a stereotypical image of any given disorder and the popular image of borderline personality disorder has become that of someone who acts out impulsively, has extreme mood swings, unreasonable fear of abandonment, angry outbursts and lack of empathy.
However, since BPD is experienced on a spectrum, the symptoms vary, and happen in different combinations. When diagnosing BPD, sometimes, because of the stereotypical image, only one end of the spectrum is focused upon.
It is the other end of that spectrum we are talking about today.
Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder
What is Quiet BPD?
Quiet BPD does not have it’s own designation in the DSM-5. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) The symptoms fall under the BPD heading. However, as discussed above it is a different way of experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder than the typical view.
Quiet BPD volatility is directed inward. This can include feeling fear of rejection, blaming yourself, guilt, obsessive emotional attachment, constant self-doubt and anxiety. However, you do not act out or show your turmoil on the outside. All anger hate and blame is directed toward yourself thus your suffering is invisible.
Invisible mental health conditions are excruciating, and suffered in silence. This article helps us to understand ourselves or our loved ones so we can take the next steps toward healing which, by the way is entirely possible.
(Go to ‘Resources’ for more tools.)
Some Symptoms of Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder
- Denying and/or suppressing your anger
- Feeling numb, empty and detached
- Feeling constant shame and/or guilt
- Blaming yourself for nearly everything
- Idealizing persons one moment but devaluing or discarding them the next
- Sometimes you have a surreal feeling like you’re in a dream
- Feeling like you are a burden to those around you, always trying to stay out of the way
- When someone hurts you, you walk away, rather than trying to work it out
- If you feel like someone doesn’t want to be around you, you make yourself scarce, or simply disappear from their life
- When you’re upset you withdrawal into yourself, not wanting to talk to anyone
- Of the 4 coping mechanisms: fight/flight/freeze/fawn you tend to freeze
The first time I read an article about Quiet BPD I was amazed at how exactly like me some of the descriptions were. I was underlining and highlighting and writing in the margins. It made me feel understood. I hope some of you will feel that way as you read this article.
Regarding guilt and blame… Once, a friend told me that a video tape of hers had been taped over, the original footage was lost. I immediately said, “Oh, that was my fault!” I blamed myself without even knowing what had actually happened. It turned out later that there could have been several explanations for how it happened but because I had blamed myself, she always blamed me. Lesson learned. I didn’t voice the blame after that but I still blamed myself for everything inwardly.
That was a long time ago and one thing I have learned since then when I blame myself is to stop and check the facts. Usually, my view is distorted and NOT in my favor. By looking at the facts of the situation I can see a more balanced view. In most cases there is more than one person or circumstance that share the blame. It’s not that I am trying to blame someone other than myself it just helps me to not judge myself so harshly, recognizing that it is not ALL my fault, ALL the time.
Another example of blame … You know how some people say things like, “You haven’t called me for 6 months!” or more generalized, “You never call me!” Well, when you have quiet BPD, that is not something you would ever say because you always think, “I feel so bad, I haven’t called that person!” You just automatically blame yourself without stopping to think that they haven’t called you either.
Does all of this sound familiar? You may be somewhere on the spectrum of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Help for those with Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder
There are techniques that can help you with the way you think and the way you view yourself and others. When you have Quiet BPD or BPD anywhere on the spectrum for that matter “Your view of yourself and the world around you is distorted.”
Just because a person may have Quiet BPD does not mean that it is their fate to live a life of self-hatred. There are strategies, even ones that can be done at home, that help those of us with various anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges to improve our day to day lives.
A great first step is understanding yourself. It helps to be aware of what you are saying to yourself and stop to check the facts of the situation if you are blaming yourself for something.
Understanding what you are feeling and challenging your negative self-talk will help you start to have more control.
When you have a negative thought toward yourself, STOP and change it. As an example, often we will say things to ourselves like, “I am so stupid.” When we have a thought like that it is vital to stop and say something like: “I may have made a mistake but I am an intelligent person and I forgive myself and give myself permission to move on.” Remind yourself of something you have accomplished or learned or something you are good at.
The words we say to ourselves are SO important.
Every human needs to control their thoughts and emotions. It’s not just you. Every single person can benefit from becoming aware of what they are feeling and thinking and working to change those negative thoughts and bring them under control, whether the thoughts are directed inward towards ourselves or outward towards others. You are not alone in this.
The absolute most helpful tool I have ever used for changing negative feelings is a book called Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol Truman. My paperback copy is well worn with sticky notes protruding from all sides. They also have an app now which comes in really handy. Don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of this book for your anti-anxiety toolbox whether that is the Kindle version or the paperback. It is worth its weight in gold. I also recommend having the app for times when you don’t have the book with you.
The book helps you stop and focus on which feelings/thoughts you want to change and enlist the help of your subconscious mind. It calms me immediately when my feelings are intense.
Thank you for visiting!! Please leave a comment below. I want to hear your experiences and words of wisdom.