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The Stigma of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that has many different symptoms. These include unstable and extreme moods, impulsive behavior, and negative self-image.

People who suffer from BPD can also experience problematic relationships, high levels of anger and anxiety, and engage in substance abuse or self-harm. There is a large stigma surrounding this disorder, as it is generally misunderstood and can require significant and specialized types of therapy to treat. 


The Misconceptions

People diagnosed with BPD suffer from an illness that is extremely hard to control but is possible to treat and even cure. Unfortunately, they are also severely misunderstood. There are beliefs that those with BPD are manipulative, dramatic, and even malicious.

Portrayals on television and in movies have represented people with this mental illness as unstable, attention-seeking, and beyond help. The symptoms of BPD are amplified and distorted to an extreme level and this adds to the negative stereotype.

Depictions of chaotic and erratic characters with BPD have led to many upsetting consequences for those who actually suffer from it. Feeling misjudged, they struggle to reach out for help, in fear of being turned away or disbelieved.

Empathy and support are vital to the treatment process, and the stigma of BPD can discourage friends and family from reaching out or offering help. This intensifies the perspective that someone with BPD is unable to heal or is unworthy of getting better.

It cultivates isolation, resentment, feelings of hopelessness, and can instigate further impulsive actions. Substance abuse and self-harm behaviors can escalate, and suicide is an unfortunate potential outcome. The stigma of BPD is a dangerous threat to the recovery of many misunderstood people who deserve the opportunity to recover. 


The Truth

The most prominent characteristics of someone diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder are severe fear of abandonment, chronic feelings of emptiness, beliefs they are unlovable and unworthy of love, and distrusting others. As their feelings are so hard to control and their self-image is so damaged, their actions become increasingly impulsive.

While this behavior can seem erratic, they are acting out of fear and pain. The stigma of manipulation stems from the extreme fear of being abandoned.

Most people with BPD will do anything and everything they can to avoid feeling abandoned, which sometimes comes across as desperate and devious. Dramatic and attention-seeking stereotypes are assumed from their severe mood swings and impulsive behavior.

However, their emotions are almost impossible to control, and their actions are a result of these intense emotions. Similar to someone diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder, people who suffer from BPD long for relief and stability.

When others can take time to understand and offer patience, they can see that someone with BPD is truthfully a very fearful person. Borderline Personality Disorder can take time to treat but rehabilitation is possible through one-on-one therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and support from loved ones.

Through therapy, they can learn to understand their emotions, interact better with themselves and others, and handle obstacles that occur naturally in life. BPD is a mental disorder just like any other and with correct information and awareness, those who are suffering can remain hopeful! 


The Guest House Ocala treats many different mental disorders and addictions and extends support without judgment to those who need it. Our therapy programs can help restore hope and confidence and begin to welcome the balance in your life. We aim to combat stigma around mental health and would love for you to join us to start the healing process!

To ask any questions and begin that journey today, call 855-483-7800.