One of the worst symptoms of having BPD is the mood swings. We can go from happy to sad to angry to depressed in just one hour. No wonder BPD is now called EUPD – Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. While yes, our emotions do go haywire in the course of a single day, there’s more than just emotions that are affected by BPD. But, let’s talk about the emotions first.
Everyone wants to feel happy and so do we. But for us this happiness is short lived. Even the slightest issue can have us in tears or in a flight of rage. While a person with Bipolar Disorder also has mood swings, his moods last from a week to months. That’s not easy no doubt. But the borderline has to deal with life on a complete seesaw. Everyday! Mood changes within minutes. Even the smallest thing can make us upset and also completely depressed.
Why are people so mean to me?
When I wake up in the morning, like everyone else, I’m uncertain as to what’s going to happen during the day. For a person with BPD this uncertainty is magnified many times. Some of us may actually get superstitious and look for a sign that it’s going to be a good day. Seldom does the sign come. A single comment from a colleague asking us “Didn’t you sleep alright?” can have us thinking we are looking ugly or that they are being sarcastic or that they want to hurt us. We may respond with an aim to hurt that colleague because they have hurt us. Their intention must actually have been genuine concern, but we read much much more in it that might not really exist.
Learning how to think
Mood swings for a BPD are among the worst symptoms to deal with. They can play havoc with our relationships and our career. Because of these uncontrolled moods we become impulsive and don’t think through decisions that we ought to think about, before we take action. Quitting a job for example. I have left numerous (good ) jobs for very petty reasons. I simply couldn’t cope. And to add to it, theres the criticism and angry reactions of friends and family that give us a tough time because they think we are too carefree, irresponsible or even lazy.
One way to dealing with moodswings is to learn to think. We need to look at situations and people in a different light. Before ‘reacting’, give yourself a few minutes and ask yourself if the situation is really that bad or whether it can be taken care of. Ask yourself what will happen if you don’t react at all – do nothing at all. And actually try this.
The next time you feel someone is being rude or critical, don’t react! Understand that you do suffer from extreme sensitivity and believe that slowly with time you will develop a stronger mind. When someone says something to you that you feel is rude, simply make a neutral statement in a neutral tone of voice: “Oh I didn’t know you feel that way” or “Oh I see..”. And leave it at that. Time is your ally. Move away from the situation for a few minutes, if you can, and calm yourself down. Say “It’s okay. I can handle this”.
Let people think what they want; we cannot control their minds, but we can control ours!
Congratulate yourself for every situation that you handled well and keep practicing the technique of giving yourself time to respond.I’m sure with time and patience, you will get to a point where you can tackle much more than you think you can. You have the skills. Just put them into practice.