What are some positive aspects of BPD?

This post is written by Imi Lo, a Specialist Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Coach, and Author of the book Emotional Intensity and Sensitivity (Amazon No.1 bestseller)

For more informative material you can check out Imi’s website here: https://www.eggshelltherapy.com/

BPD is one of the most stigmatised conditions there is. I can understand why— the volatility, the unpredictable nature of being with someone with BPD, the threats of life and death matters. Both having BPD and being with someone with BPD can leave you feeling helpless and powerless. However, the stigma and judgments are not always fair.

Behind the BPD label, there is a real person, with sensitivity, intensity, passion and a deep capacity to feel.

Many people with BPD are deep thinkers, intuitive feelers, and many are intellectually, emotionally and spiritually gifted. They do not always have the capacity to show it, but they have deep love for the world and people around them. If they can find a way to manifest their gifts, they have infinite potential and a lot to offer the world.

If you happen to have BPD, please do not allow the world’s judgment, scapegoating and misunderstanding knocks you into hiding. You, like everyone else, have the right to thrive as you are. A label does not take away who you are, and with one rejection, there are many others who are waiting to connect with you.

Here are some gifts that are often overlooked in someone with BPD:

They Are Deeply Empathic

Sometimes mainstream media or online forums would mix up sociopathic tendency with BPD. But both my personal and professional experience shows me most people with BPD are deep empathiser. They may not always be in an emotionally stable place to respond empathically, but despite what they say or do, they are certainly capable of feeling other people’s pain.

Clinical psychologist, Alan Krohn, in a published paper, said that his borderline personality disorder patients were extraordinarily tuned in to the emotions of others. This was to the degree that they often felt things that other people were unaware that they themselves were feeling. They could intuit private judgments and impulses in people.

They may lash out in anger when their buttons are pushed, but that is because they have an extremely hurt and traumatised inner child. When they return to an adult mode, they feel remorse and apologetic.

The world of a BPD mind is messy, unpredictable, and often feels unmanageable. Despite this, most people with BPD try their best. At their core, they are highly compassionate, and they are incredibly kind.

They Are Highly Perceptive

Research has found that those with BPD are aware of other people’s mood shifts and can read their facial expressions more accurately than others who don’t have BPD. Sometimes this perceptiveness comes at their own peril. They can see things like deception, injustice, deception, and hypocrisy in other people, and that doesn’t make life easy. Others may alienate them because they dislike the feeling of being ‘seen through’.

When you are with someone with BPD, they may ask if you are upset or mad even when you are not showing it. In these instances, try to ask yourself if there might be something in there. It is not that they are ‘over-sensitive’. They are highly perceptive and may sense things that you don’t even realise you are feeling.

If you have BPD, know that this skill of intuition takes some practice to finesse, but once you have learned to use it, rather than being controlled by it, it is a powerful strength that can bring you success in personal and professional life.

They Are Gifted In The Arts

Many people with BPD channel their pain through the arts. This is how they heal– through music, writing, dancing. In a way, they don’t have other choices. The pain of BPD is so intense for them that it goes beyond words. Art is how they express, connect, and cry for help.

Many with BPD want to rise above being a victim, and this is how they do it. They are summoning the creative power of their souls to reach out into the world, touching those who have travelled the same paths. Creative endeavours are not just their language to communicate to the world, but also their gift to humanity.

They Have A Deep Capacity To Love

Many people believe that those who suffer from BPD can’t love properly. It is true that many people with complex trauma have never been or felt loved before, so they struggle to express it. As adults with a traumatising childhood, it can be difficult for them to trust, to give themselves away, and to manage healthy boundaries. But when they feel safe, loved, and accepted, they are passionate, sensitive and caring life friends and partners.

They Understand Suffering

Unlike physical trauma or disability, BPD is invisible. It is a heavy baggage that they live with, yet the world rarely offers sympathy. Let alone strangers and the general public, many people with BPD even struggle to have mental health professionals take them seriously.

Because they know what it is like to suffer in silence, they see it when others are going through invisible trauma. They notice signs children are abused or neglected, and they know better than to undermine other people’s suffering.

When they are in a good place, they can become the strongest and the most passionate advocates for themselves and vulnerable groups who suffer in the world.

They Are Intensely Passionate

People with BPD are Intense People.

In every person with BPD, there is a hidden inner child. Many of these survivors of unspeakable trauma never got to play and express themselves as a child. When they allow their inner child to come out, however, you will be surprised by how much magic there is in their enthusiasm and innocence. You can’t help but feel tender towards their inner child.

People with BPD have a ‘powerful engine’ that can be a tremendous driving force for a good cause. When it comes to their passions, they are unstoppable. When they are engaged, their natural exuberance is contagious. You will get caught up in their excitement. You want to be around them.

They Are Actually Incredibly Resilient

Do you know how painful BPD is? It is chronic, and the trauma starts when someone was a child or a teenager. The fact that they have withstood many emotional turmoils, interpersonal trauma and suicidal spells and are still standing strong, is a triumph.

They may not show it, or feel it, but they are one of the strongest warriors there is.

Having to work through childhood trauma and reconcile with their past is a heavy lifelong task, but many are able to use their experience to make them stronger. When someone with BPD breaks free like a beautiful butterfly breaks free from its chrysalis, they deserve our admiration.

If you are a sufferer with BPD, do not allow the world’s negative judgment to crush you. The negative symptoms of BPD do not have to take over your entire world.

If you have recently been diagnosed with BPD, you might be daunted by what is ahead of you. You may ask– where do you fit in now? What have you got to live for?

Do not be afraid of that label— at the end of the day, it is a social construct used by psychiatry and insurance companies. It does not define your soul.

You are a strong person who can rise above your challenges, and you have the gifts of compassion, perception and understanding. The world needs you.

Yes, there are many who will not understand your painful life, but you are a survivor.

While you didn’t ask for BPD to be a part of your life, it is in your power to heal from it.

You do not need anyone’s approval to start standing up for yourself and own these gifts.

I wish you well on your journey to manifest the fullness of who you are, beyond the diagnosis.

For more informative material you can check out Imi’s website here: https://www.eggshelltherapy.com/

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