Is there a way to explain BPD without people getting confused or scared? https://www.quora.com/Is-there-a-way-to-explain-BPD-without-people-getting-confused-or-scared Written by Monique Beyer (Published Writer, INTP & Polymath married to a pwBPD/DID) My enlightened friend with BPD said it best when describing it to one of her suitors; “It’s extreme people pleasing, perfectionism, inability to regulate emotions, fear of abandonment so you run away behaviors.” I can appreciate her explanation on so many levels. First and foremost, that she is honest about her disorder and she is consistently doing the self work daily to re-center herself and try to live a meaningful life to have connections with people. She is very much like a cat in her “come here, go away” behaviors (even with her daily mindfulness). Now that I understand BPD from her treated perspective and having a husband with untreated BPD, I have learned so much about BPD from her as she communicates effectively and articulates her emotions clearly. I met her through my group fitness activities at the local gym, while I was going through the beginning stages of devaluation with my untreated BPD husband. I did not know at the time she too, was also previously diagnosed BPD. She waited until a few weeks of meaningful and in depth conversations, before admitting her diagnosis. As we have gotten to know each other past a superficial level, she has been so helpful to me in understanding my husband’s BPD. In discussing his behaviors, I now know that he has a long road ahead of him and years of self work before he can ever get to her level of awareness. She had been diagnosed years ago and refused her diagnosis, as she did not agree with it. I asked her why she refused the official diagnosis years ago. She said it was because she thought her eating disorder (anorexia/bulemia) was causing her extreme crazy behavior, not realizing that in all actuality it was a symptom of her BPD. In our conversations, she has also realized that some of her behaviors are not considered “neurotypical” and that also has given me great insight that even the most aware pwBPD can still not realize that how they behave is a result of BPD until it is pointed out to them. For example, she was in the process of telling me about a situation where she had gotten upset with her kids and made them go stand outside and locked them out of the house. Until we talked about that not being “normal” behavior, she thought all parents did that at some point with their children. It also made me realize a comment that my husband made to our therapist about his fear of being locked out of our house, was probably because his mother did the same to him. The advice I would give to someone wanting to explain BPD to a friend or significant other, is exactly in the way that she did with her potential suitor. It is a simplified explanation that most people would understand. It is better to have that shortened summary than what they could read on Quora from embittered exes or clinical explanations that may scare the layperson just learning about the disorder. If you have BPD and want someone to understand and not be scared, full disclosure is key. When I first started suspecting that my husband had BPD, I read the clinical version explaining BPD, but it was only until I joined support groups and forums online with people with BPD, that I truly started to understand the disorder from the pwBPD’s perspective. I have spoken with many people that have been diagnosed with BPD and throughout our conversations, I have realized what are consistent triggers of the disorder. As a result, it has made the relationship with my friend easier, in that I understand her behaviors. As a result of our friendship and her willingness and comfort to explain BPD thoughts and emotions, I have learned to better understand my husband’s behaviors. As Zig Ziglar stated, “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.” Watching my friend do the work to heal her childhood trauma and ingrained patterns of behaviors, shows me that people with BPD can get better, but only with acceptance of a diagnosis and the ability to recognize and reflect. BPD is a series of behaviors/ways that pwBPD have learned to adapt in life because of childhood trauma and/or ineffective parenting, in most cases. Over 14 million Americans suffer from BPD and up to 1 in every 16 Americans will suffer from BPD at some point in their lives. It is not uncommon and not a hopeless situation. You just have to put in the work consistently with a good support network of friends, family and therapy.