According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V, people who have Borderline Personality Disorder exhibit “frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, reflecting intolerance to be alone.”
This frequently results in “unstable and intense relationships marked by abrupt and extreme shifts between idealization and devaluation”, among other troublesome beliefs and behaviors.
And as my late, great friend Perry Hoffman, PhD, who founded the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) once pointed out to me, nearly every BPD-related trait listed in the DSM-V occurs in the context of a relationship, from casual to committed.
It is no surprise that those diagnostic traits would make it very difficult for a person living with BPD to establish and maintain a loving relationship with someone, particularly someone who is not familiar with the trials and tribulations of living with the disorder.
Difficult, yes. But impossible, no.
In addition to the many mental health experts have written about the challenge of relationships in BPD, a few people who have lived experience with BPD have shared their personal relationship stories in books, blogs, videos and other formats.
One of these is Rosie Cappuccino, a British woman with BPD who writes about her mental health journey on her blog Talking About BPD.
In a recent posting Rosie honestly and movingly described the loving relationship she is now in and the challenges she faced in forging that relationship. Embedded in her personal story are many insights that could be helpful to other people confronted by similar challenges as she faced. You can read the post here.
Rosie has also announced that she has authored a book based on her blog postings that will be published this Fall, similarly titled “Talking About BPD”. You can read more about the book and, if you are interested, you can pre-order the book now for delivery in late October, 2021. The book should also be a helpful resource to many people who struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder
Wishing you well in all your relationships.
Graphic by Rosie Cappuccino