BPD: Being Extremely Sensitive

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If you have been professionally diagnosed or know someone who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), then this post will most likely ring true to you in every aspect. Yet, there are still many who haven’t fully understood or accepted this fact. I’m going to put it out there…

Having BPD means being extremely sensitive!

Let me share! Most of my life, before and even after my diagnosis of BPD, I was told that I took things too personally. I was told to ‘stop crying’, to just ‘stop stressing’, and to ‘suck it up.’ Those are just a few examples. None of those statements were or are helpful.

They were hurtful, invalidating, and just insensitive. Throughout my childhood and most of my adult years, I lived each day feeling as though there was something innately wrong with me. Many (too many) were the days and nights I spent in complete anguish, feeling extremely defeated and depersonalized.

If you have been diagnosed with BPD, does this sound familiar to you? What does being extremely sensitive mean?

You can read about BPD on thousands of different social media sites. You can read about the guidelines for diagnosis in the DSM-IV book. There is an endless amount of data, research, and studies which have been published with everything you could possibly want to know about BPD. I have read a ton of this information.

For me, it is a lot more personal and informative if I can read someone else’s story and what they have experienced. Let’s face it, a page full of statistics, percentages, and numbers don’t mean a lot compared to someone’s personal account. So, I want to explain what it means to be extremely sensitive.

The hours and minutes of feeling extremely sensitive (true account).

09:35 – Awaken slowly and I feel very rested and comfortable. Little to no physical pain from chronic knee problems. I feel blessed. Life is good.

09:45 – Sitting on the couch eating a bowl of cereal. My loving dog has nuzzled up next to me for some morning cuddles. Feeling happy. Life is still good.

09:46 – After several mouth fulls of my raisin bran cereal I begin to notice that I have now eaten spoonfuls with no raisins. I’m angry now. Why? Why does my cereal have no raisins! What is the deal? Raisin is the first word of my cereal! Shouldn’t I get raisins in every bite? My brow is furrowed and I’m now angry!!

09:55 – My bowl is now empty and I toss it into the sink because I’m now fuming that I didn’t get hardly any raisins! Seriously!

10:15 – I have been scrolling through Facebook for a few minutes. Some friends of mine have ‘shared’ some funny YouTube videos. I’m laughing. They are funny! OK, now I’m nearly hysterical. I’m rolling with laughter and tears are beginning to roll down my cheeks. These are some of the funniest videos I have ever watched. I forward them to all of my FB friends and tell them they HAVE to watch them.

It has only been 40 minutes. In that short amount of time, I have experienced the extremes of many emotions: happy, content, angry, frustrated, ticked off, laughter, uncontrollable laughter, smiling and back to content again.

Let’s fast forward to the evening.

17:55 – Overall, even though it is always an emotionally exhausting day, I feel content.

18:06 – Back on social media to see what my friends, family, and the world has been up to for the day.

18:10 – Notice a friend of mine’s girlfriend has left a somewhat negative reaction to a comment I made on my friend’s post.

18:12 – Receive notification that said girlfriend has ‘tagged’ me in a comment. I read the comment. This person is accusing me of actions I have not done. This person goes on in their rant to call me inappropriate names and threaten me. I am confused. I am sad. I am angry. My heart starts to beat quickly. I start to panic. My head is racing with thoughts. I feel sick to my stomach. I’m starting to experience a full panic attack. Why is this happening to me?

18:17 – I am holding back my anger. I don’t know how. I’m furious. I want to tear this person’s tongue out of their mouth…personally. I can feel the rage starting to overwhelm me. I can feel the muscles in my neck, shoulders, arms and hands getting tense.

18:19 – I reply to this person’s comment. I explain to them who I am and how I know their boyfriend, my friend from high school. I want to call this individual every single horrid name I can think of. Somehow and someway, I restrain myself.

18:30 – After some time has passed, I have been able to point out to the person that they have me confused with someone else from my graduating class. I am hurt. I feel devastated. I am extremely sad! I feel depressed!

18:31 – The panic attack is in full force now. I take some medication. I go to another room. I shut the door. I leave the light off. I turn the fan on so I can’t hear anything. I hold my legs to my chest. I wait!

18:33 – I’m now lying flat on my bed and I’m sobbing uncontrollably! Why? Why do I get treated by ‘everyone’ this way? Why does this ‘always’ happen to me? Why do people have to be this way? I’m so tired of this! I didn’t do anything! I don’t deserve this!

In just 38 minutes I went from content, happen even, to confused, sad, angry, panic, rage, depressed, hopeless, suicidal ideation and eventually back to content again.

You take any emotion the “average” mentally healthy person feels and multiply that by at least 100 and that is a very simple comparison to what it’s like to live with BPD.

It’s exhausting. Every single day presents these moments that “should be, could be, would be” manageable for many, but for those of us struggling with BPD, they can lead us into a stronghold of depression, sadness, ragefulness, panic, anxiety, and even unexplained wild hysteria.

This is real. There is help! With time, therapy, and learning some new and effective skills, we can all learn how to deal with our emotions. Please, don’t give up! The fight is real. I know! Just don’t give up!

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post, or even if you didn’t. If you struggle with managing your emotions, what tools do you use to help you be successful?

©Julie Corbett


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