So you’ve scoured the internet, and you’ve decided that you identify with borderline personality disorder (maybe after diagnosis, as well!) There’s a side of borderline personality disorder that’s rarely talked about: high-functioning borderline personality disorder.
Mental health center writes, “Sometimes it’s the bubbly person, the high achiever, the actress, or star athlete who is suffering from anxiety and depression. High-functioning depression and anxiety are increasingly being recognized as a real issue.”
Are you a high-functioning borderline?
You might have days where you feel like you’re a fraud.
Your professional help is telling you that you have borderline personality disorder and sure enough, you’re hitting most of the requirements on the DSM… but something is off.
You’re able to get yourself out of bed.
You’re holding a job or actively seeking employment.
Hell, there’s a part of you that is continually trying to better yourself.
Meanwhile, you read all these stories about people living with BPD that can hardly brush their teeth, say hi to a neighbor, or support themselves without the help of friends or family. You might feel guilty, or like you’re not really that sick because your life seems to be easier to manage.
In truth, your diagnosis is still valid.
You’re a high-functioning borderline.
What does high-functioning even mean?
Usually, the term “high-functioning” is reserved for those living with autism, but it can apply to all mental health disorders.
Living with high-functioning borderline personality disorder doesn’t mean that your life is any more comfortable. You still struggle with your emotions. You may be self-aware, but you still react in angry, frustrating ways that push other people away.
On the outside, no one would suspect that you live with borderline personality disorder.
But behind closed doors, your world feels like it’s falling apart.
The main difference I see between high-functioning BPD and BPD is how you’re able to conform to societal expectations. If you’re ready to hold a job, have a relationship, and do your basic human requirements, you’re “high-functioning.”
It doesn’t make your borderline personality disorder any less real.
It also doesn’t mean that your life is always sunshine and rainbows.
I’ve often been applauded in private that I can get my shit together long enough to keep a blog going, but there will be weeks where I can’t muster the energy to write. There will be moments where my laundry goes neglected.
Some days, it’s too difficult to convince me to stay alive.
For the high-functioning borderline, it looks great on the outside, but the foundation might be crumbling on the inside.
But regardless of whether you’re high-functioning or not, I always believe that living with BPD is something that we should work on, daily.
Take a step back from emotionally charged situations and breathe.
Some days, you might feel superhuman and that your disorder is managed or “cured.” Keep taking care of yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to be full blown depressed and suicidal to manage your health.
Do you identify as a high-functioning borderline? Let me know in the comments below.