Term Paper: Borderline Personality

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Borderline Personality - Personal Journey Into Mental Illness

Do you know how it feels to totally not be in control of yourself? To be slave of your emotion? How about being unable to sustain a relationship, not even with the people who care for you the most? Have you ever felt totally alone it crossed you're mind to die? Or tried throwing your life away on vices such as alcohol, drugs and sex? Did you ever feel that it was yourself that is rebelling against you? I felt all these and more.

I am suffering from a condition called Borderline Personality Disorder. It is a condition with unproven causes but describes a person with highly volatile and pliable mood, with exaggerated reaction to situations, self-destructiveness and inability to maintain a healthy relationship. It is good to know that what I was feeling, the things I have done, and why I did them has a name. I was a sick person. Not physically sick. But sick deep inside. Wounded, with no physical wounds to show. Well, not really, if my scars from suicide attempts count. The doctors whom I've seen diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder. My sister and my mother were devastated when they learned about this. But somehow, I saw the relief in their eyes when they saw that there's a name for my behavior. That I was not born with it. That it was not my nature to have acted that way.

Borderline Personality Disorder was described as a severe, chronic, disabling, and potentially lethal psychiatric condition. People who suffer with this disorder have extreme and long standing instability in their emotional lives, as well as in their behavior and their self-image" (http://www.borderlineresearch.org/about_disorder/index.html).

My journey through Borderline Personality Disorder was not an easy one. On the contrary, it was a journey that can be compared to that of a rocky mountain trail with a lot of meandering trails, full of rocks and pebbles and boulders, with pathways leading to dark forests, and still not seeing the top of the mountain. Here is my journey.

I am now a 33-year-old female, fair, medium built, middle child of three children and is a Protestant. Was a Protestant. Until I had a fall out with my belief when I was still young. I'm going to elaborate more on that later. I believe that what happened in this chapter of my life has a big contribution to what had become of me afterwards.

When I was young, I believed I was flexible, that I could along with just about anybody in school. This pleased them more than it did to me. But hey, it was working, and everybody liked me. I don't have to belong to a specific group of friends. I was very young then. It was working until in my middle school, when everything fell apart. I became confused. I had no definite group of friends who I could really call my own. Who am I really? What am I supposed to be? And this persisted day after day, that in the end, I just suddenly let the feelings win me over. Until there was nothing left in me anymore. I became a ghost of a being, a nobody. I have even failed to be. I was what they expected me to be.

One of the possible etiologies for development of Borderline Personality Disorder is child abuse. I have been abused in more ways than one. I was molested as a child, and felt no display of affection from both parents. They say that Borderline Personality Disorder has multiple causes. Sadock et. al (2003) enumerated biological, genetic and psychosocial factors that are contributory to having Borderline Personality Disorder. It was explained biologically that people who are impulsive have increased levels of testosterone, 17-estradiol and estrone. Serotonin on the other hand is a neurotransmitter associated with depression and found to be decreased in people with Borderline Personality disorder. Genetic factor explains that there is association in the prevalence of major depressive disorder, mood disorder and borderline personality disorder in a family. Studies show that patients with Borderline Personality Disorder have family members who are suffering from depressive disorders and that they also have a tendency to have concomitant mood disorders as well. Psychosocial Factor points life events, stresses in the environment and personality and traits existing in a person. One's coping mechanism plays a vital role in having this condition.

Borderline Personality Disorder is an interplay of any or all of these three, making a person more susceptible if he or she has all these contributory factors. Knowing this, I am a clear candidate.

I had been always an agreeable child. I could easily assume a pleasant face as if nothing was wrong even if everything else is. I didn't answer back when scolded. And that even when I was being spanked and reprimanded. My parents were devout Protestant; my Father was a religious fanatic who believed in punishment. And he would beat me up and my siblings until we were black and blue. My mother would just cry in the corner lest she be included. I was always being punished for the slightest mistake made, and not just by my father, but also by my mother's brother, my Uncle.

Psychosocial factor clearly plays a big role in my development of Borderline Personality Disorder. I was surrounded with mentally-ill people: my father who was a religious fanatic and believed in punishment, but giving it in excess, and my Uncle who molested me, adding to the confusion I was feeling about myself and aggravating my condition.

One time, when I was on my way to school, my Uncle called me from the porch and told me to go near him. I was afraid. But I still went to him. He grinned and told me that he'd give me 5 dollars if I would lift my skirt. I was hesitant but I agreed, knowing that what we were about to do were bad. But for someone, I existed. I never told anyone about what happened, or about how when there was no one in the house, he would touch me. This happened again and again, and I couldn't tell anyone. It only stopped when he died. For some twisted reason, I was greatly saddened by this loss. Maybe it was because for him, I felt I was a somebody. There was a mixed hatred and a feeling of loss.

A spent my remaining days in high school rebelling against the authority. I skipped classes, I smoked pot, I had my first taste of liquor, I had sex with just about anybody who showed the slightest interest in me. At least when doing these things, I knew I existed for somebody even for the moment. That I was a presence.

After graduation, I found work in a convenience store. I became excited of being on my own. I left home and lived in a trailer park. But there was still some aspect of myself I couldn't understand. There were days that I would feel ecstatic and elated for being on own, for escaping my life and living one of my own. I was so happy that I would work longer hours than required and attend to the customers in frenzy. This would persist for a long time. But my mood was malleable for comments, and I would get irritated and mad for the most trivial matter, like a customer who was annoyingly persistent, a coworker who would ask a favor or my boss who would give orders. I would snap at them, and make comments, but I still managed to keep myself in check, not making a scene. And then after that, I would get exhausted, and sad and tired and depressed. What was I thinking? I could be so much more, and here I am in a trailer park, all alone. This got me so depressed that I would stay home for days, just laying down in the couch, crying, shouting and drinking myself to sleep. This would last for days until I could drag myself to clean up and go to work. This continued in for months, getting worse every time, with longer duration of each depressed-manic cycle, with me being normal in between. My boss threatened to fire me so many times already, but he did not out of pity. Whenever someone would comment about how trashed I look, I would assume a normal disposition, smile and convince them otherwise. But this "bottling" up for a few days took its toll on me, and then I would suddenly lose it, get mad suddenly, but "normal" the next. My boss talked to me about it, telling me how I was affecting the morale I the workplace. But I just could not understand what was wrong with me or with them. I did not develop friendship in the shop, and my relationship with the boss was going from bad to worse. I was… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Borderline Personality.  (2008, April 8).  Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/borderline-personality/1912

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