Borderlines are called Borderlines because they are on the edge of being called psychotic.

Everyone has had that one (or two) people in their lives that constantly make up drama around them and then act like they hate drama. Why do people do this? What kind of a person wants drama in their lives? Who would want to alienate themselves over and over with new groups of people constantly? Well, it is a mental illness called borderline personality disorder. Throughout the years I have come across many bipolar people but very few borderline personalities. However, when you meet a borderline personality, it stays with you for awhile and when you befriend a person with borderline personality disorder it can pain you to have to walk away.

These people with borderline have some symptoms of: moody, overly sensitive, immaturity, makes fun of others, dishonesty, dramatic, unstable relationships with other people (intense at first, then all of a sudden devaluing the friend), playing the victim, impulsive behavior, jealous, paranoid / suspiciousness, cognitive / social learning issues, attention-seeking with pity / victimization, irritability, fear of abandonment, interpersonal functioning issues, self-image issues, story creation (for drama and pity), suicidal ideation, always needing someone there but never there for other people in their time of need. Borderline personalities also have issues with maintaining true opinions (very religious one day and the next not so religious) as well as changing their types of friends suddenly. Often they will feel as though they do not belong anywhere and will make comments regarding how they feel like they do not exist at all, especially after they have isolated themselves for attention and pity from a new group of friends.

Borderline personalities tend to abandon people during the devaluation phase because of their imagined abandonment issues. It seems contradictory, but basically once the borderline personality learns that their friend(s) really do not like the drama and that is brought up to the borderline personality, they will start to imagine abandonment and look for a new friend almost immediately. Generally, these people will latch onto someone else who will, quite frankly, put up with the mood swings and usually that is a person who has no idea of the borderline’s issues. Once the borderline is met with harsh truths from the new friend, the cycle will start over with devaluation and a new friend to manipulate.

It is important to note that borderline personality disorder can be treated. However, people with the disorder often quit going to therapy and quite their medications because they think they are feeling better. Sadly, it is the medicine and possibly the combination of therapy and medicine that is making them feel better. So when they go off the medication and/or quit therapy, there will be issues with the borderline personality and friends and family around him or her. “Individuals with borderline personality disorder may have a pattern of undermining themselves at the moment a goal is about to be realized (e.g., destroying a good relationship just when it is clear that the relationship could last)” (DSM-V).

Awareness is key: With a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences (Psychology) and over 2000 hours of working with diagnosed patients (depression, borderline, bipolar, histrionic, anxiety disorders, deviant behavior), I find that the best thing to do when encountering a borderline personality is to offer help by simply being there and later suggesting to go back on medication or back to therapy. Offer to go with the person to a doctor or therapist. If they get angry or mad and refuse help over and over, then one really must walk away or tell them the truth and allow person with borderline disorder to walk away. It is a mental illness that needs to be treated and if the person is refusing treatment and the drama or other issues are interfering with your life then it is truly the best option to leave the situation. It may seem harsh, but at some point the drama becomes too much and when you stay with or around a borderline person there is a chance they will try to make you feel as though you are the one who needs professional help.

What if you are a person who is exhibiting some or all of these symptoms? The first way to check is to begin a self-assessment. The first one I would do: notice if your social media cries “I hate drama” or if drama seems to be everywhere you are, perhaps it is time to look behind you and notice how it’s following you for a reason. If you feel you may have this disorder, get help as soon as you can. It is okay to have a mental illness, but it is not okay to be aware of it and do nothing. Doing nothing hurts other people and hurting other people is never a good thing.

Laura Helvey

Laura Helvey

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