How Having Borderline Personality Disorder Can Affect Your Friendships

Unfortunately, personality disorders still have lot of stigma attached to them. More common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression have gained a wider level of acceptance in the eyes of the public, but illnesses like BPD and schizophrenia are still misunderstood and seen as frightening or alien. This stigma makes life much harder for people with the diagnosis because they may be more reluctant to tell others that they have an illness.

If friends don’t know you have BPD and can’t recognise the behaviours and anxieties than come with it, they will struggle to understand what’s going on if you have an episode. By the time I was 18, my BPD was full-blown and I had a serious eating disorder. This combination, mixed with heavy use of alcohol and other drugs (both prescribed and recreational), was utterly catastrophic. I was experiencing the extreme mood swings that come with BPD, and they were being exacerbated massively by substance abuse.

I’d always been a bit of a party girl at university, but when my body started to deteriorate from the eating disorder, I went from being a laugh to being someone who was publicly imploding. I definitely wasn’t an easy person to live with, but I needed support rather than disdain. I remember sitting on my bed and sobbing my heart out after my housemates said that they’d chosen a property together and I was unequivocally not invited to live with them the following year.

I was trying to get used to new medication for BPD, going through an eating disorders recovery programme, trying to cope with all my university work and dealing with an abusive relationship, and yet all my university friends could see was a drama queen and a mess.

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