Borderline personality disorder is difficult to understand for those who live with it and those who are in relationships with people who have it. It seems there is no identifying the source of the relentless emotional pain which comes with borderline. Psychology Today reports on new research which has identified some of the sources of the emotional pain those with borderline experience on a daily basis.
Difficulty With Self-Regulation
Borderline personality disorder has its name for a specific reason. Those who are living with the disorder find it difficult to draw the line, the border, between what is real and not real, what is acceptable and not acceptable. One of the places researchers think this comes from is an inability to self-regulate their emotions. Self-regulation is what keeps us from saying everything we really want to say when we are angry because we know it isn’t true and it isn’t helpful. Someone with borderline personality disorder is lacking in their ability to do just that. Every single thought, emotion, and feeling is very realistic to them and therefore there is no reason it shouldn’t be expressed, despite how hurtful or inappropriate it might be. Self-regulation seems to be a problem especially when someone with borderline personality disorder isn’t getting their way or perceives there is someone or something blocking them from getting what they want, according to the article.
Inability To Handle Rejection
Citing the researcher’s author, the article explains that self-regulation can stem from an inability to handle rejection. Extreme rejection sensitivity causes those with borderline to “anxiously expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to rejection”. Rejection, the article emphasizes, “doesn’t have to be real.” Borderline personality disorder is known for creating a world of “fantasy” in which there are hidden games, intentions, scandals, and conspiracies working against the person with borderline. They become convinced of the reality of this and gauge their emotions as well as behaviors in response.
Struggling With Effortful Control
Effortful control, the article describes, is what we use to hold ourselves back. Deeply connected to both self-regulation and handling rejection, effortful control is especially a struggle with borderline personality disorder. Convinced of impending rejection and living with a deficit in being able to regulate emotions, this means any kind of reaction to that perceived rejection will be out of bounds- by everyone else’s standards. Consequently, relationships are damaged, abilities to progress in life are inhibited, and there is an ongoing cycle of guilt, shame, low self-esteem, self-loathing, and grief for those with borderline.
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