Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is not adequately described by the label it commonly goes by. A more accurate description would be emotional dysregulation. BPD has nine features. Some of us have all of them; others, like me, have only some.

For more information about the disorder, google BPD. But don’t allow what you read there to scare you. Not everything will necessarily apply to you. Neither does the web pay a lot of attention to the good aspects of strong sensitivity. God has made each of us unique and our sensitivity might very well do a lot of good in helping God with his work. Despite the way we may seem to others, many – like myself – have a deep desire to serve him and contribute to others’ wellness.

If only we weren’t so misunderstood! If people could only learn to empathize with us!  We ache for a chance to show the good we have inside, because there is so much. Yet too often all that is seen is the bad. We try so hard, but forgiveness is seldom offered. And yet our strong sensitivity is not a valid cause for shame.

BPD, with its uncontrollable mood changes, will frequently make us feel hopeless. We wonder: Will a normal life ever be possible? And how can I possibly keep living with such problems when people think so poorly of me? When one thing after another causes pain. I don’t want to go on like this!

With so much against us, and especially with the ever-present shadow of stigma, suicide is a major threat for people with BPD. One study shows that 8 – 10 % of patients with BPD will die by suicide.

Stigma towards BPD, more than any other mental disorder, is one of the most painful things about living with the disorder. Being stigmatized is no small thing. The great harm it does goes far beyond most people’s understanding. Stigma causes suffering that can, at times, irretrievably damage a person’s life. It can take away her self-esteem and ruin her opportunity to have a fulfilling life.

Imagine how you would feel if you were extra sensitive and thus stigmatized:

  • rejected, no longer smiled at or talked to because you’re feared and a burden;
  • shunned, despised, thought unworthy, abnormal (not even quite human?);
  • not considered worthy of taking part in discussions;
  • turned away by counselors as a difficult and hopeless case;
  • not included because you don’t fit in, you’re not liked, not wanted, you don’t count.

For readers living with BPD: I want to encourage you. Be assured that we have a God who loves us and will help us. Although we suffer greatly – in large part because of the world’s view of us – remember who you are. You are a child of God and he knows you well – inside and out.

There’s no end to God’s love. He reserves a special place for us, in his heart and in the world.