People with BPD often feel like they are on an emotional roller coaster and typically have an unstable sense of self and fear of abandonment.

Everyone experiences emotional ups and downs, but those with BPD tend to experience mood swings that are more intense and frequent than the typical person and last between a few hours and a few days. While it’s normal to have your mood shift from feeling good to feeling down, someone with BPD may experience extreme mood shifts for minor reasons—going from feeling okay to feeling devastated, desperate, or completely hopeless within a matter of moments. In some cases the mood swings can occur many times in the course of a day.

Very often, a mood swing in BPD happens in reaction to an external trigger, and these triggers are often related to perceived rejection or abandonment by another person. For some the mood swing is caused by traumatic memories. Such mood swings can quickly bring on thoughts of suicide.

Individuals in such a state may need to talk to someone: a friend who will be able to show compassion, a friend who will make an effort to understand, even though it will be hard or even impossible. The important things for supporters to remember is not to advise or try to fix the friend. Simply listening and showing you care is the best thing you can do.

You are God’s representative. How can you be his hands for him? How can you show his love?


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By Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, P | Reviewed by Steven Gans, MD


This has been Part 9 of the series BPD for Churches. Read Part 10 Treatment