What Does a Borderline Personality Disorder ‘Meltdown’ Look Like?

What is a borderline personality disorder (BPD) meltdown?

It’s when you’ve had a lot going on, you are overwhelmed and the tiniest thing tips you over the edge.

It’s when you’re on your last nerve, and accidentally type your PIN number wrong in the shop, and you switch from polite conversation to lashing out with zero control over the words that leave your mouth.

It’s when you storm out the shop and sob all the way home, proper “ugly crying” because you’re “stupid,” you’re worthless, you’re an idiot. No wonder no one likes you. No wonder you have no friends. No wonder you’ve never amounted to anything, because you are a stupid idiot, and you don’t deserve love.

It’s when you arrive home and don’t feel any better. Sure, you’re not crying now, but you feel guilty, embarrassed and worthless because you overreacted and can’t do even simple things without screwing up and upsetting everyone; you’re rude and nasty and are better off alone, because “normal” people don’t behave this way, right? Because you aren’t “normal” and can’t do anything right. No wonder everyone hates you, because they do. You’ve seen how they look at you. There’s a reason no one talks to you. I’m sure I saw such-and-such crossing the road when she saw me coming. Anything other than have to talk to me! Because I’m boring, and weird, and can’t keep a conversation going.

Eventually, you settle down. You lie in bed and put Netflix on your phone. You stick in the earphones and put on something funny. You need to distract the negative voices in your head. Maybe you nap.

Then it’s time to wake up because you have to face the music. You need what you tried to pay for today. You need to own up to your behavior and apologize because having a diagnosis doesn’t give you a free pass to being a horrible person. Besides, you feel awful about how you reacted, because they were only doing their job, and it was entirely your fault.

But you’re exhausted. No one tells you how exhausting it is to battle your mind and to spiral into a web of complete negativity.

Yet you have no choice, so you get up; maybe you shower. You try to make yourself look decent, or as close to decent as you can. Really, you’re trying to look as though you haven’t been crying and screaming at yourself in your head.

You go to the shop. You seek out the staff member to apologize. They accept your apology and assure you there’s no hard feelings, so you buy what you need and leave. Then people you see every day stop you to say “afternoon!” and to have a brief chat. You’re not as despised as you thought you were.

You feel OK now… until the next time.

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