Borderline Personality Disorder and Anger

As you may’ve noticed, I like to pick my topics for my blog posts in the “mental health” category from recovery or awareness challenges. I don’t usually finish the challenge or answer the questions exactly as they’re asked, but I like to get them to zap me out of writer’s block. One such challenge is the “31 days of BPD” challenge. It asks 31 questions – one for each day – about life with borderline personality disorder. The first one asks you to describe why you were last very angry.

Now the thing about anger in my case is that I don’t usually remember why I get angry, or even what happened. Another thing is that I tend to get angry over the slightest things but then get to make my anger about lots of big and only partly related issues.

For example, a litle over a month ago, I got angry because the staff were decorating the unit for Christmas. I don’t even remember what exactly preceded my blow-up. I ended up running off the ward, wandering, and eventually taking some of my cltohes off so that I froze. When security got me back to the ward, I went into seclusion (voluntarily). I was determined I wasn’t going to go back to my ward. I was angry at the staff on my ward in general for there not being enough support for me or structure to guide me through the day. I eventually even said I wanted to be discharged if my only options were to stay in seclusion or go back to my ward (which indeed were my only options). Eventually, I did go back to my ward.

When I’m angry, I don’t really pick fights or become particularly angry at a specific person. Even when I do direct my anger at someone in particular, I usually don’t mean to single them out for my rage. I don’t ever become physically aggressive towands people, but I do usually shout obscenities and may direct my aggression towards objects.

For me, anger is usually accompanied by a fight-or-flight response. I usually flee in anger indeed, as was the case with the rage over the Christmas decorating I experienced last month. It seems in a way anger for me is close to other emotions, such as anxiety.

It is also closely related to sadness. I usually can’t cry unless I’ve been angry first. Often, also, when I’ve been depressed for a while, it tends to turn into irritability and may even turn into rage. The same occasionally happens with excitement, where I get so excited it turns into rage. In fact, any strong emotion in my case can turn into anger. It’s probably because, with BPD, my emotions tend to shift so rapidly. Maybe even anger is the only “bad” emotion I know.

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10 thoughts on “Borderline Personality Disorder and Anger

  1. I read this post with great interest. I believe that my Mom has undiagnosed borderline personality disorder. I’ve read books about it (i.e. the classic “Stop Walking on Eggshells” by Randi Kreger‎) and she fits all the symptoms. When my Dad was alive I showed him that book’s checklist and he agreed! (They were married 40 years…) Anyway,thank you for writing about this. It gives me insights into this disorder.

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    1. It must’ve been tough growing up with a BPD parent, especially an undiagnosed one. Re your parents being married 40 years, that debunks a common myth that borderlines can’t be in long-term relationships (or can’t be faithful, although I don’t know of course whether your mother was). My husband at first wasn’t so sure I had BPD because he’s my first partner and will hopefully be my only partner too. The thing is, you don’t even need to meet all criteria from the DSM or all symptoms on a checklist to have BPD.

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  2. It’s very interesting how emotions can be so closely related – especially how a positive (excitement) can so quickly lead to a negative (anger). Thank you for sharing this post.

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  3. I was going to say exactly the same as Shannon – the fact that emotions can be so connected to each other. Another interesting and honest post from you Astrid. I always look forward to reading your words – and I don’t mean that I like what you are going through, I just like to be able to support you from afar. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

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    1. Thanks so much for your supportive comment. My post wasn’t meant to be sad or complaining, I just mean to raise awareness of what mental illness is like. That’s why I link up my posts with linkies like #PoCoLo even though I know most people can’t relate. Btw, you have the http in your URL twice so it doesn’t show up.

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  4. thank you for this post – you are brave and strong to write it, and as you say above, it’s important to raise awareness of what mental illness is like, and to understand from a first person perspective as much as possible how you feel and what you go through. I can understand anger becoming the over-arching emotion for extreme emotions – sometimes it can feel like all other emotions become so huge they are taking over, and perhaps this can kick off the anger. Thanks so much for linking to #AllAboutYou – this linky is for anything YOU, so this certainly is.

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  5. Hi Astrid, making my second attempt at commenting – my essay of a comment from a few days ago appears to have vanished! This was an open and honest post and I think that too rarely we hear from people going through these things directly first hand, thankyou so much for sharing and for linking to #allaboutyou

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    1. Hi, thanks for your comments. They both went into spam, sorry. I am so glad my post was appropriate for your linky. I was confused because it says something about the kids, and I’m not a parent.

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  6. Thank you Astrid, I have BPD, and for me, I tend to suppress my anger rather than let it out which I know is not healthy, so it is there bubbling away inside me, eating away at me. I am usually very calm, and placid and passive too. I am very sensitive and I let people get to me, but instead of voicing my anger at them, I turn it inwardly.

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