Do you often find that your emotions are hard to control and regulate, and you feel the need to overemphasize your feelings in order to be noticed? Most people would think that this classifies themselves as having bipolar disorder, but that might not be the case. Meet Camille, she suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder; this is her story.
Camille: My name is Camille and I am 35 years old, and I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is also called Emotional Regulation Disorder. I was a troubled child. I was very intelligent. I presented well, but I always had problems with dealing with very strong emotions, and as I got older and moved to the city, started having relationships and trying alcohol and drugs, these things were exacerbated by my inability to control myself when I got too sad or too angry, or even too excited about something. I would get very, very sick, lash out at people, and do things that later I would truly regret. The worst thing about having Borderline Personality Disorder is inability to regulate your emotions when they get too strong. When I feel bad, I have to work really, really hard to not feel so bad that I want to kill myself. Suicidal idealization is a huge symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. Most people who have the emotion regulation disorder have it not just because they were genetically predisposed to it, but also because they had hard childhoods with neglect, abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional invalidation. For my situation, my mother was autistic, and she didn't know how to respond when I was feeling emotional. So in order to get her to respond, I would get more and more emotional, or overwhelmingly emotional to try to get her to respond, but because of her autism she couldn't really understand what was happening, and then it became a behavior pattern with me that I took with me out of the home and into the world. When you grow up with an insane reaction to things, your completely unprepared for the fact that when most people don't get what they want, they don't throw things. That's not acceptable, and I didn't learn that in my home environment.
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