Today I would like to educate you all on a personality disorder that is, unfortunately, near and not-so-dear to me. Not that I should at all be trying to diagnose the people in my life, but if I had to chose from any of the 11 known personality disorders that afflict a few the people whom I'd like to violently avoid, it would be that of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Look around you. Maybe there is a friend or acquaintance in your vicnity who has the distinct ability to make you feel frightened, irritated, guilty, and (perhaps most of all) nauseated, usually all at once. I don't know what it is, but I can't seem to escape the borderlines. My first boyfriend was a textbook case of BPD, and if I had actually known more about the disorder when I was 14 years old, I probably could have saved myself a few years of misery. The trend appears to have started with him, and it continues to this day, usually causing me to exclaim to myself internally: "Oh God, not ANOTHER one! WHY can't these people just KILL themselves already!?"
So I'm here to help you arm yourselves with knowledge on your local area borderlines. First of all, the following sentence perfectly encapsulates the borderline mentality: "I hate you, don't leave me!" This is the person who will love you one minute and the second they feel that you no longer care enough, they will instantly devalue you. Their perceived sense of abandonment is often played out by enacting in dramatic behaviors, such as suicide threats and self-mutilation. Also, they will frequently change their identities. And no, I don't mean drivers licenses and social security numbers, but more in changes in value structure and self-image.
You can read the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder here, and although I have to advise against you diagnosing your friends and family based on something you read on a blog, I only have this to say -- if you know anyone who falls under at least 5 of those criteria and who makes your existence confusing, bleak, and suffused with the maddening urge to choke that person until they are no longer living, I have two words of advice for you: Run away. And if they threaten suicide because you did that, I suggest you share with them these two words: "Please do."
The second most prevalant personality disorder that I seem to encounter is Histrionic Personality Disorder, but I'll save that one for another post.