3 Superpowers of Borderline Personality Disorder
Let's chat about the superpowers of borderline personality disorder that are often neglected. See how DBT can help harness the powers of BPD.
All it takes is a 4-minute Google Search about borderline personality disorder for the internet to tell you how “awful” life with BPD can be. The internet shows us articles of grimness associated with BPD and essentially encourages us to lower our expectations of what we can accomplish. Articles tell us to expect extreme difficulty in regulating our emotions and maintaining positive relationships with people around us. Some suggest picking certain careers based on having this diagnosis alone.
If you scroll a little further or switch tactics and look at social media, the narrative shifts a little bit. The overall “theme” of BPD being difficult to live with is present. But, the voice changes a little. On some platforms, there’s omnipresent negativity surrounding this diagnosis. Fortunately, this isn’t always true for each platform. For instance, Instagram has a plethora of accounts that provide information, lived experiences, and helpful advice regarding borderline personality disorder.
However, it doesn’t necessarily feel like enough.
Outside of social media and the internet, there’s an overall negative perception of borderline personality. Many people assume it’s a mental health diagnosis with a grim prognosis. Or, they think “having multiple personalities” is the same as borderline personality disorder (fun fact: they are not even remotely the same).
What’s not talked about is the superpowers of borderline personality disorder.
You may or may not be aware of the superpowers that come along with BPD. In fact, most people aren’t. The superpowers of BPD mimic the same narrative we see in Marvel or other superhero movies. The hero, which at first isn’t appreciated or recognized for their strengths, is harboring their superpower in secret. But, as the storyline develops, eventually everyone else recognizes how important their power is and how much they are needed. In our society, we haven’t gotten to this yet. But, I believe we’re on our way. The first step is to recognize and understand the superpowers of BPD.
Superpower of Borderline Personality #1: Resilience.
It’s no secret that BPD typically comes with some sort of previous trauma. Often, people have had relationships that resulted in them not being treated right. For some, this may have been a familial, friend, and/or intimate relationship. Regardless, you’ve had very challenging experiences that other people may not have had. You have been to the darkest points in your life, and you may go back there frequently. You’ve had challenges and experiences that not many people around you can identify with. You know what it feels like to be at your lowest and to reevaluate your life, and your purpose. You may have even made attempts to take your life.
And yet, here you are. Alive, and reading this blog post. You’ve made it through some of the most difficult and dark moments in your life, and you’ve come out on the other side. This is because of the choice that you made to continue to live and to be incredibly resilient. It may not always seem like it, but your resilience is one of your superpowers. You have been able to handle some pretty tough times because you made the choice to.
Superpower of Borderline Personality #2: Empathy.
Because you have felt some of the most vulnerable feelings on the planet, you have a beautiful ability to empathize with others. You know what the happiest of happy moments feel like, and what the lowest of lows feel like. You have a wonderful sense of being aware of what other people are feeling, and helping them name it. Sometimes, you don’t even have to have a conversation with someone to be able to get a sense of what they’re going through. It’s almost like a sixth sense for you. Sometimes it can feel burdensome to harbor and identify the feelings of others around you to such a high degree. And yet, you can do it so seamlessly. You have a special way of being able to connect with other people's emotions in a way that is truly so unique. If you’re not aware of this superpower, give it a try next time you can sense someone else’s energy around you. You may surprise yourself that you’re able to identify with them more than you realize.
Empathy is a superpower because you can connect with other people in a way that others can’t. More than just naming feelings, you can often take on what other people feel. Sometimes, the best feeling in the world is feeling understood. With this superpower, you can help people achieve that.
Superpower of Borderline Personality #3: Creativity
You may or may not roll your eyes at this one, so hear me out. Someone with BPD tends to think more about situations compared to folks that don’t have BPD. Oftentimes, this brings some really wonderful benefits. This includes being able to catch patterns, notice subtle differences, and make connections that other people can’t. So really, you’re likely pretty detail-oriented. With detailed orientation comes creativity and artistic ability. It’s no secret that BPD can bring some very intense emotions. And when these intense emotions are used for creative expression, beautiful pieces of art are created. This can be everything from writing to painting, to singing and dancing. If you have not tapped into this superpower, I invite you to give it a try. Channel your emotions artistically and see what you create. My guess is that you’ll surprise yourself with a beautiful creation.
DBT: The BPD Superhero Training
Every superhero needs some kind of training to learn how to harbor their power and use it for good. Fortunately, DBT can be that avenue. DBT, or dialectical behavioral therapy, is a type of therapy that promotes emotional regulation and distress tolerance. This is achieved through a variety of skills and framework adjustments. DBT doesn’t aim to make someone ‘not’ have borderline personality disorder. Instead, DBT teaches you to how to amplify the most beautifully unique aspects of your life, and to find the remedy for your kryptonite.
Start DBT Therapy in St. Louis, MO
Our DBT therapists are ecstatic to start working with you on your journey. We offer DBT therapy through online therapy, or in our St. Louis-based counseling practice. Our DBT therapists understand how difficult taking the first step is, and we encourage you to be bold. When you’re ready to start DBT therapy in St. Louis, MO, follow these steps: