When most people hear the phrase borderline personality disorder, they have automatic and immediate assumptions about the person being referenced. Oftentimes, these assumptions are wholly untrue and based on rumors and misconceptions. And these misconceptions can be hurtful and problematic for people that do live with borderline personality disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by extreme mood swings, identity issues, feelings of emptiness, and more. However, a clinical description can only tell you so much about the disorder. Here are some things people with borderline personality disorder wish you knew.

Borderline Personality Disorder Does Not Mean You Are Evil

Many people immediately think that a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are evil somehow. They assume they are heartless and self-centered, basically a psychopath. However, this is not the case at all.

The reality is that most people with BPD are highly empathetic and caring. In fact, part of the problem can be that they are too empathetic. If you are empathetic towards others, it is next to impossible to be evil.

Having Borderline Personality Disorder Does Not Make You Manipulative

There is another assumption out there that people with BPD are extremely manipulative and will do anything to get their way. The problem is that this is based on a misunderstanding of the symptoms of BPD.

When a person is having a BPD episode, they may become extremely emotional. This can mean that they get sad and cry or get angry and scream. They might go silent or might become very loud and dominating in conversation.

A person who is in a BPD episode may also threaten self-harm or suicide or take such actions. These people are not doing any of these things to be manipulative. They are suffering. Their emotions are out of their control. Manipulation is not necessarily a part of BPD at all.

People with Borderline Personality Disorder Can Have Good Relationships

Many people shy away from having relationships with someone when they find out they have BPD. There is a horrible misconception that people with BPD cannot have good or healthy relationships, but people with BPD can have strong connections and relationships just like anybody else.

Borderline Personality Disorder Doesn't Make You Dangerous

Emotional volatility and being dangerous are not the same thing. A person with BPD is not dangerous because of their mental health disorder.

You do not have to fear a person just because you find out they have BPD. You probably already know people with the condition that function normally, have never shown any signs of problems or being dangerous. And, they never will.

Borderline Personality Disorder Can Be Treated

Finally, perhaps the most damaging misconception out there about BPD is that it is a condition that cannot be treated. This is not true. The difference between personality disorders and other mental health disorders is that there are no medications designed specifically to treat the condition as a whole. 

Instead, medications for BPD and other personality disorders address symptoms of the disorder like depression or anxiety. The main treatment for these conditions is therapy, and it is highly effective.

Now that you know just a few of the facts that people with borderline personality disorder wish you knew, you can be sure you are supportive of anyone in your life that has this mental health disorder.