Keep in mind the Borderline Personality Disorder highs and lows are not really emotions but based on the perception that comes from a false self-image. I think the easiest way to do this is to bring up a number of different situations and show it from both the high and low perspectives as it relates to BPD.
Relationships Highs And Lows
A) High – The person I am with is the most beautiful, intelligent, caring, understanding woman I have ever met and I will do anything to maintain this perfect relationship. The other person should be thankful for having someone like me in their life
B) Low – This person is nothing but an aggravation to me who is constantly looking for ways to bring me down and add to the misery in my life. If I could handle being alone then this woman would have been kicked to the curb a long time ago.
This is all talking about the same person but just a different perspective so when things are going well they are really going well but when they are bad they are really bad. I have been a number of relationships that can be measured in years that were going absolutely amazing on all levels until my brain saw something it took as a threat and I ended up in a low BPD perspective then watched the relationship crumble unless I could figure out what I saw as a threat really was not a threat at all.
Self-Image Highs And Lows
A) High – I am always right, I understand the situation better then anyone else in my life especially the so called `professionals`. I walk into any room and I am immediately the center of attention for I am that good. I can walk through fire and not get burned as I am basically invincible.
B) Low – I am always wrong so it is better to lock myself in the house and stay away from people so they don`t have the opportunity to hurt me. I walk into the room and everyone stares because I look like cousin It. If a situation is bad chances are I will get the short end of the stick every time. My doctors are all against me and they keep adding more and more bricks to the wall so there is no chance of recovery.
– I am also diagnosed with Severe Major Depressive Disorder so it tends to make the low perspective very low. Neither of the above perspectives are safe as the high level I don`t think I can be hurt so I take all sorts of stupid chances. The low perspective on a wrong day has led to more than one suicide attempt.
Therapy Highs And Lows
A) High – My therapist understands every little thing that I deal with on a daily basis and together we have made great strides in my recovery.
B) Low – My therapist surprises me that she/he remembers my name. I have spent countless sessions detailing my life yet no progress has been made of any kind. All the sessions are a paid form of torture as all the therapist does is attack me and destroy my self-esteem. I am better off on my own.
– This is how someone with Borderline Personality Disorder destroys therapists in one session they are God and in the next session they are the Devil all from a different perspective of the client. The problem is even in high BPD moments nothing is being accomplished as it is not real.
Everything in recovery is about finding that nice stable place right in the middle of the high and low where the real self-image is. The first step for me was to recognize the stage I was in and doing what it took to get to the neutral position and learning how to stay there. With a lot of effort (and two years of DBT), I am now put a buffer between someone else`s actions or words and my response to make sure my actions are coming from a neutral state and not a high or low false perspective which, to be honest, is a royal pain in the ass but it is getting easier as time goes by. There are still certain situations that will put me into a negative state but they are much more manageable now.
Living with Borderline Personality Disorder is like being drunk standing on a see-saw some days and you never know which way you will lose your balance but you’re pretty sure it is not going to be good. When it comes to confrontations the person with BPD is more than likely in a high BPD stage and will fight like hell to stay there as the other side or the low end usually means you are fighting yourself to find reasons to keep breathing.
I hope that this post helped cleared up the differences between the two stages and remember this is just my personal perspective and chances are it will differ to a certain degree from other people cursed by this disorder. If you differ in any way do let me know in the comments below.