Thriving in the Workplace with Borderline Personality Disorder

Thriving in the Workplace with Borderline Personality Disorder

Stella loved animals since she was a toddler. Her mother often recounted how, even as an infant, Stella would trail the family dog, crawling as fast as her little legs would allow. At the tender age of four, she had saved an injured bird and wouldn’t rest until it had drunk from the water she had left.

Vet school proved more stressful than Stella had anticipated, though her intellect was more than sufficient to succeed. She chose to work as a veterinary technician for a while, planning to return to school when circumstances were more favourable. She secured a position at a local clinic, which boasted modern facilities and genuine care for pets and their owners.

Stella’s journey was not without its share of challenges. She found herself in conflicts with certain colleagues, like Kate, who often neglected her duties. These conflicts, deemed unprofessional by her peers, were a source of frustration for Stella. The situation was further complicated by clinic rumours, especially when Stella mistakenly accused Dr. Mills of infidelity. This incident taught her a valuable lesson about professionalism.

Can Someone with BPD Be an Effective Employee?

Despite the social challenges posed by borderline personality disorder (BPD), many with the diagnosis are intelligent, creative, and successful in their careers. It’s a common condition affecting more individuals than bipolar disorder and schizophrenia combined. Chances are you will work with someone with BPD.

Thriving in the Workplace with Borderline Personality Disorder

Creating a Positive Workplace: Employer’s Perspective

The most productive workplaces are those where supervisors take the lead in understanding and managing diverse personalities effectively. As an employer, your role in educating staff about mental health is crucial. This can create a supportive environment where all employees, including those with mental health issues like BPD, can thrive. Clear expectations reduce workplace drama, and fair treatment helps maintain professionalism, fostering a culture of understanding and support.

Creating a Positive Workplace: Employee’s Perspective

If you have BPD, it’s important to remember that you can maintain professional boundaries in the workplace. While friendships at work can be beneficial, it’s wise to avoid discussing personal issues that might leave you feeling exposed, particularly if relationships at work deteriorate. Instead, consider discussing your feelings with someone outside of work, like a therapist or a trusted friend. Aim to develop stable, professional relationships at work and focus on maintaining a balanced perspective on interpersonal interactions, knowing that you have the ability to thrive in a professional setting.

Stella’s story illustrates the importance of managing personal expectations and emotions in a professional setting. Recognising and addressing emotional reactivity can significantly enhance workplace relationships and personal well-being. With age and experience, managing BPD becomes more feasible, offering a hopeful outlook for those navigating similar challenges.

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