Extreme emotional swings
Unstable emotions and moods are common with BPD. One moment, you may feel happy, and the next, despondent. Little things that other people brush off can send you into an emotional tailspin. These mood swings are intense, but they tend to pass fairly quickly (unlike the emotional swings of depression or bipolar disorder), usually lasting just a few minutes or hours.
My moods have always been up and down, but usually down. I do suffer with depression and for a long time thought that was the only mental health problem I had. Turns out I was wrong. I didn’t realise it was unusual to go from feeling like complete and utter shit, to feeling really happy and what has been described as manic. I can start talking in a normal manner and then by the end I’m talking at such a speed, people cannot keep up with what I am saying. Then I’m quite excitable and then a few minutes later my mood can come crashing down. This can be for different reasons, I could just be exhausted, had a bad thought or believe I have said/done something wrong and annoyed the other person. I often think I have annoyed other people. I can be talking to them and if they answer a certain way or look a certain way, I instantly think I have annoyed them and then feel completely shit. This causes me to withdraw into myself and I can even stop the conversation or leave the situation. Deep down I know it is all in my head and do try to overcome the thoughts, try to rationalise them, but sometimes it is just impossible to do. Then once the thought is there, I cannot give rid of it, until I am out of the situation.
I can also get annoyed with people. If I think they have dismissed what I have been saying or don’t look interested, I will take it personally and get really annoyed with them. I say them, it’s only really with my partner. She says she doesn’t know what she’s going to get with me sometimes, as my moods can change so quickly and drastically. I have been on medication for the last year and this has helped reduce my mood swings. Well, it has stopped me acting on my thoughts as much, due to the fact that the medication mostly makes me feel numb. But it has still happened. But I am aware of it happening and either tell her or try and remove myself from the situation. It can go the other way and I just internalise the anger and then I will explode at the smallest thing. That’s never good. But I think being self-aware is reducing the amount of times it happens, but again, it means I am always constantly thinking about whether my emotions are valid or not.