Living with a personality disorder is indescribably hard. The stigma attached to it causes those who suffer to feel ostracized, and many just dismiss them as "crazy". Once they're able to adjust to it, it makes life so much easier, and strengthens their confidence, mental health, and even relationships.
Accepting the diagnosis is the first step.
"I was recently diagnosed with Avoidant Personality Disorder (I'm 28). I grew up with the massage that intimacy = surrendering all control to the other person, and I was never able to trust my parents or family members because I knew they were more concerned about themselves than me. As an adult I've always tended to lose myself in relationships, lose sight of my own wants and needs and form myself around the wants and needs of my friends and partners whilst feeling resentful for being unable to show the "real" me to anyone.
Currently I have no real friends because I find that it exhausting, and I have a boyfriend but I hate the way I absorb his values and opinions and I miss being in touch with my true self like when I'm single. I desperately want to have meaningful relationships in my life, but I can't escape the impulse to become subservient to whomever I allow close to me, and I end up resenting them as their identities take hold of me. I don't want to be alone, but alone is the only way I feel in control of myself.
I can't say I'm a "success story" because I only recently received this diagnosis and I still have a lot to work on, but at least I know what I'm dealing with now, and for me success will consist of learning how to actually share my true thoughts/feelings/opinions/ with people (which is really hard), how to end a relationship that doesn't suit me rather than suiting myself to my relationships, and learning to trust myself even when others disagree with me. I think I have a long road ahead."
BPD is a struggle.Giphy
"I've been with my boyfriend for 5+ years, and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder about 2.5 years into our relationship.
Before my diagnosis, even though we got along amazingly, communicated well, and were generally happy; I would find myself throwing toddler-like tantrums at any perceived or imagined slight. I hated this about myself. I thought I was a bad person because I just couldn't control myself. My partner happens to be an amazing people reader. He seems to just naturally pick up on people's personality and intentions as easily as I notice hair colour. He was nothing but understanding. Even though we had little knowledge of mental health, we both knew something was "off," and he was a constant support as I sought out treatment.
I was diagnosed with BPD and given a therapist who specialized in PTSD in veterans. It turns out my "flair-ups" were somehow similar to a PTSD flashback. I was taught a bunch of techniques to use when I felt myself starting to flair out. It was also the first time I realised that my parents had been incredibly emotionally negligent, to the point where I hadn't actually learned to deal with emotions. What was accidentally taught instead was that if I am angry or sad, I am about to be yelled at.
It's taken 3 years, but I've found the right combo of meds, I'm not "cured," and I'm definitely not perfect. But I don't have "flair outs" anymore. Sure I sometimes raise my voice when I shouldn't, or get into a stupid argument with my boyfriend, but I'm working on myself every day and we're super solid, and super in love.
I'm actually typing this beside him aboard a ferry on our way to (what will hopefully be) our new life. In 3 hours I'll be doing the entrance exam for a college program that I'm really excited about, and afterwards we're checking out the shop he'll be managing in September. We have a cat and a dog together, we illustrated a book together, found a 20,000 year old fossil together, and forage together at least once a week."
Don't give up.
"I have schizoid personality disorder and it's really not that interesting. I was also diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia so those took priority. I didn't even realize I had it until I reread an old document years later. There's no real treatment for it but finding out helped me understand myself better. Also, if you get a mental evaluation done you should really get a professional to interpret it.
I haven't had much success but I haven't really tried either. After being diagnosed, I've accepted that someone would have to be damn near perfect for a relationship to feel worth it for me and that person might not exist. I'm alright with that for now."
The diagnosis is the first step.
"Literally ALL my relationships were a hot mess before I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2017. I had been through 3 divorces, broken up with my daughter's father, and totally messed up a perfectly fine potential LTR with someone I really did like very much.
Meds, therapy, a DBT therapy app on my phone, and an awareness of what is "me" and what is "BPD" and I have so far managed to not make any horrific mistakes in my current relationship - he's amazing and I'm pretty motivated to spend the rest of my life with him.
What helps the most other than meds has been learning to self-soothe. I cannot stress that enough. If I feel afraid of being abandoned, I can't put that off on him other than maybe ask for a bit of extra reassurance. I had to learn to give myself positive self-talk and to learn and practice grounding and coping skills. He's there to support me and accept me, not fix me or be a punching bag for my insecurities."
Talk about a stigma.Giphy
"Diagnosed with Narcissistic personality disorder a good while ago. It hasn't prevented me from having good relationships with people; I'm fairly charismatic and likable. I realize saying that is a bit... on the nose... but genuinely, I don't believe that it has ever been the reason for any of my relationships ending.
At my therapists' behest, I do make sure to tell anyone that I get in a serious relationship with that, yes, I've been diagnosed and these are some behaviors that you should watch for. I'm manipulative, and it's hard not to be. You figure out how people are going to react to things in the course of normal interaction, and once you know that, how do you not press the buttons that get the reactions you want?
Sometimes it can be a hurdle, having a partner watching for manipulative behavior even when there isn't any, and I really have to try to understand my partner's emotions, but aside from that, I've had plenty of good relationships since being diagnosed."
That's what a supportive partner looks like.
"I was diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder (sociopathy) about a year and a half ago. it was... rough.
I was scared, but everyone around me was scared too. Of me. The few people I had actually been able to make bonds with were scared of me. Hell, my own parents were scared to even talk to me.
My wife, though, she wasn't scared. She was a bit startled, of course, but she wasn't scared. I asked if she was, and she told me that she's known me for so long, she always knew me and loved me the way I am. For who I am. (She is the only person I've ever dated, after all.) She said she knew I wouldn't change just cause of a piece of paper from a doctor. I gotta say, a little kindness during tough times can even warm the heart of a sociopath."
Love is a powerful thing.
"Diagnosed ASPD by multiple mental health professionals, and I pretty much fit the mold of sociopathy to a T.
I say "pretty much" instead of "completely" because of the relationship I have with my fiancé. I met her almost three years ago, and immediately felt a whole bunch of weird emotions I'd never felt before as soon as I saw her for the first time. I was 22 at the time, and I had never loved, cared about, or been emotionally invested in another person for the entirety of my life. I faked it when necessary but I had pretty much given up on ever feeling love or compassion for another person.
She changed all of that. She is the only human being on this planet that I care about. I would do absolutely anything for her. I treat her with the utmost respect and humanity. I do not manipulate her. I do not lie to her. I do not lead her along through the use of fear, intimidation, and/or psychological manipulation... but rather with my most genuine attempts at love and kindness.
Sometimes I fall short... she's aware of my diagnosis and it sometimes bothers her that I don't treat anyone else in my life the way I treat her. But I do, and always will, try my damn best to treat her like a queen. Because she is.
We've been together for almost two years and we're both extremely happy in our relationship. My current therapist is continuously blown away by the fact that there's one overwhelming exception to my otherwise-textbook antisocial behavior. After growing up almost completely devoid of human emotion, empathy, or compassion, developing these feelings was initially quite scary. I wouldn't trade them for anything, though. Love is pretty cool."
"I have Schizoid Personality Disorder. I'm 48. I've not dated since 1992. If she hadn't asked me I probably never would have dated but my curiosity got the best of me. I'm also chronically unemployed.
I've never been able to keep a job mostly because I don't build relationships with my co-workers. School was a disaster probably for the same reasons. I don't seem to be interested in things the way other people are so I'm impossible to motivate."
"Schizoid Personality here. What are these relationships you speak of? /s
Relationships haven't changed, but knowing how other people think makes getting by easier."
"To say I've had a diagnosis or two, been through the ringer a bunch, and have had to deal with the repercussions of that would be an understatement. What I can say though, is when I finally addressed it to the people I trust and care about it lifted a great weight.
I guess my advice would be just own it, don't sugar coat, joke about it, and overall let love ones know you recognize the behavior and move forward with the assumption that it was a learning experience and people progress. Often it makes you a much better person."