What my BPD 'meltdowns' feel like

Updated: May 11, 2019


[TW This post discusses suicidal thoughts and self-harm]


One part my life with BPD is having 'meltdowns'. When I have a meltdown, I experience the world as a terrifying place where nothing and no one feels safe.


I am trapped in a state of emotional agony and struck by a tonne of distressing memories. Often I am overwhelmed by distressing images and thoughts about not being able to cope, being out of control and suicide.


During a meltdown I cannot see the bigger picture; I can only feel this moment and it is excruciating. All the terrors of my past meltdowns, self-harm and suicidal thoughts are upon me and I cannot think of a future in which I am alive or safe.


I feel as though I am shattered into a million shards and unable to be pieced back together. I feel utterly alone and abandoned- like a screaming baby with no one to enable her survival.


I feel fragile, desperate and overwhelmed, but ultimately disgusted with myself. In short, I feel unlovable, worthless. I might say over and over again: 'I want to go home'. I might iterate that I feel scared, unsafe and can't cope.



It is at these times that I am at my most vulnerable and in need of the most love. Yet my behaviour is erratic, my thoughts like lightning bolts, my words confusing. Others around me might not know what to do and they might feel helpless or scared too.


I want to be close to others at this time; desperate to be touched, to be hugged, soothed or to have my hand held. Yet every touch or word can make me flinch: I feel unworthy of kindness.


My meltdowns used to be a lot worse than they are now. I used to self-harm almost every time I had an episode and now it is very rare that I do. I used to feel suicidal each time, but I don't always feel that way now.


I used to run away or leave the room. I was so agitated and terrified, I would run down the street or make a plan to die in an attempt to get away from the threats that I felt.


Now I am able to stay, lie down, be still, cry, breathe and wait until it passes. Do you experience meltdowns like this? How do you cope?

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​© Talking About BPD

Rosie Cappuccino 2019 UK

Please note that this site is not a substitute for professional medical/mental health advice.

Please see a GP or go to A&E if you need urgent help.

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