Changing your image is not something that is isolated to people who have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).
People do it all the time, I’m sure you have fancied a change from your ‘usual’ look and may even have braved a new hairstyle once or twice?
Lot’s of people enjoy getting tattoo’s and piercings, it doesn’t mean they have BPD.
So, what is the difference between these people and those who have BPD doing the same things many others do?
Well of course, the first difference is all the additional problems that go along with the BPD label.
The unstable sense of self and identity is just one of the nine criteria for a diagnosis (of which you must meet at least 5 to be labelled BPD). This is the element of BPD that takes the forefront in responsibility for dramatic changes in image, although it is likely at times to also have an underlying element of impulsivity and recklessness (a further BPD diagnosis criteria) and for some even an element of self-harm ( yet another criterion for diagnosis).
For me unstable self-image is a strong characteristic of my diagnosis, I have written several times about how this affects me in career decisions and also how it makes me feel I don’t ‘fit in’ anywhere socially. But I haven’t really gone into how it affects my outward presenting image, though anyone who knows me can tell you how rapidly my image can change.
I don’t have a single ‘style’ that I follow, I’m sure I’m not alone in this even with people that don’t have BPD. In a single week you can see me dressed in such a range of fashions that I switch from sophisticated office wear (even though I don’t work in an office – well anywhere at the moment) to mumsy sweater and jeans, to sexy evening wear, to simple casual wear, to wild ’80’s Madonna video throwback, to skimpy barely there outfits and everything in-between.
Let’s take a look at some of my recent outfits from nights out…
Imagine seeing that same girl in those pictures in a sweater and jeans, no-make-up – a very different look. You never know what I am going to turn up in next!
A few older (from 2009/10) pictures now to give an idea of other looks I have sported with my ever changing image…
As you can see along with the clothes my hairstyle and the colour of my hair has also changed a great deal. The base colour has been black for about five years now, but I have had blue and red streaks through it when it was longer. Then when it was cut short I have had the colour block since which has had red, purple and blue chunks most often but I have also had pink and orange in there too. Before I went black I have been ginger, brunette and I even went blonde (although I changed that within days as I hated it) and many shades in between.
Okay, so now on to tattoos and piercings. Again it’s not uncommon for people to have these, and once you get one tattoo or piercing (as many who have will tell you) it actually becomes quite addictive and you tend to want more.
I currently have 5 tattoos…
and 4 piercings, lip, nose, belly button and ears.
It is very likely that I will have more at some point, although I am having the dagger on my neck removed.
For me, and many with BPD getting a tattoo or piercing is often about the constant desire to find your own image, look different, change who you appear to be.
It can also be a method of self-harm.
And at times it can be impulsive and reckless, like the dagger on my neck – that was a rash decision during a time of crisis that I have ended up regretting because I am now having to have it removed due to not wanting a tattoo on my neck. It was all of these things – impulsive, reckless, need to change image and a method of self-harming. I guess at least I didn’t get it on my face!!
Even I don’t know what my next ‘style’ will be, will I get another tattoo or piercing? Will I change my hairstyle dramatically? Change the colour? Who knows!?
What about you? Do you have any tattoo’s, piercings or image issues?
- Impulsivity and Borderline Personality Disorder (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Can you tell me who I am? (showard76.wordpress.com)
- What is self-harm? 10 Common Methods (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Reinventing self – The BPD unstable sense of self-image rears its ugly head again (showard76.wordpress.com)
- Constant Career Changes – the BPD unstable sense of self-image (showard76.wordpress.com)
- BPD Has It’s Perks! (authorjaenwirefly.wordpress.com)