Did you know that burnout is common for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD)? In this article, I talk about how I used hard work as an unhealthy coping mechanism and what happened when it all came crashing down, and burnout came for me.

From Wonder Woman to BPD Burnout

I used to love working too hard. I always had new goals and dreams that were larger than life. I was Wonder Woman. All this came to a head when I was about 25 during University. Students were to group up and write a 60-page mini-thesis every semester. Being Wonder Woman, I usually took over the research projects and assigned most of the work. I read all the assigned literature for my courses and performed well in exams.

I coordinated a student political project and traveled to refugee camps in Africa. My university career was very successful, but my physical and mental health was the cost. I was constantly worried I wouldn’t make enough for next month’s tuition, leading to homelessness and a poor, almost non-existent diet.

Then, one day, everything just stopped.

Suddenly, I was unable to work. I couldn’t function. If I tried to work, I would get sick. If I tried to read, letters and words would scramble. One day, out of the blue, I just stopped being able to function.

Coping with BPD Burnout

As it turns out, Wonder Woman was a coping mechanism. She regulated my emotions and gave me an identity. When she was gone, I was subjected to the full force of my disorder, and I became sadistically self-critical, reckless, and suicidal. I can still feel the effects of burning out to this day and will likely never operate at that capacity again. Wonder Woman still comes around from time to time when I need her. But I’ve come a long way standing on my own two feet.

Have you ever experienced burnout with BPD? Let me know what it was like for you.

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