Facebooking Borderline

facebook emotional triggers sensitiveI haven’t written much lately because I recently joined a Facebook group for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Let me tell you a little about this group and the people in it.

Demographics:

Roughly 95% female

Age distribution:

Under 20            10%

20-30                   45%

30-40                   25%

40-50                   15%

Over 50               5%

Since BPD has a fatality rate of 10% that might account for the lower numbers by age or, perhaps, those in my age category don’t feel comfortable being online sharing their feelings. The older you get, the more conservative you supposedly get. These are just my estimates based on days of observation. There are roughly 3,000 people in this group or soon will be.

Outside of demographics here are some other observations.

There is a world of hurt here – many, many people in so much pain. And when you read the stories, it’s all understandable. Including myself, there are many people in the group whose lives have been some form of a train wreck because that’s what BPD does.

A fair number of people have been in psychiatric hospitals, jail, or homeless. Some have lost their children, many more have lost spouses and friends along the way. I have never seen such hurt.

But I also see some of the toughest people alive, alive being the key word. A walk through some of these lives is truly a walk through seven Hells. The fact that so many of them are still fighting is a testament to the human spirit.

Since there is also a dearth of support groups on and offline for BPD sufferers, people in this group are very grateful to have found it. Many of these people, having found others willing to talk are hopeful (to a certain degree) for the first time in a long time.

It’s not a paradise. It’s inevitable that people with BPD will react very negatively to perceived slights or being left out and that happens here. People join and later leave the group and perhaps sometime later, they will join again. The same issues that play out in real life play out here as well.

When I was very involved in an American Online fan group for Mystery Science Theater 3000 way back in the 90s, it almost seemed like we had formed a genuine community. Of course, it later all blew to Hell because of the usual petty human jealousies and perceived slights. I genuinely grieved the loss of the group, believing, for the first time, that I had found a place where I finally fit in. I met my second wife in this group.

The moderator of the group and others online have often made the observation that there will never be a true, successful community built anywhere online and if there is, it will be unified not by the best of the human spirit, but the worst.

It’s probably true.

But I hope this group will survive, at least long enough to maybe save some lives (no I am not being overly-dramatic). There is so little out there for people with BPD as it is.

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