Borderline Personality Disorder Community
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Avatar universal

How can a person with BPD hold down a job?

I have been diagnosed by a psychiatrist with borderline personality traits (she said she doesn't want to call it "disorder"  but still that's what it is). The older I get, the harder it is to get along with other people. It interferes with my holding down a job. I take everything personally and get mad and get my feelings hurt all the time. I either hate someone or like them, no in between. How is someone supposed to keep a job? Working is just another stressful event. I also have recurrent major depression, anxiety disorder, and "possible bipolar type 2." No matter what meds I take, I still can't get along with people unless they are very patient and understanding and nice to me. I hate my life. I was laid off work 6 months ago and haven't been able to either look for work, or if I have had an interview, I never get the job. Nobody likes me. I know I come across as weird, I can tell by peoples' reactions. It wasn't like this when I was younger, it just gets worse. I don't know what to do.
14 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
Find a way around the stress for specifics with reasonable accomodations that won't interefere with the overall job function: "time outs" etc. Think about what might work. You could find out more about how to work while having a disability at your local independent living center:
Avatar universal
I've tried all that but no employers get it. They don't understand. I don't tell them my specific disability because they'll think I'm nuts. The job market is too awful now to take a chance on getting fired. I have nobody who I can live with if I try to get on Social Security Disability either so I'm so screwed. Having bad thoughts.
Avatar universal
You have to go "undercover." That's what I try to do, although I'll admit I'm not expert.

Your symptoms sound a bit like mine so I thought I'd chime in. I also have problems working a permanent job so I work temp jobs instead. I have issues with commitment so it helps to know that whatever anxiety I'm feeling or people I'm dealing with in the office is just temporary. I have a date that I can look forward to and it's kind of exciting moving from job to job.

It really helps me. The only thing is that it's unstable since you have to learn to line up jobs so that you don't have dry spells in between work and go broke.

Anyway, good luck. Maybe register with a temp agency.
Avatar universal
I've bpd and run my own business,  yes its hard and the daily thoughts and emotions are difficult
but you have to move forward regardless of how difficult life is.
Avatar universal
I too have BPD, as well as Bipolar 2, Lyme's Disease and other issues. I was healthy as a horse, very fit and worked 70 hour weeks, then got bit by a freaking tick and my life has been hell since. So, with the variety of problems I have, I got on Disability. I am almost 47 now and it took me over 3 years to win my case, so be prepared for the long haul if you go this route. Try to find a doctor who is knowledgeable about what it takes to qualify for a disability and who will back you up. Then, immediately get a lawyer, cause likely you will end up having to get one anyway. Almost all of them just take a percentage if you win, and likely won't take your case unless they believe you will win. As for the BPD, the only thing I have ever found to be helpful is to let those closest to you know what you have, and to give you feedback when you start showing the signs. I constantly fight my feelings and try to be as "socially acceptable" as possible. It's a battle and I spend most of my time alone. Most people don't like being around somebody who is constantly as sick as I am, it's just human nature. Any questions about anything message me.
5593804 tn?1372872874
I had the same problem, I am 24 and had loads of jobs due to either not getting on with others, growing bored with the job or my Bpd impacts it far too much such as the depressive traits. I have been signed off work for nearly a year now, was wanting to go back to work but recently found out I an pregnant so having to put that on hold. I found the only time I actually coped on work was working in a bar due to the flexibility and the fact you can interact or not interact as much as you like, it didn't matter if my mood was chaotic one day to the next. It's hard finding an employer who understands and finding a suitable job that you don't find either to mundane or too overwhelming. If you do find yourself getting stressed etc try and make your excuses and leave the environment or I used to think of something funny, which led me,going into hysterics one time but it works
Avatar universal
Dear friend ,
I am nearing 40 and suffer from chrocic depression for almost 20 years and i think thinking back i had some BPD traits .  (not enough to get a diagnosis )  .

Having suffered major depression at 17 i thought at that time life and job prospects were bleak .  But thinking back though i had to do many job hopping etc etc i could work and be quite productive and even got the best employee award ...

Time taught me many lessons
1.  Ideally part time work or a low risky self employment is best for us  .. Maybe pay is lower but lesser stress .  
2. Over the years i realised just the realisation that we have this " all or nothing " thinking itself makes things better . I never had friends till 25 years but as i became self aware i started getting friends ...
3 taking one day at a time  .. this is where therapy with a good therapist helps  
4 .. I can give you lots of specific examples unless u feel the cheapest thing is advice :) ( its not cheap .. i charge 1000 $ per advice lol )  ..

Though the future is not the brightest its not dark either  .. :)  

Let me brag for a moment  .. Never been on debt , has a comfortable lifestyle , loved by colleagues and customers .. If i can U can too ... at least in long run  . best wishes . message me if u need
Avatar universal
Hi there.  I'm a long term BPD sufferer of the last 31 years.  As regards to your work situation and worries, I'd carefully check out all of the replies here.  They are based on peoples personal opnions and experiences, so worth some extra thought.  I don't know what country you are in but I'd def look into the welfare/benefit/social system and see if you can receive help with costs to live etc.  Please don't be put off by the seemingly endless pages of paperwork to fill in,  this ALWAYS happens and you mustn't be scared off!!!  Sometimes you really have to ask and search around for this kind of information.  Maybe you could have a word with your Dr or medical assistant who deals with your health problems.  Worrying as you are about your lack of work or worry about keeping work once you have it is not helping to keep you well.  Yes I agree with the person who mentioned part-time work or tempory work,  at least it's known on both sides that if you take a temp job,  you are not staying long!!  I really do understand your worries hun,  I'm going to be in that exact situ soon and it's terrifying.  I noticed '' tonyw1966'' mentioned finding an experienced Dr and possibily a lawyer to help get you through,  YES YES YES!  It's NOT as scary as it sounds and I understand how scary it sounds,  I really do.  Another thing I've done in the past is a job that I can do alone or tucked away in the background.  I had to take a cleaning job,  office cleaning,  because it was very early in the morning and I let myself in and worked alone.  What I'm saying is even when I felt my worst,  at least I didn't have to face any other person.  The thought of facing loads of people and having to smile when I'm feeling depressed or downright angry  -  wow NO THANKS!!!  Hope that's put a bit more food for thought in the tray for you,  but yeah,  life as a BPD is far from perfect.  HUGS       XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Avatar universal
I have SSD, but it was a lot of tears and frustration filling out the paperwork, and you need to be extremely honest and detailed. you also need one person who knows you well, to fill out an identical packet, to back up your claims, and your medical records (or release of information) I am a veteran, so I got expedited (3 months), i would have gotten it sooner if i wasnt so scared of the process and rejection. but the sooner you start, the sooner you will get it. follow the directions.
Avatar universal
I was thinking about doing temp jobs too, is that working for you? update please! :)
Avatar universal
do you have to employ others, or is it just a sole-proprietorship
Avatar universal
people usually end up hating me wherever i go.....i hate to just say, oh well, illl never be who i always wanted to be, and ill have to take temp jobs. but that seems to be the trend in all the blogs. very sobering.
Avatar universal
I have found Zoloft and Valium to help.   I'm currently taking Valium and Clonazepam.   Valium during the day.   I'm very worried about a new job I start tomorrow.   I'm a single mom.   I need this stability.   I have found working out to help.   I don't mean 30 min either.   I go for at least an hour and usually longer.   Everyday exercise landed me at the Dr's though:/.  During the work days possibly,  but no more than 3 days in a row.   Just my experience.   Keep busy at work.   Don't give your mind time to stress.  Nor give time to TRY socializing and failing.   I avoid Co workers like a plague just keeping busy.   Def no out of work socials.  Attachments make emotions harder to control.   Plus,  they'll want to interact while at work throwing you off.  I'm no expert, but I've lived with BPD a long time.   I also have PTSD, anxiety, and panic disorder.   I also believe I'm quite bipolar.   No diagnosis on that one though.   Hope this helps.  
Avatar universal
I work from home as a medical transcriptionist so I don't have to deal with people in person and can work from home. www.careerstep.com is the online school I took my course through and they had graduation support to help me find work when I graduated. I've been working from home for 4 years.
I tried working outside the home this past year and it didn't work out for me. I ended up going back to transcription and was grateful I had it to fall back on.
Im disabled and been looking for a job at home. I spoke to someone when i saw this message. And joined careerstep April 27th, BC of this message. So far I'm loving it. I could see how ppl who don't know medical field would want to leave. It sure ain't easy. Researching my own medical issues def gave me an advantage. Thank you so much. Crossing fingers everything works out. Ssi couldn't find a job in the nation for me. I know in the end this will hurt..but I gotta do something financially.
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