BPD and Burnout

October 26, 2022 Desiree Brown

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 semester'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.

APA Reference
Brown, D. (2022, October 26). BPD and Burnout, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Desiree Brown

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