Employment and Borderline Personality Disorder

by Jade S

Many of us have both a personality disorder AND a job to deal with.  Maybe some of us have BPD and a boss from the underworld.  Work can be difficult when you struggle with a brain illness.  In a lot of cases, BPD completely strips one of the capacity to have a career and fight their illness at the same time.  

No person with borderline will be able to have a successful career without first treating their illness.  OUR HEALTH COMES FIRST.  What a lot of people with borderline don't realize is they are just as worthy of all the care and treatment in the world as every other human being.  We borderlines love to help people, and often succeed in careers that involve helping those in need.  This is because we are caring, loving people in reality.  Our illness can keep us from being the successful, wonderful people we are when we do not treat it.  Treatment and recovery must be our first priority.  Take care of yourselves.  

What does it mean to take care of yourself in the context of a job?

Make yourself a routine that allows you to have time for yourself, to rest your mind and body.

Speak up when you need a break or a mental health day.  You won't be a productive worker if you are depressed, anxious, stressed, and distracted.  

Make sure group therapy is a part of your weekly schedule.  Somehow, you must find a way to fit treatment into your work schedule.  

I wish everyone luck as they are working or seeking employment.  People with BPD are some of the best employees a business can hire, because of our wonderful qualities.  Let those wonderful qualities come out by staying mentally healthy!! 


I worked for the Salvation Army for 8 years, started as a hostel receptionist and after several promotions I became a senior project worker/duty manager. I took two days off for illness, had a job interview on one of the days (as a deputy manager of a new hostel for the same Christian charity). A friend, who was on the interview panel told me on the Sunday that I was going to be offered the job. On the Monday I went into work and was immediately called into a meeting where I was suspended, after months of fighting I lost my job. The reason? Having a mental illness makes me a danger and threat to staff and clients. Well, the other job fell through as well, Y'see, another person on the interview panel was my bosses husband. Apparently after the interviews he went into a meeting and told people something was about to happen to me that would make me unsuitable for the job. The Salvation Army do amazing work, but as with all people groups, there are some utter %$£@%&'s. I always think my BPD made me a better employee, I don't get bugged down with relationships, I work hard, am fiercely loyal to my employers (until they unfairly dismiss me!) Anyway, seven years later, I've had to re-train for another career, am at Uni, doing well, Rarely miss a day, get good grades, likeable person, funny, caring... A bleeding good person to employ I think. My confidence is returning and am looking at running my own business (I can't sack myself for having a mental illness)
I work in retail wth bpd and its nasty abusive customers who make or break my 2 personalities. One personality is calm and rational. Other personality is a tornado of hysteria, irrationality and in the worse cases; severe depression. If a customer swears at me, insults me or shouts at me- they don't realise they are putting my mental health at risk.