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The most colourful of all personalities is the one known in medical parlance as Borderline Personality. Is it a boon or a bane? Let us find out.

These people walk the thin line between normalcy and psychosis. They can be quite happy one moment, and screaming with anger or crying their heart out the next. It is the unpredictability of their temper that makes them so interesting, and difficult to deal with.

If you ask them, these individuals do not know how to deal with these overwhelming emotions. It is the source of their greatest suffering, as also their creativity. Art comes naturally to them. They feel intensely and connect to others immediately. But after a time, maintaining interpersonal relations poses a great challenge.

This is because of the tendency to become emotionally dependent on others. Their near ones have to be emotionally available for them at all hours. Failing to do so is considered rejection and such individuals are overtly sensitive to rejection and criticism. If you are not there for them in times of emotional crisis (which are pretty common phenomenon for them), you are blacklisted. This brings us to the next facet of this personality.

They see the world in absolute black and white. No grey zone for them! This means that they can idolize you one moment and hate you with all their heart the next, when they feel you are rejecting them. And that can lead to vicious arguments, melodramatic accusations and attempts to harm themselves. After a point, it becomes too much to bear for their partners, friends or relatives. So, we usually see a lifetime of intense but short-lasting friendships and a collage of tumultuous relationships.

Their self-esteem is not over the top. There is a lot of problem with the mental image they have of themselves. As a result, they are constantly seeking validation from others. Failing to get it damages this self-image further, and anger and hatred get self-directed pretty often. Hence, there is a recurring tendency to harm themselves, including multiple suicide attempts.

Impulsivity is commonplace here. Looking before taking the leap is not a saying they take seriously! They pretty much always act on a whim and live to regret those decisions later. Shopping sprees, abuse of recreational drugs, promiscuity are a few examples of this impulsive behavior pattern.

In summary, individuals with such a personality are loving, caring, fun to be around and supremely creative. However, when it comes to handling emotions or keeping a check on their impulsivity, they are at a loss. The constant feeling of emptiness that plagues them is a curse they have to bear for a lifetime.

How do we help these individuals? The first step is to identify the features and understand that they need support, not criticism. Regular therapy sessions with or without medications under the supervision of a competent psychiatrist goes a long way in letting them live a productive life. Remember that it is a personality pattern, embedded deep in their psyche. Therapy takes time, but it pays to be patient!