I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have struggled, and struggled, and even though I'm on daily meds I still have trouble. This answer is from my own experience and from my heart.
People are genetically predisposed to bpd. That means we're born with it, and will die with it. There is no cure. So the first way it affects us over time is that it is a constant "cross to bear," for our entire lives, and we either cope or literally die. Suicide, risky behavior, or pissing off the wrong person during an episode of rage, are some threats to our existence. I have been dangerously near suicide four times - I remember them especially because I was serious.
Another way it affects us over time - it's like a failing marriage. Things are ok a lot of the time, but the more and more you argue with the same person about the same thing, the frustration compounds and you would do anything just to make this so-and-so go away. Well, you can get out of a bad marriage. I've been aware of my disorder for five years now, and I'm 35, so this is as far as my experience goes. I don't know how I will be at 40, 50, 60. But from the way it looks now, my strategies will have to change and become more potent if I am to survive. It is LITERALLY a constant battle, except that your sworn enemy and foe is INSIDE YOUR HEAD.
And it's SMART. It's similar to our smartphones and apps now, the ones that "learn" your search preferences, and even your voice, over time. It finds a way to use your own thoughts against you. For example, if I am going through a mixed manic-depressive episode, I believe (with ALL my heart!) that no one loves me, that I am a failure, that I will never be ok and that I should just take myself out. It is literally temporary insanity! I am a healthy, vibrant, attractive, career-oriented single mother of a beautiful daughter, with a fully loving and supportive family, a therapist who loves me and stays on standby, and I have goals. I am a normal person. But during those times, I am absolutely certain that I am alone, that I will fail at my goals like so many times before, and that I have no reason to go on living. Its the disease. It talks to me in my head and it's hard to differentiate between the sane voice and the insane one, until the episode is over. Then I'm perfectly ok. Just like that.
Lastly, things that are affected over time are relationships with friends, family and romantic relationships, and jobs. We struggle with dealing with ourselves, so of course others who have to deal with us struggle too. I have had to re-start my career 3 times because I would build up a great rep at a job, and then eventually get fired for emotional instability. So that's where the "failure" thoughts come from - how do I know it won't happen again? Just yesterday I couldn't stop crying for four hours AT WORK, even while interacting with my co-workers. I cannot control or guide when or how intense it will be when it hits.
Hope this helps!
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