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How does BPD affect decision-making?

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Every single person who has ever lived, or will ever live, is one-of-a-kind and unique unless someone suffers from a mental illness like Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Then you aren't fully unique because someone with BPD is very predictable in their decision-making.

BPD and making decisions

People with BPD are typically very indecisive and are extremely dependent on other people in every area of their lives.

Failure, rejection, change, and disappointing others are common fears for people with BPD. Simultaneously they're dealing with unworthiness, self-hatred, guilt, and commitment issues. All of these factors affect their decision-making.

From my own experience, I can tell you that it is extremely difficult to make decisions. The only time I can make a decision is when I’m impulsive, which often results in guilt later on. The majority of the time, I require reassurance or the guidance of others. When you realize this about yourself, it feeds the feeling of worthlessness.

I feel as if I'm divided into two different people. One of them is just me, whoever that is, and the other is my impulsiveness. When certain things happen, small or big, my impulsive side makes the decisions. You may also consider it my emotional side, making irrational decisions as a result of certain triggers. Because of this, I feel as if I have minimal control over my actions, and it made me wonder if I have free will or not.

Do people with BPD have free will?

There have always been discussions about if we, humans, have free will or whether it all is pre-determined. Unfortunately, I can't answer that philosophical question. But what I can tell you is that people with unrecognized Borderline personality disorder don’t have free will. When someone recognizes and accepts that they have an emotional disorder, they regain a little bit of the lost free will.

Why someone with BPD does not have Free will

As you may be aware, algorithms control how all of the applications on your phone operate in a consistent and predictable manner. various applications all respond differently and do different things based on an algorithm that someone developed. The algorithm runs quietly beneath the surface, unseen by humans. Nonetheless, it is present. We can tell because of how our technology responds to us when we use it.

When you have a disorder based on emotional variables, such as BPD, an emotional algorithm predetermines or severely manipulates your thoughts, feelings, reactions, and behaviors. Borderline Personality Disorder is just faulty coding. We were given incorrect coding in our childhood. BPD patients all have the same faulty coding, which explains why they are so predictable. 

The only reason why people can relate to what I write about BPD is that I understand the emotional algorithm and the programming they function on. I don't know all of my readers personally or have exposure to their thoughts.

People's free will is taken away by this emotional algorithm. If you are being manipulated to behave predictably while being completely unaware of it, you do not have free will. You're a programmed machine. You are to feel specific emotions when something triggers your pattern, and you are to behave in a scripted way when you experience such-and-such feelings.

Algorithms aren't used by emotionally healthy people. They don't work according to a set of rules. Whatever emotion they are experiencing, they see it as a sort of data input or information collection. They use this data with their analytical talents (their ideas) to come to decisions on how to proceed, or whether to proceed, what their requirements are, or the best course of action.

Free will is being able to consciously decide a route after considering all relevant factors. When you have free will, you have the ability to choose your own thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Anything less than that is a lack of free will. When you're under the control of an emotional algorithm or are unaware of the purpose of your feelings, you don't use all available information (because you're feeling, but not viewing those feelings as information), nor do you consciously determine each step, because the emotional algorithm pre-determines your reactions, thoughts, behaviors, and additional feelings for you.

How to make decisions when you have BPD

People with Borderline Personality Disorder have no idea what feelings are for. They're merely invisible events that occur within your body. As a result, these people are like passengers on a plane without a pilot. The plane zigzags across the universe, and they are only a passenger. You can't appreciate emotions' purpose if you don't understand their function, and you can't utilize them as a tool if you don't grasp their function. Rather than selecting what to do based on the facts they provide, you act based on what they motivate you to accomplish.

Consider the situation of a woman (who does not have BPD) on her first date. She has feelings during the date. Perhaps she is uneasy at some times. She has no idea why she is nervous; all she knows is that she is. She recognizes that this sensation is information. She doesn't dismiss it since she doesn't understand it. Rather, she uses her analytical thinking (her abilities of reason and analysis) to investigate the emotion, and then she skillfully engages the person sitting opposite of her in a conversation to see if the unease is justified. Meanwhile, she confirms that other people are in the area if things go south.

In the end, it doesn't matter if the unease was justified or not. She didn't dismiss the feeling, reject it, refuses to acknowledge it, or act as if she wasn't aware of it. She also didn't immediately react, hurl her plate of food at the man, sprint for the door, or started screaming. The key part is that she was able to perceive the feeling as information. She utilized her emotional intelligence with her analytical thinking abilities to better investigate her circumstances.

For someone without BPD, this may seem natural, but for someone with BPD, this is a skill that has to be learned.


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