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Why People with Borderline are always Tired

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) might be labeled as lazy or that they're sleeping too much. The truth is that the energy that goes into a personality disorder is pretty immense. People with BPD often struggle to fall asleep, and when they get enough sleep, they still feel tired most of the time.

Can BPD make you tired?

A personality disorder can have a huge impact on someone's life, especially a cluster B disorder like Borderline. BPD is exhausting, which is something often overlooked within the disorder. But why are people with BPD so tired all the time?

BPD is exhausting for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is that they have difficulty keeping their emotions stable. While this may not be hard for someone else, it is exhausting for someone with BPD. They have to deal with a constant onslaught of mood swings since they have difficulty regulating their emotions. One negative feeling or mood can completely drain their energy.

While someone with BPD may try to concentrate and participate in the external world, they have a lot to worry about when it comes to their internal self. Eventually, worry leads to stress, and when someone is stressed, they become fatigued. Additionally, social situations can be draining for them because they are constantly concerned with what others think of them and frequently display a chameleon personality.

Another reason for feeling fatigued is that they're constantly searching for their identity, considering the meaning of their life and if they're doing things good enough. If someone is resting but is guilting or shaming themselves for not being productive enough, it's not actually resting. This is often hard to differentiate and can leave the person confused as to why they feel so exhausted.

Since taking care of oneself feels like a demanding task for people with BPD, it is another reason for the lack of energy. Bad sleep schedules, unhealthy eating patterns, drug or alcohol abuse, and poor personal hygiene are among the issues they face. Binge eating (to eat away negative emotions), or a lack of food intake (due to depression or disassociation), can make someone feel tired.

People with BPD are vulnerable to addiction since it feels as if it 'fills' their sense of emptiness, and therefore they often resort to alcohol or drugs. Besides every other negative effect these substances have, it often causes extra fatigue.

One of the symptoms of BPD is reckless and impulsive behavior which most times result in feeling exhausted afterward. They can feel the intense need to be doing something due to some overriding emotion. It could go from a simple task to something very demanding. Whatever it is, they will give it their everything due to their black and white thinking. But the next day it may feel like they've been hit by a truck.

It could also be that someone constantly feels tired due to depression since BPD is often comorbid with it. Even when someone has done nothing except lie in bed all day, they may feel tired. Everything you do, even if it is something easy, can make someone exhausted when they're experiencing depression. They could be overthinking and be unable to get out of bed due to a lack of motivation.

Lastly, medication can also be a factor in feeling tired all the time. The medication often prescribed for people with BPD or depression sometimes come with side effects. Feeling extra tired is one of the most frequent side effects of these medications.

Recap on the most significant factors of why people with Borderline Personality Disorder feel tired all the time:

  • Mood swings

  • Stress

  • Low self-esteem in social situations

  • Identity crisis

  • Lack of self-care

  • Alcohol or drugs abuse

  • Reckless and impulsive behavior

  • Depression

  • Medication

What is also worth noting is that some people with BPD, and other mental illnesses, seem to regain energy at night time. They subconsciously get more relaxed knowing that nobody and nothing can hurt them emotionally. This often causes the sleep schedule to be disrupted and sometimes even reverses their day-night rhythm.

Can BPD affect sleep?

Issues such as emotion dysregulation, intrusive thoughts, and impulsive behavior that come with BPD may make you more susceptible to sleeping problems. Due to overwhelming emotions, it can also happen that someone with BPD simply cannot fall asleep, which makes them more likely to develop a sleep disorder in general.

Since people with BPD are more prone to addictions, they're more likely to have a disrupted sleep pattern due to addictive behavior like gaming or even scrolling through social media for hours at night-time. This is becoming a bigger problem in society, but people with BPD tend to fall into this behavior more often.

I used to think I was chronically tired but later found out that it was related to my BPD. I frequently catch myself thinking about work-related stuff, relationships, and life while I am supposed to be falling asleep. I can sometimes spend hours worrying about these things in bed without realizing it. In the end, I distract myself from negative feelings with gaming, social media, and writing while shortening my nightly hours. Which to some extent I'm not happy about. I'm also guilty of shifting my day and night cycle quite often.


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